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Cork to Doolin

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Fort St. John...
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Cork to Doolin

We have B&B's booked in both towns and will be travelling north that day. I am learning that there is a lot to see and do in that stretch and wondering what you experts for that are would recommend for a plan for that day.

California
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1. Re: Cork to Doolin

I think I would make an overnight stay en route from Cork to Doolin.

Doolin itself is not the most exciting town... I'd make the Cliffs a day trip from somewhere else more interesting.

Just an opinion.

:)

Limerick, Ireland
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2. Re: Cork to Doolin

You either love Doolin or you don't. I'm in the latter group.

Adare Village is lovely www.adarevillage.com

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park are also worth a visit.

Limerick is worth an afternoon or more but again is like Doolin, you either love it or you don't or even worse!! It has the Hunt Museum and King John's Castle.

But you could also bypass Limerick by one of two routes:

The first is to take the Limerick Tunnel - well signposted from the Cork Road and this will take you under the river from Bunlickey to Coonagh and beyond.

The second is far more adventurous and involves driving cross country to Tarbert in Co. Kerry, then getting the ferry to Clare www.shannonferries.com and driving up the West Coast of Clare.

Western Ireland...
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3. Re: Cork to Doolin

OK so some folk think the same about Doolin that I think About somewhere else beginning with "D"

I like Doolin and so do many 1000's of others, the question is what to see on the way?

The Direct route would be from Cork to Limerick then possibly stopping off at Bunratty Castle and Folk park. (Adare could be a stop before Limerick) . You bypass Ennis these days but you cold nip in for lunch if you don't do Bunratty.

Doolin is a good base not only for the Cliffs but also the Burren and Aran Isles. Through the season there is lots going on but all year you can visit places like Ballyvaghan or stop off at Kinvara on the way to Galway (I will be in Kinvara for Cruinniu na mBad next weekend)

Fort St. John...
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4. Re: Cork to Doolin

So no one recommending a route out west? I was thinking of Killarney, kerry, Tralee, Tarbert, kilrush, kilkee and north. It would skip adare, limerick, shannon, and ennis. I'm sure there are people in both camps. Arguments on either side?

California
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5. Re: Cork to Doolin

Wilson, if you just have one day to get from Cork to Doolin, it's going to be mostly a driving day. Yes, I'd stick to the eastern route because the roads are faster.

You couldn't really do justice to the Lakes of Killarney - or even just the town - in a quick stopover. The Ring of Kerry couldn't even enter your time frame. And those roads are narrower and can be slow going.

Adare is a charming town, and it's easy enough to drive through and make a quick bathroom break in the visitor's center. The thatched houses there are beautiful.

You could do a quick detour into Limerick and see King John's Castle, and maybe even some of the sights from Angela's Ashes, but if you're making this trip in one day, it's kind of a long drive without much time to stop.

I like the Bunratty Folk Park to get a glimpse of a recreated Irish village, but I think the main draw here is the Banquet, which you probably don't have time for. You could always stop for lunch at Durty Nelly's instead, an old pub from the 1600s, instead.

Do you mind if I ask why you're going to Doolin?

I'm just curious because before our very first trip to Ireland, we had some friends who loved Doolin and told us that we HAD to go there. To this day - and after many Ireland trips under our belts - we can't figure out the attraction. It's true - some people love it, and others, like us, just don't "get it."

We've still been to Doolin several times- mainly for a quick (but certainly not great) lunch at O'Connor's after visiting the Cliffs, but besides that....

Best of luck!

Fort St. John...
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6. Re: Cork to Doolin

The funny thing about the responses is that everyone seems to think we are driving too much. I guess the logical conclusion would be that they are right, but I have to offer up the fact that last weekend, I finished work on Friday, loaded up the three kids and my wife and drove 5 hours (after work) to get to our campground. I live in Northern British Columbia. Vancouver is a 13 hour drive, which we usually do in one day. Prince George is a 4.5 hour drive away and people will drive there and back in a day for a specific appointment. To come to Ireland, we are leaving our home at 8 pm to drive the 7 hours to edmonton in time to fly out in the morning. I work with a girl from England who remembers her dad getting the car all ready, checking the oil, checking the tires for the one hour drive to the beach. It is part of our culture to drive hours to get anywhere. I know we don't have little villages every 10km that slow the traffic, but our plan with limited time (a flaw in our plan, i know) is to see as much of Ireland as possible. If the daily plan is gone by 9 am and check in by 8pm that gives us 11 hours. I don't think 3 to 4 hours of that 11 is too much. That's my logic, let me know if that doesn't work in Ireland. I hope that doesn't sound critical of the advice others are taking their time to give, I don't mean it to be and I really do appreciate the input, but we will likely have a list of possible stops each day and just take each day as it goes. If we had one or two priorities on each leg of the trip, with secondary interests if time and weather allow, that would be awesome. I don't want to plan out the days but rather have a bit of wiggle room to visit a bit longer if we start a conversation with people we like. The difficulty is in knowing what is worth seeing in a given area; coming up with that list of possibilities for each morning. So don't worry about overloading us, I wouldn't think you are saying do everything on the list, but rather "I like this route because ......

Fort St. John...
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7. Re: Cork to Doolin

Stopping in Doolin was because someone told us that a sunset at the west facing cliffs of Moher was awesome. It seemed like a good spot to accomodate that. We believe we have found a great B&B at Dalyshouse.

