Ireland Journals

Some of the Prettiest Villages in Ireland

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An April 2008 trip to Ireland by LenR

Ballycotton from small port Photo, Ireland, Europe More Photos
Quote: Everyone has their own favourite places. Here are five villages and towns that impressed us as we drove through Ireland

Ballycotton

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Story/Tip

Ballycotton from small port Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
This little village rarely gets any publicity and most visitors to Ireland will be unaware of its existence. This, of course, is one of its appeals but there are others.We went here without knowing anything about it. We were in this area to visit Ballymalaoe House which has accommodation, a cookery school and probably the most famous restaurant in Ireland. We decided that we couldn’t afford to stay here and we were too late for sightseeing so we continued on down the road for a few kilometres and found a B&B for the night.Sunville House is a renovated house within three minutes of Ballycotton Bay in East Cork. On arrival we were offered tea and scones, then we sat for awhil...Read More

Enniskerry

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Centre of village Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Enniskerry is an extremely picturesque village in county Wicklow. It is the ideal base to explore the delights of Wicklow, the "Garden County of Ireland", and is also within easy reach of Dublin.The village originally belonged to the Powerscourt Estate (see the ‘Into the South of Ireland’ journal) which was owned by a dynasty founded by Richard Wingfield. The centre of this estate was the great House, about a kilometre from the centre of the village. Enniskerry village was originally built in 1760 as a row of terraced cottages for labourers on the estate. It has come a long way from there. Today it has art galleries, gourmet cafes and a few up-market stores. It also has that laid-back feel...Read More

Ballinskelligs

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Around Ballingkelings Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
An often single-lane and very steep road leads from Portmagee to Ballinskelligs, a remote outpost on the Ring of Skellig. The ring is an offshoot of the Ring of Kerry but it is bypassed by the tourist buses and most of the other tourist traffic. That is what gives Ballinskelligs its greatest appeal.The route is extremely scenic particularly were it passes the wild and exposed St. Finan’s Bay. We spent some hours here and it was by far the most enjoyable part of our trip around the famous Ring of Kerry.Ballinskelligs itself is small but sprawling. The village lacks much character but the immediate surroundings are almost unique in Ireland. It is almost as if this area has hibern...Read More

Adare

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Houses Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Ask many people about their favourite village in Ireland and Adare will probably top the list. There is no doubt that the picturesque ruins and the thatched cottages in the main street are a delight but it is spoiled somewhat by the large volume of traffic that passes through the village on the main road from Killarney to Limerick.We were there out of season and it was difficult to find a parking space and the constant roar of trucks though the town was somewhat off-putting. I’m told that in summer it becomes impossible. Never-the-less this village on the Maigue River is a place not to be missed.Adare has become a tourist mecca primarily because of its remarkable medieval build...Read More

Birr

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Story/Tip

Georgian splendour Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Birr is a great example of a town planned around a great house – in this case Birr Castle. Most of the castle buildings are from around 1620 but the town itself was laid out in the 18th-century in the best style of Georgian planning. There are wide streets, finely detailed houses and a general air of prosperity.The town is now fully recognised as a heritage town and it revels in this classification. There are classy accommodation options, excellent restaurants and vibrant nightlife. It is an excellent base for exploring most of Ireland as it sits in the geographic centre of the country.Birr town meanders around Birr Castle which in turn is set in 120 areas of gardens. It is eas...Read More