So I finally had the time to write my trip report on Ireland. We went to Ireland in October and it was amazing. I went with my husband Isaiah, and my brother Alex. It was our first time leaving the country, and Ireland was the perfect place for that. The scenery, the people, and just the calmess was a perfect combo for a vacation. Our first day we explored Dublin. We had some issues with figuring out the bus system, so we ended up walking almost the whole city. It did not rain one drop that day. Our first stop was Kilmainham Jail. It was a very interesting tour that gave a lot of history on Ireland.
Our next stop was the Guinness storehouse. It was a huge Guinness museum. The 7 stories had barrels of hops, old Guinness bottles and ads, and a Pour the perfect pint floor. You get to pour your own Guinness, and when done you get a certificate. The Guiness tasted the same to me as it does in the states, but the atmosphere cant be beat. We were in Ireland drinking Guinness. Can it get any better?
Our second day we left the city, rented a car, and headed to the countryside. Our first stop was Glendologh. It is a historic site and monastary. It also is where Upper lake is located and scenes from Brave heart.
Next stop was Kilkenny castle. It is one of the largest castles in Ireland. Inside was all period style furnishings. We couldn’t take pictures inside, but it was very pretty. The outside was massive and the landscaping was just perfect.
Kilkenny was a midsize city. It looked like a lot of people from Dublin go on weekends there since its only 2 hours away. We walked the city and took in all the cute shops and pubs. We tried 2 pubs that night and I had my first Bulmers. It is an alcoholic apple cider and was really refreshing.
The next day we headed further into the countryside. The first stop was Rock of Cashel. It is historic ruins. It was very foggy that morning which made the atmosphere perfect for the tour, but after the tour the fog lifted and we were given views of rolling green countryside.
Next stop was a little town called Cahir. Cahir was only 3 streets long, but had a huge castle, and the prettiest painted village. The castle was in ruins so you could climb to the top to see the town. We had a great lunch, and headed to our next stop Killarney.
Once in Killarney we checked into the B&B we were staying in for the next 4 nights. We walked into town to get some authentic Irish dinner. We went to Murphey’s where of course I ordered a Murphey’s. It was soo good. Much better than Guinness in my opinion. Then we ate shepherds pie and mussels. We headed to another pub called Danny Mann to hear some traditional Irish music. I had my first Kilkenny Ale, and it was my favorite beer of the whole trip. Isaiah agreed as well, that it was the first of many.
Our fourth day we went to the Killarney national park. We set out to do the Gap of Dunloe hike. It is a few miles roundtrip but definitely worth it. There were wild horses and rams everywhere you looked. After a mile or 2 you get the most rewarding view-The Gap. It was formed by glaciers that carved the mountains. We were the only ones on the hike and had a few moments to take it all in. After our hike we rewarded ourselves with fresh Irish coffee sitting by a peat fire. Yes it was 10 am and we were drinking whiskey in our coffee, but it wasnt as bad as the jarvey (horse carriage) drivers that had 2 Guiness at the bar at that time. That hike I will always remember.
Our next stop in the park was Ross Castle. Out of all the castle tours this was my favorite. It wasnt a boring history lesson. It was a tour that showed how the people lived in those times, and the purpose for each room and layout. No pictures inside allowed, but it did have some furniture from that time period.
Our last stop was Torc Waterfall. It started to rain at this point in our trip, but we still were able to get nice pictures of the falls.
We ended the night with a whiskey tasting and a great Irish band at Courtney’s. It seemed that pub catered to locals, and that is just what we wanted. The music was great, and the whiskey was smooth. I normally only drink whiskey with coke, never straight. But when in Ireland… We tried about 12 different kinds between the 3 of us. Most of them 10 years and older. Our favorite was a 12 year Redbreast. We are so happy we found it in the states last month. It was the perfect way to end a great day with family.
Our fifth day was the Rink of Kerry. The ROK is a drive that stops at little towns with great scenery. It is an all day trip since it is about 100 miles, and too many cute towns to stop at. We chose about 3-4 stops and that was perfect.
