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Thread: Trip to Ireland in April

  1. #1
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Trip to Ireland in April

    After years of thinking about going were finally making it happen! Thinking roughly April 15th to 23rd, give or take a few days on either end. Flying in to Dublin. Will hire a car to drive the island after a few days in Dublin.

    Must see and do experiences? Best towns and pubs for music? Im not taking an instrument so just looking to have a few pints and listen. Appreciate any suggestions!

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    "Trip to Ireland in April" -- I thought that was the name of your new tune. You'll have to compose it after you get there. Sadly, I've never been to Ireland.

    (Sorry, these "Trip to _____" tunes are common in Cape Breton, I was listening to "Trip to Windsor" today.)
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    When you're in Dublin The Cobblestone pub is an absolute must - sessions every night, nice crowd and atmosphere:

    http://cobblestonepub.ie/

    Also in Dublin, Piper's Corner is a decent spot for music:

    https://piperscorner.ie/

    Still in Dublin, no music at the Gravediggers (aka John Kavanagh's) but it's a great spot for a pint (just a note though that it's not in the city centre, it's further out, in Glasnevin):

    https://johnkavanagh-the-gravedigger...edium=referral



    If you're in Galway there's been a good session on Friday's at Monroe's:

    https://monroes.ie/collections/bar-kitchen

    Another spot for music/sessions in Galway would be The Crane:

    http://www.thecranebar.com/



    If ye make it as far as Mayo there's always decent tunes to be heard at Matt Molloy's in Westport:

    https://www.mattmolloy.com/

    There's also a nice wee cafe up the road from Matt Molloy's called "This Must Be the Place", nice coffee, sweet things and they do lovely breakfast/lunch too:

    https://thismustbetheplace.ie/

    And if you're that far west then Achill Island is within reach:

    https://achilltourism.com/



    If you're in Clare and wanting to do something outdoors then The Burren is a pretty great spot for a walk/hike.

    https://www.theburrencentre.ie/the-b...ike-the-burren

    You can also access some Burren walks near Kinvara, Co. Galway. We usually go for a wander in that part of the Burren, then drive back into Kinvara for lunch and a pint at Keogh's and grab a coffee at SIAR cafe for the drive home. FYI from Kinvara you're not that far from Clareen Banjos in Clarinbridge, Co. Galway.
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    Paul Wheeler
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Ireland's on my bucket list, Jill, so thanks for providing my itinerary! -- Paul
    He joyously felt himself idling, an unreflective mood in which water was water, sky was sky, breeze was breeze. He knew it couldn't last. -- Thomas McGuane, "Nothing but Blue Skies"

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    Registered User Ed McGarrigle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    I’ve only been there once, in April of 2019. I can’t speak to places to go for sessions, we just happened upon music walking around. But, I think it’s a fascinating place. And if there is one thing I’d say about the Irish, they know their history.
    In Dublin: Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Castle. The choir at Pro-Cathedral during the Latin Mass for a dose of old time religion. The walking tour in Derry. Belfast.
    The Cliffs of Moher. Drumcliffe Cemetery and Yeats grave (which was surprisingly close to where my grandfather was from). Killarney is a lot of fun (and where I had the best spaghetti I ever ate. Roast of the day can get to be a bit much) Killarney National Park.
    I envy you. I probably won’t go back until my Irish citizenship by descent is processed ( it takes about 2 years). But there is so much to see and it is beautiful.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Was in Dublin this past summer, and the Cobblestone was the best part of the visit. There's quite a bit of music in the Old Town section (Temple Bar district), but it reminded me a lot of Bourbon Street in NOLA - very touristy and crowded. Some venues pipe their music out into the street, so it's kind of a sensory overload. The Cobblestone is located a mile or so away from the Temple Bar, so it's got a much different feel to it. Like a neighborhood pub.
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    I’m with Ed. - Kilmainham - been there twice! Always remember the guide saying that’s the cell where Aemon DeVallera (s/p?) was held but he was moved upstairs after he constantly complained about the rats.

    Dublin castle isn’t anything to shout about but you can wander in for a few minutes on the way to the Guiness Hopstore. (I assume it’s still there - not been for a few years.)

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Winn View Post
    Was in Dublin this past summer, and the Cobblestone was the best part of the visit. There's quite a bit of music in the Old Town section (Temple Bar district), but it reminded me a lot of Bourbon Street in NOLA - very touristy and crowded. Some venues pipe their music out into the street, so it's kind of a sensory overload. The Cobblestone is located a mile or so away from the Temple Bar, so it's got a much different feel to it. Like a neighborhood pub.
    Yeah, the Temple Bar area was once upon a time (hello 1980's I'm talking about ye) a hub for musicians and artists but from the '90's onwards got transformed into a destination for stag and hen nights - as a Dub I would say avoid. The Cobblestone is indeed a neighborhood pub - mates of mine lived up the road from it and we'd always end up in there.
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I’m with Ed. - Kilmainham - been there twice! Always remember the guide saying that’s the cell where Aemon DeVallera (s/p?) was held but he was moved upstairs after he constantly complained about the rats.

