The beautiful and quaint village of Adare is nestled in a wooden and lush countryside setting, is arguably Ireland's prettiest and most picturesque village. Designated as a Heritage Town, has a rich wealth of heritage, as well as architectural and scenic beauty: its thatched-roof cottages and stone buildings are truly a gem and must not be missed if you want an authentic trip to Ireland! Adare Castle is regarded as a fine example of the medieval fortified castle in Ireland and is one of a number of outstanding castles situated in County Limerick.
Ballycotton is a pleasant and picturesque angling village steeped in a long maritime history. It was off the village that the first passenger steam ship to cross the Atlantic, the Sirius was lost in 1837.
You should pay a visit to one of Ireland's most picturesque village: Blarney. This village, steeped in history and full of magical charm is also known as "the biggest little village in Ireland". Blarney offers the visitor a host of wonderful things to do and places to discover. Blarney Castle is not to be missed; it was built some six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy. It has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland's greatest treasures. There you will see the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of our Tower. Kiss it and you'll never again be lost for words.
Castleisland is a busy town situated on the main Killarney to Limerick road is seen as the gateway to Kerry. The remains of the town castle lie in ruins in a field south of the town. Close to the town, you will find Crag Cave, one of the largest cave systems in the country and were only discovered in 1983. 3.8kms of cave have been explored running right under the town with about 400m open to the visitors.
A National Monument, Charles Fort is a fine example of a star-shaped fort (a layout specifically designed to resist attack by cannon) from the late 17th century. As one of the largest military installations in the country, Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. The most significant of these are the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Civil War 1922-23.
CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory – the Space for Science is fun and exciting place to learn about the Universe. This science centre is housed in Blackrock Castle, a 400-year-old fortification built at the River Lee and has been part of Cork's history ever since. The award-winning exhibition Cosmos at the Castle is an interactive way to learn about astronomy and recent scientific discoveries.
Half an hour away from Cork is Cobh (formerly Queenstown). Cobh was the departure point for 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. This is a lovely waterside town, boasting brightly coloured houses where its streets climb the steep slope of a hill, the top of which is crowned by the massive Cobh Catherdral, St. Coleman's Cathedral with its carillon of 47 bells. The harbour in Cobh is very impressive: it is so large it can take the largest vessels afloat.
Cork City Gaol is a visit not to be missed. Though this former prison can seem a little grim, it gives you a glimpse of how hard and difficult life was for prisoners a century ago. The wax figures and other displays in the museum bring you back into the day-to-day prison life of the 19th century and show you the hardness of the penal system at that time.
Curraghmore House has contained the home of the Marquis of Waterford and his ancestors since 1170. His ancestors came to Ireland from Normandy after a 100-year stopover. Throughout Ireland's turbulent history, this family have never been 'absentee landlords' and they still provide diverse employment for a number of local people. The garden includes an arboretum, some beautiful terraces and a bridge built for King John to cross the River Clodagh in 1205.
Built as an urban tower house by the Earl of Desmond c. 1500, Desmond Castle has served as Customs House, Prison, Ordnance store and a Workhouse. Since 1997, Desmond Castle has housed the International Museum of Wine. This exhibition documents the fascinating story of Ireland's wine links with Europe and the wider world. This is an essential half-hour all-weather activity.
A trip to the Dingle Peninsula is a must, you can have a walk on Inch strand or an evening in the vibrant town of Dingle. This attractive and colourful fishing town is full of lovely craft shops, bars and restaurants. You can take a boat trip and explore to Blasket Islands or simply travel round Slea Head alongside magnificent views of the coastline and get stunning views of Mount Brandon and the Slieve Mish mountains.
Duncannon Fort is a wonderful star-shaped fortress built on an important promontory in Duncannon Harbour. It was built in 1588 to withstand an invasion by the Spanish Armada. Have a stroll around the ramparts and enjoy spectacular views across the estuary to County Waterford and to Hook Head.
Edmund Rice Heritage Centre tells the story of the educationalist and missionary Edmund Rice who devoted his life to the education, servicing the poor and the Irish republican cause. He began his mission among the poor of Waterford and his work was strongly supported by the people of the city.
Another great shopping destination in Cork is the English Market. This large building boasts a wide range of local and worldwide products from fresh fruits and vegetables, gourmet chocolates to tasteful bakery and meats.
Down the coast in the town of Foynes the Flying Boat Museum recalls the period of the 1930's and early 1940's when Foynes was the fulcrum point for air traffic between Europe and America and flying boats were regular visitors with exhibits, illustrations and audio-visuals.
The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass of approximately 10 km long. It is renowned world-wide for being the finest example of glaciated valley in Europe formed some 2 million years ago. The Gap of Dunloe comprises five lakes which shaped the landscape of this magnificent area into a place of outstanding natural beauty.
Hook Peninsula is located at the most southerly point of County Wexford. It is steeped in Norman history. The lighthouse is one of the oldest still operating in the world and with its stunning views; the area is perfect for a romantic picnic. The peninsula is also famous for its wreck diving, and wild lan
Right next to Charles Fort, you can find James Fort, built in 1607. Its strategic position enabled to guard and protect the small harbour of Kinsale. James fort, just like Charles Fort, is another great example of the military architecture of the 17th century offering wonderful panoramic views of the town and its surroundings.
Kilmore Quay is a pretty fishing village that offers original thatched roof cottages, a harbour and a marina as well as arts and crafts markets and festivals. Boat trips can be taken around the uninhabited Saltee Islands, popular with bird watchers.
