West Coast of Ireland

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West Coast of Ireland

Post by alexaconn on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:40 pm

Has anyone driven the "Wild Atlantic Way" along the west coast of Ireland? We're intending to do it this summer in our Topaz and could use any tips from anybody.
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by TeamRienza on Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:58 am

Hi,

Have a look at motorhomecraic.com the Irish forum. Free to join and loads of local info available.

You can become a subscriber for about £10 per year which will give you access to the stopover map and reviews etc.

Davy
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by Gromit on Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:00 am

Lovely area, but the driving can be fairly terrifying!

Tourist coaches and "White Van Man" tend to hammer toward you at high speed, assuming that you will get out of their way, and that it's possible for you to do so. We had a few heart stopping moments, and the number of broken wing mirrors littering the road on some tight corners doesn't exactly boost the confidence. There seems to be nothing in between the excellent main roads, and the narrow, potholed country lanes. (Unless it has changed since five years ago.)

Well worth it though. The people are so friendly and the scenery is quite stunning. If you want to drive round some of the most picturesque routes like the Ring of Kerry, ask which way round the coaches go. (I think it's clockwise, but don't take my word.) You would rather be in among them than meeting them all, one after another!
http://www.ringofkerrytourism.com/#vhome

If you want to eat out I'd suggest lunchtime. Evening meals tend to be horrendously expensive, and you often get exactly the same menu at lunchtime for half the price. (We were advised of this by a campsite owner.)

Take Davy's advice and get some local information. There are some really interesting little places to visit, often historically fascinating, which you could easily drive past without noticing.

Have a great time. We did!

Dave
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by alexaconn on Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:29 am

Thank you both for this valuable info to which we shall pay good attention! The coaches sound terrifying….
Alexandra
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by Gromit on Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:39 am

Don't ignore the south coast on your way west Alexandra. There are some lovely spots there too. In fact, the south and west coasts were easily the best bits for us.

I think I did a blog???? If I can find it I'll post it for you.

You've got me thinking now . . . . . . . where to next year????

Dave
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by groundhog on Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:59 pm

Wonderful place, wonderful people, never done the trip in the van but it is on the list for soon. Agree about the roads they are a bit sketchy in places but living in Cornwall not much different to here except the rules of the road seem even more relaxed!
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by alexaconn on Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:04 pm

Yes the south coast is wonderful also, I've driven it several times in cars but never in a campervan. Thank you all for your advice and help. Dave you could try the east coast from Rosslare northwards and back down through the center. I'd love to see your blog!
Best to all….
Alexandra
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by Gromit on Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:19 am

alexaconn wrote:I'd love to see your blog!
Best to all….
Alexandra
So would I Alexandra! confused3

I've had a new computer since then, and am beginning to fear the worst. It's not something I've wanted to look at for ages, and I think it must have been lost.

Will continue looking. There's one possibility.

Dave
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by alexaconn on Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:50 am

Ha ha… I know what you mean as I had a blog but lost the password so cannot even delete it now! Hope your possibility works.
Alexandra
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by Gromit on Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:13 pm

Found it. up!

Mods - If this is the wrong place for it, please move it.

People - wonderful. Just saying "Good morning" often took at least half an hour. Great to find such friendliness.

Scenery - depends where we were. Too many new and empty houses spoiled some places. We enjoyed the west coast, and the further north we got the better it became. It was really lovely around Dingle and Galway.

Roads - Aaaaarrrgggghhhhhhhhh, though the new ones are great. And the bloody coach drivers were really dangerous in some of the more touristy places. They just hammer towards you and assume you are both willing and able to get off the road and make room for them to pass without having to slow down at all. No wonder in some places the roads are littered with door mirrors!!

Prices - Be prepared! Many of the locals moaned long and loud to us about the cost of living. It was certainly an expensive holiday, and we were not surprised to learn that more and more people cross into the North to do their shopping. Eating out at lunchtime was about half the price of an evening meal however, and often the identical menu. 

Campsites - very varied, and price bore little relation to quality and standard. Every one of the owners was extremely helpful and couldn't do enough to make our holiday a success. We used the "Green Book" exclusively, and all were acceptable, some quite delightful. We didn't much like having to pay extra for everything - even hot water to wash up on some sites, but if that's the way it's done over there we have to accept it.

