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Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

Alexandria, Virginia
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Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

Hello all,

You seem like a helpful bunch and I've been reading many of the posts and they have helped tremendously in preparing. But some last minute changes are making me have to chop off almost two days from my self-drive vacation (a day plus switch from evening to late morning flight).

I want a relaxing vacation which means strolling along the sites, learning some history and getting to know the area. I'm trying to avoid the mega-tourist traps, but still want something that is historic/famous. Since I'm traveling solo I don't want to end up in the middle of the nowhere alone and stranded.

My first few days are being spent in a book convention in Dublin. After that I have Monday/Tuesday/Wed/Thurs to travel with a re-scheduled flight now on Friday morning.

Of these items -- which should I drop or keep? I'm having trouble picking amongst them, but I know something needs to get removed, especially when the sights are only open the same hours, 9-5.

Kilkenney Castle

Waterford Crystal

Rock of Cashel

Blarney Castle

Ring of Kerry

Killkarney Park

Dingle Peninsula

Cliffs of Moher.

Any suggestions? I'm especially thinking that this may be a battle between a day on Ring of Kerry or a day on Dingle Peninsula.

Whitney, Texas
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for Ireland
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1. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

oh that's too bad...with only four days i would say to just do somethings on the east coast otherwise you going to spend too much time in the car....

you could do malahide, kilkenny, cashel, waterford, wicklow, hill of tara, newgrange, etc....if you opt for either dingle or killarney you will spend 2 half days in the car just getting to and from... also a trip to the cliffs will be iffy because if the weather isn't blues skies and sunshine it will be a wasted trip.....

good luck and enjoy whatever you end up doing....

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

Totally agree with Oma. There's beautiful scenery, castles, ancient sites, historical locations, etc. galore in the places that she has mentioned. (And I'll add Trim Castle to the list.)

I don't know how much free time you will have in Dublin during the book convention, but I'd allow a full day for touring there as well. For historical sites, I highly recommend the Historical Walking Tour of Dublin--you won't be disappointed. http://www.historicalinsights.ie/

Alexandria, Virginia
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3. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

I will have two days essentially for touring Dublin, plus two days of convention activities, so I think between both, I will have a decent chance to walk around Dublin before taking off elsewhere.

So I mapped out my trip and I'm getting travel estimates between sites of 1 to 1.5 hours. Is that not a reasonable estimate between locations (minus getting back to Dublin?) If AA or Google say 1 hour, should I really be expecting 2-3 hours to travel?

Whitney, Texas
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for Ireland
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4. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

not sure what you are asking...the places you have on your list are a more than and 1-1.5 hours...have you chosen others now?....

aaroadwatch is accurate with mileage, but most you need to add 20-25% to the time...when they figure the time i think they don't add for slowing down in villages, road works, traffic, farm equipment, suicidal sheep, and the one i love the most, getting misplaced (lost)....lol....

Waterford, Ireland
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5. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

Try not to think of your 'sites' being the only places you will want to stop. If you come down through Wicklow and over the Wicklow mountains to Kilkenny there are lots of places you will want to stop (weather permitting) and take photos or just look. If the weather is poor, take the motorway to Kilkenny and spend your time there, then the motorway to Waterford is only half an hour or so.

The route over the wicklow mountains (more moors and hills than mountains) is not as fast, obviously, as the motorway, but much more interesting.

As Oma says, if the AA site says 1 hour, add 10 or 15 minutes, but apart from the motorways you cannot be precise about timing.

Alexandria, Virginia
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6. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

Ahh. I was using a combination of Google and AA Route. So for example, from Dublin to Waterford I am getting estimates of 1hr45 and 1hr 58. (This would assume skipping Kilkenney). You are suggesting I add another 25% to travel time then the travel starts to add up faster.

I still hesitate to eliminate Western Ireland entirely though...

Edited: 07 April 2012, 17:47
Whitney, Texas
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7. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

of course you are the only one that can decide but i can tell you from experience it's a lengthy drive and very tiring with some of the small roads.....there is so much to see and enjoy not to far from dublin where you don't have to spend the majority of your time seeing it from the rental car.....it would give you time to absorb the sites/beauty/people....i can tell you most of the posters on ta will tell you without a doubt that while in ireland, less is more....you just have to choose....

enjoy yourself no matter what you decide....

Alexandria, Virginia
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8. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

Let me ask one thing then. The Motorways I assume are the routes marked with an M and N. I guess I need to research the designations a bit better since AA makes them all look like major highways.

Alexandria, Virginia
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9. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

And yes, I do agree with the less is more adage! I'm just trying to determine how much less I need to go with. :) Thanks for all your help!

Waterford, Ireland
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10. Re: Itinerary Help -- What to drop?

Ignore the E road markers on the AA maps, they do not signify anything useful.

The M roads are motorways with higher speeds allowed and (in theory) no slow traffic, cyclists, etc.

N roads are mostly good roads but could go through towns or villages and can be basic two carriageway roads (one each way), sometimes two one way and one the other, swapping over, and sometimes 'dual carriageway' with two carriageways in each direction. At best they can be good, reasonably fast roads, at worst they can be narrow, winding and really quite slow.

On motorways you can pretty well go by the AA estimates. On all other roads you might make good speed or you might meet delays - congested towns, road works, slow vehicles.

The next level is R roads, these are country roads and the type where you might meet animals, tractors etc. At the same time there are some R roads that are better than N roads, mainly to confuse everyone. Smaller again are Local roads, some of which would be known as boreens (anything down to single track with grass up the middle!)

An interesting note is that the more numbers a road has, the smaller it is. If you see one with 5 numbers, take your time, it could be ok, or it could be very rough!