Summer in Europe: Hit the road in Ireland

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Summer in Europe: Hit the road in Ireland

Tags :

Category : Europe , Ireland

With so much spectacular scenery on offer in Ireland, we’ve taken to the road to deliver the most wondrous four-wheeled trips throughout this enchanting island.

Wicklow Mountains, County Wicklow

Steeped in history, Ireland’s Ancient East boasts legends and tales spanning from ancient times to the modern day. And this south-of-Dublin road trip through the Wicklow Mountains is resplendent with wonderful and wild flora and fauna and fascinating local characters to meet along the way.

Take the Old Military Road out of Dublin’s southern suburbs and you’re already driving along a slice of history. It was constructed to put down the insurgents of the 1798 uprising and is Ireland’s only surviving purpose-built military road.

It’s not long before you reach the 503m-high mountain pass of Sally Gap, a captivating mountainscape with its barren, rugged scenery and heather. Bogs may not sound very appealing but those around Sally Gap are home to wildflowers, bees and butterflies, and dragonflies float above the ponds.

From Sally Gap, head southeast along to Lough Tay, known as Guinness Lake. Unfortunately Lough Tay isn’t the magical source of the black stuff. It’s so named because it’s part of a Guinness estate – although the cream-coloured manmade beach may remind many of the head on a good pint.

Backtracking, head south to Glendalough which offers a snapshot of Ireland’s monastic heritage. The more than 1000-year-old stone towers, chapels and churches, and Celtic crosses are a testament to the vision of St Kevin, the industrious hermit who founded it.

About 16km south of Glendalough, the traditional Irish village of Avoca is perfect for a spot of lunch. And a glass of real Guinness.

Connemara’s Sky Road, County Galway

 

Clamber into your motor in Clifden to set off on an 11km circular route along the Wild Atlantic Way that showcases some of Ireland’s most spectacular, rugged beauty.

Soon after leaving Clifden the Sky Road divides into two. The lower road lets you get up close and personal with the landscape while the upper road gives you the big picture, letting you gaze out over the entire area.

At its highest point there’s a car park that doubles as a lookout, with views of the Connemara countryside, the Atlantic Ocean and islands; as well as the coastline of County Mayo to the north and County Clare to the south.

Off the western edge of Connemara is the enchanting tidal island of Omey, almost hidden from the mainland to which it is linked by a sandy strand.

The island was home to 396 people in 1841 but 10 years later, after the famine, the population had halved. The island’s last permanent resident, a stuntman who worked on Crocodile Dundee, died in 2017. St Féichín’s well, where pilgrims have left strange trinkets, is perched above the island’s southern shore.

You can walk or drive to the island but note that it’s cut off at high tide. Before setting out, ask for advice from the convivial folk at Sweeney’s shop and pub in Claddaghduff.

Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim

 

From the moment you set off, you’ll discover attractions including the walled garden at Glenarm Castle and the rope bridge to tiny Carrick-a-Rede island. Ideal for cliff-top ocean views and loosening up limbs that may have started stiffening up in the car.

From there, eventually you’ll come to a steep narrow road that winds its way down to Ballintoy Harbour. The white-washed parish church at nearby Ballintoy village is one of Ireland’s most photographed.

Next up is the myth and sea-drenched Giant’s Causeway – a Unesco World Heritage Site, which legend has it was flung down by an Irish giant so he could pick a fight with his Scottish counterpart across the sea. The 40,000 interlocking basalt hexagonal columns stacked alongside each other are actually the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

Then it’s on to Bushmills, where the Old Bushmills Distillery has been dripping out drops of the finest Irish whiskey for more than 400 years.

Don’t miss Dunluce Castle, a dramatic clifftop ruin that’s inspired many writers and artists including Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis.

Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry

The Dingle peninsula is described as beautiful, serene and romantic and the best way to sample these charms is a drive out to Slea Head, its westernmost part. Charming wildlife and foliage are among the wondrous scenery as you traverse the Wild Atlantic Way.

