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Scenic spots for first time visitor to Ireland?

  • 27-09-2019 8:12am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 709 ✭✭✭ Moyglish


    I have a yank coming over on holidays, first time in Ireland so I really want to show them a good time whilst they're with me and show them the best that the Wesht has to offer, however I'm scratching my head as to where to bring them too.

    Will have about 5 days with them to give them some tours.

    They enjoy nature and nature reserves, cliffs, mountains, beaches, rivers and water reservoirs, so they're quite outdoorsy.

    So far I have come up with the following places to bring them but I'm sure that I'm severely lacking and you folks are so knowledgeable on here that I'm sure there'll be lots of must sees that I'm forgetting but I know you guys will have lots of great suggestions for me to plan the perfect itinerary.

    Salthill
    Barna
    Spiddal
    Clifden, connemara
    Coole Park in Gort
    The Burren - but where exactly?
    Cliffs of Moher
    Ashford Castle - is it still free to drive in through the grounds for a spin and looksie?
    Kylemore Abbey
    Kinvara

    What major sights and tourist attractions am I missing?

    Any particular places of interest to go see in either Connemara or The Burren? Any special beauty spots worth seeing or walks worth doing?

    I'm really wracking my brains on this one as I want to show my guest the best time, so I really would appreciate any input and replies from you more knowledgeable folk on here.

    Thanks!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 w116


    the drive from lahinch to kinvara by the coast is good, maybe skip coole park and go to kilmacdough?

    on the way you have , the cliffs, blackhead, corcomroe, fanore beach, st bridgets well

    if going more northerly go into delphi valley doolough from leenane just over the border into mayo along killary its amazing and a great contrast to the burren.


    its a lot but a few to choose from, hope ye get a sun showery day for the burren the light is amazing, and if the weather is turning bad delphi is stunning.


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ -Vega-


    I've entertained a few tourits before. It's important to remember what we take for granted is a new and amazing experience for them. For example it's not exactly what you asked for.. you must insist on bringing them to the Crane/Neachtains/Tigh Coile. Great vibe in there with the old Irish generation that fits the stereotype but my visitors always found it a lovely experience especially trying their first Guinness there.

    Aran Islands is also a nice option. You mentioned Cliftden, in particular the Sky Road there is beautiful. Blarney Castle + Woolen Mills is nice but the drive is long. Aillwee Caves too.

    Go for a spin out Spiddal side and stop in at Pádraicíns there. It's the bar come restaurant looking out over a lovely beach. Nice fish there.

    O'Connells bar in Salthill is an experience in itself. Make sure thats on the list. Not trying to just list bars, it's not about drinking, it's just the experience.

    Quay street for food or for something fancy ( although not the best food but again the experience ) book a table on the old Orient Express carriage resturaunt in Glenlow Abbey.

    Hope some of this helps, there is only so much seeing the green grass and water you can do so having the immersive atmospheric spots in the city is no harm.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,282 ✭✭✭✭ ben.schlomo


    If you're going to Clifden/Kyle more turn off to the right for Lough Inagh, that road has spectacular scenery across the lake. It brings you out not far from Kylemore then. When in Clifden do the Sky Rd for more amazing scenery, could go as far as Cleggan too, there's a right turn for the beach before you get to the village, excellent views and photo op from the beach looking out to Inisboffin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 ✭✭✭ beardybrewer


    When I was new in town we had a day trip we did a few times that went down well. We'd drive to Ballyvaughan, hit Monks on the pier for food, into the burren and find a dolmen, on to the Cliffs of Moher, then up to Doolin for a stop in O'Connors, then along the coast and loop back home.

    Also a drive up through the Connemara mountains to Kylemore Abbey is a nice option.


  • Registered Users Posts: 591 ✭✭✭ brianwalshcork


    The Burren Perfumery is worth a look, they do explanatory tours and have a nice tea room on site.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭ granturismo


    Two of my favourite spots on opposite sides of the Carraroe peninsula are the Coral Beach and Tra na Reilig .


