Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Suggestions for driving itinerary around Ireland

Status
Not open for further replies.

kpc

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
6,522
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
http://www.australianfrequentflyer....s-and-limos/car-hire-dublin-6-days-64578.html

Further to my post above about car hire in Dublin, I have come up with a confusing blank as to where to go for the 6 days, 5 nights road trip around Ireland (late April / early May, and starting and ending in Dublin):oops::oops:...so I'm turning to AFFers for help / suggestions. Also looking at suggestions for local restaurants & B + B type accommodation along the way. I know Ireland is not that big but big enough, and I wouldn't want to drive more than 250-300kms per day. Also will we be pushing it by staying at a different place every night?

I have borrowed Lonely Planet's Ireland's Best Trips which lists 34 amazing road trips so I'm now confused as ever.... so can you help me piece together a road trip for 6 days? We like scenery, interesting buildings, charming villages / markets / good food / coasts etc; not so much into castles and museums but one ot two will be good...

The Lonely Planet Ireland's Highlights road trip is for 7 days which is a day too long for our itinerary but includes: Dublin-->Galway-->Clifden--->Roundstone-->Cliffs of Moher-->Ennis-->Dingle-->Slea head-->Killarney...Thoughts / Tips?
Many thanks in advance!!
 
Last edited:

phily

Member
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
216
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
The Lonely Planet Ireland's Highlights road trip is for 7 days which is a day too long for our itinerary but includes: Dublin-->Galway-->Clifden--->Roundstone-->Cliffs of Moher-->Ennis-->Dingle-->Slea head-->Killarney...Thoughts / Tips?
Many thanks in advance!!
Seriously consider starting your trip in Belfast and departing from Dublin. Belfast has an extraordinary social history, as we all know. The violence has ended, and it is now very safe for tourists. The best thing on offer is a "Black Cab tour of the Troubles" areas, where a regular cabbie will take you for 90 mins for just £30 on a guided tour of the now infamous republican Falls Road area and the unionist Shankill Road area and explain to you in his own words the impact of the conflict on the people.

I'm planning to do this again later this year, and will take the 2-hour express Aircoach bus from Belfast to Dublin where I'll then get a rental car. In Dublin I recommend visiting Kilmainham Gaol, not because it's a former jail, but for the excellent social history lesson about the 1916 Uprising that you'll hear from the excellent guide. You MUST understand Irish political history in order to understand Irish people.
 

VPS

Established Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
4,844
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Definitely Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry and I would add Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains - also don't underestimate Dublin - Trinity College and walking along the Liffey
 

seanpodge

Active Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
610
Flights
My Map
If you do follow phily's suggestion to go to the North, then you can also do a day trip to the Giant's Causeway and the very nearby (about 10 minutes drive) Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Both are great sites and can easily be done as a day trip from Belfast. The inland route is about 90 minutes while there is also a coastal scenic route that's a little longer.

A note of caution: if you are hiring a car from Dublin and want to take it to the North, you need to check with the hire company for insurance purposes. When I did it, I just needed to inform them on the phone that I was taking it over the border and I think they added a small fee per day.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
17,270
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
My only tip would be to be aware that the standard of roads in Rep Ireland at least is rather low - as in narrow, single lane each way, with an apparent over-abundance of tractors and the inability to pass them.

Only counting on 250-300km each day is good, but don't expect them to pass quickly. Admiring the green rolling hills is great, but not when stuck behind a tractor for 30 minutes at 20km/hr.
 

tgh

Established Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Messages
2,771
We have a green country visit coming up in Early May/15
My choice ex LGW ( ex RAK.. !!) is to hire a car there, drive to Holyhead catch the Rosslare Ferry and basically explore the southern regions.
Costs were only slightly higher than flying across ,and the drive down is somewhere we haven't seen in the UK.
The roads are narrow , but if you check.. cars actually don't vary in width all that much , so the hire a little car line you often read is a bit pointless.
Cities hold little interest ,it's the wild places for us …. the less people the better… :)
Shoulder season should make accommodation readily available , and my present plans are to mostly just wing it.
We return to the UK by the same route and have a follow up cruise on the Silver Explorer ex Portsmouth working our way up the Irish sea ending with a few days in Dublin.

