Where to go
There are thousands of incredible places to visit in the UK and Ireland
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Clare is a stunning county in western Ireland. The incredible landscape here ranges from rolling countryside to craggy Atlantic coastline.One of the most popular landscapes here is called The Burren; a uniquely rocky wilderness region which houses ancient Stone Age monuments and churches that have been here for centuries. Another huge attraction is the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher. Thhis 213m high Cliff Top is home to O'Brien's Tower which offers incredible ocean panoramas. Elswewhere the town of Shannon, hosts the famous 15th-century Bunratty Castle and its folk park.
Steeped in history, Ireland's third city Cork is becoming one of Europe's hippest cities. We can trace back the history of the city some 1400 years ago when a monastery was founded. The city became an important seaport and gradually climbed up the steep banks on both sides of the River Lee.
The city is pretty unique because it has been built upon water, and the city centre is on an island in the River Lee so that you find yourself constantly crossing bridges. The best way to see Cork and is to walk: there is a very helpful and free signpost Walking Tour. You can get the booklet with lots of information about the different places of Cork from the tourist office and set off to explore the hilly streets and meet the people!
Though Cork used to be in the shadow of its rival Dublin, it's now getting a cultural reputation to rival the capitals. Since 2005 when Cork was nominated European Capital of Culture, the transformation of the city continues apace with plenty of new buildings, bars and arts centres. The best of the city is still happily traditional though – snug pubs with live music sessions most of the week, excellent local produce in an ever-expanding list of restaurants and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals.
County Mayo is a beautiful part of Ireland which is made up of several highly popular Tourist Regions. Achill Island is accessible by road bridge and consists of some of Ireland's most beautiful landscapes, cliffs, beaches and views.
Futher inland are the popular historic towns of Castlebar and Westport. Both towns are steeped in Irish history, natural beauty and plenty to do. A drive around County Mayo will reveal many hidden treasures and beauty spots and is quite simply one of the loveliest areas of this stunning country.
County Donegal in Northern Ireland is characterised by winding country roads which are surrounded by remote village, fields, pastures, mountains, sea cliffs and dramatic peninsulas, streams and carpets of purple wild heather. If you're a person who's travelling to Ireland to get away from it all then this is the destination for you. Donegal Town itself is set in the Valley surrounded by Barnesmore Mountains and Donegal. The town is steeped in history and surrounded by the remains of several earthen forts.
Dublin has become one of Europe's most desirable places to visit for holidays and short weekend breaks and is often referred as the "Europe's friendliest city ". The city of Dublin has had a rich and varied history: it has played host to the early Celts, Christian monastic settlements, the Vikings, the Normans and Cromwellians... to name a few! Evidence of this can be found in every corner of the city. From a cultural point of view that means plenty for visitors to see, from historic sites and landmarks to famous monuments and museums. But modern day Dublin mostly dates from the 17th century, with a presence of fine Georgian architecture throughout the city.
Dublin is a compact City and most of the visitor attractions are within walking distance of each other.
Temple Bar is one of the most famous areas of the city; it is famed for its fun pubs and great party atmosphere. A walk through its narrow cobbled thoroughfares will reveal a huge array of funky establishments and independent businesses, from boho cafés to vintage and speciality shops, piercing and tattoo artists to second-hand music stores.
Sligo is the largest town in the North-West and dates back to the 13th century. It is nestled in a truly stunning and scenic countryside and can very easily compete with Killarney... without the crowd! This former fishing town is built on several gravel ridges giving it an interesting and cosy appearance and centres around its five bridges. It is nowadays a thriving and lively little town steeped in tradition with its many pubs offering live music and its traffic-free streets with its many restaurants.
At the mouth of Galway Bay is the picturesque and lively city of Galway. Now one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, it was originally a small fishing village with a strategic coastal location and natural harbour area. Galway has changed considerably over the last few years and the city now enjoys a fascinating juxtaposition of new and ancient architecture, but the city still features many relics of its medieval past and is worth taking time to explore. The centre of the city is conveniently compact enough to walk around comfortably.
Situated on the banks of the River Nore, Kilkenny city is Ireland's most historic and compact medieval city. Dominated by an 800-year-old Norman castle, Kilkenny is a compact city with narrow and winding streets full of historic buildings, restaurants, pubs and bars. Kilkenny is also sometimes called the 'marble city' because of its distinctive indigenous jet black marble, which resembles a slate-coloured marble.
Only 17 miles from Cork is the lovely sea town of Kinsale. The town believed to be founded by the Angrlo Normans in 1177 was once a medieval fishing port which makes it a picturesque and authentic town, very popular in Ireland during summer. Kinsale is an attractive little town with hosting one of the most cosmopolitan and charming ports, a long waterfront and narrow winding streets full of gourmet restaurants.
Set in a picturesque location by the River Shannon, Limerick is the third biggest city of the Republic of Ireland. A city of many contrasts, the juxtaposition of the modern and the old makes Limerick one of the top destinations in Ireland, offering a wide range of excellent shops and restaurants. Older than London, the city's origins date back to when the Vikings sailed up the Shannon Estuary in 922 and founded a settlement on an island. Nowadays, you can still find traces of its rich medieval past in the narrow and winding streets.
Ring of Kerry
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.
Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland. It managed to combine perfectly the old and the modern with its collection of pubs, gourmet restaurants and excellent shops and boutiques which co-exist with medieval city walls, picturesque cobbled back streets and the magnificence of historic buildings still standing proud after more than a thousand years. Waterford with its historic heart "The Viking Triangle" is Ireland's oldest City and is also older than all of Northern European capitals with the exception of London and Paris. Some parts of the city still feel almost medieval, with narrow alleyways leading off many of the larger streets. In 914, a great Viking and pirate, Regnall, established a base here and built a longport or ships' haven which would in time become a modern City.
County Wexford is known to be the sunniest place in Ireland and comprises wide and sandy beaches which give you the opportunity to choose from a wide range of outdoor activities. The towns are historically charming in atmosphere, with museums and historic buildings to explore.
Wexford is a lively maritime town set in a beautiful scenery of mountains, rivers, valleys and unspoiled beaches. Wander through the winding streets and the lively quayside of Wexford and enjoy an array of pubs, cafes and excellent restaurants. The convenient and strategic location of Wexford near the mouth of the Slaney encouraged landings from AD 850. The town was then captured by the Normans in 1169 and you can still see traces of their fort the Irish National Heritage Park. There are reminders of its glorious Viking and Norman past in the meandering lanes off Main St, as well as some medieval monuments. This unique heritage and culture make it an essential part of any itinerary!