Ireland. Talk to me… want to take the family on holiday there

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  • Ireland. Talk to me… want to take the family on holiday there
  • Zedsdead
    Member

    This year I want to take the family on holiday to Ireland. When I was a nipper I remember going to Southern Ireland (near Cork, on the coast) and I loved it.

    I'm looking on advice on what's good, anything to avoid? Is it expensive (I'm imagining it to be similar to here (Scotland). Where should we go with the kids etc. The kids are 5, 7 and 10.

    I'm going to get the ferry and drive over, I know I can go using my driving license as ID therefor I don't need a passport. The wife also has a license but do the kids need passports?

    Thanks

    shooterman
    Member

    I have taken the kids a few times ro Clonakilty which is on the coast of Cork.

    I can email you details of an hotel which is very family oriented and has entertainment for the kids all day and every night. The local cinema is located within its grounds.

    There is also a fantastic beach nearby with a surf school running all summer. The local eateries are fantastic and one may have a michelin star from memory.

    Cork City is not far away as is Fota Wildlife Park.

    No to passports its the EU (tell me you're not serious?!) 😆

    Cork's great but I highly recommend Rosses Point Sligo for camping beautiful area, good fishing, scenery, Sligo's great, surfing at Strandhill or try Donegal, beautiful and rugged but not lots for the kids to do. Try camping near Port Salon and a stroll along the massive beaches to Ritas bar or go further north to Dunfanaghey.

    Premier Icon Blackhound
    Subscriber

    Mr Nutts response on other thread,(where I have babbled on) of Ashford Castle is very nice. My cousin worked there, not sure she didn't go back there after a stint in US.

    MrNutt
    Member

    oh I missed that! /dashes of to read said babbling!

    mafiafish
    Member

    Kerry is really nice with lots to keep the kids interested. Fantastic beaches with cystal water. Blarney castle is good fun as is Dingle bay.

    It'll be dearer but warmer 😉
    If you want sandy beaches near Dublin go to Skerries, if you want views go up North. Or ignore all and head South and West. BTW Is it still flooded over there in Cork?
    It also is true, sadly, that a pint of the black stuff is well over 4 Euro here and a bottle of Grouse some 25+.

    It's bloody expensive..especially if we haven't recovered against the euro.

    If you're heading West, then there are two places I'd try and see (depending on which ferryport you're headed for). Firstly, as you've already said, West Cork/Kerry are both absolutely beautiful. The three main peninsulas that jut out into the Atlantic (one is West Cork, the other two on top are Kerry) are all stunning with amazing sandy beaches, the likes of which I've never come across here. Dingle is worth a visit, if only for the view that greets you over the top of the Conor Pass – ahhh, brings a lump to my throat thinking about it. Can be a bit touristy, but head on beyond Dingle to Slea Head, where you can see the Blasket Islands and the mighty Atlantic.

    The Ring of Kerry is a scenic route that is well beaten by tourists but worth doing just for the scenery around Killarney.

    Cork city itself is nice with friendly locals and great pubs.

    The other part of the west not to be missed is Connemara, mid west (Counties Mayo and Galway) – bleak, beautiful glaciated scenery. Stunning walks and cycles. Quiet roads, amazing little pubs and restaurants where you least expect them.

    If you're driving, then you'll be fine without passports…but they're handy for ID in case you're checked. The kids won't need any.

    Closer to the time, contact me if you want any more details on places to see/miss.

    Rathlin island on the NE is a good day out, could be incorporated into your drive to Donegal. The ferry ride over (take the passenger ferry :D) and the RSPB bird reserve are brilliant, especially if you get old boy driving the bus (I'd swear he had to stop at the top of the hills for rest even though he was driving, great banter though).

    Once back on dry land you could continue west via the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giant's Causeway.

    oh, and take a road bike, especially if you go anywhere near Horn Head at Dunfanaghy!

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    I go over a fair bit these days. Love it.

    I have been finding that accomodation and food is not too bad on price. Beer will make your eyes water though!

    Last year I started in Dublin, over to Doolin on the Co. Clare coast (which is a wonderful place btw, could be a good spot for you to head too). Then down the coast to Kerry (which is my second suggestion of where to head), along the south coast (not too bothered by that bit… going back for another try this year though… probably) then upto my third suggestion, the Wicklow Mountains. It was a great trip.

    This year there are potentially 2 trips. First will be Doolin and north to Donegal and back down the Antrim coast. The second would be following the Shannon down to Limerick and then loop around through Cork and back up (on motorbikes).

    If you want another suggestion – the Antrim Coast. I go there every year and love the place 😉

    Great scenery, loads to see and do, fantastic folk… and if you go to Doolin I can tell you where Father Teds house is… you can go there for tea (actually)

    Zedsdead
    Member

    We're taking the kids so the price of alcohol doesn't matter.

