Most beautiful places to visit in Ireland

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland

Traditional and oh so scenic, Ireland is also known as Emerald Isle due to the lush green fields that cover the countryside. Here you are guaranteed of stunning surroundings, a warm welcome and a perfect pint of the black stuff. Dublin is a very popular city to visit, but to make the most of the unique and gorgeous landscapes Ireland has to offer you’ll have to explore a little further afield. Originally from England, I’ve lived here now for many years now and fallen completely head over heels for the place. Aside from its lively capital, here are my favourite 20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland (in no particular order)…

Kerry, Munster – one of the most beautiful and scenic counties in Ireland

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Arguably the ultimate Irish destination, this unspoiled region is one of the most naturally beautiful and striking places in the world. You will find County Kerry located within the province of Munster in the peninsular southwest region of Ireland, and it’s known for its pockets of traditional Gaelic speakers and also its magnificent terrain.

Journeying past rugged coastline and towering mountains, the Ring of Kerry is a popular scenic driving route skirting the edges of the Iveragh Peninsula filled with folklore and dramatic scenery and is best explored independently by car. At 110 miles, it’s a long journey but it provides an excellent opportunity to take in the beautiful views from the coastal road. It’s also a great area for outdoor activities especially cycling, golf, walking and water sports.

The main town in this area is Tralee, but the most significant is Killarney. The Lakes of Killarney are an area of outstanding natural beauty and can be found in the mountainous Killarney National Park.

My must-do highlights of Kerry…

  • Hire a car and tour the incredible Ring of Kerry – one of the most beautiful natural areas in Europe. The ‘ring’ will you around the Iveragh Peninsula, past beautiful Atlantic views, cute traditional towns and lovely beaches.
  • Eat at Croí Restaurant – a fabulous cosy restaurant in Kerry that prides itself on using local ingredients sourced from local suppliers. 
  • Visit O’Conners for live Irish music and to experience a great traditional Irish pub.
  • Go on a 3-Hour Eco Cruise and Star Wars Tour around the Skellig Islands where you’ll see ancient history, where an episode of Star Wars was filmed and also the chance to see whales, dolphins, basking sharks and over 22,000 Gannets.
  • Drive down Dingle Way to see stunning coastal views and their cute – and friendly – resident dolphin.
  • Visit Ross Castle a 15th-century lakeside castle.
  • Visit Banna Strand for a beautiful beach backed by lovely sand dunes.
  • Do the Slea Head Drive, one of the most scenic drives in Europe. It’s a circular route, forming part of the Wild Atlantic Way, beginning and ending in Dingle.

Where to find Kerry…

A video of the beautiful Ring of Kerry by 4k drone…

My cool and unusual hotel pick for Kerry Ireland – The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Cork, Munster – a small city that packs a big punch in arts, food and enjoying the craic!

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Cork is the southernmost and largest county and like its rival, Kerry is also in Munster. The area is known as “The Rebel County” after the role Cork played in the Irish War of Independence. Cork itself is Ireland’s second-largest city but has the feel of a small friendly town.

It’s one of the best places in Ireland to enjoy the craic (traditional Irish fun) and also packs a big punch when it comes to art, history, and culture and makes a fantastic place to spend a few days. It’s also becoming known as a gastronomic haven so don’t forget to try a few restaurants out while you’re here.

Ilnacullin (Garinish Island) is also a very popular tourist attraction that is known for its natural beauty and scenery. Here you will find wonderful tropical plants, beautiful Italian gardens, and the distinctive Martello Tower.

My must-do highlights in Cork…

  • Kiss the world-famous Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle.
  • Eat at Greene’s restaurant – an upscale global cuisine served in a stylish, converted 18th-century warehouse with high ceilings.
  • Step back in time at Cork City Gaol Museum.
  • Wander St Patrick’s Street – the city’s main shopping street which has twice won the award as Ireland’s best shopping street.
  • Go for a pint of Guinness at the Mutton Lane Inn – a great cosy and traditional pub and one of the oldest in Cork.
  • Catch live music Counihans Bar every Sunday night at 9:30pm. Here, the band Arundó, an original four-piece group based in North Cork, play an exciting mixture of traditional and contemporary Irish music.