  • Registered Users Posts: 536 ✭✭✭ Space Dog


    Regarding Ashford Castle: It's not free, a few years ago it was 5 euro per person to access the grounds, might be more now.
    Roundstone and Dog's Bay in Connemara as well as Aughnanure Castle and Brigit's Garden near Oughterard have also been popular with visitors I've brought there,


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,963 ✭✭✭ Ficheall


    -Vega- wrote: »
    O'Connors bar in Salthill is an experience in itself. Make sure thats on the list. Not trying to just list bars, it's not about drinking, it's just the experience.
    Fixed typo, if it makes it easier to find. Wholeheartedly agree.

    And weatherpermitting, I always bring my touristy guests to the Aran Islands. I, personally, don't understand the appeal of the Cliffs of Moher, but they do look well coming on the ferry from the islands.



    Also consider popping down to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and possibly Craggaunowen for a day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,939 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    If you have gone as far as Kylemore, you should do killary fjord too but only if it's not raining


  • Registered Users Posts: 687 ✭✭✭ topcat77


    If they are anyway mobile a trip Letterfrack via Inagh vally and Killary Fjord. A walk up Diamond hill and then some local mussels in Tully cross after. It's a fantastic day out but you'll need the weather.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,289 ✭✭✭ skinny90


    this depends how long you can put up with them but doolough is gorgous and just up from Aasleagh Falls.

    People mentioned kylemore diamond hill etc what about the beaches, Corral beach in Carraroe and dogs bay.

    Lough na fooey is also very nice and you can loop from there to kylemore to cliften and back to galway. A lot of driving mind you but it can be done and its quiet spectacular


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,939 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    skinny90 wrote: »
    this depends how long you can put up with them but doolough is gorgous and just up from Aasleagh Falls.

    People mentioned kylemore diamond hill etc what about the beaches, Corral beach in Carraroe and dogs bay.

    Lough na fooey is also very nice and you can loop from there to kylemore to cliften and back to galway. A lot of driving mind you but it can be done and its quiet spectacular

    Coral beach, definitely


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,126 Snow Garden


    The drive from Leenaun to Louisburgh is in my opinion the nicest drive in Ireland. It's magical in any weather.
    Nice secluded beaches on the other side of Mweelrea too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭ GalwayGrrrrrl


    Ailwee caves is a nice day out and you can see some of the burren from there too.

    Coole Park is worth a look if you are driving past as they can see the autograph tree with the signatures of all the famous authors on it. It’s not far from the main car park if you are short on time.

    Galway museum isn’t that big but might be of interest and could be combined with a walk around The Claddagh and out to Salthill.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,675 ✭✭✭ ronnie3585


    topcat77 wrote: »
    If they are anyway mobile a trip Letterfrack via Inagh vally and Killary Fjord. A walk up Diamond hill and then some local mussels in Tully cross after. It's a fantastic day out but you'll need the weather.

    Did this with some Yanks a couple of years ago and it blew their minds.

    We went home via south Connemara (headed for Ballyconneely after Clifden) stopped off at Dog's Bay then into Ballynahinch Castle for a walk in the grounds and some dinner.

    The Aran Islands are great but not to be attempted in anything but good weather.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,605 ✭✭✭ Andrea B.


    topcat77 wrote: »
    If they are anyway mobile a trip Letterfrack via Inagh vally and Killary Fjord. A walk up Diamond hill and then some local mussels in Tully cross after. It's a fantastic day out but you'll need the weather.

    +1. Followed by a drive down through Lettergesh to Glassilaun beach.


  • Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭ xtradel


    Space Dog wrote: »
    Regarding Ashford Castle: It's not free, a few years ago it was 5 euro per person to access the grounds, might be more now.

    €15 now :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭ Average-Ro


    Some great suggestions here so no point me repeating them. I just want to add a few spots/sights that would be near some of these places that I haven't seen mentioned yet.

