Hi everyone. I hope you are all keeping safe and well this week. Can you believe we’ve been on the road now for nearly 2 months with our virtual weekly trips around Ireland? I just want to say again how much it means to me to have your company on these weekly journeys. It’s been so wonderful to hear from you and to hear how much you’re enjoying the tour as much as I am. Writing this blog each week and exploring the Emerald Isle with you gives me such a great boost of hope and positivity during these very strange times. So this week week we’re off to the wonderful County Clare, home of the majestic Cliffs of Moher and the awe-inspiring landscape of The Burren.
County Clare’s Hidden Gems
1. Fanore Beach
So let’s start with a trip to the beach. So difficult to choose one in County Clare as there’s an embarrassment of riches here when it comes to beaches! Fanore beach sits on the edge of The Burren which provides a stunning backdrop to this beautiful part of the Atlantic coast. Think rolling dunes, golden sands and crashing ocean waves-bliss!
2. Poulnabrone Dolmen
Time to step back in time-way back to neolithic times. Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of the finest of its kind in Ireland. It stands majestically on a height in the heart of The Burren. It dates back some 5,800 years! Pretty good engineering I’d say! Archaeologists revealed that 21 people were buried in the main tomb and that the tomb had been in use for a period of 600 years.
3. Dromoland Castle
I know that many of you will be familiar with County Clare’s famous Bunratty Castle so I thought we’d veer off the beaten track to the fairy tale-esque Dromoland Castle. The current castle dates back to the 19th century although a castle has existed on this site since the 14th or 15th century. Today it is a luxury 5 star hotel and has hosted many famous guests including Bono and John Travolta.
4. O’Brien’s Tower
Not exactly a hidden gem but we just can’t visit County Clare without a visit to the famous Cliffs of Moher. O’Brien’s tower stands at the midpoint and highest part of the cliffs. In 1835. the politician and landowner Sir Cornelius O’Brien built this tower as an observation point for the many tourists that were flocking to the Cliffs. On a clear day (if you’re lucky!) you can see Loop Head to the south, The Twelve Pins mountain range to the north and the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.
5. Caher Bridge Garden
And finally we come to rest in the comforting peace and calm of a beautiful garden. This gorgeous garden is the winner of numerous awards and features in ‘The 100 Best Gardens In Ireland’ publication. The center point is a restored riverside stone cottage in the heart of The Burren and it boasts impressive collections of snowdrops, daffodils, woodland plants and ferns.
And so we come to the end of our journey. Thanks so much for joining me on the road. It’s so wonderful to have your company. See you next week for a trip to County Galway!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!