Ireland and Britain: September - October 2009

After our travels through Britain in 2003, 2005 and 2007, we decided that Ireland was the next place to visit. This was partly for family reasons, and so with Colma's sister Margaret joining us we planned our trip around family history, natural history and isolated islands. Ireland seemed to be the place to start, but it proved quite difficult to fly to Ireland from New Zealand without wasting a lot of time in airports and waiting for connecting flights.

Eventually, we flew into Manchester on Singapore Airlines and then across to Galway by Aer Arran. This turned out to be a good plan, and Galway International Airport was an excellent introduction to the laid back style of Ireland.

So read on if you want to follow our trip. The daily itinerary is below. You can jump to any day, or follow the links at the end of each day to the next one.

Paul, December 2009

Our Itinerary

Day Date Event
Day 1 Sat 19 Sep 2009 Arrive Manchester Airport, Aer Arran to Galway, rental car to Ballyvaughan and the Hylands Burren Hotel
Day 2 Sun 20 Sep 2009 A drive over The Burren landscape to the Cliffs of Moher and back to Ballyvaughan
Day 3 Mon 21 Sep 2009 A storm cancelled the trip to the Arran Is. so a drive around the coast and lunch at Linnane's Fish Bar
Day 4 Tues 22 Sep 2009 Family history day in Tulla, County Clare and a meeting with a relation
Day 5 Wed 23 Sep 2009 A visit to the Moroney farm, then on to Limerick, Lough Gur and stone circles, then Kilarney and the best restaurant on our trip
Day 6 Thurs 24 Sep 2009 From Kilarney, over Moll's Gap to Kenmare, around the Ring of Beara to Glengarriff
Day 7 Fri 25 Sep 2009 The long road through Cork to Waterford Crystal
Day 8 Sat 26 Sep 2009 Waterford to Dublin and the Liffey, music and dance
Day 9 Sun 27 Sep 2009 Out of Dublin, back south to Callan and the high cross, Rock of Cashel and north through the Slieve Bloom Mountains to Tullamore
Day 10 Mon 28 Sep 2009 Tullamore north to Cavan, then Marble Arch Caves, to Enniskillen
Day 11 Tues 29 Sep 2009 North through the Sperrin Mountains to Tobermore, Coleraine, Bushmills and the Giant's Causeway
Day 12 Wed 30 Sep 2009 The Old Beech Trees and the Nine Glens of Antrim
Day 13 Thurs 1 Oct 2009 West through Londonderry, back into the Republic, Grianan Fort, family history at Castle Hill, Columba heritage, south to Ardara, then west to the cliffs, and back to Killybegs.
Day 14 Fri 2 Oct 2009 South to Clifden on a rainy day, through the Connemara, thena a slow trip through Galway..
Day 15 Sat 3 Oct 2009 An eary start to fly from Galway to Manchester, then a drive north to the Lakes District and Windermere
Day 16 Sun 4 Oct 2009 A drive to Kendal, then the afternoon on Lake Winderemere
Day 17 Mon 5 Oct 2009 An early walk up Brentfall, then the Windermere car ferry to Sawrey and the Beatrix Potter house at Hill Top, on to Hawkshead for lunch, and a drive back through Keswick
Day 18 Tues 6 Oct 2009 Keswick and the pencil museum, over Honister Pass, lunch in the Pub, and back to Bowness
Day 19 Wed 7 Oct 2009 A rainy day in the Lakes Districe
Day 20 Thurs 8 Oct 2009 Depart Bowness, over Kirkstone Pass to Aira Force. North on the M6 to Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall, then Lockerbie in Scotland
Day 21 Fri 9 Oct 2009 Furher north, past Loch Lomand to Oban. Calmac ferry to Barra and a night without power
Day 22 Sat 10 Oct 2009 Circumnavigation of Barra, then the ferry on to South Uist and the Polochar Inn
Day 23 Sun 11 Oct 2009 North through South Uist, across the causeway to Benbecula and North Uist, Carinish Temple and the Temple View Hotel
Day 24 Mon 12 Oct 2009 Back to South Uist for the smoked salmon, then north again to Berneray and the next ferry trip to Harris, then on to Stornoway.
Day 25 Tues 13 Oct 2009 The ring road west to the Arnol Black House museum, the Callanish Standing Stones, Dun Carloway Broch and back to Stornoway in the rain
Day 26 Wed 14 Oct 2009 A drive to the Butt of Lewis, then the Calmac ferry across to Ullapool.
Day 27 Thurs 15 Oct 2009 A long drive south through Inverness to Edinburgh, a stop at Inverkeithing looking for family in the cemetery, then on further to Carlisle
Day 28 Fri 16 Oct 2009 South past Manchester, east to Glossop and over Snake Pass, Froggatt Edge for Lunch, Eyam and the Riley Graves, and south to Uttoxeter
Day 29 Sat 17 Oct 2009 Potteries - Moorcroft and Wedgwood - then through Wales to Cwm Chwefru
Day 30 Sun 18 Oct 2009 A rest day, a walk through the frosty fields of Wales
Day 31 Mon 19 Oct 2009 To the book town of Hay on Wye, then the Black and White villages
Day 32 Tues 20 Oct 2009 A quiet day in the rain visiting Builth Wells
Day 33 Wed 21 Oct 2009 West to Aberysthwyth, north through the market town of Machynlleth then the surreal Portmerion. Over the hill to LLanberis and the Lake View Hotel
Day 34 Thurs 22 Oct 2009 The railway to the top of Snowdon (in cloud), back to sunshine and south from Llanberi back to Builth Wells.
Day 35 Fri 23 Oct 2009 South through Brecon to Cardiff, over the Severn to Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury
Day 36 Sat 24 Oct 2009 A day in the Dockyard at Portsmouth
Day 37 Sun 25 Oct 2009 Early start, back up the M4 towards London, dropping the rental car at Heathrow on the way; lunch in Covent Garden and an afternoon walk beside the Thames
Day 38 Mon 26 Oct 2009 Down the Thames to the Barrier and Greenwich, back to Westminster via the Tower Bridge
Day 39 Tues 27 Oct 2009 Tower of London in the morning, then Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, shopping in Harrods then the theatre for "Avenue Q"
Day 40 Wed 28 Oct 2009 Train to Plaistow and the family church, back to the hotel and the train to Heathrow and out to Singapore and home

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Last updated: 11/04/2024