    Martello Tower in Ros a Mhil. On Casla Bay.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Martello+Tower/@53.2527107,-9.6132692,11.12z/data=!4m8!1m2!2m1!1smartello+tower!3m4!1s0x0:0x4a65d961dce312c3!8m2!3d53.2550985!4d-9.5617962

    Thoor Ballylee Caslte. A castle Yeats owned and lived in.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Thoor+Ballylee,+Ballylee,+Co.+Galway/@53.1559621,-9.1759661,9.36z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x485b82565a2f89d7:0xb82c7244a5d740f8!8m2!3d53.103167!4d-8.774778

    It's a bit further away, but the Loop Head drive near Kilkee is stunning, ending withthe Loop Head Lighthouse.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Loop+Head+Lighthouse/@52.5607475,-9.9344043,418m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x485abea0ea2965a7:0xa5ef3faafd9c7269!8m2!3d52.5607443!4d-9.9322156

    If you park at the Church car park in Cong (free) you can walk through the woods. There's some interesting sights in there, like the Guiness Tower and Pigeon Hole Cave. From the church, you can also walk into the Castle grounds, so you don't have to pay the charge to drive in.

    Of the ones that were already mentioned; Diamond Hill has stunning views from the top, Inis Mór has an entire weekend of things to experience (including quite a few things that aren't on any tourist map), the Sky Road in Clifden is also stunning.

    And if you go further North, Achill Island has some amazing spots.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,872 ✭✭✭ beardybrewer


    Space Dog wrote: »
    Regarding Ashford Castle: It's not free, a few years ago it was 5 euro per person to access the grounds, might be more now.

    This reminded me of a cruise we took on a beautiful day this summer from OUGHTERARD – INCHAGOILL – CONG RETURN. Really nice day out with a well run tour on Inchagoill then they pull into Ashford castle and your cruise ticket gives you access to the grounds which are lovely.. I'd nearly forgotten it had been so long as I normally wouldn't pay. It's a short walk then to the abbey and all the great trails back there. We had enough time to walk a loop, have a pub lunch, and check out the gardens before heading home. Made a really nice day out especially if the weather cooperates.

    http://www.corribcruises.com/daily-sailings/history-cruise-from-ashford-castle-3-2-2/


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,863 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    It's not scenic, but if the weather is bad, the Workhouse at Portumna is worth a visit.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 609 ✭✭✭ ingalway


    Space Dog wrote: »
    Regarding Ashford Castle: It's not free, a few years ago it was 5 euro per person to access the grounds, might be more now.
    Was at Ashford castle a couple of weeks ago and it's €15 per person to get into the grounds. I did the boat trip over from Oughterard. Great views all around on the lake with a commentary from the boat captain, you stop at Inchagoill island for a tour on the way over, then dock at Ashford Castle. The boat ticket is €28 which includes access to Ashford Castle grounds which makes the whole thing great value and it's a lovely day out. If you want to go into Cong it's only a 1km walk from the castle.
    Tip: There is a cafe on the grounds of Ashford Caslte, Mrs Tea's Boutique and Bakery - the coffee, €3.50 for an Americano, was terrible and a few little cakes/biscuits was all they had - very disappointing and over priced. Get something in Cong or bring a picnic!


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    Average-Ro wrote: »
    If you park at the Church car park in Cong (free) you can walk through the woods. There's some interesting sights in there, like the Guiness Tower and Pigeon Hole Cave.
    This is a lovely walk alright


  • Registered Users Posts: 672 ✭✭✭ Ashleigh1986


    Cliffs of moher ...


    Dunguaire castle / Burren chocolate factory / Burren perfumery / aillwee caves / doolin cave / o Connors pub in doolin/ cliffs of moher / fanore / black head / monks restaurant in ballyvaughan / Morans on the weir in kilcolgan .

    A fabulous way to see the cliffs if they're walkers is
    Meet pat Sweeney outside o Connors pub in doolin at 10am.
    He is a local farmer who does tours .
    He will walk you up along his and other local farmers land to the cliffs.
    He charges €10 per head and it's a 90 minute walk up to cliffs .
    He organises a lift back down so no need to walk back .
    He is passionate about his local area and tells some great stories .

