There’s no other national holiday as widely celebrated as St Patrick’s Day or Paddy’s Day (but never St Patty’s Day in Ireland!). Rivers, buildings, food, drinks and people around the world will be turning green to mark the occasion, while the pubs prepare to pour Guinness galore for the revellers. It’s easy to get caught up in the parades, costumes, the crazy partying and the general celebration of everything Irish, but have you ever wondered what’s really behind it all?
We ended up visiting the Swiss Cottage by chance one day, after a last minute decision to drive to Cahir while we were kind of in the vicinity! Situated on the banks of the River Suir, the Swiss cottage was built in 1817 for Richard Butler, the 1st Earl of Glengall and his wife Emily Jeffreys of Blarney Castle. Also known as Lord and Lady Cahir, the Swiss Cottage was originally part of their estate and is said to have been designed by the famous Regency architect, John Nash.Read More
A few weeks ago I wrote about my trip to the Slieve Bloom Mountains in search of snow. I thought it would be my last chance until next winter. I needn’t have worried. The Beast from the East and Storm Emma descended on us last week and instead of Ireland being all about the black stuff, we kicked off spring concerned with only the white stuff. And no, I don’t mean the bread nonsense, just the snow. This time I didn’t have to venture anywhere to find it. It was right here on my doorstep in Portumna, and plenty of it!Read More
For a lot of people, staying in a castle is high up there on the to-do list when visiting Ireland. It is certainly something that has been on our wishlist and last week we spent a night at Cabra Castle, as my cousin was getting married there. We didn’t actually stay in the main castle though, so I’m going to leave a castle stay on the wishlist for now. Call me fussy but I want the whole four-poster bed, creaky floorboard, medieval castle experience and our accommodation, which was not part of the main building, was a little too modern for that! Nevertheless, we loved our stay at Cabra Castle and here are five reasons why we think you would too:Read More
There are many benefits to having an OPW Heritage Card. I particularly love that it encourages you to check out new places on your travels. So, for example, when we were planning a day trip to Kilkenny I took a look at the Heritage Ireland website to see if there were any attractions nearby. Both Dunmore Cave and Jerpoint Abbey looked like they might be worth a visit while we were in the area.Read More
The Greystones to Bray cliff walk (or Bray to Greystones if you prefer!) has long been a favourite of mine. When I was living in New Zealand it was a regular on my to-do list for my visits home. The walk covers roughly a 7km stretch between the coastal towns of Bray and Greystones in county Wicklow. It’s a really picturesque route with stunning rugged scenery. The path hugs the coastline around Bray Head, following the train line below and taking in some truly amazing views along the way.Read More
Yesterday I drove to the Slieve Bloom Mountains in search of snow. There has been a lot of snow this winter. By Irish standards I mean! Yet somehow I’ve managed to miss it all. We had a decent snowfall in our home town back in December but I was away in Dublin for the week and couldn’t help but be a little envious of all the lovely photos appearing online. Of course by the time I got back there was no trace of it. Since then there has been the odd sprinkling but nothing was sticking. There were a few other instances of wrong time, wrong place and I figured since it’s February now, I’d probably missed the chance.
Before heading to the Copper Coast I tried to do a bit or research online to figure out where I’d like to visit. While doing so, I came across some pictures of Tra na mBó but couldn’t really figure out where exactly it was. The best I could gather was that it was close to Bunmahon beach but the rest I would have to figure out when I got there. The other mystery was its name. Tra na mBó means Strand of the Cows and even just looking at the pictures I could see it would be a pretty tricky place for cows to get to! Read More
Last month I took to the road to explore Waterford’s Copper Coast, an area I only heard about early last year but one I had been very eager to explore since then. I had high hopes setting off on my trip and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I was only sorry that I didn’t have longer to explore this stunning 25km stretch of coastline from Kilfarassy Beach in the east to Stradbally in the west. The Copper Coast is seriously a photographer’s playground and I found each stop more impressive than the last, as I hopped around it’s beautiful beaches and bays. Read More