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Small Town to visit in Ireland thats close to Dublin

chrism007 Nov 18, 2012 06:51 PM

Hi Guys,

My wife and I are planning on spending 4 nights in Ireland as part of a broader European trip in May next year.

We're flying directly into Dublin and figured we would spend 2 nights there but I would like to see a little bit more of the country :)

I'm looking for a small town thats easily accessible by train from Dublin (1-2 hours travel). We just want somewhere we can hang out for 2 days, see some scenery, go for a walk and then find a good pub to sit in and eat :)

I've had a few people suggest Greystones but from what I understand the whole harbour foreshore is a huge construction zone at the moment so not the best place to be hanging out?

Dalkey and Dun Loaghaire also pop up but they look more like suburbs of Dublin so was hoping to get a little further away for a change of scenery.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!



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  1. zuriga1 RE: chrism007 Nov 18, 2012 10:04 PM

    I was just in Dublin about 10 days again, and to our good fortune, a good friend of mine who lives there drove us all over the countryside near to the big city. From what he told us, it's quite easy to get down to some seaside towns using the DART system. We stopped at a lovely, small place called Enniskillen for a good coffee and cake.

    Ireland is full of beautiful places to visit, and I can't imagine many are a long train journey. The Ring of Kerry makes for great walking (near Killarney) - nice restaurants and must have direct train access to Dublin. I've never been to Wicklow, but my son enjoyed that area.

    3 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1
      klyeoh RE: zuriga1 Nov 19, 2012 01:40 AM

      The Wicklow mountains are beautiful. Here's a pic taken at Laragh (where we stopped for breakfast) up there. Magical!

      1. re: klyeoh
        zuriga1 RE: klyeoh Nov 19, 2012 05:18 AM

        We went to one part in the mountains that seemed rather desolate other than a view at a large home owned by the Guinness family (that's a drink and so this counts as a food thread.)
        We trekked all over that day - a nice change of scene from Dublin.

        1. re: zuriga1
          klyeoh RE: zuriga1 Nov 19, 2012 07:17 AM

          I heard that, if you visit the Guinness mansion as a guest, you'd be served a 'Black Velvet', Guinness + champagne as a welcome drink.

    2. d
      DublinChow RE: chrism007 Nov 19, 2012 07:26 AM

      KIlkenny is a great town, or city, as they like to call it.
      Lots to see and do eg Kilkenny castle and the craft council hq, nice pubs and Campagne and Zuni are good restaurants.
      Or a small town very near Dublin would be Enniskerry - nice walks and the impressive Powerscourt Estate beside. A Ritz Carlton on site if you fancy. (I suspect this is what zuriga calls Enniskillen which is in Northern Ireland and a few hours away)

      1 Reply
      1. re: DublinChow
        zuriga1 RE: DublinChow Nov 19, 2012 08:08 AM

        You are so right! I got my Ennises mixed up. We were not in Northern Ireland. Which reminds me that there was once a baseball player named Del Ennis - so that name must be something in Gaelic!

      2. k
        kerriar RE: chrism007 Nov 20, 2012 06:28 AM

        If you want to minimise travel, this probably means staying on or close to the east coast. Kilkenny is not a bad choice but you could also try Carlingford, about an hour by train north of Dublin to Dundalk and then take a taxi. It's a pretty fishing village with good places to eat or stay - also local oysters in season in the local bars. Good walking country.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kerriar
          DublinChow RE: kerriar Nov 20, 2012 08:33 AM

          Carlingford is a lovely idea!
          Never been up there, but my brother and his wife spent a lovely weekend in Ghan House and really enjoyed the town.

        2. The Chowhound Team RE: chrism007 Nov 20, 2012 10:36 AM

          Hey, folks, just a request that your replies focus on towns with great food and drink, ideally with specific recommendations for where to get it. Thanks!

          1. b
            BrianGilligan RE: chrism007 Nov 20, 2012 12:09 PM

            Kilkenny is a good option. An alternative is to go to Wexford town. There is a good Italian place serving simple but authentic food at lunchtime called La Dolce Vita. Fordes restaurant serves reasonable but not amazing food. It might be a bit difficult for you to get to, but The Lobster Pot in Carne is a very cosy pub serving good seafood. It's located a few miles inland from Rosslare.
            It's not a small town, but Belfast is about two hours from Dublin by train and has some good eating and drinking options.

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