Sometimes Ireland can get a little over looked. If you are planning a trip away you might lean towards sunnier climes and far off destinations and all but forget about lovely Ireland. I for one am more than guilty of this, with family over there and with it always being on my ‘must go back soon’ list, I definitely haven’t made it to Ireland nearly often enough. If ever I’ve had the time and money for a break away I’ve chosen hot and sunny countries that are a million miles away from the motherland, the rainy UK.
However once you delve into Ireland’s stunning and varied landscapes, buzzing cities, amazing history and culture, you’ll wonder why you never visited before. 1.The Great Outdoors
If you love being outside in the elements, feeling the sun on your skin or the wind in your hair then Ireland may be perfect for you. With rugged countryside to explore, hiking and walking spots in abundance, opportunities to go surfing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, caving and mountain biking, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice.
If you want to be outside everyday then there will be something new waiting for you each morning when you visit Ireland.
Dublin is the most obvious city to mention here, it is vibrant and buzzing, friendly and welcoming, you’ll struggle not to fall in love with Dublin and if you visit Ireland you must make a point of stopping here.
Ireland’s other cities are full of personality, from the colourful, arty, harbour city of Galway to the medieval Waterford city, the oldest in Ireland.
Whichever of the eleven cities you pick to visit you’ll have a very warm welcome from the locals who will happily share their stories with you over a pint of Guinness.
Irish food might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you are choosing to visit Ireland, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Traditional Irish dishes like irish stew, soda bread and colcannon can still very much be found, but there is definitely a new era of eating now. Think fresh, locally grown produce and catch of the day in the coastal locations including wild atlantic salmon, poached lobster and Dublin bay prawns. Seafood heaven!
If history is your thing then you absolutely must visit Ireland to see the castles; gothic, stately or haunted, there are dozens to view.
Blarney Castle in southern Ireland is a favourite for many and gives you an opportunity to climb the ten storeys and kiss the Blarney stone at the top to get the ‘gift of the gab’ as the legend goes.
Doe Castle in County Donegal is a must see also simply because of its beautiful architecture and positioning right on a peninsula that has been completely surrounded by water via a moat cleaved into the rockside.
If anyone knows how to have a knees up and good time, its the Irish, and their festivals prove that. If you visit Ireland when a festival is taking place then grab tickets and go along, we assure you it will be fun.
From the famous St Patrick’s day celebrations to Galway Arts Festival and Cork Sailing Festival, there is something for everyone spread across all genres; music, food, film, comedy and literature.
The pub are the coroner stone of Irish community, you’ll find bustling city pubs, upmarket gastro-pubs and cute and cosy village pubs, all as welcoming as each other and all with a fantastic range of stouts and lagers.
There really is nothing quite like an old-fashioned pub, sink into a big armchair in front of an open fire and forget the time, just enjoy the moment.
You may now be thinking we’ve gone a little mad, Ireland, beautiful beaches? Yes, yes and yes. Ok we can’t guarantee you the sunshine but you will love them all the same.
Banna Strand beach in County Kerry is probably our favourite, think beautiful sand dunes for its entire 7 mile length, the Atlantic Ocean and amazing views out to the mountainous Dingle Peninsula.
Strandhill beach in county Sligo is another fine example of Irish beaches. This is a great beach for surfing but not as good for swimming. The area is really beautiful and has panoramic views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. There are some great walks around here too.