This section is about places in the following 8 Counties of Ireland:
Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.
Bumming around Ireland, on a Bus Eireann Bus, it suddenly came to me:
It is a big part of Irish Culture. I give you; The Lake of Guinness!
When in Ireland, there is one, really, 100% «touristy» thing you should do. Go visit
The Guinness Museum\The Hop Store. See: http://www.guinness.com/ – If you live in Norway, when asked by the web site wich country you live in, say «Denmark».
Otherwise, kjell magne will appear on the screen, and say: YOU are not allowed to s e e what they have for sale @ Guinness.com! Not even a postcard!
– And for this reason, of course, you can’t buy anything. (- The silly, religious s..!).
Anyway, get some stuff at The Hop Store, learn all about Guinness at The Museum,
and make sure you get your complementary:
Pint of The Black Stuff. One of the best pints you’ll ever have!
They say, of course, it tastes the same everywhere, but that is a load of…..
– There isn’t a brewery in the world, that can make that happen!
(I’ve enjoyed 16 of these, number 17 pending).
What to see in Ireland…? – Where to go…?
An impossible question to answer. I’ve tried to make a list of some of the places I very much enjoyed visiting, either alone, or as part of The England Krokket Team. And most of these places are mentioned in all travel guides. A few years back I bought several different Guide Books on Ireland; Rough Guide, Footprint and Lonely Planet, among others. I settled for Lonely Planet, and have bought it ever since. It covers the essentials, and the people writing it, have actually been there, in the places they describe.
(Sadly, they removed the Perfect Pint List…!).
In County Cork : 01 Cork City
Cork is the financial centre of Ireland. (Don’t let the mrs. take off with the creditcard).
Walking around the town.
Mr. 301 outside The Hairy Lemon, on our Oliver Plunkett Street Pub Crawl.
When in Cork, take a day trip to either The Cobh or Blarney Castle, or both!
From The Cobh, with The Cathedral.
The following 3 pictures are from Blarney Castle:
County Cork: 02 Cape Clear Island
On the south coast of County Cork, there are many nice, small towns, and you can get to most of them on a Bus Eireann Bus. Perfect places to hide away for a couple of days. Go to Schull or Baltimore, stay a day or two, and pay a visit to Cape Clear Island.
Hike aroud the island, finish off with a nice pint in the pub.
County Cork: 03 Midleton
For all whiskey-freaks, a visit to Midleton is compulsory! This is where most of the Irish Whiskeys are made nowadays.
(The last link is a «kjell magne»-link, for Norwegians, say you live in Denmark).
In County Kerry: 01 Killarney
Known for narrow, nice streets, plenty of shops, many great Bars and nice restaurants.
And the perfect startingpoint for exploring Killarney National Park, or The Kerry Way, a trip around The Kerry Peninsula. http://www.killarney.ie/
In Killarney’s many traditional bars, and hotel bars, they serve some of
The Best Irish Coffee in the country. (I’ve tried it about 50 different places on
The Green Island, and the only one that’s even close, is served at The Jameson Museum, Bow Street, Smithfield, Dublin).
County Kerry: 02 Killorglin
At the start of The Ring of Kerry, (on The Iveragh Peninsula), you find the small town of Killorglin. 2.5 small narrow streets, and every year, on August 10th, 11th, and 12th,
it goes CRAZY. At the festival:
They sell food, and a lot of other stuff you don’t need, in the streets. Big, free concerts in the town square, (in 2006 it was Frances Black), the pubs are open untill v e r y late,
and in general, the festival is just an excuse for going around the bend for three days.
I remember the last pub closing at 0600, and opening again at 0700.
Read all about The Puck Fair: http://www.puckfair.ie/
County Kerry: 03 Caherciveen
Continuing from Killorglin, on The Ring of Kerry you’ll eventually get to Caherciveen.
(Both places, like in most of Ireland in July and August, you will have to book your beds in advance). Book a bed for two nights at: The Sive Hostel: http://www.sivehostel.ie/
In order to be able to pay a visit to The Skellig Islands. If you ask the people at the hostel, they will reserve a place for you on The Skellig Trip. (Bus from the hostel, then a small rocky boat…!). An unbeatable combination of raw nature, human spirit, and some strange part of humanity… See: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/skellig-michael.htm
County Kerry: 04 Dingle
A wonderful little spot, the town that gave the name to The Dingle Peninsula.