Our route from Rosslare was very simple. Along the bottom and up the left hand side as far as Galway. Lovely city, but we had run out of time and had to turn for home. 

Highlights

Waterford might have been nice, but it must be one of the most motorhome unfriendly places we visited. The campsite owner said he has tried several times to persuade the council to provide at least a few parking spaces without a height barrier, but they just don't want to know.

Tramore was pleasant enough, if a bit too touristy for our liking. Lovely walk into town with the dog, through the woods and by the cove.

Didn't see a lot of Dungarvan as we had one of their three-day showers to contend with.

We thought Clonakilty was a lovely little town. The campsite was a basic farm site, but well positioned for a walk into town and quite adequate.

Killarney was OK, but we got the closest to losing a door mirror in the whole holiday so it coloured our experience a bit. A young woman in a huge 4 x 4 insisted on pushing her way past even though we were halfway down a line of parked cars long before she even came into view - and they were parked on HER side of the road. She just kept coming and missed us by a hair - then gave me the single finger when I hooted at her. What a delightful young lady!!

Trallee was lovely. We enjoyed it there even though the site was pretty packed during their Bank Holiday. We had asked the previous site owner to book ahead for us, so no problem. Great walking for us and the dog too, and we drove to Dingle and round the peninsula - which was one of the high spots of the trip. (We didn't have time for both, and were advised that the Dingle remains more "Irish" than Kerry, and we were not disappointed.)

On from there to Doolins, where the campsite was wonderful with the limestone paving just outside the gate. A circular tour round Black Head was great, though we did meet a few kamikaze coach drivers!!

The campsite at Galway was the worst of the lot, though nothing really to complain about. Wonderful dog walks and the cycle ride into town along the coastal path was delightful. We really liked Galway and could have stayed longer.

We drove back for a couple of nights in Wexford, and what a pleasant surprise. It was a municipal campsite and one of the best we had used. An easy walk across the bridge into town, and what a lovely little town is is too. We enjoyed a fish and chip supper on one of the benches along the harbour walk, and the dog was pounced on (not for the first time) by a young family who wanted to make a fuss of her.

A great holiday, which also convinced Mrs Gromit that touring holidays of only about three nights in each place are a great way to see and do a lot. She was unconvinced before and was rather inclined to stay in one place for longer, but now realises how easy it is in a motorhome and is planning to do the same when we go to Belgium, France and Germany in September.

I still love France, but have to say that our first time in Ireland was long overdue and a great pleasure. We enjoyed it thoroughly, and are very grateful to everyone who gave us all the hints and tips before we went.

Sorry it's such an epistle - but you did ask.

Regards
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by alexaconn on Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:59 pm

This is great, thanks for sharing. We'll go anticlockwise round the ring of kerry so won't have to pass a coach. Must check out the tour direction round the burren also. I'll try to write a blog on it all as well so can help others. We're also aiming to free overnight on beach carparks etc and only use a campsite every few days, so I'll note our locations and details.
Enjoy your next trip!
Alexandra
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by philcrone on Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:08 pm

There is an app for the Wild Atlantic Way, can be found in the appstore  or the Google playstore. It's free and it's handy for finding out info wherever you are.

Have fun.

Phil.
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by alexaconn on Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:33 pm

I just downloaded it, thanks so much! It's really good, can't wait to get there.
Alexandra
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by raymondo on Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:54 pm

If you are going to do it this year is the time to do it the exchange rate makes things almost affordable - except camp sites - your eyes will water at the prices and they do charge extra for every thing (Ive seen a charge put on use of electric kettle in "camp kitchen")....oh and I hope you dont drink alcohol the "black stuff" might be devine but it will set you back a fiver in most places, on the plus side diesel is cheaper
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by alexaconn on Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:01 pm

It's ok, I'm actually Irish although I live half the year in Oz. My aussie partner will find it more expensive this year due to the falling dollar. I didn't know the campsites were so expensive but we intend to try some wild camping. I found info on places you can stop for a night.
Are you thinking of doing the West Coast again?
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Re: West Coast of Ireland

Post by frederic on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:48 pm

www.campingandcaravaningireland.com

My hard copy of this Guide came today 
Looks very useful 
frederic
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