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MindErrantry's avatar

What should I see in Ireland?

Asked by MindErrantry (818 points ) September 6th, 2008

I’ll probably be in the vicinity of Cork, though that is not certain; any thoughts are welcome. I am mostly interested in historical (particularly medieval) sites, natural areas (a friend’s requirement), and music! Especially a place with some good sessions; I’ve got a digital recorder I want to put to use…

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18 Answers

Randy's avatar

A Guinness factory! At least I’d make it a priority in Ireland.

And some kind of old pub, like one you see in the movies.

Kisa's avatar

If you’re in the south-west, there are some pretty spectacular historical sites to see. I’d try to squeeze in Bunratty Castle which is just up towards Limerick a bit.

If you can get about, the Burren is unmisable. It’s a unique landscape, with wildlife and flowers that don’t appear together anywhere else in Europe. Plus the coast of Clare is outstanding—the Cliff of Moher are the highest in Europe.

If you don’t want to travel too far though, I’d say Blarney Castle and Bantry House are a must. And it would be a sin not to do the Ring of Kerry

wildflower's avatar

Me!!

But also:
– Blarney Castle (and kiss the stone for the gift of the gab)
– Jameson Distillery
– Kinsale/Charles’ Fort (and the old tower in town that’s been a custom house, prison and more, can’t recall the name right now)
– Dingle (and try to spot the dolphin)
– Ring of Kerry (not too far away and well worth it)
– The Burren (also, a bit of a drive from Cork – but totally worth it)
– Cobh heritage center
– The vision center on North Main Street, Cork City
– Oyster Haven (beautiful seaside place)
– The Old Head of Kinsale (where the Irish Sea and the Atlantic meet)
– The Butter Museum in Cork City
– The Old Gaol (=jail) in Cork City
– Franciscan Well micro-brewery and pub in Cork City
– The Old Oak/Cypress Avenue in Cork City – if you want live music
– Crawford Art Gallery, next to the Opera House in Cork City

…let me know if you want more suggestions :)

JackAdams's avatar

No trip anywhere in Ireland is complete, without you be payin’ a visit to the wee folk of the Glen, who will grant three wishes to ye, if you be catchin’ them at night, and hold them until the cock crows in the mornin’.

But if ye be seein’ the Little People, ye must not ever be tellin’ others that ye did, or King Brian Connors himself will put the come hither on ye, and you’ll be hurtin’ and achin’ fer the rest of ye life, ye will!

So ye be thinkin’ I be a liar and I’m kissin’ the Blarney Stone, do ye? Well, if I be lyin’, may Father Murphy himself put a curse on me family, that the Devil himself be takin’ me!

Ye be showin’ respect to the Little People!

September 6, 2008, 5:38 AM EDT

wildflower's avatar

For more info, try the Cork Schmap (one of my photos is featured in it – shameless self-promotion!) or the Cork Guide

wildflower's avatar

Oh goodness, can’t believe I forgot this:

If you’re looking to go out and a bit of unusual pub-culture, you must visit the Hi-B pub on the corner of Oliver Plunkett St. and Winthrop St. It’s possibly the smallest pub in Ireland – or anywhere – and quite a unique atmosphere. There’s often musicians playing (I think) on Thursdays and Sundays.

jca's avatar

the first two times i went to ireland i took a tour which was a great way to see many places without worrying about how to get there and where should i stay and those questions that someone new to a place doesn’t know how to answer. the third time i went there i went with my bf, and we just found some hotels and we took buses and trains around. i have to say the bus system in ireland was pretty good, as were the trains. to me the one town you have to have to have to go to if you can is kilkenny. they have a great castle (i don’t think it’s open on mondays) and the town is wonderful – very medieval looking, with a bridge, a great little town for walking (all towns in ireland are great for walking but kilkenny is especially charming withouut trying to be). when you’re in kilkenny you can just get that feeling of being in the 1500’s. all three times i was there i did not want to get a car, because they drive on the other side of the street, which, in a situation where you have to think quickly, might not work out to your advantage. also, when one doesn’t know where one is going, one can spend many precious vacation hours driving around frustrated and lost. so i say either take a tour or take the public transportation. you will have a wonderful time, ireland is a truly memorable place.

janbb's avatar

Wildflower’s list is pretty comprehensive. I can only second the Cillfs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The Burren is really neat too. If you do go to the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is the gateway town and well worth staying over at a B and B in. There are several pubs in town and many of them are “singing pubs” – that is they have music sessions several times a week. Great stuff! Killarney is on a lake that you can walk too or take a horse and cart “juanty car” ride too. There is also a stately home – Muckross House – on the lake that is worth visiting.

The Dingle Peninsula is a little less visited than the Ring of Kerry and quite a special place to drive around.

Lots to see and do – you can’t go really wrong wherever you go!

rss's avatar

The Aran Islands (near Galway) are just beautiful and one of only areas of Ireland where Irish is still primarily spoken. You can also rent bikes and ride around yourself instead of taking a bus tour.

janbb's avatar

Sorry – should be “on a lake that you can walk to or take a….to”.

Just want to correct it before the grammar police get here.

wildflower's avatar

Oh, just remembered one more – in the Cork area: Gougane Barra

pathfinder's avatar

I would recommend the cone cliff.

jca's avatar

also, the west coast of ireland is beautiful – like the west coast of usa. rugged cliffs, rolling lawn. up near donegal – i think it’s actually county donegal. i heard the northeast near wicklow is nice too, but have not been there.

when are you going? post an update and tell about your trip.

MindErrantry's avatar

We’re going the last week in October, more or less—I’m not actually the direct planner, so my dates are rough, but it should be about the 26th to the 31st… hm, that’s shorter than I would have liked; oh well, we do have school to deal with! We’re likely to be taking the ferry over, then flying back. And… that’s about all I’ve got.

wildflower's avatar

Well, in that case, there’ll be no shortage of entertainment if you’re staying in Cork! That’s when the annual jazz festival is on!

jca's avatar

bring layers of clothes, including a rain jacket.

andrewmcd's avatar

Yep-wet weather gear is essential, Ireland is a very beautiful country. I met one of its more famous sons Ardal o Hanlon at this Hotel in Watford recently – weird!

MindErrantry's avatar

Thanks for all the help, everyone—I’m sure this is going to turn into a lovely trip :)

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