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Best Road Trip Destinations around the Emerald Island

Best-Road-Trip-Destinations-around-the-Emerald-Island

Where are the best places to visit in Ireland? Well, a lot of Ireland is surprisingly untouched, even though it neighbours the UK, it has its own history and unique landscapes. From its green fields to its mystical castles and then on to the sprawling coastlines and cliffs, Ireland is a country of beauty and wonder, which literally takes your breath away. I’m unable to talk about Ireland without the warm, funny and hospitable people springing to mind, they’re truly special and magical people, who make a visit even more unforgettable.

Of course, the hoard’s are drawn to Dublin, which is undeniably beautiful, but at the end of the day it’s a city and when you’re embarking on a road trip around Ireland you want to see some green and get on some open highways or some winding roads. Having said that, it’s a suitable starting point. On the outskirts of Dublin, you’ll find Malahide Castle, which dates back to the 12th century and is situated on over 260 acres of wonderful parkland estate. From there I’d recommend heading south.  Around a 3 hour drive from Dublin, you’ll find Blarney, Blarney Castle and The Blarney Stone. According to local legend, kissing the Blarney Stone will give the Gift of the gab(the ability to speak with great flattery) to the kisser. The stone can be found built into Blarney Castle, which is also fabulous by the way.

Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle

Also nestled in the County of Cork and the southernmost parish of Ireland is Baltimore, it’s not so popular with tourists, but it’s a gem of a place. Acting as the ferry port to close-by islands, it’s a quaint old fishing village with bags of character. You can easily hop on a ferry from the port and reach one of the amazing islands. Sherkin Island is just 10 minutes away from Baltimore by ferry and once on the Island, you’ll be blown away by its beauty. On the Island, you’ll come across an automated lighthouse, maintained and operated by locals, a 15th-century Franciscan abbey and the renowned O’Driscoll’s clan castle. Whilst strolling along with one of the 3 sandy and secluded beaches, you may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a school of dolphins, some otters, seals or even a few porpoises which gave the Island its name.

Baltimore Lighthouse
Baltimore Lighthouse

Making your way up the West coast you can take in the Cliffs of Moher. They’re mind-blowing and go on for around 9 miles, the steepest of which is 214 metres above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, which makes them some of the highest in Europe. You can walk along the cliffs at your own pace for free, however, spaced out on the clifftop paths there are a few paid-for attractions. But they’re definitely worth the money. The Cliffs attract over 1.5 million visitors per year and it’s not hard to see why.