I need a lot of help

I need a lot of help

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Posted Sun 4 Feb 2018 10:10 PM
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I booked my flight from US to Dublin not realizing that in the middle of my trip is St. Patrick's Day. Oh brother, I'm in a real pickle. I'm arriving Mar 14 and departing Mar 22 at  9 PM, so I have a full day.

This is my first time to Ireland. I'm a man traveling solo, and I have done a considerable amount of Global travel. Here is my situation. I don't have a clue where to go. And I know that is getting very tight to make any lodging reservations.

My interests are architecture, culture, people. Not a drinker so my visits to the Pubs would be to meet people while drinking coffee. My concern is that I don't know which part of Ireland would be easier to find lodging during that week considering St Patrick's day.

I have no intentions to drive, not cost effective for one. I have interests visiting Belfast, Cork, Galway, maybe Moher. I'd like to rely on public preferably trains.

I also need a good link to find lodging but don't have a clue where would my itinerary.  Any suggestions, would be most appreciated.  I have been trying to get on this Forum for days. I just discovered that I need to use Google Chrome Thanks
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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 1:47 AM
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I have traveled to Ireland solo many times and I usually always use public transportation and maybe an occasional taxi. 
Some sites maybe helpful to you to look at before you travel . 
www.buseireann.ie 
www.irishrail.ie/timetables/route
www.ireland-bnb.com/map-of-ireland.html

I usually arrive very early in AM so I freshen up and get breakfast at the airport, shop for items I wasn't allowed to bring, get newspapers etc. Directly outside the airport are busses to take you anywhere you wish to go throughout the country as well as specific bus service to main part of Dublin where you will find the main train stations, no train service at airport yet there are rumours they are working on it!
There are many Big Brands of hotels, Marriott, Hilton etc but I always prefer B&B's both for the delicious food as well as the warm hospitality. It might sound corny but in Dublin there is a Hop on-Hop off bus that will take you around the city to show main sites Christ Church, Dublin Castle, Trinity College etc, you'll get to see beautiful architecture as well as hear from driver interesting facts. You can get off at any one of the sites, look around then catch bus again for further sites. It gave me a good sense of the city.
You might consider going to Cork or Galway first to be away from the Dublin St Patrick's Day celebration madness, it can be quite overwhelming, unless that's what you want to see, it will be very crowded and long waits for services etc. You could visit Belfast then leave Dublin for last . Each county will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day in their own way as well. Each of the counties you mentioned are also very walk able once you get there, and the folks at the B&B's are very helpful with sites to see. Hope this helps you .I have been to 23 counties so far and hope to visit all the rest soon. Good Luck and I hope you will enjoy Ireland as much as I do. Elizabeth


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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 4:23 AM
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Hi Elizabeth

Thank you so much for your suggestions.  However, as I said in my posting  I'm traveling to Ireland during St Patrick's holidays. I didn't consider to check the dates. Based on the holiday which town would be better to find lodging during this time. And specially being so late for my booking.

The good thing my flight gets in early around 8:30 AM. I'm open to by pass Dublin and contnue to another city/town if it would be easier to find a place.

I'm also a bit confused about the rail options. DART, Commune or something similar and regular rail. Would it be too ambitious going straight to Belfast or is going to be the same
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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 10:48 AM
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Hi Larry,
It is great to hear that you will be visiting Ireland over St. Patricks Day.
When you are here why not take a tour with Railtours Ireland.
We run one day to eleven day tours right across Ireland visting the must see attractions like the Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway.
We use fast, comfortable modern trains for all our tours to explore the Emerald Isle.
A full list of our tours can be found here at our website: https://railtoursireland.com/
Take the stress out of driving and let the train take the strain.
Railtours Ireland Car Free Care Free.
Kind Regards
Mervyn

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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 1:59 PM
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I checked the site I use sometimes ... .https://www.bandbireland.com  and not being sure of what you want to spend I used an average of 100 euros, then used an example itinerary for the places and dates you mentioned and came up with some suggestions as of today these are some  lodgings that are available.
 .GALWAY      3/14 - 3/16   Rock Lodge ,Galway City, Galway, H91 WY16116.50 EUROS
                      Anach-Cuin House36 Wellpark Grove, Galway City 100 EUROS 
CLARE. 3/16 ,        Cliffs of Moher  
                          Churchfield , Doolin, Clare      60 EURO..
.CORK 3/17- 3/18
                     Ashgrove Kinsale Cork   96 euros
                    Bridgefield Farmhouse Kinsale Cork   110 EUROS 

 BELFAST.3/19 -3/20
                        48 Kirkliston Park Antrim, Belfast  157 EUROS
                       Somerton House Antrim , Belfast   90 EUROS .
.DUBLIN 3/21 - 3/22
                   Clinton's Woodview Farmhouse ,Skerries, Dublin  50 EUROS
                   St Judes 6 Fortfield Terrace, Upper Rathmines, Dublin 6 , 150 EUROS
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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 4:46 PM
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#1 Doolin Pier, Co Clare, Ireland
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Greetings Larry - what a great time to be here, we all very much look forward to welcoming you to our shores.  So you have got super good advice from our friends in posts already.  There are excellent coach services to Doolin and to the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare. We are in the Burren which is a stunning karst landscape and a Geo Park where you can enjoy lots of walking and lots of great places to eat and stay.  This part of Co Clare is very well connected to the following gateway towns of Ennis, Co Clare, Limerick and Galway

Doolin Pier is the closest access port to the iconic Aran Islands...its only a journey of 15 minutes with us on the Doolin Express.  All around Doolin there are so many things to do and see.  

Many of our customers buy a Total Cliffs of Moher Experience with me.  This gives you access to both the top and bottom :hehe:of the cliffs...by boat with us for a stunning cruise and live witty commentary AND entrance to the visitor centre at the top of the Cliffs .  If you feel up to it you can walk between Doolin and the Cliffs centre on top!  This will take up to 3 hours and is truly breathtaking.  Alternatively you can jump on the bus service mentioned in this and the link above:)

If all this along our wonderful costal route known as the Wild Atlantic Way appeals to you my boat company will be open for all the days during your stay in Ireland so if you need to book any of these days on our new state of the art passenger ferry the Doolin Express to the Aran Islands or along the total expanse of the cliffs just send me an email to:  Bill O Brien, sales@doolinferry.com or phone me on 00353 87 235 9918

If I can help in any way please just ask, I hope this will help with your planning.  There is plenty of available accommodation in this part of the world in March, you can choose from B&B's, Hotels and hostels in our general area (links given above).  The cities will be busy but big and small towns outside the main centres will have room for you Larry ;). If you come across fresh 'Shamrock' on sale do buy some and pin it onto your shirt (heart side)...you'll see everyone wearing it on the 17th March, which as you know is the feast day of our patron Saint Patrick.  Look out for parades in the towns and villages you are passing through on the 17th - these celebrate St Patrick and are great fun, totally amateur community events, that often become super competitive!  Displaying acts of local rivalry.......here you will really witness aspects of our culture not on display at any other time of year!  Our parades have lots of 'floats' in them and very few marching bands...you may come across some American bands (in bigger towns and cities) that have travelled to celebrate with us.  They add excitement, structure and formality that we don't (usually) have!! Both are very charming for the same reasons, adding energy, entertainment and fun. Going to parades in Ireland is a must for families and we all 'pray hard' that it won't rain!!!  Winning the 'best float' will elevate a community group from ......well ....(often) obscurity to local stardom with super inflated chests as all the participants (usually aged between 4 and 10 years old) march home.  :D. What's not to love.  

Enjoy and Happy St Patrick's day to you and yours Larry.  


Yours very sincerely
Bill O Brien

ps there will be traffic delays in all towns that have parades on and reduced service on buses and trains as it is a public/national holiday.  
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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 8:01 PM
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Dear Larry, 
you could have two days in Dublin (VisitDublin.com)  before moving on to Belfast, Cork, Galway. 
Tourist offices in these places are very helpful. It would be wise to have accommodation booked for first few days. Try Discover Ireland site or Tourism Ireland, or try B&B Ireland.com. There are buses going to Galway and other main cities from Dublin Airport hourly.
 Burkes Bus (burkebus.com) is direct to Galway or City Link.ie, they both have websites with schedules.
 In Dublin the Hop On bus is good. You will see the main sites and it's easy to do.  

Accommodation will not be hard to get in March but at weekends Hotels are more expensive. You could also look into Hostels 
The only day that has reduced services is Saturday St Patrick's Day itself. The Festival will be entertaining and you could enjoy it.

Have a great time. 
Mary

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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 8:58 PM
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Hello Larry,

St Patrick's Day in Ireland is indeed all about the parades! Wherever you decide to be, there will be plenty of festivities.

Big thanks to all of our members for their inputs and suggestions.

Many have suggested Galway and Cork as possible destinations especially as you prefer to travel by train. Irish Rail are the rail providers in the Republic of Ireland and their website is well worth a look to see where you would like to visit. The trains run from Dublin itself, so you will need to get into the city first.

Belfast would also be an option, maybe for your final few days before traveling home as there are direct bus links to the airport or the train into Dublin city for the day, then the bus out to the airport.

There are several buses available at the airport or you could consider a bus to your destination directly from the airport. Transport for Ireland has a very useful website to find public transport options. The journey planner allows you to choose your from and to locations and the options will be available for your selection.

I'd also like to suggest that you have a look at this link to our approved accommodation search page where you will be able to find various different types of accommodation and alter the destination to find the most suitable location and availability. Perhaps you could put together a possible route based on accommodation availability!

Have you a preference for the type of accommodation you are looking for?



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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 11:29 PM
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Elizabeth,
Thank you, thank you.
I appreciate taking the time to provide me with an itinerary. To be honest I was about to dropping my trip and loosing my airfare. I don't like too much stress. However, before I received your reply I found Crawford Guest House in Cork $96. I had no clue so made a (cancelable reservation) 3/14-3/17. I'm getting worried traveling during Paddy's week, and also during the weekend, thusly I booked for 3 nites. But now I see I only need 2 nites.

I appreciate the itinerary you gave me. I found Angela's BnB in Galway for $86. But I'm wondering if it would be too much traveling trying to get from either Cork or Galway to Belfast. I checked it takes about 6 hours by train or longer by bus with connections.



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Posted Mon 5 Feb 2018 11:34 PM
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Mary
I like what you suggested about staying in Dublin for a couple of days then head up north to Belfast. Where do you think is going to be easier or better to stay no too crazy at Paddy's day?  I do like the places that Elizabeth suggested, ie, Cork, Galway and Clare. No matter which way it seems like it will take me at least a half a day trying to travel to Belfast.

At this point, not sure if the starting point should be Dublin, Belfast. Back to Dublin change train to Galway, Clare Cork end in Dublin. Exhausting.......

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