Heading west out of Dingle, over the Milltown Bridge and past the woodlands at Burnham, you’ll reach the seaside village of Ventry with its long curved beach.

Leaving Ventry, after Dunbeg Fort (a series of Iron Age defensive ramparts and ditches) there’s a sheer cliff on one side and the wild Atlantic Ocean on the other. At the end of this road is Slea Head itself, with views to South Kerry and the Blasket Islands.

The scattered village of Dunquin on the end of the peninsula is a poignant sight, with many ruined rock homes that were abandoned during the famine.

Heading back east is the far more lively town of Ballyferriter, established by a Norman family in the 12th century. Although its bars serve food and the old schoolhouse is a museum, the Tigh Bhric pub a few kilometres further on not only boasts a microbrewery but is also famed for its lunches and spontaneous bursts of music.

Be sure not to miss the nearby Gallarus Oratory before returning to Dingle. Built about 1300 years ago, it is one of Ireland’s best-preserved early Christian churches. Shaped like an upturned boat, amazingly its dry stone walls are still waterproof.


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10 Best Places to Visit in Ireland

Tags :

Category : Dublin , Ireland

From its rich Celtic culture to the breathtaking beauty of its varied landscapes, Ireland is a travel destination that lives up to its nearly mythic reputation. The Emerald Isle really is that green, the sights are truly spectacular and the people are genuinely friendly. Despite its small size, bustling cities and sprawling suburbs, Ireland still boasts stretches of roads and trails where visitors can feel as if they have the island all to themselves. Those seeking a more sociable travel experience have only to walk into a neighborhood pub to feel right at home. Whether spending the night in an ancient castle, cycling along a coastal headland or viewing Celtic artifacts at a world-class museum, Ireland casts a spell of enchantment on every visitor.

Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, a part of the UK. Our selection of the best places to visit in Ireland covers the entire island.

10. Galway 

Galway

 

West Ireland’s largest city, Galway is best known for its art galleries and shops, most of which are located along the winding lanes and cobblestone streets of the city’s charming medieval quarter. With several live music venues and a thriving pub scene, Galway is considered a major center for traditional Irish music as well. The harbor city is also known as one of the few places left in Ireland where the Irish language is still spoken on the streets. Full of fun, history and culture, Galway is an ideal destination for any visitor seeking a true Irish travel experience.

9. Aran Islands

Aran Islands

 

Located off the west coast of Ireland at the mouth of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands of Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer have attracted visitors for centuries. Isolated from the mainland, inhabitants on the islands have maintained a more traditional lifestyle than in other parts of Ireland, offering visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich past. With no more than 100 vehicles allowed on Inishmore, the largest of the three islands, horse-drawn buggies carry visitors by stone farm cottages to enjoy spectacular views from limestone cliff tops. Inishmore has a 2,000-year-old stone fortress perched atop a 90-meter (300-foot) cliff that’s well worth exploring too.

8. Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula

 

The Dingle Peninsula encompasses the westernmost tip of Ireland, offering visitors the appeal of a far-away destination with the convenience of a nearby town. The landscape is dotted with remnants of Bronze Age settlements, prehistoric stone markers and more than 500 monastic stone huts. The monks who dwelt in the so-called beehive huts, or clocháns, helped keep learning alive during the Dark Ages. Surfing and windsurfing are popular activities on the peninsula’s beaches. With fine restaurants, good accommodations and a lively pub scene, Dingle Town offers fun and relaxation at the end of the day.

7. Glendalough

Glendalough

 

Just a few km to the south of Dublin lies Glendalough, a monastery founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin, a hermit monk who figures prominently in traditional Irish legends. Once a chief pilgrimage destination in Ireland, Glendalough continues to attract visitors from around the world. Situated near two lakes in a glen surrounded by forests, visitors are drawn by the area’s scenic beauty as well as its rich history. The largest structure in the monastery is an unfinished 9th-century cathedral, but it’s the Round Tower that many visitors find the most striking. Equipped with a pull-up ladder, the 30-meter (110-foot) tower served as a last-resort refuge during Viking raids.

