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Forums » Ireland » Need help in deciding how to do Ireland

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Need help in deciding how to do Ireland

by /bio/walter-and-joy »

My wife and I are in our 60's and would like to visit Ireland next year. When is the best time of year to go and should we do a tour or do it on our own? We like nature, history and I'm excited about going to real Irish pubs! My wife has heard good things about Blarney Castle, so I think the itinerary has to include that (or should it? Would love any and all advise). Thank you.

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RE: Need help in deciding how to do Ireland

by /bio/pauline-frommer »

Though its high season, I like summer best for Ireland. The weather is the most pleasant and it stays sunny longer. I'm not the greatest fan of Blarney Castle (too touristy for me), but if you want to make that a centerpoint of a trip, you could have a lovely time exploring County Cork, and maybe heading into County Wicklow as well for wonderful nature sites. You don't need a tour to do so, though you will have to be comfortable driving on the other side of the road.

Erin go bragh!

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RE: Need help in deciding how to do Ireland

by /bio/katetf66 »

I am 50 and just got back from Ireland.  I can't rave enough about my experiences.  I had advantage of a couple friends in Northern Ireland to show me around the first two days and then I did two days alone in Dublin (easy to do). 

But the best part was the last 6 days of my trip.  Dave O'Conner of Wolfhound Tours was someone I found just through online searches but it turned out to be fabulous experience and now I'm eager to go back and do Northern Ireland with him.

He is a tour guide who has a small van (12 max) and pulls a trailer with bikes.  He has history and literature major and spent lots time telling us about folk lore, history, politics old and new, cultural tidbits,etc. about Ireland.   He's funny and easy-going but brilliant about his country.

He also was ALL about non-touristy places, the REAL Ireland and when we'd arrive in a town he gave us the low down on which pubs were just locals talking, which would have live music, which musicians were good, where to eat,etc.  We had some infirmed older folks with us, a family of 6 and four of us on our own.  He would ask the group their preferences and then he'd give us hikers a chance to do a 2 hour hike, he'd drop the older folks along the road for an easier 30 minute walk and he'd put the family on bicycles,etc.  I got a chance to ride bike, hang on beach, hike 4-5 days of the six and spent one morning shopping. Another gal did kayaking, others did horsebackriding on beach.     It's an active tour but you can customize it a bit how you want within the options he offers you.  I feel like I got to see plenty of landscapes, ruins, but mostly real people, smal villages and learned a LOT.     He stays at simple but clean and nice bed and breakfasts with GOOD breakfast options (hot and cold).  He gives options for lunch of pup vs stopping by store to get picnic to have somewhere cool...and then makes recommendations for dinner on your own.   He chose sites that mostly didn't have entrance fee and when they did it was 4-6 euros, not bad. 

 

I went on the St Pat's route which combines South and a bit of West.  I think the Northern or SW/South routes would be best...not sure if did pure West.  But the Cliff of Mohrer were one of my favorite hikes, so maybe pick something that includes that or the north where they walk along Giants Causeway perhaps.   I think you should look him up. He books quickly so might be full for this season.  Only bad thing about St Pat's trip was that some shops weren't open and flowers weren't blooming yet...I think April-June would be ideal time to be there....but we had NO rain (miracle, sunny days and 50 degrees most days) so all in all it was great.  When packing for Ireland you can stay casual but do bring water proof hiking shoes.  Seems like fields often muddy or what I'd call spongy.  :)

 

 

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