Ireland packs so much into such a small space
City breaks have become the ‘in’ thing to do, and whether you decide to jump on a low-cost flight to a cultural European city, or you head to somewhere in your own country, one of the most popular city destinations in the world is of course Dublin.
Packed with Guinness-laden fun, the famous ‘craic’, friendly locals, and beautiful scenery just a stone’s throw away from the city centre, Dublin is certainly a popular choice. The huge mistake many people make however, is not exploring the rest of Ireland whilst they’re there.
We know that Ireland as a land-mass consists of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. For this purpose, we’ll concentrate mainly on the Republic, purely because it is the largest part of the island; that’s not to say however that there isn’t plenty to do if you head north, because the rugged scenery here is certainly one to check out too.
Famous for that frothy-topped drink you either love or hate, famous writers, such as Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, and some of the most dramatic and wild landscapes you will ever set your eyes on, Ireland ticks many boxes – city life ticked, romance ticked, scenery ticked, outdoor activities ticked … I could go on.
Dublin is of course located on the eastern coast of Ireland, very easily accessible, especially from the UK. The west coast, lapped by the wild waters of the Atlantic Ocean, has some of the most breath-taking scenery you will find anywhere in the world. A camera is a definite must have here. You’ll find rolling hills, wild beaches, castles, mountains, and then the odd city popping up here and there. Dublin and Cork in particular are lively spots for a more modern take on this country.
A good way to see everything Ireland has to offer is by hiring a car and taking off on your own bespoke road trip, or hiring a camper van and doing it all your own way. However you choose to explore Ireland, you need to tick a few boxes as you go.
We mentioned that in the east of Ireland you will find Dublin, and a few days here is a must. Temple Bar is one of the most famous parts of the city, and this is where you will find that legendary ‘craic’ in abundance. If you’re wondering what the ‘craic’ is, well it’s basically good fun, good banter, with friendly people. What more could you want?
Just outside of Dublin you will find beautiful countryside, including the famous Wicklow Hills. You can walk, hike, cycle here, all within a short distance to the city.
Of course, there’s more to Ireland than Dublin, and the west coast is where you will find some of the most rugged and wild scenes. Connemara is a beautiful place to visit, with varying different landscapes to take in, again great for outdoor activities. Sligo is situated on the western coast and you will again see wild scenes, especially during the winter months, when you would probably be advised to take an umbrella!
The Ring of Kerry is perfect for those on a road trip, situated in the south-west of the country, in County Kerry quite typically, with plenty of small towns and villages to explore along the way, and scenes which look like they came out of a holiday brochure or on a postcard.
Alternatively, head to County Cork and kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle,
or Country Clare and check out the stunning Cliffs of Moher.
Horn Head in County Donegal will give you a walk with a view, Glendalough is perfect for exploring in peace and quiet, in a remote mountain valley, or perhaps Killarney National Park will be your choice.
These are just a few select things to see and do when you visit Ireland, and quite frankly there’s too much to mention. If you can time your visit with St Patrick’s Day, on 17 March, you will certainly have more than a bit of ‘craic’, with fun celebrations across the whole nation, and Temple Bar is the place to be during this time if you’re visiting Dublin.
Of course, throughout the year you will find events happening, especially sporting, so check out the calendar to time your visit. Horse racing is huge business in Ireland, with many festivals on throughout the different months. If you fancy a flutter then this is your place.
Whether you visit for a spot of traditional Irish dancing, to try Guinness in its homeland, you’re seeking peace and serenity in the beautiful countryside, or there’s simply something that pulls you to Ireland, one thing’s for sure – just because this island is small doesn’t mean it should be overlooked, in fact, this is one place that proves that size really doesn’t matter.
Ireland – By Nicola Curtis
Thus concludes our Ireland post. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.
Ireland cover Image – Burren at sunrise by Patryk Kosmider
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