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Bunratty Folk Park ???

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Orlando, FL
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Bunratty Folk Park ???

Hi Everyone: Just wondering how much time I should allot for the Park (off season Febr) to see most of it? Flight arrives at 6:10AM, so I was thinking of dropping off luggage at my B&B...Ashgrove House (JUST KIDDING EVERYONE)...no really, at "Park House" and then heading over to the Park after maybe a short (jet lag) nap. Then doing the banquet dinner that night.

Next morning, heading to Galway...estimate abt. 1-2 hour drive from Bunratty...for possible ferry jaunt to Aran....Brrrrrr ;-)

Thanks and Hello to bean, gariem, Boru, IrishFan, Marie & all others who have been so helpful....

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

Bunratty is one of those places where you could spend an hour or a day, really.

OK, maybe an hour is pushing it, but you could have a quick look around the castle and a quick run through the park in 90 minutes if that's all you had, or you could spend 2-3 hours. Just depends on your interest and energy level! :)

Sicklerville, New...
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2. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

CruiseKing--

Mairead at Park House is lovely -- just watch out for the dogs as you pull in the drive!

In the off-season, there isn't as much to see as there are no "performances" or "entertainment" -- the Folk Park is a series of cottages, homes and a replic village that gives you an idea of different styles, incomes, etc. (Glad I did it -- probably wouldn't do it again). You could probably walk the entire park in about an hour (it is rather big -- especially if you go all the way up to the Bunratty House -- if its open). The castle itself will probably take about another hour -- if you explore all of the side rooms and venture up to the top (great view!)

However -- since the castle doesn't open until 9:30 you will have a long wait -- I know you mentioned the banquet, but -- would it be possible to drive directly from Shannon to Galway (you would be there by 8:30 or so) and save Bunratty for the end?

My husband and I booked our first night in Bunratty and then (sort of) regretted it -- after we landed we were on a bit of an adrenaline rush (+ my husband slept some on the plane) -- we drove straight out to the Cliffs of Moher and then had to double back to Bunratty where we had made our resrvations -- (3 hours drive time) had we know we would have stayed somewhere around Galway and closer to our next day's destination -- Navan, Meath

Roland, Iowa
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3. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

Hi CruiseKing,

Bunratty was our first day activity as it was closest to our cottage. We got off the plane at 7am, found our cottage and took a short nap. Then after a late lunch, drove back to Bunratty. We spent the whole afternoon there, but ran out of things to do before the Traditional Irish night began. We spent about an hour in the castle and about 90 minutes on the grounds. Spent a good deal of time & $$ in the gift shop before playing cards for an hour in the cafe courtyard.

The traditional Irish dinner was wonderful! Our waiters and waitresses were the entertainment between each course of the meal and full show after the meal. Tons of Irish dance, singing, sing alongs. Great time! We did the Medieval banquet last time and wanted to try something a little different this trip.

We got back to our cottage around 10:30pm Ireland time and the kids were too wired to go to bed right away. Besides it was still light out! June.

Advice... Start later in the afternoon if you're doing any of the Bunratty dinners. Maybe allot 2-3 hours for the castle and grounds with a snack break mixed in. If you have young kids, there is a castle fort playland in the center of the folk village. Very COOL! My youngest didn't want to leave there, but bribes of a purchase at the gift shop got her out. 17+ Euro later...

Orlando, FL
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4. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

Thanks everyone. Going to keep everything spontaneous for now....all depends on the weather.

Eringobraugh...I was contemplating going directly to Galway area...especially if weather "is off"...don't want to walk around the park in the cold + rain. But if weather is REALLY NICE I may just go straight to Galway anyway...just so that I can catch a "good crossing" over to the Aran Islands.

I also figured that at that time of year, Febr. 11th, I shouldn't have a problem getting a B&B with a voucher...without making an "advance reservation", since it should be pretty slow at most B&B's. Am I wrong about this ????

If not, I'm just going to be adventurous and "fly by the seat of my pants". And if a B&B doesn't have a vacancy...I'll just go to the next...or next town! I had just about everything totally planned last time, so I want to just travel very loosely this time!

Sicklerville, New...
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5. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

CruiseKing,

At the beginning of Nov we had no problems finding B&Bs that would take vouchers. We generally made our plans at night and called from the B&B we were at that morning to make reservations for that night -- many B&B owners will even recommend some places for you (invest in the cheapest "phone card" you can find over there-- check in convenience stores, gas stations, etc).

Make sure you have a place to stay near the airport on your last night -- otherwise -- be spontaneous and enjoy!

Orlando, FL
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6. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

OH, almost forgot...thanks everyone for the "time frame" to cover Bunratty Park. I wasn't sure just how long it would take. I'm in the "land of the theme parks" here in Orlando and those are all "all day" ordeals. So, I'm glad to see that it won't be that!

If they aren't doing shows / entertainment at that time of year, is it really worth doing it?? I did the Bog Village in Kerry which was a replica of a village from long ago...would this be similar, or should I still see Bunratty park? Just don't want to spend a lot of time & $$$ if it's pretty much a duplicate of what I've seen. Thanks again....

Oklahoma City
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7. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

Cruise,

We'll be there Feb 3-10th. Only a couple of places were not open in Galway. Everyone else responded and I went from there. (I contacted about 15-20 places)

We're going to Galway first, and staying Bunratty the last night.

LTC

Sicklerville, New...
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8. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

Cruise King,

I've never been to the Kerry Bog Village, but I can't say I'd do Bunratty Folk Park again (at least in the off season). It's a mix of cottages, manor homes, a church, etc and the replica village -- nice, but probably much more lively "in-season" -- you walk around and see what all of these homes, etc were like "back then." The castle is by far the highlight, so if that's not high on your list -- I probably wouldn't spend the 11 euros to get in.

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9. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

Hi Kerry.

I'd book ahead as some schools are off from the 11th Feb for a week, and some close from the 16th Feb. It's their mid term break and it also clashes with Valentines. School holidays are usually busy, even though it's Feb.It's Freezing here today, loads of fog and snow predicted for thursday!

Take care!

Orlando, FL
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10. Re: Bunratty Folk Park ???

Thanks LTC: that's reassuring. I figure I'll get a "phone card" at the airport gift shop like I did last time just to check ahead for some towns.

Eringobraugh: Thanks. I am planning on the Medieval Banquet, so I may just leave that for the final night (grand finale) and then I would see the castle also since dinner is in the castle!

Since I don't have children I'm not sure if I'll do the park. Maybe there's somebody on the Forum who has done both the Kerry Bog Village & Bunratty Park who can let me know if they are "pretty similar" ???? I bet bean has done both! We'll see if somebody answers and then I can make my decision...