There’s no doubt that Ireland, the Emerald Isle, is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. For such a small piece of land, it’s packed full of wonders and treasures, and has a strong sense of identity that’s known the world over. Many an Irish American will grow misty-eyed when they talk about ‘the old land’, and somehow, the nation has convinced us all to celebrate its national saint’s day, even if we weren’t born there and have never even visited!
If you are one of those people who has never visited, you’re missing out. From the modernity of Dublin to the charming rural areas, this is the land of myth and legend; the place that inspired great folk music and the tale of the leprechaun. There is a whole UK online casino decked out in the colours and themes of Ireland, where lucky leprechauns skip across the reels and pots of gold are promised to lucky players. For a gambling company to use Ireland’s themes to promote their games speaks volumes about the global popularity and recognition of “the Irish brand”. It’s also an open invitation for players to find out if they’re also blessed with the luck of the Irish!
There are many, many things that a visitor to Ireland can see or do, and here are five of the best of them.
Visit The Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is one of the most astonishing rock formations anywhere in the world. Many people seeing it for the first time assume that it must have been carved by hand, but it is in fact the result of a volcanic fissure that occurred millions of years ago.
The result is a
series of perfectly formed, mostly hexagonal columns that stick up from the
ground and intersect together. It gets its name because it really does look
like it’s an old causeway that was built by a giant. The scenery around the causeway
doesn’t hurt to look at either; it’s on the beautiful coast of County Antrim.
This is actually in Northern Ireland, so we’re cheating slightly by including
it, but it’s worth making the extra trip to see it with your own eyes.
See The Cliffs of Moher
Sticking with the theme of natural beauty, the cliffs of Moher are an absolute ‘must see’ too. They’re a five mile long stretch across the coast of County Clare, facing out towards the Atlantic Ocean, and are one of the most popular visitor destinations in all of Ireland.
The views both to and from the cliffs are like something out of a fairytale; on a good day, you can see all the way out to Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, and even the Blasket Islands, which are in a whole different county! Time your trip to coincide with the sunset for a really magical experience.
Have A Drink In Sean’s Bar
There are thousands of bars in Ireland (the Irish are, after all, known for their love of a drink!), so what makes this one special, we hear you ask? Well, as it happens, Sean’s Bar in County Westmeath just happens to be the very oldest bar in the entire world. Incredibly, this place has been serving drinks to customers for over one thousand years!
Full archaeological studies have been conducted to verify the bar’s age, and they found that the walls of the bar have been standing since the year 900 AD. It’s never served any purpose other than being a bar, which has stood and carried on with its business as the whole world around it has changed beyond all recognition. Impressively, the name of every person who’s owned the pub all the way back to the 10th century are preserved within the building!
Kiss The Blarney Stone
If you go to
Ireland and don’t kiss the Blarney Stone, you’ve failed. As any local will tell
you, anyone who kisses the famous stone will be blessed with ‘the gift of the
gab’, which means they’ll essentially become a smooth talker who’s able to
persuade other people to come around to their point of view. That’s an
excellent skill to have if you work in sales or marketing!
The stone itself is part of the battlements of or Blarney Castle, which is in County Cork. It’s a huge chunk of limestone which has been in place since 1446, and still attracts visitors from all over the world. Actually kissing it isn’t as easy as you might imagine; it usually involves hanging slightly upside down because it’s in an awkward location. To be fair to the builders of the castle, they probably didn’t imagine it would ever be used for this purpose.
See Dingle Peninsula
National Geographic has been to a lot of places, and seen a lot of things. They tend to be quite well informed about where the most visually impressive places on our planet are. So when they named Dingle Peninsula as the most beautiful place on Earth, they must have been really struck by the incredible beauty of it.
Pictures alone aren’t capable of doing it justice. This natural phenomenon, which is in County Kerry and also has the distinction of being the westernmost point in all of Europe, is something that truly has to be experienced with one’s own eyes. There are beaches with waters to swim in. There’s a castle to go and explore. There’s even the wreck of a Spanish boat to take pictures of, which crashed off the coast in 1982 and has never been retrieved! Various prehistoric and medieval ruins and artifacts can be found all over the Peninsula, meaning there’s plenty of rewards for those who are happy to do a little exploring.
Is there more to do in Ireland? Of course there is, but if we told you everything it would take the fun out of finding it for yourself! Do yourself a favour. Take our advice. Visit Ireland. You won’t regret it!