It’s impossible not to fall in love with Dublin’s stately Georgian houses, gregarious locals, laid back lifestyle and yes, even the rainy weather! This incredible city has a lifetime’s worth of attractions, so don’t be surprised if you want to come back as soon as you leave. Just some of the must-do’s include pouring a pint of the ‘black stuff’ at the Guinness Storehouse, viewing the Book of Kells, and people watching on Grafton Street from Bewley’s Cafe.
Stay at Croke Park hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Ireland’s smallest – but most spirited – city is Kilkenny, in the heart of the midlands. The majestic Kilkenny Castle sits in the centre of the town, overlooking savvy shoppers and rowdy revellers, while just up the main street is Ireland’s newest attraction, the Smithwicks Experience (Kilkenny’ answer to the Guinness Storehouse). Not far away is one of Ireland’s most splendid manor homes, Mount Juliet, where you can (and should) live like royalty for a day.
Stay at Hotel Kilkenny or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Known as the ‘rebel county’, Cork is the largest county in Ireland and has some of the biggest attractions outside of Dublin; Blarney Castle, where you can earn the gift of eloquence by kissing the Blarney Stone, the seaside town of Cobh where the Titanic left for her maiden voyage, the untamed and unspoiled scenery of West Cork, and of course, the English Market, which the Queen of England herself saw fit to visit in 2011.
Stay at Maryborough Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Known as ‘the Kingdom’, Kerry is the heart of ancient Ireland and still the most stunning spot on the island. From quaint seaside villages like Dingle (where a dolphin voluntarily puts on a show for the boats every afternoon) to the busy tourist spot of Killarney, not to mention one of the most breathtaking road trips in Europe, the Ring of Kerry, and the simply astounding Killarney National Park a visit to Kerry is unforgettable.
Stay at Ballyroe Heights Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
From the out of this world limestone plains of the Burren and the misty, magical Cliffs of Moher to the golden beaches and buzzing towns and villages, Clare is a county not to be missed on your Ireland holiday. Whether you want to relax and enjoy the fresh sea breeze in bustling Kilkee or Ballyvaughan or explore the spooky underworld of the Aillwee Caves and other hair-rising activities, Clare really does have it all.
Stay at The Inn at Dromoland or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Sitauted more or less in the geographical centre of Ireland, Offaly is the heartland of all things farming and agriculture related. The Tullamore agricultural show, the biggest in Ireland, is held here every summer and is a sight to behold for visitors and locals alike. Elsewhere, Charleville Castle makes an interesting stop off for architecture or history buffs, while Birr castle also has a science centre incorporated into its grounds too.
Just a short drive north of Dublin is the small but perfectly formed county Louth, known to most for Carlingford Lough, a lake and buzzing town that visitors flock to for adventure activities like zorbing, canoeing and watersports. Elsewhere in the county is the picturesque fishing village of Clogherhead, and the busy medieval town of Drogheda, founded in 1192 by Vikings and with some of its earliest structures still intact today.
What doesn’t Antrim have to offer? This northern county is home to the vibrant Belfast city, the unforgettable hexagonal landscape of the Giant’s Causeway, the delectable Bushmills whiskey distillery, and so much more. Road trip along the Northern coastline to take in the quaint seaside towns, rocky inlets, sweeping beaches, and crumbling castles, then come back to the ‘big smoke’ of Ulster (that’s Belfast by the way) for culture, culinary delights, and plenty of craic.
Stay at The Wellington Park Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast