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!