Ireland trip resources

Large road map of Ireland.
The Irish Tourist Board (1-800-223-6470)
Ireland Ordnance Survey Maps - We found these very useful. They have all of the roads (most maps don't) as well as all of the archeological sites.
Elstead Maps - I just found this site. This page has lots of maps and guides you can buy on-line. Very nice.
Go Ireland Tourism Service - This site is a wee bit commercial, but it has tons of photos and descriptions.

Frequently asked questions

Q. We are planning a trip to Ireland, who should we contact to get tour and bed & breakfast info.

A. We used the Irish tourist board to find all of the accommodations we used over in Ireland. They're very helpful. Their toll free number in the US is: 1-800-223-6470.

Q. I am planning a trip to Dublin but only staying in Dublin city for a day and would want to move on to some great scenic spots with beautiful mountains and lakes and cottages.

A. It's beautiful everywhere, don't worry.

The wicklow mountains would be a good choice, but there's not much there in the way of accommodations, very beautiful though. The Boyne valley to the north of Dublin would also be good. The Ring of Kerry and the Connamara were the most scenic areas we went to, but they're both 150-200 miles from Dublin.

Get to Glendalough if you get a chance. Newgrange would be a good idea. Bring a couple guide books and a food guide that way you'll know all of the option where ever you find yourself.

Q. When did you go and what was the weather like?

A. We went in May 1998. The weather was usually around sixty five degrees, 80% overcast, and 50% rain. my parents went two years earlier (same month) and said it was much colder. It's a very good idea to be ready for cold, rainy weather. I spent a lot on rain gear and it was worth every penny. You're there to see the sights, so you can't stay inside if it might rain. Water-proof boots should be first on the list if you're going to be exploring.

On the plus side, the rain usually only lasts about half an hour, and it never rained hard while we were there. If you look at the pictures of Glendalough, that was the worst weather we had on the trip. As you can see it's not bad at all.

Q. We are planning a trip to Ireland. If you only had 10 days, where would you have definitely gone?

A. For Scenic vistas, I would have to say that the Beare Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry are hard to beat. Beautiful coastlines, green everywhere, plenty of stone age sites. This is also the area most visited by tourists.

If you want to get off the beaten track you could use Castlebar/Westport as a base for exploring loads of stone age and medieval sites to the north (don't miss Carrowkeel, bring a flash light), the Connamara to the south (do this on a sunny day), shopping and eating in Galway, or watching the sun set from the beach in Westport.

We spent a week in Dublin alone and could have spent more time there, so that's an option as well.

Q. Do you have access to a copy of D'Altons King James Irish Army list?

A. No. Sorry. I'm really not the geneology type. I've got plenty of Irish blood flowing through my veins. That's good enough for me.

Q. Can you recommend any guide books that have thorough lists of pre-christian sites?

A. For guide books we mainly used "Prehistoric Monuments Of Ireland". I think that was the title. But it only has the more visited sites. The best source we found were the Ordinance Survey Maps that we got from the Irish tourist board. They have all of the sites listed. You can get them on-line at: http://goireland.tqn.com/msub18.htm I also saw them at most of the bookstores and tourist shops. I highly recommend getting one for each area you'll be in.

Get some food guides! You never know when you'll need to find someplace to eat.

Q. ny advice on type of film to take for rainy Irish weather?

A. I used Kodak Gold Max. Not the Gold, get Gold Max. It worked in all lighting conditions. The borders on the pictures were dark sometimes, but the regular "Gold" film didn't work well at all.

Q. I am driving and doing the B&B thing, any recommendations on B&B's?

A. We had very good luck with the "self catering cottages". These where fully stocked houses. We only had to buy food. It might be too much for one person, but it was great for the three of us. We made contacts through the Irish Tourism Board, which helped us a lot. Keep in mind that driving in Ireland is slow going if you're not on the two main highways. Top speed on most roads is 40-50 mph.

We also spent more time than we'd planned at all of the sites we visited. We'd planned 2 hours for Glendelough, but it turned into five hours.

Q. Should I devote more time to Dublin?

A. We could have spent a lot more time in Dublin. Just wandering around the streets was great. Don't miss Trinity Collage and the Book of Kells. The National Museum is also a must. Those and some pubs should fit into two days.

Be sure to get some fish and chips at Burdock's for me.

Q. I'm more into the old castles, and tombs, and stones then anything else.

A. My favorites were:

Glendelough - I did lots of hiking in the area. You can only stare at the tower for so long.
Beare Peninsula - Tons of stone age stuff here. We found the Ordinance maps had most of the sites listed.
Staigue stone fort - On the Ring of Kerry. Very impressive.
Carrowkeel - Lots of old passage tombs you can crawl into (bring a flashlight). My favorite on the trip. Nearby you can also see the Colgher stone fort and the Drumanone wedge tomb.

Q. Has anyone ever told you that you favor Liam Neeson? He's a hottie!

A. Um... No. I don't think I've heard that before.