Archives for June 2019

Top 10 Restaurants in Galway City

Galway City is also known for its amazing restaurants. These restaurants not only offer scrumptious meals but also delectable sets of diverse meals from different countries. With the serene and homely ambiance of these restaurants, you will have a memorable eating experience. So here are the best restaurants in Galway City that we recommend for you to try on.

Top 10 Restaurants in Galway City

1. Ard Bia at Nimmos

Ard Bia at Nimmos

This fun and artistic café/ restaurant is perfect for artisan food lovers and food photography lovers. Serving one of the best menus in Galway is Ard Bia at Nimmos, Ard Bia meaning High Food. Fresh, organic, and local produce are the main ingredients of the restaurant’s best-served dishes.

Their menu ranges from fresh salads, choice Irish plates, toasted sandwiches, burger steaks, and other delectable main courses and desserts.

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM –  ( 6:00 PM-9:00 PM )

Saturday – Sunday – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM ( 6:00 PM -9:00 PM )

Contact Information

Address: Ard Bia at Nimmos, Spanish Arch, Long Walk, Galway, H91 E9XA, Ireland

Phone:+353 091 561 114 

Email:reservations@ardbia.com

2. The Quay Street Kitchen, Galway

One of the main highlights of this close-knit and bustling restaurant is their vegetarian dishes and their organic beer-battered tofu side dishes. Their menu includes meat dishes too for those who are not vegetarians.

Filled platters of fresh hummus with fine olives are served as well. And their warm and inviting interior décor will surely make you feel welcome. If you’re into healthy living and eating, then The Quay Street Kitchen is a good choice in Galway City.

Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Contact Information

Address: Unit B The Halls, Quay Street, Galway, Ireland

Phone: +353-91865680

3. Brasserie on the Corner

 

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With its fine grand arches and intricate brickwork design, the feeling of staying inside is comparable to eating at a luxurious pub. Their menu includes rich fish meals, topnotch Caesar salads, and organic and fine wines. They also have deli boards such as meat, cheese, seafood, and vegetarian.

Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday – 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Contact Information

Address: Eglington, Galway

Phone: +353 91 530333

Email:info@brasseriegalway.com

4. The Dough Bros, Galway

 

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Serving one of the most delicious and affordable pizzas around Galway City is the Dough Bros pizzeria. Both vegetarians and meat lovers will surely rejoice with their wide selection of menu: the Proper Ham & Mushroom, the Hail Caesar, the Irish Margherita (Vegetarian), the Hey Pesto, the Peter Singer, Posh Pepperoni, and Ricotta Be Kiddin’ Me!

All of these are all wood-fired, freshly-cooked, and baked to utter perfection by using the best local ingredients. Celebrate your love for pizza with you, your friends, and family in Galway, Ireland.

Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday – 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Contact Information

Address: Unit 1, Cathedral Buildings, Middle Street, Galway

Phone: +353 (0)91 395238

5. Aniar Restaurant & Boutique Cookery School

Fine-dining and farm-to-plate fresh-meal experiences are some of the great things offered by the Aniar Restaurant & Boutique Cookery School. Aside from serving one of the best local dishes in Galway, the cookery school also offers one-day to six-week cooking courses on Understanding Food, Planning a Dinner Party, on Contemporary Irish Cooking, Wild Food, & Seaweed, on How to Be A Better Baker, Gastropub Classics, and much more.

Enjoy their 6-course tasting menus with fine wines made with the best ingredients from different places in Ireland.

Opening Hours

Tuesday to Thursday – 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Friday to Saturday – 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM

Contact Information

Address: 53 Lower Dominick Street, Galway, GALWAY, GA

Phone: +353 91 535 947

Email: aniarrestaurant.ie

6. Hooked

 

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With its cozy atmosphere and warm staff, the Hooked family-run restaurant offers one of the most delectable home-cooked dishes in all of Galway. Some of their specialties include the monkfish, smoked salmon, cod chips and chowder, and much more scrumptious dishes. Enjoy other seafood classics and varieties such as its Crispy Fish Burger, the Hooked Veggie Burger, Crispy Wild Mackerel Fillets, their delicious Allis Lobster Roll, and their signature Seafood Tagliatelle.

Opening Hours

Monday – Wednesday – 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Thursday to Sunday – 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Contact Information

Address: 65 HENRY STREETGALWAY, GALWAYIRELAND

Phone: +353 91 581 752

Email: HOOKEDONHENRYST@GMAIL.COM

7. Black Cat

Wine, Tapas, Jazz. These are just some of the things offered by the restaurant, and much more. Served in local tapas-style, savory Irish dishes await you in your stay in Black Cat. Enjoy the live jazz tunes as their kind and warm staff serves you of the best meals of your choice.

Some of their best meals and dishes include the Garbanzo Soup, crispy tempura batters, open crab sandwiches, steak sandwiches, stuffed rabbit loin, cured meats, and selected cheeses. For their evening specialties, their signature dishes include the roast pheasant breast, the Mediterranean fisherman stew, and their famous Colleran’s char-grilled Angus sirloin steak.

Opening Hours

Monday to Wednesday – 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Thursday to Saturday  – 12:00 pm -10:00 pm
Sunday- 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Contact Information

Phone: 091 501 007

Email: catdubh179@hotmail.com

8. La Collina

Enjoy Italian-inspired homely and traditional meals in La Collina. Some of their best starters include Polpette in Umido and the Taglioni Al Limon. Their best and signature main courses include the Fettuccine Mare E Monti, Linguine Mare Chiaro Al Cartocio (fresh Galway mussels, shrimps and king prawns, smothered in Italian garlic tomato sauce, and the Fussili Con Salmone Affumicato (chopped smoked salmon in a white wine and cream sauce topped with Fetta cheese).

You can also try some of their Italian-Irish inspired fine wines, house wines, rose wine, and red wine. And for dessert, try their lemon cheesecake and caramel and honeycomb charlotte to top-off the perfect evening.

Opening Hours

Tuesday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM

Sunday – 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Contact Information

Address: 169 Upper Salthill,Galway City,Ireland

Phone: (091) 450 716

Email: la_collina_galway@yahoo.com

9. Neo Restaurant in Galway

As the restaurant’s name implies, this chic, modern, and homely restaurant serve one of the best Japanese and Thai dishes around Galway City. Try their spring rolls, Pad Thai, their famous Singaporean noodles, and savory-sweet and sour stirred fried chicken. Feel the taste of Asia, and its finest cuisines served in the mixture of local and Asian choice ingredients. Vegetarian and gluten-free options for different meals are also available.

Opening Hours

Monday to Thursday – 4:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Friday – 4:30 PM to 11:00 PM

Saturday – 12:30 – 11:00 PM

Sunday – 12:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Contact Information

Address: 8 Dock Road , Galway, Ireland

Phone: 091 549888

10. John Keogh’s Gastropub

This multiple-award-winning restaurant hosts one of the best food events and parties around Galway City. For the best lunch starters, try the dry-aged rib-eye steak sandwich and their duck spring roll. The main lunch course offers a wide variety of meals, including their signature Full Pot of Mussels, and John Keogh’s Fish Pie.

Dinner starters include their signature crispy Irish king prawn parcel and their Asian spiced bulger wheat salad. Trying their best main dinner course, the 10Oz Irish Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak, served with a special sauce of your choice.

The merry and homely interior and atmosphere of the restaurant gives you a sense of an eternal Holiday season while having some of the most delectable local dishes served in Galway on your table.

Opening Hours

Monday to Thursday –  5:00 PM to 11:30 PM

Friday – 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Saturday – 1:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Sunday – 1:00 PM to 11:30 PM

Contact Information

Address: 22-24 Upper Dominick Street,H91 DXH7 Galway

Phone: +353 (091) 449 431

Email:  info@johnkeoghs.ie

Top 15 Things To Do In Westport, Ireland

The vibrant, colorful, and bustling town of Westport on the west coast of Ireland is filled with promising tourist destinations. You can definitely enjoy a lot of indoor and outdoor activities in Westport on your own, with friends, or with your family. In fact, Westport is already known as the “Adventure capital of Ireland”. If you fear missing out all the fun you can do here, here’s a guide to the top 15 things to do in Westport, Ireland.

Top 15 Things To Do In Westport, Ireland

1. Visit Westport House and Grounds

Westport House

The Westport House has a lot of stories to tell. This historic ground has not only been home to the Browne family for over 300 years but it was also the building site of Grace O’Malley’s castle, the Pirate Queen of Connaught.

This castle is considered one of the most beautiful historic homes in Ireland with over 30 rooms and 6 permanent exhibitions.

Outside these homes is the beautiful scenery comprised of a lake, a beautiful garden, and a breathtaking view of the Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Clare Island, Achill, and Croagh Patrick.

The Westport House and Ground is open for guests from March to October and weekends from November to December.

2. Drive to the Clew Bay Beaches

Clew Bay beaches

If you want a chill morning to spend in Westport, you can drive to Clew Bay where you can find unspoiled beaches. It only takes a 10-minute drive from Westport to reach Clew Bay and you can stay all you want for your satisfaction.

The beach gives a relaxing therapy to everyone who visits it. There are also exciting activities that you can do on the beach if you want to stay longer.

3. Explore the water of Clew Bay

Located in the beautiful Clew Bay, you can find a network of water trails called the “Blueway”. One of the trails is in the Old Head where you can experience a lot of water activities like kayaking, snorkeling, coasteering, and stand-up paddling.

Coasteering is one of the most popular water activities here where you can try adventure swimming, rock scrambling, and cliff diving. It is perfect for the adrenaline junkies.

You can also visit Collanmore Island and Clare Island for more water sports activities. Collamore Island is a private island which hosts a fantastic water park equipped with water trampolines and slides.

Water skiing is also one of the top activities you can do here. On the other hand, Clare Island has land and water-based activities. Coasteering, snorkeling, and raft-building are the most popular things to do here.

4. Bring your family in the Pirate Adventure Park

If you’re visiting the Westport House, you might as well take time to go to the Pirate Adventure Park. The park is named in honor of the Pirate Queen of Connaught. In 2015, the park earned the title as the Best Family Holiday Destination.

With or without kids, this is one of the top-rated attractions in Westport because of its wide range of rides.

This is the only park in Ireland where you can find the Log Flume Ride. The Swinging Pirate Ship is also one of the best rides in the park along with the Cannonball Run slide, Swan Pedalo Boats on the lake, and Go Kart.

5. Bike through the Great Western Greenway

Great Western Greenway

Take a break from the bustling city life by biking through the Great Western Greenway. It is hailed as the longest off-road cycling and walking trail in Ireland. You will surely enjoy biking in this 42-kilometer and traffic-free trail as you pass through its beautiful landscape.

Families with kids usually enjoy this place as it is safe and kid-friendly. Don’t worry about which bike to use because you can find a lot of bike rental companies in the area.

6. Test your endurance at Westport House Adventure Activity Center

Westport House

Looking for adrenaline-pumping activities in Westport? Try the Westport House Adventure Activity Center. Whether you’re going with an “all adult” gang or with your little ones, you will surely have the time of your life here. Just remember that visitors aged 8 and up are only allowed to try these breath-taking activities.

The activity center offers laser combat games, archery tag, zip wire, tree climbing, zorbing, archery, and the sky challenge high rope course.

The availability of these activities also depend on the time of the year and some of them require to be booked in advance.

7. Sight-see Westport with a train

If you want to see all of Westport in a unique way, you should try booking the Westport Train Tour. This all-weather sight-seeing tour tells the story of Westport in a fascinating way.

The tour starts in the Westport House’s town center gate, run through the Westport House estate, the Quay, and towards the historic town. It covers 46 sights in this 50-minute train tour.

However, this is only available from March to October though. If you’re visiting Westport during these months, you better check out this tour for a unique experience.

There’s no wonder why this is considered as one of the best things to do in Westport.

8. Try golfing in Westport Golf Club

The 260-acres of parkland located just five minutes away from the town of Westport is one of Ireland’s finest parkland courses. Visitors can not only enjoy the vast golf field but also the magnificent view of Clew Bay shores and Croagh Patrick.

This is a tourist destination package that you should tick-off from your list.

9. Stroll around the quaint town

Westport

You should not miss this in your itinerary if you’re visiting Westport. This Georgian town deserves a lot of tourist attention because of its fine-stoned bridges, tree-lined promenades, and historical value. Just in the heart of the town, you can find the Rockfleet Castle and Burrishoole Abbey.

