Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Five: Stops in Ireland that Will Make You Say Erin Go Bragh (Ireland Forever)!!

I am so in the St. Patrick's Day spirit here! This weekend we will be making Irish Soda bread and shamrock cookies for friends, having bangers and mash as well as getting ready for our huge Paddy's Day parade next weekend! That brings me to today's Friday Five: Stops in Ireland that Will Make You Say Erin Go Bragh (Ireland Forever!)!

There are so many beautiful places to see in Ireland and I love them all. But for this Friday Five I had to go to an expert, my husband Brian who is from Galway, Ireland!

1. Trinity College/Guinness Storehouse tours - The University of Dublin, Trinity College was founded in 1592. It is a must see for visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of the city, the cobbled stones are beautiful and lead to the 18th century Old Library building. Inside is housed the Book of Kells - a 9th-century gospel manuscript.

Also, while you are in Dublin be sure to check out the Guinness Storehouse tour in St. Jame's Gate. Even if you aren't a big drinker this tour is so full of amazing history coupled with technology that makes it the number one tourist stop in the country. Plus, the price of admission includes a pint in the Gravity Bar. It doesn't get any fresher than that! Plus this bar also provides the best 360 degree views of the city!

2. Cliffs of Moher - These cliffs provide a breathtaking look at where Ireland meets the Atlantic Ocean in County Clare.  From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.

3. Newgrange Ancient Temple and Passage Tomb - Located in County Meath on the east side of Ireland this site was built around 3200 BC[ during the Neolithic period. That makes this site older than Stonehenge and the great pyramids of Giza, friends!

This picture brings back happy memories of a special trip my sister-in-law Avril and I took with baby Shay and Teagan. We hiked up the Gap of Dunloe with a stroller instead of taking the old-fashioned horse drawn carriage up the steep climb. It is was a beautiful day out!

4. Ring of Kerry - The Ring Of Kerry offers some of the most pristine, gorgeous views of Ireland along with its rich history. There are plenty of beaches, hiking, golf, pubs with traditional music, thatched roofed houses and cycling as you make your way around the peninsula.

5. Kinsale - I had to mention Co. Cork in this Friday Five because it is one of MY favorite places in Ireland! Luckily Brian's immediate family has all relocated here so we have plenty of reasons to hang out and explore on our visits. Brian will be there in April and then we all plan to go this summer.

Kinsale is 30 minutes outside of Cork city and for many years Brian's brother, Keith and sweet sister-in-law Avril lived there. I just loved going to visit them as this beautiful port town boasts wonderful shops, cobblestone streets, amazing restaurants, art and history. In 1915 the "Lusitania" was torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale and nearby Cobh served as the final port of call for the Titanic.

While you there be sure to check out The Blarney Stone which is 24 miles away. You may wanna  kiss the Blarney Stone...or if you are afraid of heights and germs, maybe not? And you gotta stop by the Blarney Woollen Mills which has been in business since 1823! They have simply amazing wool sweaters, Irish linens and Waterford crystal.

OK, so it is technically more than five stops...but how could I smush all this fabulousl-ness into just five spots? I could go on and on because I love the Emerald Isle. But the BEST thing about the island? The people!! They are sweet, generous and so welcoming to this American. A St. Patrick's Day shout out to all our friends and family!! We love you so and wish you a very happy day there! 

I took this picture while out on a walk around Brian's parents farm in Co. Galway. The farm is beautiful to me with its stone fences, old cemetery, sheep, cattle and the old catholic schoolhouse next door that has been converted in the last few years. This is a sleepy little town but home to so many wonderful people and memories making it our favorite place to go.

Teagan on St. Patrick's Day 2011! I can't believe how big she has gotten! Stay tuned for more Irish festivities this week including recipes, crafts and fun pictures of the kids. Happy weekend all! And if you get a moment, please comment and tell me what your favorite place is in Ireland (or where you would like to go when you visit there!)!



  1. I really liked the Skellig Islands.


  2. SavingcentbycentMarch 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Ireland is such a beautiful place.  I love the pictures. Dropping by from the Friday blog hop. I'm a new follower. Stop by Saving Cent by Cent when you have a chance.

  3. How beautiful.  Love Ireland and wanna go.  Brian's friends and family are wonderful.  Hi Averil!

  4. These are worth a wee visit
    Lough gur King johns castle
    Rock of cashel
    Aran islands

  5. I want to go! Not sure what part but it all looks so pretty so anywhere!  Your daughter is adorable! 

  6. Thank you so much! I am following you too now and love your blog!!

  7. I think so too!! So blessed to have such awesome in-laws!

  8. Thanks so much, Cassidy! I am following your blog and love it too! So hope you will visit Ireland soon!


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