Archives for June 2019

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, spiralling 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 centre 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 centre 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 centre 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 centre 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, may be 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

Jan/Feb/Nov/Dec 10.30am-4.00pm (last admission-3.30pm)
Mar/Apr/Sept/Oct 10.30am -5.30pm (last admission-5pm)
May/Jun/July/Aug 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)
November-December: 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. 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

September – October
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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10 Good and Cheap Restaurants in Dublin

With a variety of cafés and restaurants to choose from in Dublin, your short trip or extended vacation in the capital city would not be enough to visit all their restaurants! This informative guide will help you choose the good and cheap restaurants in Dublin, with cuisines inspired from all around the globe. All of which are great choices for your budget. From hearty handmade pies, delectable sausages, the best melt-in-your-mouth cheeseburgers, to remarkable Irish confectionaries—all at an affordable rate! These quality restaurants represent their best dishes from different nations and food culture by offering their tastiest dishes with a smile. 

10 Good and Cheap Restaurants in Dublin

1.Bunsen

Busen Burgers

 

The best cheeseburgers in Dublin, according to food reviews, are found in the humble Bunsen restaurant. With eight quality restaurants found in Ireland, one is sizzling juicy Irish-beef burgers in Wexford St., Dublin. And with the simplest menu to offer amongst all the restaurants listed here, they do not and will not disappoint—their friendly staff is glad to help you choose and serve highly affordable quality burgers. Grab a delectable Irish-beef cheeseburger for only €8.15! And their creamy milkshake, for only €4.75, is a must-try.

If you want to pair your burger with a hearty lager, you can only get it for €5.00. Their signature dish consists of burgers, but they also offer hand-cut, shoe-string, and sweet potato fries as perfect side dishes. If you’re around Wexford St., or at any part of Dublin, Bunsen is an absolute must-try.

Opening Hours

Monday -Wednesday-12.00-21.30
Thursday-Saturday-12.00- 22.30
Sunday- 13.00 – 21.30

Contact Information

Address: Wexford Street Dublin 2

Phone:01-552-5408

Email: info@bunsen.ie

To check their complete menu, click here. 

2.Beanhive Coffee

Beanhive Coffee

If you’re looking for an authentic Irish breakfast dining experience, then Beanhive Coffee in Dawson St. might be your next stop. Their signature Full Irish Breakfast dish consists of 2 sausages, 2 bacon, an egg, beans, mushrooms, 2 hashbrowns, 2 white puddings, tomato, and crunchy, buttery toast—all for €8.95 only! A great meal to start your day. But if you aren’t a fan of big meals, or wouldn’t like to fill your stomach at the early part of the day, you can try their triple-decker sandwich for only €6.95.

And if you or your friends aren’t yet filled, you can build your own sandwich for €6.00 or less! From Panini bread, baguettes, wraps, granary, and white and brown bread, to their sauces, juicy delis, veggies, and cheese toppings—Beanhive Coffee serves one of the best Irish cuisines in town for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 7:15-18:00
Saturday 9:00 -18:00
Sunday 9:30 – 17:00

Contact Information

Address: 26 Dawson Street  Dublin2  Ireland  D02 FY28

Phone:01-6774685

Email: beanhivedublin@gmail.com

To check their complete menu, click here. 

3.Offbeat Donut Co.

Offbeat Donut Co.

Making Magic Everyday is their restaurant’s motto, and they surely sprinkle some of that magic in their most affordable, handmade and Instagram-worthy donuts, served in Westland Row, Dublin. Their artistic showmanship has been praised by a myriad of food critics—some reviews mention that they serve the best donuts in the world!

With a price range of €6.00 for a box of 3 creamy, Premium, vegan-friendly donuts, Offbeat Donut Co. offers the finest and the most affordable. Their Classic Range donuts consist of Classic Glaze, Coffee Slice, and Sprinkles, and their signature Premium Range donuts primarily includes their best-selling Raspberry Rhapsody, Bear Necessities, Honeycomb Crunchy, Toffee Crispie, The Unicorn, Boston Crème, Creamy Red Velvet, Lemon Meringue, Hazelnut Rocher, S’mores, Nutella Ring—and a whole lot more! A proof that quality doesn’t have to suffer for cheap eats in Dublin.

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday- 7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday- 9:00 am-8:00 pm
Sunday-11:00 am-7:00 pm

Contact Information

Address: Pearse StationWestland RowDublin 2

Phone: 01 5143100

Email: hello@offbeatdonuts.com

To check their complete menu, click here. 

4.Tang Coffee

Dubliners around Dawson Street grab one of the best vegan-friendly cuisines around the city in Tang Coffee—another famous restaurant around Dawson St. They offer three, widely-varying menus—breakfast, lunch, and brunch. Their signature dish during breakfast is the Buckwheat Pancakes—for only €8.75 your squishy buckwheat pancakes are served with greek yogurt, fresh berries, pecan nuts, honey, and almond butter. Or you could try their famous Avocado Egg for only €8.50 Avocado on sourdough toast is served with dressed leaves, crispy fried egg, beetroot hummus, spicy salsa, herb oil, and dukkah.

And for brunch, you could try their signature Mushrooms on Toast with pan-seared oyster mushrooms marinated in tamari and fresh ginger, served on sourdough toast with two poached eggs, zesty lemon yogurt, herb oil, and dukkah, all for only €10.00. Their restaurant also offers unlimited filtered water, free high-speed WiFi, and a variety of teas, coffees, and smoothies—all less than €5.00!

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday -7.30am-5pm
Saturday: 10am-4pm
Sunday: Closed

Contact Information

Address: 23C  Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Phone:+353 01 8733672

Email: hello@tang.ie

To check their complete menu, click here

5.Pho Viet

Feel the vibe of a rich, Vietnamese-style restaurant in Parnell Street by trying some of the signature dishes of Pho Viet! Vietnamese cuisine is considered as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.

With their vegan-friendly starters, a must try is the Goi Cuon, a Vietnamese delicacy, for only €4.50. And for those who love seafood, their Goi Thom Thit – Pork & Prawn Salad with Cabbage, Onion, Carrot, and Mint for only €8.00, and their Tom Nuong – Grilled Jumbo Prawns with Sweet Chili Sauce for only €10.00. These are scrumptious meals with an Asian flavor twist and it’s one of the best yet cheap restaurants in Dublin. 

