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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
Older than both Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt, the monument at Newgrange was built around 3,200 B.C.E. Its use is a mystery, although it was most likely a place of worship, and there are legends that it was used as a burial chamber. The...
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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 Ln, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, 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 1, 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
Limerick doesn't draw nearly as many visitors as some of its neighbors — not with trendy destinations like Cork and County Clare nearby. Perhaps it has something to do with the nickname; Stab City doesn't roll off the tongue and, well, it would...
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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, 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
South of Galway in neighboring County Clare is one of Ireland’s, if not Western Europe’s, unique landscapes: the extraordinary, lunarlike limestone scenery of the Burren. (Its name derives from the Gaelic word boíreann, which...
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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, 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, 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
Before reaching this incredible castle, you will be astounded by the beautiful pastures and lakes along the roadside. Lambs occasionally trot across allowing a great opportunity for photos. Upon reaching Kylemore, you will enter through a quaint...
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Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Fancy yourself a brave one, do ye? Aye, aye, then the Cliffs of Moher are right up your alley. Ireland's most popular tourist destination does not disappoint, though visiting during the middle of the day means you're going to have to share the...
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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
If you find yourself in Dublin and want to venture to the countryside, try the Carton House Hotel. Carton House, a 17th-century mansion in Maynooth, Ireland, was formerly the home of the Earl of Kildare. The estate includes the original stone...
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1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin, D09 CF72, Ireland
The problem with Irish bars in Dublin is that, in the downtown areas, they look exactly like the faux Irish bars found all over the world. Enter Gravediggers in Glasnevin to solve this problem. True to its name, the bar is just steps from a burial...
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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 BT38, 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
What trip to Ireland is complete without a stay in a castle hotel? Ashford fulfills even the wildest castle fantasies with its crenellated towers, medieval-looking canopy beds, and esteemed falconry program that lets guests explore its 350...
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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
From the bottom of the castle it does not look too bad, you really think it's a breeze to kiss the stone but once up there, with the wind in your face and looking down at the big hole...I was not as brave. People in front of me refused to do it...
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Main St, Grove, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Visiting this cheese shop was like touring Costco during Christmas. Samples, my friends. Samples. I've never tried so many different cheeses in my entire life, and I'm certain I left this little shop lactose intolerant. And I would do it over in a...
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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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Limerick, Co. Limerick, Ireland
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...