    Dublin castle isn’t anything to shout about but you can wander in for a few minutes on the way to the Guiness Hopstore. (I assume it’s still there - not been for a few years.)

    Spelled: amon de Valera

    Also the Guinness Hopstore is indeed still there - definitely changed a lot from the days when myself and my pals would go there to get a free glass of Guinness. The "tour" back then involved sitting on uncomfortable plastic chairs watching a grainy video of telly presenter Mike Murphy talking for 30 min about the history of the brewery. As soon as it ended we'd leg it into the onsite "pub" where they doled out free glasses of Guinness - all visitors got one free drink. We'd pretend we were ordering for a big group so we could get multiple glasses and then get them down us as quick as we could before being spotted and turfed out! Haven't been there in years but nowadays it's much more state of the art I'm told!

    There's also the tour of the Jameson Whiskey distillery which is spitting distance from the Cobblestone.
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    plectrist Ryk Loske's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Base everything on Jill's great advice. Since we stay with a friend outside of Ennis when we're over we're great fans of that city and always make a stop at Custy's music store there. I'd linger in Galway. We're not city folks and pretty much stay on the west coast ... you may want to check out the Wild Atlantic Way site for other ideas: https://www.thewildatlanticway.com. Enjoy your time there ... Ireland is a beautiful country ... but it pales in comparison to her people.
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Spelled: amon de Valera

    Also the Guinness Hopstore is indeed still there - definitely changed a lot from the days when myself and my pals would go there to get a free glass of Guinness. The "tour" back then involved sitting on uncomfortable plastic chairs watching a grainy video of telly presenter Mike Murphy talking for 30 min about the history of the brewery. As soon as it ended we'd leg it into the onsite "pub" where they doled out free glasses of Guinness - all visitors got one free drink. We'd pretend we were ordering for a big group so we could get multiple glasses and then get them down us as quick as we could before being spotted and turfed out! Haven't been there in years but nowadays it's much more state of the art I'm told!

    There's also the tour of the Jameson Whiskey distillery which is spitting distance from the Cobblestone.
    Thanks for that!

    The Hopstore was much better than that when we went but I believe its been changed again since. Theyd started to charge 1 to get in (allegedly to keep the drunks out) and the museum and audio visual presentation was worth that alone. As the barman saw you coming through, he finished off pouring your free half pint and if you took your empty glass back, hed pour you another one? I think the place closed at around 17.00!

    Forgot about Jamesons. My wife volunteered for the whiskey tasting and was presented with three large/full glasses to compare. They took some finishing and its a good job we were walking.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Jill…..thank you, thank you, thank you! That is wonderful info that I’m sure will make our trip even more enjoyable.

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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Stay a month! Incredible country. We drove a rented car around for 11 days, covering the Wild Atlantic Way and other parts. We stayed in Athlone, right in the middle of the country with a passenger rail hub--quick trains to Dublin and Galway. Also visited Northern Ireland. Dublin is an awesome place to see. We did not drive or park there, using the green buses (on and off) for transit instead.
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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    The Jameson Distillery tour is excellent, as is the Guinness tour. Make sure you go online to reserve both - we saw quite a few folks turned away that didn't have reservations, and that was on a Tuesday...
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    I suspect that Ireland has become busy as of recent years like most other places. The last time we went, we took the RV intending to drive the whole of the west coast but never managed to get north of Dingle. You’ll love the Irish. The last time we stayed in a hotel, we were standing outside, waiting for the bus to the airport and a taxi pulled up and offered to take us for the same fare as the bus. I certainly wouldn’t want to drive a car in Dublin, it’s bad enough driving from the ferry port into the rest of the country.

