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Mlle. Zabzie

Holiday in Ireland

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If you were theoretically planning a holiday in Ireland with your sister for next summer, what might you want to do?  Last time the two of you traveled, you went to the Lake District and hiked (based yourself in a B&B near Windermere and selected various hikes nearby - strenuous walking ok).  Said sister is walking the West Highland Way this summer.  You theoretically love to hike and walk, but also adore history and literature.  You also like your creature comforts.  You have in the back of your mind that you might take your 8 year olds with you but are thinking that might be dumb, but in any case would like suggestions that could include them.  Hive mind....GO!

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Posted (edited)

The Guinness brewery tour in Dublin was pretty cool, but not for kiddos. Rock of Cashel was a really beautiful place to visit, so were the Cliffs of Moher. National Maritime Museum was great. 

Mostly I just loved driving around through the countryside while we were over there. Rolling green hills forever. Most beautiful place I've ever been. But I haven't been very many places :P

Edited by KiDisaster

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I've never really been to Ireland for anything particularly family friendly but I'd assume if you're flying from the US you'd be flying into Dublin and it's nice city. Not a bad place to start and I don't think you'll have too much difficulty finding historically interesting places to visit in Dublin.

For kids the viking amphibious boat tour's quite fun in an over the top way. I think I'd have quite liked it as an 8 year old anyway.

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The Book of Kells if you have never been there before is a must for anyone who worships books.   It also don't take too long so less time for kids to get bored.

 

Ask @Peadar about hiking up the stairs of Cirith Ungol.    I did make it to the top, but it broke me.   Yes Peadar I've not forgotten, even if I have forgiven.   He can tell you its offical name and more about it.

 

there are lots of ruins    Towers / Abbeys  ect dotted around.   always fun to explore.

 

as for more specifics   you need someone much more local than me.

 

 

 

Oh and I will be failing in my duties of Con Advertisement  if I don't mention that if you wait a year, you could combine this with a Worldcon in Dublin (voting on it this year)    and/or  Eurocon - TitanCon in Belfast the week after.  

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My relatives are from County Donegal so i'm partial to the West coast, for a summer tour you could enjoy taking the Wild Atlantic Way route from the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal and just work your way south along the coast . The Way goes clear to County Cork in the South so you will never run out of places to explore on this itinerary. http://www.thewildatlanticway.com/

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We just got back from our latest trip to Ireland (and Rome).  Our son is 10 and we've included him in all of our trips there and he's done all the below with us since he was two.

East coast: get a nice hotel (lots of options in central Dublin south of the Liffey if you want nightlife, or somewhere like Dunboyne Castle outside of Dublin if you prefer quiet and historical) and visit locations like Newgrange (ancient history; also Knowth and Dowth are similar and very close by), Trim Castle (medieval history, very well restored), Glendalough (hiking and early Christian history), Dublina (Viking history) and perhaps a couple of other spots like Tara (pre-Christian history, hill-walking), Hill of Slane (early Christian history and hill-walking) and Slane Castle all close together.  The James Joyce Ulysses walking tour in Dublin is also good.  Make sure to take in a play at The Abbey, The Gate or The Gaiety.  The National Concert Hall has good recitals throughout the summer; visit the Iveagh gardens while you're there.

West coast: stay in Galway (the Radisson is pretty good) and drive along the Wild Atlantic Way to locations like the Cliffs of Moher (hiking with views), Achill (more hiking with views), take a boat trip out to the Aran Islands (edge of the world, the land time forgot), explore the Aillwee Caves and walk on the Burren.  Hang out in Galway city to enjoy traditional music, street performers and good food, plus the relaxed mindset so different from Dublin.

Southwest coast: drive and hike through the Ring of Kerry, and visit the old fishing towns like Dingle, Kinsale, etc for accommodation, great seafood, boat trips, etc.  Stop at the Rock of Cashel (medieval history) as you drive back from Cork/Kerry to Dublin to get your flight back home.

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The Wild Atlantic Way has excellent walks and cycles. 

The newly branded Ireland Ancient East is covering tourism in the East.

 

personally, I'd split, Dublin and West Cork, somewhere like inchydoney or skibereen will provide water attractions like whale watching, kayaking and surfing, with glorious beaches and walks. 

 

Dublin, you can walk the Wicklow way, Powerscout, djouce mountain, while retaining the culture of the city.

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If you both like hiking/walking holidays, I'd rent a holiday cottage out in the Ring of Kerry area and explore there.  Depending on the weather go out to Skellig Michael one day for some history/hiking/Star Wars.

