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Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

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Wheaton, Illinois
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for New Mexico, Albuquerque, Santa Fe
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Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

I'm planning on a trip to Ireland in October of this year. I'll be arriving on Monday, 4 October around 8am at Dublin Airport. Based on previous trips and since I only use carry on luggage, I expect to be on the road with my rental car by about 9am or so. I will be travelling to Laragh, Co. Wicklow to stay at the Glendalough Hermitage. I need to arrive there around 5pm.

I thought that I'd take a detour on the way and see some places in Co. Kildare. (Note that I do fine with jet lag until about 6pm and I am used to driving in Ireland.)

After doing some initial poking around on the Internet, here are some places that I think I'd like to see:

1) The Irish National Stud, Japanese Gardens, St Fiachra's Garden and Horse Museum in Kildare Town

2) St Brigid's Cathedral and Round Tower in Kildare Town

3) Abbey, Tower and High Crosses in Castledermot

4) Moone High Cross in Moone

In particular I enjoy scenic beauty, formal and informal gardens, historic sites of all kinds but especially monastic ruins and high crosses. The only "must sees" on my list above are the Japanese Gardens and St Fiachra's Garden. While I don't rush, I don't tend to really linger at places. So for instance, if the Moone High Cross is just that, I would expect that I'd spend 5-10 minutes there.

SO my questions are:

- Is this doable? I've estimated driving times of about 1 hour to Kildare Town from the airport if traffic is good...longer if not, 45 minutes to Castledermot from Kildare Town, 5 minutes from there to Moone and 1 hour to Laragh from Moone. (Of course Castledermot and Moone could be done in reverse order.) That should leave 5 hours or so to explore the various places (less any time being lost!).

- Are all these places worth seeing?

- Are there places I'm missing that I should add or even replace something above? Note that I have already been to Maynooth and Castletown.

- Any helpful info on seeing the sights above? I'm finding very little detail on the internet with the exception of the places at the Irish National Stud.

After I see what I'm able to see, I plan to head to Laragh via the Wicklow Gap so as to arrive at the Glendalough Hermitage between 5 and 5:30pm.

Thanks for any help!

Keith

Ventry, Ireland
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for Dingle Peninsula
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1. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

The National Stud, and it's related attractions (Japanaese gardens etc) are well worth a visit

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
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2. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Keith, of course the Japanese Gardens at the National Stud are worth visiting and with a bit of luck the trees will just come into their own splendour at the time of your visit.

The Moone High Cross should be seen! It's in a pretty secluded location and you might have it all to yourself. And the crosses in Castledermot are really lovely and their setting is so tranquil. Have you looked at the Megalithic Ireland website (megalithicireland.com/…20Moone.htm)?

I'm not sure that you can fit it all in within your time-limit, though. Maybe you could leave out Kildare town...

Another site you might enjoy is Old Kilcullen (megalithicireland.com/…20Kilcullen.htm) but I don't know whether you could fit this into your itinerary.

For another visit you should try to get and see Larchill Arcadian Gardens just outside Kilcock in Co. Meath (www.larchill.ie/). I think you'd enjoy that! Unfortunately the gardens close to the public at the end of September.

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 5,073
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3. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

I also love the pretty St Bridget's Well close to the Japanese Gardens.

There is a rag tree there and you can attach an offering to the tree.

It's worth stopping off at for 5/10 minutes. A lovely peaceful place :-)

sacredsitetour.com/sacred-sites-of-ireland/k…

Wheaton, Illinois
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for New Mexico, Albuquerque, Santa Fe
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4. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Thank all! This is very helpful information (as always on TA!). Looks like a visit to the National Stud is going to be locked in for me as well as Moone and Castledermot. I may be able to fit in all the suggestions, just depending how the day goes.

Thanks especially for the Megalithic Ireland site, Clauds. I wasn't aware of that. It will not only help for this trip, but really for all future trips. A couple follow up questions:

First, to Suzy_flag: Where exactly is St Brigid's Well? It does look like a nice stop for those 5-10 minutes you suggest, but not sure I'd go far out of the way for it. The website is a little vague on location (but definitely helpful with pictures).

And to Clauds: I think I'd definitely like to try to fit in Old Kilcullen. According to Google maps, it will only add 4 minutes to the driving times so I might be able to slide it in fairly easily. Thanks for the suggestion. What I need to determine is when I'd need to be leaving Kildare Town to begin the journey through Old Kilcullen, Castledermot and Moone to Laragh. And THAT is basically decided by how much time would be nice at each site. Remember that I don't really linger, but nor do I just jump out of the car, snap a quick picture and drive away!

Based on the pictures and websites I've seen, I've taken a guess of 15 minutes at Old Kilcullen, 45 minutes at Castledermot and 15 minutes at Moone? If that would work, then I'd head out of Kildare Town by 1:30pm. (The times I list below are just to see if it would work...I never strictly follow such things when I'm actually there...it's all about enjoying where I am and not just ticking off the boxes!)

