a VirtualTourist member from Orlando
I went through Dingle a couple years ago and fell in love. I have convinced the bride to be to spend 4 or 5 days here in the middle of March. How is the weather this time of year (we are both from sunny Florida) and is it better to fly into Shannon or Cork? I have never rented a car in Ireland (was too young before) but have decided to have a go this time round. What would be a couple great day trips from this area? She loves towns lined with old, beautiful buildings. This is her first time out of the country, so I want this trip to convince her to come back the following year for a couple of weeks. Thank you for any suggestions or advice.
I think flying into Cork would be best as you are looking for towns which you will find mostly north of Cork towards Dublin. For scenery west Cork would be best it also holds some beautiful smaller villages and is not a million miles from Dingle
Shannon (west side)is a very beautiful area, but is more remote with less towns and villages, not a nice place to be in cold wet weather.
The weather is a bit upside down at the moment, for example up here in the north we have had really mild weather in January, roses were budding, grass starting to grow, butterflies were even spotted!
March is usually showery and breezy and there can be snow showers even into April but heaven knows what will blow in.
Advantages of going to Cork: if the weather is good you can drive to west Cork and onto Dingle enjoying the scenery and little villages, weather bad: you can visit larger towns further north with more to do/see indoors.
Anyway, have a great time on your visit
Shannon is your best bet for first time driving. It is easily navigated and small. I too would suggest a drive down the coast and across on the Killimer/Tarbert Ferry, ww.shannonferries.com to get to Dingle. You will need a full day to explore the Dingle Peninsula. You can do a day trip to Killarney and a day trip to Cashel & Cahir. If you've not set up your lodgings yet, I know that the Shores, http://www.theshorescountryhouse.com/, comes highly recommended here and on other boards.
Slan Agus Beannacht,
"No way would I fly into Cork"??? We do it all the time and don't have the slightest problem because the airport is WEST of the city and you don't have to go anywhere near the central busy portion. It's quite easy to just get on the highway going west toward Dingle.
Here are some sites you and your bride might enjoy:
I want to throw my 2c in and say don't miss the Ring of Kerry. As memory serves and w/out looking it up first, I want to say that if you're in Dingle it's right there.
I went to Ireland back in 1978 so forgive my fuzzy memory of exact locations. However, I will never forget the beauty of the Ring of Kerry.
Have a great trip!
The Ring of Kerry is beautiful, it's true, but lots of people think the Dingle peninsula and Slea Head Drive are much nicer. They'll probably have time to do both, though, and can decide for themselves.
By the way, congratulations on your marriage, and best wishes for a happy life together.
Thank you [VT member 93f85] so much for the input! I had already booked the flight into Cork =p Now I am kind of scared to drive there. We are going to stay the whole time in Dingle. We will spend a couple days exploring the peninsula, 1 day trip to Killarney and then 1 more day trip still undecided (I wonder if we could make it to Cashel and back). Realistically, is it possible for us to make it to see Blarney Castle on our first day? The flight lands at 12 noon, and we plan to be in Dingle that night. Thanks [VT member 93f85], you guys are great. I wish I wouldn't have booked the tickets before I got responses. Look right, stay left. Look right, stay left. I will be practicing this mantra.
As`I tried to tell you, it is very, very easy to get out of the Cork airport and head for the west, where Dingle is, without the need to go into the city of Cork itself. We do it two or three times each year and it is very simple. Just make note before you start out from the airport the numbers of the roads you intend to follow and keep an eye open for roundabouts and junctions. I should think it is quite doable to stop at Blarney on your arrival. It only takes a few hours to get to Dingle, although be aware driving takes a lot longer in Ireland that what you're used to. Also, when you are coming from Killarney you will probably be going to Dingle from Castlemaine. The road here may be hard to spot, so keep a sharp lookout for it.
Have a wonderful trip, and let us know when you return how the trip went.
I read your post and was reassured, but then i thought i would have to drive through town to get up to Blarney. Maybe I can just go around town.
Unfortunately I've never done that, so I can't help with this question. By the way, most cars we've rented in Ireland come with reminders on the dashboard to drive on the left, some with arrows too. Also roads sometimes say "Drive on Left" on something like that.
We usually stay on the Dingle peninsula also. When you go to Killarney for the day, if your wife likes quaint towns you might continue on to Kenmare, which is a lovely place. You'll be amazed at the colors of the houses---brilliant purples, oranges, blues, reds, greens, etc.
Forgot to mention your possible trip to Cashel. It does seem to be possible, if you stick to the main roads, but I'm wonderring if it's really worth going that far, as there are lots of other places closer to Dingle, such as Adare. If you do go to Cashel, you'd have to go first to Tralee, then take the N21 to Limerick (which goes right through Adare, by the way), branch off on the N24 to Tipperary, then take the N74 to Cashel. It could take as much as 4 hours each way, though---or more, if you stop at any of the other well-known cities en route.
If you drive to Blarney via Killarney the road is fabulous and you won't go near Cork city. The drive around Dingle to Slea head is gorgeous. Enjoy your stay.