6 days in Ireland: Spring Break (March) w/ college son
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Jan 11, 2012 9:38 AM Last Post By: tripplanningdad
Jan 10, 2012 11:36 AM
6 days in Ireland: Spring Break (March) w/ college sonMy wife and I just returned our son to college after holiday break spent hanging with his friends. He asked that I plan trip for the two of us for his spring break - the first week of March -- he picked Ireland with limited cities and museums.
Honored that he wants this and don't want to blow it with too much to do or see. We arrive/depart Dublin Sat AM/Friday AM, March 3rd/9th.
First day/night Dublin -- or calmer Dun Laoghaire or Howth ?? -- rather than just more traveling...
Next -- Guides seem to say "go west coast" for Easy & Focused rural/mystical experiences -- dramatic countryside, stone circles, sea cliffs and villages -- Dingle Peninsula? Train west -- so I can watch the countryside rather than road signs thru jet lagged eyes...
So -- Sunday train to Killarney sleep there? Monday, RENT a car in Killarney, playing it by ear & eye & weather in the area, monday PM thru thursday AM?
Thursday; Return car to Killarney, train to Dublin -- see key sites, pubs and fly out next morning...???
Still too much? Do both Dublin nights at end? Please comment/ offer changes - ideas & specifics? Thanks immensely!!
Jan 10, 2012 12:33 PM
1Where are you travelling from? I'm guessing North America from your use of phrase "spring break" and spelling of "honored"? If so, your mention of "jet lagged" will be significant - and you're wise to suggest use of train to go west rather than driving. Irish Rail website is here http://www.irishrail.ie/home/ Trains go from Dublin Heuston via Mallow to Kilarney, about 3.5 hours total journey time. Kilarney is a good base for Dingle Peninsula & Dingle Bay, plus Macgillicuddy's Reeks etc , even as far as Limerick, Aran Islands, Cork etc in a long day.
Even with desire for "limited museums" some places / sites such as Book of Kells are world class. I visited Dublin first soon after studying Marine Biology and found the unexpected delight of 19th century glass models of marine invertebrates in a Natural History Museum "Dead Zoo" in Dublin.
Weather is difficult to predict, but likely to be wet / damp / windy / cool, but not snowy or very cold - windproof waterproof clothing and footwear will make life more comfortable. Grab good weather for walking!
If you're flying out of Dublin on morning of Fri 9th March, then you're best to stay in Dublin the night before. If you want 2 consecutive nights in Dublin, then best to have them at the end. You could easily get train put of Dublin to Kilarney, as described earlier, on day of arrival flight.
Jan 11, 2012 2:30 AM
2First bit of advice, if coming from the US, is fly into Dublin and out of Shannon or vice versa. Check prices, it saves you the two or three hour trip back across Ireland.
Second, rent a car, particularly if you want to avoid cities.
With car Day one, land in Dublin, day two look around Dublin and hit the road in the evening, it is an easy drive to Galway. Day three, Galway surrounds (The Burren, Doolin, Cliffs of Moher, Connemarra and/or Aran Islands). It is a three hour drive to Killarney, if you want to bust your arse, do it that night. Day four, Killarney National Park and Ring of Kerry. Day Five Dingle Penninsula and then up the coast, maybe to Ennis. Out from Shannon airport.
No car Day one land in Dublin, day two look around, day three tour of Wicklow mtns or train to Dalkey for any of a number of walks. Bus/train to Galway that night. Day four/five, tours of The Burren/Connemarra/Cliffs of Moher and/or Aran Islands. Day six fly out of Shannon.
Another option is Northern Ireland and Donegal but this would definitely need a car IMO.
Jan 11, 2012 9:38 AM
3Thanks for the responses and inputs Markfawkner & copepod!
Yes from Philadelphia & looked at Shannon but cost and logistics too much... Cost is a concern (I am paying a LOT for college) & will rent a car after a day or two of sleep..
I know we are very off-season -- concerned about closed/limited lodging & food & music outside Dublin? Will Killarney be too quiet and Dingle closed?
Would a night in Cork City make a better start for driving the west coast than Killarney? Enjoy a might there & stock up on good eats at English Market before driving off? Defer the first night in Dublin - instead have two at the end?
I like the whirlwind idea but son won't be driving and we want to spend more time out of the car than in... What is not to miss? Any monestaries, or other unique places, that take boarders?
Thanks for continued help!
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