footnote.. Funny how stuff changes ..
Scotland was always the top of to do in the UK list.. but Drron's ( alway's excellent) travelogue sorta put me off it….. it will now probably rain every single day we are in Ireland…
 
Last edited:

Duffa

Established Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
1,230
Flights
My Map
A note of caution: if you are hiring a car from Dublin and want to take it to the North, you need to check with the hire company for insurance purposes. When I did it, I just needed to inform them on the phone that I was taking it over the border and I think they added a small fee per day.
I did this with Avis in October - hired and returned to Dublin - no fee to take it in to the North - but as always, check your contract online for you click on "buy".
 

alieninperth

Active Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
804
Flights
My Map
I would certainly second the call to travel around 'the north', as Northern Ireland is often referred to, as I am from there. I would be careful if you are travelling in the first weeks of July. It's often referred to as silly season and is the time when most of the 'trouble' flares up. 'Trouble' is very different from 'the troubles'. The latter being a 30 year period of what was almost civil war, and the former being a few riots, petrol bombs, that sort of thing. It is important to know that although the level of violence has decreased very significantly since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, there are still incidents that can happen.

If you are there from May to June or mid Aug to Sept it should be lovely, not the weather obviously but everything else.

Belfast is a beautiful city, in spite of the troubles, and it has a lot to offer. The Titanic museum was rather good the last time I was home and I'm sure that the Game of Thrones bandwagon has been extended to accommodate various activities edit: it has Discover Northern Ireland | Game of Thrones filming locations . I would also second the call to visit the Giants Causeway as it is just fantastic, the walk along the top of the cliffs and then the steps down to the sea is very bracing but there is a pub at the end to refresh yourselves. there is even a hotel if you want to overnight. The drive along the coast is much nicer that the inland route so thats the way I would suggest. I would also recommend Dunluce castle, a spectacular ruin on the North Antrim Coast, not far from the Giants Causeway and on the way to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, or the guiness bridge as I knew it when I was growing up.

I've never spent any real time in Derry but I'm told it's very beautiful. Then on to the wilds of Donegal.

There are a few things on up north this year so check out the tourism NI website Accommodation, events, things to see and do in Belfast, County Down, County Armagh, County Fermanagh, County Londonderry, County Tyrone and County Antrim TBH I could fill a week just in Belfast and the surrounds.

I cant really comment on the south, but I have always enjoyed nights out in Dublin. Trinity College and the Book of Kells is always a winner with the tourists.

250km a day is a fair distance over there. From Dublin Airport, almost the entire country is within 250km range. To give a bit of comparison, when I lived over there and was driving to work it took me 30 mins each way for a journey of about 30km. This was on main roads, but not dual carriageways/motorways. Unless you are on the motorways, and that is basically to/from Dublin and Belfast then I would allow a similar length of time for driving. Belfast to the Giants Causeway would take amost 2 and a half hours using the coastal route, and it is only 120km away.

Looking at car hire, I made my booking with autoslash for my trip back home later this year, and it priced out at about $200 for 22 days (focus wagon) Cheap Car Rentals - AutoSlash

I've never been on a taxi tour but I've heard lots of good things, quite a few of the tour operators where involved so are very knowledgable about the recent history. I may even try it myself when I go over later in the year.

To Echo Phily upthread undertanding Irelands history, both societal and political is key to understanding the modern Ireland/Irish. I only came across this today as I was looking for something for my inlaws; it may help :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcH6sDWR-wA&feature=player_detailpage

A humerous look at modern views in the north https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MnH1OkBgTuQ

Have a gret time when you're over there and have a pint of the black stuff for me.
 

seanpodge

Active Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
610
Flights
My Map
My only tip would be to be aware that the standard of roads in Rep Ireland at least is rather low - as in narrow, single lane each way, with an apparent over-abundance of tractors and the inability to pass them.

Only counting on 250-300km each day is good, but don't expect them to pass quickly. Admiring the green rolling hills is great, but not when stuck behind a tractor for 30 minutes at 20km/hr.
Although I've spent a lot of time in Ireland stuck behind tractors, it depends on which roads. The new highways between the major cities are grand (thanks Brussels!) and have a 120 km/h speed limit. But if you go to the countryside then the quality does head downhill. I wouldn't expect it to improve since there is likely bad weather over the next few days which will really damage the roads. Some of the roads are barely two cars wide and you will have to be careful passing a car coming the other way. Also, the high hedges can cause many blind corners.

