Our first trip to Ireland was in the fall of 1996. We took part in a tour, which included seeing the Notre Dame football team play Navy in Dublin! Hope you enjoy our travels thoroughout Ireland as much as we did.
After arriving at the Shannon airport, we headed toward Killarney. We made a stop in scenic Adare, County Limerick.
We enjoyed our visit in Adare, short as it might have been.
I’ve always been interested in architecture, especially historic / vintage architecture, so you can rest assured that I took a photo or two or interesting buildings while in Ireland.
Back on the bus, heading to our first night’s stay in Killarney, we passed this beautiful scene.
We spent our first two nights at the Castlerosse Hotel in Killarney, which was situated near the National Park. After checking in, we took a walk along some paths behind the hotel and found some beautiful scenery to enjoy during our first full day in Ireland.
The Murray family made a another trip to Ireland in 2015 — this time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
We had all been to Ireland before — except our six year old granddaughter — so we began our planning for the trip by pulling out a map of Ireland, thinking about what we’d like to see and do this trip and highlighting our journey around the Emerald Isle.
Up, up and away!
We arrived at Shannon Airport and upon leaving, the first thing we saw was a Welcome to Ireland sign! And, of course, we were on the “wrong” side. of the road. 🙂
Welcome to Ireland!
We had just left the airport when we spotted our first ancient structure.
Driving toward our first destination — Dingle — we passed through Adare, County Limerick, and enjoyed seeing the thatched cottages.
We spotted a beach and decided it was a good place to stop and stretch our legs. We were certainly glad we stopped, because we discovered beautiful Inch Beach! Inch Beach is a long sand spit stretching into the sea between Dingle Harbour and Castlemaine Harbour.
Wouldn’t you love to own one of these homes overlooking Inch Beach and the Dingle Bay?
After finding our B&B on Strand Street — which overlooks the Dingle Bay — we checked in and immediately set off in search of lunch. Luckily, only a few doors away was John Benny’s Pub: Dingle’s Home of Great Food, Irish Music & Song. Some of us decided to try a local beer, brewed by the Dingle Brewing Company. Crean’s Fresh Irish Lager hit the spot!
We weren’t disappointed when our food arrived! Everything was delicious!
John Benny’s Pub had a nice selection of beers on tap.
Stained glass in the doors at John Benny’s Pub in Dingle.
After that wonderful meal, we decided to take a little walk and see the sights in Dingle.
Even after a huge meal, we still managed to find room for some ice cream from Murphy’s Ice Cream Shop.
Have you noticed that a lot of the businesses in Dingle go by the name “Murphy?”
We flew from Newark to Shannon through the night, arriving in Ireland on a Sunday morning. Trying to get used to the time change and jet lag, we headed off for a drive around the Dingle Peninsula.
As we were passing through Ballyferriter, we decided to stop and spend a little time in this lovely, quaint village
Ballyferriter (Irish: Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, meaning “Ferriter’s townland”, Irish pronunciation: [ˈbˠalʲənʲ ɛɾˠˈtʲeːɾˠiɡʲ] or An B[h]uailtín),), is a Gaeltacht village in County Kerry, Ireland. It is in the west of the Corca Dhuibhne (Dingle) peninsula and according to the 2002 census, about 75% of the town’s population speak the Irish language on a daily basis. The village is named after the Norman-Irish Feiritéar family who settled in Ard na Caithne in the late medieval period and of whom the seventeenth-century poet and executed leader, Piaras Feiritéar, remains the most famous member. The older Irish name for the village An B[h]uailtín (“the little dairy place”) is still used locally.
And we can attest to the fact that the locals speak Irish — which we found out when we stopped in one of their pubs.
One of the main structures on Ballyferriter is St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, which was built in 1865.
We loved seeing this Celtic Cross — not only because of it’s beauty, but because we saw this written on the base: “Pray for the Rev. Father O Regan C.C., died 20th of June, 1904, aged 59 years, R.I.P.” My paternal grandfather’s mother was a Reagan!
After enjoying St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, we wandered in to Murphy’s Pub.
Back in the car to continue our drive around the Dingle Peninsula. After leaving Ballyferriter, we stopped to view the Atlantic Ocean and found this interesting standing stone.
And then we stopped at Coumeenoole Strand which is almost at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula.
Slea Head Drive around the Dingle Peninsula was one of the most scenic drives we’ve made during our trips to Ireland!
Next stop was Ventry.
Ventry is also home to Paídi Ó Sé’s Pub, where we spent some time. Perfect place to end our first full day in Ireland!
Back in Ireland again in 2019! We flew into the Dublin airport this time, instead of Shannon, to be near friends of ours for St. Patrick’s Day. Our first two nights were spent at The White House, which was established in 1620. Lovely, historic pub, restaurant and hotel.
We had a pint or two of Smithwick’s while we were in Ireland.
While in Northern Ireland, we made sure to visit the Dark Hedges — made popular by the Game of Thrones.
Also while in the North, we spent a night at The Causeway Hotel so we would have quick access to the Giant’s Causeway. Here’s the view from the Hotel. Lovely, isn’t it?
The nice thing about staying at The Causeway Hotel is that you can simply walk over to the Giants Causeway. Here’s a view of the Atlantic Ocean as we made our way to the Giants Causeway.
And then — there it was — The Giant’s Causeway! The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. They columns were formed 50 to 60 million years ago from the flow of lava heading toward the coast and cooling when it came in contact with the sea. The basalt columns were formed, and the pressure between the columns sculpted them into polygonal shapes. To the eye, they look like stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot into the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places.
The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, very close to the town of Bushmills — and yes, that is where Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made! So, if you’re in the area, be sure and visit the Giant’s Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery and — if you’re brave — the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. When we visited in 2015, we visited all of those places. This trip, it was only the Giant’s Causeway, and then we headed on our way.
After we left the Giant’s Causeway, we made our way to visit the Belleek factory — to buy a few trinkets. And then it was on to Sligo! While in Sligo we like to visit Strandhill, for their ice cream, as well as the incredible view of the Wild Atlantic Way.
After our walk along the beach, as we headed back to our car we noticed these fellows golfing. It was a tad windy, making golfing a challenge I’m sure.
I had to take a photo of this cute sign in Strandhill. Unfortunately, the place was closed. It looked like an interesting place to visit!
On our way back to Sligo town, we spotted this thatched cottage and, of course, had to stop and take a photo!
After leaving Sligo, we traveled through County Mayo and stopped for a few quick photos in Aughagower.
You know me and cemeteries, so after leaving the cemetery in Aughagower, we came upon another one and had to stop. This one was Leenane Graveyard in County Galway. Leenane Graveyard is across from St. Michael’s Church. It is a gorgeous, scenic spot facing out towards Killary fjord.
We enjoyed a lovely drive through the winding roads of County Galway.
We spent a night in Carna and visited the birthplaces of my husband’s grandparents. Here is scenic Bunnahown, County Galway: