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Please check my 10 day Itinerary

rachaeljayne
12 posts
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Please check my 10 day Itinerary

Hi there,

We are doing 3 weeks in Ireland/Scotland in December, self-driving.

We are married, late 20's, very into outdoor scenery, castles and history, and the pub scene too. We did a similiar self-drive trip around New Zealand and would also like advice on stop-offs that are worthwhile on our route.

If you would be kind enough to check over the Ireland portion of our itinerary and comment or make alternate suggestions we would sure appreciate it!

Here is what we have so far:

Day 1: Arrive Cork midday, explore and stay in Cork

Day 2: Blarney Stone & Castle, onto Killarney

Day 3: Ring of Kerry, stay again in Killarney

- is 2 nights in Killarney worthwhile or would be better adding an extra night to Cork, Doolin or Dingle?

Day 4: Onto Dingle, stay Dingle

Day 5: Cliffs of Mohr, stay in Doolin

Day 6: Onto Galway, visit Connemara

Day 7: Kylemore Abbey and Ashford Castle, stay at Ashford castle (have to do it this night, due to availability)

Day 8: Drive onto Dublin

Day 9: Dublin, inc trip to Newgrange

Day 10: Dublin

Day 11: Christmas Eve, travel Dublin to Glasgow

Thanks for any help you can give!

Rachael.

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
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1. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

rachaeljayne, this looks quite doable to me.

"- is 2 nights in Killarney worthwhile or would be better adding an extra night to Cork, Doolin or Dingle?"

Dingle should not be missed, so try to fit it into your itinerary. Preferably two nights (won't be enough but will give you a taste...). The town will be a lot quieter than in summer but that means you will have the glorious scenery more or less to yourselves...

The Woodlands, Texas
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2. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

I vote for two days and nights in Dingle. The Slea Head drive is magnificent and there are a couple of places to hike there toward the end of the peninsula. If the weather is not good one day then you will have another chance the second day.

Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

For the Dublin part of your trip, check out the Top Questions about Dublin section on the Dublin Forum for tons of information about places to stay, things to see and do, the best restaurants, traditional pubs, getting around, getting to and from the airport, shopping, walking and other tours around Dublin, day trips to locations close to Dublin, the best traditional music sessions, how to find out what's on etc. etc.

You won't need a car for the Dublin leg of your trip and it's not a good idea to have one for a variety of reasons including heavy traffic volumes (likely to be even heavier on the run up to Christmas), complicated traffic systems, medieval street patterns, problems and expense of parking (again, even worse just before Christmas as people come into Dublin for shopping, to see the lights, meet friends etc). It's easy to get around the city centre on foot and Dublin also has an extensive network of inexpensive public transport (bus, train, tram) as well as a range of transfer options from Dublin airport to the city centre and suburbs (bus, coach, taxi). Check out the Top Questions about Dublin section for more information.

www.dublinbus.ie

www.irishrail.ie

www.luas.ie

www.airlink.ie

www.aircoach.ie

You can drop off your car at Dublin Airport without having to drive through the city (you can use the M50 orbital motorway instead) and then make your way to your accommodation using one of the airport transfer services.

A car will also determine where in Dublin you stay as not all city centre accommodation will have parking facilities and hotels that do charge substantial amounts for using it. Parking is less of an issue in the suburbs but with such a short time in Dublin and in the run up to Christmas, I'd advise staying in the city centre. If you do decide to keep your car and stay in the suburbs, don't bring it into the city centre but use public transport to get around.

Dublin city centre is pretty compact and easy to get around on foot. Christmas is huge in Ireland and the partying starts in Dublin in early December, so with the Christmas lights and decorations in the streets and the shops, special events, carol singers, busy bustling pubs and restaurants it's a much more fun and atmospheric place to base yourself than the suburbs. Most of the nicest locations and hotels, best restaurants, pubs, shopping etc. are in the south city centre (Dublin 2) but the north city centre (Dublin 1) is only a short stroll away so anywhere in the north or city centre would be very central. You'll find suggestions and recommendations for a range of accommodation in the Top Questions about Dublin section, along with some maps which will help you orientate yourself. To give you an idea of scale, it takes about 10 minutes to walk the length of O'Connell Street (Dublin's main street) and about the same to walk the length of Grafton Street.

There's no real no go areas in Dublin city centre but when choosing accommodation I'd recommend avoiding the Temple Bar and Harcourt Street areas unless you are OK about being areas which are very noisy until very late. Temple Bar is party central for tourists (most locals avoid it, particularly at weekends) and Harcourt Street is a popular nightlife area for locals and visitors (there's clubs, hotels and guesthouses all along the street). These areas will be particularly hectic in the run up to Christmas. If you do want to visit, they are an easy walk from most parts of the city centre but at least you have the option of going home afterwards to some sleep.

