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9 night mother/ daughter trip in May - Need advice on narrowing down our "must-do's"!

9 night mother/ daughter trip in May - Need advice on narrowing down...

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Group: Community Member Last Active: Tue 25 Feb 2020 7:01 PM Visits: 13
Hello!
My daughter (19 years old) and I are visiting for 9 nights in May.  We have gotten a lot of advice from friends on things to do, and have some ideas of our own.  Want a combo of relaxing/ sightseeing/ hiking & nature views.

I would love some advice on prioritizing and considering where we could do a stay of one night versus where it would be better to stay for two.  Doing mostly B&B's, renting a car, willing to have a base and drive. 

We arrive around 10AM on a Wednesday.  Was going to do a little Dublin site seeing and stay there that night (assuming we will be tired). More Dublin in the morning - then wanted to head North to Newgrange and ultimately end up in either Belfast or by the Giants Causeway (here is where I could use advice- is Belfast a must-do?
We love the idea of the Giants Causeway and then a day in either or both of the Londonderry/ Donegal areas, but I don't want to miss something important in Belfast).
We aren't history buffs, so the Titanic exhibit is not a draw, but we do like historical sites and I want to be sure to visit Trinity college and the library if we can - so I figured we would be back in Dublin on Thursday and we fly out Friday mid-morning.

Other things on our list-
Roundstone/ Galway/ Cliffs (1 night or two here would you advise?)
Killarney (no desire to kiss the stone but want to see the grounds), likely a Ring of Kerry tour so we can both relax and enjoy, also wondering 1 or 2 nights here? What about Dingle peninsula - important or not?
Cork - people who know us well have said we will likely love Cork and similarly Londonderry. Thoughts about doing one or the other or both?
What about Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford? Have gotten various advice about those being great sites as well. I care a bit about Waterford Crystal but not do-or-die.  
What about the Aran Isle - is that a really great day-trip option?

So - it's a lot to do and not enough nights and we originally were going to do a 6 night trip...clearly we decided we needed more time! I don't know that we will return to Ireland in the near future- there are several other trips on our list first.
I am looking at unique B&B's, treehouses, hobbit holes etc to stay in.

I would really appreciate any feedback or advice you might have for me!  Too many things, too few days, don't want to be exhausted nor regret moving around too much and trying to do too much.

Jodie
Posted Sat 8 Feb 2020 5:35 PM
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Hi Jodie,

It's lovely to hear that you and your daughter will be over with us for a road trip!

May is a great time to visit and 9 days is a nice duration to see some of the delights we have to offer.

Belfast is a wonderful city to spend some time both at night and during the day. A Black Taxi Tour or city sightseeing bus tour would be a perfect way to see around the city. A night in the city would be a perfect way to end the day and get yourself ready for the next days itinerary. Our approved accommodation search page is a great place to find accommodation. I have pre-selected Belfast and B&B to get you started, please feel free to change the type and location from the drop-down menus.

A trip over to Derry~Londonderry is a must when up along the north coast area, a meeting place of the Causeway Coastal Route and the Wild Atlantic Way and a lovely city as well. Carrying on into County Donegal, Glenveagh National Park for the views and the walks before a spell at Slieve League will satisfy your needs for historical and beautiful views.

Basing yourself around Galway for two nights would allow you to see Westport, Connemara, Galway itself and the Cliffs of Moher or a visit to the Aran Islands before heading to Killarney for the night and your day tour around the Ring of Kerry before ending up in Cork. Blarney Castle Gardens are close to Cork so maybe on the way from Killarney they can be visited before you finish for the night.

As you mention walking and views, Wicklow would be a nice place to visit too as there is so much to see and do in the area and nice and close to Dublin for travel on your last day.

There is always a temptation to try and fit more in than is possible and although the distances may not look or sound much, our roads are mainly local and can take a lot longer to travel on. Plan for the most and reduce the places as you feel necessary is a good place to begin.

I hope this helps and that you create a useable itinerary to start with.

Hopefully, our fellow members and industry partners may have some ideas too.

Martin

Posted Sun 9 Feb 2020 5:02 PM
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Thank you for replying!  Do you think it's doable to go from Belfast, stop at the Giants Causeway, and then head to Londonderry in the evening to stay there?  I keep hearing the Causeway is amazing and I think we should be sure to do it.  My friends did a highspeed train from Dublin to the Causeway, stopped in Belfast for dinner, and were back in Dublin that evening.  

Thoughts?
Posted Sun 9 Feb 2020 5:17 PM
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Hi Jodie, 

Your itinerary for May looks amazing so far! The Causeway Coastal route is an amazing drive, and one of my favourite places to explore. I highly recommend it! :)

You can definitely make a full day trip out of a trip to the Giant's Causeway and then stay in Derry-Londonderry in the evening. You could even stop at other places along the way, like the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Ballycastle, Dunluce Castle, the Bushmills Distillery and more! Take a look here for ideas. 

