Are you interested in coming along, but are afraid that travelling, especially with armour, would be too difficult? Let us walk you through the steps.
First and foremost, please ask us any time you want a local’s perspective on any travel questions. We are here for you and we are very keen to welcome visitors from abroad. You can mail the steward at [email protected] or PM Aoife, Agnes or Sela on Facebook.
Flying with armour
Dublin is served by several low cost and other airlines from around Europe, with frequent connections, among others, to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Unless you are absolutely stuck, we would recommend getting a direct flight rather than changing (for instance in London). SAS, Finnair, Lufthansa and KLM will let you buy a standard baggage allowance of 23 kg, which should be enough for most armour. Ryanair’s standard check-in luggage allowance is 20 kg, so you may need to get a bit creative there - I usually shove non-metal bits in my hand luggage. Some people like to transport their helm in their hand luggage, which leads to interesting conversations with security folks.
You may wish to wear your fighting shoes to lighten the baggage - and perhaps even take your gambeson on your arm as a coat if you’re really pressed for space or weight.
It’s a good idea to have a very light (but durable) armour bag, with wheels so you don’t need to carry it. If you’re thinking about buying a new bag, it’s better to spend some extra money on it to ensure it’ll keep you going for longer, rather than fall apart after the first flight.
We have some loaner gear available, but we would prefer to use that for the benefit of new fighters. Please note that if you don’t own armour or are not in a position to pay for the extra cost, you are very welcome to still attend, as much of the training will likely not require armour!
If you prefer to borrow a towel and/or feast gear to keep your own cargo to the minimum, please let us know as we can likely sort you out.
Think about your non-armour garb: what’s the least that you can get away with? There will be a court, so do you want to/do you have the space to bring anything fancier, or will you make do with one set of garb? Accessories will bling up a lot, as will a change of tunic.
Onwards travel from the airport
Clara is about 60-90 minutes drive from the airport. It’s an easy drive: Take the Dublin ring road M50 to exit 7, then follow the M4 until exit 11, follow the M6 until exit 5, go through Kilbeggan village and take the R436 to Clara. Follow your satnav to “Clara House Holistic Spa”. The M50 and the M4 have tolls, so you should ask your car rental company what the procedure for dealing with these is. We drive on the left, but driving on the motorways and the rest of the route to Clara is not difficult and people are usually fairly sensible within the normal driver range.
We may be able to provide a limited number of lifts from the airport, depending on the availability of cars from our end: some of us with cars will have to travel to the site early. We can also try to coordinate car pooling in terms of rentals, so please get in touch if you are interested.
The site car park is behind Clara House itself, where the site owner family live. We use the modern building behind the house.
By public transport
Clara is reachable in about an hour by train from Dublin Heuston station. The site is within 10 minutes walk from Clara station, and if you have a lot of bags, someone may be able to pick you up.
You can take the Dublin Bus 747 (yes, we know) directly to Heuston station, or a number of other Dublin Buses or the Aircoach to O’Connell Street and take the Luas (tram) red line from Abbey Street or Jervis to Heuston. Tram tickets can be bought from machines at all the tram stops.
You can buy rail tickets in advance online, or on the day from a machine or a person. Irish train fares are relatively inexpensive.
If you find that you have difficulty finding public transport back to Dublin on Sunday evening, please talk to us and we will see what we can arrange.