If you do decide to return your car when you arrive in Dublin, there are numerous tours on offer from Dublin to Newgrange/Bru na Boinne with pick up points in the city centre as well as some south city suburbs. The Bus Eireann (the national bus company) and Mary Gibbons tours both have excellent reputations and both will guarantee you entry to the Newgrange tomb (not all tours do and space is restricted due to the size of the tomb). Again, staying in the city centre will make it easy for you to pick up a tour which usually depart around 9.30am to 10.00am.

Christmas Eve is one of the busiest travel days of the year in Ireland as people make their way back to Ireland from abroad and from one part of the country to another to spend Christmas with their families and friends. It's also a big travel day for people spending Christmas outside of Ireland so Dublin Airport (usy at the best of times) is likely to be hectic, especially earlier on in the day. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to their airport, and at the airport to check in and catch your flight. The usual recommended check in time for a flight to Glasgow is two hours before take off but on Christmas Eve, I'd allow even more time. If you'll be travelling on the EI flight to Glasgow which departs at 14.00, I'd seriously think about getting to Dublin Airport by about 11.00. It'sthe only Glasgow flight on Christmas Eve and Dublin Airport is closed on Christmas Day so if you miss it you won't be able to get moving again until 26th December.

rachaeljayne
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4. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

WOW, what quick, amazing responses!

I wanted 2 nights in Dingle as well, I think my husband has the impression that it's a windy beach and that's about it...

As for Dublin, I think we will drop the car off right away, and we were looking at staying at the Trinity Capital Hotel. I have looked at the website and the pictures look sooo fun! We are OK with being in a busy or noisy area, and actually are looking forward to it.

As for the flight out, I looked at RyanAir and they have a Dublin to Glasgow at 0745 arriving at 0835. It is cheap as chips as well... but maybe there's a reason it is so cheap?

We have not booked any accomodations yet, so we are still in a place where we can change anything we like :)

Thanks!

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

I've stayed in theTrinity Capital and it's great fun! It appears to be a bit of favourite with regulars on this forum who live near to the city but use it for overnights in Dublin. Its public areas have a Cairo circa 1920s style decor which is very atmospheric and its staff are great and very helpful. Spent a very pleasant afternoon in the bar last week with friends. It's very central and easy to get to from the airport transfers. I'd go for it!

Ryanair doesn't fly to Glasgow, they fly to Prestwick which is nearly 50 km away. Glasgow Airport on the other hand is about 14 km from Glasgow city centre. Scotland will have the same transport situation as Ireland on Christmas Eve and my advice would be to fly straight into Glasgow Airpot with Aer Lingus. They are much more reliable than Ryanair (and you have no wriggle room on the day you're travelling) with far fewer delays and cancellations virtually unheard of, plus better customer service. At the moment you can get seats on the 14.00 from Dublin to Glasgow on Christmas Eve for around €55 per person one way including charges and taxes.

EI have a more liberal approach to hand luggage, andtheir extra charges (mainly for checked in luggage) are far more straightforward and transparent. Unlike Ryanair you are allocated a specific seat and can choose your seat at no cost if you check in online in the 30 hour pre-flight online check in window. I haven't personally used Ryanair for about 20 years for a whole load of reasons but if I was ever tempted to choose them over EI, it certainly wouldn't be on Christmas Eve! Do yourself a favour, give yourself a good chance of getting to Glasgow without too much grief and travel with Aer Lingus.

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

With the Ryanair option, you'll need to be at DUB by 0545 at the latest, which tends to be the busiest time on any day at DUB (0500 to 0900, when a lot of the cheaper flights depart) and is likely to be even more hectic on Christmas Eve at that time. Personally, if I were heading for a flight at that time on Christmas Eve, I wouldn't want to be arriving at DUB any later than 0500 . Apart from the very early start, you'll need to relying on taxis or the Aircoach for transfers at that time of the morning. The EI departure time of 14.00 is likely to be far less hectic and you have the full range of transport/transfer options to get to the airportl.

Ventry, Ireland
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for Dingle Peninsula
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7. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

If your husband thinks Dingle is just a windy beach, read Arttravel's report below. It really captures the spirit of the place

tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k317862…

The Woodlands, Texas
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8. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

All my husband can do is talk about Dingle since we've been returned from our trip. He even has one of our photos from the Slea Head drive as his desktop background.

County Meath...
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9. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

Dingle is not too be missed & it is deffinitely more than just a windy beach ! In fact he will probably want to return there at some point & stay alot longer !

england
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10. Re: Please check my 10 day Itinerary

'Dingle is just a windy beach',

I like this idea, I think we should encourage it,

that way we can keep this most amazing of places to ourselves,

Soonas, Mary99, don't tell them what its really like.