France, Cork and dogs in Kerry


GO ASK JOAN:All your travel questions answered by JOAN SCALES

How to book our inter-rail?

I am hoping you might be able to advise me on some confusion I am having with reserving tickets for inter-railing. Our route is Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Budapest in July–August. Do you know if it is compulsory or recommended to reserve seats and if so, how would we go about doing it? – CC, Dublin

An Interrail ticket is based on an agreement between 30 different rail companies and the rules can vary from country to country. As a guideline, you should have reservations for cross-border travel, high-speed trains and night services. The cost of reservations varies and could be from €1-€20 depending on the rail company and class of service.

July and August are high season all over Europe and reservations would be advisable. There are further details on the Interrailnet.comwebsite under the Planning tab that explains in full which services have to be booked, how to book and the cost.

French boat connections

We have hired a boat to cruise from Tannay to Decize in Burgundy, France. We fly to CDG Paris and then plan to take the TGV from Paris to Nevers. This is where my problem starts. Finding way to get from Nevers to Clamecy by either local train or bus, being the nearest main town to Tannay where we pick up our boat for a week’s cruising. I would appreciate if you could recommend a site for information on local travel. – PB, Wexford

You can save yourself a bit of time by taking the train from Paris Bercy station near the Gare de Lyon to Clamecy. It takes about three hours and the direct service runs about every three hours. See the timetable at From Clamecy you can take a local taxi to the boat base. Usually the boat hire people will arrange a taxi for you in advance. It will cost around €50. On arrival in Decize you can take a local train to Nevers for mainline services to Paris, or a taxi which will cost around €65. I suggest you contact the boat hire base for further information. A great site for tourism information in the Burgundy region is It is in English and has details of places to visit, things that are happening, wine buying and restaurant suggestions.

West Cork rentals

We have left it very late but my wife and I want to rent a cottage or house in west Cork, specifically the Bantry, Baltimore or Schull areas, between July 23rd and 30th. We need a minimum two beds but three is preferable and our only real requirement is proximity to shops and restaurants. Sea views would be a bonus and we’d prefer the cottage to be traditional in style. Can you recommend where we could obtain such accommodation or websites where we could read independent reviews of self catering accommodation in Ireland? – DMD, Dublin

All is not lost, there are other tardy people not making bookings yet, you will be glad to hear. West Cork is not sold out, despite this being a very popular time of the year. There are a number of companies with holiday homes to rent and they may be able to give you independent reviews of properties.

See WestCorkRentals.iein Schull, tel: 028-28122; DreamIreland.comis showing a few properties that might suit you for rent in West Cork, tel: 064-664 1170 and, tel: 1850 200 236 has houses in Baltimore.

Private rentals are available on websites such as HolidayLettings.netand, where there may be some reviews from previous renters.

Each of the towns you mentioned has their own websites, with details of holiday homes to rent in the area, so have a look at, Bantry.ieand

You can expect to pay up to €700 for a week in July, though most rentals will be from Saturday to Saturday, July 21st-28th.

Will our dog be welcome?

A bit of an odd question! We’ve rented a house near Tralee for a couple of weeks in August, and plan to take our little dog for the first time. However when I mentioned it to friends from Cork and Kildare, each suggested it would be a really bad idea as we wouldn’t be able to take him for a run anywhere off his lead, that dogs aren’t allowed in pubs or places that serve food (even outside), and that he wouldn’t be able to go on any of the beaches with us. The consensus was that we’d be better off leaving him in a kennels rather than bringing him to Ireland. – DB, London

It would be a pity not to bring your dog on holidays but your friends are right, you cannot bring dogs into places where food is served.

However you can take him out on a lead and once you clean up after him, it should not be a problem. Dogs are allowed on most beaches, on a lead, but there may be different regulations in some areas. You can check in the local tourist office.

Most beaches also have the regulations posted at the entrance. There are lots of other open spaces that the dog will enjoy. In Ireland we love our dogs and I am sure your dog will be very welcome. The rules sound more restrictive than the reality.

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