Travel

Top Ten Touristy Things to do in Ireland

April 24, 2015

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 metres 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 be see fantastic views of Rathlin Island, Scotland and the Causeway Coast.

I’m terrified of heights but look at those views..so worth it! I would advise wearing no loose articles of clothing (hats, scarfs, etc) – I can just see them falling in already! 6786559_orig

Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

2. Go Horse-riding under Benbulbin, Co. Sligo

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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?  4525300_orig

3. Go to the Oyster Festival in Galway City

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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!

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4. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way

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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…

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5. Drive the Causeway Coastal Route

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And pitstop at the Giant’s Causeway… 9381537_orig

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

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Newgrange is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. I feel like I’ve been hearing about this place my whole life and I’ve never been. Ireland really isn’t that big – so I have no excuse! I’m gonna tick it off my list next year.

7. Explore the Titanic Museum in Belfast

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Watch the movie – go to the museum. Plan!
8. Drive the Ring of Kerry

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 😉

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9. Take a Trip to the set of Game of Thrones

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If you are one of Game of Thrones millions of viewers then you have no better reason to visit where it is shot in Northern Ireland. I don’t watch it but I’m so intrigued by the landscape of the Dark Hedges and Murlough Bay I’m gonna take a detour after my Giants Causeway & Titanic trip to see these spots.
10. Spend time exploring the capital, Dublin

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).

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

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