Irish eyes really could be smiling on you if you make the Emerald Isle your destination of choice in 2017. Whether you’re more at home in a bustling city, exploring rugged coastline, or enjoying the luxuries of a country house, Ireland truly does have something for everyone.
Capital city Dublin boasts an array of attractions to keep the whole family entertained. A tour of Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university dating back to the 16th century, is sure to take you back in time – before the Grafton Street area with it’s many shops, cafes and street entertainers brings you right back to the modern delights of this UNESCO City of Literature. For a taste of history and culture, why not head to The Little Museum of Dublin, which runs guided tours, or Kilmainham Gaol, dating back over 200 years and famous as the place of execution for the leaders of the 1916 uprising.
When it’s time to take a break from the hustle and bustle, St Stephen’s Green in Dublin is the perfect place to sit by a duck pond, relax, and enjoy some green space. Alternatively, a 25 minute ride on the DART (Dublin’s light rail system) will take you to Dalkey, set on the beautiful south coast and complete with its own castle, heritage centre, and coastal walks.
Of course, there is a lot more to Ireland than the delights of Dublin! County Kerry in the south west of the country is home to Killarney National Park, and the stunning Muckross House and Gardens that stand within it. Dating back to the 19th century, this beautiful property once played host to Queen Victoria. If natural beauty is more your cup of tea, then the Ring of Kerry is a must-see – a drive around the Iveragh Peninsula with it’s ocean and mountain scenery, picture postcard villages, and array of outdoor activities is sure to delight.
Over in County Cork, the coastal town of Kinsale is the ideal destination for those who enjoy fishing, sailing or simply sampling good quality fresh seafood in the many restaurants and cafes! In Cork city itself, the English Market is the place to shop for local produce and artisan breads and cheeses, before relaxing with a well earned coffee in the Farmgate restaurant above it.
As the song says, it’s a long way to Tipperary, but this rural county is home to Ireland’s most visited heritage site, the Rock of Cashel. Comprised of a group of medieval buildings, including a 15th century castle and a 13th century cathedral, this amazing attraction was even visited by Queen Elizabeth II during her tour of the country in 2011.
Wherever you go, you’re sure to enjoy a warm welcome, good craic, and maybe even the luck of the Irish! Why not make 2017 the year you explore Ireland?