Our first stop was Ballycarby Castle. This castle is an off the beaten path secret. No tour books talk about it. It takes hours and months of research to plan my vacations. This one paid off. It is hard to find and we were the only ones there. It is in complete ruins with no guide, tour, or even fee. It’s just in an abandoned field. Because of this, you are able to climb(crawl) your way to the top, go in hidden rooms, and enjoy the view from the top. But be careful. We encountered our first and only injury of the trip. Isaiah hit his head on a rock trying to climb up, and of course started bleeding. Nothing major, just be careful if you go.
The next stop was Portamagee and Valencia Island. This town is so small we passed it the first time. It is only a few buildings and doesn’t even have an atm. It is a fishing village where we had fish and chips, and soaked in the fresh salty air. We headed to Valencia island which is very desolate. There were amazing cliffs and views of Skellig Island. Skellig island is home to ancient monk ruins and the famous puffin birds. Because of the seas in October there were no tours, so I didn’t get to see any Puffin.We stopped at a few other towns and headed back to Killarney. It was a long day so we had a great dinner and relaxed.
The next day we did the Beara peninsula. It is another off the beaten path drive. We went to a few stops, and were the only people there. We stopped at Gleninchaquin to see the massive waterfall and ancient Uragh Stone Cir. The water fall was great. It was raining pretty hard so we didn’t get to see as much as we wanted to. So we headed to see the stone circle. The rain held off for a little bit, so we explored the stone circle and views of the waterfall. It is amazing how these were placed thousand of years ago. This one is dated to before Christ.
We stopped at a cute town for lunch called Castletown Bere. The people were really friendly and you can tell we were the only tourist there. We then went to the Avoca store to get some Irish Chocolate and souvenirs. We stopped in Kenmare for a little bit and snacked on the most amazing carrot cake with fresh cream. It was the perfect way to spend a drizzly afternoon people watching. We then headed back to Killarney to eat dinner and spend our last night in this amazing town.
Our last full day in Ireland was busy. We headed to see the Cliffs of Moher. This is the one place Isaiah was looking forward to the most, so it had to be perfect. Well on the way it was foggy and drizzly. I was getting worried. But as soon as we finished climbing the stairs, the fog lifted again and we were able to see the 700 ft tall cliffs. Pictures can’t show how amazing and massive these cliffs are. It was windy but quiet as everyone took in the views. We stayed for about 2 hours and had a nice lunch at the cliffs.
After lunch we headed to see the Burren and an ancient stone hedge that was from the B.C era. It was amazing how old this was and still intact. After that we headed to Limerick, our last town before we headed home.
Ireland was everything I thought it would be and more. I am so glad we went as a family and made such great memories. The people were so friendly and always helped even if you didn’t ask. I tried Irish vegetable soup everyday and loved it every time. The tea was amazing as well as the great Irish breakfasts. If you ever are thinking about going to Ireland don’t hesitate to go. I am so glad we went and cant wait to go again and see the northern part.
- Kilmainham Jail
- Guinness Storehouse
- Grafton St
- Dinner at Leo Burdock
- Glendalough and Kilkenny
- Glendalough Visitor Center
- Upper Lake
- Kilkenny Castle
- Dinner and Drinks – Kytler’s Inn
- Hotel- Rosquil House
- Route to Killarney
- Rock of Cashel
- Cahir Castle
- Lunch The Lazy Bean Cafe
- Downtown Killarney
- Dinner at Murphey’s Pub
- Drinks at Dannny Mann
- Hotel- Woodlawn House 4 nights
- Killarney National Park
- Gap of Dunloe
- Torc Waterfall
- Muckross House
- Ross Castle
- Drinks at Courtney Bar for whiskey tasting
- Stop at Kerry Woollen Mills
- Ballycarby Castle
- Valencia Island
- Fogher Clffs
- Lunch at Bridge Bar
- Skellig Ring
- Ladies View
- Ring of Beara
- Water fall and Uragh Stone Cir
- Healy Pass
- Castletown Bere
- Ballycrovane Ogham Stone
- Downtown Kenmare
- Cliffs of Moher
- 1 Pery Hotel
- Dinner at Cornstore
- Drinks at Dolan’s