Author Topic: Ireland in February  (Read 1331 times)

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OSUJillyBean

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Ireland in February
« on: October 03, 2013, 03:52:10 PM »
Hubby and I scored super-cheap tickets from the U.S. to the Seychelles to Dublin and home again.  I know nothing of Ireland besides the stereotypes.  Can anyone recommend a part of the country to visit?  We will be renting a car and prefer smaller towns to urban sprawl.  I'm sure it will be cold and rainy as heck so the weather might limit outdoor-things.

Any advice E-Hell??

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 04:21:18 PM »
Never been there, but am wanting to go and of my goals is to see Dublin, especially Trinity Library with the Book of Kells, the statue of Molly Malone.  I'd also like to go to Co. Galway, as that's where some of my family hails from.
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mechtilde

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 03:26:14 AM »
Co Clare has The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher (both worth a visit)

You could also consider The Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim and The Mountains of Mourne on Co Down if you fancy going to Northern Ireland. On a really clear day you can see Scotland, England and the Isle of Man from there, but the conditions have to be right.
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Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 03:52:35 AM »
Second vote for going north to the Causeway (the whole of the north coast is beautiful, but expect it to be very wet. Not likely to be snowy or icy, though). Belfast: the Titanic Exhibition, according to my sister and my son who have been, is excellent. The Ulster Folk Museum and the Ulster Museum itself (they're different) are both worth a visit. If you stop in Belfast, the Grand Opera House is one of Frank Matcham's, and has been sympathetically restored, as has the Crown Liquor Saloon, which was a Victorian gin palace. Also in Belfast you might try a Black Taxi tour - a safe way to see the parts of Belfast that turned up on international news reports for so long, and to put them into some sort of context.

Otherwise, if you want scenery, the Ring of Kerry, or Fermanagh for the lakes. History, there's a stone circle or a megalith in every third field. Newgrange is in my opinion a must-see, and if you're interested in plants and landscape, you must see The Burren which has nothing else like it in the whole country.

Not sure where you're from so it will certainly be wet - wet is not relative! - but you may find it less cold than you expect, specially inland. Try Guinness in Ireland because it's definitely not the same as Guiness elsewhere. Also Irish whisky isn't the same as Scotch. You can tour the Bushmills distillery if you're interested in that. Eat wheaten bread and soda farls and potato bread. Don't eat dulse, it's disgusting. Eat yellow man.

I'll be pleased to bore you at greater length if you wish...  :P

Chonsil

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 05:46:35 AM »
How much time will you have?
If you prefer countryside I'd recommend the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula. Lots of dramatic coastline and gorgeous views. Dingle is a lovely town - or was at least the last time I was there (granted that was over 10 years ago), and from there you can go out to Slea Head (which is where Ryan's Daughter was filmed) and it is just stunning.

Nibsey

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 09:42:16 AM »
In February I'd recommend layers. It can really vary between freezing cold torrential rain or a crisp sunny spring day. Don't make the mistake of wearing rain gear, you'll stick out like a sore thumb. It rains alot but unless your climbing a mountain a decent coat and an umbrella is the norm, not full gor tex rain gear.  ::)

We can give you better advise if you let us know what you usually do on holidays and how long it's going to be. For example, if you like museums I'd recommend collins barracks over the national history museum. (BTW alot of the bigger museums are free). The Guinness brewery is the most popular attraction in Dublin but my parents went to the Jameson brewery in smithfield last week and loved it. I'd also highly recommend the little museum of dublin, especially the restaurant.

Keep in mind, Ireland doesn't really have off season but some of the less popular castles and manor houses may be closed for february but if the weather is good they may reopen. Don't make the mistake of thinking it'll be quiet as some Irish people have mini holidays in february especially around the big tourist areas like Donegal, Kerry and Galway. Actually that reminds me TedFest is on in February in Galway. It's a festival in celebration of a comedy programme called Fr Ted.

You can drive across the country in 8 hours so it's not as if your stuck in the one area. On the east coast Dublin, Wicklow and Kilkenny would be the big tourist centres while on the west coast they're probably Cork, Kerry and Galway.
In the cities public transport is a must but for everywhere else you're going to need a car. For Dublin Bus you'll need correct change, they won't accept notes/papermoney.

