The essence of Ireland revolves around its well founded reputation for outstanding natural beauty. Indeed the lush rolling countryside has lent itself to the ubiquitous poetic nickname for this ancient and mystical land, ‘The Emerald Isle’. Unsurprising, then that Ireland is one of the destinations of choice for Brits with nearly three million of them making the trip this year. Apart from its stunning natural attributes, the enduring appeal of Ireland is built upon a reputation for warm hospitality and great times. Apart from anything else, Ireland is now so easy to get to with easy ferry links and multiple air routes from Britain. So if you have been toying with the idea of a holiday in Ireland perhaps this is the time to go, and to help you we are going to take a look at our favourite 5 holiday destinations in Ireland.
1. Holidays in Dublin
The nation’s capital is also the premier city break destination; in fact it is probably true to say that many of us can testify that Dublin falls into the category of ‘legendary’ whilst recalling favourite weekends away. Perhaps nowhere more than Dublin best exemplifies the great Irish tradition of the ‘craic’ or put simply a great night out. The conviviality is helped along by world famous bars and of course the nation’s favourite tipple ‘Guinness’. It is a truism to say that a pint of Guinness doesn’t taste anywhere better than in Dublin and the brewery has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city as a result. Dublin has the usual accoutrements associated with a world class city: a fantastic selection of restaurants, fascinating places of historic interest accompanied by a flourish arts scene. Here are some tips for your next visit to Dublin.
Things to do in Dublin –
- A visit to Dublin Castle
- A day at Dublin Zoo
- Tour around Jameson’s Whiskey Museum
- Croke Park Stadium Tour
2. Holidays in County Kerry
An area steeped in the myths and legends of Celtic lore, County Kerry is a hiker’s paradise epitomised by the world famous Ring of Kerry tourist trail. The region is shaped by the large number of peninsulas which shelter stunning beaches. With many castles and abbeys to visit along the way, ‘The Ring’ is very popular with hikers and cyclists alike who come to take in the beautiful scenery and to ascend Ireland’s largest mountain, Carrantuohill. County Kerry is renowned as probably Ireland’s most scenic regions and tourists have been flocking to this part of South West Ireland since the 19th Century. The tranquil surroundings set the pace of life and today the relaxed atmosphere of County Kerry still has a very strong attraction.
Things to do in County Kerry
- Horse-riding on the beaches in the Ring of Kerry
- A scenic drive along the Dingle peninsula
- A visit to Skellig Michael
- Golf at Waterville Links
3. Holidays in County Wexford
Historic County Wexford lies on the South Eastern corner of Ireland. Visitors have landed through the ages and left their mark on the region. From Neolithic settlement, Norse plunderers and through to Norman invaders, County Wexford is a crucible for Irish history. Today’s visitors can absorb the history of the region at one the numerous castles in the area, Enniscorthy, Fern and Ballyhack castles are amongst the most popular attractions in the county. Indeed County Wexford has connections with more recent history, the American Kennedy clan trace there routes to this part of Ireland and there is a visitor centre dedicated to the family and the late President John F Kennedy at Dunganstown. Together with beautiful beaches, traditional Irish pubs and great food, County Wexford is a great holiday choice for your next visit to Ireland.
Things to do in County Wexford
- Bird watching at Saltee Islands
- A visit to the Ros Tapestry Exhibition Centre at New Ross
- A day trip to Tintern Abbey
- Exploring Dunbrody Emigrant ship at New Ross
4. Holidays in County Donegal
The most northerly county in Ireland, Donegal is home to some of the finest mountain scenery in the British Isles. The unspoilt landscape is a magnet for rock climbers and walkers but Donegal is also popular with surfers who come to enjoy some of the best surfing conditions in Ireland. The attraction of Donegal revolves around its rugged ‘away from it all’ atmosphere, exposed to the elements on the Irish Atlantic north west, Donegal has some of the best hill walking and coastal paths in the country. After a hard day’s hiking then what better way to recuperate and relax than on one of Donegal’s hundreds of deserted beaches or perhaps a round of golf on one of the country’s championship links courses. In tourism terms this is one of the most undeveloped parts of Ireland but this is at the heart of the charm of a county blessed with natural good looks.
Things to do in County Donegal
- Sea kayaking at Donegal Islands
- A visit to Grianan Aileach Ring Fort
- Exploring Glenveagh Castle, Letterkenny
- A day trip to Malin Head
5. Holidays in County Galway
The mercurial western reaches of Ireland offer a haven of tranquillity, a real antithesis to the day to day rigour of modern life. The unforgiving Atlantic has created some of the most scenic coastline in Ireland and in turn the benevolent Gulf Stream has a strong influence on the climate, with mild winters and some of the warmest temperatures in Ireland during the summer. The region of Connemara is exquisite in its beauty with rugged mountain scenery set alongside a stunning coastline. The bewitching peninsula is home to delightful castles, tranquil islands and picture perfect rocky coves. Galway City is a vibrant centre offering traffic free shopping along the cobbled pathways and an excellent array of eateries.
Things to do in County Galway
- Walking in Connemara National Park
- A night out on Quay Street in Galway City
- A visit to Kylemore Abbey and Victorian walled garden
- Explore Aughnanure Castle