6. Dublin 

Dublin

 

The capital of Ireland, Dublin is home more than a third of the nation’s population. Unlike other major European cities, there’s a laid-back atmosphere in Dublin that makes it feel less like a metropolis and more like a small town. While there are plenty of cultural attractions to delight the most avid sightseer, unplanned rambles through the city can be just as rewarding. Book of Kells housed at library at Trinity College is a must-see for lovers of art and literature. From historic cathedrals like Christ Church and St. Patrick’s to the Guinness Storehouse and the pubs in Temple Bar, Dublin is a city that invites exploration.

5. Giant’s Causeway

Giant's Causeway

 

Situated at the base of steep cliffs on the northeast coast of Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway is a natural rock formation that does indeed look as if it were fashioned by giants. The honeycomb formation of more than 37,000 hexagon-shaped basalt columns appears too geometrically perfect to have been shaped by nature. It took 60 million years of tectonic plate movement, lava flows and erosion to fashion the stepping-stone columns into their present shape. Cliff-top trails offer great views of the rocks, and a flight of steps leads down to sea level. A nearby visitor center also offers walking tours and trips by van to the site.

4. Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park

 

Located in southwest Ireland in County Kerry, the Killarney National Park was established in 1932 when the Muckross Estate was donated to the country. The Victorian Muckross House now serves as the park’s visitor center, and the estate’s extensive gardens are popular attractions in the park. For many visitors, however, the park’s three lakes are the biggest draw. Populated by swans and otters and surrounded by forests inhabited by Ireland’s only native herd of red deer, boat trips on the lake offer encounters with wildlife as well as scenic views. A broad network of surfaced paths invites exploration by foot, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage.

3. Bru na Boinne

Bru na Boinne

 

Remnants from Ireland’s ancient past are found all over Ireland, but the Brú na Bóinne mounds in Boyne Valley are not to be missed. Three of the 5,000-year-old burial mounds have been fully excavated and are open to visitors: Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. With its carved granite boulders and white quartz façade, Newgrange is the most striking. A central passage leads to vaulted chambers where cremated remains and grave goods from at least five people were found. The mound of Knowth is best known for its 250 decorated stones, some of which appear to be local maps. There is no public access inside Dowth, but visitors can climb the mound to enjoy the view.

2. Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry

 

The most popular scenic drive in Ireland, the Ring of Kerry is a more than 160 km (100 mile) long highway that runs along the coastline of the isle’s picturesque Iveragh Peninsula. Most visitors start and end their tour in the busy town of Killarney; savvy travelers choose the less-crowded pretty village of Kenmare as a base. Sights along the Ring include Ireland’s tallest mountain Carrantuohill, several pristine lakes, a medieval monastery and the prehistoric Staigue Fort, which features thick stone walls constructed without mortar. Several seafront towns and resorts along the route boast sandy beaches, making them charming side destinations when the weather is warm.

1. Cliffs of Moher

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Ireland

 

No visit to Ireland is complete without spending some time enjoying the view from on a high cliff overlooking the Atlantic, and the Cliffs of Moher take this experience to breathtaking new heights. Rising nearly 210 meters (700 feet) from the shoreline, the stretch of cliffs attracts almost one million visitors each year making it one of the most popular places to visit in Ireland. Understandably, access to the cliffs is restricted in windy weather. Boat tours offered at the pier in Doolin give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the cliffs from a different perspective.

Which destination do you consider the best place to visit in Ireland?

