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Christmas Week in Ireland

Christmas Week in Ireland

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Group: Community Member Last Active: Tue 25 Oct 2016 3:27 PM Visits: 2
Hello! my family and I are excited to be heading to Ireland during Christmas week and I would love some help with a relastic itinerary. We will stay in Dublin on Christmas eve and head out toward the coast on Christmas morning. We realize not much open on Christmas Day and perhaps St. Stephen's Day but we do need to end up in a restaurant on Christmas for dinner. One thought it to head to East coast first or go another direction directly to Galway City? The sites we are very interested in seeing include: Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty castle (too touristy?), Blarney castle, Ring of Kerry and not terribly important but if time Waterford Crystal tour. We will have December 25-29 and head back to Dublin on December 30. I know the sun will be setting early so our hopes are to end each day in a pub for dinner and drink. Any thoughts fro a travel route or interesting spots that we may have missed would be very much appreciated.   Many thanks.
Posted Tue 25 Oct 2016 3:31 PM
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Ireland
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Hi Amy,

Leopardstown Racecourse is Dublin's only racetrack - we're busy preparing for the annual Christmas Festival which takes place from Dec 26th - 29th with over 60,000 people expected to attend over the 4 days. Locates about 10KM from Dublin city centre, we work with a variety of hotels who offer racing packages - have a look at http://www.leopardstown.com/visit/plan-your-day/accommodation/ 

Should you be planning to stay in the city centre we also offer complimentary shuttle coach transfers from / to Sandyford Luas stop (Dublin's urban tram system) - https://luas.ie/ 

Wishing you an enjoyable trip
Kind regards
Seán
sclancy@leopardstown.com

Posted Wed 26 Oct 2016 9:38 AM
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Hi Amy,

Dublin is art, culture and fun, and if you love pubs it's the right place to go! TempleBar is where most people hang out and during the Christmas week is full of buskers, music and events.

I think the best idea is to discover the majestic beauty of the Ring of Kerry and South Ireland on a 3-day tour to Galway, the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle.

Day 1: D
epart Dublin for Galway, travelling towards the west of Ireland. Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Irish midlands. Experience the rugged wilderness of Connemara as you drive over mountains that have provided the setting for countless Hollywood movies, and continue along the coastline to Galway City. Find a nice pub in Galway Bay to listen to some traditional Irish music before retiring for the night!

Day 2: Experience the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean as you drive down the west coast. See beautiful beaches of golden sand, keeping a look out for dolphins and whales along the way. Follow the route of the Atlantic Way, the world’s longest coastal touring route. Then, discover the crown jewels of Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher. Spend the night in Kerry.

Day 3: Jump aboard the green Paddywagon to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. After lunch, visit the beautiful Rock of Castle Dunamase in the Golden Vale, Ireland'sfinest agricultural land of rolling fields and fresh pastures. Pause for reflection in this magnificent scenery, before returning to Dublin in the evening, and spend a big night out if you still have the energy!

Here's all the information about accommodation. In particular I suggest you to visit B&B Ireland.

About transport, Car RentalCouncil and Transport for Ireland.

Have a nice trip,

Bruno
Posted Wed 26 Oct 2016 9:51 AM
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Ireland
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Hello Amy.

Before you leave the US I suggest you arrange accommodations and a dinner reservation for December 25th and 26th in Galway city or surrounds. You will get all this information from Irelandhotels.com. Also reserve a rental car to pickup on arrival at Dublin Airport (car hire collection will be closed Dec 25th). I would not wait until you are in Dublin to do any of the above.

December 26th - a day tour of Connemara and return to your accommodations. Your host will advise your route.
December 27th - off to see the Cliffs of Moher and drive the coast to Killimner car ferry (day light sailings only) getting the car ferry to Tarbert. Drive onward to Dingle town to overnight.
December 28th - complete the scenic drive of the Dingle Peninsula before heading for Killarney town for a 2 night stop.
December 29th - drive the Ring of Kerry 
December 30th - Visit Killarney National Park or drive to Blarney Castle (near Cork) and on wards to Dublin.
This is a south west coast of Ireland tour using Dublin as your arrival and departure gate.
Enjoy the trip and you might let us know how you get on after.
Conor
Posted Wed 26 Oct 2016 6:41 PM
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Hi Amy,
please also take a look at the below post/ replies - these might give you some further ideas for your trip at Christmas. Good luck and enjoy your time in Ireland.
Travelling with no Reservation


Posted Thu 27 Oct 2016 9:53 AM
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Hi Amy
Definitely agreed with the others that leaving reservations for Christmas and St Stephens Day till the last minute could be dangerous.
Generally most restaurants will close but a lot of hotels will serve Christmas dinner
going to answer a couple of your specific queries if I may and perhaps then you should pick a few must see spots, one per day and plan your route around those.
Christmas Eve in Dublin will be wonderful for sure, there are so many beautiful sites around the environs of Dublin and indeed Wicklow should you decide to stay on the East Coast.
An article from last year, but might be a starting point for you, then you could potentially check out http://www.glendalough.ie/ or http://powerscourt.com/
Take a look at http://www.powerscourthotel.com/christmas-packages-2016.html

