Ireland is in the midst of its summer and yet another heatwave, with many taking to explore the country for all its beauty. But what are some of the top rural attractions to visit in Ireland you ask? Keep reading to find out!
Ulster is a real place of beauty at times, with many coastal and mountainous views.
1 - Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim - This is one for the brave, as the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge links the island of Carrickarede to the mainland. It spans 66ft in total and is 98ft above sea level. By 2016 over 440,000 visitors had visited the bridge, once used by local fishermen. The bridge is crossable for a fee, but it may be one to tick off the bucket list.
2 - The Cuilcagh Way, Co. Fermanagh - One for those in awe of nature in all of its glory. This 33km stretch offers breathtaking views, plenty of wildlife, caves to explore and a chance to stretch the legs. (Pic - Flickr).
3 - Slieve League, Donegal - At 601 metres tall, Slieve is one of the country’s tallest Sea cliffs. Although not as famous as the Cliffs of Moher, it is said to be almost THREE times higher! Definitely worth the visit. Of course, there is also Malin Head as well, Ireland’s most northerly tip.
4 - Tollymore Forest Park, Co. Down - Northern Ireland’s state forest park, which was established in 1955. The park features stunning views and many buildings of historical significance. The park also has an abundance of wildlife, including deer, not to mention native plants of all types.
5 - Armagh City - The ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, Armagh city has not one but two cathedrals, which are both truly beautiful. While on the outskirts of the city is the Navan Fort, pictured below, an ancient ceremonial pagan monument which is well-worth the visit.
6- The Giant’s Causeway - We save the best to last. If you haven’t already done, then one should take in a visit to Antrim’s top tourist attraction. Some say it was built by giants in a mythical era, though scientists say erosion. We’ll let you decide!
Another province with an abundance of beautiful attractions, but have you visited the ones listed?
1 - Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon - A beautiful wildlife park, spanning 800 hectares in total and surrounded by the glorious Lough Key. One for the boat enthusiasts and also those seeking an adventure, with Zip-lining, camping, biking and many places to explore. The grounds is also home to many islands, one with a castle, and many other historic buildings.
2 - Achill Island, Co. Mayo - Another one to tick off the bucket list, visiting this coastal island town is must, due to its glorious seaside views, two beaches which have returned after lengthy absences and overall craic.
3 - The Aran Islands - With three to choose from, one could go on the ultimate camping adventure. Visiting any of the Aran Islands during good weather would be like taking in a holiday abroad. Beautiful, remote and there is three to choose from.
4 - Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo - Have you taken on the 764 metre climb? If not, why not travel down to near Westport in Co. Mayo and get your hiking boots on. The pilgrimage climb usually takes place on the last Sunday of July, for those seeking penance. There is also a small chapel on the summit, for those who reach it. (Pic - Outsider Magazine).
5 - Connemara, Co. Galway - You can’t claim to have visited the west, without driving through the rugged hills and lands of Connemara. Remote, with mountain and riverside views, Connemara is also a Gaeltacht area, meaning you might pick up ‘cupla focail’.
6 - Rosses Point Sligo - One for the beach-goers. Rosses Point is probably one of the most popular in the area, though there as also plenty of others in relatively close proximity, such as Strand Hill, Mullaghmore or Streeda.
7 - Glencar Waterfall - Located approximately 20mins from Sligo city, Glencar Waterfall has been a popular destination in the west for generations. A great destination for those in search of the perfect selfie, Glencar waterfall runs down through surrounding farmlands, entering a nearby river.
1 - Dingle, Co. Kerry - A bustling, rural town situated on the Coast. Also the home of Fungi, Dingle is a popular tourist destination and it is easy to see why. The Dingle peninsula is also one which you would regret not visiting. (Pic - Hidden Ireland Tours).
2 - Cobh, Co. Cork - Another busy seaside town, nesting in the heart of Cork. Dotted with historical monuments and attractions, People usually travel to Cobh to witness both the beautiful coastal scenery and to watch the boats sail off into the sunset.
3 - Lahinch, Co. Clare - Another extremely popular coastal town in the South of the country, if you have not visited Lahinch, you really should.
4 - Torc Waterfall - Apart of the Kerry Way walking tour, this waterfall needs no description. How beautiful would it be up close? (Pic - Killarney.ie)
5 - Blarney Stone, Cork - How could we leave this out? One of the country’s most famed landmarks. It is said that if you kiss it, you receive a mystical eloquence, worth a try?
6 - Father Ted’s House, Clare - Visits are taken to the world-famous house of the Craggy Island favourites. You can even have tea in the house of the one and only Mrs. Doyle, though you must make an appointment. Located near Ennis, the house is now also surrounded by an organic farm.
7 - Rock Of Cashel, Tipperary - Another must-see, this was once the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster, prior to the Norman invasion. It is also fabulous to look at.
1 - Newgrange, Co. Meath - A Neolithic tomb, first founded in 3,200 BC, Newgrange is best known for activities which occur during the winter solstice, an event live-streamed all over the world. The debate is still ongoing as to the original purpose of Newgrange, we will let you add your views to the battle.
2 - Mount Druid, Co. Westmeath - Another spot for the camping-mad, Mount Druid is also a wedding venue and is 100-acres in total. The site features camping facilities, a custom-made tin chapel, a barn and a boathouse.
3 - Glendalough, Co. Wicklow - Named after St. Kevin, It is an early medieval monastic settlement, thought to have been founded in the 6th century. It features a monastery, round towers and stunning surrounding views, offering a sense of serenity.
4 - Hellfire Club, Dublin - Otherwise known as Mount Pelier Hill, this is a 383m hill located in Dublin. The site features a hunting lodge, built by former Irish politician William Connolly in 1725, and now lays in ruins.
5 - Lough Tay, Wicklow - Also dubbed “Guinness Lake”, Lough Tay is a small, scenic, situated on private property in the Wicklow Mountains. A truly unique area, this is another one for the avid hikers as it is located between Luggala and Djouce mountains. (Pic - VisitWicklow.ie)
6 - Blessington, Wicklow - Another garden county entrant. Blessington is famed for its beautiful lakeside scenery. Descriptions really don’t do it justice, therefore just take in the beautiful image below.
7 - Hill of Tara, Co.Meath - Located near Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, the Hill of Tara can lay the claim of being Ireland’s most historical areas. According to ancient tradition, it was once the seat of the High King of Ireland. The lands feature in many ancient and mythological texts and was the site of many famed battles in the past. It also features many ancient historical monuments and offers a real insight into Ireland in its former glory.
These are just some of the beautiful, rural, attractions on offer in this fantastic country. There are of course many, many more, but we will leave the exploring up to you.