Where to find Cork…

The Top 10 things to do in Cork by Discover Ireland…

My cool and unusual hotel pick in Cork – Oriel House Hotel

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

The Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim – a famous Game of Thrones location which has become of Ireland’s most popular attractions

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Trees are not always an attraction, but in Ireland, one set of trees is not only a top tourist attraction but was featured in Game of Thrones. The Dark Hedges is an area in North Ireland that has been made famous for the scene in Game of Thrones where Arya dressed as a boy in order to escape King’s Landing ultimately saving her life and leading to her Night King slaying destiny.

This striking and enchanting row of beech trees has become among Ireland’s best photo opportunities!

Where to find the Dark Hedges…

The Dark Hedges in one of the top 5 Game of Thrones locations in Ireland…

My cool and unusual hotel pick for staying near the Dark Hedges – The Bushmills Inn Hotel

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Galway – a scenic city with old-fashioned pubs, canals and excellent and restaurants

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Galway is a medieval town on the west coast of Ireland which sits on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay. It’s easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland and has enjoyed quite a bit of fame recently thanks to that Ed Sheeran song!

Once voted one of the world’s sexiest cities, Galway is known for its ancient architecture and also for its vibrant art and cultural scene and certainly packs a punch! Make sure you spend at least a couple of days here soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the craic. One of the best ways to explore the area is by boat.

Try the ‘Corrib Princess’ which departs from Woodquay for a relaxing 90-minute cruise with an added commentary. Just outside the city of Galway is the Connemara National Park where you’ll find scenic mountains, vast expanses of bogs, heaths, woodlands and Connemara ponies.

My must-do highlights in Galway…

  • Explore Quay Street – a great street with a lively atmosphere, street performers and excellent pubs and shops.
  • Sample the best of the Galway organic food scene at Cafe Kai
  • Discover Galway’s Latin Quarter one of the most beautiful parts of Galway City. Home to cobbled stone streets, great restaurants, fab boutiques and very rich in culture.
  • Catch live Irish music at the cosy traditional Tig Coili pub.
  • Go on the fantastic Micil Distillery Experience.
  • Start the day with genuine Irish hospitality and a late breakfast at the Cupán Tae tea rooms on Quay Lane.
  • See the historic Medieval City Walls.

Where to find Galway…

A video showing exactly why Galway enchants so many of its visitors…

My cool and unusual hotel pick for Galway – The g Hotel

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Giants Causeway, County Antrim – Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO Heritage Site, a geological wonder and home to myth and legend

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

If you visit County Antrim in Northern Ireland you cannot miss Giants Causeway – 40,000 natural basalt columns formed by an ancient volcanic eruption. The site was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and also a National Nature Reserve. An area surrounded by mythical tales, the most enduring is the legend of Finn McCool. The Irish giant Finn is said to have created the Causeway after an argument with the Scottish giant Fingal. Other attractions in the area include a steam train that takes a journey to the Old Bushmills Distillery where you can sample some traditional Irish whiskey.

Where to find the Giant’s Causeway…

Beautiful Giant’s Causway captured on film…

Our cool and unusual hotel pick for near Giant’s Causeway – Bushmills Inn Hotel and Restaurant

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Kilkenny, Leinster – a charming medieval town with well-preserved churches and monasteries

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Kilkenny is a popular tourist city and its numerous pubs have hosted many Stag and Hen events over the years. If you are fond of a pint or two, try taking a tour of Smithwick’s brewery – it’s an interesting visit in a town famous for its beer production. In the centre of Kilkenny, you’ll find the large stone castle which has been a focal point of the City for over 800 years.

The city is also regarded for its vibrant cultural scene and the annual summer Arts Festival consisting of theatre, dance, literature, music, and visual arts shouldn’t be missed.

My must-do highlights in Kilkenny…

  • Visit the historic Kilkenny castle built in 1195.
  • Explore the Medieval Mile a trail that links Kilkenny Castle to St. Canice’s Cathedral. The journey is filled with shops, pubs, restaurants, picturesque alleyways and a whole lot of history!
  • Eat at the several times winner of National ‘Pub of the Year’ Langton’s The 67 bar is a buzzing environment where you can enjoy authentic traditional Irish food in relaxed and stylish surroundings!
  • Head to Kyteller’s Inn for traditional music and cosy pub surroundings. 
  • Kilkenny is a scenic city best explored on foot take the Canal Walk, one of the prettiest walks you can take. 