  20. #16
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I suspect that Ireland has become busy as of recent years like most other places. The last time we went, we took the RV intending to drive the whole of the west coast but never managed to get north of Dingle. You’ll love the Irish. The last time we stayed in a hotel, we were standing outside, waiting for the bus to the airport and a taxi pulled up and offered to take us for the same fare as the bus. I certainly wouldn’t want to drive a car in Dublin, it’s bad enough driving from the ferry port into the rest of the country.
    Same here, I avoid driving in Dublin as much as possible. When I went home for a visit in 2019 I was driving all around the country checking out properties we'd seen online (successful trip by the way as I made an offer on the one that stood out the most as ticking all the boxes for us and I'm sitting in it as we speak!) - when it was time to head back to Dublin to catch my flight back to San Francisco I had specifically asked to be able to return the car at the rental agency's Drogheda location rather than bringing it back to Dublin, that way I could just hop on a train to Dublin, just under an hour away. Dublin is a very walk-able city and there's always the Luas trams, buses or the DART if ye need to get to any of the areas outside of the city centre.
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Yeah, the Temple Bar area was once upon a time (hello 1980's I'm talking about ye) a hub for musicians and artists but from the '90's onwards got transformed into a destination for stag and hen nights - as a Dub I would say avoid .
    Quite agree. I was in Dublin for a weekend about 8 years ago. Didn't really enjoy it that much actually, particularly Temple Bar. I had last been there about 1974, I think, and had a great time then - in the Baggot Inn, O'Donaghue's etc.
    More recently in 2018 I was in Ennis, Co Clare for a weekend. Plenty music there, in lots of bars. It was grand. Not far from Shannon airport - although if you're flying into Dublin that's by the by, I guess.

    About 30 years ago we had good times in Galway and Spiddal, and in Connemara.
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Excellent train service in Ireland. You can relax, look out the window at the passing countryside, meet & talk to strangers . . .

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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    If you find yourself out west in Dingle, I highly recommend watching the music at John Benny’s pub.
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    Registered User Marty Gilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Dublin Bluegrass Collective have two weekly sessions - one in Mother Reilly's Rathmines on Sundays (7 - 11pm) and one in the Oarsman Ringsend on Tuesdays (8 - 11pm). Great vibe and we love visitors!

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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Its my dream trip too, plus England. I planned to go solo before COVID shut everything down.

    My wife and younger son (25) are going to Italy in 2 months for 2 weeks, and Im staying home with my older boy (30) whos autistic and not cut out for a trip to Europe. We live in Florida.

    So chances are good that Ill get the okay to go myself in June or July. It will be fairly last minute and just going to wing it.

    I would love to rent a car for Ireland, but Ive heard that not only is it real hard to find rentals with automatic transmission, but the roads are crazy narrow.

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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    My wife and I are fans of the west and north, particularly Donegal Town and surrounding areas. The Slieve League cliffs are breathtaking and not always noted in travel guides.
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  28. #23
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira7 View Post
    It’s my dream trip too, plus England. I planned to go solo before COVID shut everything down.

    My wife and younger son (25) are going to Italy in 2 months for 2 weeks, and I’m staying home with my older boy (30) who’s autistic and not cut out for a trip to Europe. We live in Florida.

    So chances are good that I’ll “get the okay” to go myself in June or July. It will be fairly last minute and just going to wing it.

    I would love to rent a car for Ireland, but I’ve heard that not only is it real hard to find rentals with automatic transmission, but the roads are crazy narrow.
    Not that difficult to find a rental car with automatic transmission (I think Enterprise usually have a fair few automatic options available for example), but ye will definitely pay alot more for one than you would for a manual transmission car.

    Only some of our roads are crazy narrow - mainly the smaller rural roads known as "L" roads. Some of them are a tight squeeze if you meet another car coming from the opposite direction. The next step up would be "R" roads, which very, very occasionally can be super narrow but generally tend to be more spacious than L roads. After that you're looking at N roads, and then our motorways, which start with an M - both of which are quite spacious.
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Ira7 View Post
    Its my dream trip too, plus England. I planned to go solo before COVID shut everything down.

    My wife and younger son (25) are going to Italy in 2 months for 2 weeks, and Im staying home with my older boy (30) whos autistic and not cut out for a trip to Europe. We live in Florida.

    So chances are good that Ill get the okay to go myself in June or July. It will be fairly last minute and just going to wing it.

    I would love to rent a car for Ireland, but Ive heard that not only is it real hard to find rentals with automatic transmission, but the roads are crazy narrow.
    The roads can be "crazy narrow" ... but as I always say ... as beautiful a country as Ireland is .. it pales in comparison to her people. Usually when driving down very narrow roads two oncoming cars access the situation and one just pulls off into a widness of the the road and let the other pass. Just take your time .. wave and smile. The narrower the roads the more interesting the area.
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    Default Re: Trip to Ireland in April

    I've only been once, but I recommend getting a car and getting out into the rural areas. Some of the roads are pretty narrow (and sometimes don't leave a whole lot of wiggle room).



    But the rural areas are also some of the most beautiful places that you'll see on Earth.



    But, make sure you keep an eye out for sheep in the road.

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