There’s a lot of ties in the town which is related to the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley. This small town can be toured by foot and you can find a lot of shops, bakeries, pubs, and restaurants along the way.

10. Enjoy a pint of beer in Matt Molloy’s

There is no known English equivalent for the traditional Irish Craic but basically, it should be one thing that you should be doing during your tour in Westport. Craic, for the lack of better words, is synonymous to “having fun”. It could mean a lot of things but many people think it means “to gather and play music”.

This is why you should visit pubs in Westport, most specifically Matt Malloy’s. This old-school pub is known to be a reflection of County Mayo’s musical heritage.

Enjoy a pint of beer in Matt Malloy’s while listening to some traditional Irish music.

11. Dive in some Irish foods in Port Mor

Hungry for some Irish foods? Port Mor is one of the most recommended food hubs in Westport. This award-winning restaurant serves foods inspired by local produce. The rustic and quirky vibes of the place make it also more special.

Port Mor is also known for the gutsy flavors which usually leaves a good impression to its customers. The seafood meals are the most popular ones here because it is known to be the chef’s specialty.

If you want to try this place, it is located just across Matt Molloy’s pub on Bridge Street.

12. Hike Ireland’s holiest mountain

Croagh Patrick things to do in westport

Croagh Patrick is known as Ireland’s holiest mountain. It is also popular for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick.

Once you reach the peak of the mountain, you will be granted with a breathtaking panoramic view of County Mayo’s landscape. It only takes 2 hours to climb Croagh Patrick. The descent takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.

13. Visit the Old Coastguard Station

Learn about the life of the coastguard in Ireland in the Old Coastguard Station. This tourist destination is located 8 kilometers west of the town. You can find exhibitions related to the history of coastguards in Ireland most especially to the 12 families who used to live in this station.

You can also find a display of 12 Currachs, a traditional Irish canvas and tar-covered boats.

14. See what’s interesting in Custom House Studios and Gallery

You can find seven studios, a gallery space, and a printmaking workshop if you visit the Custom House Studios and Gallery in The Quay. The view from the studio is also overlooking the harbor.

From time to time, international artists visit the studio to work and gain inspiration from their experience in Westport and its surrounding views.

15. Take the tour in Mescan Brewery

If you’re looking for an activity to complete your itinerary in Westport, you can take the tour in Mescan Brewery where you can learn about the story of the brewery’s developments.

The tour specifically talks about the Belgian-style brewing which is a unique process brought to Westport.


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9 Best Hikes in Ireland

Ireland is a country rich in natural beauty and geological wonders. With mountains, woodlands, limestone cliffs, forest parks that wind along streams and waterfalls, dolmens and monastic sites – it is a shame to just visit Ireland and not embark on a hiking trip. Pack your favorite hiking shoes and gear, set out early and explore the best hikes in Ireland.

Best Hikes In Ireland

1. The Causeway Coast, County Antrim

Giant’s Causeway Belfast

Level: Easy

You’ll never find a more spectacular excursion than this one, an easy hike that’s unforgettable from start to finish. Regarded as one of Ireland’s best hikes, this is 4.5 miles of Ireland’s best – from the Giant’s Causeway to the Dunseverick Castle.

The trail begins at a  secluded coastline by the causeway that’s rich in geological wonder, mythology, and stunning views. The track then leads you along stunning coastal cliffs and past a number of historical landmarks such as the Dunluce Castle and more of the Giant’s Causeway.

It is advisable to download a map online before you go to check for road closures and other important planning tools to help you make the most of your hike.

2. Doolin Cliff Walk to the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

things to do in doolin ireland

Level: Moderate

Not for the faint of heart or the unaccompanied novice hiker, the Doolin Cliff Walk takes you on a ‘secret’ passage to the Cliffs of Moher. In this trail, you can either take the short route that stops at the Cliffs, or the longer route that finishes at Liscannor. Whatever you choose you will surely enjoy one of the best hikes in Ireland in one of the most stunning locations you’ll find yourself in. This hike along the sharp cliff’s edge offers breathtaking and dramatic views wherever you look, and the swirling Atlantic below.

Back in the adjacent Doolin village, you can enjoy some fish and chips, treats from the chocolate shop and some authentic traditional Irish music.

3. Glenariff Forest Park Scenic Trail, County Antrim

Glenariff Forest Park

Level: Moderate

This is one of the best hikes in Northern Ireland, on a scenic trail in one of the most picturesque counties. It takes you through six miles of stunning natural beauty that starts at the visitor center at Glenariff Forest Park. This varied circular hike leads you through the mossy depths of a waterfall-filled ravine, idyllic woodlands then up a long and winding climb to the edge of the Antrim Plateau. It’s pretty challenging as some areas are steep, but you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the forest park and its surrounding areas, even all the way to the sea to Scotland.

4. Divis and the Black Mountain ridge trail, Belfast

black mountain ireland

Level: Easy to Moderate

A relatively easy hike, a chance to commune with nature and still enjoy spectacular views of the city? Check! The Divis and the Black Mountain ridge trail is one of the best hikes in Ireland because it’s relatively easy but very rewarding. Divis stands 1,568ft and is the perfect spot to enjoy panoramic views over the city of Belfast.

The hike takes you on a circular path that slopes gently up to the Bobby Stone and summit of Black Mountain. Here you can take in views over Stormont and Titanic Belfast as well as the famous Harland and Wolff cranes. On a clear day, you can even look all the way to Scotland and the Isle of Man.

5. Achill Island, County Mayo

Achill Island

Level: Moderate

Stand at the edge of the Atlantic on Ireland’s highest cliffs, when you hike out around Achill Head in County Mayo. Situated on the western tip of Achill Island, this strenuous walk is not for the novice hikers and should be approached with caution.

The Achill Head trail takes you on a challenging trek through cliffs of varying heights, where you’ll come across some archeological wonders such as a megalithic tomb, ancient graveyard, and deserted village.

You’ll also get to explore old signal towers, follow steep headlands, and see peregrine falcons. The hike is quite magical and unforgettable, as the walk on these cliffs gives you the sense of being on the edge of the world.

6. Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail (‘Stairway to Heaven’), County Fermanagh

Cuilcagh Legnabrocky

Level: Easy to moderate

Nicknamed by the locals as the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail is quite an experience and one of Ireland’s best hikes. This trail includes a one-mile boardwalk that allows you to pass through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland. Not for the unaccompanied novice hiker, this adventure leads you to a steep climb to reach the 2,185ft summit of Cuilcagh Mountain. The views are definitely breathtaking and worth it, so make sure you spend time at the peak and capture the unforgettable scenery with your camera.

The Cuilcagh Legnabrocky is situated in an area with a unique habitat and also part of the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark. Take deep relaxing breaths and stretch your arms and legs as you simply can’t resist the opportunity to explore the nearby caves as well.

7. Carrauntoohil Hike, County Kerry

Carrauntoohil hiking trail

Level: Hard

For the more adventurous and experienced hikers how about a trek to the summit of the country’s highest mountain? Carrauntoohil is the central peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range. Located in Kerry, this is a difficult 21km hike that can take over five hours to complete so make sure you set out early. It’s quite a challenging, strenuous climb, but the trail takes you on a scenic tour towards the town of Killarney, rumored to be a favored gathering place of fairies and other magical beings. A recommended, and popular route to the top is the Devil’s Ladder, as it is the most direct and shortest.

8. Torc Mountain, County Kerry

torc mountain best hikes in ireland

Level: Easy

A popular hiking destination that’s part of the Killarney National Park in County Kerry, the Torc Mountain trail is quite easy to navigate. The views over Killarney Park and waterfall is quite unforgettable, and a favorite among photographers.

This trail gets you through a scenic forest path, which also overlooks the Killarney Lakes, the Macgillycuddy Reeks, and Muckross House. A steady climb up the mountain you’ll pass through quiet, moss-covered forests and streams. Torc Mountain trail can be crowded though, so make sure you start early.

Once you’ve descended and want to see what the town offers, check out Killeen House for some hearty fine dining. Afterward, make sure to stroll around town to listen to traditional Irish music, especially in the evening.

9. Glendalough and the Spinc cliffs, County Wicklow

Glendalough Upper Lake Ireland

Level: Hard

Close to Dublin and nestled in a glacial valley in the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough is also known as the ‘Garden of Ireland,’. A popular destination for Dubliners and tourists alike, a hike here takes you through eight and a half miles of stunning scenery. Not an easy walk though, as the trails are hilly and would require you to stop often to catch your breath and stretch your limbs. The Glendalough and Spinc Cliff trails start at the monastic site and Lower Lake, before steeply ascending beside Poulanass waterfall then to the towering Spinc cliffs.

Here, you can take in the magnificent views over Lower and Upper Lakes 1,000 ft below. Once you get back to even ground and still have the energy to spare, check out a bit of the nearby Wicklow Way. If you’re hungry there’s The Wicklow Heather for hearty meals in a stately atmosphere. There’s also Bryne & Woods, for a taste of the local cuisine. Both are located close to the Glendalough Visitor Centre.


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Tipping in Ireland: 10 Things To Remember

Tipping in Ireland has no standard rules, and they have no strong tipping culture either. It is especially tricky for first-time visitors, whether you came from a country where tipping is customary or not. A good rule of thumb is to leave a tip when service given exceeded expectations.

Another is to just figure out the 10% to 15% of the total amount to be paid if unsure how much tip you should leave for the staff, or you can simply round off to the nearest euro (nearest €5 or €10).

However, if you’re a first time visitor in Ireland and you want to make sure you do things right, we have compiled some easy to remember tipping guidelines when in Ireland.

First-Thing You Need To Know Before Tipping in Ireland

tipping in ireland

Service Charge

Some establishments include Service, or a Service Charge, in the final bill. You have to make sure to check the receipt (usually at the bottom) for that detail before tipping extra. This means that if you get relatively good service, you must give a tip that’s equivalent to 10% to 15% of the total bill/charge.

Credit Card Payments

Servers/staff do not receive tips if payment is made via credit card. In this case, try to leave them with that 10 to 15 % whenever you can.

Tipping In Ireland By Services

Restaurants Tipping in Ireland

Beanhive Coffee

When in restaurants tipping the staff 10 to 15% of the total bill is expected. But first, you need to check the receipt if the amount you paid already includes a service charge. This detail is usually printed at the bottom of the paper. If there’s a service charge, there’s no need to leave an additional tip. If the receipt doesn’t include a service charge, a 10-15% tip is encouraged.

Cafés

Most cafés in Ireland whether it’s in the city or rural areas, won’t require or expect you to tip their staff individually. However, these places may have a table service charge, and you can just round off to the nearest €5 from your total bill.

Other cafés have bowls or jars usually located near the cash register, with a sign that says ‘Tips are Appreciated’ in case you want to leave some. Others have collection boxes for some cause or charity, and you may leave a few euros there as well.

Pubs/Bartender

If you try to tip in an Irish pub you will most likely receive an incredulous stare – it simply is not the norm. There is such a thing as table service, however, and it is considerate to leave a €1 to €2 for great service. If the pub doesn’t have a table service tip, you can just offer to treat the staff or bartender. He or she would say  “Don’t mind if I’ll be having it later do you?” With this, the bar person will just pocket the money instead of drinking on the job.

Hotels Tipping In Ireland

hotel bellhop tipping in ireland

 

 

How you tip at hotels in Ireland depends on which staff or personnel you’re dealing with. You can give hotel porter or bellhop €1 – €2 per bag if it is brought to your room. It may depend on size, but no more than €5. Generally, you would give the porter over €5 though.

For housekeeping services, it is expanded to leave €1 – €2 per night.

You may also give 1 – €2  to the doorman who assists with luggage or hailing transportation, although a simple ‘thank you’ is already very much appreciated.

As for the concierge who goes above and beyond with helping you book reservations, giving you directions, and providing recommendations, it’s considerate to give €1 to €2.

These are merely suggestions though and you can tip as much or little as you like.

Taxi Drivers

taxi tipping in ireland

A tip isn’t expected among taxi drivers in Ireland, but it is appreciated. A good rule of thumb is to round up to the nearest euro for a short trip and to the nearest 10 euro for a longer ride. If the taxi driver was extra helpful or informative, you could always leave him or her a little extra. The tip usually ranges from €1 to €10 and it is always welcome.