California
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8. Re: Cork to Doolin

The first time my husband and I went to Ireland (just the two of us), we had no set itinerary and we were able to drive as long as we wanted each day. We saw a lot of Ireland and Northern Ireland and enjoyed the freedom we had making our plans one day at a time, and we covered a lot of ground. We didn't make reservations along the way, so if we liked a certain place, we had the freedom to stop as we pleased.

On all our other trips, we've brought our kids, my mother-in-law, and kids' friends, so we've needed to have more definite plans, and with more people in our group, we've had to make reservations along the way. Even though we haven't been able to cover as much distance as on our first trip, the slower pace is more enjoyable.

I think the reasons people are saying that it sounds like a lot of driving are:

1. You really can't count on averaging more than 40 miles per hour in Ireland.

2. It's very common to get lost along the way. There are areas where signs are not well marked. You need to budget time for this.

3. There's so much to see along the way ... maybe you'll get stopped by sheep being herded through the road. Maybe you'll see a gorgeous view or charming town and you'd like to stop a while. Maybe you'll meet someone in a pub who suggests stopping at a place not mentioned in the guidebooks - but it's out of your way. It would be a shame to miss these magical moments simply because you are in a hurry to get to your next B&B.

4. Many (most?) of the roads have high hedgerows along the sides, making it difficult, if not impossible, to see anything but the road as you're driving.

5. Driving in Ireland is more tiring than at home. The roads are exceptionally narrow in places, and there are pot holes galore. The people behind you are in a hurry, and it's stressful when you know they want to pass you, or if you want to pass a slow driver in front of you on a narrow two-lane road with very little visibility in the distance.

6. All this is in addition to the obvious challenge of driving on the opposite side of the road and having all the car controls (gear shift, rear view mirror, etc.), on your left instead of on your right.

I think the people who are commenting that it seems like a lot of driving are people who are somewhat familiar with the roads and conditions and are hoping you'll slow down to smell the roses. True, there's a lot to see in a short time, but a slower pace in Ireland just seems more appropriate.

Regardless of what you see and do, Ireland is a very magical place, and you're sure to enjoy what you see.

Limerick, Ireland
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9. Re: Cork to Doolin

##The funny thing about the responses is that everyone seems to think we are driving too much. I guess the logical conclusion would be that they are right, but I have to offer up the fact that last weekend, I finished work on Friday, loaded up the three kids and my wife and drove 5 hours (after work) to get to our campground. I live in Northern British Columbia. Vancouver is a 13 hour drive, which we usually do in one day. Prince George is a 4.5 hour drive away and people will drive there and back in a day for a specific appointment. To come to Ireland, we are leaving our home at 8 pm to drive the 7 hours to edmonton in time to fly out in the morning. I work with a girl from England who remembers her dad getting the car all ready, checking the oil, checking the tires for the one hour drive to the beach. It is part of our culture to drive hours to get anywhere. I know we don't have little villages every 10km that slow the traffic, but our plan with limited time (a flaw in our plan, i know) is to see as much of Ireland as possible. If the daily plan is gone by 9 am and check in by 8pm that gives us 11 hours. I don't think 3 to 4 hours of that 11 is too much. That's my logic, let me know if that doesn't work in Ireland. I hope that doesn't sound critical of the advice others are taking their time to give, I don't mean it to be and I really do appreciate the input, but we will likely have a list of possible stops each day and just take each day as it goes. If we had one or two priorities on each leg of the trip, with secondary interests if time and weather allow, that would be awesome. I don't want to plan out the days but rather have a bit of wiggle room to visit a bit longer if we start a conversation with people we like. The difficulty is in knowing what is worth seeing in a given area; coming up with that list of possibilities for each morning. So don't worry about overloading us, I wouldn't think you are saying do everything on the list, but rather "I like this route because ......'##

Hi Wilson,

I'm one of the people suggesting there is too much driving.

To get things into perspective, between the 22nd June and the 15th July hubby and myself (and the 2 teens and the 9 year old) drove 3722 miles from Limerick to Limerick via Dublin, Holyhead, the M25 Orbital London, Folkestone, Frethun (France), Tours (France) Cognac, Biarritz, San Sebastian, Sarlat, Paris, Calais, Dover, (England) Oxford, Manchester and back to Holyhead and Dublin and Limerick again.

We did this because it was easy enough to drive these distances in France and the UK BUT - and bear in mind that we know France quite well, we try to spend a minimum of 3 weeks there each year - we felt we saw too much road and not enough substance. In particular the area around Biarritz had to much driving and while we loved the area, we would do it differently should we return again. Next year's trip is being planned around the Dordogne area (Sarlat) and maybe one new area because we found the Dordogne so compact. Within 25 miles there were many things to see.

Ireland isn't the US, the roads aren't great. You need to get out of the car and see. I'm not being pedantic but those of us writing here know the area and have travelled quite a bit. We're not making our suggestions for the mere fun of it - there's a logic underpinning them ;o)

Western Ireland...
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10. Re: Cork to Doolin

I think the point we are trying to make is giving you time to enjoy the place. Yes if you want to treat this like a multi drop delivery route then head west and take that route, It can be done, Cork - Kenmare - Ring of Kerry - Tralee - Ferry - Doolin. Ups would probably give their drivers 7 hours for 10 drops on this route. Yes the sunset on a clear day is pretty special but the same sunset is 3x as good from the top of Corkscrew road above Ballyvaghan. I drive an awful lot (12miles to the nearest supermarket 100 miles round trip to Athlone Sunday afternoon and the place was shut when I got there). Just be aware that there can be problems even if you dont get off the main N/M routes. you only need to get stuck behind a bag of nerves scared of over taking a truck or tractor and your average speed drops like a stone.