Asked on: February 19, 2007 | 1 answer

My husband and I are in the process of planning our first trip to Ireland to fulfill a dream of my husband’s for many years. It was my 60th birthday gift to him.

We will fly into Dublin on May 26th, spend two nights at the Kilronan House Hotel, and see some of Dublin. May 28th we will rent a car and travel to a central location in the southwest of Ireland. We have reservations to stay three nights at Flemingstown House in Kilmallock.

We are hoping to take day trips to the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, etc., from that location. On May 31st we move to the Cairbre House in Dungaravan for two nights and plan to see Waterford, Wexford, etc. June 2nd we will drive back to Dublin and stay at a hotel just outside the airport.

We have never been to Ireland. Never driven on the opposite side of the road. My husband lost the vision in his left eye a year ago due to diabetic retinopothy (thus the desire to see Ireland before the right eye is compromised). We are still hoping to drive the country ourselves.

Any suggestions? Cautions? Must sees?

Sincere thanks for any help in planning this dream trip.

Kathy Fox

One Answer

  1. Kathy,

    First of all, well done for setting up the itinerary. I like that you did not try to fit in everything on this trip but have taken a more relaxed pace. Your trip looks pretty good overall, just a couple of issues I think you need to know about.

    Kilmallock is quite a distance from Dingle and the Cliffs of Moher, 3 hour and 2 hour drive respectively just to get there. That’s not to mean that you cannot do the trips, just make sure you get a nice early start (especially for your Dingle day) and be on the road for your Home Base by around 7pm so that you are not driving the smaller roads in the dark.

    I would do one day to Dingle (head due west towards Listowel to reach Dingle via Tralee) and a second day to explore Killarney, Kenmare and perhaps the Ring of Kerry. Or just some of it depending on how much driving you wish to do.

    Visiting the Cliffs of Moher and Clare is similar; get a nice early start so that you can include The Burren and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in your day but be on a main road before it gets too late in the evening. It will stay light until quite late (nearly 9pm) so you can really have full days of sightseeing. Sunrise is a bit after 5am so those early starts mean there’s plenty of daylight to find your way in the mornings.

    Driving in Ireland is actually quite easy and you will be surprised how quickly you pick it up. Do a Tag Team approach with the driver concentrating on the roads and traffic while the passanger looks at the map and helps with road signs to get you where you need to go and to help remind the driver to Keep Left.

    If you are short on time or very concerned about the size of the roads, stick to the main motorways (M and N roads) as much as you can since those are the biggest and fairly direct. In some places you will have to travel the R roads but even these are in great shape in the areas you will be visiting.

    I know you both will have a wonderful trip! And be sure to post any other questions that pop up. Katherine is a wealth of information and will never stear you wrong.

    Safe travels,

    Wendy

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