I will NOT be renting a car on my upcomming week visit to Dublin. I have been looking into day trips by way of the train or a bus company. Some trips have the train arriving back in Dublin 2 hours later than the coach. I thought the train would be the way to go but I am not sure. Why does the train take so long? I have booked into visiting the Giants Causeway and the Cliffs of Mohr. The train is rather expensive so I thought it was faster and the way to go but I'm not sure... Help!
Most railway lines are single track so that may account for them being so slow - they can only run one train at a time in either direction. Also some of the lines run on old lines, or boggy or coastal land so they cannot travel very fast in those areas. We currently have a good network of motorways and dual carriageways here so that may account for the relative speed of the coach trips, also they may take more direct routes. For trips in the immediate Dublin area (eg Howth, Malahide, Bray, Dalkey, Greystones, etc.), the DART is a suburban rail network that is fast and frequent. Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie) is the national bus company and they have some good tours but there are also lots of good private tour companies.
We have combined bus and train travel a few times when in Ireland....We have been all around the coast of Ireland that way with a short hire of a car in County Donegal.
But between Derry (or also called Londonderry) and Belfast you have magnificent views back over to Donegal from the train and as Anne Marie mentioned the trains often run along the coast....I saw a write up some years ago about this train journey and this was described as one of the special train journeys.... and that it was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth2.
If you did this an overnight stay in Derry would be great.
Though I think you can get a day tour from Dublin...by bus for sure.
The Giants Causeway is a Great trip from Belfast and the Cliffs of Moher are a Good trip from Galway...Neither would be on my list from Dublin.. 9 or more hours on your bum for 1+ hour sightseeing?? rather rent a video. If you want to see Ireland a Dublin base is far from Ideal..sorry
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