Our Top 6 Things to Do in Ireland
From the magnificent Giant’s Causeway on the North Coast, all the way down the enchantingly wild South West, Ireland is an ever-fascinating land of contrasts. There’s nothing more delightful than taking to the small country roads and discovering by chance the next village pub, historic dolmen, grand castle or scenic beauty spot – no matter where you travel, you are never very far from any of these! And how much better to know there’s a first rate Best Loved hotel nearby to greet you at the end of the day.
At the Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare, enjoy a lofty view of the Atlantic and – on a clear day – Ireland’s islands, mountains and coast, right down to Kerry. www.cliffsofmoher.ie
Located only five minutes from historic Limerick City, Great National South Court Hotel is also perfectly situated for exploring County Clare, including the famous Cliffs of Moher, only about a hour’s drive away.
View the Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin. The beautifully decorated 680-page manuscript of the Four Gospels, written by Irish monks, dates from 800AD. www.tcd.ie
Tour Killarney National Park, in County Kerry, for its woods, lakes, waterfalls and mountains, including Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest range, and Carrauntoohil, the country’s highest mountain. www.killarneynationalpark.ie
Carrig Country House and Restaurant is an enchanting 5 AA Gold Star country house hotel with amazing views – perfect for exploring the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula & Killarney National Park.
Visit Gaeltachts (pronounced gailtucked), the Irish language-speaking areas, including parts of Donegal, Kerry, Mayo and Galway. www.gaelsaoire.ie
A couple of Best Loved hotels are ideal for exploring this area: Ashford Castle in County Galway is a 5-star luxury castle hotel, estate and resort set in 350 magnificent acres on the Shores of Lough Corrib. Great National Mulranny Park Hotel is just steps from Mulranny Beach, the Wild Atlantic Way and the stunning Great Western Greenway walking trail. Winner of 2 AA Rosettes and Best Chef in Mayo award.
Kiss the Blarney Stone in County Cork to be bestowed with eloquence. It’s attached to a castle built nearly 600 years ago by the chieftain Cormac McCarthy. www.blarneycastle.ie
Great National Commons Inn is a comfortable, great value hotel located near Blarney Castle and only 10 minutes from Cork City Centre.
Step out on the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, on the County Antrim coast, made of magma that oozed from the deep 60 million years ago. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway
Bushmills Inn Hotel is a historic, luxurious and cosy oak-beamed inn near the world’s oldest Distillery & the Giant’s Causeway.
And for something different…
Catch a big wave at Mullaghmore just south of Bundoran in County Donegal. These giant cascades reach 30ft high, so are strictly for expert surfers. www.govisitdonegal.com
Your naked eye is the observatory in the Irish Sky Garden, near Skibbereen in Cork, where American artist James Turrell has turned a crater into a fantastical vantage point for watching the heavens. www.lissardestate.com
Take tea at Father Ted’s House near Kilnaboy in County Clare. You can book a brew and some tasty cakes, too, at Glanquin, the Georgian house used for the popular TV series. www.fathertedshouse.com
Go whale watching in the autumn off Baltimore in County Cork for a chance to see humpback, minke and fin whales. www.corkwhalewatch.com
Ride Europe’s biggest wooden roller coaster, the Cú Chulainn, at Tayto Park in County Meath – and get a free tour of the famous crisp factory, too. www.taytopark.ie
Watch the hurling at Croke Park in Dublin, the fast-paced game reminiscent of hockey which is thought to date back 3,000 years. https://crokepark.ie