I set out from Dublin for a 4-day whistle-stop road trip around central Ireland with my cousin.
Here’s a quick peek at what we saw from Dublin to Cork to Limerick and Galway and a few very cute coastal places in between.
And we’re off! Always check the rear view for a different angle on the quaint countryside.
First stop for a scone with jam and cream on the terrace of Powerscourt Estate. Sadly we didn’t have time to tour the gardens or visit the pet cemetery though. Pic Powerscourt Estate
My main plan for Day 1 was to visit the Waterford Crystal Factory in Waterford. We took a guided tour (about an hour) of the fascinating process from heating the first ball of crystal, blowing it to make a shape, then cutters with EIGHT YEARS of training set to work making it into a fancy creation
And no, there isn’t a seconds store. 25% of the day’s blown glass gets recycled because of impurities. Any “seconds” will be fake!
We spend our first night in Cork, but arrived in thick fog and very late. Sadly I have no pics to show you, but this is a great base for Blarney Castle…
Blarney Castle was built nearly 600 years ago by Cormac McCarthy, the king of Munster
Climb 80 steep and narrow steps to the top floor (Winston Churchill managed so I thought I should be able to) and kiss the famous stone of eloquence
This bloke whips the tourists through the routine of where to sit and what to hold onto as he holds your shoulders and another guy takes your pic. Unfortunately the professional one was heinous so I’m glad my cousin Kate got this one! And now, it is said, I will have the gift of eloquent speech…
We then headed for the Dingle Peninsula, which everyone had raved about.
Sadly for Dingle (and for us) it was throwing it down. Sideways, rolling rain. So much so that we couldn’t see a thing. We settled for a locally caught Dingle crab sandwich for lunch and a cheeky glass of beer. Next time Dingle!
We spent Night 2 in Limerick.
With only one night in Limerick, the best tip we got was to walk across the bridge to the Locke Bar where traditional Irish music was playing and the fish n chips with mushy peas was spot on!
On our way to Galway we detoured (about an hour) to the famous Cliffs of Moher…
Then a little drive around the peninsula to Galway took us past these paddocks of cuteness… And finally into Galway where we stayed at the very chic g Hotel and walked into the main shopping, eating and drinking area.
Just one of the lounge spaces at the uber chic G
Love this city! Probably my favourite in Ireland (of the few that I’ve seen). Great pubs and music, good food and shopping. Galway all the Way!
The view over Galway Bay
And finally we headed back to Dublin…
Pic taken by Kate Tweedie while I drove. Safety first.
And our last night was spent at Clontarf Castle – a fair dinkum castle built in the 12th century and now a really fabulous hotel with huge spaces for weddings
It was a fast-paced itinerary and I would suggest you do it a little slower, spending at least 2 nights in each city. Ireland is small enough that you can use any of them as a base and do day trips to the many cute villages all over this lush green country with a huge heart and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!