    Thanks for the replies. Anymore info is very welcome.

    Cheers

    Underhill
    Member

    RobS, sorry to say I was terribly disappointed by Doolin last time I was there. I'd been about 12 years ago & it was beautiful, totally unspoilt with just a couple of wee pubs in the 1-street village.
    Went back 2 years ago to find it was surrounded by these hideous modern apartments and a hotel taking up the hillside & twee little gift shop/restaurants. Gutted.

    However, plenty of fantastic scenery still to see in the area, like the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren. As long as you can avoid the tourist crowds of course… 😉

    But getting back to OPs original preferred area, Kerry & West Cork are some of the best scenery you'll ever see. It's not just the view, if you can pick up on the whole Celtic vibe thing, it's sort of spiritual too.

    And no, that doesn't sound gay

    Underhill
    Member

    Oh yeah, and everything in Rep. of Ireland is about 1.5 times the price of the UK. Eating out is ridiculous even if you're not drinking. It's such an expensive place to live that dole money was sitting around €200 per fortnight IIRC.

    Zedsdead
    Member

    Thanks people, looking into it a bit more and We'll be arriving in Larne. Skerries sounds pretty good with the beaches.

    I'm pretty open to suggestions, although I suspect the kids would love beaches and hopefully some nice weather…

    Thinking of renting a house or similar for us to stay in at a reasonable price. Hotels unfortunately are out as paying for 5 gets rather pricey.

    Cheers

    Zedsdead
    Member

    really! 1.5 times as much, wow! I didn't think it was that much…

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    I wasn't finding food prices too bad last year – and that was eating out a fair bit. Pub grub was broadly similar in price, though we were sticking to some fairly small backwater type places! Prices in Dublin scare me 😉

    I agree on Doolin being a bit trashed by modern developments, but it is in such a fantastic location (gotta love The Burren, but then I used to be an archaeologist – give me megaliths and I am a happy man!)

    Going to try The Berra Peninsula if the motorbike tour happens this year as that is supposed to be much better than The Ring of Kerry (which I quite enjoyed anyway!)

    Other thing from Doolin area – you can get out to The Arran Islands. Didn't manage it last year so hopeing to do that in April when I am back out again (photography trip)

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    If you are heading into Larne… I would be tempted to stay in NI and head up the Antrim coast. There are some great beaches along there… give Bally Castle a try as it is pretty well placed. You get Rathlin Island for a jaunt, one of the best chippies on the planet (at the harbour) and a beach on your doorstep!

    I will be there in September 😉

    I do seem to be heading to Ireland a lot these days!!!

    Premier Icon addy6402
    Subscriber

    Antrim coast seconded – Belfast has lots to see/do, then drive north and west, ending up in Derry. A great trip, lots of fantastic views, beaches, Murlough Bay, Bushmills Distillery, Carrick-a-rede, Mussenden Temple, Dunluce castle, Giants Causeway etc etc. Enjoy!

    Premier Icon votchy
    Subscriber

    Shooterman,

    wifes family are from Ardfield, just outside Clonakilty, would also recommend that area too, miles and miles of sandy beaches etc and about 45mins from Cork airport. Beautiful part of the country although, as most of Ireland, there's not much to do if it rains (and it will!!).

    wheelz
    Member

    If you decide to go North to the Antrim Coast then have a look at the cottages for rent here:

    Maddybenny Cottages

    Literally five minutes from Portrush and ten minutes from Portstewart, which has a massive beach.

    Plenty to do in the local area and there is a pony trekking/horse riding centre on site for the kids.

    We used to go up there for the New Year and it was excellent.

    For riding around the area check out Trailbadger

    BlindMelon
    Member

    + 1 for Antrim Coast, Londonderry and Donegal. Spend a few days travelling up to Donegal then rent a house up there. Try http://www.donegalcottageholidays.com, We go to the Rathmullan area every summer, great beaches, walks etc and only 20 mins from Letterkenny for cinema, childrens play place and swimming pool on rainy days. Also the prices in NI are similar to UK so you could stock up before the border

    Irish_AL
    Member

    head north west if you are taking your bike and look out for Glenveagh national park ( http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/ )great visitors centre, castle and think from memory there is even an art gallery there, but the riding is great and as for ther decent from the top of the mountain along the side of the lough to the castle is just stunning,one of our best kept secret's so keep it to your self 😉 its has been used for a lot of tv shows and movies in the past

    I should point out that I'm from near Larne so yes the Antrim coast is pretty spectacular

    You might want to look at the Irish Landmark Trust properties the one below is very near home, in fact I can see my parents place in one of the pics – lovely spot and you can see Scotland from there on a clear day

    http://www.irishlandmark.com/PropertyInformation.aspx?propertyid=15

    Zedsdead
    Member

    This is great information, thanks everyone, looking like it should be a good holiday.