Are you thinking of making your way to Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way from Derry-Londonderry? :)
Posted Mon 10 Feb 2020 11:10 AM
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Hello Jodie,

We would love to welcome you and your daughter to the Causeway Coast and Glens!  When driving the Causeway Coastal Route from Belfast you will go through the quaint seaside town of Ballycastle.  You will find the Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre near to the Rathlin Island Ferry Terminal.  If you get a chance to stop off you can pick up free maps and brochures for the region.  You can even save a bit of money and purchase your tickets for the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge at the office too.  If you get a chance you might like to do a bit of hiking along the Causeway Coast cliff path.  This is an off road path along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and is a brilliant place from which to experience the rugged, inspirational scenery.

Just to let you know that there are a few days during May when the roads round the coastal towns of Portrush and Portstewart will be very busy or closed.  This is due to an event called the North West 200 which is an international motorbike road race.  The days when this event takes place in 2020 are Tuesday 12th May, Thursday 14th May and Saturday 16th May.  If you are travelling the Causeway Coastal Route on one of these dates, please take the main road from Bushmills to Coleraine; the road number is B17.  Then from Coleraine take the A37 to Derry-Londonderry.  This will avoid any of the roads closed on these dates..

I wish you both an enjoyable and memorable trip to Ireland!
Anne
Posted Tue 11 Feb 2020 10:41 AM
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Thank you so much for the info about the road closures!  Those are the dates we will be on the North side, now I am wondering if I should switch and head south first- so Dublin to Cork to Killarney to Galway and up to Donegal/Derry-Londonderry, Giants Causeway, Belfast and back to Dublin for departure... I will look at the B&B's we have been considering so assess availability.

I am so appreciative of all the advice everyone is sharing!

Jodie
Posted Tue 11 Feb 2020 5:41 PM
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Hi Jodie,

Many thanks to Causeway Coast & Glens Visitor Information for there excellent insight into local events!

As you plan to be with us during this time of the North West 200, doing the itinerary the opposite way round may be a good idea to avoid any traffic and accommodation issues.

The drive up from Galway takes you through Sligo before meeting the bottom of Donegal, a detour to Slieve League before the Glenveagh Castle would be delightful!

Please keep us up to date with your plans as they evolve.

Martin
Posted Wed 12 Feb 2020 10:26 AM
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Thank you to everyone who has helped me figure things out for our trip so far!

At this point the trip has evolved to the following:

Arrive on a Weds morning in Dublin:  will spend Weds and Thursday nights in Dublin.  That gives us time to explore, and to recover from the overnight flight.

Friday morning will depart to meander down to the Cork area- will likely stop in Waterford, but will see what else the day brings.   Will spend Friday and Saturday nights in Cork area.

Sunday will drive to Killarney- do the Ring of Kerry, the Castle grounds.  Sunday evening head up toward Limerick/Galway- not sure yet how far I want to go that evening...

Sunday and Monday evenings spent up by Galway.  That gives us Monday and Tuesday to explore, maybe go to the Aran Isles, I would like to do a boat viewing of the Cliffs maybe instead of the walk.

Tuesday late afternoon head up to Donegal or Derry/Londonderry area.   Stay there Tuesday night and Wednesday.   Head to the Giants Causeway Thursday morning (if we don't decide to go there Wednesday evening).

Then Thursday afternoon/evening wander our way down toward Newgrange, stay there overnight for our morning flight out on Friday.

This does mean skipping Belfast, which I have been conflicted about- but overall seems like the better trip for us.  A little less rushed, a little more flexibility, and more time with nature than in cities overall :)  Some typical touristy places but also some time to explore less commercialized spots.  

Now looking into where we will be staying in each place which is also very fun.  This website has great resources and I am so grateful!

Thank you all again- and if anyone has ideas or suggestions for unique things to do or see in the places I mentioned please don't hesitate to let us know.  

Jodie and Olivia

Posted Mon 24 Feb 2020 9:26 PM
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Hello Jodie,

Thank you for sharing this lovely itinerary filled with amazing places to discover the natural beauty of our Emerald Isle! :)

We're so happy to hear how your plans are coming along!

Since you're looking for some other unique gems to discover along the way, I'd recommend for you to check this page that contains some of our Hidden Places. No doubt you'll be able to find dreamy destinations that are less commercialized to add on your list! :D

Should you need anything else, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Happy travels,

Romina

Posted Tue 25 Feb 2020 1:44 PM
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