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I spent part of summer 2015 in Ireland, and can recommend the Book of Kells and Trinity College if you are on a short trip. As Pebbles says, it's definitely a great place for book geeks. The old library there is simply amazing. And of course central Dublin has many other amazing things: the national museums (the national history museum was my favorite).

Outside of Dublin, I very much enjoyed Wexford, on the southeast coast. It's a small enough town that you can walk almost anywhere, or catch a cab as needed. Johnstown Castle, on the outskirts of Wexford, is a wonderful day trip. There are actually two castles there (Johnstown and Rathlannon), plus tower ruins scattered everywhere. The lakes and bridges and ivy and old statues are just wonderful. Wexford itself is ancient, and you can spend a great deal of time just visiting abandoned churches, abbeys, monasteries, chapels, towers, etc.

Cork was my favorite city in Ireland. Small enough to feel inviting, but big enough to spend days exploring. It's easy for tourists to get around the city center. So many cool sites, as well. And Blarney Castle on the outskirts.

 

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I just did a trip to Ireland earlier this year, focussing mainly on the West coast. Some trip highlights:

- Galway is a vibrant city and a really good base to explore that part of the country. Have a wander down Shop Street there and you'll find (very good) buskers every 20 metres and a pub doing live music in between. The nice thing about staying there is you have easy access to Connemara, The Burren and the Aran Islands, all beautiful places to explore.

- Of the trips we made from Galway, my favourite was the Aran Islands. There's a company that offers flights out to Inish Mor (the main island) that give you great views as you arrive. It's twice the price of the ferry but IMO is worth it for the experience. The island itself is great to explore by bike. The fort at Dun Aenghus is worth a visit, but my favourite part of the island is a place called 'The Wormhole'. It's like a massive natural swimming pool carved out of the rocks. It's a bit off the beaten track, but Tourist Information can show you how to get there and the walk to find it is really cool (lots of weird rock formations and algae that look like alien lifeforms).

- The Cliffs of Moher are worth a visit, but I wouldn't recommend driving straight to the visitor's centre. Instead, park in the nearby town (Doolin) and walk along from there. When we went (April) we had the walk pretty much to ourselves, and it is spectacular! (Perhaps less so if you don't like heights...)

- We spent a few days on the Dingle peninsula. It's a really beautiful landscape with some amazing beaches (definitely check out Inch Beach if you go - the name gives a VERY misleading idea of its length). Whether or not you should visit might depend on the time of year you're planning to go though. April was perfect - not too busy and there happened to be an Arts Festival on while we were there. My understanding is that it gets pretty rammed in high season though, which might spoil its charms somewhat.

Hope those are helpful!

ST

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Posted (edited)

I went with my sister in the summer of 2015.   We started out in based in Dublin, then drove up to Belfast for a few days then over to Derry for a few more, followed by a couple days in Galway before coming back to Dublin.   My sister was originally going to go alone but invited me a long and I had never been but always wanted to visit.  As you can see we basically did the north part of the island.  We would base ourselves out of those cities and drive all over.  I thoroughly enjoyed driving there while some people may be intimidated by the switch from the side of the rode and vehicle that they are used to.  We found cool things every place we went.  We did the most hiking at the Giant's Causeway.  The only place I didn't drive to was the Cliffs of Moher.  There was a pretty cool tour available in Galway that not only took you to the Cliffs of Moher but also a boat ride out to the Aran Islands and the bottom of the cliffs as well. I believe it was around 45 Euros per person for that trip.

Don't be like my sister and do little research about the weather and such.  Maybe because I've already been to several other countries I knew to find out things like how much it rains there, where as this was my sister's first trip out of the US.  So while we where on the boat ride back from the Aran Islands and a small squall whipped up, I was relatively dry as I had a rain jacket while she got soaked.  I was not about to reward her failure to research by letting her use my rain jacket.  Nope I did her the courtesy of letting her learn a lesson. ;)   We both want to go back and do a southern loop of island. 

Here are a bunch of pictures we took

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157656569873751/with/19985271019/

and some videos too

https://www.youtube.com/user/isgrimner/videos

Edited by Isgrimner

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Great ideas here.  I echo everything. Probably needs more Donegal.  And can go on GoT tour in the North if inclined also.

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Now that the WorldCon 2019 is in Ireland - you can hold off for the year, and then party for 2 weeks - one week for the sister and the 2nd week for the cool kids! :D

 

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I hate to break it to you, but the buskers in Galway are pretty bad now.

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