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Ireland

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Co. Mayo, Ireland
Ireland is laced by little lanes that wander the countryside and hug the filigreed coasts. Roads are rarely even two lanes wide, and frequents stops for tractors, walkers and flocks of sheep are just part of the charm. In fact, you wouldn't want...
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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...
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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...
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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,...
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Vicarstown (Cosby), Vicarstown, Co. Laois, Ireland
When my husband told me about spending a week on a barge traveling the Grand Canal in Ireland, I couldn't have been more excited, already imagining how beautiful and peaceful—not to mention unique—the experience would be. Not a soul around at...
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Castleholding, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
I had long been enamored of the stories swirling around the eerie Leap Castle in County Offaly. Notorious for being the most haunted castle in Ireland, Leap looms out of the rolling countryside, a crooked finger gesticulating at a leaden sky,...
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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...
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Lower Main St, Aghamore, Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
West of Dublin in the heart of Ireland sits the country's oldest working still and the oldest continually licensed distillery in the world. Formerly Locke's Distillery, Locke's is now the name of the museum that contains some of the original...
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Gurteen North, Annascaul, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Traipsing through the Dingle Peninsula gives you plenty of moments to reflect on life as it used to be and the many people that have gone before us. On a self guided hiking trip arranged through Southwest Walks Ireland, we had left our lodging in...
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This 15th-century castle near Athenry in County Galway, Ireland is hidden off a beautiful path in a forest that passes by a small creek on the way there. All you can hear are your own footsteps, the birds chirping and the bubbling of the creek as...
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The Square, 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...
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Castle St, Cloonbrackna, Roscommon, Ireland
There aren't many places where a short stroll through town will bring you to a park with its very own large castle! But that is exactly what you will find if you walk Roscommon Town's Castle Road & turn down Castle Lane. Built in the 12th century,...
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Querrin, Kilkee, Co. Clare, 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...
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Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
I'll never forget the winding road to Lough Dan that my brother and I took a few years ago. The road curves through the Wicklow mountains like a black snake set against the pure emerald of the surrounding land. Through my infrared camera the...
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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...
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Summercove, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
If you're a fan of history and/or photography, be sure to spend time at Charles Fort in County Cork. This National Monument of Ireland is the bastion on the water's edge near Kinsale, and is open year round. The fort was built on the site of an...
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Glen of Aherlow, Gortnafurra, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
On our drive from Cashel down toward Cork, we took a scenic detour to drive through the Glen of Aherlow, a valley dotted with farms. The Glen of Aherlow Nature Park has several trails of varying length and difficulty that make for a good place to...
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Like many of our best sight-seeing experiences in Ireland, this one happened late in the day, after the tour buses had come and gone. This complex sits on top of a hill that offers views of the surrounding countryside. We arrived when it was...
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Monacnapa, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland
I was fully prepared to write of Blarney Castle as a tourist trap. You've gotta kiss the Blarney Stone, blah, blah, blah. But we arrived late in the day, after all the tour buses had left. The late afternoon light on the castle was golden. And the...
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Slea Head, Ireland
The roads in Ireland are incredibly narrow, and those in the western-most part of the Dingle peninsula at Slea Head are no exception. For those that are brave and set out with an adventurous spirit and good insurance coverage, views such as this...
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Darrynane Beg, Co. Kerry, Ireland
While on our driving adventures and explorations in southern Ireland, we were informed by guidebooks and approaching signs that "The Most Scenic View in County Kerry" was a must-see and rapidly approaching. Being unsure of the informal signs, my...
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Dingle Harbour, Ireland
Dingle is unquestionable, and unapologetically, tourist-terrific. Don't let that stop you from visiting the picturesque fishing village. The harbour is often packed with colorful sea vessels (if you can pull yourself out of bed before dawn you'll...
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Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Nestled at the head of Kenmare Bay where the Roughty River flows into the sea and the Ring of Kerry meets the Ring of Beara, is the charming town of Kenmare (in Irish: An Neidín). In addition to offering a collection of delightful shops, excellent...
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You'll have never seen a place more green. Hundreds of shades of it, with waterfalls and babbling brooks. Gleninchaquin is something out of a dream—yet it's the beautiful reality in Southwest Ireland. This family-owned park, overseen by Donal and...
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Seafield, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland
Bantry House is a beautiful, historic estate located on the southwest coast of Ireland. You can stay in the B&B, which includes access to the public areas of the house and lovely gardens. It sits right along the bay, with great views of the water...
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English Market, Grand Parade, Centre, Cork, Ireland
This covered food market dates back to 1786 (there has been a market on the site since 1610) and today it’s a bustling indoor food market with everything from fresh fish to spices, cheeses, oils and homemade cakes on sale. It's also a hub of...
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The Queenstown Story @ Cobh Heritage Centre Deepwater Quay Tel 021 4813591 Deepwater Quay, Cobh, Co. Cork, P24 CY67, Ireland
Cobh (formally known as Queenstown) is just a short drive from Cork, and it's definitely worth it to see the Titanic's last port of call. It's also the place from which the first Irish family departed—for Ellis Island—in the 1800s. Beautiful...
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Pier 26, Harbour Road, Ballycotton, Co. Cork, P25 FY94, Ireland
Find out all about how Ballycotton Island lighthouse was first lit in 1851 and about the lives of the lightkeepers and their families who lived on this small island in County Cork. There's a short boat journey out to the island, followed by a walk...
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Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland
Even though Ireland is full of castles, it’s hard to beat the wonder of seeing the impressive Trim Castle, the largest Norman castle in the country. With its ditch, curtain wall, and moat, the castle covers 300,000 square...
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Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Adare is known as Ireland's most beautiful village and I saw why when we got there. There are such beautiful houses there. I adore thatches! It is absolutely charming. If you do not believe them or me, check for yourself :)