A trip to a jail may not seem to be the most exciting thing to do but the Cork County Gaol transports you back to what being in Jail in the 19th century was like. The rooms and cells are filled with mannequins from different periods in history depicting everything from the Potato Famine through to the early 20th century. Also located in the Gaol is the original broadcasting equipment from the RTE Museum.
Donegal - enjoy a guided tour of the 15th Century Donegal Castle
Donegal Castle is an excellent example of a 15th century castle that was almost completely restored during the 1990’s using original techniques from the 15th and 17th centuries. A walk around the castle takes about an hour and you can see good examples of Persian rugs and French tapestries as well as panels depicting the history of the region. The castle is open daily in the summer from 10.00 - 18.00 and Thursday to Monday 09.30 – 16.30 from Mid September to Easter.
Dublin - go on a Dublin tasting walking trail
Take a walk around Dublin and meet some of the most important people in the city, those that supply the food and drink for the thousands of visitors to the city. The Dublin Tasting Trail takes in all aspects of food suppliers as well as pointing out great places to eat and drink. Taste some of the great international cuisine that has become the focal point on Dublin dining. The trail runs thought the year but not every day so check their website for details.
Dublin - have a drink at the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Store in Dublin offers you the opportunity to learn more about one of the world’s most famous beers that has now been brewed for over 250 years. Learn about how Guinness has developed and just what goes into making a perfect pint. The whole experience is finished with a pint of the dark stuff in the Gravity Bar at the top of the building with its great views over Dublin.
Dublin - visit the bustling nightlife, restaurants and shops on Temple Bar
Temple Bar became the de facto home of arts and crafts in Dublin the in the 18th century and continues to this day to be the place to find exciting new artistes. There are also a number of great restaurants and bars where you can easily party the night away if you wish. Look out for the buskers on the streets and be sure to sample some of the traditionally cooked Irish Fare in between trips to the Irish Film Institute and the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre.
Galway - take a drive to the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher were nominated as one of the 7 Wonders of the World of Nature and are made up of 8km of stunning cliffs plunging into the Atlantic Ocean. Take a walk along the cliffs and be marveled not only by the views but also by the thousands of birds including puffins, shags, gulls and hawks. There is also a very interesting information centre called the Atlantic Edge Exhibition that details the history of the area.
Galway - visit the impressive Galway Cathedral
Galway Cathedral is the youngest cathedral in Europe having been completed as recently as 1965 and is the last church to be built of stone in Ireland. The cathedral has a large central dome over 145ft high as well as a long transect with numerous stone arches. There are also many stone glass windows and paintings in the building to see. The church is open every day between 08.30 and 18.30 and entrance is free as this is a place of worship.
Killarney - family fun at Coolwood Wildlife Park
Take a trip to the Coolwood Wildlife Park and walk through the wooded areas taking in the local wildlife and enjoy a picnic before heading off to the main wildlife park to enjoy more exoctic small animals from around the world. There is even an opportunity to handle some of the smaller animals. Opening times are 11.00 – 16.00 Monday to Friday and 11.00 – 18.00 Saturday and Sunday.
Limerick - taste the produce at the Saturday food milk market
If you love fresh produce whether it be for cooking or snacking a visit to the Saturday Food Market at Limerick is an absolute must. Walk around the stalls and take in the sights and aromas of all that Limerick has to offer from fresh foods to traditional recipes such as chutneys and cheeses. There has been a market here for over 150 years and some of the stall holders families have been here for many of them. The market opens at 8am and closes at 16.00 hours
Waterford - take a factory tour of the house of Waterford Crystal
The name Waterford is synonymous with high quality crystal and they have been making it here since 1783 although the new visitor centre was opened in 2010. Take a tour around the visitor center and see craftsman at work using techniques that have been employed for over 200 years. The factory tour is open Monday to Friday from 09.30 to 15.15 and when you have completed this look into the shop for a little piece of history.
Introduction of Ireland
From the vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere of its capital, Dublin, to the beautiful Atlantic coastline in the southeast, Ireland has something to offer everyone. It is one of the most welcoming countries in Europe, where locals greet visitors like long-lost friends, and it can seem that everyone knows each other. Irish life centres on the local pub, where the finest Guinness in the world is served close to its source. Most visitors begin a trip here in Dublin, but the country's true delights lie elsewhere. In the West, the Irish cultural heart beats in the city of Galway, where there is easy access to the stunningly beautiful Aran Islands. Further south, the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher dominate the landscape in Shannon. In the Southwest, Cork is a popular city-break destination, while nearby Killarney is the most-visited town in Ireland. The town itself is pleasant enough, but it is its status as the starting point on the scenic Ring of Kerry that appeals to most visitors. Luxury Ireland hotels are available in large towns and cities, but guests should make sure they experience the hospitality of a typical Irish guest house, complete with enormous local breakfast.
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