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I am looking for some help in visiting the western part of Ireland.  We are a party of 6 (2 seniors, 2 parents with their 2 children ages 4 and 20 months).  We are going to a wedding on June 18th at Dromoland Castle and plan to tour the next 6 days.  What do you recommend for us and 2 children?
Any help would be greatly appreciated,

ANSWER: Pam, sorry for the late reply; visitors have my time taken up the last few days :-)

Can I ask you a few questions before I answer you...

1) Have you a car for the duration of your stay?
2) Have you accommodation booked as well?
3) When and where will you be returning to the US from?
4) Anything/s you'd have an interest in?

I won't be as late with my reply this time round!



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Yes we have 2 cars.  We are in the process of looking for a house in a central area of our day trips and maybe near a beach for the grandchildren to play on. It was recommended to us to look at ‘Stay houses’ – any thoughts?  We are returning to US early Saturday morning (6/25) from Shannon.  

Here is our rough itinerary but we are open to suggestions:
Thursday 6/16 Arrive 7am – Get cars, check into hotel.  Maybe do Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Friday 6/17 – Spanish point, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin.  
Saturday 6/18 – wedding
Sunday 6/19 – maybe Blarney Castle
Monday 6/20 – Drive to Galway stops at Burren/Lisdoornarva
Tuesday 6/21 – Galway - Connemara Nat'l Park & Kylemore Abby
Wednesday 6/22 – Aran Islands *
Thursday 6/23 – **
Friday 6/24 – Day trip to Westport and Ashford Castle.  Sleep in Shannon area.
Saturday 6/25 – Leave on 9:05 flight from Shannon
* Can we take a car ferry to the island and where do we get it?
** Need suggestions
We welcome any and all suggestions.  Thank you so much for your help.

Pam, a few suggestions and observations....

If possible try and keep your driving on day one to a bare minimum, simply because you'll be tired and you'll need to get used to driving on left hand sided roads.  Also, the roads in this part of the world are poor and narrow and they can be daunting at times so you'll need your wits about you.   Get some bed rest and lunch and then .   

Bunratty is a good place to base yourself for a trip to the Burren and Clare.  It would be a nice way to ease yourself in the week and to prepare yourself for the wedding the day after.   
The Cliffs of Moher are fantastic and are mobility friendly and will easily see away 3 hours without a problem.  Another spot to call into is Caherconnell.  There is an excellent ring fort here and a session of wonderful sheepdog trials.  Oh and do Lisdoonvarna with the cliffs; it's a few miles away.  The Roadhouse is excellent for food; check out their home smoked fish and home brewed beers.

Blarney Castle is about 2 hours drive from Bunratty; again you may be tired from the wedding the day before so an easy tour could be wise here!   The grounds are fantastic as well and in some peoples eyes, better than kissing the stone itself :-)

On Galway and Conamara and Westport, it will be at least 3 hours drive to here from Bunratty so a change of hotel could save you time on the road.  Perhaps take this leg on a little earlier in the week.  There is a lot of scenery to take in this part of the world  A couple of other things to see; Westport House is the ancestral home to the Pirate Queen Grainne Úaill; there is also the Famine Museum in Castlebar while the Ceide Fields are believed to be evidence of the worlds oldest farming settlement.  

There are no public car ferries to the Aran Islands so if you visit them then you can hire a driver or cab as required.    There is a boat to the Island from Doolin and Rossnaveal and there are shuttle flights to and from the mainland as well.

Lastly, for the last day you could fit in your day trip to Galway or one to Limerick.  If you go to Galway do note that traffic is crazy.   Consider driving to Oranmore and getting a train from here if you are approaching from the south.

Any more questions then let me know.


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David Walsh


I am one of two Ireland Expert's on this site resident in the country and and a citizen of Ireland. I have travelled all over Ireland and I have been in every county at least once and have seen a lot of what happens in this country. A lifelong resident of Dublin, I know the city very very well and have seen all sorts of interesting nuggets and corners; wee shops in funny places and pubs that have the best beer and food. I also write table and pub quizzes so I know a little bit about everything, so to speak, including some of the quirky stuff! If it's about Dublin, I'll be hard pressed not to know something about it; the pubs, sights, history, stories and more so try your luck on me! NB, if you are asking questions relating to suggested sights things to see in Ireland or suggested travel itinerary's, I'd appreciate it if you have a wee look through my past answers first off; it may give you the information that you require already.


I have been working as a taxi driver for several years so I know every nook and cranny of Dublin. As somebody who studied media, I am also interested in transport and current affairs and am passionate about Ireland, Irish affairs and Irish life. I've traveled the country over the years and have seen many of Ireland wonderful sites and sights, some well known; others less so! I've also done some tour guide work taking people around the country so I'm well travelled and well sussed as to what's where.

I have an Irish Leaving Certificate; I also undertook the first year of a H Dip in Radio with Journalism, so it goes without saying that my communication skills are up there.
While I lack latin certs on my wall, life experience has left me with a lot of common sense experience that no institution can teach you.

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