Where to find Kilkenny…

An Expedia travel guide to Kilkenny…

Our cool and unusual hotel pick for Kilkenny – Lyrath Estate

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Ballintoy Harbour, County Antrim (aka the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones) and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Later episodes of Game of Thrones show a lot of the Iron Islands which is an interesting looking place, albeit, a little dark. Fans of the show track to Ballintoy Harbour to see the famed filming location, but this is not the only attraction Ballintoy Harbour has to offer. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is an exciting and frightening activity for tourists.

If you happen to visit this area during Easter, you can enjoy one of the dawn services located on the coast. You will likely be in very small company as the village boasts less than 300 residents, but since the filming of Game of Thrones has wrapped, Ballintoy Harbour has certainly seen an influx of new life into the area.

A video of Ballintoy Harbour as a Game of Thrones filming location…

Where to find Ballintoy Harbour…

Dunluce Castle, Ulster – used as the House of Greyjoy in Game of Thrones

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

The Iron Islands may have been filmed in Ballintoy Harbour, but that coast is devoid of an actual castle. The shots of House of Greyjoy located in the Iron Islands on Game of Thrones was Dunluce Castle.

The 17th-century castle depicts the outside of House of Greyjoy for Game of Thrones enthusiasts. History shows that Christians, as well as Vikings, have made their mark on Dunluce Castle as it was originally the site of an earlier Irish Fort. Today, visitors to Dunluce Castle must traverse its connecting bridge to gain access as it is the only thing connecting the small island to the mainland.

Where to find Dunluce Castle…

Dunluce Castle as a Game of Thrones location…

Murlough Bay, County Antrim – another scenic Game of Thrones filming location

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

This area of Ireland can be difficult to get to. The road leading to this small seemingly cut off piece of the country is difficult terrain. However, travelers still manage to make it to this small bay for some of the best views of the Ireland coastline and photo ops at some of the Game of Thrones filming sites. Murlough Bay, located on the Causeway Coast is known for the site where Theon and Yara ride away on horseback the Sir Davos’s post-battle of Blackwater Bay shipwreck.

The above cliffs were used for the parlay between Renly and Stannis during Season 2. If you intend on visiting Murlough Bay, many travelers feel it is easier to trek on foot from Ballycastle, but be careful of the slippery rocks along the well-beaten paths between the two areas.

Where to find Murlough Bay…

Murlough Bay as a Game of Thrones filming location…

Glendalough – a stunning glacial valley in County Wicklow

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Located in a glacial valley beside tranquil lakes, Glendalough is truly beautiful and very photogenic. If you appreciate history or architecture then visit the ancient two round towers of St Kevin’s Church and a ruined cathedral.

Nature lovers can also simply enjoy the walks along the trails and around the lakes. There are various trails on offer – shorter ones for those looking for a gentle stroll or 10-mile hikes across mountains for more serious walkers.

Where to find Glendalough…

A beautiful video of Glendalough shot by drone…

My cool and unusual hotel pick for near Glendalough – BrookLodge & Macreddin Village

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Donegal, Ulster – once named the coolest place on the planet 

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Donegal is an exceptional county filled with friendly communities and breathtaking views. Many visitors mention Donegal as their favourite area in Ireland and people travel from all over Ireland to explore the naturally beautiful surroundings. Dongeal town itself is a very scenic place and was once voted ‘the coolest place on the planet!’.

Another one of the county treasures is Glenveagh National Park which covers 170 square kilometres of beautiful woodland and mountains and is one of Ireland’s finest natural attractions. Here you will find rugged mountainous landscapes, sandy beaches, clear lakes and the wonderful late Victorian folly, Glenveagh Castle.

My must-do highlights in Donegal and County Donegal

  • For the best craic in town head to the old-school pub the Reel Inn, down Guinness and catch live Irish music sessions every night.
  • Discover Donegal’s Craft Village where you can buy showcases pottery, ironwork, handwoven fabrics, glasswork, jewellery and more.
  • Visit the beautiful Slieve League Cliffs.
  • Drive the scenic road at Glengesh Pass.
  • Go for a hike in Glenveagh National Park, the second-largest national park in Ireland.
  • Walk along Marble Hill Strand at sunset.
  • Gaze out at the waves from the Tra Na Rossan viewpoint.
  • Visit Ballymastocker Bay – one of the best beaches in Ireland.
  • Eat at Creevy Pier Hotel at Ballyshannon has to be one of Donegal’s best-kept secrets; it is perched overlooking Creevy Pier down a driveway on the way from Ballyshannon to Rossnowlagh and the views from the restaurant are just stunning!