Meanwhile for airport shuttles, tipping your driver is not required but feel free to give €1 per bag if they help with your luggage.

Tour Guides

How you tip tour guides in Ireland depends on whether you’re taking a private tour or group tour. If you’re on a private tour, you must tip your tour guide around 10% of the tour cost. Meanwhile, during guided group tours, there is often a small basket or hat that’s passed around at the end of the tour for tips.

If there is none, consider collecting a euro or two from each member of the group before the tour starts. You can give it to the guide at the end of the tour while expressing your gratitude. The tour guide may politely refuse at first since this is part of the Irish custom. If this happens, just insist again that he or she takes the tip while expressing your gratitude again.

Spa Services

hair salon tipping in ireland

There are different types of spas in Ireland such as destination spas or resort spas. Their staff is typically given a tip that’s equal to 10% off the bill, but you can always give more if the service is particularly exceptional. It is not always expected to give tips to spa personnel but as long as you’re given good service, that 15% should be worth it.

Hair Salon Services Tipping In Ireland

It is standard practice to tip hairdressers in Ireland by giving 10% of the final bill. You can always leave more if you like, and in some instances, some will also give a few euros to the person who washed their hair (if it wasn’t the hairdresser).


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11 Must-See Castles In Dublin, Ireland

A great way to fully explore Dublin is through its many castles. With most of these stunning structures dating as far back as the 12th century, a visit to several castles in Dublin allows you to discover not just Ireland’s history but the evolution of its architecture as well.

Some of these Dublin castles have been in ruins for centuries some are even said to be haunted but still worth a visit as each castle has its own unique story. When visiting Dublin and you want to go castle hopping, make sure you visit the following Dublin castles.

11 Must-See Castles In Dublin Ireland

1. Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Regarded as the heart of historic Dublin, Dublin Castle fulfilled a number of roles through its history. It was originally built as a defensive fortification for the Norman city of Dublin by Meiler Fitzhenry under orders from King John of England in 1204.

The castle was the seat of the British government in Ireland until the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922. In 1938, it was decided that the inauguration of the first President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde would take place in the castle. And the complex has been host to this ceremony ever since.

Today, Dublin Castle hosts official State visits, foreign affairs engagements, State banquets, and Government policy launches. Dublin Castle is also one of the best things to do in Dublin.

Opening Hours

Daily from 9:45 AM to 5:15 PM

Admission Fee

Adult €12
Senior (60+) €10
Student (valid student ID required) €10
Child (12-17) €6
Family (max. 2 adults & 5 children) €30

Contact Information

Address: Dublin Castle, Dame St, Dublin 

Phone: +353 1 6458813

Email: dublincastle@opw.ie

2. Howth Castle

Howth Castle

With its Gate Tower and Keep that date from the 15th century, Howth Castle is an example of how historic houses have evolved in Ireland through the centuries. Howth Castle is the home of the St Lawrence’s since 1177. And it is known as one of the longest continuously inhabited private homes in Europe.

When you visit this stunning, historic Dublin castle, make sure you stop by the Great Hall. Here, you can discover the history, tales, and stories of the family through portraits, furnishings, and artifacts.

Its dining room, meanwhile, has a life-size portrait of Jonathan Swift. And here, the guided tour staff will tell you the story of pirate queen Grace O’Malley’s visit to the Castle.

Be sure to visit the 18th Century drawing-room, the boudoir with its celebration of racing, the Lutyens Library, and the 17th-century kitchen, now the home of Howth Castle Cookery School.

You can relax at the Castle Cafe in the walled garden. Afterward, wander through the famous Rhododendron Gardens. Howth Castle is simply a must-stop for your Dublin itinerary.

Opening Hours

Sat- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sun- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Admission Fee

Tickets are €20 with discounts for families and the unwaged.

Contact Information

Address: Howth Road, Howth

Phone: +353(0)18396182

Email:info@howthcastle.com

3. Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle is nestled on 250 acres of parkland in the pretty seaside town of Malahide. And it was both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years.

A gorgeous castle that’s located close to Dublin, it is an interesting mix of architectural styles. The castle was built by King Henry II of England for his friend Sir Richard Talbot in 1185.

The Talbot family lived here from 1185 to 1973, when the last Talbot died. The castle is furnished with beautiful period furniture together with a diverse collection of Irish paintings, mainly from the National Gallery.

The history of the Talbot family is featured in the Great Hall. It is where portraits of generations of the family tell their own story of Ireland’s turbulent history.

Another must-see in Malahide Castle is the beautiful Talbot Botanic Gardens. The gardens were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot between 1948 and 1973.

Malahide Castle may be one of the most visited castles in Dublin but rumor has it that it’s still haunted by its jester, the Puck of Malahide. Many potential buyers when the castle was up for sale in 1979 claimed to have seen the ghost roaming around.

Malahide Castle is also one of the best castles in Ireland that you should visit.

Opening Hours

Daily from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Admission Fee

Adults€12tbc
Student / OAP€8tbc
Child (u12)€6tbc
Family€26 (fromn/a

Contact Information

Address:  Shannon Heritage, Malahide

Phone: +353(0)18169538

Email: info@malahidecastleandgardens.ie

4. Rathfarnham Castle

Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin

Now open as The Office of Public Works the Rathfarnham Castle dates back as far as the Elizabethan period. It was built for Archbishop Adam Loftus, who came to Ireland as Lord Deputy. He eventually became Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

When Rathfarnham Castle was built in the 16th century, the design was quite modern for the time. And it was based on continental influence about defensive architecture.

The castle went through extensive remodeling and redecoration in the 18th century under a series of later owners.

For a time, the Society of Jesus acquired the building and for much of the twentieth century, it was used as a Retreat House for lay visitors. As well as accommodation for trainee Jesuits attending college in the city.

After the departure of the Jesuits in the 1980s, the Castle came into the care of the Irish State. And a great deal of restoration work has been carried out since.

Opening Hours

Sat – Sun – 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Wed – Fri – 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Admission Fee

Adult: €5.00
Senior/Group: €4.00
Child/Student: €3.00
Family: €13.00

Contact Information

Address: Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, D14 K3T6

Phone: +353 1 493 9462

Email: rathfarnhamcastle@opw.ie

5. Swords Castle

Swords Castle in Dublin

In ruin since 1324 A.D. and currently being restored to be made into a heritage center, Sword Castle is also known as one if the setting for certain scenes in the BBC TB series, ‘Tudors’.

This old castle was built as a summer place for the First Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn in 1200.

The Archbishop was also a  baron who was empowered to hold court and even pass the death sentence. For this purpose, he had a gallows outside the town on the Brackenstown Road.

Sword castle has also been a witness to many battles making it one of the historic castles in Dublin.

Opening Hours

Sat – Sun – 9:30 am – 4:40 pm

Tue – Fri – 9:30 am – 4:40 pm

Admission Fee

FREE

Contact Information

Address: Swords Castle, Bridge St, Townparks, Swords, Co. Dublin K67 X439

Phone: +353 1 8905641

Email: bookings@swordscastle.events

6. Puck’s Castle, County Dublin

Puck's Castle County Dublin

Much of the history of Puck’s Castle is shrouded in mystery and it is also said to be haunted. Some say that it was built from sacred stones culled from the nearby Bearna Dhearg (or “ringfort”), but little is really known for certain about the structure today.

Its name Puck, an English derivative of the Gaelic “púca” or “pooka” meaning ghost or spirit even says a lot about its history.

Located in Rathmichael in County Dublin, the castle was built as a fortified house in the late 16th century. James II and his army sought refuge in it after fleeing The Battle of the Boyne in 1690, but after that, not much is known about Puck’s. It is even located in Rathmichael, a suburb with ruins, as there are also church ruins nearby.

Today, Puck’s Castle is a magnet for those who fancy abandoned places, as well as grazing cattle and the occasional fence-hopper.

Should you decide to visit this castle in Dublin, you can still see evidence of the stone stairwell and the fireplace. But almost everything else is long gone and crumbling.

Opening Hours

Daily – Open  24-Hours

7. Drimnagh Castle

Drimnagh Castle

Previously used as a Christian Brother’s School, a GAA club and now a popular spot for weddings and other events, Drimnagh Castle is the only castle in Dublin and the rest of Ireland that still has a floating moat around it.

It has a restored Great Hall with its large 17th-century fireplace and a medieval undercroft. The undercroft can be booked for events and functions.

A tall battlement tower with lookout posts, a garden designed in a formal 17th-century layout and other separate buildings can also be seen in the castle ground.

Opening Hours

Monday – Thursday – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Friday – 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Contact Information

Address:Long Mile Road, Drimnagh

Phone: +353(0)14502530

Email:drimnaghcastle.org

8. Ashtown Castle

ashtown castles in dublin

A Dublin castle with a fascinating story regarding its discovery, Ashtown Castle is a fortified house located in Phoenix Park. It is believed to date back to the 1430s.

Ashtown Castle was discovered hidden within the walls of a much more recent building that was in use until 1978. When that building was deemed structurally irreparable as a result of dry rot, the state ordered for its demolition.

As the old building was being knocked down, Ashtown castle was discovered and eventually restored. This newfound castle now forms part of the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre.

Opening Hours

Nov- Apr : Wed – Sun incl 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

May – October : Daily 10:00 AM – 5:45 PM

Admission Fee

FREE

Contact Information

Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8

Phone: +353 (1) 677 0095

Email: phoenixparkvisitorcentre@opw.ie

9. Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Castle Dublin Castles

Said to be haunted by a spirit known as the Writing Lady, Ardgillan Castle is still one of those Dublin castles visited by families. And anyone who wants a walk back in time through a pretty castle set in the midst of 194 acres of parkland.

Considered as one of Ireland’s hidden gems, Ardgillan Castle is a large eighteenth-century country-style house with castellated embellishments.

It was first named ‘Prospect House’ with the central section built by Robert Taylor in 1738, and the west and east wings added in the late 1800s.

Ardgillan Castle is nestled in a park that consists of rolling open grassland, mixed woodland, and gardens, which overlooks the Irish Sea with views of Mourne Mountains to the north and Lambay to the south-east.

Opening Hours

Daily- 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Admission Fee

Adults €7
Students and OAP’s €5
Family (2 adults & 2 children) €14
Group Admission Prices:
Adult €5 per person

Contact Information

Address: Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin

Phone: 01 849 2212

Email: ardgillan.castle@fingal.ie

10. Bullock Castle

Bullock Castle

One of the castles in Dublin that has a rich, colorful history, Bullock Castle was built in the mid 13th century by the Cistercian monks of the Abbey of St. Mary. This was to protect the harbor for local fishermen. Its main building and high tower formed steady protection for the harbor below with its high walls.

After the dissolution of the monasteries, the harbor, village, and castle were taken from the monks and passed down through various families until the start of the 18th century.

Today, Bullock Castle is open for public visits and you can explore its archways, storage room, the spiral staircase. The staircase leads to a series of rooms and then marvel at its sturdy roof construction.

Contact Information

Address: C/O Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Tourism Avoca House, 8 Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire

Phone:+353(0)12845066

Email: info@dlrtourism.com

11. Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre

Dalkey castle

Only thirty minutes south of Dublin, in the picturesque coastal town and namesake is the Dalkey Castle. Built in 1390, it has all the features of the larger Irish castles, like its state of the art interactive Heritage Centre and the battlements which offer a panoramic view of the town.

Dalkey Castle is known for its exciting guided tours. On these tours, you’ll meet costumed actors that will engage you in strange conversations. There are also various activities like archery or a taste of some weird cuisine.

Another interesting feature of the Dalkey Castle is its Writers’ Gallery, which pays tribute to the life and work of great Irish writers and creative artists from Joyce to Bono and Beckett to Maeve Binchy.

Opening Hours

Monday – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Wenesday – Friday – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Sat- Sun – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Admission Fee

Adult €6,
Concession €5,
Child €4,
Family €16

Contact Information

Address: Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre
Castle Street
Dalkey
County Dublin
Ireland

Phone:35312858366

Email: info@dalkeycastle.com


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13 Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Ireland

Since Game of Thrones premiered almost a decade ago, it has slowly but surely built the massive following that soon catapulted it to global success. The fantasy series based on G. R. R. Martin’s novels was a phenomenal hit, with its intricately intertwined storylines, complex characters that are compellingly portrayed by its talented cast, breathtaking sceneries captured through its stunning cinematography – that has captivated fans season by season.