Opening Hours

Monday -Sunday-12 noon-10pm
Friday & Saturday-12 noon-11pm

Contact Information

Address: 162 Parnell Street Dublin 1

Phone: 01 8783165

To check their complete menu, click here. 

6.The Pieman Café

The Pieman Café

Irish-crafted pies, from the freshest ingredients around Ireland and in the globe, are the signature dishes in The Pieman Café. The pies start at €6.00, with six main types of pies that consist of Steak & Stout, Roast Chicken & Sausage Stuffing, Feta & Sweet Potato, Chicken & Mushroom, Chicken, Leek & Cheddar, and Chili, Beef, and Chorizo.

You can also try some of their famous sausage rolls made of Bacon & Ballymaloe Relish, Fennel & Chili, Pear & Black Pudding, and Leek and Sage. Any of these pies, plus a side dish, gravy, and a soft drink only cost €8.50! Take a bite on their savoury pies, all proudly made in Dublin!

Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday-12pm-6.30 pm

Contact Information

Address:14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

Phone: 085 166 3567

Email:kitchen@thepieman.ie

7.Umi Falafel

Umi Falafel

Falafels are golden-brown croquettes that are a bit crunchy on the outside but soft in the middle. A famous savory bread in the Middle East, the Umi Falafel’s signature dish is the Lebanese Falafel, for only €6.00. A must-try is the Falafel Your Way, for only €6.50, you can create your own Falafel with a choice of 4 toppings and a sauce.

The Grilled and Breaded Haloumi Cheese Sandwiches also make a delightful treat for those who can’t live without the flavor of the cheese in their sandwiches, for €6.50 only. A variety of salads, mezzes, soups, and extras are all available to order, all for less than €6.00! If you want to taste the flavors of the Arabian lands while in Dublin, then Umi Falafel will be a great choice!

Opening Hours

Daily-12.00-22.00

Contact Information

Address: 13 Dame St, Dublin 2 Dublin D02HX67

Phone:01 670 6866

Email:info@umifalafel.ie

To check their complete menu, click here. 

8.Boojum

Craving for affordable Mexican cuisine while touring around Dublin? Look no further. Around Mespil Road and Abbey Street in Dublin, Boojum offers a wide selection of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, salads, and nachos—with six fillings to choose from: Chicken (€6.50), Beef (€6.75), Pork (6.50), Chili (€6.75), Chorizo (€6.95), and Vegetarian (€6.25). Add some salsa, cheese, and sour cream, with some extra spices and meat choice all at an affordable rate! Pair them with your choice side-dishes and drinks, and you have yourself a Mexican-Irish feast.

Opening Hours

Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am -11pm

Contact Information

Address:3 Abbey Street Lower North City Dublin1, Dublin. 

Phone+353 1874 7237

9.Dall’Italia Pasta Bar

If you’re used to pasta being served to you at your local restaurant from a strict menu, then Dall’Italia Pastabar will surely make you smile, for a change. Here, you create your own pasta! The first step into making your pasta is choosing a one—from Tagliatelle to Macheroni Rigate. The second step, and the most crucial part is choosing your sauce—from their €7.50 Carbonara sauce to their €6.50 Tomato sauce, your pasta will be your own work of art. Other sauces include Aglio E Olio, Pesto, Quatro Formaggi, and Ragu.

The final step, and the most fun part is choosing your toppings! From their €0.70 Cherry Tomatoes toppings to their €1.50 Bacon toppings, combine all of these, and your Instagram-worthy pasta will await your camera and your taste buds. Add some homemade tiramisu and Cannoli Siciliani for a sweet after-taste of your great Italian-dining experience in Dublin.

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday:8:30am-9pm
Saturday:9am- 9pm
Sunday:12pm-4pm

Contact Information

Address: 1 Grantham Street Dublin 8, Ireland

Phone: +353 (83) 455 5330

Email:info@dallitaliapastabar.com

To check their complete menu, click here.

10.Lemon Crepe and Coffee Co.

Offering one of the best sweet and savoury crepes, sandwiches, and waffles around Dublin is Lemon Crepe and Coffee Co. Their signature breakfast dish is the Big Breakfast Omelette, for €7.95 enjoy streaky bacon, sausage, and cheddar filled breakfast. Or try their buttermilk pancakes ‘stack’, especially the Strawberry Supreme Stack with Nutella and fresh strawberries for only €6.60. Enjoy their savoury crepes, starting from their Canadian crepe for only €6.25 to their Veg Power Plus crepe for €7.25.

A variety of sweet crepes, ranging from Chocolate Special for €5.50 to Ice Cream Strawberry Suzzette for €7.95, for a little punch. Lastly, their quality, hand-made sandwiches are all under €8.00! These affordable rates, quality meals, and a nice place to chill are on the reasons why it’s the best among the most affordable restaurants in Dublin. 

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday: 7.30am -7.30pm
Thursday: 7.30 am- 8.30 pm
Saturday: 8.30am -7.30pm
Sunday: 9.30AM – 6.30 pm

Contact Information

Address: 66 South William Street, Dublin 2

Phone: (01) 672 9044

Email:info@lemonco.com

To check their complete menu, click here.

 

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10 CHEAPEST AND BEST RESTAURANTS IN DUBLIN IRELAND

12 Best Things To Do in County Clare

A region practically surrounded by bodies of water on all sides, County Clare offers visitors a diverse and rich number of attractions. Historical villages with either a quirky dance festival or the best traditional Irish music, stunning limestone areas and cliffs, beautiful open museums and even islands that take you back in time – County Clare has got something for everybody. Spend a few hours, a day or a weekend – this list of best things to do in County Clare should help you figure out your itinerary and make the most of your visit.

12 Best Things To Do in County Clare

1.Dysert O’ Dea Castle

Dysert O’ Dea Castle Co Clare

It is situated at the periphery of the Burren just south of Corrofin and Killinaboy, and one of the best places to see in Co. Clare as it is an ideal location for anyone wishing to visit the many archeological sites in the region. The castle dates back to the 15th Century and is named after the Clan who ruled it – the “O’Dea Clan”.

The five-story-high tower house was built in 1480 by Diarmuid O’Dea, Lord of Cineal Fearmaic and was the home of the O’Dea chiefs up until 1692.  Visitors to the authentically restored castle has access to all the floors including the wall walk.

The castle grounds also have the Clare Archaeology Centre that consists of 25 original field monuments, one of which is a beautiful 12th century High Cross. There’s an Archaeology/History Trail to help navigate the 25 sites,  all within a few kilometers radius of the castle. This attraction has been at the heart of Irish cultural tourism for as long as it existed.

