Ireland in september?

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by marty hill, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    Good to see the thread is active. I'll be flying my 12GS in from YUL to DUB. After Ireland, Scotland and England ferry to France and ride to eastern Europe for awhile.
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  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    If you are still on the 2 weeks schedule, it seems a bit optimistic.
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  3. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    Sked change to 6 weeks or a bit longer. Meeting friends in Germany for the trip east.
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  4. ktompkins

    ktompkins Adventurer

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    Check out The Black Valley south of Dunloe gap. It is very remote the scenery is beautiful. It was suggested to me by Matrtin, "wheatwacker" and I was not disappointed! My bike is stored with him and I am heading back into Ireland in June.
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  5. Captain Lockheed

    Captain Lockheed Adventurer

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    Did the Wild Atlantic Way get a mention in this thread?
    http://www.wildatlanticway.com/home
    I did 600 miles, Rosslare to Belfast mostly in Donegal just before Easter. Great roads, little traffic, dry but overcast.
    The good roads are great, the unimproved roads are brilliant. But take note; the speed limit on the windy rural stuff has no relation to safe riding speed.
    #25
  6. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF

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    I think someone renting small, cheap bikes, like TW200 or SR400, would be perfect for visitors and very cost effective!

    Hell, just buy one before you go and sell it when you leave. I'm jonesin', wanna go back with the guys & bikes.
    #26
  7. Cameleer

    Cameleer Europe, three days at a time.

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    Or buy a bike from Martin ("Wheatwhacker") near Cork, he will sort you out easily.
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  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I spent about 2 weeks in Ireland, but I was driving a car. In June, it rained a lot less than Scotland.

    My favorite parts were the coastline north of Dublin all the way around the north end, the coastline south of Galway past the Cliffs of Mohr and Ring of Kerry, and finally the north central area with its Neolithic structures. In my opinion, the structures such as New Grange are more interesting than Stonehenge. Some had well developed tourist centers, while others required a mile hike out into a field to get on your hands and knees to climb inside.

    Dublin had some of the best nightlife I have ever experienced, and I am not a bar hopping kind of person. I was with some very close friends, and the music was Irish/folk rather than typical bump bump bump music we have in California night clubs.

    There was a place in Dublin that rents Royal Enfield motorcycles. That sounded fun to me. They also had a right hand drive vintage Jaguar.

    +1 on the Guinness factory tour. The Bushmills distillery up north, and the Jameson distillery down south are also great.

    Blarney Castle was one of the best castles, even though it sounds touristy. The line to kiss the stone was extremely long, but I had no interest in doing that. Instead, I walked the grounds and saw the grotto under the castle, and the poison garden full of nasty plants. There were a number of other castles were worth a visit, too. Just stop when you see something interesting.

    Don't ride too late into the day, or you will miss out. Stop at 3-4pm in an interesting place to explore and find a B&B room. We made no reservations exept in Dublin where things get booked up, and had no problems finding lodging. The hostels in Dublin worked fine for us, and cost a lot less than the big hotels where my friends stayed. They regretted it afterwards.
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  9. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    I have made reservations to fly Montreal to Dublin with our bikes and arrive on July 13th.
    Tentatively depart from Cork on August 11th and leave our bikes in the care of Wheatwacker.
    I am considering riding southwest from Dublin and then north along the Wild Atlantic Way over to Larne.
    Ferry to Scotland, then it looks like we could make a route through Galloway Forest, the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Forest of Bowland, visit some friends near Manchester, Peak District and then on to Snowdonia.
    Ferry from either Hollyhead to Dublin or Fishguard to Rosslare? Which is the nicer ride?
    Should we bring camping gear? It will be high season... do we need it if we can't find lodging? We would opt for lodging if available, and I don't know how available campsites are, for that matter.
    We don't ride motorways and we stick to the backroads, so I don't have an idea of the mileage yet. Is that too much ground for a couple of slowpokes to cover in a month?
    #29
  10. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    Admittedly, this is an old post, but I can't keep my mouth shut. (also, I'm considering an Ireland trip as well ...)

    Friends and colleagues from the polar research community used to say that arctic trips are child's play: It's never really cold on the ocean ice, and you'll always have a warm berth, galley, toilettes and laundry service. Traversing continental Antarctic ice with skidoos is a different story ...
    :augie

    .
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    :hide

    Anyway, I'll watch this for tips ...
    #30
  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    The only place we couldn't find a B&B (the cheapest type of lodging) was when we were in an area that had some big horse race going on. That was in England. The only place we could find a room was a luxury hotel for 200 pounds or something. More than double what we normally paid for rooms, but not a deal breaker.

    The two ferries are about equal. Both had snack bars on board, a movie room, etc. We made no reservations for those, either, just drove up and bought a ticket. You may want to get there early so you have time to tie down the bikes.
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  12. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I should just say first, don't use the A55. There are beautiful roads through North Wales, but that ain't one. There are sweeping mainroads the lovely A5 from the south east, to tiny single lane tracks crossing oveer heath and moorland. Have a search and pick what suits you.

