I recently came back from our trip to Ireland and despite being so many times before I fell in love with this place all over again. I wanted to share what we have been up to and perhaps give you some inspiration for your visit. It was our half-term holiday and we had a toddler and 7 years old so that can limit us in certain way but we managed to see quite a lot and came back with lot of experiences.
Capital of each country is probably always the obvious however Dublin is so worth it and has an incredible charm. You pretty much can manage to see a lot in 24 hours as in the town center you can get everywhere on foot. My favourite spot is Trinity College that has incredible character and the library is something like from Harry Potter movie. I also adore Irish gift shops and they are so fun to browse. Perhaps grab yourself a treat from Aran sweater shop or the University gift shop. And I would suggest a little walk around Temple bar area and snap a cute shot with the views of river Liffey. If you love shopping then Grafton Street is probably the best option as I know so many people love to splurge on different things when travelling. And Brown Thomas even has really good luxury stores if that is your thing. We were so lucky with the weather as it was perfect sunny but crispy day and I felt a bit like in Gilmore Girls especially at the campus.
This was my first time in Galway and what a cute town. It is buzzing with tourists and I swear every pub, restaurant and coffee shop had so much going on Tuesday afternoon. One thing I loved about Galway was the street singers, musicians and artist. There were so many and so many good ones. The shopping is also good if that is your kind of activity, plenty of authentic stores as well as bit of luxury in Brown Thomas. It was already decorated for Christmas which I was not complaining about. We grabbed a classic pub lunch and then headed further north to explore the coast. I really loved the beaches and I found Spindeal full of character.
I always have to visit Lahinch when in West Clare. It is for most the obvious spot and surfers’ paradise. No matter the weather there are people surfing. It is small but very charming, my son had to stop in a book shop and left with a book about Ireland and we grabbed lunch in a pub. I could not wait for my mussels. There is also surf school if you are up for it. In the summer this place is buzzing and in colder months I find Lahinch that super cosy and charming village. And when you are in Lahinch you must see the famous Cliffs of Moher which leads me to my next tip.
Cliffs of Moher
These Cliffs are probably the most well known in Ireland and so worthy just prepare yourself for very cold winds. I visited summer time, Easter time, Winter time and Autumn time and I swear it is always bad LOL. These Cliffs appeared in many movies including Harry Potter and my son was delighted to visit again for that reason. I would highly suggest to visit the visitors center after to learn more about this place and the area. The gift shop was also brilliant and my son scored another book :) .
Limerick and Bunratty castle and folk park
My husband is from Limerick so naturally I have been so many times. I feel so many people speak badly about Limerick but it is so underrated. There is plenty to do and I find the town lovely. If you ever visit you must visit the Milk Market on Saturday. There are so many stalls with art and crafts, incredible food selection, home made breads and pastries but also vegan options (which is not so typical here). I love exploring the market and the atmosphere is brilliant. I also love walk along the river and the views of St John’s castle.
Bunratty Castle is only few minutes drive from Limerick but this is a must visit. I visited first time many years ago but it was lovely to bring my children back. There is so much history and everything is done to a top standard. You walk through the folk park and it brings you back hundreds of years ago. You will learn all the different type of cottages, how people lived and see it with your own eyes. Each time you walk to another building with fire on you will probably think same as I did – how people lived like this. It really is built in the most incredible way and you get a map where you can read more about history of each building. There is also an example of typical Irish street where you find old post office, old bar, old doctor’s house or school. And at the end you can go inside of Bunratty castle. It really is worth to visit. And of course it would not be a visit of this place if we did not end up for lunch at the famous Durty Nelly’s. I will admit that my last visit before Covid I said I will not eat here again (maybe they just had bad day but the food was awful) but I gave it another chance and was so happy.
I am adding Kilkee on my list as that is where we decided to rent a house for several nights. In the past we always stayed in Spanish Point and I wanted to try something new. The place is normally buzzing in the summer but I actually enjoyed the quiet autumn time. The only downside is that lot of places are not open. However I loved newer coffee shop Holly’s cafe which has delicious coffee and they also do food some days of the week plus yummy looking cakes.
Our house had the most incredible view of the pollock holes and Georges head and there is nothing like drinking hot cup of tea looking at the wild Atlantic doing it’s thing. It was incredible change for me to have views like this since I live in London.