What better time than St. Patrick’s Day to reminisce about my past trips to Ireland. I’ve taken two major trips to Ireland, one an epic road trip that looped around the whole island with my mom and Damian in 2009, and last year we spent a week with both our families in a holiday cottage in Sneem, Co. Kerry. I’m pretty fortunate to have been able to see so much of the Emerald Isle. It’s a place of friendly people, country lanes, and ancient history. Here are a few of my favourite places, pictures, and experiences from Ireland. I hope you enjoy them!
Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
This is one of my favourite places in Ireland and I’ve visited it twice already. It is said to be the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster and the site of their conversion to Christianity by St. Patrick. A fitting place to start on our St. Patrick’s Day tour of Ireland.
Legend has it that if your arms can wrap all the way around this cross with your hands touching you will never suffer from another hangover. Unfortunately neither of our attempts were successful!
Blarney Castle, County Cork
I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone twice and it has been terrifying both times! It’s really high up and you have to lean really far back to kiss it upside down. Consider yourself warned!
The legend is that you make a wish and then walk up and down the stairs backwards with your eyes closed for it to be granted. My nephew Elliott is concentrating some hard on his wish!
Newgrange, County Meath
Newgrange, a Neolithic passage tomb, is older than both the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. Along with Knowth and Dowth the monument is part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site and the three are endlessly fascinating for a history hound like me!
Glendalough, County Wicklow
A 6th century monastic settlement founded by a hermit priest, what’s not to like? It’s a beautiful place and we loved it even though moments after this we got absolutely poured on!
Doolin, County Clare
A charming little village right on the coast that is renowned for its traditional Irish music, most famously at Gus O’Connor’s Pub. It’s also a great place for boat trips to the Aran Island and the Cliffs of Moher.
Inis Oirr, Aran Islands
Inis Oirr is the smallest of the Aran Islands and on the sunny day that we visited it was one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. You can walk around the whole island in a matter of hours and the views are amazing. The whole place looks like a patchwork quilt of emerald-green grass and ancient stone walls.
Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
This is one of the most travelled tourists routes in the country, and with good reason. The views are amazing, the local villages are quaint, and there are endless fascinating things to see along the way. Including baby lambs!
Traffic jam, Irish style.
Achill Island, County Mayo
A gorgeous little island off the West Coast of Ireland connected by the Michael Davitt Bridge. This was an unexpected detour for us and was one of the highlights of our 2009 trip. Gorgeous!
Powerscourt Gardens, County Wicklow
I’ve spoken of Powerscourt before, namely of the world’s most delicious scones! The house and gardens are well worth the visit and on a day of misty rain like the day we visited you may nearly have the place to yourself!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone! May you have your fill of green beer and have the luxury of staying in your pyjamas all day tomorrow to recover.