It’s a nice town, but packed with tourists. Good pubs and restaurants.
The two main attractions to me, were actually outside the town, And I really recommend:
1. A trip to The Blasket Islands. Ferry from Dingle Harbour, appr. € 40. Go see the local wildlife. The local guide on the ferry was excellent.
(I’m afraid I managed to «offend» the locals, answering a question about wether I’d seen the dolphin: I’m a Norwegian, it’s a fish).
From the boat trip:
2. A bus tour around the western part of The Dingle Peninsula. At Appr. € 20.
In County Limerick: Limerick City
The town is not as bad as many people believe, at least not for tourists. Things you should do, while in Limerick; they are all very much tourist stuff: 1. Visit King John’s Castle.
2. Do The Frank McCourt Guided Walking Tour. I found it both educational and funny, and I haven’t even read this award winning book! (Google: Frank McCourt \ Angela’s Ashes).
3. Visit Dolan’s, on Dock Road, for a good pint and a great music session.
4. Don’t miss out on a visit to The Haven!
25/26 Davis Street. They got a great pint.
5. Attend a medival banquet at The Bunratty Castle, in County Clare. You can do this as a halfday trip from Limerick, or from Ennis, (County Clare). A «must do». There’s nothing going on there, except the castle and the folk park. It’s just a bus stop on the way to\from Shannon Airport. Take the afternoon session, and make sure to book online well ahead. The music, the singing and the dancing was very good. The food was excellent. Could perhaps have had a better wine, but then again, you get as much of it as you want…
All in all, a very, very nice afternoon. (No, it’s not just the wine talking!).
In County Clare: 01 Ennis
Stay at The Abbey Tourist Hostel
Visit The Abbey, the pubs, do some shopping. Do The Ennis Walking Tour, it’s a nice town. If you’ve been out hiking in The Sweet County Clare, Ennis is the place to relaxe.
County Clare: 02 Doolin
The last statement on Ennis, also very much applies to Doolin. I don’t quite know why, but I’m slightly obsessed with Doolin. Been there 15 times, number 16 pending. (Stayed 13 times @ Doolin Hostel?). I guess, it’s the «peace and quiet». You can go hiking somewhere, and be totally alone. Want some company again, find a pub. In the evenings they are packed.
Fisher Street, Doolin. http://www.doolinireland.net/
When in Doolin, stay at Doolin Hostel. http://www.doolinhostel.com/
These days Paddy is retired, (it’s simply called Doolin Hostel), and it’s his son Anthony you’ll find behind the counter. It’s a nice Hostel, the staff is friendly,
and you can n o t beat the location. (Book ahead).
Doolin Hostel has gone through a major renovation. The opening of the Cafe was a very good idea! The food and the cold stuff is served with a smile!
– And, for the returning guests: David’s back!
(Photo by Pope Gregory IX, 2014).
If you like hiking, there’s a new coastal hiking route, Doolin-Hag’s Head-Liscannor.
The locals will know that you are a veteran, when you walk down from Doolin Hostel in t-shirt, shorts and sandals, in the month of March, in the rain. It gets v e r y warm inside
Gus O’Connor’s at night. A good tip on what to do, if you got 4-5 days:
Make a round trip. One day and night in the city of Galway, cathc the ferry out to the Aran Island of Inismor, stay a couple of nights in Kilronan, exploring the island.
Kilronan, from the pier. http://aranislands.galway-ireland.ie/kilronan.htm
Then catch the ferry in to Doolin. http://www.doolinferries.com/
The Cliffs of Moher are a few km south of Doolin, visit them on land,
or catch a ferry from the pier, for the C. of M. Cruise.
The Cliffs of Moher. http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/
More on hiking: You can hike The Burren, from Ballyvaughan to Doolin. (Catch the northbound Galway bus to Ballyvaughan at 8 in the morning). http://www.burrennationalpark.ie/
Or you hike down south to Doolin along the R477, from Black Head. Very nice scenery.
