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This post concludes tales of my road-trip around the Emerald Isle (though I’ve still got a few things to share about Dublin). I don’t think this road-trip series could end with a more appropriate destination than the “Cradle of Irish Culture and History”, the valley of the Boyne.
The Boyne River Valley is less than an hour’s drive north of Dublin, close enough to do as a day-trip but a longer visit is most definitely recommended. A valley of rich pasture and farmland with the Boyne River snaking through counties Meath and Louth on its way to the Irish Sea. You’ll be tempted to sit on its bank and throw a fishing line in (and might catch a trout or salmon …
The combination of its natural beauty and fascinating archaeological record (chronicling the country’s long history) makes Ireland a compelling place to visit. There are many fabulous places to see when visiting Ireland, each seeming better than the last one you stopped at. I think the most fascinating place we visited on the Emerald Isle — surpassing even the fabulous Dingle peninsula — was Brú na Bóinne. This place is truly unique and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated just an hour’s drive north of Dublin, it’s home to the most ancient structures I’ve ever been in and is well worth going out of your way to see.
Specifically I’m talking specifically about visiting Newgrange and Knowth, two sites in a complex …
Our journey around Ireland next took us north to the Cliffs of Moher. From Dingle we headed through Tralee then to the Tarbert ferry over the River Shannon. The ferry ride can save you considerable time (the other option being driving all the way around the river) but it only runs once an hour so you need to check its schedule and time your arrival accordingly. The ferry ride lasts about 15 minutes and it was cold but very scenic.
Soon we’re in County Clare and our main stop of the day not far ahead, the famous Cliffs of Moher (pronounced Maahrr), Ireland’s most popular natural tourist attraction which draws over a million visitors a year. …
One of the highlights of any visit to Ireland is a chance to explore the Dingle Peninsula. While it’s only half as large as the Ivernaugh peninsula (Ring of Kerry), it’s packed with beautiful views and interesting things to see. This peninsula is a rocky place with steep mountains, rugged cliffs, ancient stone fences, beehive huts and other archaeological treasures, and lovely islands just offshore. Using Dingle Town as your base, you can very leisurely drive around the peninsula in a day. The peninsula features Gaelic signs and you’re like to hear local people using the Irish language.
Because the peninsula’s road is very narrow, you’ll be spared the large tour bus traffic of the Ring …
Dingle (in Irish, An Daingean) is the main town on the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry, with a population of around 1500 people. The Dingle Peninsula sits on Ireland’s west coast just north of the Ivernaugh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), about 71 km (40 mi) west of Killarney. Dingle is in the Gaeltrecht part of the country, where maintenance of traditional Gaelic language and culture (eg. music, hurling) is encouraged by government subsidies. Historically it was an important trading port but today it’s a great town for tourists to visit.
Ireland has many beautiful small towns and Dingle ranks among the finest (and was my favorite of the ones we visited!) Built along a beautiful sheltered harbor and spreading up the slopes of a mountain to the …
The Ring of Kerry is a loop drive that circles the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. It’s just 110 miles (176 km) long but is not a fast drive as its narrow and winding. And there’s lots of beautiful scenery and historic stops along the way, so take your time and a full day to enjoy this trip. The Iveragh peninsula has many ancient ring forts dotting the rocky land and this road offers the opportunity to easily explore several of them. Awe-inspiring vistas of a rugged coast, the central mountains (including the tallest mountain in Ireland), and on clear days the Beara Peninsula to the south, the Skellig Islands to the west and the Dingle peninsula on the Northern part of the drive (limited views and visibility on …
One of the most remarkable buildings I’ve ever been in was this small ancient church on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula, said to be the best preserved early Christian church on the Emerald Isle.
The Gallarus Oratory was built between the seventh and eight century A.D and is exclusively made of layered angled stone — no mortar was used. The process is known as dry-stone corbelling and is based on a building technique used in Ireland for thousands of years. The angled stones allow water to run off and to keep the interior dry. The technique results in thick heavy walls and a building shaped like an upside down boat; it’s obviously effective because over 1200 years later …
I remember being in Wales several times and looking across the sea to the west, thinking that I needed to get to Ireland. Well, I finally made it, completing this journey with my brother on our annual “getaway trip”! It was a trip we really enjoyed. This is the first in a series of blog posts about the Emerald Isle, focusing on some of its rich history and providing some observations on the country and its charming citizens.
Ireland’s history is a turbulent one and its people have had to endure many hardships for centuries. Victims of a devastating famine in the 19th century (the Great Hunger), occupied for almost a thousand years by foreigners (the Vikings and then the English), …