Opening Hours

Open daily – 10.00 – 18.00hrs, 1st May to September 30th.
Other times by appointment.
School and coach tours welcome. Pre-arrangement advised.

Admission Fee

Adults: €7
Children: €3
Students/Senior Citizens €5.
Groups: €5 each
Concessions: €5
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) €20.

Contact Information

Address: Dysert O’Dea Castle & Clare Archaeology Centre Corofin, County Clare, Ireland

Phone: 353-(0)65-6837401 

Email::dysertodeacastle@gmail.com

2.The Burren, Co. Clare

Karst Landscape The Burren

 

A UNESCO-recognised geopark, the Burren in Co. Clare is the longest cave system in Ireland, the largest stalactite in Europe and plenty more. Also known as a Karst Landscape, the Burren is world famous because it is one of the very few places on the planet that is natively home to the Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants.

The Burren is one of the top attractions in County Clare and known as a historical, geomorphic, geological and archaeological wonder. Another interesting feature of this barren limestone area is the ancient burial sites with over 70 megalithic tombs scattered throughout. The most famous of these is the Poulnabrone Dolmen which is over 5,000 years old. Some of the remains recently excavated here even dates to 3800 BC. Apart from these, the Burren is also an ideal place to roam, cycle, spot unique flora and fauna on and even follow a food trail over. It is also one of the 6 national parks in Ireland.

3.Cliffs of Moher

cliffs of moher

Standing at 702 feet above the crashing Atlantic swells, the Cliffs of Moher is one of Ireland’s most visited natural attractions. A trip here is one of the best activities to do in County Clare, with its superb visitor center, an impressive coastal walking route, diverse birdlife and exquisite view in its hefty 8km breadth.

The breathtaking high views of the Cliffs of Moher are as iconic as Ireland itself, but when planning a visit, you must ensure that there is good weather, as even the littlest bit of rain would make it difficult see over the edge due to high altitude mixed with coastal wind.

Opening Hours

January-February, November-December- 09:00 -17:00.
March-April-08:00 – 19:00.
May to August 08:00 – 21:00.
September – October-08:00 –19:00.

Admission Fee

Gate Rate
Adult:€8.00
Child Under 16: FREE
Student: €7.00
Senior:€5.00

Contact Information

Address: Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland

Phone:+353 65 708 6141

Email:info@cliffsofmoher.ie

4.Lisdoonvarna Town

Lisdoonvarna Town County Clare

A town steeped in history, love, and tradition, Lisdoonvarna goes back hundreds of years. In the 1800s, it was a spa town with healing mineral waters that was said to cure many diseases. Lisdoonvarna was so famous that people literally go in groups, and due to this influx of visitors mixing with the locals, a new tradition was born. Hundreds of Bachelor farmers would arrive specifically in September after the harvest was complete, and with this yearly occurrence, something unique and fun was started.

Lisdoonvarna is already an interesting town in itself, but the Matchmaking Festival all weekends of September has become such a tourist attraction, too. It is really a dancing festival, done on weekends. The music kicks off early on Friday evening and goes all weekend until the wee hours of Monday morning. The idea behind this Irish festival is that if you do enough dancing you will eventually meet your perfect match. Everyone is there for the fun, the music, the dancing and maybe, to meet the man or woman of their dreams.

5.Scattery Island

Scattery Island Co Clare

Scattery Island is a small monastic settlement a few kilometers from the Kilrush shore, and a genuine must visit in Co. Clare. The island boasts of a still-functioning lighthouse, a sixth-century monastery, a round tower, cathedral, oratory, castle, Elizabethan tower, eighteenth-century batter and one of the highest round towers (120 feet) in the country.

You need to ride a boat to get to Scattery, and a trip here surely takes you back in time. Apart from the monastic settlement, this historic island also has breathtaking views, and plenty of far-fetched legends and tales to tell.

Opening Hours

23rd May – 25th September
Daily 10.00 – 18.00 (Recommended visiting times)
Last Admission 45 mins. before closing

Admission Fee

Free

Contact Information

Address: Kilrush Marina, Kilrush, Co. Clare

Phone: +353 (87) 995 8427

Email: scatteryisland@opw.ie 

6.Aillwee Cave

Ailwee Cave Co Clare

If you’re up for a more extreme adventure where you get to explore Co. Clare’s famed landscape from the other side, a trek down the  Aillwee Cave is a must. One of Ireland’s most popular and famous tourist attractions, Aillwee became open to the public in 1973. A tour of the  Aillwee Cave takes you on a stony underworld of winding passages, chasms, strange rock formations, massive stalactites, stalagmites, and frozen waterfalls. This large series of caverns stretch to about a kilometer and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Opening Hours

Daily-10:00 am- 5:30pm

Admission Fee

Cave Only
Adult:€15.00
Children:€7.00
Family Ticket 1:€34.00 (2 Adults & 1/2 Children)
Family Ticket 2:€40.00 (2 Adults & 3/4 Children)

Contact Information

Address: Aillwee Cave Ballyvaughan Co. Clare Ireland

Phone:+353 (0)657077036

7.Bunratty Folk Village

unratty Folk Park Co Clare

Bunratty folk village is a whole town dedicated to looking the way Ireland appeared during the 19th century. There’s just so much to see and do here, making it one of the best things to do in Co. Clare on weekends. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park dates back to 1423 and is now a tourist attraction where the history of Ireland comes to life, literally. From the everyday working life in Ireland featuring fishermen or pig farmers to great banquets in the castle — your day trip here is guaranteed to be full and satisfying.

Bunratty Folk Park is an open-air museum that has around 30 buildings, including the Ardcroney Church of Ireland church, which was relocated to the park in 1998. In the evening, a must in Bunratty is to attend a once-in-a-lifetime banquet at the Castle. Here you’ll be welcomed by the Earl’s Butler, listen to medieval music, have a glass of wine and honey mead, and enjoy a feast inside a 15th-century castle. It is also one of the must-see castles in Ireland. 

