Ireland Journals

Into the South of Ireland

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An April 2008 trip to Ireland by LenR

Powerscourt Estate Photo, Dublin, Ireland More Photos
Quote: We headed south from Dublin, went to several great places and eventually arrived at the Ring of Kerry. This journal covers some of the highlights

Powerscourt Estate

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Attraction | "A Wonderful Garden"

Powerscourt Estate Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
We left Dublin and drove south through the suburbs then into some fine country. Our first destination was Powerscourt, one of the most beautiful estates in Ireland. Situated in the mountains of Wicklow, this was an important strategic site by the 12th century and a castle was built here by the Power family in 1300.In 1603 Powerscourt castle and lands were granted to Richard Wingfield and his descendents were to remain here for over 350 years. Powerscourt was much altered in the 18th century by the creation of a magnificent mansion around the shell of the earlier castle. The surrounding grounds were laid out in parkland and planted gardens and terraces. Further alterations in the next centu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2008

Powerscourt Estate
Enniskerry
Dublin, Ireland

Rock of Cashel

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Attraction | "History in a Nutshell"

Rock of Cashel Photo, Cashel, Ireland
Quote:
Cashel is an unremarkable market town made famous by the dramatic Rock of Cashel and the clutch of historic religious buildings on its windy summit.The earliest history of the rock that I know of was in the 4th century when a clan from Wales conquered this area and became the local kings. Six hundred years later, they lost possession of the rock to the O’Brien clan and in 1101 King O’Brien presented the rock to the Church. So began the building of a series of structures that remain today.The entrance to the rock is through the 15th century Hall of the Vicars. This was once home to the male choristers who sang in the cathedral. Today there is a ticket office (around 5 Euros admi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2008

Rock of Cashel
Tipperary
Cashel, Ireland
+353 62 61437

Ring of Kerry

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Attraction | "The Road to Nowhere"

Ring of Kerry Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
Few places in Ireland are hyped as much as the Ring of Kerry. Perhaps this is a problem because after completing this circular drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, we were a little disappointed.It is not that it isn’t pretty. In fact the mixture of hills, forest, blanket bog, river, lake, sandy beach and crashing waves is very enjoyable. Some of the small towns are attractive and because of the mild winters in this part of the country, the almost sub-tropical vegetation was a surprise. It’s just that we expected more.One of the problems was the weather. Ireland is green for a very good reason; it rains a lot. As we drove around the ring we alternated between rain and sunshine. Nothing...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2008

Ring of Kerry
179 Km Circular Road
Kerry, Ireland

Kenmare

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Story/Tip

Kenmare from across the water Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Kenmare turned out to be one of my favourite towns in Ireland. It is picturesque, cosmopolitan, manageable and stylish all at the same time. Throw in some great accommodation, some of rural Ireland’s better restaurants and a mix of somewhat pricey craft shops and you have a great holiday town.We stayed for two nights at the wonderful Sheen Falls Hotel some four kilometres out of town but there are other options in both the expensive and budget categories. A real alternative is the Park Hotel at the top of Main Street in a fabulous location overlooking the Kenmore estuary. For something a bit more affordable, Shelbourne Lodge Guesthouse is a midmarket place with beautifully decorated rooms ...Read More

Kilkenny

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Story/Tip

Central city Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Kilkenny was the first city we encountered on our drive into the south. We couldn’t have chosen a better place to explore. The city is small, manageable and extremely interesting primarily because of its medieval feel. Kilkenny's rich medieval heritage is evident in the city's treasure trove of historical buildings and landmarks, exemplified by the magnificent Kilkenny Castle. Kilkenny is arguably the pre-eminent medieval city in Ireland, with the current layout of the city clearly grounded in the city's medieval roots. The only problem is parking.In early Norman times, up to the late 12th-centuiry, Kilkenny was the capital of the colony in Ireland. By the late thirteenth century Kilkenny ...Read More