BEST OF IRELAND VIDEO

Youtube video from Best of Ireland Tour, September 2015. It is AWESOME!
All of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
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Comments

  • edited February 2016
    Nice job and great photos and videos!!! It must have been a lot of work putting that together. I have a couple of questions:

    1. By the looks of the group shot you must have been a small group tour, correct?

    2. When did you take the tour- month and year?

    3. The weather looked pretty decent, what were the daytime temps and how much rain did you get? (I'm sure it was much less than we are getting now in NC- over the last two days we have had over 5" !!!!!)

    4. At the beginning of the show, I saw what looked like a photo of Bunratty Castle which isn't too far from Ennis. If it was Bunratty, was that a stock photo, a photo you took during a drive-by, or did you visit it before the start of the tour like you mentioned in a post back in July? If you visited, how did you get there from Ennis? It appears to be 20 - 30 min by car, bus, and possibly train.

    5. If you did arrive two days early, where did you eat in Ennis. I'm thinking about Brogans (new owners in 2015), Seasons 52, Zest, or, if we decide to go to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, I might possibly get reservations a few months out for their evening Medieval Banquet.. It is a bit touristy, I know, but what the hey. Did you do the banquet as you had planned? How was it?
  • Alan S. Thank you for your comments. It did take a long time to produce and I am glad you liked it. As to your questions. 1. Small group tour--26 people. Heartily recommend. Everyone always on time--no waiting for anyone. Also got to know most well. 2. Tour was Sept 15-28, 2015. According to my research, Sept is best month to be in Ireland. 3. We had a few sprinkles of rain but only while driving or for short stop in Galway. Never really impacted what we were doing. Otherwise weather was beautiful, sometimes cool. No shorts, wore layers. 4. We arrived 2 days before tour, Sept 13 (Flew Sept 12). Made reservations for the Bunratty Medieval Dinner months in advance for the next night following arrival (highly recommend), went early to tour the castle (great) and Folk Park (not so great). We hired the driver who picked us up from the airport to take us to Bunratty and take us back--convenient and not that expensive. 5. The Old Ground Hotel is in a great location and walking to good restaurants and pubs. No reservations necessary and fun to experience local flavor. Ennis is neat town. Would also recommend taking in Ennis Friary. 6. We stayed extra night in Dublin, took Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour and went on Musical Pub Crawl in Temple Bar, which I would heartily recommend. Again made reservations months in advance. 7. Recommend getting both Fodor's and Frommer's Ireland guide books. They complement each other. Good information and ideas for planning free time. Tauck tour is the best--do it and have fun!
  • edited February 2016
    DRSMOOTHOPERATOR,

    Super!!! Thanks much!!!

    1. We like small groups too!- England, Scotland & Wales, SG, 2013, Alps & Dolomites, SM, 2014, and now Classic Italy, SM this May and Best of Ireland, SM in July.

    2. & 3. We had to cancel Ireland, Sept 2015, just a few days prior to departure! Almost all 2016 small group departures were already sold out when we decided to re-book, but I was able to get on the 28 Sep 2016 departure. I changed to a 3 Sep departure when space became available, then recently, Tauck added a totally new departure, so we are now scheduled for the 28 July departure since we had some scheduling conflicts in Sep and also decided to go for the 4° - 6° warmer temps at that time. :) I hope the crowds won't be too bad since it is during peak season.

    4. We arrive a day and a half before the tour starts not as early as you, but we land at Shannon at 10:10 AM. I need to check with the concierge, but we probably can't get into our room when we arrive at the Old Ground, so I thought we would leave our bags with the staff, walk a couple blocks to get lunch at Zest or Brogan's, then head off to Bunratty mid-afternoon. (hopefully we'll get some sleep on the flight over- flat bed seats in business class.)

    We usually try to stay awake and active after a red-eye flight. That seems to have worked in the past. I have looked a bit into bus, taxi, and also thought about a car for hire, to get us to Bunratty. I'm more concerned about getting back after the banquet, although according to the weather data it will still be very light at 7:30. According to the meteorological data, it doesn't get dark until 10:00?!?!?. I thought about seeing if I could hire our Tauck transport, too!! Thanks for confirming it is a possibility! I guess it will depend on the driver and whether he has any scheduled runs in the afternoon/evening.

    We are still 5 1/2 months out, but I plan to see if I can get reservations for the early 5:30 banquet seating this week.

    Update: I'm glad I checked yesterday (2/12/15)! The website showed our desired date was open, but when I tried to make online reservations it kept defaulting to the 8:45 seating. I sent them an email and learned the 5:30 seating was all booked. Luckily, a very helpful rep "found" two openings at the 5:30 seating for us so.

    MORE QUESTIONS:

    How much time did you spend/do you think is needed to see the castle and folk park before the banquet? (the website says 1-1/2 to 2 hours)

    What time did you leave Ennis/arrive Bunratty Castle?

    Did you arrange for the same driver take you back to the Old Ground? What time did you leave the castle after the banquet?


    Again, thanks much for the reply!!!!
  • AlanS: Probably go 1 1/2 hours early as they close the castle to set up the Banquet 30-45 minutes before time. So go to castle first, then tour the Folk Park which is a leisurely stroll. Get in line to go from the drink area to the banquet hall as close to first as you can since there is no reserved seating and you are on benches. Our driver picked us up right after the event which lasts about 2 hours--no more. Paid him afterward! Bunratty Castle is near Shannon airport, so 30 minutes away from Old Ground Hotel. Poet's Corner Pub in Old Ground is great for lunch.
  • edited February 2016
    AlanS: Probably go 1 1/2 hours early as they close the castle to set up the Banquet 30-45 minutes before time. So go to castle first, then tour the Folk Park which is a leisurely stroll. Get in line to go from the drink area to the banquet hall as close to first as you can since there is no reserved seating and you are on benches. Our driver picked us up right after the event which lasts about 2 hours--no more. Paid him afterward! Bunratty Castle is near Shannon airport, so 30 minutes away from Old Ground Hotel. Poet's Corner Pub in Old Ground is great for lunch.

    Thanks! I forgot to ask, what did the car cost for the r/t, Old Ground- Burnatty- Old Ground?
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