Last, but not least, I strongly recommend that you make time for the 1 hour 15 minutes trip to The Doolin Cave. http://www.doolincave.ie/ It’s simply stunning.
It’s very easy to get out of Doolin. Bus Eireann has buses leaving from Paddy’s for Galway several times a day, and at least in the summer, (about 0800 in the morning), there are buses every day for Ennis, Limerick and Dublin. (Dublin is about 6 hours).
(More info on Doolin: See page 5 The Pubs).
County Clare 03: Kilrush
County Galway: 01 Galway City
Sticking to the narrow medival streets, and the shopping area, it’s a nice town. I enjoy spending time there, but still, it hasn’t really «grown on me». As a city, it’s got everything. That said, one event you really should get to see at least once, is The Galway Races \ The Summer Festival. The Town really fills up with people, and there’s something going on for everyone. Book your bed in Galway, and buy your ticket for The Races well ahead. I went on Ladies Day, and man, do they dress up! I had the perfect system for betting on the horses. Number 3 to win, in the first 3 races. In race number 1, my horse finished second. In race number 2, it finished last. In race number 3, it hit the woods…! I enjoyed a nice pint while watching, and it was a great day!
County Galway: 02 Connemara
There are many nice «hide away» spots in Connemara. I recommend Clifden and Roundstone. It’s a great area to do some hiking, otherwise a car is a good thing. (Not all that many buses). After a long day outdoors, relaxe in one of the great pubs, chatting with the locals. You’ll have a great time.
County Galway: 03 Kinvara
A very nice little spot! Stay at:
Kinvara Town, from Dunguaire Castle:
The Connemara Bog
County Donegal: 01 Donegal Town
It’s a nice, small town, (appr. 2300 people), with a triangeled square in the middle. A perfect place for starting to exploring the rugged Donegal coast. Try a boat trip in The Donegal Bay. Book a bed at the very nice Donegal Town Independent Hostel.
Give our regards, (from Paddy & Pope Gregory IX), to The Lady of The House.
http://www.donegaltown.ie/ and http://www.irelandexpert.com/the_northwest_sightseeing_tours.htm
Catch a music session at The Reel Inn, Bridge Street.
County Donegal: 02 Glencolumbcille
If you ever go there, and you should, stay at The Dooey Hostel. (Book well ahead).
(They don’t accept online bookings, give them a ring!) The Hostel is indeed unique. A bit old, and oldfashioned. The couple running it, are real characters. Especially The Lady of The House; I prefer the term «colourful». If you don’t have a sense of humour, don’t go. It’s way up in the hillside, and Glencolumcille is a small outpost, by The Atlantic. But still, there is something going on. They got very popular coarses in Irish language and culture, there’s the museum The Folk Village, and everywhere in Donegal: The Donegal Fiddler’s Festival. http://www.donegalfiddlemusic.ie/musicallandscape.htm
The following pictures are taken from outside Dooey Hostel:
It’s a great area for hiking, solitude and recreation, as well as being «cultural». And, when ready, hit a pub. Being Irish, this little place has three of them. Very good live music.
Biddy’s, Glencolumbcille, County Donegal.
County Donegal: 03 Tory Island
Tory Island is rugged, and remote. 11 km north of the Donegal coast. It takes a special kind of people to live there. I think it’s a wonderful place. http://www.oileanthorai.com/
If you like remote places, the sea, cliffs, and «Islanders», do not hesitate. Only, you must have some time to spare. When part of The England Krokket Team went there, we had an adventure: We rode a local bus from Letterkenny to the pier, and on arrival, the last ferry to Tory was gone. Returning two days later, by the first ferry from Tory, the last bus was gone… We had two very nice nights on the beach, and two on Tory Island.
(Of Course, we came prepared). First night on the beach:
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I love a good Guinness. (An understatement). But, if you’re not just all about the beer,
if you want to see a piece of real history and culture, and had to pick o n e place:
– Go see Skellig Michael.
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Yes! – Here endeth the lesson! Any wrong information on this page? Anything missing? Any place crazy, or beautiful enough, that h a v e t o be on this page? Please let me know!