8.Fanore Beach

Fanore Beach County Clare

Fanore Beach is a great place for a long walk, a picnic or a swim if you’re feeling extra brave, and regarded as one of the best beaches in Clare if not one of the most beautiful along Ireland’s spectacular Wild Atlantic Way. Fanore is also famous for surfing along with the west coast of Ireland that’s considered a worldwide famous destination for surfers. Definitely one of the best places to see in County Clare, Fanore is a hit with walkers, surfers, anglers, families and more. It’s also a small village that has hotels and surfing schools, and home to the brightly painted O’Donohue’s Pub, where you can stop by for a pint or a warm cup of tea.

9.Shannon Estuary

Shannon Estuary

Since Co. Clare is surrounded by water practically on all sides, a good way to explore it and see the sights is by taking a ferry. A ride takes you across the Shannon Estuary, then into the Atlantic ocean where you can marvel at views all the way to Kerry. Definitely a good way to relax while enjoying a scenic ferry ride, it is one of the best things to do in Co. Clare.

Aside from the stunning scenery, the Shannon Estuary is also home to a large pod of bottle-nosed dolphins, as well as the deserted Scattery Island with its remains of an 8th-century monastery and round tower.

10.Doolin

Doolin Fisher Street Clare

When on your way to or from the Cliffs of Moher or going to the pier to set out to Aran Islands, you’ll most likely pass by Doolin. This long extended street lined with countless B&Bs, guesthouses, and hostels doesn’t sound very inviting at first, but it is one of the best places to visit in Co. Clare if you’re up to a few hours of chilling or relaxing.

Doolin is best known for its three pubs that offer quality traditional Irish music sessions 7 nights a week, 363 days a year. This is not like the singing pubs of Killarney or the rebel ballad singing in Dublin pubs. All three pubs (O’Connor’s, McDermott’s, McGann’s) has fiddles, banjos, flutes, accordions, tin whistles, bodhrans, bagpipes, and spoons. They also serve good food so you can really just eat, sit back, relax and treat your ears to a feast for a change.

Another must visit in Doolin is the tiny Doolin Chocolate Shop close to the pier. Make sure you get their dark chocolate rocky road and buy some edible souvenirs to take home with you. There’s also the Stonecutters Kitchen, a warm and welcoming family-run restaurant that’s located inside a 100-year-old stone cottage. They serve up delicious fish, meat and vegetarian dishes and their desserts are said to be the best in town, especially the banoffee pie.

11.Aran Islands

Aran Islands

A visit to the Aran Islands will take you to another Ireland, one obviously ancient and yet most definitely living and thriving in the 21 st century. Located just 10km off the coast from Doolin, Aram is made up of three islands and each has a distinct charm. Inishmore, the largest of the islands contains most of the historical sites of interest and is the most visited. Inisheer is the smallest and closest to Doolin is also popular, while for quietness and solitude, you should visit Inishmaan.

Aran is one of the most interesting things to visit in Co. Clare, as you can enjoy a bike ride or walk past rocky fields, intricately built stone walls that crisscross the wild terrain, cute cafes and lively pubs, friendly donkeys and spectacular cliffs. Here is also where you can encounter and learn a few new words from Irish speaking farmers and fishermen.

12.Loop Head and Lighthouse

Loop Head and Lighthouse Co Clare

For a more unique experience and for a  different perspective of the Wild Atlantic Way, one of the best things to do in County Clare is to drive out to the Loop Head Lighthouse. It is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, with the drive taking you from the picturesque town of Kilkee to the splendid Loop Head Peninsula, right on the very edge of Clare where you’ll find this pristine 350-year old lighthouse.

This magnificent drive lets you enjoy the beautiful flora, the headland teeming with coastal birdlife and views that extends all the way to the stunning Cliffs of Moher. Climb up to the top of the lighthouse to take it all in and watch out for the 160+ dolphins that call these waters home.

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11 Best Things To Do In Mayo, Ireland

Recognized as one of Ireland’s most beautiful counties, Mayo is rich in natural beauty archeological wonders and heritage sites. They all have stories to tell that mirror Ireland’s colorful history. Take a look at our list of things to do in Mayo, pick one or five or all, and enjoy what this county has to offer.

11 Best Things To Do In Mayo, Ireland

1.Keem Bay

Keem Bay County Mayo

Located in the west of County Mayo’s Achill Island which is the largest island in Ireland, Keem Bay is one of the most suggested stops when navigating the Wild Atlantic Way.

Formerly the site of a basking shark fishery and a British army lookout post, Keem Bay is a picturesque secluded valley at the very western tip of Achill Island. Stroll along the pristine white sand beaches or climb the nearby cliffs for a view you won’t soon forget – Keem Bay is a definite must visit in Mayo. It’s even more beautiful during the warmer months when the strand is a magnet for beach-goers and those interested in scenic walks.

2.Achill Island

Achill Island West Mayo

The stunning Achill is attached to the mainland by Michael Davitt Bridge and is the largest island off the coast of Ireland. Situated off the west coast of Mayo, it has a small population of 2,700 in an area of 57 square miles.

This is the perfect place to be if you’re looking for fun, adventure-filled things to do in Mayo, as it is popular among those who like to swim, surf or even paddle board. If you’re not into water sports though, Achill island has hiking trails that will take you to a stunning mountain lake with views of the sea and the mainland.

3.Westport House

Westport House Mayo

A fun thing to do in Mayo is a trip to the Westport House, a 300-year old heritage site that was once the castle of Irish pirate queen Grace O’Malley (also known as Gráinne Mhaol). This place is now a treasure trove of Irish history and fun as it also has the Pirate Adventure Park within the grounds, a tribute to Grace’s sense of adventure.

A tour of the house takes you through the 30 rooms on display, as well as six exhibitions, while the remains of O’Malley’s castle can be seen from the dungeons. Aside from the adventure park, the Westport House also has their birds of prey shows where you get to meet various owls and falcons and watch them in action as they fly around the grounds with their trainers.

Operating Hours

January- May- 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Extended hours for Easter Midterm Break: April 12th- 26th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

June- August-10:00am -6:00 pm

September- Open for Sensory Day on September 1st to families with children with Sensory Processing Disorder. Closed for the rest of September.

October-November-10:00 am-4:00 pmOpen from 12 pm – 5 pm

November-Open from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm during the school midterm from the 1st to 3rd November inclusive.
Closed for the remainder of the month.