    Connemara
    Drive out towards Cliften
    Take right after recess
    Drive in tru the inagh valley
    Stop off at kylemore abbey .
    Drive to letter frack .
    If they like hiking .... Stop off at diamond hill .
    Takes approx 90 mins to get to top .
    Stunning sights on a fine day .
    Head to Cliften ... Stop off at Mitchell's restaurant in Cliften.
    Drive up sky road .
    Head for Killary harbour .
    Drive to cong .... Park up in the village of cong and walk in the back road to ashford castle .
    The walk takes you about 15 minutes from cong into ashford castle .

    Arran islands ... Is worth a visit only on a fine day .
    Teach an paidin is a lovely place to eat on the main island .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 308 ✭✭ Johnny_BravoIII


    If they are 'outdoorsy' and reasonably fit there is any amount of hiking in Connemara. Diamond Hill is nice. The Maam's, Ben's Mweelrea are spectacular on a nice day. Plenty of hiking guides around if you wanted someone to show you around.

    Achill Island, Inish Bofin are good non-aran island alternatives.
    Also, there is a handy 50k loop from/to Clifden. Rent bikes in Clifden, dogs bay, Roundstone (O'Dowds).

    The Cliff's of Moher should be walked from the Doolin side. There's a cool path down to the beach under the cliffs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,073 ✭✭✭ Wompa1


    Agree with the Maams and Cong.

    You can do Cong. Just park up and walk the grounds. Lately, I haven't seen any security guards on the side of the walkway but honestly, I don't have much interest in Ashford Castle itself, the surrounding area is much more interesting. After you've walked through Cong woods, you can drive out to Clonbur and the Maams. The drive is spectacular.

    Ross Errilly Friary out by Headford could be done when around Cong.

    I'd take them out to Spiddal and along the way stop in Barna Woods. Yep, that's walking through two woods but Barna is much different to Cong.

    Clifden and up the Sky Road, maybe a spin out to the monument to Alcock and Brown. Lunch at the Station House hotel.

    Spin down to Kinvara. Maybe out to the Flaggy Shore.

    Day trip out to Inis Mór.

    A night or two in Galway City. Guinness in The Crane and McSwiggans. Dinner in Loam. Lunch in Riordans or Cookes fo an Irish food kick. Personally, I like breakfast in the Galway Arms. The owner is one of the Galway characters, imo.

    Obviously, walking around Galway City there is plenty to see. The site of the execution of Lynch's son. Lynch's Castle. The Kings Head and the story that goes along with it. St. Nicholas's Church. The history of the Cathedral before it was built and what's in the basement is pretty fascinating. The fact there are tunnels\cellars beneath the town. The remnants of the original city wall. The museum and the Claddagh. The Spanish Arch with it's history for Merchant ships. Walk the Long Walk out to the Prom telling them of the song if they don't already know it. Americans love PS. I Love You. They might know the song.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,046 ✭✭✭ Bunny Colvin


    The drive from Leenaun to Louisburgh is in my opinion the nicest drive in Ireland. It's magical in any weather.
    Nice secluded beaches on the other side of Mweelrea too.

    This.

    Probably the nicest bit of scenery I've seen in this country. Breathtaking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭ QuietMan2010


    The drive from Leenaun to Louisburgh is in my opinion the nicest drive in Ireland. It's magical in any weather.
    Nice secluded beaches on the other side of Mweelrea too.

    Agree with this. Then continue on to Westport and round Clew Bay to Achill. If they like outdoorsy, cliffs, mountains and beaches they'll love the Atlantic Drive and Keem Bay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ kabakuyu


    Take trip out past Oughterard to the Hill of Doon,great views of the lake and some trails to discover.


  • Registered Users Posts: 709 ✭✭✭ Moyglish


    Thanks all, some great ideas there, all duly noted. Hopefully the weather doesn't spoil our plans!

    As an aside, if the weather is atrocious, can any suggest any nice indoor activities? Things like museums, art galleries etc..?

    Is the Atlantaquarium worth a punt?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27 ✭✭✭ t.singh1


    I recently visited Dingle and Inch Beach on the way there. One of the most beautiful and underrated beaches in Ireland. Definitely worth a visit.


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