Family trip in late June

March 29, 2007

Question:

Hi,

I just starting to plan a trip for my family of 4 (me, my husband and two sons ages 15 and 11) in late June. I would like to fly into Shannon airport and stay around west Ireland, seeing Bunratty Castle and other sites and possibly doing some biking.

I was hoping to stay in a self-catering cottage. Could you recommend a nice, comfortable place that isn’t too expensive. What else would we not want to miss seeing while visiting that area. I am think we will be there for 7 or 8 days.

Thanks

9 Answers

  • DoChara says:

    Staying in the centre is definitely an option and a pretty good one as long as you aren’t people who expect luxury hotel standards and are happy with basics done well. It’s good value, it’s not fancy, but it’s clean and well run and there will be a nice buzz to it – when everyone is involved in various outdoor activities and staying/eating in the same place it creates a great community feel. If you are outdoorsy people you’ll love it and never want to leave.

    I think that would be a near perfect holiday with kids your age – two locations, one quiet and in an amazing location, touring and staying in a lighthouse; the other also in a beautiful location but busier, with lots of people to meet and mixing touring with adventure activities.

  • chap1 says:

    Loop Head would come at the beginning of our trip. Any thoughts on where to stay in Clifden/Leenane? I checked out the Killary Adventure Centre and it looks great. Would you reccommend staying there?

  • DoChara says:

    I personally think two bases in a week would work better than one anyway, especially with kids/teenagers so I hope Loop Head works for you.

    You could look at spending the other nights around Galway/Mayo, which is quite a contrast with Clare but not too far away. Plus you it would be a nice change to be near Galway, a busy city, compared to the remoteness of Co Clare.

    I’d consider somewhere around Clifden/Leenane, which is within reach of both Galway and Westport, as well as anywhere in Connemara. That area also has the excellent and very well run Killary Adventure Centre, which has full or half-day activities packages. I suggest the latter because it’s possible that two boys of that age might get just a tiny bit bored with touring.

    A lot depends on timing though – where would the Loop Heads nights come in terms of your trip – beginning/middle/end?

    Katherine

  • chap1 says:

    Thank you for the wonderful information.

    I need to go at the end of June when my kids are out of school and the Lighthouse at Loop Head has three nights available around that time. I am looking into booking those nights. Does anyone have any suggestions of how and where to spend the other 4 days?

    I’m also looking into just spending the entire week at one of the Burren Cottages in Ballyvaughan. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for an itinerary?

  • IrishFlair says:

    I hear you! I’ve never stayed at any of their locations but I have Hopes and Dreams of managing it one of these days! I have heard nothing but great things so “encourage” folks to check them out if they are looking for self catering, too. I really, really want to stay in the mini-castle some time. It looks too good to be true!

  • DoChara says:

    Isn’t it amazing? I stayed there for just one night (was passing through and friends had it rented) and it is really, really great.

    Actually the Landmark Trust has some amazing properties and they are exceptional value to stay in. Plus you know that by doing so you are helping to preserve historic buildings in Ireland. They are non-profit and take old neglected buildings, restore them to an extemely high standard then rent them out.

    A friend spent a weekend in the Mews in Merrions Square and raved about it.

    If you look at the house in Eustace st – a family or a group traveling together could rent that and end up staying bang in the centre of Dublin in a beautiful and elegant historic house in high season for around €40 a night each. You would barely get a hostel for that and no chance of even a bad B&B. It’s amazing value.

    Sorry for going off on a tangent here – but I rave about the Landmark Trust every chance I get

  • IrishFlair says:

    Oooo, I vote for the light house! There’s one whole week available in June (1st thru 7th) so contact them asap and snap it up. It’s difficult to decipher the cost chart but if I’m reading it correctly it’s €630 for the week. It’s really well situated for trips to Clare, Galway and Kerry and that will easily keep you all going for the week.

    Let us know which you chose and how it goes!

    Wendy

  • DoChara says:

    Hi and welcome

    Don’t worry about getting the Shannon Region and the West mixed up – everyone does, even people in Ireland! There’s not always a very clear demarcation between them.

    I don’t think you’ll find you want to stay around Bunratty – it’s on a very busy major road and apart from a half a day seeing the castle and park itself there isn’t a lot to do and it isn’t much of a place really.

    Instead head further into Clare from the coast – somewhere around the middle so that trip to Galway and one to Kerry are both doable. Mostly rental in Ireland is for a week at a time – Saturday to Saturday, so for the length of time you are here that works if your days are right. Another option is to look for a shorter rental, and then move to another place for a few nights.

    One place that is amazing to stay in and would possibly work is the Lighthouse at Loop Head – I took a quick look, there is still some availablilty in June.

    A very good place to look for holiday lets is on Daft.ie, which is a general property site but has a good selection of places to let for a week at a time – mainly aimed at the Irish market and being let by thier owners, so they tend to be more reasonably priced than those you see on sites aimed at tourists, and often are better quality too.

    Ones that looked good and well located include these:

    Cottage in the Burren
    Cottage in Ballyvaughan
    House on Quay in Kinvara (good for Clare/Galway/Connemara, not for Kerry)

    But there are loads there. It’ll give you some ideas about prices/locations anyway.

    Katherine

  • chap1 says:

    To add to my above post, I was thinking it would be good with a family to have a “home base” and take short day trips from there but would welcome thoughts on this and suggestions.

    I think also that I may have gotten the area wrong when I said west Ireland. I am interested in the area around Bunratty Castle, is that actually Shannon?

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