December-closed

Admission Fee

House & Gardens ( Online Price)
Adult Pass – € 12.85
Senior (Over 65’s)-€ 9.50
Student (must have current student id)-€ 9.50
Children-€ 6.15
Child (3 years and under)-Free

Contact Information

Address: Westport House, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

Phone: 353 (0)98 27766

Email: info@westporthouse.ie

4.Famine Valley

Famine Valley Mayo

The Doolough Valley or Famine Valley is a scenic area with a sad, tragic story that was the reason for its name. It was the site of the grueling march during the Great Famine in Ireland in 1849, where hundreds of people died. There’s a stone memorial here in memory of those who perished, engraved with quotes from Gandhi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Aside from that sobering reminder, Famine Valley is a stunning place that makes it one of Co. Mayo’s attractions. With green hills on each side, the area is uninhabited bogland except for the occasional sheep. There are also small waterfalls that flow down both sides of the valley. The Doolough / Famine valley is not easily accessible but it is definitely worth the journey.

5.Abandoned Village On Inishkea Island

nishkea South Island Mayo

An attraction off the beaten path and with a sad story to tell is the abandoned village in Inishkea Island. It was once home to a lively fishing village until tragedy struck and almost all the men of the town drowned in a fishing accident. Left with no way to sustain themselves, the survivors abandoned the  Islands and headed to the mainland.

A favorite spot for photographers and those who simply wanted to enjoy having an island to themselves, spending time at Inishkea Island is one of the more interesting activities to do in Mayo. Pack your camera, wear comfortable shoes and take the ferry to the island where the only company you’ll have are the donkeys and sheep. You can spend hours wandering the island and all of the abandoned stone structures. This is one of those excursions where you won’t want to leave your camera behind!

6.Great Western Greenway

Great Western Greenway Mayo

Biking has become one of the most popular things to do in Ireland and if you want to explore Mayo, cycling through the Great Western Greenway will take you to some of its most stunning attractions. Spanning 26 miles with 18 miles of it across Co. Mayo, the Great Western Greenway allows you to stop and stretch your legs in between enjoying Mayo’s top attraction such as Croagh Patrick, the Céide Fields, a deserted famine village in Achill, the National Museum of Country Life, and the Ballycroy National Park.

The Greenway is the longest off-road walking or cycling experience in the country, stretching from Achill Island to Westport. Named as a European location of excellence, a walking or cycling tour through the Great Western Greenway is one of the best things to do in Mayo on weekends.

7.Croagh Patrick

St Patrick’s mountain

The third highest mountain in County Mayo after Mweelrea and Nephin, Croagh Patrick is also referred to as the holiest mountain in Ireland. Situated just outside of the vibrant town of Westport, it is known as the place where St. Patrick spent 40 days and 40 nights praying and fasting during his years as a missionary in Ireland. It is an important pilgrimage site, and also one of Mayo’s attractions.

A usual site here are pilgrims climbing the 2,500 ft mountain to the church at its peak. It is a tough climb but if you’re a non-Christian, a hike to the top is also worth it as you get magnificent views of the Mayo countryside and Clew Bay.

8.Keel Beach

Keel beach achill island

One of Mayo’s finest, the picturesque Keel beach is known to most tourists as a surfing location. If you’re not into riding the waves, however, you can still enjoy Keel’s fine, golden sand and stunning views from the shore. Located at the foot of Achill Head, it is one of the most popular places to visit in Mayo.

From the beach, you can see Slievemore where the famous Deserted Village is sheltered, as well as Mweelaun Cliffs and the Bill, a legendary isolated arrangement of three rock stacks. The scenic villages of Keel, Dooagh, and Doogort are also within easy reach. The artist Paul Henry lived and worked in Keel from 1910 to 1919.

9.Downpatrick Head

Downpatrick Head Mayo

One of the best places to visit in Mayo, Downpatrick Head was once a popular pilgrim destination.  At present, crowds still gather here on the last Sunday of July – known as Garland Sunday – to hear mass at this sacred site. It is located just a few miles north of Ballycastle village in County Mayo and one of those places that are ideal for a leisurely, relaxing stroll.

Downpatrick got its name from St. Patrick, who founded a church in this area. You can still see the ruins of the church building, a stone cross, a  holy and a statue close to the cliff edge dedicated to the patron saint.

10.Ballycroy National Park

Ballycroy National Park

Located in the western part of Co. Mayo, Ballycroy National Park is Ireland’s 6th national park and is a popular designation among hikers and adventure lovers, as well as those who enjoy leisurely strolls.

It is home to a massive portion of blanket bog (the bog is 11,000 years old!) and is Ireland’s first dark sky preserve. This place is a must for those who love photography, specifically those into taking photos of the night sky. A haven for stargazers and astrophotography enthusiasts, a visit to Bsllycroy National Park is one of the best things to do in Mayo during the night. Pack your camera gear and take epic Milkyway photos or lay on the grass and enjoy gazing at the unspoilt night sky.

11.Deirbhiles Twist

Deirbhiles Twist Mayo

Named after Saint Deirbhile (Dervilla), a local saint who arrived at Falmore in the 6th Century, the Deirbhiles Twist is a modern-day stone circle that resembles evokes monuments and is part of the North Mayo Sculpture Trail.

It is comprised of 22 giant granite slabs that form a circular twist formation, and one of the most popular stops along the Wild Atlantic Way.  The Deirbhiles Twist is located at Falmore and one of the things to do in Mayo that is easily accessible for everyone as it is easily reached via a short walk from a parking lot.

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30 Irish Slang Words Every Visitor Should Learn Before Visiting Ireland

Ireland is the only European nation that has the highest percentage of citizens who speak English as their mother tongue or native language at 97.51%. One can say that the English language is deeply ingrained in the blood of Irish people. With the United Kingdom (UK) falling behind second, and a percentage of 94.45% native English language speakers. This said the Irish locals have created thousands of English slang that dates back from the medieval period up until modern times.

These Irish slang words are commonly used in everyday Irish conversations—some might sound offensive, some might sound like it was pulled out of a literary textbook. But most of them are creations of literary geniuses and everyday Irishmen who strive to make the English language as dynamic, engaging, heartfelt, communicative, and fun as possible. Some of these words are familiar to native English speakers from the USA and UK but used in a different Irish context. But no need to get too intellectual! This guide will help you understand how these words were formed, and how they’re used in your first or next visit to Ireland. When to use these words will be up to your discretion—and that makes learning and using Irish slang words more fun and exciting!

30 Irish Slang Words Every Visitor Should Learn Before Visiting Ireland

1.Sláinte!

Sláinte!

Pronounced as slawn-sha, if you and your friends have a couple of more rounds, the best Irish chant for cheers is Sláinte! What a fine way to raise your mugs!