Another issue is that the signage on many of the rural back roads is somewhere between poor and non existent. Outside of the small town centres, the roads are unnamed and the signs just point in the vague direction of a village and how many kilometers to it. If driving in many unfamiliar places, it's probably worth investing in a GPS.
 

jsoprano

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
328
Not sure if you can fit in both, but the West Coast (Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula & up to Cliffs of Moher and Galway) as well as the North are my favourites. I've been to the West Coast 3 times and to the North once.

On the West Coast, I cannot really remember were we all stayed on the various trips, but one that comes to mind was the Driftwood B&B in Kenmare, at the southern end of the Ring of Kerry. That one was fantastic, and Kenmare is a nice little town.

In the North, Derry and Belfast for me were really interesting. Belfast is not a beautiful city by any means, but the whole recent history about the conflict was well worth it. Derry had a nice Old Town and all the wall murals were really interesting. We stayed at the Hilton in Belfast which was… well, average. In Derry we stayed at Serendipity House B&B.
 

kpc

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
6,522
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
For others' interest, this is what I'm planning to do and where we are staying (ran it past an Irish work colleague as well:)); the itinerary and accommodation are set with 1 night stays except we will stay 2 nights at Dingle. Just need to fit in the sightseeing bits in during the day!: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/The...a52c496!2m2!1d-6.251583!2d53.345082!3e0?hl=en

After all the comments about Belfast, we will do a separate day trip to Belfast from Dublin on one of my conference "quiet" days;)
 

tgh

Established Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Messages
2,771
Hmm structure structure.structure…... all the ducks in a line .. :)
I'm still planning to wing it although I see that some of your stops have limited availability in my time line.
Maybe I need to line up a few more ducks….problem is that we really do just want to wander aimlessly and find what we find...
 

alieninperth

Active Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
804
Flights
My Map
After all the comments about Belfast, we will do a separate day trip to Belfast from Dublin on one of my conference "quiet" days;)
Bus or train might be an idea for a day trip up to Belfast. Either option is about 2 1/2 hrs city centre to city centre and no hassles with parking, route planning etc.
 

kpc

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
6,522
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Hmm structure structure.structure…... all the ducks in a line .. :)
I'm still planning to wing it although I see that some of your stops have limited availability in my time line.
Maybe I need to line up a few more ducks….problem is that we really do just want to wander aimlessly and find what we find...
Initially I was thinking like you, just drive around, and then decide where to stay at the end of the day....plenty of flexibility but then always wondering / worried where you will be staying that night with the risk of no accommodation being available or difficult to find. In Dingle (Heaton's guest house), where we plan to stay 2 nights, there is limited accommodaton so I just went with the safe option by prebooking all the accommodation but obviously at the cost of flexibility.

Bus or train might be an idea for a day trip up to Belfast. Either option is about 2 1/2 hrs city centre to city centre and no hassles with parking, route planning etc.
Was actually planning on taking an organised tour bus so I don't have to think or plan:oops:
 

Moody

Established Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
1,445
Plenty of Neolithic sites if you are into that sort of thing. Newgrange is particularly impressive, but there are sites all around Ireland that are worth a refreshing walk.

Don't forget your raincoat, and afterwards the Guinness will taste that much better!
 

kpc

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
6,522
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Why is it that EVERYONE mentions needing a raincoat / umbrella in Ireland (going in late April /early May btw)?:shock::p
 

jastel

Active Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
537
In Dublin go to the Guinness museum, even if you don't like the stuff its interesting and has the best view in the city from the Gravity bar at the top.
Giants causeway, Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry are must sees.
I found Blarney Castle a bit cheesy but did it anyway.
Cork is also a nice town with a good museum with Titanic stuff in it.
 
Trying to access your favourite Australian websites when overseas only to discover they have been geo-blocked? Concerned about your internet privacy especially when using unsecured wifi? NordVPN will solve both these common problems.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer
Status
Not open for further replies.

Recent Posts

Community Statistics

Threads
86,423
Messages
2,088,590
Members
53,779
Latest member
snowhikes
Top