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Old 09-20-2019, 11:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
We are planning a trip next spring - originally to Ireland, but now my daughter wants to add London and a few days in England and a ferry to Ireland for about a week visit. That seems a bit involved to me. Has anyone attempted that? (Fly into London, ferry ride to Ireland, and fly out of Dublin or Shannon?)

They do have trains in Ireland.
They also have a great network of buses. We bused around southern Ireland. The buses were cheap, WIFI equipped, air conditioned and on time.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
They also have a great network of buses. We bused around southern Ireland. The buses were cheap, WIFI equipped, air conditioned and on time.
Interesting. Can you take a large sized piece of luggage on the bus? I imagine that would be a hassle -- say getting to Kinsale from Dublin with luggage on a bus.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FrannyBear View Post
Interesting. Can you take a large sized piece of luggage on the bus? I imagine that would be a hassle -- say getting to Kinsale from Dublin with luggage on a bus.
We both had carry on sized bags and a backpack each. We stored them in the overhead bin or sometimes just kept the backpack on our lap.

In general I don't recommend traveling overseas with big bags. Between lots of stairs and cobbled streets you will hate having a large bag.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:47 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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If reluctant to drive, I would also consider / self tour between major places (Hubs) and get 'drivers' from each hub. More familiar with local area and sites / events. You could bus, fly, rail between hubs.
https://www.irishtourism.com/indepen...land/rail/4769

Ireland is a considerable distance to cover / be with one tour - host.

We rented a car for a month, but didn't have any trouble. Was nice you could pay the tolls at local stores. (no toll booths)
One device that helped enhance our Ireland tour was Maps.me app, using 'Historical sites' search.

Definitely see some documentaries and movies and videos / library / guest speakers featuring Ireland history before you go.


We stayed with locals, but used a few Air B&B's (which were terrible in Ireland). I would use the Ireland B&B industry to find stays. I do not like staying in hotels when traveling internationally and seeking advice / information / local cultural engagement (Ireland is rich in that!). We attended a lot of 'pub nights', locals getting together for music jam sessions.

Don't miss the Botanical Garden in Dublin (Free)
See if you can obtain this card (as non Irish) http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/info/heritagecards/
UK requires USA citizens to purchase similar from Royal Oak in USA BEFORE you arrive in UK. (including N Ireland)
https://www.royal-oak.org/
https://www.royal-oak.org/join/

https://traveltips.usatoday.com/hist...urs-14780.html

PS: Yes... downsize the baggage...
We only have 'overhead' bags / backpacks for our one yr RTW. That was a good choice. Plenty of resale stores for used clothes if you need something more. ('Re-donate' on your way out of the country)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 09-20-2019 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:55 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
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I agree on not taking large bags, they are nothing but trouble, you only need a few changes of clothes & you can wash small things in the sink each night. Driving in Ireland is a challenge, out in the country, the locals seem to drive in the middle of the road all the time, so when a car is oncoming, you have to pull in towards the ditch, which is normally full of thorns so it is easy to get paint damage. So I agree with your decision not to drive.
I recommend picking 2 or 3 areas, & exploring them well. Most of the tourist hubs will have plenty of day trips in vans which are easy to book & you get the guide ( driver ) also. The Wild Atlantic way is beautiful & don't just do the Kerry side, the Cork side is wonderful too.
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:06 PM
 
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I agree with @evening sun. To that I will add the larger cities in Ireland hold little appeal. The small towns are were the good music, charm and food are. Dingle was our favorite. Make sure to see the coasts: Wild Atlantic Way, Ring of Kerry and Dingle Way.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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I would NOT advise taking the ferry. Fly into Dublin and don't pick up a rental car until you're ready to leave the city. You'll have sore shoulders for the first couple of days but the traffic is light. Don't skip Belfast, beautiful little jewel box of a city. Be sure to hit the Crown Pub. You'll have a great time!
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Surf City, NC
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I drove around Ireland on our visit two years ago. Those narrow winding roads are a trip. And shifting with my left hand. I should have taken the extra glass and tire insurance because I knocked the side mirror on a post by the road into town one day and another day lost a tire when I hit a rock on the edge of the road. I didn't realize that narrow winding road was lined with sharp rocks, they were hidden by the beautiful greenery. I had a tendency to steer too close to the left, off the edge of the pavement. It was all worth it though, beautiful country. We were staying in the west,so flew in and out of Shannon. It's much smaller and more convenient than Dublin.
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:43 PM
 
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I took a bus from London, ferry to Ireland and stayed in Tramore for the night. And then traveled through Ireland along the west coast (Ring of Kerry etc) up to Galway and then to Dublin and across to Wales. I stayed in Wales for awhile as well. It was absolutely beautiful. I loved that I did it alone too. There was no one to really bother me or stop me from going places. Definitely recommend.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:00 PM
 
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Quote:
I have never been to the North - a separate country - but understand it's now a very interesting locale, especially Belfast & for Game of Thrones fans.

Belfast and the north are beautiful. I went years ago and would like to go back post-GOT. I went solo and rented a car in Belfast and once you got going, it was OK (I've also been to New Zealand 5 times where they also drive on the "wrong" side of the car/road). I took the bus from Dublin to Belfast (getting the car in the north was about half the price of the south).



I'd also recommend Counties Sligo and Donegal in the northwest corner. They were probably my favorites.


As for the ferry - I flew into Dublin and then when I left, I took the ferry to Wales and London and flew out of Heathrow.
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