In April 2017, 4 adults & 4 kids toured Ireland for 10 days. Expecting a punchline yet?
We flew (the FAB) Aer Lingus to Dublin where we spent 3 days using only public transportation and good ole fashion foot power! We stayed at the posh Spencer Hotel and enjoyed the most amazing Irish breakfasts 😋.
Trinity College was wonderful as was the Guinness Museum, but our absolute favorite attraction was Temple Bar. So much energy! Oh and shopping, lots of great shopping 👍🏼
Next WE RENTED CARS and drove to Belfast via the Magic Road. We found our 3 days in Belfast extremely welcoming and claiming the top spot for food on our trip. Don’t be afraid of the former violence and definitely do not miss the Titanic Museum! You will not believe how high tech (there’s a ride in it) and engaging it is, even for kids.
We then drove straight into the heart of Ireland, Athlone, where we visited the oldest pub-Sean’s.
Pubs in Ireland are family friendly and much more affordable dinner options 😁
A long drive to the west coast proved well rewarded when we arrived in Doolin and visited the BREATHTAKING Cliffs of Moher. Really, this scenic locale must rival any in the world; we were gobsmacked & humbled simultaneously. A word of caution here- much of the path along the cliffs is steep, unpaved, and lacking guardrails, but the visitor center is perfectly suited for the young and physically challenged. It’s also worth mentioning that Doolin, and many of the charming towns along the coast, offer the perfect opportunity to stay in a traditional B & B as we did. You’ll find the Irish hospitality positively cozy beyond your expectations.
The last stop on our grand (though certainly not comprehensive) tour took us to Cork and the Maldron Hotel. Cork surprised us all with its cosmopolitan feel and regrettably 2 nights was definitely not enough to “do it right.” We delighted in losing ourselves, quite literally, among the hilly, cobblestone streets that would delta into major paved thoroughfares. We will certainly be back.
I’ve skimmed, in the interest of brevity, over pit stops at delicious restaurants & majestic castles along the way. We found that in Ireland (especially with kids!) it’s best not to rush, but rather embrace the journey and wherever the day takes you. You’ll be glad you did.