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Cheap Flights to Dublin

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London

18.01.2019

19.01.2019

Tickets from 31

Birmingham

18.02.2019

22.02.2019

Tickets from 33

Liverpool

24.11.2018

25.11.2018

Tickets from 33

Manchester

24.11.2018

25.11.2018

Tickets from 33

Stuttgart

21.11.2018

22.11.2018

Tickets from 40

Frankfurt

25.11.2018

01.12.2018

Tickets from 40

Amsterdam

07.02.2019

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Berlin

21.11.2018

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Madrid

02.03.2019

05.03.2019

Tickets from 52

Rome

18.01.2019

20.01.2019

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Newcastle

04.01.2019

06.01.2019

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Nottingham

19.04.2019

21.04.2019

Tickets from 63

Brussels

14.11.2018

18.11.2018

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Hamburg

17.12.2018

30.12.2018

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Cologne

24.11.2018

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Glasgow

07.02.2019

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Barcelona

07.12.2018

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Copenhagen

10.04.2019

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Sofia

05.03.2019

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Porto

23.11.2018

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Paris

12.11.2018

15.11.2018

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Tallinn

01.05.2019

11.05.2019

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Munich

16.04.2019

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Eastleigh near Southampton

07.11.2018

14.11.2018

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Mulhouse

21.12.2018

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Warsaw

10.02.2019

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Alicante

15.03.2019

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Riga

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Prague

22.12.2018

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Dusseldorf

22.11.2018

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Nantes

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Bordeaux

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Istanbul

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Venice

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Saint Petersburg

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Moscow

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Varna

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Providence

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Santiago De Compostela

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Krasnodar

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Valencia

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New York

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Tampa

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Nimes

29.12.2018

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Pula

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Toronto

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Tel Aviv-Yafo

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Hyeres

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Ufa

01.11.2018

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Faro

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Voronezh

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Detroit

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Stockholm

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Chicago

31.03.2019

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Kharkiv

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Seattle

10.03.2019

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Kaunas

28.10.2018

29.10.2018

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Minneapolis

11.04.2019

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Anapa

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Los Angeles

29.10.2018

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Baltimore

29.10.2018

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Tbilisi

28.10.2018

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Perm

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San Francisco

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Covington

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Washington

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Nashville

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Philadelphia

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Addis Ababa

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Boston

25.04.2019

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Novosibirsk

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Hotels in Dublin: 4 stars

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

The Croke Park Hotel

★★★★

-8%

212196

View Hotel

Clontarf Castle Hotel

★★★★

-19%

168136

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Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links

★★★★

-14%

140120

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Brooks Hotel

★★★★

-18%

314257

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Hotel 7

★★★★

-6%

172162

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Radisson BLU Royal Hotel Dublin

★★★★

-20%

318255

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The Morrison Dublin - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

★★★★

-25%

269202

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Ashling Hotel Dublin

★★★★

-10%

158143

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The Spencer Hotel

★★★★

-17%

306253

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The Gibson Hotel

★★★★

-15%

170144

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RIU Plaza The Gresham Dublin

★★★★

-12%

287253

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Temple Bar Hotel

★★★★

-9%

240220

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Herbert Park Hotel

★★★★

-24%

215163

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The Clarence

★★★★

-11%

301269

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Hilton Dublin Kilmainham

★★★★

-25%

259194

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Grand Canal Hotel

★★★★

-13%

189163

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Schoolhouse Hotel

★★★★

-9%

150136

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Camden Court Hotel

★★★★

-8%

231211

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Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House

★★★★

-9%

215196

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Maldron Hotel Kevin Street

★★★★

-24%

245185

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7 Best Boutique Hotels in Dublin

Tags :

Category : Europe , Ireland

Located along Ireland’s east coast at the Liffey River, Dublin is the country’s capital and largest city. From Medieval castles, Georgian architecture and a Viking heritage to traditional dance and colorful pubs, Dublin is filled with sites and attractions for all interests. Literary types can visit pubs immortalized in print or frequented by James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Bram Stoker and Rudyard Kipling or visit the National Library of Ireland and the Dublin Writers Museum.

