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Two-week family road trip

Katonah, New York
Level Contributor
45 posts
17 reviews
Two-week family road trip

Hello all!

We're planning a family road trip with our 7-yr-old daughter the second half of August. It's essentially a first visit for all of us, so it's been tough to choose just a few places to visit to keep things relaxed. But thanks to browsing this forum, I've narrowed it down to what I think is a reasonable itinerary that would give some breadth and depth...

Day 1 - Arrive Dublin airport in morning - rent car, drive to Kilkenny. Relax.

Day 2 - Explore Kilkenny

Day 3 - Kilkenny to Killarney, visit Gap of Dunloe

Day 4 - Explore Killarney area, drive to Dingle

Day 5 - Drive rest of Dingle Peninsula, end in Doolin

Day 6 - Ferry from Doolin to Aran Islands (Inis Oirr) weather permitting, then drive to Galway

Day 7 - Galway

Day 8 - Galway to Clifden

Day 9 - Sky Road from Clifden, visit Kylemore Abbey, sleep in Leenane (or elsewhere?)

Day 10 - Drive from Leenane(?) to Slane/Newgrange

Day 11 - Morning visit to Bru na Boinne passage tomb, then to Dublin/return car

Day 12 - Dublin

Day 13 - Dublin

Day 14 - Dublin airport - home

I'd welcome any suggestions! Will we have enough time in the Killarney area, and/or Connemara? Of course there's never enough time, but if there's anything that seems lopsided or rushed about this plan, please let me know... Also, we tend to prefer to go a bit off the beaten path, and would appreciate suggestions for any less-traveled places to stop along this (pretty typical) route, especially since it'll be the height of tourist season. We'd also love to find some traditional music in the daytime for our daughter, who loves Irish music, if that's possible.

Many thanks in advance!

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
246 posts
21 reviews
1. Re: Two-week family road trip

For music with your daughter try Kyetelers in Kilkenny. We enjoyed an early session with dinner with our kids.

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick
Level Contributor
29,068 posts
88 reviews
2. Re: Two-week family road trip

For me, there is far too much driving and very little seeing time.

Getting to Killarney from Kilkenny is complex. On my phone so I can't link you to maps. But it will take longer than Google maps or other sites say.

Similarly with Dingle to Doolin.

Be aware also that the Rose of Tralee Festival may possibly overlap with your trip and Kerry will be busy at that time.

Katonah, New York
Level Contributor
45 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Two-week family road trip

Thanks, mtufenk, for the music recommendation! I just looked at Kyeteler's website and see that they will in fact have music at 6:30pm the nights we're in Kilkenny, which is great to know.

Bean_Limerick, thanks for your response... I'm trying to think of how we might trim things so that we have more time in some places. Please let me know if you have any ideas for alteration. Should we save Connemara - or Dingle - for another time? I don't mind a couple of long drives (we're used to that, being Americans) but wouldn't want to rush ourselves. Ireland strikes me as the kind of place where you'd like to take your time and stop the car and follow side roads and linger -- not the place to speed down highways.

And you're right - the last two days of the Rose of Tralee festival will in fact overlap with our time in Killarney and our arrival in Dingle. Thank you for bringing that to my attention! Now the question is: do we do everything to avoid the area...or do we join in? ;)

Katonah, New York
Level Contributor
45 posts
17 reviews
4. Re: Two-week family road trip

Ok, I've streamlined the plan, cutting out Connemara for next time... No matter what, I know it will still be too much and too little. But does the below itinerary seem reasonable? Or should we do the radical thing and lop off a whole other arm of the trip and delve deeper into just one or two areas--??

I really do want to spend at least two nights in Galway; I was enchanted by that city when I was a teenager visiting with my parents. And I remember musicians performing on the streets, which our daughter would love.

I suppose we could go straight from Kilkenny to Clare/Galway and skip Kerry completely - it will be August and Klllarney will be packed, I imagine...but wouldn't this be sacrilege?

Sat 8/19 - Arrive Dublin a.m., rent car, drive to Kilkenny

Sun 8/20 - Kilkenny

Mon 8/21 - Kilkenny to Killarney - stop at Rock of Cashel & Cahir Castle

Tues 8/22 - Killarney - tour Gap of Dunloe

Wed 8/23 - Killarney to Dingle

Thurs 8/24 - Dingle to Doolin - stop in Adare for lunch, visit Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Fri 8/25 - Ferry from Doolin to Aran Islands, back to Doolin

Sat 8/26 - Doolin to Galway - possible stop in Kinvara for lunch, visit Dunguaire Castle

Sun 8/27 - Galway

Mon 8/28 - Galway to Slane/Newgrange - stop at Clonmacnoise

Tues 8/29 - Morning visit to Bru na Boinne passage tomb, then to Dublin/return car

Wed 8/30 - Dublin

Thurs 8/31 - Dublin

Fri 9/1 - Dublin airport - home

Also, is this far too many castles? I suppose that will depend somewhat on whether our 7-yr-old finds them enchanting or not. :)

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated, once again - thank you!!

Cochrane, Canada
1 post
5. Re: Two-week family road trip


We are planning a high school grad trip with my wife and two daughters July for two weeks.

I have been to Ireland twice first time for my girls ages 16 and 18

How was your trip and schedule? Any ideas you can give us ?

We are looking for old irsh pubs. Girls both play guitar


Katonah, New York
Level Contributor
45 posts
17 reviews
6. Re: Two-week family road trip

Hi there!

What a great high school grad trip. I'm sure your girls will love Ireland and all the music everywhere!

Here's what we finally ended up doing:

Sat 8/19 - Arrive Dublin airport in morning - rent car, drive to Kilkenny - Glendine House

Sun 8/20 - Explore Kilkenny - Glendine House

Mon 8/21 - Kilkenny to Ennis (visit famine ship in New Ross on way)- Temple Gate Hotel

Tues 8/22 - Ennis to Fanore (stop at towns on way) - Fermoyle Farmhouse

Wed 8/23 - Fanore - Fermoyle cottage

Thurs 8/24 - Ferry to Inisheer (Aran Islands) - An Móinéar b&b

Fri 8/25 - Inisheer to Doolin to Kinvara (lunch) to Galway City (1.5 hr) - Frenchville House

Sat 8/26 - Galway - Frenchville House

Sun 8/27 - Galway (drive Sky Road to Clifden) - Frenchville House

Mon 8/28 - Galway to Newgrange - Castleview b&b

Tues 8/29 - Newgrange - morning visit to Bru na Boinne passage tomb, then to Dublin/return car

Wed 8/30 - Dublin

Thurs 8/31 - Dublin

Fri 9/1 - Dublin airport - home

This was just the right pace for us, and gave us the opportunity to delve into each place a bit. We were lucky to have a night in Ennis during the annual Fleadh (the week-long all-Ireland music festival), with music in the pubs and streets. Even without the festival, though, there was plenty of music everywhere. Both Kilkenny and Ennis are charming towns worth a visit. The Famine Ship was a very interesting stop. Galway is absolutely *full* of music, buskers on the street all day and night, some very talented. There's a traditional Irish music & dancing show at a church in Galway, too, that was excellent.

Let me know if you have specific questions about any of these places, and I'd be happy to help.

Happy planning!


7. Re: Two-week family road trip

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