I live in Dublin so if you have any specific questions like where to eat etc let me know. I'd also know general information about other areas. If your travelling up to Belfast I'd recommend stopping in Carlingford, it's a beautiful village and one of the few fjords in europe. It's in the cooley mountains which is where Cu Cuchulain and the tain were located and is full of great scenery and folklore.

Keep in mind our cities would be the equivalent of an American town so not very large. Taxi-drivers are often asked by tourists to take them to the city centre when they're already in it. So while you've said you don't like urban sprawl I wouldn't discount it in Ireland.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 09:50:06 AM by Nibsey »
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OSUJillyBean

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 01:25:35 PM »
We'll be spending a week there (we = me and DH plus another married couple.  All three of them are engineers from OSU, Lord help me!)  We are all about the age of 30 and in good health for any light hiking, horseback riding, etc (assuming we don't drown in an Irish winter!)

Past travels:
  • the UK (Wales, England, Scotland).  Our favorite part was the Cotswolds and the Scottish highlands.
  • spent three weeks in Australia in May.  Didn't enjoy the desert but loved the smaller coastal towns.
  • Paris - too many people but a LOT to see.  Versailles, Louvre, and Notre Dame were the favorites.  Train to Venice.  I loved everything about Venice except the food.   Train to Rome - noisy and crowded and too much stress over pickpockets and scams.  I also got yelled at by the "Jesus Police" for sitting on the floor of St. Peter's.  I had some kind of awful headcold and was feverish and headachey but I'm sure I was being a SSS (sickly special snowflake).  I did stand when they asked me to.
  • Various trips to WDW, Sea World, Universal in Orlando, FL.  It's one of my favorite vacation spots and we're actually headed to WDW again in November
  • Road trip from Oklahoma to San Francisco and back.  Loved camping in California!
  • Road trip from Oklahoma to the Florida Keys.  Loved the smaller beaches with fewer tourists.


(Hubby travels once a week for work and we are able to travel for pleasure for pennies on the dollar thanks to his frequent flyer miles, hotel points, etc).

So I'd say we enjoy small towns for the most part.

That being said I'm sure we'll spend a day in Dublin checking out breweries, museums, restaurants, whatever.


Another question - I've heard the western side of the country has some fairly impoverished people.  We've never strayed too far out of our comfort zone - can anyone confirm or deny what it's like overall?  I'd hate to schedule all four of us to stay somewhere and show up in a ghetto where our rental car is stolen and pickpockets are rampant. 

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 03:27:16 PM »

Another question - I've heard the western side of the country has some fairly impoverished people.  We've never strayed too far out of our comfort zone - can anyone confirm or deny what it's like overall?  I'd hate to schedule all four of us to stay somewhere and show up in a ghetto where our rental car is stolen and pickpockets are rampant.

Not likely. Pickpocketing is no more rampant than in any large town. Apply normal common sense - don't leave things in view in your car, don't leave your shoulder bag unzipped. Sure, there are places you probably don't want to park (the Holy Land in Belfast, anybody?) but anywhere well lit and busy should be safe enough.

Kiara

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 03:57:20 PM »

Another question - I've heard the western side of the country has some fairly impoverished people.  We've never strayed too far out of our comfort zone - can anyone confirm or deny what it's like overall?  I'd hate to schedule all four of us to stay somewhere and show up in a ghetto where our rental car is stolen and pickpockets are rampant.

Not likely. Pickpocketing is no more rampant than in any large town. Apply normal common sense - don't leave things in view in your car, don't leave your shoulder bag unzipped. Sure, there are places you probably don't want to park (the Holy Land in Belfast, anybody?) but anywhere well lit and busy should be safe enough.

Agreed.  My parents and I just did two weeks in Ireland in May - one week was staying in Kenmare and visting SW Ireland from there.   Never felt unsafe.  We did Dublin (go to Kilmanhaim Gaol.  It's AMAZING.), Glendalough, Cashel, Blarney (for the Woolen mill, not the Castle), and then Kenmare.   One warning.  It's only 8 hours to cross the country if you're used to it - the smaller roads are kind of hairy to drive.  We tried to only do about 3 hours in a day driving.