Along with their overwhelming support for the series, fans have developed an interest in the books, in the made-up languages and most especially, in the locations where Game of Thrones was filmed.

From Spain to Iceland to Croatia, and mostly to Northern Ireland where a big chunk of the series was shot, fans from all over continue to flock and go about their ways exploring the seven kingdoms of Westeros.

In this Games of Thrones filming locations in Ireland, we are taking you not just on a journey to the Iron Throne, but also on a wonderful exploration of the beauty that is Northern Ireland a.k.a. Game of Thrones territory.

13 Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Ireland

1.The Dark Hedges – County Antrim (The King’s Road)

dark hedges northern ireland

A picturesque avenue of intertwined beech trees that were planted by the Stuart family more than 200 years ago, the trees now known as The Dark Hedges were really intended to create an imposing approach for visitors visiting their mansion, Gracehill. The 150 beech trees, which gradually grew into the gnarled and twisted looking trees we see today, is now one of the most photographed in the world, thanks to its appearance in HBO’s phenomenal recently concluded fantasy series, Game of Thrones. The Dark Hedges is featured in the series as King’s Road, with their ominous atmosphere adding a foreboding feeling to any scenes they have been in.

In Game of Thrones season two, the King’s Road is where young Arya Stark traveled on in the back of a cart along with Yoren, Gendry, and Hot Pie – all new recruits for the Night’s Watch.

When visiting this extraordinary Game of Thrones location in Ireland, fans should be extra careful and maintain a certain distance from the trees and to never ever climb them just to get a perfect shot. The past year’s tourist influx has been particularly harsh to the trees that some have fallen down. It is advised that those visiting should be minder and more respectful to help preserve the now iconic Dark Hedges.

Dark Hedges is also one of the best day trips from Belfast and Dublin.

Check this tour that includes a visit to Giant Causeway and admires the Dark Hedges.

2.Audley’s Field, Strangford, Co. Down (Rob’s Camp)

Located at Strangford Lough in County Down, Audley’s Field with its distinctive stone castle was seen in three seasons of Game of Thrones. It is within the Ward Estate which was also used as Winterfell in the hit TV series based on G. R. R. Martin’s books.

The most memorable scenes filmed in Audley’s were in season one when it was used as the backdrop for King Robert Baratheon’s arrival at Winterfell, and in season two, when Robb Stark set up camp here and met Talisa, and it is also where Alton Lannister was imprisoned.

The area itself is really pretty and worthy of an afternoon to explore and hunt out all the filming locations from Game of Thrones. The 16th-century castle, as said, is really part of the Ward family estate in Downpatrick, Co. Down. Walk along the country lanes that lead up to the castle to admire the stone structure up close.​​

3.Castle Ward, County Down (Winterfell)

Castle Ward County Down

The massive Castle Ward estate in County Down contains a variety of attractions, such as trails for exploring, a walled demesne, the Victorian Past Times Center (a Victorian recreation of the estate where children can dress in period clothing) and the Strangford Lough Wildlife Center. These days, The Ward Estate is known as the setting for Winterfell, the stronghold of the Stark Family, from the phenomenal HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.

Castle Ward as Winterfell was the site where the Starks receive King Robert Baratheon. Castle Ward’s most recognizable appearance was as Winterfell’s Courtyard, having been seen a number of times in Season 1.

Castle Ward is a National Trust property in Northern Ireland, which offers much Game of Thrones related activities for fans and visitors. You can sign up for archery lessons or even dress up as the Starks and follow in their footsteps around Winterfell.

Opening Hours

The opening hours varies depending on the season, for updated opening hours click here.

Admission Fee

Gift Aid
Adult-£10.50
Child-£5.25
Family-£26.25
Group Child Minimum group size 15-N/A

Standard Fee
Adult-£9.50
Child-£4.75
Family-£23.80
Group Child Minimum group size 15-£7.00

Contact Information

Address: Strangford, Downpatrick, County Down, BT30 7BA

Phone: 02844881204

Email: castleward@nationaltrust.org.uk

4.Glenariff Forest Park, County Antrim (Runestone, Vale of Arryn)

Glenariff Forest Park County Amtrim

There are nine glens in County Antrim and Glenariff is known as “the Queen of the Glens,” as the 1,000-hectare park spans all glens. It has three waterfalls and a three-mile Waterfall Walkway, numerous forest trails and riverside walks.

In the hugely popular fantasy TV series Game of Thrones, Glengarriff is more known as Runestone, a castle in the Vale of Arryn. Runestone is the seat of House Royce, an ancient House that once ruled the Vale as the “Bronze Kings” before the Andal Invasion. Vale of Arryn, meanwhile, often referred to simply as the Vale, is one of the regions of the Seven Kingdoms. The lush glen in Northern Ireland, as the Runestone in the Vale of Arryn, was the practice ground where Littlefinger and Sansa Stark had to suffer through Robin Arryn’s dismal attempt at dueling.

This gorgeous greenery at the Glenariff Forest Park offers not just a piece of your favorite TV series, but an opportunity to bond with nature as well. Make sure you explore the site before moving on to the next Game of Thrones filming locations on your list.

Admission Fee

Prices main entrance
Car-£9
Minibus-£13
Coach-£33.50
Motorcycle-£2.50

Contact Information

Address: 98 Glenariff Road. Glenariff County Antrim, BT440QX

Phone: 028-7034-0870

Email:info@travelnorthernireland.co.uk

5.Dunluce Castle, County Antrim (The House of Greyjoy)

Dunluce Castle in Ireland

County Antrim’s Dunluce Castle was built in the 1500s, with legends and myths surrounding its history such as stories of dark spirits inhabiting the castle and the kitchens tumbling into the sea on a stormy night in 1639. Despite those tales, though, the castle has served as a residence for earls and at one point, even Winston Churchill.

As dramatic as its history is Dunluce Castle’s appearance and location –  beautiful ruins of a medieval castle perched on the edge of jutting coastal cliffs overlooking Northern Ireland’s stunning Causeway Coast. It is for these reasons that the Dunluce Castle was the ideal setting for a dark fantasy series such as Game of Thrones. In the recently concluded HBO series, the strangely beautiful ruins of Dunluce Castle were used for many of the scenes for the House of Greyjoy, ruler of the Iron Islands.

Aside from Dunluce Castle, there are many other sites to see in Country Antrim, which is particularly rich in Game of Thrones filming locations. These sites include the Giant’s Causeway, the Slemish Mountain, the  Shillanavogy Valley, the Cairncastle, Murlough Bay, Larrybane and Carnlough. If you’re going on a tour of Game of Thrones locations in Ireland, make sure you set aside more time in Antrim because several hours in a day won’t be enough.

Opening Hours

Daily: 09.30 -17.00 (last entry strictly 16.30)

Admission Fee

Adult -£5.50,
Child (age 4 -16) – £3.50
Senior citizen £3.50
Student and Benefit Claimants (ID required) – £3.50
Child under 4- Free
Family (up to 5 members, including up to 3 adults) – £15.00
Group rate(10 plus, must be pre-booked) – £4 per person

Contact Information

Address: 87 Dunluce RoadBushmillsCounty AntrimBT57 8UY

Phone: 028-2073-1938

Email: dunluce.castle@communities-ni.gov.uk

6.Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach, County Londonderry (Dragonstone)

Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach, County Londonderry

Located in the northernmost part of Northern Ireland, Downhill Beach is part of a seven-mile stretch of sand that offers a variety of activities such as water sports and scenic walks.

Above the beach is the easily recognizable Mussenden Temple, which is one of the most photographed structures in Northern Ireland.

Mussenden Temple was built in 1785 by Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol. It was meant as a summer library and named in honor of his cousin, Frideswide Mussenden. The temple,  perched on a 120-foot cliff, and Downhill Beach below were both featured in the recently concluded HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.

The beautiful seven-mile stretch of sand at Downhill, one of County Derry’s best beaches, was the filming location of Dragonstone in season two,  when Stannis Baratheon rejected the Seven Gods of Westeros and allowed Lady Melisandre to burn their effigies as an offering to the Lord of Light, as well as where Stannis Baratheon drew his blazing sword, Lightbringer, from the flames. Dragonstone was the ancestral home of House Targaryen and stronghold of Stannis Baratheon.

The instantly recognizable Mussenden Temple which overlooks the beach featured prominently in a number of scenes in the series and a definite must are for fans who are into exploring Game of Thrones locations in Ireland.

Opening Hours

The opening hours varies depending on the season, for updated opening hours, click here.

Admission Fee

Gift Aid
Adult-£6.85
Child-£3.45
Family-£17.10
Children under 5- Free

Standard Fee
Adult-£6.20
Child-£3.10
Family-£15.50
Group Child Minimum group size 15-£5.70
Guided tour-£8.00
Children under 5- Free

Contact Information

Address: Mussenden Road, Castlerock, County Londonderry, BT51 4RP

Phone: 02870848728

Email: downhilldemesne@nationaltrust.org.uk

7.Ballintoy Harbour, County Antrim (Lordsport Harbor, Iron Islands)

Ballintoy Harbour County Antrim

Ballintoy Harbour is located in the small village of Ballintoy, in Country Antrim.  This beautiful harbor as well as accompanying village makes it easy to see why the location scouts from Game of Thrones decided to film here. An interesting feature of Ballintoy Harbour is that it is a raised beach, which means that the shore lies above the water level and is not inundated during high tide.

This harbor and the quaint village are among the most recognizable filming locations for Game of Thrones in Ireland. Fans will easily remember Ballintoy as the harbor of Pyke which is the Iron Islands’ capital city. This is where Theon Greyjoy arrived to discuss an alliance between the Starks and the Greyjoys and here is also where he first met his sister, Yara. Parts of the beach were also used to shoot a scene featuring Aeron Greyjoy and Yara.

Meanwhile, the picturesque little fishing town of Ballintoy, with its sweeping verdant coastline and portside appeal, was the perfect setting for Pyke. In the series, the town was used in exterior shots, Lordsport (the seat of House Botley) and the Iron Islands in general.

Check this tour that includes a visit to Giant Causeway and Balintoy Harbour.

8.Murlough Bay: Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland ( The Road to Pyke)

Murlough Bay, Count Antrim

Hidden away on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland is the beautiful Murlough Bay, fairly remote but it is worth the trek out to Ballycastle in County Antrim to take in the views along the rocky coastline. The bay looks out towards some of the Scottish Isles, but on episode six, season five of Game of Thrones, it was where Tyrion and Jorah come ashore and are captured by a slave ship.

True fans of the series with a sharp eye for detail might even notice that this is where Davos Seaworth was shipwrecked and later rescued after the Battle of Blackwater Bay. This secluded and relatively hard to visit bay was also the place where Yara rides her horse with Theon.

Murlough Bay may have provided a scenic backdrop on TV, but aside from being a recognizable location for Game of Thrones it is also one of the best places to visit in Ireland as it offers some of the most breathtaking views  across the Irish Sea to Scotland, and also home to some of the most spectacular coastal causeway driving route.

9.Cushendun Caves, County Antrim (The Stormlands)

Cushendun Caves County Antrim

Cushendun Caves, situated along County Antrim’s beautiful Causeway Coast, has been a popular place to visit, way before their appearance in  Game of Thrones. These caves, which were formed approximately 400 million years ago, provide the perfect setting for a terrifying scene that involves one of the series’ mystical characters.

In season two, the Cushendun Caves, known in the series as the Stormlands, are where Ser Devos took Lady Melisandre ashore, as directed by King Stannis, and also where Melisandre gave birth to a terrifying shadow assassin.

If you’re a fan who would like to visit this stunning Gane of Thrones location, the caves are easy enough to reach from the charming town of Cushendun, just know beforehand that the area can be a bit muddy. After your visit to the caves and you wanted to relax a bit, make sure you check out the nearby Mary McBride’s Bar. Look out for one of its doors,  which has carved scenes of Braavos, the free city of Essos.

Contact Information

Address: Cushendun, County Antrim, BT44 0PH

Phone: 02870848728

Email: cushendun@nationaltrust.org.uk

10. Shane’s Castle, County Antrim (The Land of Always Winter / The Wildlings Site)

Shane’s Castle County Antrim

Shane’s castle is situated near Randalstown in Co. Antrim, by the shore of Lough Neagh. It was built in the 14th century and destroyed by a mysterious fire in 1816. Legends say that a banshee who was angry that the room usually left empty for her had been occupied, was the one who started the fire.

The castle itself has been in a ruined state since but remains to be a part of a working estate that includes farmland, woodland, cattle, and sheep. It is the grounds that mostly feature in the HBO fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones.

Shane’s Castle grounds was the location for the jousting tournament that introduced the brothers Hound and Mountain, as well as that part where Gregor Clegane beheaded a horse. The nearby bridge meanwhile, was the setting for the sword fight between Brienne of Tarth and the KingSlayer. Inside the ruined castle, the cellars have been used for interior shots with Cersei, Winterfell crypts and scenes with the Faith.

Fans who are looking to visit Game of Thrones locations in Ireland will surely recognize Shane’s Castle by the many ways it was referred to in the series: as Winterfell, Castle Black, The Land of Always Winter and The Wildlings Site.

Contact Information

Address: Shanes Castle Estates Co Ltd The Estate Office Shanes Castle Antrim Co. Antrim, BT41 4NE

Phone: 028 9442 8216

Email: info@shanescastle.com

11.Tollymore Forest Park, Country Down (The Haunted Forest)

ollymore Forest Park, Country Down

This is literally where everything began, the opening scene of episode one of season one, your first glimpse of this phenomenal TV series that has spanned eight seasons within a decade — it was set in the Haunted Forest, which is actually Tollymore Forest Park.

This exceptionally spooky setting for an exceptionally spooky part of the hit TV series was filmed in this park lies at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down. Within the park grounds, you’ll find the Shimna River, the Stone Bridges, the Hermitage, Cedar Avenue, and experimental forest plots. There are also a number of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as camping and RV sites.

A must-see for fans of the hit HBO series, Tollymore Forest Park is also known now the Haunted Forest and is one of the top locations that fans visit during their tour of  Game of Thrones locations in Ireland.

12.Binevenagh – Limavady, Co. Londonderry ( Dothraki Grasslands)

Binevenagh Limavady Co Londonderry

The Binevenagh, located in Limavady, Londonderry county is otherwise known in the series as the Dothraki Grasslands. This area was used for a number of different scenes, however the most memorable was in episode 10 of season five when Daenerys Targaryen was rescued by her dragon, Drogon while fleeing from the Sons of the Harpy in the fighting pits of Meereen.

Aside from being one of the best Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland, Binevenagh is an attraction in itself as the summit offers stunning panoramic views across Lough Foyle and the Sperrin Mountains. Its plateau and steep cliffs extend for over six miles across the peninsula of Magilligan, dominating the skyline over the villages of Bellarena, Downhill, Castlerock and Benone beach.

13.Titanic Studios, Belfast

Titanic Belfast

Much of the filming of Game of Thrones takes place inside the gigantic Titanic Studios in Queens Road, Belfast. It is one of the biggest in Europe and built on the site where the original Titanic ship was constructed. It is here that most of the fixed sets and indoor shots are made and filmed, and since April up to September this year, is host to the Game of Thrones Touring Exhibition, which gives fans around the world an opportunity to step inside Westeros and the lands beyond.

The exhibition is designed by GES Events in collaboration with HBO® Licensing and Retail and combines costumes, authentic props and majestic settings from all seasons to create an interactive and unforgettable Game of Thrones experience. Located in the TEC Belfast, in the footprint of the legendary Titanic Studios, where a great part of the series was filmed for the past decade, the exhibition allows fans to authentically immerse themselves in the mythical lands of Westeros and Essos, as well as relive the trials and tribulations of those who struggle for survival in the shadow of the Iron Throne.

The Game of Thrones Touring Exhibition will also give fans the chance to get an up close and personal look at the artistry and craftsmanship behind the Emmy award-winning series, as well as the opportunity to “experience the wintry landscapes of the North, explore the tree-lined pathway of the Kingsroad, see the regal settings of King’s Landing, view the conquered city of Meereen with its garrisons of Unsullied warriors, discover iconic costumes of House Targaryen, explore Castle Black, the home of the Night’s Watch, step into the House of Black and White  and the frozen lands Beyond the Wall, and reach the iconic Iron Throne Room and gaze upon the Westerosi seat of power in all its foreboding glory.”

Contact Information

Address: Titanic Quarter Ltd Titanic House Queen’s Road Belfast BT3 9DT

Phone: 44 (0) 28 9076 6300

Email:info@titanicquarter.com

Check this tour that includes a visit to Titanic Belfast.


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11 Best Things To Do in Kildare, Ireland

Kildare, or Cill-Dara in the Celtic language, means the church of the oak, for it was here that St. Brigid founded the first convent in Ireland. Kildare is situated in the west of Dublin, and because of the proximity, tourists often just pass through on their way to the west of Ireland.

The town has much to offer though, and most are surprised that many interesting sights are in Kildare such as a huge stud farm with magnificent gardens, stunning monastic settlements, a scenic biodiverse park, architectural wonders, and even an unforgettable day at the races.

See and discover more of this town with this list of things to do in Kildare that will make you stop and spend more time in Kildare next time you’re headed out west.

11 Best Things To Do in Kildare, Ireland

1.Castletown Estate

Castletown House Kildare

A trip to Castletown House is the perfect day out for any nature-lover, those into quirky architecture and history buffs. It was built for William Conolly, then-Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and after his death in 1729, his wife, Katherine remained at Castletown and took over a number of building ventures, including the Wonderful Barn.

The barn was built after the famine years of 1740 – 41, with the purpose of storing grain and of creating employment for the local people devastated by the famine.

The house is known for its corkscrew tower, spiraling up into the sky, flipped inside out, with stairs curling around the outside instead of the inside. It sits in acres of forests and fields and can be reached by a stunning walk along the River Liffey. Castletown House is also one of the best day trips from Dublin. 

Opening Hours

March 1st – March 31st:
Access by Guided Tour only.
Tour Times: 10.15, 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00, 16.45

April 1st-November 3rd:
Guided Tours at: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00
Self- Guided Tours: 10 am-6 pm (last entry 5 pm)

Admission Fee

Entry to House and Exhibitions
Adult €8
Senior €5
Student €3.50
Child (12-17) €3.50
Family €15

Entry to House and Exhibitions with Guided Tour
Adult €10
Senior €8
Student €5
Child (12-17) €5
Family (2 Adult + 3 Children) €25

The Castletown Experience
Adult €6
Senior €4
Student/Child (Over 3 years) €3
Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) €18

Contact Information

Address: Castletown House and Parklands, Celbridge, Co. Kildare W23 V9H3

Phone:+353 1 6288252

Email: castletown@opw.ie

2.Lullymore Heritage Park, Rathangan

Located at the farther end of Kildare, Lullymore Heritage Park is a quiet well-preserved spot of Irish history and culture. It is also considered an ideal resource for educating both adults and kids about biodiversity and environmental sustainability, making it one of the best things to see in Kildare.

Make sure you visit the Peatland Biodiversity Trail, a raised boardwalk trail through the bog, where you get to enjoy the stunning scenery, the unique flora, and fauna of the peatlands, as well as an 18th-century farmhouse, a famine cottage, and a stone age settlement.

Opening Hours

March 16th, 2019 every day until 29th September 2019.
Monda-Sunday 10 am-6 pm (last admission is 4.30pm)

Admission Fee

Single Adult €9.00
Senior Citizen €8.00
Under 2 years (baby in arms) FREE
Special Needs €8.00 – Carer Free on presentation of Carers ID Card  (HSE, IAA, FC)
Peatland Heritage Railway €5.00 (Adult) €2.50 (Child)

Family rates
2 Adults – 2 Children €32.00
1 Adult – 3 Children €32.00
1 Adult – 2 Children €24.00
2 Adults – 1 Child €24.00
1 Adult – 1 Child €16.00
Extra Child €8.00

Contact Information

Address: Lullymore Heritage Park Lullymore, Rathangan, Co.Kildare.

Phone: +353 45 870238

Email: ray@lullymoreheritagepark.com

3.Irish National Stud & Gardens

Irish National Stud Co Kildare

A must visit for horse-lovers, especially if you visit during spring which is foaling season, and seeing the little ones find their feet through a frolic in the fields is quite a treat! The National Stud Farm located in Tully, Co. Kildare, is the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry, and one of the best places to see in Kildare.

Home to several of Ireland’s finest thoroughbreds, the stud also features a horse racing museum and two of the prettiest gardens to be found anywhere in the world.

There’s the Japanese Garden, designed by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and is known to be the finest of its kind in Europe.  The second garden is dedicated to the patron saint of gardeners, St. Fiachra, and is said to represent Ireland in its natural state during the monastic period.

Opening Hours

Monday -Sunday (including Bank Holidays)
9.00am- 6.00pm-Last Admission 5.00pm

Daily Guided Tour Times
10.30am, 12.oopm, 2.00pm and 4.00pm
Car Park Closes-6.15pm Sharp

Admission Fee

Adult-€12.50
Admits one child (Aged 5- 16 years old) -€7.00
Children under 5-Free
Senior-€9.50
Family ticket-€29.50
Student-€9.50
Family Ticket (2 Adults & Up to 4 Children 16 years of age and under)-€29.50

Season ticket price
1 Adult-€48.00
2 Adults-€72.00
Family Ticket-2 Adults and up to 4 Children under 16 years old-€110.00

Contact Information

Address: Irish National Stud And Garden, Kildare County, Kildare Ireland R51 KX25

Phone: +353 (0) 45 521 617

Email: cbeale@irishnationalstud.ie

4.Get to Know St. Brigid

St. Brigid is Ireland’s patroness saint, equal to St. Patrick in significance to many Irish people. She is also known as the founder of Kildare, and her influence remains. A tour of the town exploring the many St. Brigid sites is one of the best activities to do in Kildare as it gets you acquainted not just with the patroness but bits of local history as well.

Around Kildare, there’s the Saint Brigid cathedral which was consecrated in 1230, also a National Monument and holds regular services. It has a 12th century round tower that still stands, a replica of the Fire Temple, known for being the original location of St. Brigid’s perpetual flame, and nearby, the Solas Bhride, a center celebrating the legacy of St Brigid of Kildare.

5.Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center & Museum of Style Icons

Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center

A haven for pop culture fans and anyone interested in fashion and accessories, the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center & Museum of Style Icons is one of the more unique places to see in Kildare.

Owned by the Kildare family, Newbridge Silverware is synonymous with modern Irish glamour, design, and jewelry. It has gone through so much until it became an internationally successful Irish brand.

During the 2000s the chance acquisition of an iconic dress belonging to Audrey Hepburn led to the creation of Newbridge’s Museum of Style Icons.

The silver shop is now home to fashion collections, accessories, and artifacts of some of the most famous style icons in history such as Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Greta Garbo The Beatles and Marilyn Monroe.

A definite must-visit, it is now one of the most popular attractions outside Ireland’s capital city.

Opening Hours

Museum
Monday- Saturday: 9 am-4.30pm
Sunday & Public Holidays: 10am-4.30pm

Factory Tour Admission Times
Monday-Sunday: 10:30, 11:30 and 14:00

Contact Information

Address: Newbridge Silverware Athgarvan Road, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland, W12 HT 62

Phone: +353 (0)45-431-301

Email: visitorcentre@newbridgesilverware.com

6.Kildare Heritage Center

Located in the center of Kildare in the area often referred to as Market Square, you can’t miss the Heritage Center. Housed in a charming refurbished 19th-century market house, it fits just right in its location.

One of the top attractions in Kildare, the Heritage Center has a multimedia exhibit on the history of Kildare town and its surrounding areas.

If you’re up to seeing more of Kildare they can also make arrangements for a guided heritage walk through the town which includes St. Brigid’s Cathedral and holy well, and the remains of Kildare Castle.  The center also provides information for other attractions in the area.

Opening Hours

Monday-Saturday- 9:30 am-5pm
Sunday-closed

Contact Information

Address: Market Square, Kildare, Ireland

Phone: +353 45 530 672

7.The Bog of Allen Nature Center

The Bog of Allen Nature Center Kildare

A national center of excellence for peatland education, research, and conservation — the Bog of Allen Nature Center features a peatland museum, exhibitions about the Bog of Allen, a research library, habitats and gardens including the largest collection of carnivorous plants in Ireland and the U.K.

A must visit and one of the best things to do in Kildare on weekends, there’s a lot that tourists of all ages can do here such as pond dipping, nature crafts, frog hunt, bog walk, checking out insect-eating plants, a creepy-crawly search, as well as a museum and garden tour.

The Bog of Allen Nature Center is run by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council.

Opening Hours

Monday-Saturday-10am-4pm
Sunday-closed

Contact Information

Address:  Lullymore West, Rathangan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Phone: +353 45 860 133

8.The Curragh Racecourse

The Curragh Racecourse

Home to some of Ireland’s most famous and exciting racecourses, watching an actual horse race in Curragh is one of the best things to do in Kildare. The famous racecourse plays host to 19 international horse racing matches from March to October, which includes all 5 Irish classic races.

A must-see is the Irish Derby Festival, which happens every June. It’s a definite must-see for family and friends, as you enjoy a day of excitement, equine athleticism, and glamour, good food and drinks.

Contact Information

Address: Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare, R56 RR67, Ireland.

Phone: + 353 (0) 45 441 205

Email: info@curragh.ie

9.The Steam Museum

The Steam Museum Kildare

One way of getting to know a place you visit is to learn about its industrial heritage. In Kildare, there’s a specific place where you get to know more about the age of steam, and it offers interesting discoveries.

We may be familiar with steam locomotives because of their role in many movies, but a trip to The Steam Museum will tell you that steam once powered more than train engines.  Being the main power source for a lot of things almost a century and a half ago, knowing more about steam technology is one of the best activities to do in Kildare.

Not much of it remains today as many technological advancements have occurred since then, but the Age of Steam lasted for 150 years during the Industrial Revolution.  

A tour of the Steam Museum takes you through an impressive collection of steam engines used for different purposes, from washing machines in a Dublin laundry to beam engines from the Jameson Distillery, and even an engine for degaussing military ships to counteract magnetic mines.

There are also demonstrations of different types of steam processes which are quite fascinating to watch for kids and adults alike.

Opening Hours

May and September
Saturday & Sunday
2:00pm – 6:00pm

Bank Holidays
2:00pm – 6:00pm

June, July & August
Friday – Sunday
2:00pm – 6:00pm

Bank Holidays
2:00pm – 6:00pm
Steam up every Sunday

Heritage Week
Sunday – Sunday
2:00pm – 6:00pm
Last entry: 5:00pm
Any other time by arrangement.

Admission Fee

Adults-€7:50
Child / OAP / Student /
Group of Twenty-€5:00
Family Admission-€20:00
Horticultural / Technology student with card- FOC

Contact Information

Address: The Steam Museum & Lodge Park Walled Garden Lodge Park Straffan Co. Kildare Ireland

Email: info@steam-museum.ie

10.Curragh Military Museum

Ireland being neutral during WWII for a number of different reasons, maybe one of the last places to seek any sort of  World War II tourism. Back then, they’ve just won their independence from Britain and barely into the recovery from centuries of oppression. However, Ireland’s position adjacent to Britain, and as an island nation, often resulted in soldiers coming to the island. In 1939 the K-Lines internment camp was built to detain these soldiers until the end of the war, making Ireland party to a bit of WW2  military history.

A place run by soldiers and one of the best things to do in Kildare whether you’re into history or just wanted to see something different, the Curragh Military Museum features a number of displays about military history in Ireland and a bit about the camp. Drop by for a visit and stay for a chat with experts who can give more in-depth information at any time.

Opening Hours

Monday to Wednesday
10:00am-1230pm, 2:00pm-4:30pm

Thursday
2:00 pm-8:00pm

Friday, Saturday, Bank holidays
Closed

Sunday
2:00pm-5:00pm

Admission Fee

Free

Contact Information

Address: Curragh, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Phone: 00 353 45 445342

11.Grand Canal

Grand Canal Tullamore

The Grand Canal is not unique to County Kildare, as it is part of the Irish Waterways, which connects the River Liffey in the east to the River Shannon in the west. It is a very important part of the region’s history as well as a nice place for a stroll while enjoying the scenery.

This Grand Canal runs 64 kilometres and used by walkers, cyclists, fishermen, and hosts various festivals and events. One of the best things to do in Kildare is to either stroll or bike along the canal, take in the. picturesque townscapes and discover flora and fauna through the bogland.

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12 Things To Do in Wicklow, Ireland

Despite its proximity to the capital city of Dublin, Wicklow remains unspoilt and one of the most naturally scenic areas in Ireland. A few days in Wicklow is enough to refresh and recharge you as you take in the breathtaking scenic views, visit castles or stately homes,  climb mountains, soak up the sun in a hidden beach, visit monastic sites and even a pyramid. Take a look at our list of the best things to do in Wicklow and see how many sights you can cross out on your trip to the city.

12 Things To Do in Wicklow, Ireland

1.Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol Things To Do in Wicklow Ireland

The current Wicklow Gaol may have been built in the 1840s, but there has been a jail on this site since 1702. One of the more thought-provoking and sobering experiences you’ll have while in an Irish town, a visit here remains to be one of the best activities to do in Wicklow.

The original gaol dungeon is open again for the first time in over 100 years and tells an interesting story of crime, cruelty, exile, and misery. A tour takes you through stories of harshness of prison life in the 18th Century, the passion of the 1798 rebellion, the cruelty of the transport ships and hope of a new life in Australia as told by the wonderful staff with their classic Irish humour and their knowledge of Irish history and the Wicklow Jail in particular.

Opening Hours

Open Daily
10.30am -16.30 pm 1st February to 31st November
11 am to 3.30pm-1st December to 31st January

Admission Fee

 Adult €9.50
Child €6.50
Family €26
Student/OAP €8.00

Contact Information

Address: Kilmantin Hill, Wicklow Town, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Phone:+353 (0)404 61599

Email:info@wicklowshistoricgaol.com

Check this tour that includes a visit to Wicklow Historic Gaol.

 

2.Glendalough

Glendalough Upper Lake Ireland

Close to Dublin and a favorite day trip destination,  Glendalough has two of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland that’s surrounded by greenery and mountains, which is why its called ‘Valley of Two Lakes’. Built inside a glacial valley, it is one of the best places to visit in Wicklow especially if you love walking, hiking and taking photos. Glendalough is also a monastic settlement, which was built in the 6th Century by St. Kevin, which looks like it hasn’t changed all that much in 1,500 years. The Glendalough boasts of a series of impressive remains set against a backdrop of the picturesque Irish countryside.

3.Silver Strand Beach

Silver Strand Beach Wicklow

Located just outside of Wicklow town is a hidden gem situated on a wonderful campsite called Wolohan’s, is the Silver Strand Beach.

Said to be one of Ireland’s best beaches, this area may be small compared to the other more popular beaches but the golden, perfectly smooth and silky sand surrounded by cliffs from both sides gives that feeling of having the place to yourself, quietly tucked in your very own pocket paradise.

4.Lough Tay

Lough Tay Wicklow

The small but beautiful lake of Lough Tay is located in the Wicklow Mountains in County Wicklow. It is also called ‘the Guinness lake’ not only because its northern coastline is part of an estate belonging to the Guinness family; but more because part of the lake is edged with a white sand beach along with the dark peaty water, a sight that creates a striking similarity to a pint of Guinness.

Lough Tay is also between the mountains of Djouce and Luggala and fed by the Cloghoge River, which then drains into Lough Dan to the south. If you’re doing the Wicklow Way or driving through R759, the lake offers a stunning view from above, and definitely one of the best places to see in Wicklow.

5.Powerscourt Waterfall

Powerscourt Waterfall Wicklow

The picturesque Powerscourt Waterfall is the highest in Ireland, at 121-metres high, ranking at 687 in the world. One of the best places to visit when in Wicklow, it is nestled in the Powerscourt Estate and sits on the eastern slopes of the Wicklow Mountains, five kilometers west of Powerscourt House. During the 19th century, the grounds on the way to the falls were planted with sequoias, beeches, oaks, and pines, which later matured into giants.

The parkland is also home to a herd of sika deer that was introduced in 1858. Near the base of the waterfalls, there’s a children’s playground and picnic area for those who want to relax and enjoy a scenic view of this natural wonder.

Opening Hours

January/February/November/December 10.30am-4.00pm (last admission-3.30pm)
March/April/September/October 10.30am -5.30pm (last admission-5pm)
May/June/July/August 9.30am-7.00pm (last admission-6pm)
Closed two weeks before Christmas

Admission Fee

Adults €6, Student/OAP €5.50
Child (U12) €3.50, Children (U2) Free
Family Ticket €16.00 (2 adults & up to 3 children)

Contact Information

Address: Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Phone:+353 (0) 1 204 6000

Email:info@powerscourt.net

6.Powerscourt Estate

Powerscourt House Gardens Wicklow

The Powerscourt Estate gardens are the ideal place for summer walks and one of the top attractions in Wicklow county. It was built during the 1730s, ordered by Richard Wingfield, with the German Richard Kassels as the architect. The house was destroyed by fire in 1974 and was abandoned for two decades until its renovations in the mid-90s. Meanwhile, the gardens were planted in the 19th century after Mervyn Wingfield completed a tour of Europe’s great palaces, like Versailles and Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

The Powerscourt Gardens & House has so much to offer, and during a stroll around, you will see the Italian gardens dotted with statues, the Tower Valley with a Medieval folly, Japanese gardens, walled gardens, Triton Lake and the Wingfield and Slazenger family’s pet cemetery.

Opening Hours

Daily: 9.30am-5.30pm (Last entry 5pm)
Gardens close at dusk in Winter (Last entry during winter is 30 minutes before dusk)
The Gardens are open year-round and only close December 25th & 26th

Admission Fee

Adult: €10.50
Student: €8.50
Senior: €8.50
Child (U13) €5.00
Child (U5) Free
Family Ticket €25.00 (2 adults & up to 3 children) SAVE €11.00 with our family ticket.

Contact Information

Address: Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Phone: + 353 (0) 1 204 6000

Email:info@powerscourt.net

7.Great Sugar Loaf

Great Sugar Loaf

The Great Sugar Loaf, also known as the ‘Big Sugar Loaf’ or ‘the Sugar Loaf’, is a beautiful hill in east County Wicklow. Its conical shape makes it look like a volcano, but is actually made up of Cambrian quartzite and is an ancient sedimentary deposit on the seabed that has resisted erosion.

For centuries this 500-meter hill was a Wayfinder for pilgrims and scholars traveling to and from the Glendalough monastery high in the adjacent Wicklow mountains. A relatively easy hike despite its daunting slopes, the summit of the Great Sugar Loaf offers a stunning view of the sea, the Wicklow Mountains and Dublin’s sprawl, making it one of the best places to see in Wicklow.

8.Wicklow Way

Wicklow Way Glendalough

Whether you’re the active type who enjoys challenging trails or simply someone who likes exploring a locale by walking or cycling, the Wicklow Way is for you. A 129-kilometer trail that cuts through the beautiful Wicklow Mountains, it starts at Marlay Park in the southern suburbs of Dublin then goes through County Wicklow, up to the village of Clonegal in County Carlow.

Wear your favorite hiking shoes or take your bike with you as you navigate the Wicklow Way, designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the Irish Sports Council. It usually takes days to complete the trail but even a few hours here is worth it as it will take you through one of the most scenic routes in Ireland.

9.Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow_Mountains_National Park Glenealo River

The Wicklow Mountains are the largest continuous upland region in Ireland. It is one of the most famous in the country and a part of a National Park that spans part of the mountain range that extends over most of County Wicklow. A hike up the mountain is one of the best things to do in Wicklow on weekends, with its gentle winding trails and lush forestry. Its upper slopes have beautifully rounded peaks and the whole area contains heath and bog. On your hike, you will also encounter beautiful streams that run into the deep lakes of the wooded valleys all the way into the surrounding lowlands.

10.Russborough House

Russborough House

A fine example of Palladian architecture, Russborough House is located between the towns of Blessington and Ballymore Eustace. Said to be the longest house in Ireland, its frontage measures 210 meters. It was built between 1741 and 1755 and designed by Richard Cassels for Joseph Leeson, the 1st Earl of Milltown.