Whether on business or a family vacation in Ireland, travelers can get a uniquely Irish experience by choosing the personalized service, intimate atmosphere and luxurious accommodations of a boutique hotel. Best of all, many boutique hotels in Dublin are within walking distance or a quick drive to some of the city’s most famous museums, monuments, nightlife and attractions.

7. The Morgan

The Morgan

 

The Morgan is a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel located in Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter. Simplicity mixes with modern design in Art Deco fixtures, designer furniture and fun accessories. Spacious rooms are available in contemporary queen and deluxe king rooms along with suites and a penthouse. There is a fitness room, bar and restaurant. Located within close proximity to the shopping of Grafton Street and Dublin’s main business district, other area attractions include Dublin Castle, the Ha’Penny Bridge and Trinity College.

6. Number 31

Number 31

 

Number 31 is made up of two converted buildings connected by a charming garden. The classical Georgian townhouse nicely contrasts with the modernist mews designed by the renowned architect Sam Stephenson, whose private house this was. Warm and inviting rooms feature luxurious beds, fine linens, subtle textures and designer touches. Room rates include a delicious breakfast of seasonal produce and organic ingredients. The breakfast at Number 31 has been named the Best Breakfast in Ireland. The Number 31 boutique hotel is within easy access to St. Stephen’s Green, the shopping district of Grafton Street and the Grand Canal.

5. Brooks Hotel

Brooks Hotel

 

The Brooks Hotel resides on Drury Street, which is near the fashionable shops, bars and restaurants of Dublin’s cultural quarter. Warm and inviting with a spacious and airy atmosphere, guest rooms feature original artwork, potted plants and oak furniture. Luxury amenities include heated mirrors, a power shower, sunken baths and bathrobes. Rooms range from classic, deluxe and executive to junior and presidential suites. The hotel has an event space, a private cinema and in-room desks. Guests can grab homemade pastries, coffee and tea at the Café Lounge, enjoy artisan dishes at Francesca’s Restaurant or relax at Jasmine Bar, which is part of the Whiskey Trail of Ireland.

4. Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin

Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin

 

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin exudes a business-like exterior that opens up to a stylish and contemporary interior. Executive, superior deluxe and signature guest rooms as well as a penthouse are available. The penthouse has a private butler, baby grand piano and complimentary champagne and fresh flowers. Down duvets, robes and slippers and luxury Egyptian cotton bath towels make guests feel right at home. There is a gym area and a beauty salon for facials, body wraps and massages. Dining choices include gourmet bar food at Inn on the Garden, contemporary dining at Citron and the Michelin star Thornton’s.

3. The Gibson Hotel

The Gibson Hotel

 

With its polished steel and glass exterior, the Gibson Hotel is the ultimate urban retreat. The hotel is near the 3Arena concert and live show amphitheater as well as the heart of Dublin on O’Connell Street. Spacious guest rooms are modern and chic with private courtyards or cityscape views. Rooms include superior and family rooms or junior suites outfitted in calm and comfortable decor. Restaurants include Hemi Bar and Coda Eatery. The Gibson has meeting rooms and a relaxation area.

2. Clontarf Castle Hotel

Clontarf Castle Hotel

 

Old world charm connects with modern amenities, fashionable furnishings and luxury accommodations at Clontarf Castle Hotel. Located about 15 minutes from Dublin City Centre, the castle’s vine-covered exterior opens to arched entryways and extravagant rooms outfitted in freestanding tubs, designer wall coverings and fashionable furniture. Fahrenheit Grill specializes in beef and seafood dishes and is one of the finest restaurants in Dublin. Accessorized with oversized sofas and red chandeliers, Indigo Lounge offers pastries and coffee in the morning and café style dining and cocktails in the evening.

