Garnish House B&B
Outstanding, renovated townhouse-style B&B. Proprietor: Michael McCurrin. Located within walking distance of Cork, but still far enough to avoid the weekend noise and crowds. Very comfortable. Quite possibly the best Irish breakfast we had on the entire trip.
Located at 23, Paul Street Plaza Cork. Large gallery-style brick building with very high ceilings. Varied menu, food was good, open late. The restaurant is located in the center of the commercial, downtown area.
Great Indian food in the heart of Cork, located at 14 Cook Street, just a few short blocks off the south side of St. Patrick's Street.
About a 1-2 hour drive from Cork. Cobh (Cove) Port is the town where millions of Irish emigrants left the country during the 18th and 19th centuries, bound for the United States and Australia.
The town is home to Waterford Crystal. Highly recommend a tour of the factory which includes demonstrations on glass blowing and crystal cutting. Waterford is located about 2-3 hours from Cork.
Small, quaint, traditional Irish town. Located on the southern coast. Easy place to spend a couple of hours (no more), maybe a stop for lunch.
Eliza Lodge Guest House
Terrific boutique hotel in the midst of Temple Bar. Everything we wanted to do and see in Dublin was within walking distance of the hotel. We had the top floor penthouse room with a private outside terrace overlooking Wellington Quay and the Liffey River.
Very casual, noisy Italian restaurant located at Temple Bar, 3 in the heart of the namesake neighborhood.
The Forum Bar and Restaurant
Located on Lord Edward Street in Temple Bar. Traditional Irish pub atmosphere.
Christ Church Cathedral
The church was established in the 6th century by the first bishop of Dublin (Dunan) and then rebuilt by Archbishop John Cumin in 1186. It is the cathedral for the (Anglican) Church of Ireland.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland and was originally built along side a sacred well where St. Patrick baptized converts around AD 450. The original church was a wooden building until Archbishop John Comyn rebuilt the cathedral in stone in 1192. St Patrick's Cathedral is seen as the people's church whereas the nearby Christ Church Cathedral is more associated with British Parliament.
Long a symbol of British rule in Ireland, the original castle was built by Anglo-Normans in the 13th century. The original castle was destroyed by fire in 1684 but reconstruction began a year later with plans by Surveyor General Sir William Robinson.
Across the Liffey River from Temple Bar, O'Connell Street begins at the foot of the O'Connell Bridge (built in 1790). O'Connell Street includes the 400 foot Monument of Light Tower, as well as statues of freedom fighters Daniel O'Connell (at Eden Quay), James Larkin (at Abbey Street), Father Theobald Mathew (at Earl Street) and Charles Stewart Parnell (at Parnell Street) -- all famous figures in Ireland's colorful history. At the north end of O'Connell Street, on Parnell Square, is the Garden of Remembrance which is dedicated to the men and women who died in the pursuit of Irish freedom.
St. Stephen's Green
Originally one of three commons in the ancient city, St. Stephen's Green was enclosed in 1664. The 22-acre park was laid out in its current form in 1880. The park includes a large lake, numerous fountains, lush landscaping, a number of different walking paths and open commons areas and a central bandstand for concerts in the summertime.
The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is kept at Trinity College (established in 1592). The Book of Kells are believe to have been written by monks from Iona, around AD 806. The exhibits containing pages of the books available to the public, also include detailed explanations of the highly stylized calligraphy, drawings, symbols and history.
Area located in central Dublin, adjacent to the Liffey River. Bars, pubs, restaurants, shopping, nightclubs. Noisy at night, crowded at all times of the day and night.
Galway is a great city in the West of Ireland where Gaelic is still widely spoken. Narrow streets, brightly colored buildings, lots of pubs and restaurants and great shopping. It's also a great place to stay while exploring other parts of the Western region, including: Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, etc.
Atlantic Heights Guest House
Very nice, traditional B&B located a short drive outside of the town of Galway (technically in Salt Hill, with a nice view of the Bay). Terrific traditional Irish breakfast. The proprietor, Madeline, couldn't have been any more helpful or friendly. AA misplaced our luggage on the flight over and she was extremely helpful in managing through the mess, including helping us with shopping and lending us jackets.
Kashmir Indian Cuisine
Located on Lower Fairhill Road, off Father Griffin Road, just across the Wolfe Tone bridge from the center of town. Great Indian foot in the heart of Galway.
Located at Eyre Street, 3. Loud, noisy, crowded traditional Irish pub in the heart of Galway.
The Front Door
Located at High Street, 3. Loud, noisy, crowded traditional Irish pub in the heart of Galway.
Cliffs of Moher
One of the most dramatic places in all of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher stretch for many miles and rise to heights of as high as 900 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. There is a Visitor's Center and then hiking trails along the cliff's edge that stretch south to Hag's Head (about 1 hour) and north to O'Brien's Tower (about 3 hours).
Derived from the Gaelic word boireann which means "rocky land". The Burren is an impressive, expansive limestone plateau in northwest County Clare. In 1640, Cromwell described the Burren as "a savage land, yielding neither water enough to drown a man, nor tree to hang him, nor soil enough to bury". Easy auto access, park anywhere and explore.
Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park is approximately 5000 acres located West of Galway. The park is a combination of boglands, lakes and mountains, including four of the Twelve Bens mountain range. Easy 2-3 hour drive from Galway; include a stop to visit Kylemore Abbey while you're in the area.
Kylemore Abbey is located on the shores of Kylemore Lough on the western edge of the Connemara National Park. Once a private residence, it was later an abbey for Benedictine nuns and today the nuns run it as private girls' boarding school. Public tours are available, as well as the adjacent walled Victorian gardens.
The Ring of Kerry denotes the scenic 120-mile route of N70 around the Iveragh Peninsula. These are all small, narrow roads twist along the coastline and through several small towns. You can easily do the entire distance in one day, but you should allow at least two so as not to rush and to allow plenty of time for exploration. Towns include Port Magee, Sneem, Kenmare, Killarney and Killorglin. All are small, quaint traditional Irish towns where you can easily kill a couple of hours.
Ocean Wave Guest House
Nice, comfortable B&B in the town of Glenbeigh on the Ring of Kerry. Proprietor: Noreen O'Toole. We had a nice room in the front of the house with a beautiful view of the bay. Located on the N70. Terrific, full Irish breakfast every morning :)
QC's Seafood Bar
In the town of Cahersiveen. Small, local restaurant on Main Street with all the personality and character that comes along with it. Great local color, really.
From Port Magee, the traditional Ring of Kerry drives turns left and continues south. However, if you go down the hill to the town of Port Magee and cross over the small bridge, you will find yourself on Valentia Island. From there, turn left and drive as far as you can, then park. From there, just hike up the dirt road to the top of Bray Head for some breath-taking views of the dramatic coastline, north and south, and of Skellig Michael in the distance.
Skellig Michael is an isolated rocky outcrop located about 15 miles off the mainland. The only way to reach Skellig Michael is to charter a small boat from Port Magee, with availability highly dependent upon the weather and the seas. The boat will let you off at a stone landing and you begin the almost vertical climb up the steep stone steps (not a single hand rail in sight) that will take you almost 750 feet to the top where you will find the remains of an ancient 6th century monastery. Stunning views from every step but definitely not for anyone with a fear of heights.
Lakes of Killarney
The Lakes of Killarney are located within the Killarney National Park. It's a great detour. Consider a stop and a tour at Muckross House, a 19th century traditional manor house located on one of the lakes.