Malahide Castle
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Malahide Castle, County Dublin

Near the seaside dormitory town of Malahide stands a huge castle set in 250 acres of grounds. The castle’s core dates from the 14th century but later additions, such as its rounded towers, have given it a classic fairy-tale appearance. Originally a fortress, the building served as a stately home for the Talbot family until […]

Castle Campbell, Clackmannanshire
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Castle Campbell, Clackmannanshire

When it came into the hands of the Earl of Argyll through marriage in the 15th century, this castle was known as Castle Gloom. The hill beside is still Gloomhill, and the burns which run down on either side are the Burn of Sorrow and the Burn of Care (sometimes known together as the waters […]

St Andrews Cathedral
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St Andrews Cathedral and Castle, Fife

The importance of St Andrews in medieval Scottish history can be gauged from the rise and fall of its cathedral, the oldest in Scotland; it was begun in 1161 by Bishop Arnold, consecrated in the presence of Robert the Bruce in 1318, and effectively finished off my John Knox in 1559; that is, it was […]

Derryveagh Mountains, County Donegal
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Derryveagh Mountains, County Donegal

The wild beauty of these mountains provides one of the high spots for a visit to Donegal. Errigal Mountain, the range’s tallest peak at 751m, attracts keen hikers the cream of the mountain scenery lies within Glenveagh National Park. Covering nearly 16,500 ha, this takes in the beautiful valley occupied by Lough Veagh, and Poisoned […]

Handa Island, Scotland
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Handa Island, Scotland

Since Handa Island was adopted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in 1962, it has become a mecca for British ornithologists and enthusiastic amateur birdwatchers. The island has the greatest concertation of seabirds in the north-west and at nesting time they are numbered in tens of thousands in a variety of species […]

Kylemore Abbey, County Galway
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Kylemore Abbey, County Galway

Sheltered by the slopes of the Twelve Bens, this lakeside castle is a romantic, battlemented Gothic Revival fantasy. It was built as a present for his wife by Mitchell Henry (1826-1911), who was a Manchester tycoon and later Galway MP. The Henrys also purchased a huge area of moorland, drained the boggy hillside and planted […]

Hill of Tara, County Meath
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Hill of Tara, County Meath

A site of mythical importance, Tara was the political and spiritual centre of Celtic Ireland and the seat of the High Kings until the 11th century. The spread of Christianity, which eroded the importance of Tara, is marked by a statue of St Patrick. The symbolism of the site was not lost on Daniel O’Connell, […]

Phoenix Park, Dublin
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Phoenix Park, Dublin

A little to the West of the city centre, ringed by a wall 11km (7 miles) long, is Europe’s largest enclosed city park. Phoenix Park is over 1700 acres in size. The name “Phoenix” is said to be a corruption of the Gaelic Fionn Uisce, meaning “clear water”. This refers to a spring that rises […]

Glin Castle
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Glin, County Limerick

This charming village on the banks of the Shannon is the seat of the Knights of Glin, a branch of the Fitzgerald’s who have lived in the district for seven centuries. Their first medieval castle is a ruin, but west of the village you can see their newer ancestral home, Glin Castle. Originally built in […]

Galty Mountains
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Glen of Aherlow, County Tipperary

The lush valley of the River Aherlow runs between the Galty Mountains and the wooded ridge of Slievenamuck. Bounded by the villages of Galbally and Bansha, the glen was historically an important pass between Limerick and Tipperary and a notorious hideout for outlaws.   Today there are opportunities for riding, cycling, rambling and fishing. Lowland […]