Where to find Donegal…

Beautiful Donegal captured on film with drone footage…

My cool and unusual hotel pick for Donegal – Lough Eske Castle

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Carnlough Bay, County Antrim – a picturesque harbour which was once a Game of Thrones filming location

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

A visit to North Ireland would not be complete without a visit to Carnlough Bay. This area was once just a small fishing village, but has recently been updated to accommodate larger vessels.

Visitors are encouraged to walk along the picturesque coast of the bay and even this beautiful part of Ireland was featured in the Game of Thrones. Not the bay itself, but Carnlough caves is the shooting location where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow creature.

Where to find Carnlough…

Carnlough as a Game of Thrones filming location…

Ballycastle – the birthplace of Game of Throne actors Conlyth Hill (Lord Varys) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark)

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Quaint seaside villages are found throughout Ireland, but for the most beautiful among the lot, Ballycastle holds great esteem. It is located in the very northeastern tip of the country and roughly 6,000 people currently call this area home. Ballycastle maintains a spectacularly wonderful small-town feel, but it too has been touched by Game of Thrones.

Where no film was shot in the area, actors Conlyth Hill (Lord Varys) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) were both raised in Ballycastle.

Where to find Ballycastle…

A drone flight over Ballycastle…

County Wicklow, South of Dublin – home to some of the most scenic landscapes in Ireland

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

In County Mayo, you will find Wicklow. This area is filled with illustrious coastlines, a sprawling mountain range, and picturesque woodland. Wicklow, although not the smallest town in Ireland, is among the smaller ones as its population has maintained under 15,000 people, so walking around and meeting people is an absolute joy.

The town is located between Dublin and Wexford linked by road as well as a railway network. Wicklow is full of charm and beauty that can only be appreciated in person.

Where to find County Wicklow…

Beautiful Wicklow by 2k drone footage…

My cool and unusual hotel pick for County Wicklow – Powerscourt Hotel

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Cooley Peninsula, County Louth –  one of Ireland’s most beautiful driving routes

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Ireland is certainly full of beautiful countryside areas, but Cooley Peninsula is considered the number one scenic drive in Ireland. However, driving is not the only way to appreciate such a beautiful place. Tourists and locals alike enjoy walking along the almost deserted coastlines of the Cooley Peninsula for the best views of the Mourne Mountains.

The area is home to ancient ruins including Proleek Dolmen, Gallery Grave, and Slieve Foy. Also include a visit to Carlingford, a town on the Cooley Peninsula, which is full of historic buildings. Bring your camera and a good pair, or two, of walking shoes as you will want to see it all along this impressively beautiful coastline.

The beautiful area captured by drone footage…

Where to find Cooley Peninsula…

The Cliffs of Moher and County Clare – striking sea cliffs which are one of the most visited tourist sites in Ireland

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Ireland’s most visited natural attractions seem to capture the heart of all her many visitors. The Cliffs of Moher tower 700 feet over the foamy waves of the Atlantic Ocean and make up some of the most ruggedly beautiful coastlines in Europe. Here surfers brave the chilly waves below, nesting seabirds thrill wildlife watchers and enthusiastic walkers make the most of the unspoiled natural scenery.

Also, take your time to explore the rest of County Clare where the cliffs are located. This is the place where a strong traditional Irish culture flourishes; explore the many pretty villages, Stone Age monuments, ancient churches, 15th-century castle and stop in one of the many charming pubs to get your fix of traditional Irish music.

Where to find the Cliffs of Moher…

A stunning vlog of the Cliffs of Moher in 4k drone footage…

My cool and unusual hotel pick near the Cliffs of Moher – Falls Hotel & Spa

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Tollymore Forest, County Down – used as a Game of Thrones locations and offers beautiful walks and stunning scenic views 20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Tollymore Forest is among the most beautiful parks in Ireland. Historically, it is also where wood for the Titanic and other White Star ships were harvested from. As for our Game of Thrones fans, it is one of the first locations seen in the series. While out in the woods during the first episode, the Stark children and younger Theon come in contact with their Direwolf pups.

When visiting Tollymore Forest, bring a camera for certain, but also some camping gear as camping in the forest is a welcomed activity for weary travelers.