    Would you reccomend staying in one place as a base the whole time or moving around?

    Cheers

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    Depends where you go and for how long. If it's a week I would be tempted to stay put and get to know one area reasonably well. If you are going for a couple of weeks why not hire a cottage in Antrim for the first week, and then head somewhere else for the second with another cottage?

    I should point out that I'm from near Larne so yes the Antrim coast is pretty spectacular

    All the nicer now that you're not there… 😆

    With kids I'd say stay in one place and look around. Antrim coast has plenty to do as has Kerry or Sligo. In Donegal you can always base yourself to be near ish Letterkenny or Delhi/Londondehli the Inishowen would be a good base. (you can even drive to the TOP service station in Muff and get a TOP Muff key ring!)

    Ah sure Dougal, it'll be grand so….

    Thanks deadly – I guess it's the sign 'welcome to loyalist Larne' that did it for me! 😉

    Zedsdead
    Member

    Well, it looks like we're going to County Meath, not far from Drogheda. Small village – lovely little cottage. I think the kids will have fun, looks very nice. Hopefully a beach not too far.
    It's not too far from the border so as someone said above – we can stock up on the way.

    Thanks to all for their help, I now plan to visit all the other places too….

    Cheers all

    Remember how to pronounce Meath (and neighbouring Louth for that matter) – it's Meath with a soft "th" as in "the" not as in "teeth"

    BlindMelon
    Member

    [Thanks deadly – I guess it's the sign 'welcome to loyalist Larne' that did it for me!]

    Its gone TS, we were moving forward until that auld tart made us a laughing stock again!

    andyl46
    Member

    If entering larne, the A2 coast road is a must. The glens of Antrim etc on route to the north coast.

    If you want to stay somewhere with a nearby beach, walking or cycling, national trust property [Mussenden Temple, downhill house and Black Glen], easy access to the north coast's tourist attractions (giants causeway, Old Bushmills distillery, carrick a rede rope bridge, the Walled city of [London]derry, Portrush and portstewart [holiday resorts])

    then my parents rent out a place there, see

    http://www.castlerockbeachhouse.co.uk/

    for details.

    Photos of Castlerock and the surrounding area are here

    The promenade with a candyfloss sky

    It has train access if you dont want to drive, Portrush has some great places to eat and Barry's, a funfair/amusement arcade thing, and Kelly's rather famous nightclub (and Lush if you like proper clubbing). Castlerock is a smallish village with easy access to towns for shopping eating or entertainment.

    If you are interested, let me know.

    BillMC
    Member

    I'm a great fan of Easky, great little village packed with pubs and music (particularly the Lobster Pot) and the Easky Rights provide serious surfing.

    antigee
    Member

    I know I can go using my driving license as ID

    is that still correct? recall seeing posters on ferry last year or year before saying regulations where changing, i was surprised because hadn't realised it was still an open border – might be worth checking

    Zedsdead
    Member

    Andy, if you had posted last night…. Ah well, next year. Looks very nice BTW

    antigee, I haven't heard of it changing? I did wonder myself and searched the net to find Photo license is fine. Just made the bookings and was told the same on the phone.

    Cheers all

    andyl46
    Member

    If you are travelling into larne still, no one will be looking for a passport at the border to the south, In fact, until the road signs change, chances are you wont notice you've crossed it!

    Zedsdead
    Member

    Yes, we'll arrive in Larne and drive down. There's a beach 15 minutes away, Dublin is a half hour (Dublin Zoo looks good for the kids), there's loads of stuff to go see and do, it sounds great!

    Glad I asked here, looking forward to it now… Just need to save up the spending pennies now… lol

    Oh, and I think the official line is that if coming in via ferry then photo ID is fine. If arriving by flight then a passport is advised.

    We were originally going to go to France but the cost of passports (£310!!!!!!!!) was simply too much to stomach. The fast ferry return including car is less than that.

    sv
    Member

    When you get of the ferry keep driving until you are well clear of the town! Thankfully you don't need to enter the town of you are heading south/Belfast way.

    Casa Pasta in Howth is nice for a family tea and then a stroll alongside the marina to the ice cream shop!

    +1 for Howth and Howth head

    If your heading into Dublin yes Dub Zoo is good but also make time to see the National Botanic Gardens and John Kavanagh's Bar (the Grave Diggers) at Glasnevin.

    In and around Drogheda New Grange is well worth a visit as is the Battle of the Boyne centre.

    Newcastle and the Mountains of Mourne are just up the road which will allow you to avoid Dundalk! 😆

    http://www.drogheda.ie/cms/publish/heritageattractions.php

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