Hi Everyone. I hope I find you all well and enjoying the summer. It was so great to receive so much lovely feedback on my recent blogs touring Irish historical sites. It seems so many of you are dying to get back to Ireland for a visit or looking forward to coming for the first time. So with that in mind, I’m continuing the traveling around Ireland theme for the next few weeks with some must see spots in all 4 corners of the country. We begin this week in the beautiful and quite wonderful west. I know I’m bound to miss some of your favorites along the way with such a short list but I’d love to hear about them! Let me know your favorites in the comments below.
Travelling Around Ireland. The Best of the West
1. Benbulben & Streedagh Beach, County Sligo
Ok so I know I’m slightly cheating by choosing 2 places but I can’t possibly narrow it down to one in my beloved County Sligo! As regular readers will know, I spend a lot of time in this beautiful part of the world. A perfect day for me when I’m here always involves a long walk around the foothills of this beautiful mountain. This is usually followed by a sea swim at Streedagh. The 3km long strand takes you a beautifully secluded spot for swimming with the mighty Benbulben providing the perfect backdrop.
2. Croagh Patrick, County Mayo
Next up, we’re off to see another of Ireland’s famous mountains in neighboring County Mayo. Croagh Patrick stands majestically at 2057 feet, with stunning views of Clew Bay and beyond. It is also the mountain made famous by St. Patrick, hence the name . The story goes that he fasted here for 40 days and drove out the snakes too! I took a trip traveling around Ireland last year and met the makers at Aran Woolen Mills who provide us with many gorgeous pieces in our Aran sweater collection. Check out my interview with Vincent below.
3. Aran Islands, County Galway
Well we can’t take a trip to the west without hopping over to the Aran Islands, especially with it being the original home of everybody’s favorite Aran sweater! The three islands are Inishmore, Inishmann and Inisheer. Get ready for ancient monuments, awesome sea cliffs and a very warm welcome. A wonderful way to explore the islands and drink it all in is by bicycle and renting one is easy when you get off the ferry from the mainland.
4. Connemara, County Galway
For anyone travelling around Ireland, a trip to experience the wild and rugged beauty of the Connemara region is an absolute must. The breathtaking scenery here includes mountain ranges, fjords and lakes. Pictured above is Pine Island in Derryclare Lough with the magnificent Twelve Bens Mountain Range in the background. Of course, it also the home of Ireland’s unique gemstone, Connemara Marble. I had a wonderful time there last year with Stephen Walsh at their family owned quarry-I even got to mine my very own piece of marble!
5. Killarney National Park, County Kerry
Last but certainly not least we venture into the Kingdom of Kerry for visit to Killarney National Park. Covering some 26,000 acres, this is a wonderland of mountain peaks, tranquil lakes and enchanting woodlands. It is also the home of Mucros Weavers who are based at the stunningly beautiful Muckross House and Gardens. Another one of our amazing makers at The Irish Store. Check out the video of my visit with John who gives us a fascinating insight into the history of Mucros Weavers.
Thanks so much for your company on my latest traveling around Ireland trip. Do let me know of your favorite spots in this beautiful part of the world in the comments below.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!