José looking happy about going to check out the gun park on Spike Island

A Tour of Spike Island – What to Expect When Visiting

I’d never even heard of Spike Island two years ago, which can probably be forgiven as it is a fairly recent tourist attraction. However, once I did hear about it, it quickly became clear that this little island was something special.

Spike Island or Fortress Spike Island has quickly become a must-do experience for tourists from near and far and is sometimes referred to as “Ireland’s Alcatraz”. In the few short years it has been open to the public, it has won a number of awards including Europe’s leading tourist attraction 2017 at the World Travel Awards.Read More

The stunning view back towards the Maharees from Mount Brandon.

A Picture (& Video) Guide to Climbing Mount Brandon

A photo guide to hiking Mount Brandon in Dingle, Ireland

The weather was not the best during our recent trip to Kerry. So when we saw a potentially nice day coming up, we decided to get out and hike Mount Brandon. My parents, unsure about whether they’d be up for the challenge, were looking online to try and get an idea of how tough it would be. It’s quite hard to tell from the reviews, which describe the walk as easy to strenuous.

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Beautiful pink skies over Portmagee

Valentia Island – Stunning Views on the Bray Head Loop Walk

The stunning 7km Bray Head loop walk on Valentia Island in Kerry is well worth doing if you have time. Actually, you should really make time for this one! It’s spectacular and a great vantage point for viewing the magical Skellig Islands. From Portmagee where we stayed, it’s only a short drive across the bridge to Valentia Island. As you drive across the bridge you can clearly see Bray Head to your left so just head that way at the next junction where you’ll see it signposted. Follow the coastal road and you’ll come to a carpark (cost €2) from where you start the walk. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.

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One of the three caverns on the tour at Mitchelstown Cave.

Experience the Magic of Mitchelstown Cave

I was beginning to think Google had led me astray once again, as I approached the spot where it said Mitchelstown Cave was located. All I could see coming up was a regular farmhouse with a small sign outside that I couldn’t yet read. However, as I got closer the large parking area directly across from the house came into view, indicating that I might have been in the right place after all. Then a large signpost confirmed it!Read More

Stairway to the monastic site with Little Skellig in the distance.

Skellig Michael and the Lucky Puffin Poo

Skellig Michael (Irish: Sceilg Mhichíl) has always intrigued people but since being used as a location for the Star Wars movies, the interest in this little island off the south west coast of Kerry has skyrocketed! The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only two in Ireland – the other being Brú na Bóinne. Thankfully the number of people who can visit Skellig Michael is limited to protect its fragile environment. The flip side of this, of course, is that it can be pretty hard to get a booking to land on Skellig Michael if you don’t get yourself organised months in advance!

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The Rock of Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland.

Third Time Lucky at the Rock of Cashel

On my first attempt to visit the Rock of Cashel, I arrived a little too late in the day. I know, my bad. On the second attempt, I was better prepared. I was early and had plenty of time to explore. I rocked on up that hill and then discovered they weren’t allowing anyone onto the site as there were very high winds on the day and it was unsafe. Foiled again. So, when my brother came to stay a couple of weeks ago, I thought it might be a good time to try again and this time I finally made it inside. Yay!Read More

Swiss Cottage, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, Ireland

A Peasant Afternoon at the Swiss Cottage!

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

Tra na mBó – a hidden gem on the Copper Coast

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

Moody Sunset at Kilfarrasy Beach on the Copper Coast

Striking Gold on the Copper Coast

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

Not just a load of old Blarney!

When we visited Cork with some friends earlier this year, I almost brushed off the suggestion of a visit to Blarney Castle as I had it in my head that it was a total tourist trap. I can’t even tell you where that opinion came from as I have never visited or heard that from anyone else who had visited. How our minds can play wicked games on us!Read More