An ostentatious stately house, with palatial grounds and artwork that would be at home in the Louvre in Paris, a visit to Russborough House is one of the best things to do in Wicklow. Marvel at the ornate plasterwork on the ceilings and its collections of paintings, antique furniture, silver, porcelain, and tapestries. You can also sample some “haute cuisine” or go straight for the tea rooms and have some high tea.

Opening Hours

Guided House Tours
January February: closed
March: Mon-Sun 12 p.m.-3.00 p.m. (on the hour) |Bank Holiday Weekend: 10 a.m.-5 p.m (on the hour)
April: Mon-Fri 12:00 p.m-3:00 p.m (on the hour) |Sat, Sun & Bank Holiday Monday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (on the hour)
May – September: 10:00 a.m-5:00 p.m. (on the hour)
October: Mon-Fri 12:00 p.m-3:00 p.m (on the hour)|Sat, Sun & Bank Holiday Monday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (on the hour)
NovemberDecember: Mon-Sun 12 p.m.-3.00 p.m. (on the hour)

Admission Fee

Guided House Tour and Exhibition Centre
Adult: €12
Senior Citizen/Student: €9
Child: €6
Children under Five Years: Free
Family (Includes Maze Entry for Two Adults and Four Children Under 16 Years): €30

Contact Information

Address: Blessington, Co. Wicklow, Ireland W91 W284

Phone:+353 (0)45 865239

Email:info@russborough.ie

11.The Black Castle

Wicklow Black Castle Ruins

Offering a stunning view of the town and the coast of North Wicklow from where it stands, the Black Castle ruin is still perched majestically on a rocky headland at the eastern side of Wicklow town.

The Vikings used to be active in the Wicklow Town area from around 795 and in 834, and they fortified a rocky headland at the mouth of the Vartry River in Wicklow town. A castle was eventually built there which is now the Black Castle. Between 1295 and 1315 the Castle was attacked and burnt down twice by the local O’ Byrne Clan. There isn’t much left of the old building, but you can easily walk right up to it and ponder its turbulent history as you take in the view of the nearby town.

12.Howard Mausoleum Pyramid

Howard Mausoleum Pyramid

Described by English writer Sir John Betjeman as “the largest pyramid beyond the banks of the Nile,” the Howard mausoleum, which is about 30 feet tall, is hard to miss among the somber granite headstones of Old Kilbride Cemetery. It has unintentionally become one of Wicklow’s attractions, and worth a visit for its history.

Eighteen deceased members of the Howard family are in this Egyptian pyramid on the Irish coast which was constructed in 1785 during the Neoclassical era.

The epitaph says that the mausoleum was placed there in memory of ancestors who died a century prior and for generations of Howards to come. The pyramid has 33 slabs for coffins, but only half the slots are occupied. The mausoleum was sealed without explanation in 1823, and it has been covered in ivy and plant life since.

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11 Best Things To Do in Kerry, Ireland

A county that spans a river, lakes, and part of the Atlantic, Kerry offers its visitors a diverse range of things to do and places to see. From challenging mountain hikes to legendary monastic settlements, abandoned structures and a place that’s hailed as the most beautiful on earth – you’re about to truly make the most of your stay as well as introduce you to another side of Ireland’s rich history. The county is also popular for its Ring of Kerry road trip route. So here are the best and fun things to do in Kerry, Ireland.

11 Things To Do in Kerry, Ireland

1.Gallarus Oratory

Gallarus Oratory Kerry

Believed to have been built between the 6th and 9th centuries, Gallarus Oratory is still in remarkably good condition. One of the unique things to see in Kerry, this crude stone edifice was built out of cutting blocks made of local sandstone. This 17-foot tall oratory is the best preserved early church of its kind in Ireland.

The simple, single-room structure, has a rounded triangular shape, a doorway on one end and a small window built into the other end. The oratory boasts of a surprisingly sophisticated construction, with its masterful use of a Neolithic building technique known as “corbelling.”

Despite it being known to be a church or a religious meeting site of some sort, the true purpose of Gallarus Oratory is still unknown. Since there are nearby Celtic burial sites some researchers believe that it had some funerary significance. Whatever the original purpose, a local legend now says that if a person climbs through the small window at the back of the oratory their soul will be cleansed.

Opening Hours

Access to the Oratory is available all year, however, please note that the Visitor Centre closes for the winter months.

Admission Fee

A local service charge is applicable. For further details, please contact the visitor’s center.

Contact Information

Address: Caherdorgan South, Dingle, Co. Kerry, V92 Y028, Ireland

Email:gallarusoratory@gmail.com

Phone:+353 (0)66 9155333

2.Carrauntoohil

Carrauntoohil and the Beenkeragh Ridge

A must for those who want a bit of extreme adventure, one of the more exciting activities to do in Kerry is a trek up the Carrauntoohil. It is the highest peak of the McGillicuddy Reeks mountain range and a   challenging climb for most hikers. A part of it rises to just over 1,000 meters via the dramatic, slippery ‘Devil’s Ladder’, which is a bit daunting but you are rewarded once you reach the summit. At the top of Carrauntoohil, see Mt. Cahir and the Mc Gillycuddy and enjoy the fascinating glacial artistry. At the peak, you’ll also find a huge iron cross and spectacular views across the Kerry countryside.

3.Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael things to do in ireland

Standing in the Atlantic Ocean at about 12 kilometers southwest of Valentia Island, in County Kerry are the stunning Skellig Islands — Skellig Michael and Small Skellig. The islands are both world famous, but Skellig Michael is more known as the site of a well-preserved monastic outpost of the Early Christian period.

The earliest reference in history to the Skellig Islands dates back to 1400 BC. Between the 6th and 8th century, a Christian monastery was founded on the island and was occupied until the late 12th century. The remains of this monastery, along with most of the island itself, became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1996.

A jagged, difficult-to-access island off the Kerry shoreline, Skellig Michael towers at 218 meters above sea level. It’s rather a steep climb up, but the sight of the remarkably well-preserved sixth-century monastic settlement and the magnificent views of the nearby islands and the Atlantic are well worth it and makes for one of the best things to do in Kerry.

These days, Skellig Michael, particularly its precarious steps, cliffs and beehive houses at the top are known as the setting for Luke Skywalker’s isolated hideaway at the end of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and, again in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Admission Fee

Eco Tour around both Islands
Adults: €40 / Students €35 / Children: €30
Family: €130 (2 adults + 2 children)
Each additional child: €25

Landing Tour
€100/per person

Contact Information

Address: The Marina, Portmagee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Email:skelligislands@gmail.com

4.Ross Castle

Ross Castle KILLARNEY

Built by O’Donoghue Mór in the 15th century, the Castle came into the hands of the Brownes who became the Earls of Kenmare and owned a large portion of the lands that are now part of Killarney National Park. Steeped in history and legend, Ross Castle was the last stronghold in Munster to hold out against Cromwell. It was eventually taken by General Ludlow in 1652.

The 15th-century castle sits on the edge of Killarney’s lower lake in Kerry and is open to the public during summer months. The grounds are serene and picturesque, and a leisurely stroll takes you through the lakeside and the forest park. It’s the ideal place if you want to get away from the crowd of touristy areas and one of the nicest places to see in Kerry.

Opening Hours

1st March-5th November
Daily 09.30-17.45
The average length of visit: 1 hour

Admission Fee

Adult: €5.00
Group/Senior: €4.00
Child/Student: €3.00
Family: €13.00

Contact Information

Address: Ross Castle, Ross Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry, V93 V304

Email: rosscastle@opw.ie

Phone: +353 (64) 663 5851

5.Great Blasket Island

Great Blasket Island

The mystical Great Blasket is the main island of a small archipelago that is part of County Kerry. While only about three miles off the coast at its closest point, it is often shrouded in fog making it seem like an island apparition set in the Celtic Sea.

An isle steeped in Irish literary history, a trip to the Blasket Islands is among the best activities to do in Kerry. The now uninhabited island was also home to three of the most loved and revered writers in the Irish language, Peig Sayers, Muiris Ó Súilleabháin, and Tomás Ó Criomhthain.

Contact Information

Email:info@greatblasketisland.net

Phone:086-057-2626

6.Kerry Bog Village Museum

Kerry Bog Village Museum

A great way to really understand any place you visit is to see its museum, and as one of the main points of interest in Kerry, the Bog Village Museum gives tourists a glimpse of life in this county centuries ago.

The place follows a simple concept and setup but does a wonderful job at orienting visitors about some of Ireland’s old difficulties, and explore the way the land was once used. A trip to the Kerry Bog Village Museum takes you through the whitewashed houses to learn about a way of life that’s long since left the island.

Opening Hours

Open 7 days a week from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Admission Fee

Adults: €6.50
Adult (group rate): €6.00
Children: €4.50
Pensioners: €5.45
Students: €5.45

Contact Information

Address: Kerry Bog Village Museum, Ballincleave, Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Email: info@kerrybogvillage.ie

Phone: 353 (0)66 97 69184

7.Tetrapod Trackway

Tetrapod Trackway Valentia Island

About 385 million years ago, a primitive vertebrate walked through the muddy coastline of Ireland’s Valentia Island, dragging its lizard-like tail behind it as it climbed ashore. The tracks it left behind were preserved and can still be seen today, a snapshot of one of the very first transitions of life from the sea to the land.

A must visit for anyone who’s ever been fascinated by super ancient history and the evolution of species, the Tetrapod Trackway consist of prehistoric footprints preserved by silt and turned to rock over the years. If only for its fascinating history, a visit to this curious location is one of the best things to do in Kerry.

The Tetrapod Trackway on Valentia Island is one of four similar trackways currently existing in the world: There are others in Tarbet Ness, Scotland; Genoa River, NSW Australia; and Glen Isla, Victoria Australia.

Opening Hours

May – September
Closed Monday incl. Bank Holidays
Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

October – April
Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm

Admission Fee

Free

Contact Information

Address: No. 2 Watchhouse Cottages Knightstown Valentia Island Co. Kerry V23 RX74 Ireland

Email:  info@valentiaisland.ie

Phone:+353 (0)66 947 6985

8.Listowel Castle

Listowel Castle Kerry

Located in Listowel town center in County Kerry, Listowel Castle stands on an elevation on a steep bank, overlooking the river Feale, above the location of a strategic ford. It is a dramatic defensive fortification that was once the last place in the region to hold out against British rule.

The construction date of the earliest castle at Listowel dates to the 13th century but the present castle was probably built in the 15th century by the FitzMaurices. A substantial part of the front of the castle survives, made up of two large, square towers of four stories, standing almost to the original height of 15.3 meters, connected by a wall of the same height and linked together by an arch on one side. In recent years, Listowel Castle has been restored to its former glory, and this historic structure is one of the unique things to see in Kerry. Tours of Listowel Castle take you around the 15th-century fortress and its quirky facilities, from the towers to the old-fashioned toilets.

Opening Hours

23rd May-18th September
Monday-Sunday
09.30 – 18.00
Last admission 45 minutes before closing
The average length of visit: 1 hour

Admission Fee

Free

Contact Information

Address:25 The Square, Islandmacloughry, Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Email: +353 86 385 7201

Phone: info@heritageireland.ie 

9.Fahan Beehive Huts

Fahan Beehive hut Dingle

There are beehive houses, or clochán, all over County Kerry, even at the spectacular Skellig Michael. However, this particular group is said to be the most remarkable in the country. These clusters of strange cone-shaped huts speckle the side of a road that winds along the Dingle Peninsula. All worn and battered by time, these old houses stand as humble testaments to the island’s medieval stonemasons.

A must visit and one of the interesting Kerry attractions, the exact age of these houses is unknown, and at one point in history, more than 400 of these intriguing abodes dotted the hillside.  Many of them have crumbled and disappeared over time, but a significant number still stands. You can walk right up to the houses to admire the stonework that enabled these clochán to withstand centuries of wind, rain, and curious sheep.

10.Annascaul

Annascaul Lake Kerry

The picturesque, unspoilt rural town of Annascaul is celebrated as the birth and resting place of the famous Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, and the well-known sculptor Jerome O Connor, but it has so much more to offer. A tiny village situated at the southern foothills of the Slieve Mish Mountains, Annascaul is one of the best places to see in Kerry.

It is a haven for hikers, with everything from mountain hikes, to lakeside trails, beach walks to strolls down peaceful fuchsia lined country lanes. As with the rest of the Dingle Peninsula, Annascaul has an abundance of archaeological remains, standing stones, cromlechs, ringforts, and much more.

