Top Tip – Free Admission to Heritage Sites in Ireland

We only recently discovered that there is free admission on the first Wednesday of every month to Heritage Sites managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW). There are so many great sites all over the country, so no excuse not to get out and explore! We’ve ticked off some great ones like Garnish Island, Brú na Bóinne and of course our local attraction, Portumna Castle but there are still heaps more we are looking forward to checking out. Here is a list of participating sites from the OPW. These are just ones that you would usually have to pay for. There are many others that are free at all times and further details can be found at the Heritage Ireland site.Read More

The Hymany Way – Portumna to Meelick

The Hymany Way is a 50km trail in Galway, beginning in Portumna and ending in Aughrim. It is a section of the longer Beara Breifne Way and is usually completed over two days. We weren’t feeling quite that adventurous, so we just did a smaller section of the walk from Portumna to Meelick, which is approx 15km and estimated to be 3 – 4 hrs. In the end it took us about 4.5 hrs. As always, we were stopping often to take photos and video, holding up my parents who joined us and ended up waiting for us a lot!Read More

Walks – Mount Errigal, Donegal

Climbing Mount Errigal is like fast forwarding through a relationship! The start is slow and you’re not always sure if you did the right thing getting yourself into it but you stick with it for a while, in the hope that it’s heading in the right direction. Once you get past that initial awkward (and very boggy!) stage the future is looking brighter. You’re into it now, you’ve invested and you’re excited to see what lies ahead. There are a few steep and tough humps to get over along the way, like meeting the parents or finding out your partner loves to pop your bacne but you’ve lasted the distance and the big day (or summit) is now in sight.
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ON TOUR – Donegal

With names like Murder Hole Beach, Poison Glen and Bad Eddie’s Shipwreck, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a visit to Donegal is a death-defying experience! Well, we didn’t make it to check out Bad Eddie’s wreck but can testify that Murder Hole Beach and the Poison Glen are two of the most serene and beautiful places you can visit.Read More

PHOTO OP – The Wonderful Barn

Looking for something a little different to photograph, then check out the Wonderful Barn in Leixlip. Built in 1743, this corkscrew barn was commissioned by Katherine Conolly on the family’s Castletown House Estate following the famine of 1740-1741.  It’s purpose was to provide employment for the poor as part of a famine relief scheme and to store grain should there be future food shortages.
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Walks – Knocknarea, Sligo

If you’re in Sligo and looking for a walk that will only take a couple of hours but will still give you a good workout and reward you with stunning views, then look no further than Knocknarea! The mountain is pretty distinctive and well known for the large cairn found at the summit, which is said to be the resting place of Queen Maeve, the Warrior Queen of Connaught. Legend has it that she was buried standing upright in full battle gear and with spear in hand, facing her enemies. I’m liking this lady, I though! Then I also read that she killed her sister Eithne so that she could have her way with Eithne’s husband. That’s just not cool!
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On Tour – Sligo

Earlier this month we headed to Sligo. It was the first time visiting for both of us and wow, were we blown away! I reckon Sligo is seriously under rated as a tourist destination. It certainly helped that we had some fantastic weather during our stay but the same could be said for anywhere and even as we walked the beautiful Gortarowey Forest Park Loop in the rain on our last day, majestic Benbulben still stole our hearts.
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St Patrick’s Day Parade – Dublin 2017

This year’s St Patrick’s Day parade was a wet and wild affair! However, being José’s first St Patrick’s Day in Ireland, we thought we’d get out amongst it and literally soak up the atmosphere!! It was also a good chance to test out our new toy, the GoPro Hero5. We’re very excited about getting out and about with it. It was literally just out of the box so we haven’t figured out all the amazing features just yet but it’s so light and easy to carry around, it’s a dream!

Here’s a short clip featuring some of the highlights from the 2017 St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin.
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Newgrange and Brú na Bóinne

If you want to delve a little into Ireland’s ancient past, there’s no better place than Newgrange. This  Stone Age passage tomb located in the beautiful Boyne valley in Meath is more than 5,200 years old and pre-dates both Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids.  Newgrange is one of three principal passage tombs – Knowth and Dowth being the other two – and many smaller mounds in the area which are collectively know as Brú na Bóinne and have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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