I wanted to write this post to show not only some of the things I’ve learned about Ireland since working in Tourism Ireland but also to make a bucket list for myself when I go back next year. I find myself looking at photos in work all the time, and wondering why I never went there? Why did I not know about it? I guess it was partly laziness and partly just taking Ireland for granted because it’s where I grew up. There are so many great things about Ireland but for now, I’ll stick to my job – pointing out some of the amazing site-seeing and tourist things there are to do in Ireland:
1. Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim
Suspended almost 30 meters above sea level, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge was first created by fishermen 350 years ago. Once you have crossed the 20-metre long bridge, stretching from the mainland to ‘Rocky Island’, you will see fantastic views of Rathlin Island, Scotland and the Causeway Coast.
2. Go Horse-riding under Benbulbin, Co. Sligo
Undoubtedly Ireland’s most distinctive mountain, Benbulbin is Ireland’s own Table Mountain.
It features strongly in Yeats’ poetry and is the reason the area is called Yeats Country. It is also believed to be the hunting ground of na Fianna & the resting place of Diarmuid and Grainne – old Irish legends… if you’re into that stuff. And why not horse-ride on the beach beside it, isn’t that like something you would do on holidays?
3. Go to the Oyster Festival in Galway City
Running from Sept 24th – 27th 2015, the Oyster Festival will take over Galway City. It is the most internationally recognised Irish festival after St Patrick’s Day and the world’s longest running Oyster Festival.
I always have the best time in Galway so any excuse to visit is good enough for me!
4. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way
The longest coastal driving route in the world – need I say more? There are some of the most scenic spots in the world on this route: Malin Head, Fanad Head, Sliabh Liag, Mullaghmore Head, Downpatrick Head, Keem Strand, Killary Harbour, Derrigimlagh, Loop Head, Radharc na mBlascaodaí (Blaskets View), Bray Head… the list in endless. I’m honestly ashamed I haven’t been to any of these places since I was a kid.. Look how pretty!
And of course pitstop on the Cliffs of Moher…
If you want to see the Cliffs of Moher, but do not want to drive yourself there, you could always book a coach trip. You can find a few different Cliffs of Moher tour packages online, so do not be afraid to shop around to find one that meets your needs.
5. Drive the Causeway Coastal Route
This is probably one of the coolest natural creations in the world, it’s in Ireland, and I’ve never been there. This is one of the first things on my to-do list when I get back.
6. Visit Newgrange
7. Explore the Titanic Museum in Belfast
Not quite sure I’d be confident driving these coastal roads, but I’d be more than happy to be a passenger and enjoy some of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Perfect photo op 😉
9. Take a Trip to the set of Game of Thrones
Ah – Dublin! I love Dublin – the food, the atmosphere, the shops, it has it all. You can’t beat Dublin on a sunny day: South William street, George’s street, St. Stephens Green – even just walking across O’Connell Bridge in the sun, there’s nothing quite like it. That’s exactly how I feel looking at these pics from rainy New York when I know it’s been so sunny at home for the last few weeks. (I still love you NY). Somewhere you certainly shouldn’t overlook is the beautiful city of Cork. This vibrant city is perhaps best experienced by staying in one of the luxury hotels cork.
Home definitely has it perks. Perks that, at times, when you’re living there its hard to see. Just like anywhere – taking a step back and making a few lists goes a long way. Living in New York and working for Tourism Ireland has meant that since I’ve left all I’ve heard is how amazing Ireland is.
Working in PR I often suggest places in Ireland for journalists to visit and write about – places I’ve never been. I’m ready to take advantage of how beautiful Ireland is when I’m back in September and really appreciate my home country.
“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back”
– Wendy Wunder
P.S. Lots more info on www.ireland.com