Where to find Tollymore Forest Park…

Beautiful Tollymore Forest Park in 4k and drone footage…

Aran Islands, west coast of Ireland – known for wild landscapes, knitted jumpers, and pretty thatched cottages

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

The Aran Islands are a collection of three islands that are nestled at the mouth of Galway Bay. The beautiful and isolated islands have attracted and inspired many Irish artists and poets over the years (including the leading artists Seán Keating and Liam O’Flaherty).

Aside from the unique weather-battered landscapes other notable attractions include several Iron Age forts and Teampull Bheanáin which is considered to be the smallest church in the world.

Where to find the Aran Islands…

Drone footage of the beautiful Aran Islands…

Sligo, Connacht – a lovely coastal town known for its literary heritage and rugged countryside

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

The scenery surrounding the county town of Sligo is extraordinarily beautiful, especially the coastline. The Knocknarea Mountain dominates the landscape and here you will find a 40 foot high stone cairn which is the mythical burial place of the legendary Queen Maeve of Connaught.

Make sure you include a visit to Carrowmore – the largest stone age cemetery in Ireland and the village of Drumcliff which is the final resting places of the famous poet W.B.Yeats. Sligo is also a great area to try out some surfing – the Irish way!

Where to find Sligo…

A stunning vlog of Sligo with drone footage…

My cool and unusual hotel pick for Sligo – Markree Castle

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

Mountains of Mourne, County Down – a spectacular granite mountain range in Ireland

20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland Global Grasshopper

The Mountains of Mourne are a remarkable sight to be seen in Ireland. It is known as the largest mountain range in the country and also maintains a distinctive granite facade. Located in County Down, the Mountains of Mourne tower at 850 meters above and has been getting a lot of attention in recent years.

The unmatched beauty of the Mountains of Mourne have been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Environment and Heritage Service in 2002 commissioned the site be established as a national park. It has yet to take place but surely deserves the honor.

Where to find the Mourne Mountains…

Gorgeous 4k drone footage of the Mourne Mountains…

Of course, it’s impossible to mention all the beautiful places in Ireland in a Top 10 list. Still want more? Try the Mountains of Mourne a stunning granite mountain range in County Down, Dublin’s outdoor playground Wicklow filled with coastline, woodland and a sprawling mountain range, the wild beauty and haunting landscapes of County Mayo, the scenic unspoiled coastline of the Connemara Peninsula and the Cooley Peninsula and the Skellig Islands – a UNESCO heritage site off County Kerry’s coast which boast’s some of Ireland’s most important religious monuments.

Enjoy the beautiful Emerald Isle!

You may also want to check out our other posts on Ireland…

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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland and the UK but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and has also just started his own blog called Bars and Spas. As well as Rome he also counts Melbourne and Tel Aviv among his favourite places and now permanently resides in Dublin. Follow Scott on Google+ and Twitter

29 Comments

  • Avatar

    Jim

    21 January, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    12 trip to Ireland. something keeps me coming back. I have traveled over a lot of Europe and found something to like at every stop. That is why I enjoy traveling. There are a few places that I just don’t go back to but some of my friends rave about. We all have our likes and dislikes. I don’t know why you would call someone uneducated because of there likes or dislikes. I think it is you who has to be educated. I will be going to Ireland for the thirteenth time in April. my only regret is I did not go when I was in England for 2 1/2 years. JUST ENJOY WHERE YOU VISIT THATS WHAT TRAVEL IS FOR

    Reply
  • Avatar

    bullykiller

    1 January, 2017 at 11:06 am

    As far as music and Vibrancy are concerned, The Irish have it over the Scots all day long. My Scottish friends tell me this. Also, Small Irish towns are painted in more vibrant colours compared to the mostly Scottish grey, which is more in line with the Irish Character. In my friend´s opinion, the atmosphere is more fun, which he puts down to the Calvinist streak in Scotland. However, The Scenery in Scotland is more dramatic for sure.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Michie

    18 March, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    We went to Ireland in June/July 2009. I fell head over heels in love with Ireland. I found the folks very friendly and welcoming. We loved Dingle, Castle with Blarney Stone, The book of Kells, etc. etc. Every time we plan another trip (have been to Germany and this summer it will be Amsterdam, Belgium, France) I keep feeling the pull of Ireland beckoning me. If I could afford to, I would go to Ireland every summer.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Bish

