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First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

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  • First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

    Hi,

    My husband and I are planning our first trip to Ireland in June to celebrate 35 years of wedded bliss! Our self booked intineray includes a 2 night stay near Shannon Airport and then on to Galway for a 9 night stay. We're pretty sure that we don't want to rent a car and since we've never visted Ireland in the past, we would like to pose a few questions that we hope someone can help us with. We are thankful for any and all assistance...
    1. How can we get from Shannon to Galway? Are there buses or taxis?
    2. Is the banquet at Bunratty Castle recommended? Any other ideas for us to see or do in that area?
    3. Are there tours that we should be aware of that might include the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Bay?
    4. Which of the Arian Islands would be the best for us to tour?
    5. Any recommendations for restaurants and especially pubs in both of these areas?
    6. Anything we should not miss?
    Thanks so much!!!

  • #2
    Re: First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

    Congrats on your anniversary! Sounds like you'll have a great trip. I can't answer too many of your questions, but I'm sure someone else here will be able to help.

    1. According to the Bus Eireann Web site, there is indeed bus service between Shannon and Galway, so I bet that would be your most economical option.

    6. I believe you'll be pretty close to the Cliffs of Moher, which are dramatic and beautiful -- I'd find a tour that will get you there, if you can.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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    • #3
      Re: First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

      Thanks so much! I will be sure to take a look at that web site. We do want to see the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry if we can fit it all in.

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      • #4
        Re: First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

        I must say that you are doing yourself a disservice by not renting a car to make the drive from Shannon to Galway. Driving in Ireland is very easy and well marked. It gives you a chance to explore and do things at your own pace that you dont get on a cattle call bus. Drive north on the N18 to Newmarket-on-Fergus and check out Dromoland Castle. Its really quite stunning. If you dont stay the night there, drop in for lunch or tea. Go into Ennis and take the N85 towards the coast. Then take the N67 north along the coast making sure to stop at the Cliffs. The N67 will reconnect with the N18 towards Galway, and youll need to hop on the N6 to get into the city. All in all a most managable drive in a few hours and youll have the added benefit of doing it at your own pace. Youll be able to dump the car in Galway if you like, or keep it and do a day trip north to Cashel Bay or to Cong which is home to the lovely Ashford Castle.

        Hope this helps.

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        • #5
          Re: First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

          Must agree with Princeton - driving is the only way to go. You will get a different feel of this great country by being able to go where you want rather than depend on taxis, buses, and trains.

          I had the same feeling as you when visiting Ireland. I overcame the worry about 5 minutes after we picked up the car and started driving out of Dublin Airport. For the next 8 days, we crossed the country twice. The key to better driving in Ireland is to make sure your spouse keeps saying, "left, left, left, left" when coming out of a roundabout or making a turn onto another street. This method did wonders. We became so used to driving in Ireland that when we returned to the states, we had to keep repeating, "right, right, right, right".

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          • #6
            Re: First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

            Best to rent a car (small one) and drive the countryside. Stay out of the larger cities and towns. Drive on the small roads (3 digit) and you'll really see Ireland. Stay in B&Bs, they're the greatest, as are the people. Eat in the pubs -- and speaking of pubs, the best and oldest ones are found across the street from the oldest churches.

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            • #7
              Re: First trip/Having a car in Ireland

              I know there are reasons to have a car in Ireland, but neither my husband nor I want to drive. We like using public transportation, so if it were totally up to me we'd spend the whole time in Dublin, but my husband wants to go to other places. Still, I think we'll be able to do without a car -- hopefully. We'll be spending 3 days in Dublin, 1 in Cork, and 3 in Killarney. We plan to use a tour bus to see the Ring of Kerry and the bus for seeing other places. We may well have to take a taxi sometimes. We did actually think about renting a car in Killarney, but found we'd have to pick it up at the airport and drop it off, and seeing as how we'll only be there 3 days -- really, only 2 1/2 -- we hardly think it's worth the time and trouble. I see there's a tour bus in Cork, and my nephew lives there as well, so I think we'll be all right there. We plan to use the DART, Luas, and buses in Dublin, as well as the tour buses -- more than we usually do, as my husband has a foot condition that limits his walking. This our first trip to Ireland, so it will be a learning experience. Looking forward to it!

              Sandy

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              • #8
                Re: First trip/Having a car in Ireland

                Is there a reason for not wanting to drive? I couldn't imagine doing the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Penninsula in a tour bus. Driving added a level of excitement that I would not pass up.

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                • #9
                  Re: First trip/Having a car in Ireland

                  Originally posted by JFA1968 View Post
                  Is there a reason for not wanting to drive? I couldn't imagine doing the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Penninsula in a tour bus. Driving added a level of excitement that I would not pass up.

                  Yes :-) I have cataracts, won't have the surgery until we return, and my husband has a foot problem. He drives at home, but we figure driving in a place we've never been is not a good time to test his foot.

                  Sandy

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                  • #10
                    Re: First trip/Having a car in Ireland

                    Originally posted by sandypaws3 View Post
                    Yes :-) I have cataracts, won't have the surgery until we return, and my husband has a foot problem. He drives at home, but we figure driving in a place we've never been is not a good time to test his foot.

                    Sandy
                    Thatís a coincidence. When we visited Ireland, I had cataracts and DH had a bone spur in his foot. Nonetheless, we drove a rental car; no public transportation except an overnight ferry (with the rented car) to and from Ireland. We drove not only around Ireland, but also through England and into France. And we returned the car intact! It was really the absolute best way to see the countryside, and at our own pace. But of course you have to do what you are comfortable with.

                    I would recommend that if youíre in the Cashel area you visit the Rock of Cashel. And of course some pubs, wherever you are. And as another poster has said, be sure to stay in B&Bís. We absolutely loved Ireland and its people and are hoping to get back again some day.

                    Enjoy!

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                    • #11
                      Re: First Time Visitor/site and Ireland

                      Hi there,

                      I hope it's not too late for me to suggest visiting Northern Ireland when you're over.

                      The place has really changed over the last 10 years and has some great places to visit. Also Ireland is way smaller than you might think. You can drive from Belfast to Dublin in a couple of hours. So if you did hire a car you'd be able to visit just about anywhere. It might not be as daunting as you think.

                      There's plenty of history to visit just driving through the Irish countryside (if thats what you're into). Buy a decent road map of Ireland and you'll soon see how easy it is to get around.

                      Anyway I hope you enjoy your visit.

                      Come back on here and tell us how it went.
                      gift from ireland - Big men clothes

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