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Ireland Inspiration

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Ireland provides no shortage of grand old castles, lush countryside, and striking coastline. If you’re planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, it can help to do some research for inspiration. Let this list introduce you to Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork, and beyond – the famous destinations, and all of the spaces in between.
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Fisher St, Ballyvara, Doolin, Co. Clare, V95 FY67, Ireland
We had intended to return to Galway for the night after a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher in December 2009, but were so drawn to the remote coastal beauty of the area that we spent the full day exploring. As dusk approached we began to look for a...
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29 Frederick St S, Dublin Southside, Dublin 2, Ireland
Start with chorizo-stuffed squid and a Hendrick’s martini. Follow these with a pancetta-topped lobster burger with truffle-and-Parmesan fries, and you’ll know that you’ve moved well beyond traditional fish and chips. 353/(0) 1-679-7000. This...
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Fisher St, Ballyvara, Doolin, Co. Clare, V95 FY67, Ireland
After a delicious dinner at Gus O'Connor's Pub in remote Doolin, Ireland we stayed to enjoy a Trad music session which held us in rapt attention. The Guinness was flowing and the craic was truly mighty; the gifted local musicians sang and played...
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18-19 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, Ireland
In what was once the Jameson family mansion, chef Ross Lewis specializes in Irish haute cuisine. The menu at this Michelin-starred restaurant changes seasonally. Standout dishes include cured Clare Island salmon with smoked pear, and a spiced...
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Newgrange, Donore, Co. Meath, Ireland
Newgrange, a prehistoric site, is a must see when going to Ireland. It is older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids in Egypt. It is only about an hour or so from Dublin in the Brú na Bóinne complex in the River Boyne area. No one knows...
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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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Tully Beg, Co. Galway, Ireland
Connemara's jagged coastline shows the juxtaposition of vulnerability and strength at every turn. This home didn't fare well against the harsh elements, but its walls remain unyielding. The cool Atlantic winds are saturated with salt, and so are...
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Dublin, Ireland
Gravity Bar has wonderful 360-degree views of Dublin and all the Guinness you can drink. You can even try your hand at pouring the perfect pint. The bartenders know what they're doing, and to prove it, they make shamrocks into the foam with a...
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Cow's Lane, Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
This cafe offers the most delicious raspberry, apple, and chocolate chip scones you will ever taste. In addition they offer a wide variety of pastries, sandwiches, and teas. Their 2 locations in Dublin are fairly close to each other but distinct—...
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Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
I was so drawn to the primary colors of these 3 boats; the 3 primary colors of light: red, blue and green. The colors were complimented by the colorful houses of Kinsale in the background. This small harbor town has great places to stay, nice...
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18 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin, D01 T3V8, Ireland
Sure, you fall in love with Paris through the literature about the city—Hemingway immortalized Paris, F. Scott Fitzgerald spent time there and so did James Joyce. However you can do the same with Ireland. JJ is still beloved in his native...
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25 Suffolk St, Dublin 2, Ireland
This is right next to the visitors center in Dublin, all you have to do is look up! Love.
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Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
by Jocelyn C. Zuckerman
Comprising four Georgian townhouses built in the 1760s, this grande dame is home to one of Ireland’s largest private collections. Look for such 19th- and 20th-century masterworks as Jack B. Yeats’s The Hour of Sleep and...
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Bachelors Walk, North City, Dublin, Ireland
The Ha'penny Bridge, officially the Liffey Bridge, was built in 1816 over the River Liffey in Dublin. For over 100 years it had cost between half a penny and a penny and a half to cross the pedestrian bridge but today it is free. I found myself...
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11-13 Suffolk St, Dublin 2, Ireland
About twelve years ago I lived in Dublin, where I studied literature at Trinity College. The reading lists were long, and as such, I had a lot of time to read books over cups of tea and pints of cider. One of my favorite places to grab a bite was...
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Nicholas St, Limerick, Ireland
After a long hike to my hostel from the bus station in Limerick, Ireland, I went to explore a little.
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Meeting House Square, Dublin Southside, Dublin, Ireland
At the Temple Bar Food Markets, you can enjoy roasted pork with potatoes, onions, and red cabbage. It comes in two sizes, well described for the size of your appetite.
