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Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

New Jersey
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Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

We will be driving from Dublin to Kilkenny and I wanted to travel via the Military Road in Wicklow (friends say it is beautiful). Can anybody recommend a route and how long will this take and is it even possible if we are picking up our rental car at DUB at 10am? I realize that time is hard to estimate, given that we will want to stop and take in views and take pictures, but ballpark is good.

Also, is there places to get lunch along the route or should we try to pick something up in Dublin to take with us?

Thanks

Ireland
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1. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

It's lovely, but your progress will not be too quick, if you do not have experience in driving in Ireland. I would suggest Germaines in the riverside town of Baltinglass( check out the abbey on the banks of the river) good hearty food and lots of it and not too expensive.

I just noticed you hope to pick up the car in the airport and drive from there. Really wouldn't advise it, you need your wits about you and not to be jetlagged to tackle that drive.

New Jersey
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2. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

I will have been in Dublin for 2 nights so jetlag should not be an issue. I also like your idea, but will that leave time (and light) to get to Kilkeny that day...I am in no rush, just curious and perhaps concerned with how much light there is in the afternoon/evevning August....first time to Ireland

Ireland
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3. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

This would be a whole day out. Harvey Ireland makes a good point. It is not really a drive you should make straight off the plane. If you want to spend your first night in Kilkenny, then I recommend you drive directly to Kilkenny via the motorways.

If you want to do the Military road, then spend the night in Dublin or on the outskirts. A possible place to stay the night might be Bewleys on the N7 or one of the airport hotels, which would be close to the M50, but with public transport access to the M50. Pick up the R115 from the M50 and travel down through Glencree, stopping at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation for coffee and a quick look. It is interesting. Then continue at a leisurely pace down the Military road to Laragh, where there are lunch opportunities. Take time to visit Glendalough, which will take anything from one hour to several hours, depending how much time you want to spend there.

After that there is a variety of routes you can take to Kilkenny, none of them particularly direct, but all interesting and scenic. You could travel west on the Wicklow Gap to Hollywood, then down through Baltinglass on the N81 to Tullow where you can pick up the motorway direct to Kilkenny. Alternatively from Glendalough turn east on the Wicklow way to Rathdrum and follow rather lower class, but not dreadful, roads through Aughrim, Tinahealy, Shillelagh, Tullow and connect again with the motorway to Kilkenny.

This is a lovely day out, but the roads can be tiring and you would need to allow a whole day to enjoy it.

Ireland
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4. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

Light until around 8.45 in August. Where do you want to get on the military road?

Ireland
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5. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

Your reply was submitted while I was composing my routes. If you are alread staying in Dublin and then returning to the airport to pick up the car, setting out from the airport at 10.00 a.m., then you will have plenty of time to follow one of the routes I have given. I am not quite sure which is the best junction to exit the M50 for Glencree - someone else might know that. Possibly junction 12.

You should allow yourself 5 or 6 hours to really enjoy it, stopping for lunch and other breaks.

New Jersey
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6. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

I was sorry that I may not have been clear in the first post...I will be leaving from Dublin Airport (but only because that is where I am picking up the rental car...we will have been staying in Dublin for two nights at that point).

It looks like it will be a trip that I can make...correct? I was hoping that I would not have to rush and me and my wife could take in the flavor of the drive...and this looks to be the case...very excited...so I should take either one of the routes you had listed or given what I just posted, make an adjustment?

Ireland
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7. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

Yes, take either one. They will both take about the same length of time but just bring you to different places, and end up at the same point (Tullow). It will be really enjoyable, but take your time, with plenty of stops and rests.

I suppost the first one is more direct, but does involve a longer time on the Wicklow way, which is another beautiful, but very narrow road.

Ireland
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8. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

Tullow is where the 1798 insurrgent priest Fr John Murphy and his companion were captured and put to death. They were executed in the square and Fr John's head was put on a spike to frighten Catholics.There is a tradition that the shadow of the head may still be seen on the building.He was hung drawn and quartered and the yeos dismembered remains and kicked them into the dust. Local people gathered the remains in their aprons and buried them in an old local cemetry called the Mullawn.

If you arrive at Tullow and need food, the Tara arms pub is the place to go.If you have a little time the Ring of the Rath just outside the town is a hidden gem. A huge ancient hilltop fort,built in line with other forts such as those on Spinian Hill near Baltinglass.

http://www.nd.edu/~ikuijt/Ireland/Sites/swhetzel/

http://www.megalithicireland.com/Rathgall.htm

Locals had a poitín still here ,depending on the superstition of others not to investigate the noise... !!

Nearby Rathwood also does excellent food,has a falconry centre and is next door to a chocolate factory!!!

http://www.rathwood.com/

Belgium
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9. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

Guys, I'm scratching me head here a bit reading these replies. Maybe I've been thinking that the Military Road is a shorter trip than it is;

I've just checked and via the RII5 from Stocking lane (south Dublin, just before the M50 to laragh is just under 32km.

We've often left the area of Avoca, Arklow and still got to DUB Airport in well under 2 hours.

And so, we've done a few detours that are not, as far as I know, strictly the Military road... we've visited Hollywood, Blessington, Baltinglass, (+ 1 on the Germaines suggestion), Russbourough house, and to the other side, via the R759 to sally gap) Roundwood (Indian Sculpture Park too) and of course, rathdrum and Laragh (Glendalough) too.

Never missed the plane. Never took more than a few hours each time;

I can't see the problem of doing so right off the plane. (Not that OP is doing so)

Ireland
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10. Re: Driving Military Road Drive in Wicklow to Kilkenny

Clipper. You are getting this all wrong. First of all the OP is not getting straight off the plane. That is what we thought in the beginning but he/she clarified in his 2nd that he is collecting a car from the airport.

Secondly, after travelling down the Military Road, he/she intends to drive on to Kilkenny. This is a long trip - a day trip. I have done it myself many times. It is a whole day out and a lovely one. Quite simply there is no point in driving in such an lovely area, if one is not prepared to take time and enjoy the sights.