1. The Merrion Hotel

#1 of Best Boutique Hotels In Dublin

 

Created from restored 18th century townhouses, the Merrion Hotel mixes the past with the very sophisticated present in its stately columns, marble bathrooms and 19th and 20th century art collection. Guests can choose from views of the garden, city scenes or stately government buildings in either the garden wing or the Georgian main house. Dining at his boutique hotel in Dublin includes the gastro-pub fare of the Cellar Bar, the modern Irish cuisine of The Cellar Restaurant and fine dining at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. The hotel has meeting rooms, a spa and a bar. The Merrion is within access to the National Gallery, Trinity College and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Cheap Flights to Dublin

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London

18.01.2019

19.01.2019

Tickets from 31

Birmingham

18.02.2019

22.02.2019

Tickets from 33

Manchester

24.11.2018

25.11.2018

Tickets from 33

Liverpool

24.11.2018

25.11.2018

Tickets from 33

Stuttgart

21.11.2018

22.11.2018

Tickets from 40

Frankfurt

25.11.2018

01.12.2018

Tickets from 40

Amsterdam

07.02.2019

10.02.2019

Tickets from 43

Berlin

21.11.2018

22.11.2018

Tickets from 48

Madrid

02.03.2019

05.03.2019

Tickets from 52

Rome

18.01.2019

20.01.2019

Tickets from 52

Newcastle

04.01.2019

06.01.2019

Tickets from 54

Nottingham

19.04.2019

21.04.2019

Tickets from 63

Brussels

14.11.2018

18.11.2018

Tickets from 63

Hamburg

17.12.2018

30.12.2018

Tickets from 65

Cologne

24.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 66

Glasgow

07.02.2019

12.02.2019

Tickets from 72

Barcelona

07.12.2018

09.12.2018

Tickets from 74

Copenhagen

10.04.2019

14.04.2019

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Sofia

05.03.2019

12.03.2019

Tickets from 77

Porto

23.11.2018

26.11.2018

Tickets from 79

Paris

12.11.2018

15.11.2018

Tickets from 80

Tallinn

01.05.2019

11.05.2019

Tickets from 87

Munich

16.04.2019

23.04.2019

Tickets from 88

Eastleigh near Southampton

07.11.2018

14.11.2018

Tickets from 94

Mulhouse

21.12.2018

05.01.2019

Tickets from 99

Warsaw

10.02.2019

13.02.2019

Tickets from 110

Alicante

15.03.2019

17.03.2019

Tickets from 115

Riga

15.12.2018

16.12.2018

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Varna

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Kazan

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Providence

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Santiago De Compostela

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Krasnodar

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Valencia

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New York

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Tampa

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Nimes

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Pula

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Toronto

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Minneapolis

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Anapa

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Los Angeles

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Baltimore

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Perm

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Boston

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Novosibirsk

15.11.2018

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  • -

7 Most Impressive Castles Near Dublin

Tags :

Category : Dublin , Ireland

The capital of Ireland is a mecca for anyone interested in history and royal architecture. In Dublin, you will have the chance to see the enormous 12th century St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the structures of Trinity College and even Dublin Castle itself. However, leaving Dublin for a day trip also offers the chance to explore a number of additional castles. From historic landmarks to picturesque ruins, be sure to see as many of these castles near Dublin as your schedule will allow.

7. Swords Castle

Swords Castle

 

Just two miles north of Dublin’s international airport is Swords Castle. Constructed around the year 1200, the castles was built for John Comyn, the 1st Archbishop of Dublin. The walls surrounding the castle are far higher than was normal for the time, and the pentagonal shape also sets it apart. It appears the castle was severely damaged and abandoned in the 14th century, but history reveals occupation of Swords Castle in later centuries again. Today, Swords Castle is used as a filming location for television shows. It is, however, also open to travelers who want to tour the exterior.