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Brockagh, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
While I'm usually not a fan of organized tours, our quick trip to Dublin had me looking for the most efficient way to see some of the Irish countryside without the luxury of time to explore too far outside of the city. Enter Wild Wicklow Tours. We...
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Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland
If you've ever dreamed of living in your own Gothic romance novel, consider staying at the Adare Manor Hotel in picturesque Adare, Ireland. This sumptuous hotel and golf resort is located in Ireland's 'Prettiest Village.' It is home to a...
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2 Church St, Knockaunroe, Corofin, Co. Clare, V95 T9V6, Ireland
Ireland tugs at the heart strings. It is everything you could imagine - and more. I have been there 4 times and love it. Of course, I might be partial since I have a good friend who lives there. She got married in 2009 in this tiny, gorgeous...
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18 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland
This is the Scotch egg at L Mulligan Grocer—a beer-focused gastro pub specializing in Irish craft beers and food made from local products. This is the best place to eat in Dublin.
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Ireland
I have been fortunate to see Ireland 4 times. It tugs at your heart...you feel the mist on your skin, you hear the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks mixed with the bleating of the sheep, you see shades of green you never knew existed....
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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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Manor Ct, Blackabbey, Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
We took a day trip to Adare and of course we visited the Manor which is very impressive. It's a luxury hotel now and being that we are budget travelers we did not stay in it but we had some great cappuccinos and Mojitos in the lounge. That tree...
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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 :)
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River Corrib, Co. Galway, Ireland
During my conference in Galway, I crossed the River Corrib twice each day while walking from my hotel to the university. I got a chuckle out of seeing these gentleman fishing from the well-manicured paths along the river each afternoon. I imagined...
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7 William St S, Dublin 2, D02 CV65, Ireland
Ireland is not necessarily the first country that comes to mind for those following their stomachs to their next destination, but maybe it should. A respect for the amazing local ingredients drives the menu here. It can get quite busy, if you...
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Dublin Castle, Dame St, Dublin, Ireland
The skies above Dublin may often be grey but the grass at Dubh Linn Gardens couldn't be greener. My intro to this area started with a stroll through The Dublin Castle (the stone building in the far side of the photo to the left) and ended at one...
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Derrygarve More, Ard Na Mara, Co. Mayo, Ireland
County Mayo is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Untouristed (outside of Westport), there are lots of places to get lost for a while. My Irish friend, Aedín, drove down this road as we headed toward the coast. The scene before me was a...
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Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland
Climbing atop of Blarney Castle to kiss the stone, I looked over the wall and saw the stables. At least I think it's a stable.
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Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland
Galway has to be my favorite of counties, driving through Connemara to get to Kylemore Abbey was such a delight. And once we got there I was amazed but the beauty of the architecture. Very happy we decided to do the drive from Dublin, the drive...
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Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
On the Clare coast, not far from Ennis is O’Brien’s Tower built in 1835 by Sir Cornellius O’Brien to mark the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher and as some stories have it, to serve as an observation tower for Victorian tourists. The climb is...
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Galway, Ireland
Galway is one of my favorite cities in the world...even with all the grey and rain the colors and vibes of this little city pop, and there always feels there's something more to be explored. One of my favorite pass-times when I'm in town is to...
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Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, W23 PE02, Ireland
I couldn't believe that you could drive just 14 miles outside of Dublin and arrive at this country sanctuary, but this serene spot is only 20 minutes from the bustling city center. Carton House is a hotel, spa, and golf course converted from a...
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Finglas Rd, Botanic, Dublin, D11 PA00, Ireland
Glasnevin is home to more than 1.5 million souls, including some of Ireland's most important historical figures. Champions of independence, freedom fighters, and national heroes are all buried here. The official tour is moving and informative, and...
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Co. Cork, Ireland
I loved driving through Cork's country side. Made a few stops, had a picnic, we were so lucky the entire stay in Ireland we managed to avoid the rain. During a sunny day the emerald grass really stands out. I was in love!
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Carrickfergus, UK
The water surrounding Carrickfergus Castle was so calm that the ships, buildings and puffy white clouds reflected perfectly in the water.
