Winter Suggestions Needed

January 31, 2009

Question:

My husband and I would like to take a short break to Ireland in mid-February. We travel to Europe several times a year, so we are not necessarily looking to sight-see on this trip. Just a well-needed respite. We would like to stay put in a town that has enough to gently do (restaurants, few shops, pubs) for a 3 night stay. We would plan t0 spend 1-2 nights in Dublin (or Shannon) before our return flight. We would like the town to be scenic, and provide access for short day drives. We were thinking of Kinsale, initially, but really unsure. Perhaps Dingle? The weather is not especially a concern to us. Thank you so much – we feel a little lost at the moment!

Christine

5 Answers

  • Christine says:

    Oh my goodness – these are such excellent suggestions! We have to really get moving – we have already postponed due to work issues by a few weeks, and are now hoping to go in early March. We really want to stay away from tourist season (and tourists in general – though, I guess we are just that!) so the suggestions are doubly appreciated.

    Christine

  • Didi says:

    Hi Christine,

    I would agree with Wendy, Dingle is a bit of a far journey if only for a couple of days.
    Another suggestion I would make is to visit the North of Ireland. I’m not too sure where you are travelling from, or what your budget is, but the weakness of the sterling at the moment makes for a great saving against a lot of currencies. The North also tends to be cheaper than the South.

    Some suggestions on where to visit, Belfast City, a friendly city, with lots of culture and interesting history. Take the beautiful Antrim coastal road up to visit the Giant’s Causeway, and Bushmills Distillary. http://www.discovernorthernireland.com will give you plenty more suggestions and itineraries.

    I run self-catering accommodation in Rostrevor, County Down, Lecale Cottages. These are set in the magical Mourne Mountains, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty see more info on http://www.mournelive.com

    Enjoy your holiday!

    Didi

    • Katherine says:

      I’m chipping in late here with a suggestion or two, though not saying I’ll improve on the above!

      A town that very few visitors stay in is Drogheda, but it has a lot of advantages for this sort of a stay. For one thing it’s really a quick trip from Dublin Airport, so your holiday can start within an hour or so of landing, and also close to Dublin for transferring for the last few days.

      It’s a biggish town, with lots of shops and quite a few places to visit, but is also within easy reach of the Cooley pensinsula and Carlingford, which is a peaceful and lovely coastal area often overlooked by visitors. It’s also an easy trip to Bru na Boinne, Slane, the Hill of Tara, Trim Castle and the new Battle of the Boyne visitor centre, so lots of options there.

      You’re in the same area with Wendy’s Bettystown suggestion, but Bettystown itself has not a lot going on, so it would depend how small a town you want to stay in. Rostrevor and the Mourne mountains are lovely also, but I have the impression you want to be in a reasonably decent sized town.

      If you are not on too tight a budget, the D Hotel is very cool and is offering some really good deals at the minute – by mixing the ‘delicious’ deal with the ‘dazzling advance purchase’ one, you could have three nights B&B plus dinner on one night (the restaurant gets good reviews) in some luxury for less than €200 each.

      If you’d like a smaller town in the same general area, Carlingford is gorgeous and has great restaurants, but it is very quiet. Ghan House is a fantastic place to stay there and has good offers at the moment also (everywhere does!)

  • Christine says:

    This is great advice and I’m so glad I’ve found this impressive website! I am going to re-read and research your suggestions and then likely will be back in touch with further questions. We need to get going if we are thinking of doing this in February!
    Christine

  • IrishFlair says:

    In Meath, just north of Dublin there’s a self catering place in the seaside village of Bettystown
    The Cottages.  Be sure to check out their Attractions/Links page of things nearby to see and do.  And, of course, Katherine’s pages here on DoChara.com for lots of things to see and do.

    On the west coast, I suggest a B&B closer to a larger town, like Ennis in Co Clare, so that if the weather is bad you haveplenty of options for things to do indoors but if it’s good you are also in a central location and can make plenty of day trips.  Any B&b suggested by DoChara.com in or around Bunratty would work or, closer to Ennis, Lakeside Country Lodge just outside Ennis get great reviews.

    Dingle and Kinsale are both lovely areas but both are also quite a distance from either airport you mentioned and it would be a shame if you had to spend the first half of the day you arrive, as well as the last half of the day you depart, just driving from airport to B&B and back.  If you were staying longer, perhaps a week or so, then either Dingle or Kinsale would be perfect. 

    Hope this helps!

    Safe travels,

    Wendy

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