    From Holyhead, the ferry takes 4 hours ish - all Irish sea crossings have the potential to be choppy. I wouldn't plan a on spending time in Holyhead, not exciting or glamorous or interesting and rustic.
    It's major attraction is the port, and the fact that you arrive in Dun Laoghaire. Sort of old world suburb of Dublin. If that is holds no attraction, the you will also have the Wicklow mountains (more hills), various Gaps (passes) and great roads. You can plot routes through the hills and loop back and take the very attractive Vale of Avoca.
    I normally cut across to Kilkenny, Cashel (Rock of) either turning south and go along the Blackwater Valley or head to either Cork or north to Kilarney.

    I have camped near Fishguard and ridden along the south coast from Rosslare to Cork - not my favourite chunk of Irish coastline. Never used the ferry.

    There are lots of Irish people in UK, and the traffic across the Irish Sea is always busy. I have known people not be able to get on the next ferry and the limited number of crossings waiting in dismal Holyhead is not something I have found enervating. If the Liverpool boat is still sailing, it takes a lot longer - remember I mentioned tossing seas.

    I camp in France a lot, so camping here in UK is almost always a disappointment. I used to camp here a lot, but the lack of facilities or the focus on "family" holidays with lots of static trailers with kids... Perhaps the last couple of times in torrential rain for a week put me off too.
    I agree with Herb, unless you are a dedicated canvas man, forget it. There are lots of B&B's in the areas you mentioned. The trick, as ever, it to start reasonably early and get your miles in, planning on stopping no later than mid afternoon, so situations like Herb found can be circumvented.
    You can also have a mooch about the nearest town (in Ireland many B&B's are on farms or out in the boonies).

    Our rule is to be in a pub with a pint of Guinness on the table in front of us by 6. Room sorted, showered, stuff squared away and eats place earmarked or booked if it is of the posher persuasion.

    These days, a smart phone or tablet will put you in touch with a slew of places, once you can decide where you are roughly headed.
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  13. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Thanks Herb and Nick I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences.

    I think we may be in the Galway area when the races are going on depending on the route we take. My plan is to avoid it as I have heard rooms are unobtanium. I'm not going to like too many 200 pound nights.

    #33
  14. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    That's fine, but as I mentioned , the A5, the old Roman road, Watling Street, is a pretty good way of traversing North Wales.
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  15. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    I'm glad you said that. Very interested in Roman Britain and the period thereafter. But aren't Roman roads perfectly straight?
    PS. I had a few other comments on your post...that ended up hidden unless you expand it.
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  16. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Even the Romans compromised at times.
    Two extant Roman roads traverse my home county - the Fosseway, from Exeter to Lincoln or as they would have said Isca Dumnoniorum to Lindum Colonia via Lindinis, Aquae Sulis, Corinium et Ratae Corieltauvorum - my home town. Its modern lack of straightness is more due to 20thC eco\geo politics than the lack of ability by the Romans in road construction - many of their roads were used "as was" until the early 20thC when the automobile and the suburbanisation forced first a metalled top, then widening and realigning.

    The Watling Street forms the south western county border and goes from Dover to Holyhead. It is believed that the Romans merely paved a prexisting Celtic road, and some accounts have it splitting at Wroxter, which would allow the Welsh bit to be a bit wonky. The northern arm proceeded to the Land of the Picts.
    Fragments of the Dover to London Roman road still exist under the Old Kent Road. The modern non-motorway road to Dover is called the A2.
    The line of the Watling Street also largely formed the boundary of the Danelaw - the eastern part of Britain ceeded to the Vikings, principally the Danes, the Norwegians stayed mainly in Scotland and the north.
    The legacy of that incursion lives on in many place names, look for name endings -by, -thorpe, -thwaite -toft and many more. Many Old Norse words have survived the 1400 years up north.
    The genetic study commissioned by the BBC in 2000, showed some interesting distribution patterns of Scandinavian genes down the northern and eastern parts.


    I spent 20 years commuting along the Lutterworth to Hinckley section of the A5. There used to be a Roman marker for where they considered the geographical centre of Britain to be, at High Cross. It was also the place where the Fosseway and Watling Street crossed. Unsurprisingly there was a fort adjacent at what is now the small village of Wigston Parva (Wigston is a very popular village name locally).
    The tall stone cross which I remember being there, was removed - the land owners, or council... bastards
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  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Check out the town of Bath, where you can tour the Roman bath house. After that, go to the ultra modern bath house (Thermae Spa) and relax for a while. The experience is one of extreme contrast, yet continuity.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The author Jane Austin has some sort of association with that town, too.
    #37
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  18. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    You are opening a whole can of worms here Herb! Once people start exploring and doing things in more detail, then where does that end...
    Also in Bath is the American Museum. I'm sure you have heard of the place... Lots of Shaker furniture which I really loved, and my ex (a professional quilter) fell in love with the very early quilting. Very different from what she did, even I found them attractive. If you have someone along who is that way inclined, then it could be a way of winning a few brownie points - should your reserves be low.

