Ireland never dissapoints. Not even in the middle of winter.
Trenton and I took two weeks to drive around Northern & Southern Ireland! It was the trip of a lifetime.
We almost died on MULTIPLE occasions. Ha. We booked this trip three days beforehand, so we were not very prepared in terms of hiking boots…proper clothing…researched itinerary…lol But we survived! Barely!
I love Ireland sooo much, and if you’ve ever met me in person, you’ve probably heard me rant about how amazing Ireland is. hehe.
We got to meet up with Derek and Marie! I first met Derek on a volunteer trip back in 2012, and I met up with him again on a stopover in Howth. We went to his church and everyone was so friendly and nice! Derek is an excellent painter, and the painting he gave me in 2012 was hung up in my home. He gave me three more beautiful paintings to add to my collection. 🙂
The Giant’s Causeway was literally incredible! Photos don’t do it justice. (Pictures 3 &4)
We visited so many castles, including Bunratty Castle and Blarney Castle. There are ruined castles all over the coastline–but it made me sad that so many of them are in disrepair. You can’t remake history! I hope some of them will be restored.
We went to Newgrange to see the ancient burial grounds. I’ve been there before but I had to take Trenton! We also went to the Wicklow mountains, which was arguably my absolute favorite part of our trip. The hiking was unreal. It was legit hiking, not just trotting along a path. The views were worth every bit of the three-hour uphill climb!! And we saw HUNDREDS of wild red dear–they were so free and happy!
My favorite cities were Killarney, Moher, Dingle, and Cork. We stayed two nights in each of those towns, and each had their own charm. Moher was great because it was so windy and rainy I felt like I was in a movie! We hiked Burren National Park which felt like another land. In Dingle, we stayed at Greenmount House, and it was so nice and had a great breakfast. We drove around the Dingle Peninsula, hiked to a tower, and found lots of snow in the mountains! In Cork, we stayed at The Montenotte Hotel for a hosted stay, and they had the best dinner! Cork in general had great nightlife. We also popped over to Kinsale for the afternoon and it’s the most adorable lil seaside town.
Also, on our way out of Dingle as we headed toward the Ring of Carrey, we spent a day driving around the Beara Peninsula (by accident) and it was the creepiest drive of my life. All of the towns were so dead, and we accidentally drove around the peninsula 2 or 3 times because we got stuck on a circular road that just kept going around and around and the GPS never had us turn off the road! Finally, I noticed we kept passing the same places and omg I felt like I was on an episode of the twilight zone! Then we stopped for a snack in a town called Eyerie and the entire town was abandoned! It was so strange. Anyway, if you like creepy, underrated places I recommend going there. I couldn’t stop laughing! Here’s a picture of Eyerie. The buildings were empty but they were colorful!
Honestly, when you go to Ireland, I suggest having a rough itinerary and just go where the wind takes you. Don’t book any hotels in advance (except for the night you land) and just explore. If you like a town, stay a little longer, if not, keep going. I would suggest at least 2 weeks, maybe more. Both times I went to Ireland I stayed about 15 days. It’s an entire country and you don’t want to miss a thing! I can’t wait to go back one day, because there’s still so much I didn’t see. Not to mention, I think everyone needs a dose of Ireland in their life. The Irish are so happy and friendly–it’s contagious!
PS here is a picture of me in the same spot, 8 years apart! Left is 2012, right is 2020. One is considerably less green… Have you ever been to Ireland? If so, tell me your favorite part of Ireland below!