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Irish Staycation: 6 Of The Best Places at Home

Holidaying has become a bit of a tricky subject lately, with restrictions lifting on travel and airlines offering major discounts, now is the time to get a bargain holiday. However, many people are still cautious about travelling given the risks and are opting to vacation at home. If you are lucky enough to live in Northern or Southern Ireland, you are able to travel either side of the border and visit some of the top tourist attractions in the world. Now is the perfect time to explore your back yard and visit all those places you’ve been meaning to get to.

Cliffs of Moher

One of the most famous tourist spots Ireland has to offer, the cliffs of Moher sit against the
The Atlantic Ocean in County Clare and certainly lives up to everything you have heard about them. They were voted the number one tourist attraction in both 2019 and 2020 for good reason. An area of outstanding natural beauty, this dramatic landscape is a pleasure to walk along and the ultimate Instagram spot.

As advised on the official website, you’ll want to give yourself at least a couple of hours to fully explore and take in the views. And as with most things in this nowadays, you’ll need to make an online reservation before going, this is so that social distancing and safety measures can be kept in place. It’s very easy to book, you just fill in an online form and it is most definitely worth doing so – this is one spot you don’t want to miss on a trip to Ireland.

cliffs of moher
Cliffs of Moher (Source: Gabriel Ramos)

Wild Atlantic Way

If you do decide to travel down to the west coast of Ireland, you may want to make a road
trip out of it. Good thing there is a well known and beautiful route that will let you cross off all the major sites. The Wild Atlantic Way is a trail that follows the west coast of Ireland’s
dramatic coastline and is full of breathtaking scenery. It’ll take roughly 3 weeks to complete
so if you don’t like camping best to call ahead and organise rest stops along the way. hotels will be harder to keep close to the route but there are plenty of lovely BnB’s or you can use Airbnb. There is something for everyone on this road trip, hiking, fresh seafood, canoeing, surfing, horse riding and plenty of Instagram opportunities.

wild atlantic way
A panoramic of the Wild Atlantic Way (Source: K Mitch Hodge)

Giant’s Causeway

The Northern Coastline is also breathtaking and home to one of the most famous natural
wonders in the world. You have surely heard the name Finn McCool (Finn mac Cumhaill)
and know something of the famous tale behind the Giants Causeway. There are a couple of
versions of the legend, and you can hear both from a tour guide while walking along the
volcanic pillars in the sea. If you have the time and are partial to a whiskey, the famous Bushmills distillery isn’t too far away and they have a lovely hotel where you can kick back after a long day of adventuring.

giants causeway
The Giant’s Causeway (Source: Dimitry Anikin)

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Venturing to Northern Ireland’s North Coast isn’t complete with just Giant’s Causeway. Just
a little further down the driving route is Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Dunluce
Castle. The rope bridge links the mainland to the tiny Island of Carrickarede and was
historically used for fishing. It’s a 20-metre walk from one side to the other at a height of
about 30 metres. The bridge is popular for the precarious nature of the walk, the sea smashes against rocks below a rope bridge that sways in the wind.

Carrick-a-rede
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (Source: Francesco Baerhar)

Dingle Peninsula

This is part of the Atlantic Way but definitely deserves to get its own mention. The beaches here are stunning and when the wind is right it is a surfers haven. You can
go hiking, horseback riding or venture into the quaint town of Dingle for some food and a chat with the always welcoming locals. Go too far west though and you’ll need to be proficient in Gaelic as the westernmost point of the island is a Gaeltacht, which has
produced many notable Irish poets. This is where the village of Dún Chaoin is located and is the most western part of the island of Ireland. Also referred to as ‘the next parish to America.’

dingle
The beautiful Dingle Peninsula (Source: Hanaidan)

Dublin

Last but not least, the classic city break. If you’re not quite ready to venture into the wild wilderness of Ireland and would prefer something a little more bustling and built up, then Dublin is the place to go. It is a city that has it all. For dinner check out Delahunt, housed in a significant Victorian building it is perfect for a cosy evening meal. As
with most places in Dublin, there is some literary significance – the building is featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses. For drinks head into Templebar, the area not necessarily the actual bar. Although a nice pub with all the traditional Irish trimmings, the queue will be the length of the street – especially while social distancing – and you will literally pay the price for
the privilege of drinking there. During the day, check out Trinity and the book of
kells exhibition. Then grab a coffee to go and head for a ‘dander’. The best way to discover Dublin is to simply walk around and see where you end up. There are hidden gems all over the city, whether you are there for the literature, the shopping, the food or the drink.

dublin
Temple Bar, Dublin (Source: Diogo Palhais)

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