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Milestone celebrations - 15 day Ireland Holiday

Milestone celebrations - 15 day Ireland Holiday

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Posted Sat 13 Apr 2019 3:47 AM
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My husband and I are traveling for the 1st time to Ireland for 15 days at the end of May & beginning of June 2019.  In the last year we have celebrated our 50th birthday's and our 30th wedding anniversary so we are celebrating with this holiday and are hoping that is will be very memorable.  We feel a bit overwhelmed with all the things to see and do so we are looking for advice on some unique experiences, roads to travel, and sites to see. 

Here is a list of some of the places we are interested in seeing: Guinness Storehouse, Powerscout House & Gardens, Hook Lighthouse, Kilkenny Castle, Rock of Cashel, Dingle Peninsula, Doolin, Cliffs of Moher, Dunguaire Castle, Slieve League Cliffs, Dunluce Castle, Giant's Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery, Belfast City Hall, & Newgrange.  We would welcome any advice on other things to see & do.  Are we being realistic in hoping to see all of this in 15 days or will we have time to add more to this list?   We want to enjoy this time together and not be run off our feet.  We love history, architecture, nature, and exploring so we don't mind walking.  We are not big shoppers but we do love to go through the local artisan's shops to find unique gifts or souvenirs.  Are there any great markets for fresh local food for picnics?  

In Dublin we are thinking that we should use the local bus but we would like to rent a car for the rest of the trip so that we have more freedom to explore on our own timetable.  Can we take a rental car into Northern Ireland?  We are hoping to drive the Causeway Coastal Route.  Are there any other scenic drives we could take?

Accommodations....we are thinking about staying in B&B's and maybe hotels in Dublin and Belfast.  Any advice on this?  Does it make sense to use our accommodation location as a central point for exploring each area.  Staying a few nights in each area before moving on?  

Thanks so much!

Lianne
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Posted Sat 13 Apr 2019 2:58 PM
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Hello Liane, 

Congratulations on these wonderful milestones, and how lovely that you are planning on celebrating it on the Emerald Isle! :)

I completely understand it can be difficult to choose when there are so many options, and I'm more than happy to point you in the right direction so you can plan an unforgettable trip. 

All of the locations on your itinerary so far are wonderful, and definitely doable if you're making your own way around by rental car. You can find everything you need to know about renting a car on the Island of Ireland in this thread, including information about travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

Dublin, as well as the other cities, are easily explored on foot or by public transport. Take a look at the Public Transport VS Car Hire thread for helpful resources. 

Using one place as a base to explore the area from is a great idea as well. For example, if you're staying in Belfast, from there you can venture out on the Causeway Coastal Route to see Dunluce Castle, the Giant's Causeway, Bushmills and more! Take a look at these recommended Trip Ideas and Road Trips for more inspiration. 

I have also collected a few recommendations and experiences from other members and visitors for you below: 
Lastly, take a look at all the tourist board approved and recommended hotels, B&B's and other accommodation in Belfast, Dublin and anywhere else for options and ideas. There are a lot of lovely and unique places to stay, and it all depends on what you prefer. :)

I hope this was helpful, and that you'll receive loads more information and tips from our other members and experts. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out! 

Warmest regards,

Melin

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Posted Mon 15 Apr 2019 11:04 AM
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Hi Lianne

Congratulations to you both and what a wonderful way to celebrate by visiting Ireland. If you have time on your agenda I would recommend visiting Armagh, it is only a forty minute drive from Belfast.

Our website is very helpful and shows what we have to offer from visiting our two Cathedrals to walking St Patricks trail. It will show you all restaurants and accommodation available in the City. www.visitarmagh.com

St Patricks trail the 92-mile linear driving route links 15 key sites, this will bring you from Armagh, through Newry, Downpatrick, Newtownards to Bangor. See the link below, the trail is marked clearly and gives you a better idea of what area it covers.

https://visitarmagh.com/trails/drive-st-patricks-trail/

I hope this has helped you and has gave you a few more ideas to help you plan your trip of a lifetime.

Thanks
Karen

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Posted Tue 16 Apr 2019 1:47 PM
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Hi Lianne,

Congratulations on celebrating your birthday's and wedding anniversary! Milestones definitely worthy of a holiday!

You mention visiting the Giant's Causeway and other local attractions in the Causeway Coast and Glens.  If you are renting a car, Belfast is a good base from which to start.  The A2 heading north from Belfast is known as the Causeway Coastal Route.  This well signposted road follows the stunning coastline of the North Antrim Coast.  There are many places to stop and explore as time permits along with lots of photo opportunities.

As mentioned, the Giant's Causeway is one of the many attractions along this route.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a café, shop and information area.  Experienced local guides lead tours to explore the unique stone formations of the Causeway and you can also walk for miles along the cliff path there. Nearby, The Bushmills Distillery, the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, runs tours each day to show how the whiskey is produced.  Further along the A2, Dunluce castle perches on a cliff looming over the Atlantic Ocean.  It is well worth a visit to learn about the battles, storms and stories that took place there over several hundred years of occupancy by some very colourful characters.

If you have specific questions about the area or need help with booking accommodation, Coleraine Visitor Information Centre will be only too happy to help - https://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/

I wish you a wonderful trip!
Alison

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Posted Fri 3 May 2019 12:26 AM
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Hi Melin,
Thank you for your warm wishes, for all of your advice and for the threads/links you included in your reply!   We have been busy looking at all the information that you directed us to and we have found it very helpful, especially the car rental and public transport threads.  We are working on finalizing our accommodations now.  

Hi Karen,
Thank you and thank you for your reply!  We visited your website and decided that we had to add a visit to Armagh and the St. Patricks trail to our agenda.  

Hi Alison,
Thank you and thank you for your reply!  We are definitely including the Giant's Causeway in our agenda.  Thanks for the link, when we looked at it we found that the Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival is going on during our time there so we are hoping to take some of this event in.

Warmest regards to you all
Lianne

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Posted Mon 6 May 2019 11:50 AM
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Hi Lianne, 

That is fantastic news! Keep us posted on your plans and adventures, and feel free to reach out if there is anything else you need. :)

Warm regards, 

Melin

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