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Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

Geelong...
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Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

My wife and I are looking for some ideas on a shortish driving trip anywhere in Ireland during your winter. We are pretty active and like to do physical things, as well as checking out sights, history, architecture, old pubs, etc.

We are on a 5 week trip and just spending a few days in Ireland. After spending Xmas with my wife's sister in London, we are hoping to arrive in Belfast on Dec 27th. That is a Sunday and we will hunker down with my uncle and aunty in Ballynahinch. We have a car available and would like to travel around till Dec 31st, where we hope to get back to Ballynahinch for New Years with family and friends.

Our one and only trip was for 5 days, a few years ago and we cruised around meeting relatives and seeing areas that I grew up, Larne, Ballymoney, Glens of Antrim, Craiganorne and a day trip to the Giants Causeway and Portrush. We also did a day trip to Dublin and toured the Guiness factory.

Our aim this time over is to go somewhere different (we have been offered a place to stay at Bushmills but have been in that area before) and to stick to small towns and roads. Does anyone have any good winter, driving suggestions for Dec 28, 29 and 30....possibly doing a loop, starting and finishing at Ballynahinch and not spending too much time driving? Nice hospitable, friendly, Irish pubs will be a big attraction :-))

Some early tips include Thomastown, Dingle, Galway and Sligo.

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County Clare...
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1. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

willnino.

I would not go too far at that time of year.

Have a look at the day length:

timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html…

With Donegal to Sligo and back you will have more than enough in that timeframe - but I see that you have had the good idea to also post on the NI forum, so you will hopefully get good suggestions there.

I would cross Dingle off the list - it is too far at that time of year.

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

Locals from that neck of Ireland will advise you on the best itinerary, but be advised that weather at that time of year can be very bad, and the daylight is very short. It will be absolutely dark by 4pm in December. You could arrive somewhere in total darkness!

ireland
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3. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

please people - it gets dark everywhere in the world in the winter and the way ye are talking it sounds like we all hibernate in the winter time because of the "terrible weather" - Its Ireland, not siberia.

the reality is willnino that if you are confident driver you can drive whereever you want when you are here at any time of year. You have been here before so you know the score.

head down through Sligo, Mayo, and/or Galway and stay a couple of nights - the scenery in all three counties is fab - I would suggest that you leave out dingle tho - it would be too far south for you - nearly the lenght of the country driving.

It sounds like you only have three nights away - why not head to Mayo and then you could maybe take a day trip into Galway or Connemara.

Never mind this "weather" business - the fact is that you can get beautiful crisp sunny blue sky weather in the middle of winter here and you could get downpours in the summer.

Only yesterday, while the rest of Ireland was basking in sun, Donegal had to get rescuers to lift people off their roofs because of intense flooding.

Waterford, Ireland
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4. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

Well of course we can all drive in the dark Whales, but its amazing how much scenery you can't see in the dark, and how frustrating to try and find a b&b in a strange area, in the dark.

ireland
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5. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

LOL

ahhh, as far as I can remember over my decades living here we DO have daylight in Ireland in the winter too and it lasts for ...well....HOURS.

otherwise I think we should just put a sign up - no visitors in winter please, because it gets REALLY dark and you might not be able to see.

County Clare...
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6. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

Whales - the OP has 4 days to play with at the end of December and is considering for example; Belfast to Dingle.

This is maybe an eight or nine hour drive each way (S/he has to be back in Belfast by the 31st) so I think as s/he is asking for advice - and the 7 hour length of day is quite relevant.

I would not like to drive over Connor's pass in the dark on my second day in Ireland after driving 9 hours in possibly poor weather conditions anyway.

ireland
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7. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

agreed Ferdia

and this is why I advised willnino to leave out Dingle - read my post again re. driving the length of Ireland. ;-)

That would be quite far even in the height of the summer to drive with only three or four days.

County Clare...
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8. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

Ooops - sorry Whales, I should take my own advice and read threads before posting:)

Geelong...
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9. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

Thanks everyone for your valued opinions. Our Irish relatives often warn us of the perils of winter but it doesn't faze us, we actually really enjoy that bracing cold....nothing like coming in off the street to a well warmed pub and taking half your clothes off...haha. We are pretty well educated on the daylight deficincies, my wife worked in London for 2 years and it isn't that much worse than what we get here. Bad day it will be dark here by 5 and a brighter winter day, dark by 5.30. I know that is an hour or hour and a half but we are ready for it. I was actually surprised on my last visit (which was my first :-)) with the sunny winter days and the length of daylight, although it was Jan/Feb.

We like to have a short run in each town we can, so don't be surprised to see two blurs out in the morning chill, checking out the sights in running gear.

But those lengths of drive are the great tid bits we are after. Love driving in Ireland but don't want to be in the car too long and will aim to get into the overnight stops before it gets dark, to be able to see around. Glad to hear all of your ideas and thoughts on which towns are good options. Will

County Clare...
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10. Re: Irish experts help needed for Aussie visitors

Have a look at:

http://www.aaireland.ie/routes/

Add maybe 20% onto the time allocated.