Ireland Journals

Travelling the West Coast of Ireland

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An April 2008 trip to Ireland by LenR

Beautiful National Park Photo, Ireland, Europe More Photos
Quote: Some of Ireland best country is on the West coast. Here are some of my favourite sights and experiences.

Killarney

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Beautiful National Park Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Killarney is very much a tourist town but it has some appeal and the surrounding area is simply magnificent. I’m told there is more accommodation here than anywhere outside Dublin, yet the town only has a permanent population of around 15,000.While the area was probably occupied hundreds of years before, Killarney town did not develop until the 18th-century. Lord Kenmare, the local landowner, first developed a hotel here because of the growing attraction of the nearby lakes. Then he granted free leases for other buildings – inns, shops and houses. He also built roads to connect Killarney with the outside world and before long royals and other dignitaries from around Europe were visiting....Read More

The Dingle Peninsula

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Story/Tip

Dramatic seascapes Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Of all the places we went in Ireland, this was the most remote and attractive. When you enter the peninsula, time goes slower and the scenery becomes more dramatic. This is the centre of Irish-language Ireland so English road signs disappear, making it just that more difficult to navigate. We were told that we would likely get lost and we did.Dingle with its attractive port is the main town around here but it is the scenery and the ancient monuments west of here that have so much appeal. Ventry is the first settlement to the west. This was once the main port for the peninsula but today it is a sprinkling of shops and a few accommodation options.From here on the road becomes mor...Read More

Connor Pass and Beyond

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Story/Tip

Near the top Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
If your travels take you north from Dingle, I strongly recommend the trip over Connor Pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland. Don’t expect soaring mountain scenery but you do get to travel through some outstanding country and there are some great views to both coasts. This is a much more interesting road than N86, the main way from Dingle to Tralee.Recent roadwork has significantly improved the climb from Dingle. There is a car park near the top with fine views back over the peninsula. The road then narrows and the next few kilometres are a delight provided the traffic is light. This mountainous country is excellent for walking and you will discover countless relics of the early Celtic...Read More

Cliffs of Moher

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Attraction

Cliffs of Moher Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
This is one of Ireland’s prime natural attractions where the land plunges into the Atlantic Ocean in huge vertical cliffs. Today the area is rigidly controlled with a facilities charge being applied to all visitors. In return you receive entry into the impressive visitor centre building, access to the cliff edge paths and viewing platforms, unlimited parking and support from Cliffs of Moher Rangers. I’m told a contribution goes towards the conservation and visitor management of the cliffs.Do I think a visit here is worthwhile? Well yes, except if it is raining or blowing a gale. The cliffs are very high and are naturally exposed to the elements. When we visited there was sunshine and a sha...Read More

Cliffs of Moher
Southwestern Edge of the Burren Region
County Clare, Ireland

Birr Castle Demesne

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Story/Tip

Formal gardens Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Birr Castle Demesne is unique in Ireland. It combines a spectacular garden with Ireland’s Historic Science Centre, a castle and some amazing scientific apparatus. I must confess that the scientific aspect of Birr Castle was a surprise to me. I knew about the castle and garden but knew little about the history of this place.You enter the complex through the old stables. These used to house coaches, horses and up to 30 grooms. Today it is the ticket office and the Science Centre – a series of galleries concentrating on the achievements of those scientists and engineers most closely associated with Birr over the past 200 years. The first four galleries are dedicated to the design, constructio...Read More