West Cork or Dingle?

West Cork or Dingle?

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Posted Mon 29 Jan 2024 11:37 AM
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Group: Community Member Last Active: Tue 30 Jan 2024 11:22 AM Visits: 13
Hello! Can you please help me with my trip to Ireland?
We will have 7 nights between the end of August/the beginning of September. Arrival at Dublin airport and Departure from Cork airport.
Traveling with 2 kids aged 10 and 12.

We don't want to spend hours in the car but have experiences rather than see many different places, that's why I've decided to book one single cottage and use it as a base to explore the county. At the moment I have decided on West Cork but I am very undecided about whether to focus on West Cork or the Dingle Peninsula. Many have said that the Dingle Peninsula is fantastic. I have never been to Ireland, and I wouldn't want to concentrate on the wrong area for a first approach, even though all of Ireland seems beautiful to me. Will I miss out if I don't go to the Dingle Peninsula?

The draft itinerary for West Cork is this one:
DAY 1 MIL-> DUB.  Arrive at 1 p.m. and drive to the cottage (near Bantry). Google Maps says 3.45 hours. Do you think that is feasible? I don't have other options for the flight. I know that it's a long drive but I hope that it doesn't take more than 5 hours in total. Do you think it's feasible? If so, can you please suggest a stop just to break the trip? I don't want to visit anything, just stretch our legs for 1 hour, to arrive in Bantry no later than 8 p.m. Is it feasible?

The order of activities for the other days is not relevant since I still have to book everything, but I post it just to ask for suggestions on the feasibility/other ideas:

DAY 2 West Cork model railway village  + Titanic Experience in Cobh (are they feasibile on the same day?)
DAY 3 Kissane ship farm + falconry experience in Killarney. Are there similar experiences in West Cork? I was not able to find them
DAY 4 Whale watching tour from Baltimore
DAY 5 1 h Horse riding in Bantry + hike to the lighthouse on Sheep's Head Peninsula
DAY 6 Kayak with the seals in Adrigole on the Beara Peninsula boat trip to see seals from Glengarriff
DAY 7 Mizen head and Barleycove Beach
DAY 8 Blarney Castle and departure for the airport at 4 p.m. (Our flight is at 7:30 p.m. from Cork)

Can you please give me suggestions/comments?
Can you also please suggest to me a nice pub where to have dinner with children with some traditional music? would also visit some characteristic villages (no large cities). Maybe Cobh. Something else?

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Posted Tue 30 Jan 2024 11:21 AM
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Hello Elisa!

It's wonderful to hear you're planning a trip to Ireland, and I'm delighted to help you make the most of your stay. 😄

While the Dingle Peninsula is indeed very beautiful, don't you worry about missing out. West Cork is full of wonders, from the stunning Beara Peninsula to the town of Clonakilty. It's all a matter of what you're yearning for.
Both regions have their own magic, and you can't go wrong with either choice. Since you prefer experiences over constant travel, staying in one place like West Cork allows for a more relaxed exploration.

Your journey from Dublin to Bantry sounds like a nice plan, and while Google Maps estimates around 3:45 hours, our Irish roads can be full of surprises, stunning vistas, and perhaps a few friendly sheep crossings. I'd say allow a bit of extra time for the unexpected charm of the countryside. To break up the drive, might I suggest a pit stop in the town of Kilkenny? It's about halfway through your journey and you could take a stroll around Kilkenny Castle or along the River Nore.

Your itinerary looks quite exciting! Here are some suggestions and comments:
  • Day 2 - West Cork Model Railway Village + Titanic Experience in Cobh: both attractions are feasible on the same day, but it might be a bit of a drive between them. Consider starting early to make the most of your time.
  • Day 3 - Kissane Sheep Farm + Falconry Experience in Killarney: it seems like a well-balanced day. West Cork may not have identical experiences, but you could explore local farms or wildlife experiences in the area.
  • Day 4 - Whale Watching Tour from Baltimore: Baltimore is a great spot for whale watching. Be sure to check the weather conditions for the day.
  • Day 5 - Horse Riding in Bantry + Hike to the Lighthouse on Sheep's Head Peninsula: make sure to check the weather for the hike and wear suitable footwear.
  • Day 6 - Kayak with Seals in Adrigole + Boat Trip to See Seals from Glengarriff: weather conditions can affect kayak trips, so keep an eye on the forecast.
  • Day 7 - Mizen Head and Barleycove Beach: take your time to enjoy the scenery and maybe pack a picnic.
  • Day 8 - Blarney Castle and Departure: Blarney Castle is a must-visit. Ensure you have enough time to explore and kiss the Blarney Stone. Leaving for the airport at 4 p.m. should be fine.

For a nice pub with traditional music in Cobh, for example, consider checking out "The Rob Roy." It's a family-friendly pub known for its live music. Additionally, in West Cork, you might find similar experiences in smaller villages like Clonakilty or Skibbereen.

I hope this information helps you plan your trip as best as possible.

Can't wait for you to be here!
Have a great day. ☘️

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Posted Tue 30 Jan 2024 11:25 AM
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Group: Community Member Last Active: Tue 30 Jan 2024 11:22 AM Visits: 13
Thank you very much for your help!
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Posted Wed 3 Apr 2024 6:14 PM
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Hello Elisa,

Very exciting that you are planning your trip to Ireland! What a lovely idea to just have a base and explore at your own leisure.

I do actually suggest that you visit the Dingle Peninsula on your trip, since it is not too far from Bantry and the scenery to Dingle alone is worth the drive.

Moreover, there are lots of kid friendly activities you could do in and around Dingle. For example a Sea Safari, there is an immersive underwater experience called Wave, or you could visit the Oceanworld, the aquarium, or the falcon experience at the Falconry.

You could take a hike out to Sladín lighthouse to see if you can spot any dolphins.

There is also Slea Head Drive, an hour drive that goes West of Dingle in a loop. Along the stunning views there are also sheep dog demonstrations, and the chance to hold a baby lamb (and even bottle feed them if you come at the right time!)

If you can spare a day in your adventurous itinerary, I definitely recommend it!


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