Tag Archives: Self Drive Tour Ireland

Top Things to do in Cork

Looking for places to visit in Cork? Check out our list for our top 7 recommended things to do in the famous Rebel County!

Boasting the second biggest city and largest county in Ireland, Cork is one of the most prominent places in the Emerald Isle. It is also home to some beautiful scenery and some fantastic tourist attractions so we decided to pick out 7 of the top  things to do in Cork below!

Blarney Castle & Blarney Stone             

Blarney - Top Things to do in Cork
Blarney Castle

Where else could we start a list of the top things to do in Cork but with Blarney Castle and the Blarney stone? The famous stone of eloquence is situated at the top of the magnificent Blarney Castle and folklore has it that anyone who kisses it acquires the gift of eloquence or as we say in Ireland, the gift of the gab! Surrounding the castle are beautiful gardens for you to take a stroll through at your own leisure.

Cobh Heritage Centre

Cobh Heritage Centre - Top Things to do in Cork
Cobh Heritage Centre – Annie Moore statue

Another must visit during your time in Cork is the Cobh Heritage Centre which is located about 25km southwest of Cork City, in the town of Cobh. Here you are given the opportunity to learn about life in Ireland during the 18th& 19th centuries where mass emigration, the famine and criminal transportation are the main themes. The centre also hosts an exhibition on the history of the Titanic; Cobh was the last port of call before it made its final faithful voyage across the Atlantic.

Spike Island

Spike Island - Top Things to do in Cork
Spike Island

Known as Ireland’s Alcatraz, Spike Island is also located near Cobh, just off the coast. Originally founded as a military instillation it later became a prison which was in operation until the 1980’s. In 2015 the island was re-opened as a tourist attraction & it was recently crowned as Europe’s leading tourist attraction. Tours of the island take in the fort, prison cells and the gun emplacements. An after dark tour is also available for those who would be interested in a more edgy but fun experience.

English Market

English Market - Top Things to do in Cork
English Market

Of course one of the best things to do in Cork is to sample the local cuisine and the best place to start is at The English Market in Cork City Centre. Surrounded by beautiful 19th century architecture the market is famous for supplying local specialities such as drisheen (a type of blood pudding), spiced beef and buttered eggs. Even Queen Elizabeth II decided to pay a visit to the market in 2011 to see what all of the fuss was about!

 Garnish Island

Garnish Island - Top Things to do in Cork
Garnish Island

Garnish Island is situated in Bantry Bay just off the West Cork coast. The island is renowned for its beautiful gardens, Martello Tower and exotic plants, most of which are rare to Ireland. A short scenic ferry cruise, departing from the village of Glengarrif, takes you out to the island. One thing to keep an eye out during the journey are the seals who frequently visit the rocks on the southern shore of the island.

Jameson Experience

Jameson Experience - Top Things to do in Cork
Bottles of Jameson at the Jameson Experience

For any whiskey fans then the Jameson distillery in the town of Midleton in East Cork should definitely be on your bucket list. A guided tour of the distillery begins with a short film to give you a brief background to Jameson’s history before a guide takes you through the distilling process from start from finish. At the end of the tour each participant receives a free glass of whiskey (those who are 18 and over!).

Cork City Gaol

Cork City Gaol - Top Things to do in Cork
Cork City Gaol

Rounding off our list of top things to do in Cork we come to Cork City Gaol. Located within walking distance from the city centre, the museum gives you the opportunity to see what life was like inside one of Ireland’s most famous jails during the 19th & 20th centuries. Exhibitions including lifelike figures, sound effects and furnished cells make it an enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

Get in Touch-

The best way to learn about Cork is to visit yourself. Contact us today for a quotation including some or all of these locations today –

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

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Airports in Ireland

Airports in Ireland - Map of Irish Airports

When planning your Ireland vacation you should consider in advance which airport in Ireland is best for you to fly into and depart from. You could always choose to fly into one airport and out of another so as to make the best of your vacation time. If you are booking a tour with us, discuss this option with your sales team and they will gladly give you the best advice.