1:30pm - Drive to Old Kilcullen - allow 30 minutes (Google maps say 17 minutes)

2pm - Old Kilcullen High Cross

2:15pm - Drive to Castledermot - allow 30 minutes (Google maps say 21 minutes)

2:45pm - Castledermot Abbey, Round Tower and High Crosses

3:30pm - Drive to Moone - allow 15 minutes (Google maps say 5 minutes)

3:45pm - Moone High Cross

4pm - Drive to Laragh - allow 1 hour (Google maps say 48 minutes)

5pm - Arrive at Glendalough Hermitage in Laragh

If you think I need to allow more time for any of these places, I can do that by leaving earlier from Kildare Town. The only "must sees" as I've said in Kildare Town are the Japanese Gardens and St Fiachra's Garden. I'd also like to take the tour of the National Stud (35 minutes at noon), walk through the Horse Museum, see St Brigid's Cathedral, Round Tower and Well...all as time allows (and I suspect that I won't be able to do all that...which is fine). I expect to arrive in Kildare Town around 10am or so.

(And too bad about Larchill Arcadian Gardens. They looked interesting. I'll actually be up in Meath for a couple days later in the week...with tapl and Little Pumpkin...but too late for the gardens this time around.)

Keith

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, County Galway
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5. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Definitely keep the Megalithic Ireland website bookmarked Keith for your trip to Sligo and Donegal - here's another that's good for the older standing stones and with a great witty Flintstone-esque name to boot:

http://www.stonepages.com/

:-)

Wheaton, Illinois
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6. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Thanks ragoora! Duly bookmarked. Looks great.

My trip in October is almost set - 1 day Co. Kildare, 2 days Glendalough area, 2 days Dublin, 2 days Co. Meath, 1 day Dublin (the nights are 3 in Laragh, 2 in Dublin, 1 near Donabate, 2 in Dublin). So of course I'm starting to think about the trip after that.

Thinking about May of 2011. Originally, I was looking at focusing on SW Ireland, but more and more it's likely to be the NW...Sligo and Donegal (and perhaps Mayo). So I'm hoping for some serious help when I get going on the planning!

Also a big thanks for alerting me to Roisin Dubh for my recent trip to Galway. I haven't put up my trip reports yet, but I'll go ahead and fill in a bit here. (It's my thread...so I should be able to take it off topic!)

Before I went to Galway I was spending almost a week in Dublin, specifically to catch the music in the Temple Bar TradFest. On Friday night I saw Téada, a group I've always wanted to see. (A couple players have roots in Co. Sligo, I think.) They were absolutely great.

Two nights later I had arrived in Galway and after getting settled in I walked through the main part of town to locate the various pubs and venues for music that I might be wanting to check out. I thought I'd end up at The Crane that night. BUT on the way I was passing Roisin Dubh, checked out who would be playing for the 3 nights I was in Galway and lo and behold, Téada was playing that very night in the back room on the ground floor. So of course I paid my €10 and saw them again...even more enjoyable in the Roisin Dubh...so thanks!

I did get to The Crane...and Monroe's...and Tig Coili on Monday night, though. :-)

Keith

Edited: 2:11 pm, February 15, 2010
Wheaton, Illinois
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for New Mexico, Albuquerque, Santa Fe
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7. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Oops. Tuesday night. Monday night was "gloriously" spent doing laundry...

Keith

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, County Galway
posts: 1,932
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8. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Glad you got to the Roisin Dubh and look forward to the full report/s of your most recent trip :-)

The dates of this years South Sligo Summer School trad music/dance festival have now been set for July 11-17th if you want to coincide with that - if it's not possible to do so then we'll try and set you up with as many venues and sessions as we can find nearer the time although you're probably never going to leave the Michael Coleman archive of recorded trad music in Gurteen as it is!!!

irishmusicmagazine.com/2010/…

http://www.colemanirishmusic.com/

Mayo, Sligo and Donegal will be a great trio - it's a vast area with some of the crankiest roads on the island but if you place yourself at the right bases you should get good coverage with a week or more and can hopefully include a trip to Achill Island as well. Your sites are going to be largely megalithic with the occasional bit of medieval and your sights are going to be more like what you saw of the landscape in Connemara and Clare than what you see over on the east of the island. Definitely factor in a car for this trip...

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, County Galway
posts: 1,932
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9. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Oops, just realised you've said 2011 for the NW - those Summer School dates are for 2010 and they won't have set the ones for 2011 yet!!!

Just been to see an amazing performance of Schubert's Wintereise by Mark Padmore and feeling a bit chilled out - time for bed maybe...

Wheaton, Illinois
Destination Expert
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10. Re: Seeking Advice on 1 Day Visit to County Kildare

Still, ragoora, good for me to reminded about that summer school possibility! So thanks. I wouldn't have been able to come over in July of this year, but I possibly can in 2011. I know that it's high tourist season but I'm guessing that the NW is not as deeply impacted as the SW?

I think I might have indicated to you awhile back that I was looking to come to the NW this autumn. I ended up moving that because I could only arrange about 1 week in October and I really want 2 weeks of flexibility when I do the NW. (I originally had planned a trip that began in Co. Meath and moved on up to Donegal and Sligo...all that's left of that trip is Co. Meath...with tapl!)

And I'm absolutely planning on a car. For my previous trips I've rented one for 3-5 days and used public transport for the rest, but I'm expecting this trip to have a car virtually the entire time. (I'm sure I'll do some Dublin, but other than that...)

Have a goodnight. I'm jealous about the Schubert...

Keith

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