Sample usage:

Sláinte! For good fortunes and well wishes for Johnny!

2.Black Stuff

It’s not literally black, but you guessed it right—a strong pint of this famous Irish dry stout might knock-out the light-hearted. In faint-lighted pubs and bars, a pint of Guinness might appear black or dark-colored. No matter the color, just mention this to your local Irish bartender, and he’ll know what to serve.

Sample usage:

Hand me over some of that black stuff.

3.Acushla

Addressing your darling or Irish sweetheart from Ireland will never be as soft and endearing as the Irish term acushla. It stems from the Irish Gaelic word cuisle, which means ‘darling’, or more literally ‘vein’ or ‘pulse’. Cuisle was sometimes paired with ma, giving us macushla, or ‘my darling’ a term of endearment you’ll never forget. During your trip, if an Irish local or your best friend calls you their acushla, don’t be too flattered!

Sample usage:  

Where’s our next destination, acushla?

4.Craic

Stems from the more common English term ‘crack’. This term is used for news, gossip, and fun conversations engaged by the locals. The word ‘crack’ came from the Middle English term crak, meaning loud, bragging conversation. The people from Northern England and Scotland borrowed the word that denoted a meaning for ‘conversation’ or ‘news.’ The term ‘what’s the crack’ essentially means, ‘how are you’, or ‘have you any news?’ Interestingly, ‘crack’ was borrowed from the Irish term ‘craic’, and was re-borrowed! And now, it is an official slang in the modern Irish scenes.

Sample usage:

Fergus, my lad! What’s the craic? How’ve ye been? I missed ye.    

5.Banjaxed

The etymology of this fun Irish word remains unknown until today, but when you say something is banjaxed, it means they have been shattered or were broken. Synonymously and practically, it refers to a person who is over-fatigued from a long, tiring day. You certainly wouldn’t want to hear this from your Irish tour guide at the start of his or her tour!

Sample usage:

Can we stop by a nearby cave, laddie? Your gaffer’s banjaxed, and I feel like I can’t conquer Mount Carrauntoohil any longer.

Dad, we’ve only climbed less than a hundred feet. Let’s get moving!

6.Arseways

Arseways

In terms of direction, this term is not a bit offensive and is actually quite useful. When you hear an Irish local saying that you are going in arseways, it means you are going in the wrong direction (A person’s arse can be found behind). Or, it could also mean that something is not working properly, like a tourist van or a cellular device.

Sample usage:

Tough luck, fella. We’re stuck here. Our GPS’s gone arseways.

7.Shebeen

The term roots from Irish word síbín, meaning illegal whiskey. Way back, uncut liquor and alcoholic beverages were sold in Ireland in unlicensed bars and clubs in Ireland. Today, the term is commonly used for hidden bars that provide good music and a variety of drinks. A good destination for your Irish escapade.

Sample usage:

I heard the shebeens in Dublin at night are great places to enjoy good jazz and fresh drinks. Would you like to come with me?

8.Chancer

Irishmen and women, with shamrock and four-clover leaves, are fans of good luck. But a chancer is a person who pushes their luck a wee too much. They are commonly risk-takers or, sometimes, daredevils. You might befriend an Irish local or a tourist who is a chancer, and he or she will take you to the wildest places you could imagine.

Sample usage:

I heard the waves are great at Inchydoney Beach, honey. Chancers like you and your friends won’t have a hard time in finding the perfect wave.

9.Boyo

Depending on how you use it, boyo (plural: boyos) can refer to a boy or a lad, who is usually younger than the speaker. It might sound as derogatory to some, or might be a term of endearment for others. It all depends on the mood or context of your sentence or idea. For travelers, if your good friends call you boyo, it might be a term of endearment. But be wary if a stranger addresses you with this term at the middle of the night.

Sample usage:

Go fetch me a mug, boyo. (Derogatory). It’s been ages since I last seen ye, boyo. You’re lookin’ fine, lad! (Term of endearment)

10.Begrudgery

Begrudgery

 

 

A state of discontentment, envy, or sometimes, wishing of ill will for those who achieve success on a friend or a person of higher power or authority. It is a term most commonly used by angry Irishmen for the current state of their lives, caused by another Irishman’s fortune. It stems from the English noun grudge—and as you can hear from Irish conversations, the persons who use this term usually hold a grudge towards the persons they are referring to, or, they just simply are complaining about their rough situation in life.

On your next Irish trip, you might hear quite a few locals complaining about their state of begrudgery. With this knowledge at hand, you’ll find a good way to empathize with their current situation.

Sample usage:

I met a local once at a pub during our extended trop in County Donegal, and he kept complaining about his life’s begrudgery, and how he never has luck wherever he goes.

11.Colleen

This word is as pretty as it sounds. It refers to a young Irish girl, or a lass, in Scottish tongues. The word colleen is derived from the old Irish Gaelic term cailin which means ‘girl’ or ‘maiden’.  

Sample usage:

The next time you visit the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, you might befriend a couple of colleens studying horticulture.  They’ll tell you the secrets in creating the best garden in the world.

12.Gob

Derived from the Irish word gaeilge, meaning beak, gob often refers to as mouth in English. Often used in a derogatory context.

Sample usage:

Crank your gob, mate!

The black stuff’s spilling from your gob, laddie.

13.Trad

A short or a clipped version of the word ‘traditional’, trad often refers to traditional Irish folk music. A couple of trad music sessions are commonly found in local pubs and public areas around Ireland. This genre has endured and stands against the hip and modern music genres introduced in Ireland. Some instruments commonly used for trad music are the fiddle, the flute and the whistle, Uilleann pipes, harp, the accordion, the banjo, mandolin, and harmonica. Perfect combinations for an Irish jig!

Sample usage:

Have you heard of the new band from across the block? I heard they’re performing good trade at the old marketplace. Let’s watch?

14.Mar dhea (Irish)

Or ‘mor ya’ or ‘mauryah’ in Irish English, it is a derisive interjection that can be properly translated as ‘Yeah, right’ in the US English language slang or ‘bullocks’ in the UK. But much stronger. So, the next time your Irish friend cancels your much-needed Irish vacation plans because of a ‘stomach-ache’, you can say mor ya.

Sample usage:

Meredith, I really need to go to my brother’s wedding.

Mor ya, you don’t have a brother, Eddie! We have to go to Clonakilty. Now.