International Airports in Ireland:
Dublin – 

Located about 15km north from Dublin City, Dublin Airport is Ireland’s busiest airport. If Dublin city is a must see on your itinerary then it makes perfect sense to begin your Ireland vacation here. There are connections via London from most US & Canadian cities and you can currently fly direct from Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, St. John’s, Montreal and Toronto.  The airport has great links to the UK with flights to more than 15 UK cities including Newcastle, Edinburgh and London.  There are many options to travel further afield in Europe from this airport also. Check out the Dublin Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Shannon – 

Shannon Airport is located on the west coast of Ireland 24 KM north of Limerick, 22 KM south of Ennis and 90 KM south of Galway. Shannon is a great option if you wish to explore the west and southwest of Ireland. This region is much more peaceful than Dublin should you wish to get away from city life. There are connections via London from many US and Canadian cities and you can currently fly direct from Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Boston. The airport has great links to the UK with flights to Edinburgh, London, Birmingham and Manchester and there are many options to travel further afield in Europe from this airport also. Check out the Shannon Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Belfast- 

There are two airports in Belfast, Belfast International and Belfast City Airport, the latter has mainly UK connections. Belfast International airport is the busiest airport in Northern Ireland and the second busiest airport on the island of Ireland after Dublin. Flying here is a great option if you wish to explore Northern Ireland and Donegal in the North West. There are connections via London from many US cities and you can currently fly direct from New York, Orlando and Las Vegas. Check out the Belfast Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Cork- 

Cork airport is located 6.5 km south of Cork city in an area known as Farmers Cross. The airport services mostly UK and European Airports but you may be able to route a flight from the US to Cork via London or another European Connection. Check out the Cork Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Regional Airports in Ireland:

There are four main regional airports  in Ireland; Belfast City in the North, Knock in the West of Ireland, Kerry in the Southwest and Waterford in the southeast. These airports are quite small and mostly do not support on bound connections to the US or Canada. Destinations include Europe and the United Kingdom.

Get in Touch-

The best way to learn about Ireland is to visit yourself. Contact us today for a quotation starting at any of these airports today –

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

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The 1916 Easter Rising: Places to Visit & 2016 Centenary Celebrations

By Orla Spencer

The 1916 Easter Rising was an armed rebellion in Ireland during Easter Week by members of the Irish Volunteers led by Irish activists Padraig Pearse & James Connolly. With far superior soldier numbers and weaponry, the British army quickly defeated the rising, and Pearse agreed to surrender on Saturday 29 April 1916. Many of the leaders were executed following the events and so the rebellion in one sense was a failure. It did however succeed in bringing republicanism back to the forefront of Irish politics and support for an independent Ireland continued to rise which eventually led to Ireland’s freedom after the war of Independence.

This year the people of Ireland are getting ready for the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.  The Centenary celebrations will include a formal State celebration to remember the events and the people who made it possible. Some of the best places to visit in Dublin to find out more about the Easter Rising 1916 include;

Collins Barracks, The National Museum of Decorative Arts & History
Collins Barracks, The National Museum of Decorative Arts & History

The National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks: The National Museum of Ireland is a fantastic museum featuring decorative arts and Irish history.  Given that the museum is placed in a building that was a former Army Barracks, there is an emphasis on Irish Military History. The 1916 Rising is currently covered in the Soldiers and Chiefs Exhibition but in 2016 a brand new exhibition will open called Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising, this exhibition will mark the 100 year anniversary of the Rising and is due to open around the 3rd of March 2016.

Kilmainham Gaol - 1916 Easter Rising
Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol: Kilmainham Gaol is one of the biggest unoccupied gaols in Europe and played a central part in the events after the 1916 Rebellion. The Gaol had been closed at the time of the rising but was reopened especially to house the hundreds of men and women arrested for their part in the battle. In early May, fourteen of these prisoners including Padraig Pearse were executed in the stone breakers yard section of the grounds.  Nowadays, attractions at the museum include a major presentation detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration. The museum have not yet released any information on their 1916 Centenary celebration events but it is expected that there will be events to commemorate the rising over the Easter period in 2016 and beyond.

The General Post Office (GPO):  The General Post Office (GPO) in the centre of Dublin’s O’Connell Street is now the headquarters of the Irish Postal Service, An Post. During the Easter Rising, the building was headquarters of the men and women that took part in the battle. At the moment there is a small virtual exhibition in the GPO about the rising but in March 2016 a new visitor centre dedicated to the 1916 Rising is due to be opened called GPO Witness History. The museum will feature special effects, soundscapes and stories of real Irish people.

