Best Places to Stop on a Dublin to Dingle Road Trip
A road journey from Dublin to Dingle is one of the longest and best trips you can do in Ireland.
How far is Dingle from Dublin? Around 5 hours. Stated another way, the journey from Dublin to Dingle by automobile is around 350 kilometers.
This road trip is a small trek by US standards, but nevertheless, it’s excellent to have the excuse of a “long” drive to locate spots to stop and stretch your legs along the route.
While we generally prefer train travel and love exploring Ireland by rail, booking a rental vehicle and taking a road trip gives the pleasure of stepping off the beaten track.
Here are five of our favorite pit breaks that we suggest on a self-drive Dublin to Dingle route.
Dublin to Dingle Road Trip Stop #1: Steep in Science and Nature at Birr Castle
Birr Castle boasts an intriguing mansion and large grounds for a leg-stretching walk. For a while (1845-1914), the castle was also home to the biggest telescope in the world.
We marveled at the gigantic complex of ladders and contraptions necessary to aim the telescope toward the sky for some Victorian stargazing.
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Ireland is a terrific destination for road vacations. Some of our favorite Irish road trips include:
Dublin to County Clare and the Cliffs of Moher in June. You may just see puffins!
Galway to Connemara for some of the wildest landscapes you’ll discover in Ireland.
Dublin to Sligo paired with the poetry of W.B. Yeats.
Dublin to Kinsale in winter for a little of birdwatching at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve.
Driving to the northwest region of Ireland and discover all the fantastic locations to see in Donegal.
Exploring Ireland’s sunny southeast with a weekend journey to Waterford and Wexford.
Discovering all the things to do around Kilkea Castle in County Kildare?
Dublin to Dingle Road Trip Stop #2: Adare Town and Adare Manor
Adare is a delightful village having gorgeous thatched homes, colorful bars, and a tiny park for a brief halt on the journey from Dublin to Dingle.
Adare is really a great pit break on a road trip; there are some pleasant things to see but not so many things that you are tempted to loiter there all day.
We were thrilled to go to Dingle and remained for maybe 20 minutes in Adare.
If you’d prefer to spend more time at Adare, save Birr Castle for another day and depart Dublin in the mid-morning.
This way, you can schedule your arrival in Adare for a late lunch at Adare Manor.
Pro-tip: Adare is also on route if your target is Waterville at the further end of the Ring of Kerry road. We stopped on way to Waterville on a separate road trip.
Adare Manor is a gated hotel and golf resort. Make a reservation at the Carriage House which includes a glass covered sitting area overlooking the golf course.
The cuisine is wonderful. We shared a healthy salad followed by a Goat’s cheese and fig pizza and chicken with bacon.
Make sure to spare space for dessert which in our case was a scrummy tiramisu with caramel ice cream.
Now that you’re “in”, tour the grounds of Adare Manor after lunch.
We appreciated the well-manicured grass, wandering along the river, a tree that dates back to 1645 and ethereal sculptures in the walled gardens.
So elegant! Once you’ve adequately stretched your legs, climb in the vehicle and continue your trip forward into County Kerry.
Dublin to Dingle Road Trip Stop #3: A Spin through Listowel in North Kerry
Listowel is another whistle-stop place in Ireland that we checked out on the return journey from Dingle to Dublin.
We spent approximately 20 minutes touring the colorful plaza and walked in the footsteps of authors like Bryan MacMahon and John B. Keane who made Listowel home and helped the town achieve its distinction as the Literary Capital of Ireland.
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT:
Have you heard of the Rose of Tralee, Ireland’s top beauty pageant that takes into consideration more than simply looks?
Why not take a detour from Listowel to Tralee if you have a little more time. A visit to Tralee will only add roughly 30 minutes to your trip.
Dublin to Dingle Road Trip Stop #4: Relive the Era of the Flying Boat at Foynes
We were really charmed with Foynes and actually went out of our way a little bit to make a pit stop on our way back to Dublin from Dingle.
Foynes in County Limerick is home to the Flying Boat Museum which is situated in the old airport (boatport?).
In contrast to the float aircraft of today, flying boats were jet-sized behemoths that took off and landed on water and truly jump launched the age of transcontinental flight.
The airport was located here in Foynes because it is in the far west of Ireland and hence represents one of the shortest potential distances to North America.
The displays on the history of aviation were informative and we liked the opportunity to wander around one of the flying boats.
The flying boat period actually only lasted a brief time (around the time of World War II) yet it is a fascinating and romantic age for aviation.
Dublin to Dingle Road Trip Stop #5: Soak in the Sun at Belvedere House and Gardens in Mullingar
As the sun fell on our return journey from Dingle to Dublin, we were confronted with gorgeous bright blue sky (such a rarity in Ireland!) It was great weather for a trip around Belvedere House and Gardens.
We peered up at the famed ‘Jealous Wall’ gleaming in the golden hour light.
Catalyzed by a family tale that pitted brother against brother and included charges of infidelity, the Jealous Wall was created so that Robert Rochfort, the owner of Belvedere Mansion wouldn’t have to gaze at his brother George’s house next door.
It is possible to amble for hours in the grounds of Belvedere House and while doing so, you’ll see a variety of follies (structures mostly created for decoration) (structures mainly built for decoration).
The follies appear like they’ve been existing for hundreds of years but in actuality they were erected in the 20th century and were only fashioned to look antique. Fascinating.
There you have it…five perfect spots to stop and stretch your legs on a road journey between Dublin and Dingle. For more on our vacation to Dingle see:
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a Road Trip to the Dingle Peninsula in the West of Ireland
Map of Ireland: Road Trip from Dublin to Dingle with Stops Along the Way.
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