“I heard you went to Ireland…I haven’t seen it in many years. Is it still green then, and beautiful?”
Wet as a bath sponge and mud to the knees but, aye, it was green enough.
― Diana Gabaldon
If you are looking to see Ireland this year, I bet you are looking at going in July and August. Why? You know why. Those months have the best chance that the sun will be out. It rains 150 days of the year on the east and the south east coasts and it rains approximately 225 days on the west coast.
With that in mind, it would be best to know what the top places are to visit so you are sure to hit those first. Unless of course, you really just plan to pub hop, which isn’t a bad idea either. So let’s get to it:
Construction was completed in the early 13th century and the symbol of Norman occupation in the territory. The grounds have been tended to by the town of Kilkenny since 1967. Aside from the massive structure itself, the ornamental gardens and large lawns are quite the attraction.
Muckross House and Gardens in Kilarney
A fully accredited museum built in just four years in the 19th century, Muckross House is set beside the beautiful Killarney National Park. Extensive gardening work was undertaken by its first and ensuing owners. A definite must see, while in Kilarney.
Trinity College, Dublin
A controversial college for sure, Trinity College was first opened when several citizens of Dublin were able to obtain permission from Queen Elizabeth I. The college did see some peaceful times during the 18th century when thin
gs were relatively calm, the college was still considered by most to be proof of increasing Protestant power. For a time Catholic Bishops banned their constituents from matriculating at the college because the teachings were dominated by Anglican philosophy. Nowadays, it is one of Ireland’s greatest tourist attractions and ranks 160th globally in university rankings.
Blarney Castle and Gardens
Located near County Cork and the River Martin, Blarney Castle is a thirteenth century castle built by the MacCarthys of Muskerry. Besides extensive grounds one will find the infamous Blarney Stone, which is also known as the Stone of Eloquence. Tradition or superstition has it that if one kisses the stone while being held upside down, you would gain the gift of gab. That gift can be seen as a blessing or a curse so be careful what you wish for.
Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
Why a former jail would be the #1 destination for Ireland might have one confounded, but this jail is a must see. It is considered an important landmark representing Ireland’s struggle for Independence. Significant Irish Nationalist leaders were incarcerated here, among them Éamon de Valera. Notably, many of the Irish prisoners from here were transported to Australia.
So there you have it. The top five destinations. Have fun and don’t forget to bring the rain gear!