    I have just expanded the quotes, so here goes:
    The centre of Ireland is not interesting IMHO. So I would always consider first the more southerly route first, but then my priorities may be different.
    The whole of the west coast has it various attractions - from Bantry up to Malin Head and on round to the east. It definitely does not all look the same.
    The supermassive pull of Kilarney and the Ring, tends to blind many fly-in, fly-out bus tourists to any other places to visit. And of course all the tourist guides reinforce this view.
    I love the Wicklow mountains and have spent a lot of hours up there.

    There used to be a very active tourist organisation, Bord an Failte, which has now seems to have morphed into Failte Ireland. I'm not sure how widespread its tentacles reach these days. At one time, you popped into the local office and they would book you accommodation for the following evening.
    There are now online registers of B&B's like this http://www.irishbnb.com/ We mostly go in October, Still plenty of tourists in Dublin and Kilarney, but many "not in the book" places - not so much.
    We often get an address from our host of the previous night, and usually they offer to ring ahead. Out of season, we find hotels are not too expensive and can mostly be relied on to provide hot food, even if we are the only guests - often needed and very welcome at that time of year.

    I have been trying to think of what event could have so filled all the hotels that caused Herb some inconvenience. Sporting, but most of the international events will be scattered round Dublin. Unless it was a Celtic Sports event... or a freshers event in the university towns, like Galway.
    As well as having an opportunity for unpressured exploring, stopping early - or in this case starting to stop, at least gives you time to dive off searching for alternatives.
    I do have a memory of a grossly misstimed detour - pitch black, as only rural Ireland can be. Very narrow lane. Complete with grass berm down the middle. Oh and it was by now pissing with rain. And 8pm - way past my bed time. Stumbled into Mallow (I think) and rode a couple of times up the main drag - a few seconds each way. The only place with a B&B sign looked like the Munster's place. But, port in a storm and all that, knocked on the door, and the little bird like lady open up. The entrance hall was about the size of my house. Complete with stuffed animals, including a very imposing bear - and me dripping mud, slime and cow shit off my rain suit. We were very appreciative of the fact she had space (probably lots of it). The room was fine, a little shower room, which I dived in to try and warm up. Standing in the doorway, now warmer and discussing the possibilities of food, the lady just walked in - she did seem somewhat shocked (but I had been cold). She was delivering a pot of tea and some thick slices of fruit cake. She didn't linger.
    Later she recommended the local hotel down the hill - near enough to walk.
    Slept well. It was one of the memories to keep.
    #38
  19. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    We were only in Bath overnight, so spent about 1/2 day on those two bath houses.

    The event that forced us into a high priced hotel was a horse race near the Beconscot model village. I don't know if I should call it "trouble", though. Between the model village (one of my wife's bucket list items for the trip), and the night in a fancy hotel, I got major brownie points. :crash
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  20. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Are model villages just an English thing... I know of several dotted around - the one you noted is a new one though. As a kid, a special Sunday out was a motor out to Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds.
    upload_2017-5-21_21-1-18.jpeg
    A 1\9th scale model of the village as it was in the 30's I think. They all seem to have connections to someone "eccentric".
    When we used to visit, I think the attraction for my dad was the fact it was in the pub yard. In the 1950's eating out was a big thing, and we would sit in the yard (no kids allowed in pubs back then) and be served plates of fantastic ham sandwiches - its where I learned to love sharp English mustard. Us kids probably just had "pop", but I remember dad pouring a little beer into mine to make a shandy.

    Just in case people think this is too bizarrely off topic, Bourton on the Water is just slightly off the previously mentioned Fosseway near Cirencester - Corinium - as known to the Romans.
    Its museum has an extensive collection of Roman stuff.

    The Cotswolds is another of the areas of UK well worth a visit. And not in a coach. Decent roads available, but often too narrow and twisty for buses, and the lovely countryside, combined with many delightful villages.
    For horticulturists, see Hidcote* (also famous for its variety of lavender), and the adjacent Kifsgate Hall Gardens. For folk with an interest in domesticated farm animals, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust puts on a good show for kids and grown ups too.

    *Hidcote belongs to the National Trust, an organisation dedicated to preserving and keeping open for us all to see various houses, gardens and monuments. There are about 450 in all. An annual ticket costs about £100 for two, then as many admissions as you like (off season, check for limited opening) If there are 5 or more places you will want to visit, then being a member means you will be quids in - plus at busy times and popular destinations you won't have to queue.
    Hidcote is famous for the gardens. Near us there is also a protected salt marsh to walk over, but mind your step. Most other "Stately Homes" are more house, but the gardens and landscaping are a current focus - especially houses with walled kitchen gardens, where all the food for the estate would have been produced in the old days. As labour became expensive and estate income declined through the 20thC, these fell into decline, but most have now been turned into at least a modicum of their former selves.
    #40
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