6. Charleville Castle

Charleville Castle

 

A 90-minute drive west out of Dublin will bring you to the town of Tullamore, a location best known for its whiskey. It is also home to Charleville Castle, a stunning Gothic castle with richly historic roots. As far back as the sixth century, the site was used for religious purposes, likely by ancient Druid settlements. The castle itself was built in the early 19th century. Many of its tenants only occupied the castle for a short time, and it was only in the 1970s that serious restoration work was undertaken. Now, Charleville Castle is best known for its otherworldly occupants: Ghosts! The castle has been featured extensively in supernatural and investigative pieces, and many of the tours through the property are led by ghost hunters.

5. Birr Castle

Birr Castle

 

The small town of Birr in County Offaly is just 140 km (85 miles) directly west of the Irish capital. While the town’s main street has a few charming shops and restaurants, the main reason to visit is undeniably Birr Castle. There has been a castle of some variety on the site since the 12th century, but many additions over the years helped create the grand appearance the castle has today. Parts of Birr Castle are still residential, serving as the home to the 7th Earl of Rosse. Other parts of Birr Castle, however, are open to the public, and some spaces even house Ireland’s Historic Science Center.

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Liverpool

24.11.2018

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Manchester

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Frankfurt

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Brussels

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Glasgow

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Ljubljana

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Milan

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Toulouse

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Bristol

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Graz

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Istanbul

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Budapest

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Lodz

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Innsbruck

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Athens

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Chisinau

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Larnaca

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Paderborn

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Zagreb

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Ancona

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Aarhus

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Minsk

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Ekaterinburg

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Samara

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Vilnius

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Varna

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Kazan

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Providence

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Santiago De Compostela

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Krasnodar

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Valencia

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New York

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Tampa

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4. Trim Castle

Trim Castle

 

Northwest of Dublin is Trim Castle, the largest Norman castle in all of Ireland. Since it is just 45 minutes away from Dublin, it is the perfect day trip to escape the city and explore Irish history. Trim Castle took more than 30 years to build in the 12th century, and it served as an important religious and military site. In the 15th century, Trim Castle even served as the gathering place for parliament, and local currency was created on the premises with a local mint. Trim Castle is unique because of its size, its age and its cruciform shape, which was highly irregular in the 12th century.

3. Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

 

One of the most intriguing castles in Ireland is the Rock of Cashel, which is nearly two hours away from Dublin but well worth the journey. Legends of Cashel date back to a time St. Patrick himself banished Satan from a cave, giving the destination some seriously ominous origins. Kings lived on the site for centuries, although the castle that exists today date primarily from the 12th and 13th centuries. Some of the important buildings on the Rock of Cashel to explore include the 13th century Cathedral, the Cormac’s Chapel and the Round Tower.

2. Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle

 

A castle very near Dublin is Malahide Castle, located just 14 km (9 miles) north of the capital. The proximity to the city center is a great reason to spend a few hours exploring the castle, which was built in the 12th century in the town of Malahide. While the castle remained a private residence for centuries, it became property of Ireland in the 1970s. In addition to touring the castle’s interior, you can explore the 18th century grounds in their original style. Plus, Malahide Castle has a great room for banquets, but also a smaller dining area where you can order delicious meals after a stroll through the grounds.

1. Kilkenny Castle

#1 of Castles Near Dublin

 

Heading southeast 130 km (80 miles) from Dublin will bring you to Kilkenny Castle. The castle was built towards the end of the 12th century by the Normans, and it effectively claimed the high ground overlooking the River Nore. Today, the castle is one of the biggest reasons to visit the small city of Kilkenny. Access to the grounds of the castle is free, which means that locals and visitors alike enjoy spending time strolling through the rose gardens in front as well as the forested areas surrounding the structure. If you’re in town, however, you’ll also definitely want to head inside and check out the impressive Great Hall and some of the furnished bedrooms.

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Hotels in Dublin: Hotels in the center

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The Clarence

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156135

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Westin Dublin

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458295

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418293

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Wynn's Hotel

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