If you're visiting Kinsale in the summer, you will probably want to go to some of the Blue Flag beaches in the area. The most popular are Garretstown and Garrylucas (White Strand) beaches, just over 8km from Kinsale.
The building in which the Kinsale Museum is housed can be dated back as far as the 1590s. The museum houses a large number of local artifacts relating to Kinsale's maritime, military and secular history from the Battle of Kinsale to the Kinsale Giant.
Lough Gur is one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites and is set in a peaceful and tranquil area near a beautiful lake. Traces of human activity can be traced back to 3000 BC! This ancient place hosts a number of display cases telling the story of the manufacture and use of flint and bronze material and their eventual deposition in the area as well as their recovery. There are replicas of Stone Age pottery as well as other artefacts depicting the lifestyles of the first inhabitants of Lough Gur.
Mizen Head Signal Station is a dramatic place to visit. The path to the signal station goes down the cliffs and the 99 steps to the bridge at the end of the peninsula where you can enjoy spectacular views and out to the point and the former Keepers Quarters with its interpretive displays. Along the way there are several paths up to wonderful views north along the coast to the Sheep's Head and the Beara Peninsulas and south to the Sea Arch. This is a world renowned whale and dolphin watch location and often there are seals under the bridge.
Muckross Abbey was founded by the Franciscans in the 15th century. Although a 'ruin', the building is in a remarkable state of preservation with the walls of the Cloister and its associated buildings in their original complete state.
A visit to the world renowned Muckross House & Gardens is a one-Stop Shop for Killarney's Heritage. This popular attraction is a Victorian mansion built in the mid 19th century. The park around the house is well-worth a visit, you'll be able to admire the beauty of the gardens, the great collection of Azaleas, Rhododendrons, extensive water garden and an outstanding rock garden hewn out of natural limestone.
New Ross is a port city located just half a hour west of Wexford.It is the ancestral home of the Kennedy family former US president John F Kennedy. The Kennedy Homested is an interesting attraction that can be visited here.
Reginald's Tower is home to an exciting exhibition that uses a superb collection of historic and archaeological artefacts to give you a glimpse into the fascinating Waterford's Viking heritage. Reginald's Tower, the oldest urban civic building in Ireland, is a circular defense tower built at the beginning of the 13th century and at various stages in its rich history has been used as a mint, a prison and a military store. To this day, it remains Waterford's most recognisable landmark.
The Ring of Kerry, situated on the Iveragh Peninsula, is probably the most visited attraction in Ireland outside of Dublin. This tourist trail is part of the mystical and unspoilt region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years.
A visit of the region is not complete without going to Ross Island. Contrary to its name, Ross Island is not an island but a peninsula. This place provides a peaceful haven away from the bustle of town. You can stroll through the mystical and ancient woodlands along the lakeshore and see the remains of copper mines visible through bright blue pools.
The city of Cork is dominated by St Anne's Church, also called the 'Four-Faced Liar' because each of the tower's four clocks used to tell a different time. The church was built in 1722 with two different types of stones: red sandstone and the limestone. You can even ring the bells on the 1st floor of the tower and continue the up to the top for 360-degree views of the city overlooking the River Lee.
Designed by the famous neo-Gothic designer, Pugin, the foundation stone of St. Mary's Cathedral was laid in 1842. Building was suspended during the worst period of the Great Famine, when the partially completed building was used as a shelter & hospital for the sick and dying. It was not completed until 1855. Killarney's Cathedral is reputed to have been one of Pugin's favourite buildings.
The historic St Multose Church dates back to 1190. Though the building has undergone changes since medieval times, many of its original features survive and it continues to be used as a house of worship today.
The Bishop's Palace & Gardens tells you the story of Waterford from the 18th century to 1970. There you'll be able to see the oldest piece of Waterford Crystal in the world - a decanter made in the 1780s!
The Cork Butter Museum tells you the story the butter trade in Ireland. Discover the fascinating history of the internationally important Butter Exchange in 19th century Cork, the traditional craft of home butter making and the modern success of the Kerrygold brand.
The Holy Trinity Church was built in 1834 and is located in the heart of the city, next to the south channel of the River Lee. This stunning Georgian-Gothic building features very interesting stone carvings of the exterior.
The House of Waterford Crystal is Waterford number one attraction. Witness the skills of the traditional craftmens during the Factory Tour gives you a unique insight into the centuries old tradition of Waterford Crystal making. You will feel the heat of the furnace and marvel at the skills of the craftsmen!
The Irish National Heritage Park is a fantastic place where you will be taken on a great adventure into 9,000 years of history. Its 16 archaeological and historical reconstructions will give you the opportunity to see how people lived from the coming of man to this island until the arrival of the Normans in the 12th century.
Torc Waterfall an impressive waterfall of 70 to 80 feet high and the Owengarriff river which feeds it rises in "The Devil's Punchbowl" on nearby Mangerton mountain. The top of the waterfall makes an excellent point to capture the breath-taking views of the lakes.
Waterford & The Suir Valley Railway will guarantee you an exciting and fun day out: get on a train and travel along a narrow gauge track through the country side and along the banks of the River Suir. This family friendly railway runs mostly along the picturesque banks of the River Suir offering views of the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens. This is an area rich in history and is only accessible by
If you're visiting Waterford during summer, you'll be please to know that many of the beaches nearby enjoy Blue Flag status with superb water quality and very pretty settings. Try Dunmore East, Ardmore, Bunmahon, Clonea and Counsellor's Strand. With 5 km of sandy beaches, Tramore is a popular family friendly resort with activities from surfing, sailing and kayaking to cliff walking and golf.