The General Post Office, Dublin, 1916 Rising Places to Visit
The General Post Office, Dublin

The Royal College of Surgeons, Stephen’s Green & the Shelbourne Hotel: During the Easter Rising, Michael Malin and Countess Markievicz were assigned to Stephen’s Green, a 22 acre public park in the centre of the city. It turned out that St. Stephen’s Green was a vulnerable position as it was overlooked by the Shelbourne Hotel which was occupied by British forces. Seeing this, the Green was abandoned and the volunteers fled to the Royal College of Surgeons. St. Stephen’s Green is still open to the public, there are 3.5km of pathways to walk through and you will find a bust of Countess Markievicz to the South of the central garden.

The Four Courts, Dublin, Places to visit 1916 Rebellion
The Four Courts, Dublin

The Four Courts: The Four Courts is Ireland’s main court of Justice and houses the Supreme Court, the High Court and the Dublin Circuit Court; it is located on Inns Quay in the city centre.  The first battalion of the Dublin Brigade, led by Edward Daly, occupied this building and the surrounding streets during the rebellion.  The building survived the Rising, but was subsequently destroyed during the Civil War in 1922. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1932.

Glasnevin Cemetery: Many of the people that died in the 1916 rebellion and subsequent battles for freedom were interred at Glasnevin Cemetery. The Glasnevin Trust operates tours of the graveyard daily and in 2016 there is a yearlong program of events planned to commemorate the 1916 Rising including re-enactments and special tours.

Glasnevin Cemetery& Museum, 1916 Rising Places to visit
Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum

Dublin Castle & City Hall: The uprising began at Dublin Castle which was the centre of British Rule in Ireland. The rebellions failed to capture City Hall however they succeeded in occupying City Hall which is situated beside Dublin Castle.

City Hall, Dublin, Places to visit 1916 Easter Rebellion
City Hall, Dublin

City Hall is open to the public all year round and there is a permanent multi-media exhibition which traces the history of Dublin from 1170 to the present. There is also a new exhibition which tells the story of Dublin’s firefighters during the 1916 Rising.  In addition the original copy of the 1916 Proclamation which has been recently preserved will be on display at City Hall from Easter 2016.

Dublin Castle (View from Chester Beatty Library Roof), 1916 Easter Rising Places to See
Dublin Castle (View from Chester Beatty Library Roof)

The grounds of Dublin Castle are free to explore, as are the Chester Beatty Library and the Revenue Museum which are located within the grounds. Access to the State Apartments and the Chapel Royal are by guided tour only and tickets can be purchased on site.

The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham (The National Museum of Modern Art): The building which now houses the National Museum of Modern Art was at the time of the 1916 Rising, the headquarters of the British Army. Most exhibitions at the museum are free of charge, unless otherwise specified. Other facilities include a café, bookshop and free guided tours of the exhibitions.

The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham (The National Museum of Modern Art), 1916 Rising Places to Visit
The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham (The National Museum of Modern Art)

Would you like to explore the locations associated with the 1916 uprising yourself? Then get in touch with us today and we can handle all the arrangements!

USA & Canada 1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone 0800 096 9438

International +353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com

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Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way tops Lonely Planet’s Offbeat Coastal Road Trips list

By Orla Spencer

The Wild Atlantic Way has come out number 1 in a new list of the Top 5 “offbeat coastal road trips” by Lonely Planet, the world’s most successful travel publisher. And who would argue with them?

The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s longest coastal driving route, stretching from the very top of Ireland’s West coast at Malin Head in Donegal to the very bottom at Kinsale in County Cork! In between, the coastal path along Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare and Kerry are striking.

Here the sheer power of the ocean has carved a coastline that is jagged, wild, raw and truly beautiful! Along the Wild Atlantic Way you will discover ocean cliffs that are amongst the highest in Europe, beautiful strands and an array of wildlife that thrives from the cool waters of our coastal shores.

Wild Atlantic Way Picture Gallery –

 

Killary Fjord, Connemara, County Galway
Killary Fjord, Connemara, County Galway
Killary Fjord, Connemara, County Galway
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It would be difficult for anyone to do the entire Wild Atlantic Way driving route in one go, so the Irish Tourism Group have designed a series of tours that break the journey up into manageable segments. View our tours here

Would you like to explore the Wild Atlantic Way yourself?  Then get in touch with us today and we can handle all the arrangements!

USA & Canada 1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/ 

 

 

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