Situated at the point where the river Shannon meets the sea, Limerick city is a must visit for rugby fans; it’s the home of Munster rugby, and a match at their stadium, Thomond Park, is a sight to behold. The city also boasts the impressive St. John’s Castle and the bustling Milk and Potato markets on weekends, while the rest of the county is a retreat from the urban chaos with lush farmlands all around.
Mayo is often first on the list of anyone travelling to the west of Ireland, and for good reason. This large coastal county is where you’ll find the brooding Croagh Patrick, which pilgrims climb to honour Ireland’s patron saint every year; the village of Cong, where The Quiet Man was filmed and where an exquisite medieval abbey stands; and of course the vibrant town of Westport, situated along the picturesque Clew Bay.
Stay at The Westport Woods Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
County Meath was considered to be the centre of ancient and Celtic Ireland, and was even its own kingdom at one stage. Within its borders are the ancient passage tomb of Newgrange, still completely intact after 5000 years, the Hill of Tara the political, economic, and spiritual centre of Ireland for the Celts, and more recently, the opulent Slane Castle and Gardens, still inhabited by descendants of the original owners, namely Henry Mount Charles and family.
Stay at The Trim Castle 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
Home to one of Ireland’s finest exports, Waterford Crystal, this county is a sunny seaside retreat popular with families. The calm coastline is bordered with powdery golden beaches, with plenty of quaint villages along the coast to stop off in such as Dunmore East and Tramore. A visit to Waterford city with its medieval streets, castle, and of course, the Waterford Crystal factory, is a must.
Stay at The Tower Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Wicklow is known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’, and one look at the place will tell you why. Nothing but lush green fields, wooded hills, and delightful small villages make up this county. To boot, it also boasts the magnificent glacial valley and monastic settlement of Glendalough, the stunning Wicklow Mountains that just beg to be hiked through, and the charming woodland village of Avoca, whos small shop of handicrafts now has branches all over Ireland.
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