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Road Map vs Navigation System

Level Contributor
231 posts
22 reviews
26 helpful votes
Road Map vs Navigation System

We are trying to decide if we should just purchase a good road atlas when we get to Ireland, or get a navigation system with a car rental? Looking for my fellow travelers imput.

Omaha, Nebraska
1 post
1. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

I would definitely suggest getting a navigation system. You will more than likely want to get off the beaten path and without a navigation system drives that already take longer could take ages. Trust me, I would NEVER travel through the Irish countryside without GPS!

Level Contributor
5,438 posts
8 reviews
6 helpful votes
2. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

I use my GPS all the time in the UK but find it of limited use in the Republic, yes it gets you from A to B in the quickest time, but do I want to dash about as quickly as possible on holiday? Outside Dublin there are no postcodes and you must be very careful with spellings, also there may be several places with the same name so a map and a bit of commonsense is needed.

Get a GPS if you like but a good map is a must, if you put in A to B on a GPS it will take you straight there, a good map will show that there is actually another road that goes alongside a river, with a castle on the banks.

If I stay anywhere longer than a day or two I get OSI maps, I have been to Dingle for twelve years, I still find new walks using the OSI. Last year i 'found' a whole forest.

Level Contributor
3,297 posts
5 reviews
8 helpful votes
3. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

I'd endorse Fuschiagirl's advice - GPS is fine for getting from A to B but a good map lets you decide which B you want to go to. The OSI Road Atlas of Ireland is a very worthwhile purchase and is widely available. Cost is about €10.

Fanore, County Clare
Level Contributor
859 posts
4. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

Fuschiagirl is definitely right ...a combination of map and GPS .Drivers coming to Fanore from Ennistymon are directed along a very narrow, badly surfaced road which runs through the forestry....maybe the shortest route but the coast road would be far less stressful and much better signposted and clearly marked on a road map

Level Contributor
4,542 posts
78 reviews
60 helpful votes
5. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

As above a combination of map and GPS would be useful, however from our own experiences of over thirty years driving in Ireland the map/atlas is essential for route planning and locating remote places. GPS is okay for estimating travel times over long distances or pin-pointing locations but the Irish GPS is not accurate when it comes to route planning we find and you can easily find yourself getting diverted onto tracks rather than staying on main roads. Road signs in some places are misleading and be aware of diversions where there are road works that can lead you miles off your planned route.

Enfield, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle Peninsula
Level Contributor
8,295 posts
147 reviews
85 helpful votes
6. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

I never use GPS in Ireland or abroad and rely on road maps. The Ordinance Survey Ireland Road Atlas isa superb product for this purpose

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick
Level Contributor
36,006 posts
121 reviews
150 helpful votes
7. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

I'm old, I always use paper maps. I rarely get lost.

Hubby refers to me as his Sat Nag!!

Bishop Auckland...
Destination Expert
for Dover, Rye, Ireland
Level Contributor
9,275 posts
111 reviews
90 helpful votes
8. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

We use both, sat nav to programme in where we are going to go, ie, say, I don't know Cavan, but we use a map to decide where we want to go. Obviously common sense is used and road signs looked at, but the sat nav has its purpose likewise our road map as it's always handy to have in the car.

Youngstown, Ohio
Level Contributor
52 posts
12 reviews
4 helpful votes
9. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

gunnerdog, after reading about it so often here I went ahead and ordered the Ordnance Survey Road Atlas here: http://www.irishmaps.ie/product/display.cfm?ProductID=7 . It arrived in 8 business days, and it's wonderful.

I checked Amazon just now, swearing that only older versions were available there, and see that the 2012-13 is for sale, so I feel a bit sheepish, and a bit poorer, but still glad I got it. It's clear, lays flat, and will be so much more useful for me, who will be the navigatrix the entire trip, than a GPS (which we'll also have, btw).


Saint Cloud, Florida
Level Contributor
874 posts
7 reviews
6 helpful votes
10. Re: Road Map vs Navigation System

I am going to be using both during my up coming trip to Ireland. Since I won't have a navigator to shout out directs as I drive I am planning on loading my GPS with the Ireland/UK maps. However, I don't ever rely on a GPS totally cause they can steer you dangerously wrong at times.

I have the Ordinance Survey Atlas the I am bringing, along with Google Maps.

I am sure I will still get lost a time or two but I hear that's half the fun of driving in Ireland.

Have fun on your trip.

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