Annascaul definitely has something for everyone, with potters, herb producers, cheese farms and the award-winning Annascaul black and white pudding made here. The region is also steeped in folklore as evidenced by the many evocative place names such as Mam na Gearran (the mountain pass of the female hogs).

11.Dingle Peninsula

dingle peninsula

Once hailed by the National Geographic as the most beautiful place on earth, the Dingle Peninsula stretches from Tralee to Slea Head and looks west upon the famed Blasket Islands. It was often referred to as the last parish until the New World, and home to a number of rural Ireland’s most famous landmarks such as the Gallarus Castle and Oratory.

A must visit that should be on top of your things to do in Kerry, Dingle has something for every type of tourist — whether you’re the kind who loves to be in the water, or long scenic drives, impressive architecture, and even instant history lessons.

When in Dingle, make sure you take the Slea Head Drive, visit one of those dual-use pubs (think hardware store or bicycle rental shop and watering hole), check out an impressive local cheese store, try the famous  Murphy’s Ice Cream and of course, look for Dingle’s famous non-human resident: Fungie the Dolphin who lives in the harbour.

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11 Fun Things To Do in Offaly, Ireland

A county that’s part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster, Offaly largely comprises a flat landscape and is known for its extensive bog and peatlands. Its location and topography seem literally flat and uninteresting, but Offaly has diverse and quirky attractions for visitors. With some of them even located inside a private castle grounds, repurposed bog lands, haunted places, and monastic areas – Offaly has got you covered. We compiled a list of the best things to do in Offaly to help you enjoy your stay.

11 Fun Things To Do in Offaly, Ireland

1.Birr Castle Box Hedge

Birr Castle Box Hedges

One of the more interesting places to visit in Offaly is the tallest box hedge in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, which is located within the Birr Castle grounds. This box hedge was first planted 300 years ago and now towers at close to 40 feet.

One of those known attractions within an attraction, the “box” of the Birr box hedge does not refer to its shape, but to the genus Buxus, which includes dozens of species of evergreens that people have used to create living walls.

This tradition of cutting and shaping box hedges goes back to Roman times. Today, the box hedge is part of Birr castle’s formal grounds, which have been cultivated by generations of the Parsons family, who settled in the castle in 1620. The seventh Earl of Rosse still lives there and pay close attention to the garden, which has a pretty hornbeam cloister walk.

2.Birr Castle

Birr Castle, Offaly

Birr Castle is an impressive 90-room castle situated on a 1200 acre estate in the lush Midlands of Ireland. This Irish castle is only open to the public on a limited time during summer as it still the family home of Lord & Lady Rosse, descendants of the Parsons family, who has lived there since 1620.

Considered to be Ireland’s oldest inhabited home, Birr Castle is one of the best places to visit in Offaly. The castle itself may not be always open to the public, but you’re free to explore the 100-acre gardens.

Start with famous herbaceous border at the foot of the castle looking over the Camcor river with the oldest suspension bridge in Ireland, the champion trees and the formal millennium gardens, a wildflower meadow, the oak tree thought to be more than 500 years old, and the stable block that has also been converted into a science gallery and museum.

Operating Hours

Open daily from 09:00 to 18:00

Admission Fee

Adult: €9.50
Senior: €8.00 (65 years and above ID may be required)
Students: €7.50 (16 years and above, students require a valid student Id)
Children (5-16 years): €5.00 (Children 4 and under are free)
Family (2 adults and 2 children): €26.00
Group Rates Available on Request

Contact Information

Address: Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre Rosse Row, Birr,  County Offaly,  R42 VO27 

Phone:+353 (0)57 912 0336

Email: reception@birrcastle.com

3.Leviathan of Parsonstown

Telescope Leviathan of Parsonstown

Another must see in Offaly that’s inside the Birr Castle is the Leviathan of Parsonstown, a six-foot-diameter telescope built in the 1840s by William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse. Whether you’re an astrophysics enthusiast or not, this curious monstrosity in the Parsons estate is one of the best places to see in Offaly.

Nicknamed the Leviathan of Parsonstown, Lord Rosse’s reflecting telescope was the largest in the world for over 75 years. It is a testament to Parsons’ skills in engineering, optics, and astronomy. William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse, built this six-foot-diameter telescope and it was with this that he discovered the Whirlpool Nebula and devised a method of calculating the heat of the moon’s surface, which proved to be amazingly accurate.

4.Charleville Castle

Charleville Castle

Charleville Castle is a fine 19th-century gothic-revival building set in Charleville Forest located about one mile south of Tullamore. A must see and one of the strangest Offaly attractions, the castle is situated in Ireland’s most ancient primordial oak woods, once the haunting grounds of Ireland’s druids.

It was originally called Charleville Forest Castle and was commissioned in 1798 by the first Earl of Charleville, Charles William Bury. This imposing structure was designed by the renowned Irish architect, Francis Johnston and was completed in 1812. Charleville Castle is said to be the finest example of gothic-revival architecture in the country and also reputed to be haunted.

With myths and legends surrounding the castle’s location, history, and former residents, Charleville has been featured on Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters International and Scariest Places On Earth. Despite that reputation though visitors continue to flock to Charleville. The picturesque castle even hosts events, such as “fright nights”, auctions and plays. More recently, it was the venue for the Mór Festival, and its successor, Castlepalooza music festival.

Operating Hours

Monday-Sunday 11 am-6pm

Contact Information

Address: Charleville Castle Tullamore Co. Offaly Ireland EU.

Phone: 057 9323040 

5.Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise Ofally

Founded by St. Ciaran in 545 AD, Clonmacnoise was a center of learning for almost 1,000 years and was a virtual city until reduced to a ruin in 1552. Situated in  Shannonbridge on the River Shannon, south of Athlone,  this 6th-century monastic settlement has become one of the main attractions in Offaly.

Clonmacnoise was declared a national monument in 1955 and is under the management of the Office of Public Works. The site contains more than 10th century high crosses, a 62-foot round tower, the grave of Rory O’Connor, last high king of Ireland and other interesting historical and archeological wonders. It also has a visitor center with exhibits and guided tours are provided. The graveyard surrounding the site continues to be in use and religious services are held regularly on the site in a modern chapel.

Operating Hours

Open all Year

November – Mid March
Daily 10:00 – 17:30

Mid March-May
Daily 10:00 – 18:00

June – August
Daily 09:00 – 18.30

SeptemberOctober
Daily 10:00 – 18:00

Closed 25th & 26th December

The last admission is 45mins before closing. Average Length of Visit 1½ hours.

Admission Fee

Adult: €8.00
Group /Senior: €6.00
Child / Student : €4.00
Family: €20.00

Contact Information

Address: Clonmacnoise Co. Offaly N37 V292

Phone: +353 (90) 967 4195

Email: clonmacnoise@opw.ie

6.Clara Bog Boardwalk

Clara Bog Walkway

Forming over 50% of the remaining area of uncut raised bog in North West Europe, a stroll in the picturesque Clara Bog Boardwalk is one of the best things to do in Offaly. Located on Rahan Road, it is said that you can experience ten thousand years of history in the 10 square kilometers that span Clara Bog and its surroundings.

This place is a naturally wet environment, a nature reserve is a home to many protected wildlife species. It has a Visitor Centre & Nature Reserve boardwalk, a 1-kilometer looped walk on Clara Bog. A walk here lets visitors see the site’s incredible flora and fauna which Clara Bog is home to and soak up the atmosphere of an exceptional raised bog in the heart of Ireland.

Operating Hours

Monday- Friday-10am-5pm

Saturday, Sunday & Bank holiday: closed

Contact Information

Address: Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Ballycumber Road, Clara, Co. Offaly – R35 T621

Phone:+353 57 9368878

Email:claraguides@ahg.gov.ie

7.Grand Canal

Grand Canal Tullamore

Located in Edenderry and running across the Midlands, the Grand Canal is a very important part of the region’s history as well as a nice place for a stroll while enjoying the scenery. This Grand Canal runs 64 kilometers through the villages of Edenderry, Daingean, Tullamore, Rahan, Pollagh, and Belmont in County Offaly. It is used by walkers, cyclists, fishermen, and hosts various festivals and events in Edenderry and nearby towns. One of the best things to do in Offaly is to either stroll or bike along the canal, take in the. picturesque townscapes and discover flora and fauna through the bogland.

8.Tullamore Distillery

Tullamore Distillery

A visit to any place in Ireland is not complete without a trip to a brewery or distillery. Considered as one of the best attractions in Offaly, the Tullamore Distillery is a 19th-century warehouse, home of Tullamore Dew whiskey located on the grand canal.

A visit to Tullamore takes you on a guided tour where you learn its history, like how the whiskey brand got its name by using the initials of one of the 19th-century whiskey-makers Daniel E. Williams. The guided tour is a mix of audiovisual and traditional storytelling to help visitors see, smell, taste and understand the craft, time and passion dedicated to each glass of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. At the end of the tour, a sample of Tullamore Dew awaits all adult visitors.

Operating Hours

Opening Times:
Mon-Sat: 9.30 – 18.00
Sun/Bank Holidays: 11.30 – 17.00

December 24th, 28th, 29th & 30th: 11.30am – 5pm
Closed: December 25th – 26th & December 31st – January 2nd inclusive

Contact Information

Address: Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre Bury Quay Tullamore  Co. Offaly  Ireland

Phone:+353 57 932 5015

Email: info@tullamoredew.com

9.Slieve Bloom Mountains

Slieve Bloom Mountains

One of the best walking locations in the country that’s still unspoiled and where you get to feel as if you have the place to yourself is the Slieve Bloom Mountains. This vast mountain park has the largest continuous area of upland blanket bog and forestry in Ireland. These mountain ranges also stretch through the towns of Offaly and Laois. It is an ideal place to explore, with eco-trails, forest paths and a sign-posted walk known as The Slieve Bloom Way. Wildflowers bloom year-round in Slieve Bloom such as the famed “carpet of bluebells” in May. They also hold yearly events such as the Slieve Bloom Walking Festival.

10.Leap Castle, Clareen

Leap Castle Clareen

If you’re up for a different castle tour experience then you must request a visit to this old fortress situated in the south of Brim. Truly one of the best places to see in Offaly, and especially if you’re into the strange and macabre, the Leap Castle is considered “the most haunted castle in Ireland.” There were no records that say when it was built exactly, only that it is somewhere between the 13th and the 16th century, and that it was once the home of the O’Carroll clan.

Townfolks and those who have visited the castle say that its chapel is home to many spirits, as they have experienced strange events, lights and smells while there. The castle is privately owned by the Ryans family, so it is recommended to call beforehand if you want to visit and explore inside.

Contact Information

Address: County Offaly, Ireland, north of Roscrea R421.

Phone: +353868690547

Email:seanfryan@outlook.com 

11.Lough Boora Discovery Park

Lough Boora Discovery Park

Lough Boora Discovery Park has thousands of hectares of cutaway bogland that has been rehabilitated to provide a world-class resource to all those who go to see it. After the Irish company Bord na Móna extracted peat from this area, they converted approximately 5,000 acres to a public amenity where wetland plants and wildlife could thrive. A perfect place to explore and one of the best things to do in Offaly on weekends, discovering Lough Bora by walking or biking provides you with more than 20 miles of trails. You’ll pass plenty of moist black peat—that Bord na Móna came to harvest as you hike or bike. Make sure to grab a handful and experience this unique organic material, a precursor to coal, that holds plant remains from thousands of years ago.

Aside from being a haven of flora and fauna for nature lovers as well as families, walkers and cyclists, Lough Bora is also home to sculptures made from retired peat mining equipment, as well as some that are woven from living willow, a woody plant that grows well in wetlands. These days you can see more than two dozen sculptures at Lough Boora Discovery Park. The number of sculptures varies from year to year as some are added and others, intentionally made to erode or disappear. Another attraction is the Fairy Avenue with numerous fairy doors, tunnels, and other structures woven from willow branches scattered within the forest beyond the sculpture trail.

Operating Hours

Reception at the Visitor Centre is open from 10 am – 4 pm.
From April – October 2019: 10 am – 6 pm.

Contact Information

Address: Lough Boora Discovery Park Visitor Centre Boora, Co Offaly, Ireland

Phone: 057 9340010

Email: info@loughboora.com

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