15.Ciotog

Pronounced as ki-togue, it is an Irish slang that usually refers to a left-handed person. But don’t be too proud when someone calls you by this term. The slang is much similar to the Irish word ciotach, meaning clumsy. And it has further connotations: a ciotach is regarded as a strange person, a strange one, or perhaps, touched by the Devil himself. These meaning portray left-hand people as weird outcasts of or Irish society.

Sample usage:

You see that poor painter, begging for scraps? A nasty ciotog he was, and a great painter, but filled with greed and self-loathing.  

16.Brogue

Derived from the Irish Gaelic word brog, a shoe, or from Old Norse, broc, meaning leg covering. It usually refers to two things—the first is a heavy accent of a certain dialect or a shoe made of untanned leather.

Sample usage:

My father has a brogue Yorkshire accent that he couldn’t seem to get rid of; despite his three-decade stay in London, he sounds like a native York.

Father, buy me one of those brogue shoes!

17.On tenterhooks

Tenterhooks are hooks used to fasten cloth, either on a wall or a frame, for drying. But in Ireland, when you say someone is on tenterhooks, it means they are at the edge of something agitating. Someone who is driven by anxiousness, waiting for something to occur. Like a pulled piece of cloth from a tenterhook, one can imagine the stretched agitation of a person on tenterhooks. So, the next time your trip advisor mentions that your trip to a certain destination is on tenterhooks, be wary.

Sample usage:

Listen, mates, we got ourselves on tenterhooks for a while. I can’t reach my coworkers, and the other tourist guides trailing behind us won’t be able to hear us outside the Cave of Maghera. We’ll wait until dusk. If no help comes to us, we’ll move on.    

18.Dosser

Dosser

 

In Irish and UK slang, a dosser is someone who prefers to relax all day, a lazy person, in simpler terms. No one is entirely sure of its origins, but its most probable origination is from the slang ‘to doze-off’, meaning to sleep for a short time, or take a nap. Be sure not to let anyone tell you that you’re a dosser on your trip.

Sample usage:

Stop being a dosser, man! Let’s enjoy the view!

19.Eejit

A more endearing term for the word ‘idiot’ or ‘fool’ is the Irish slang eejit. Yet, still, it is used in a mocking manner—with a hint of affection. If you ever get lost in a familiar neighborhood in Ireland, don’t be too offended when your Irish friend calls you an eejit.

Sample usage:

You eejit! The pub’s right in front of our gaff!

20.Gaffer

Commonly used in the UK and Ireland, a gaffer is colloquially termed as one’s boss, your ‘old man’, or a foreman. On your trip to a nearby pub in Ireland, you might hear most young Irishmen refer to their fathers as their gaffer.

Sample usage:

My gaffer and mum’s currently staying at Dromoland Castle Hotel in County Clare. I’ll be in their lodging place in two hours.

21.Gander

In Irish slang, gander means to quickly look at someone, or take a glance at. Its alternate meaning is of a foolish person or a simpleton. To take a gander at the beautiful golden beaches of Ireland is a fun and relaxing idea.

Sample usage:

Annie and Agatha took a gander at the glassed jar that contained the ring of the late Pope John Paul II.

22.Deadly or Savage

A more extreme way of saying awesome in Irish slang is deadly or savage. Gamers actually use this term quite a lot, with the same meaning and context. On your next hiking or rock-climbing adventure with your buddies, you can use this term however you want.

Sample usage:

Whoo! That was a tough climb.

Savage, mate. I’d never thought we’d make it to the top!

23.Jo Maxi

Jo Maxi

The term is derived from a teenage Irish entertainment show that commonly reported teenage issues. Jo Maxi simply means taxi.

Sample usage:

Can you call me a Jo Maxi?

24.Jacks

In Ireland, if you have to use the toilet, you might need to go to the jacks.

Sample usage:

Caleb, help me find the jacks in this bar, quickly.

25.Scarlet

Whenever somebody feels embarrassed or flustered, some people’s cheeks turn red or scarlet. When you feel scarlet in Ireland, you feel embarrassed or mortified over something. It shows on your cheeks. It’s okay to feel scarlet if you ever accidentally pour an ale over a handsome, young lad in a pub.

Sample usage:

I turned scarlet when he saw me picking my nose, ugh!

26.Gaff

In Irish slang word, if your parents are away for the night, or for a day or two, you go to someone’s gaff to have a party or a sleep-over. It generally means house, and more often used by Irish, Scottish, and English teenagers and young adults. It could also denote a place where cheap entertainment can be availed.

Sample usage:

All of my teammates are going to Rodney’s free gaff!

27. Make a hames

Make a hames

Making a hames in Irish slang is equivalent to making a mess in US English slang. On your next trip to Ireland, you might want to avoid it.

Sample usage:

You made a hames in and out of our hotel room!

28.Tayto

If Americans have fries, and English people from the UK have chips, in Ireland, you might want to order a tayto as a side dish. It commonly refers to chips or other potato-based finger foods. Scrumptious!

Sample usage:

Lina, please order a chicken salad with some Tayto for me. Thanks.

29.Storeen

A lesser-known, archaic, but still used term of endearment in some literary references—it literally means ‘little treasure.’ The suffix ‘–een’ denotes something diminutive or little in size. If you value children for the stroreen that they are, or any animal or anything small that you value highly, then storeen might be an appropriate word to use. A two-day short trip around the best tourist spots Ireland is quite a storeen.

Sample usage:

I’ll never forget my stay in Ireland. It is my storeen.

30.Cup of scald, or Cha

A shorter and a fancier way of asking for an Irish local to have a cup of tea with you at your local tea shop is by asking them, Care for a cup of cha?

Sample usage:

Care for a cup of cha? It’s just right across the block, and they serve delightful pastries, too.

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5 Best Day Trips From Limerick

Limerick is known for its medieval architecture, Georgian townhouses, museums, and castles. Which means there are many things to do in Limerick. But if you want to go further than the city, here are some of the best day trips from Limerick that you can also do.

5 Best Day Trips From Limerick

1.Cliffs of Moher

cliffs of moher

The Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs located in County Clare, Ireland. It is one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights and one of the most visited attractions in Ireland with 1.5 million visitors annually.

Standing 702ft above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. In a good day, you can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.

Cliffs of Moher is one of the best day trips from Dublin and a day tour from Galway.

Admission Fee

The admission prices include the visitor center and to walk along the pathways and platforms, vehicle parking, leaflets, and maps.

