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American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

Canada
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American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

Hello from Canada - need some advice on part of my itinerary so hope the good folks here can help.

I am picking up my rental car from Dublin airport and planning on going counter clockwise around Ireland. My original plan was to drive to Larne for the first night. Day 2 would be driving the coastal route and intoDerry (where some of my Irish ancestors lived before immigrating to Canada) for two nights then leave Derry on day 4.

But then we found out about the American Folk Park in Omagh and now I don't know what to do!

Now of ending day 2 in Omagh and doing the park on the morning of day 3 then into Derry by mid day. This would give us one afternoon/evening (which would be Sunday) and the next morning in Derry.

The other option would be to leave Dublin earlier on Day 1 and drive to Omagh, do the American Folk Park then on to Larne and pick up the rest of the trip as previously planned but I am thinking it might be too ambitious for one day.

I am making myself crazy trying to figure this out by myself so thought I would turn to the experts as to what is reasonable to do.

FYI - we Iive in the far north of Canada and travelling long distances in a day is normal for us. For example, my girlfriend lives 200 kms away (via very mountainous roads) and we think nothing of going there for a morning for coffee so distances don't bother us.

Thanks in advance for any insights you can offer!

Belfast
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1. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

I think you should at least stay 1 night in Belfast, Larne is nothing more than a port town.

Belfast, United...
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2. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

What you need to understand about your comment about distances is not your ability or otherwise to drive long distances. Rather the issue is the concentration of interesting things to see and places to visit. For example would you be able to drive the entire length of Jasper and Banff National Parks in just a few hours? Yes you would, but would it be a wise plan? No it wouldn't. Think of Ireland like a huge national park.

Canada
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3. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

Thanks for that Barney. We will be spending 4 days in Belfast once we return the car so wanted to avoid it when I am driving. And hubby has his heart set on staying at Ballygally Castle Hotel in Larne and it seemed like a great place to start the Antrim Coast day.

Canada
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4. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

Thanks for that reminder Drumlough. Maybe I need to add another day to my car rental and fit it all or or to drop the American Folk Park from my itinerary and stick to the original plan..

Life is full of tough choices!

U.K.
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5. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

Ballygally Castle hotel is not in Larne, it is about 5 miles north of the town, on the sea front at Ballygally. Follow signs - white on brown background - for the Causeway Coast.

UK
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6. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

IMHO if you're set on staying in Larne for a night ... do it just before dropping car off in Belfast. leg 1 of journey drive from Dublin to Omagh and see what you want there (eg ulster american folkpark) .... then head to Derry (Derry to omagh is approx 1.5 hour drive + derry is UK city of culture in 2013)....next leg of journey the causeway coast (go from derry, through Limavady, then pick up coastal route via benone beach, downhill, into colaraine, portsewart, portrush, giant's causeway (def stop off to visit the giant's causeway)...next leg of journey would be to head on to larne before dropping car off in belfast

Lisburn, United...
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7. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

Bear in mind that you'll also be horribly jet-lagged after stepping off the plane in Dublin. It doesn't matter how much you're used to driving long distances, once the jetlag kicks in, it would actually be dangerous for you to drive too far on that first day.

North Coast, N...
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8. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

Agree with darren - dont do too much on first day.

Uafp is a must imho but can be done as a side trip from derry to avoid too much packing/unpacking. Why 4 days in belfast? I would definitely take a day from here to give you more time exploring causeway coastal route/derry etc

9. Re: American Folk Park/Londonderry/Giants Causeway advice needed

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