You might actually enjoy it more to relax, as there is every chance you will be tired having just landed in Ireland hence I am suggesting spots within the hour from Dublin City

Galway City is wonderful at any time of year, with the motorway you could be there in about 2 hours, Cliffs of Moher is then a nice trip on the way back, Bunratty is in the region and for me is not at all too touristy.  It's fun, informative and there is a lovely little pub in Bunratty Village and also Durty Nellys at the entrance.  I don't think you should try to cover too much ground, you will find lots to entertain you as you go, everyone will be full of Christmas cheer, so to rush is a shame.
to give you an idea, this the route above where I have added in 2 more stops at Spanish Point where you have 2 hotels to choose from and Killaloe with 2 more 
https://www.google.ie/maps/dir/Grafton+Street,+Dublin/Glendalough,+County+Wicklow/Powerscourt+House+%26+Gardens,+Enniskerry/Grafton+Street,+Dublin+2/Galway+City,+County+Galway/Cliffs+of+Moher,+Clare/Spanish+Point,+County+Clare/Bunratty+Castle+%26+Folk+Park,+Bunratty,+County+Clare/Killaloe,+County+Clare/Dublin+Airport,+Dublin/@53.0438152,-8.342841,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m62!4m61!1m5!1m1!1s0x48670e9b8c8edbf1:0x90afb1bb108edcdd!2m2!1d-6.2597468!2d53.3422998!1m5!1m1!1s0x486797d94279f67b:0x1800c7a937df36a0!2m2!1d-6.32984!2d53.01198!1m5!1m1!1s0x4867a6fd021be2a7:0x3dbbbe4c7f7d85bc!2m2!1d-6.1866327!2d53.184251!1m5!1m1!1s0x48670e9b8c8edbf1:0x90afb1bb108edcdd!2m2!1d-6.2597468!2d53.3422998!1m5!1m1!1s0x485b96eca4f63c15:0x9f202f408ade89a3!2m2!1d-9.0566819!2d53.270564!1m5!1m1!1s0x485b01af0bb881f3:0x283a469048b8c0e6!2m2!1d-9.4308825!2d52.9715368!1m5!1m1!1s0x485b02b285da9983:0xa00c7a997322280!2m2!1d-9.4397015!2d52.8466428!1m5!1m1!1s0x485b4221fd01d505:0x19abd4db861eb415!2m2!1d-8.8119226!2d52.6995682!1m5!1m1!1s0x485c9e8b99ca7053:0xa00c7a99731eca0!2m2!1d-8.4475152!2d52.808886!1m5!1m1!1s0x486711be6993192f:0x55121bb5b725f355!2m2!1d-6.2499098!2d53.4264481!3e0

If you want to check out Blarney castle, Ring of Kerry and Waterford Crystal you are taking a vastly different route, my suggestion would be work it out on Google Maps and don't limit yourself by too much driving.
We don't generally get extremes of weather but you do also need to factor that in to your plans.

Hope I have helped and not confused you further, suffice it to say you will have a fab time whatever route you choose
Enjoy!
Majella
Posted Thu 27 Oct 2016 9:17 PM
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Hi Amy -
Me and my husband too are planning a trip to Ireland 2018 also at Christmas! How was your trip there? What did you do ? We are so excited for this Christmas 2018. We are coming from Saskatchewan, Canada 🇨🇦!
Any news things we should check out Amy or anyone ?

Thanks
Rena & Bryan
Posted Fri 5 Jan 2018 12:10 AM
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Hello Rena,

Christmas in Ireland is a wonderful time indeed! The tradition is taken seriously with nearly all places closed on the 25th of December and St Stephen's Day on the 26th a great day for a bit of shopping in the sales.

Where on the Island of Ireland have you planned to visit?

Thanks to our members for their previous suggestions. 

Amy, we would all be interested in finding out what you managed to see and do during your time with us.

Speak soon,

Martin



Posted Fri 5 Jan 2018 10:36 AM
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Hello Martin
Thank you for responding, I hope Amy responds and let’s us know how it went for her ! We are not sure where to start our journey. We are at the beginning of our trip planning. Any suggestions would help.

Rena.
Posted Fri 5 Jan 2018 12:25 PM
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Hi Rena,

The first place to start will be where you can fly into on the island of Ireland. Once this has been decided, if renting a car, then I would suggest driving to your chosen location sooner rather than later, to settle in and begin your vacation.

Most attractions will start to open again soon after St Stephens Day. I have created a personal scrapbook of places to visit and attractions open during the festive period. Most major cities and some smaller towns will have Christmas markets and decorations for you to enter into the spirit of things.

We have another previous community post on Coming to Ireland for a weekend at Christmas that has some ideas also.

How many days have you decided on joining us for? When will your vacation start?

Martin
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