Get off the Beaten Path in Ireland
Collected by Yvonne Gordon , AFAR Local Expert
While tourist destinations are plentiful in Ireland, make sure to also get off the beaten track. Ireland is full of wonderful sights to see, from ruins of Desmond Castle, to deserted beaches, and of course the Irish whiskey trail, there's plenty to do off-the-beaten-path in Ireland. If you wander far enough, you will soon have the place to yourself—or maybe just have to share with some wandering Irish sheep.
Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland
This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years until the rebellion...
Killadoon, Ard Na Mara, Co. Mayo, Ireland
My Irish friend, Aedín, and I were driving from Galway to Westport when suddenly she veered off the main road. "There's a great beach down this way, I think," she said to me. I was up for anything, seeing her country for the first time. We came...
Lissoughter, Recess, Co. Galway, Ireland
With a small pack and a poncho (it will rain), Ireland is literally your oyster. That is, on many hikes you can pause to enjoy fresh ones before returning to the trail. Long-distance paths criss-cross the counties and are well-marked. In addition,...
27 Kingspark, Scrahane, Killarney, Co. Kerry, V93 H6F8, Ireland
The clouds threatened, the rain tumbled, and the mercury had gone into hiding. Boat tour? Sure! It started at Ross Castle and half our group had already bailed. Fair weather types. I was going anyway. When in Ireland! So along with three other...
Parnell Square East Parnell Square E, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 ND60, Ireland
Wobbly floors, a crooked staircase, dusty books, an old piano, and a few hundred years of character mix together in the beating heart of old Dublin, the Temple Bar. I spend more than half of every year on the road, calling in at one hotel and the...
Caherdorgan South, Dingle, Co. Kerry, V92 Y028, Ireland
An archaeological site of some renown (I have yet to uncover which type of renown this is specifically), An Riasc is basically a giant circle of stones with an ancient Celtic cross in the center. No pub, no Guinness, no bacon and cabbage. Nothing...
The Castle Pier, Quay Road, Rinemackaderrig, Carrigaholt, Co. Clare, Ireland
The boat heads out into the silver-green water. I haven't brought the right jacket, so Susanne Magee, the co-owner of Dolphin Watch, brings me a thick, cozy one. We had out into the area where the Shannon River meets the Atlantic, to see some of...
Purecamping, Querrin, Co. Clare, V15 F602, Ireland
An eco-campground in the Loop Head peninsula, Pure Camping features “glamping”—aka glamorous camping—in pre-erected canvas bell tents. Sleep in a cozy futon bed, stoke the cast iron stone in your tent if it’s chilly, and wake to a silver-pink dawn...
Slieve League, Shanbally, Co. Donegal, Ireland
You will need a head for heights to visit Slieve League; at 600 meters (2,000 feet), these are the fifth-tallest sea cliffs in Europe. What makes them so special is that they are also some of the most accessible ones. Nearly three times higher...
What about a walk around the private lake or woods, admiring the parterre gardens and terraces, before retiring to one of the drawing rooms for afternoon tea in front of the open fire? At historic private country houses like Hilton Park in County...
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