Adults €6
Students €4
Senior Citizens €4
Children under 16
Free Group rates available on request

How to get to Cliffs of Moher from Limerick

Take a bus (#302, #343) from Limerick Arthur’s Quay station to Friars Walk, Dunnes. This takes about 45 minutes for €3-11 per trip. Then from Friars Walk, walk towards Ennis Bus Station and take the bus that goes directly to Moher visitor center. This takes another 50 minutes for €9-11 one way trip. In total, you’ll spend between €12-22 for the bus fare.

Or you can book this tour for €35 but it also includes a stopover in the Burren, Bunratty Castle, and Lemenagh Castle among others. To book, click here.

Recommended hours for the day trip

It might take 2 hours one way to just get to the cliffs so it’s better to allocate at least 7 hours to enjoy the place.

Opening Hours

8 am to 7 pm although, during winter, the cliffs are closed by 5 pm.

Contact Information

Location: Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland

Phone: bookings@cliffsofmoher.ie

Email: +353 65 708 6145

2.Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle in Ireland

Although Bunratty Castle is not part of Ennis, it is close enough that it can also be done in a 2-to-3-hour tour from Ennis. The castle is only 20 minutes away from the town center.

This large 15-century medieval castle in County Clare is one of the most popular sites to see if you’re landing in Shannon. It located close to the Shannon town and the airport. The Irish name “Bunratty”, when translated to English, means “river basin in River Ratty”. This is because the River Ratty flows alongside the castle and goes to the Shannon Estuary. Bunratty Castle is also one of the must-see castles in Ireland.

The castle was built in 1425 and was restored in 1954 to bring back its medieval charm. Hand in hand with the castle is the Bunratty Folk Park where you’ll get an authentic experience of the home and environment in Ireland during the time of this castle. The park is 26-acres big and is the home of over 30 buildings which replicates a “living village” setup. A walk to the park will give you a glance on the actual farmhouses, village shops, and streets back then.

Admission Fee

Adult €15. Child/Student €9. Family (2 adults and 4 children under 18) €34.25.

Or you can save a few euros by booking your ticket online here. It is only € 12.94 per person.

How to get to Bunratty Castle from Limerick

Take a bus (Dublin Coach #300, Eurobus #300, Bus Eireann #343) from The Strand Hotel to Bunratty. This takes about 15-20 minutes for €3-10 per trip or €6-20 for a round-trip bus fare. Then from the bus station, walk towards the castle entrance for about 8-10 minutes. Bus leaves every hour.

Recommended hours for the day trip

Between 3-4 hours.

Opening Hours

Daily 9 am- 5 pm

Contact Information

Address: Bunratty West, Bunratty, Co. Clare, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0) 61 711222

Email: reservations@shannonheritage.com

3.Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry is a circular tourist route in the county of Kerry. It covers 13 towns and it is known for its natural and unspoiled beauty. Aside from amazing islands and cliffs, Ring of Kerry is also known for its charming and quaint villages. It is a popular road trip route in Ireland as well.

How to get to Ring of Kerry from Limerick

Killarney is the starting point of Ring of Kerry if you are planning to cover it clockwise. To get to Killarney from Limerick, take a bus from Limerick Arthur’s to Killarney. This takes about 2 hours and it costs between €6-22 for one way or €12-44 for a round trip fare. There are buses every 4 hours (Dublin Coach #300 and Eurobus #300) to 5 times a day (Bus Eireann #14).

Then you can take a bus between towns. Prices vary depending on length.

Or you can also take this Ring of Kerry tour that includes a stop in Killarney National Park and coastal sites along the Ring of Kerry for €45. To book, click here.

Recommended hours for the day trip

Between 8-10 hours depending on the number of towns you would like to visit.

4.Dingle Peninsula

dingle peninsula

If scenic drives, stunning coastal scenery, and a visit to one of Ireland’s most colorful towns sound interesting to you, renting a car and driving to the Peninsula is a must on a visit to Ireland! It’s part of Wild Atlantic Way route which is considered one of the most scenic road trip routes in the world. The route consists of breathtaking views of the coastline, offshore islands, and cliff-top roads. It is one of the most popular activities in Dingle.

How to get to Dingle Peninsula from Limerick

Getting from Limerick to the Dingle Peninsula is a bit complicated. Aside from 2-3 connections on bus and trains, getting around and covering the best parts of the peninsula requires private transport in between and it can be quite expensive.

If you would like to take public transport to the Dingle Peninsula, you can take a bus (Dublin Coach #300) from Limerick Arthur’s to Prince’s Street in Tralee. It takes almost 2 hours and it costs €6-9 for a one-way trip or €12-18 for a round trip bus fare. Bus leaves every hour so plan accordingly. And from Tralee, take another bus to the town of Dingle for another hour. The trip costs between €9-12 for a one-way trip or €18-24 for a round trip bus fare. Bus leaves every 4 hours so make sure to check the bus schedule.

Then from Dingle, take a taxi to the Dingle Peninsula for 20 minutes. This costs about €14-18. You have to spend €29-39 for just one way trip through this route. Please note, that you might have to take a taxi in between points of interest as well and there’s no assurance you can get one. So you might have to rent a taxi from Dingle and the cost of renting a taxi will add up. To book. click here. 

Recommended hours for the day trip

Between 8-10 hours.

5.Rock of Cashel

rock of cashel

The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel in County Tipperary. It is one of the most spectacular attractions in Ireland and also one of the most visited castles in Ireland.

This iconic landmark was the seat of the High Kings of Munster and was built between the 12th to the 13th century. Aside from its beautiful structure and scenic spot, the Rock of Cashel is also known for its important play in history and religion. The Cashel is associated with two famous legendary people in Ireland. It was said that St. Patrick arrived in Cashel and baptized the King Aengus in AD 432.

Admission Fee

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

How to get to Rock of Cashel from Limerick

Take a train from Limerick to Limerick Junction. This takes about 30 minutes for €7-11 per trip or €14-22 for a round-trip train fare. The train leaves every hour. Then from the train station, take a taxi directly to Rock of Cashel for another 25 minutes and it costs between €30-40.

Recommended hours for the day trip

Between 3-4 hours.

Opening Hours

9 am to 4:30 pm during winter and 9 am to 7 pm during the summer.

Contact Information

Location: Rock of Cashel, Moor, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland

Phone: 062 61437

Email: rockofcashel@opw.ie

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