If you end up in Kenmare, I can give you the name of some good restaurants.

jilly

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2013, 04:29:12 PM »
I've visited (London)Derry twice once in Feb and once in Sept it was wetter in Sept!! The Giants Causeway is amazing though I thought the Café was overpriced, we went back into Bushmills and had sausage chips & gravy from a local chippie. My DH is a big lover of irish whiskey and he won't go near Bushmills I've taken his advice and not bothered so we skipped the tour. The Causeway coastal route is well signposted and very pretty I got good photos out of a moving car it's that nice, the picturesque diversions get verynarrow. In Derry the tower museum is well worth a visit as is walking the city walls. I only saw the end of the trouble on the news but it was odd looking down from the walls over the Bogside and all the painted end walls. I can look out some photos if anyone is interested

cass2591

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 03:22:53 PM »

  Train to Rome - noisy and crowded and too much stress over pickpockets and scams.  I also got yelled at by the "Jesus Police" for sitting on the floor of St. Peter's.  I had some kind of awful headcold and was feverish and headachey but I'm sure I was being a SSS (sickly special snowflake).  I did stand when they asked me to.[/li][/list]

One would think that by merely entering St Peter's you will likely encounter some people there who are religious. "Jesus police"? Really?
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petal

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2013, 10:03:11 AM »
Chonsil  I was in Dingle in  2009 and again last year.  It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.   The scenery is amazing  and I have to say the people there are absolutly lovely  (Im biased because my sisters and their families live there)

OSUJillyBean

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Re: Ireland in February
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2013, 11:45:45 AM »

      Train to Rome - noisy and crowded and too much stress over pickpockets and scams.  I also got yelled at by the "Jesus Police" for sitting on the floor of St. Peter's.  I had some kind of awful headcold and was feverish and headachey but I'm sure I was being a SSS (sickly special snowflake).  I did stand when they asked me to.[/li][/list]

    One would think that by merely entering St Peter's you will likely encounter some people there who are religious. "Jesus police"? Really?

    I am not certain of the naming of the various officials and was trying to be humorous about a subject not everyone finds humorous, I apologize.  They weren't the colorfully-garbed men but rather men in black who seemed quite scary to me and had no time for tourists sitting on the tiled floor of the cathedral.  There were no signs stating please don't sit on the floor (I was hiding a bit between a thick stone column and a steel barricade for traffic control.  Others were sitting there as well.  We were out of the flow of foot traffic.  And as I said, we all immediately complied with the officials when asked not to sit.

    And where did I say I wasn't expecting religious people in St. Peter's? 
    « Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 11:47:56 AM by OSUJillyBean »

    jaxsue

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    Re: Ireland in February
    « Reply #13 on: October 07, 2013, 02:34:09 PM »
    Co Clare has The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher (both worth a visit)

    You could also consider The Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim and The Mountains of Mourne on Co Down if you fancy going to Northern Ireland. On a really clear day you can see Scotland, England and the Isle of Man from there, but the conditions have to be right.

    I've only been to N. Ireland, but I absolutely recommend visiting Giant's Causeway. Amazing place! You can take a bus to it, but I recommend walking to it. The view from the hills is amazing. I was lucky on the day I was there - I could see Scotland!  :)

    Actually, N. Ireland has amazing places, such as castles (Dundrum in County Down was my fave).

    I really want to go the the Republic of Ireland next, especially County Kerry (family).

    cass2591

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    Re: Ireland in February
    « Reply #14 on: October 07, 2013, 03:27:35 PM »

        Train to Rome - noisy and crowded and too much stress over pickpockets and scams.  I also got yelled at by the "Jesus Police" for sitting on the floor of St. Peter's.  I had some kind of awful headcold and was feverish and headachey but I'm sure I was being a SSS (sickly special snowflake).  I did stand when they asked me to.[/li][/list]

      One would think that by merely entering St Peter's you will likely encounter some people there who are religious. "Jesus police"? Really?

      I am not certain of the naming of the various officials and was trying to be humorous about a subject not everyone finds humorous, I apologize.  They weren't the colorfully-garbed men but rather men in black who seemed quite scary to me and had no time for tourists sitting on the tiled floor of the cathedral.  There were no signs stating please don't sit on the floor (I was hiding a bit between a thick stone column and a steel barricade for traffic control.  Others were sitting there as well.  We were out of the flow of foot traffic.  And as I said, we all immediately complied with the officials when asked not to sit.

      And where did I say I wasn't expecting religious people in St. Peter's?

      Once you call the staff at St Peter's the "Jesus Police" whether in an attempt to be humorous or not, you've lost any argument.
      There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

      I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~ Mark Twain

      Adopting a pet won't change the world, but it will change the world for that pet.