    17 August, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Ireland is ok, but it’s not dramatic. At least not if you’ve seen truly dramatic places. The Kerry way is nothing special. But again, some people love it. I would suggest Scotland instead of Ireland. It has truly wild, beautiful, dramatic scenery, much of it still unspoilt, and it’s one of he EU nations that has “Freedom (or Right) to Roam” – ie, you can freely access the countryside (if you like walking), whereas in Ireland, you can’t (except for the designated walking trails which get busy in the summer). If you like green fields and little else, then Ireland is certainly for you, since that’s predominantly all there is, as well as coastline, which is nice in some places. The ancient monuments are nice but often get very touristy in summer. The Scottish seem to care more about preserving their wild areas than the Irish do. It all depends on what you like though. I’d hope that people can share their opinions without others taking offense at every little thing and resorting to vulgar comments, but alas, there are always uneducated morons out there.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    irelandfavorites

    29 April, 2012 at 5:26 am

    A little more specific, Kerry, yes the ring of Kerry is beautiful, but when you are done go to Dingle. A beautiful harbor town with pubs full of music and countrysides full of scenery. If you go to Cork, checkout Skibbereen, Baltimore, or the beautiful Town of Kinsale. I could go on forever, but you get the point.
    Cheers.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Jay Donnan

    22 May, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I think its crazy you have put Sligo and Kilkenny over Co Down and the Mourne Mountain’s

    1) Down
    2) Kerry
    3) Donegal
    4) Galway
    5) Antrim
    6) Cork
    7) Kilkenny
    8) Wicklow
    9) Mayo
    10)Clare

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Graham

      18 March, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks for all your comments, Ireland is such a great place to visit but so often overlooked as a travel destination (aside from Dublin of course!)

      Reply
    • Avatar

      Bish

      28 March, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I was disappointed with Ireland. I was expecting a much wilder, more naturally beautiful country. Instead, I found that what they call “forests” are mostly nothing more than monoculture conifer plantations – nothing natural, nothing beautiful about that. There are ugly, large, modern houses scattered all over the countryside, so that you get an urban feel where ever you go. There is no “freedom to roam” the countryside as there is in the UK, Sweden, Norway etc. Whats left of any beautiful, natural areas is generally just a small area and gets too busy in summer with tourists. What deciduous trees there are, are small, and, unlike the UK there are practically no large, stately trees. The National Parks are beautiful, yet they are small, and again – very few trees. I get the impression that the Irish government/landowners will do anything to make money – including destroying the very thing that makes Ireland a beautiful country – what’s left of the natural areas. That’s what you get when you let a bunch of greedy, materialistic, ignorant people run the show.

      Reply
      • Avatar

        jennifer

        11 May, 2014 at 5:25 pm

        I’m Irish, not offended by the fact you didn’t like it. I just think your reasons are bizarre- “no freedom to roam” WTF?!?. I live in the west, there are soooo many unspoilt gorgeous coastal and country roads to walk, cycle or drive through. “monoculture conifer plantations”, that’s still cracking me up 🙂

        Reply
        • Avatar

          Bish

          17 August, 2014 at 7:16 pm

          I’ve travelled the world, I know what I’m talking about. You obviously are totally oblivious. Look up “Keep Ireland Open” and you’ll find out what “The Freedom to Roam means. There are nations in the EU that have freedom to roam the countryside – such as Scotland, Sweden, Norway etc. Ireland has NO freedom to roam. It only has designated trails. You can’t just hike across the countryside since most of it is private. It has become worse in recent years, with more rules an regulations. As for the conifer plantations you find so amusing, I suppose you think they are native to Ireland? There are too many of them,and again, do your research and you’ll find the devastating effects this is having on the environment in Ireland, and other nations that are planting what is known as a “mono-culture” plantation. In case you dont know what that means. It means all of same species. In this case conifers. Why am i bothering to even try to educate someone like you? Perhaps because you seem so pathetically oblivious. Sadly, I found that this attitude is typical in Ireland. And what’s worse, you get defensive about things you should instead be doing something to change and improves, instead of resorting to swearing and vulgarity. Educate yourself, and you will then be worth listening to!

          Reply
          • Avatar

            Brian O"Shea

            18 November, 2015 at 8:56 pm

            You seem a bit bitter, i think you need a good cup of tea and a nice sunset, maybe in a nice warm climate maybe Somalia or India, I think there are miles and miles of free roaming countryside.
            Cheers.

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