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The Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Pearse St, Dublin 2, Ireland
On my way back home from a conference in Galway, I had the chance to spend a day exploring Dublin. I had a few destinations in mind thanks to my guidebook but the Science Gallery at Trinity College wasn't one of them—until two friends highly...
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Denmark St, Limerick, V94 K6WH, Ireland
Disclaimer: this is not the best photo I've ever taken, but I should be given a free pass - this was my first night in Ireland, and I was knee-deep in frothy stout. All. Night. Long. I'm shocked I was even able to operate my camera, or that it...
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Driving along the Dingle Peninsula with no real sense of direction, my family and I learned that some of the true gems of the Emerald Isle are to be discovered off the beaten path. An internal compass guided us toward the prehistoric Dunbeg Fort....
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Fisher St, Ballyvara, Doolin, Co. Clare, V95 FY67, Ireland
"At that hour when soft lights come and go, Soft sweet music in the air above And in the earth below"-James Joyce When you enter O'Connors pub you can feel its reverence in the walls that surround you. A fireplace fills the air with the scent of...
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Ashford Castle Estate, Leaf Island, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 CA48, Ireland
If you are staying at or near Ashford Castle, stop by the First School of Falconry. In addition to flying the awesome falcons, you can also fly Dingle, Ashford's resident owl - if he is feeling like it.
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The Walk, Kinnitty, Co. Offaly, Ireland
Ireland is filled with visual sites that inspire thinking about other times. A recent return trip from Limerick to Dublin Airport had me leaving the M-7 Motorway at Roscrea and traveling some fine slower moving roads through the Slieve Bloom...
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Ballynaraha South, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Many people pass up visiting the Dingle Peninsula in favor for the famous "Ring of Kerry" drive in Ireland. However, this beautiful place packs a big punch. The town itself has plenty to do including a beautiful harbor and an aquarium, not to...
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Front Lodge, Front Lodge, Blarney Castle, Shean Lower, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland
I had red somewhere that kissing the Blarney Stone is one of the 99 things one must do before he/she dies so while in Ireland we could not miss it. I was very brave at the bottom of the castle but up there I almost did not do it. Luckily my...
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Main St, Grove, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
The Little Cheese Shop in Dingle was a happy find. The board outside the shop advertised a ‘seaweed cheese’ that just begged to be sampled. Upon entering the shop, my eyes widened as big as cheese wheels at the selection. The array of cheeses was...
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Moyarta East, Co. Clare, Ireland
The Long Dock is a pub in the fishing village of Carrigaholt, specializing in local seafood. The seafood chowder, pictured here, was a light, tangy chowder filled with fresh fish and potato; it was so creamy it was like eating warm silk. The...
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English Market, Grand Parade, Centre, Cork, Ireland
The English Market is Ireland's most famous covered food market, and is heaven for anyone who loves food. You can wander the market and ogle the fresh fish piled up in shining stacks, or the colorful iced pastries, or the sausages or the cheese or...
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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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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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Erin St, Dough, Kilkee, Co. Clare, Ireland
One of the best ways to experience the gorgeous cliffs of the Loop Head peninsula is to ride your bike beside them. Cillian Murphy, who runs Bog Road Bike Tours, the only guided bike tour business in the peninsula, understands this, so his tours...
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Walk down the stairs to this cozy, red restaurant, and the room is filled with the scent of lemongrass. My Thai companions told me, as they ordered, that this was "the only proper Thai food" in Limerick. And it was some of the finest I've had--the...
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Bunratty West, Bunratty, Co. Clare, Ireland
This is everywhere in Ireland: in bread baskets, in sandwiches, with soups. It’s real staff of life stuff, thick and chewy and full of seeds and grains and so rich it feels like it would support you through college. It will also keep you full for...
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Ballinrea Rd, Carrigaline Middle, Carrigaline, Co. Cork, Ireland
Adrian Sheedy is a retired commander of the Irish navy, and his wife Noelle says he runs everything at this lovely guest house in “ship shape.” This guest house is a great value—40 Euro for a single and 70 Euro for a double, Adrian and Noelle are...