Dornoch, Highlands
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Dornoch, Highlands

It’s difficult to believe that Scotland’s last executed witch perished in a vat of boiling tar in Dornoch in 1722, because today this graceful village is all happy families. On the coast, this symphony in sandstone bewitches visitors with flowers, greenery and affable locals at every turn.   The town is clustered around the 13th […]

Rathmullen, County Donegal
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Rathmullen, County Donegal

Rathmullen, a pleasant village overlooking Lough Swilly, was the scene of the ‘Flight of the Earls’ (14 September 1607), when the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel set sail for Spain with about 100 minor nobility and followers (the final episode of the Elizabethan wars in Ireland). They failed to land in Spain and went to […]

Jordan's Castle
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Ardglass, County Down

Ardglass is a fishing village and small resort to the southeast of Downpatrick. It occupies the site of a Viking settlement, and its importance in medieval times is attested by the remains of five 14th– 16th century, fortified merchants’ houses: King’s Castle, Margarets Castle, Cowd Castle, Horn Castle, and Jordan’s Castle. Jordan’s Castle houses the […]

Portsoy, Moray
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Portsoy, Moray

The pretty fishing village of Portsoy has an atmospheric 17th century harbour and maze of narrow streets lined with picturesque cottages. An ornamental stone known as Portsoy marble – actually a beautifully patterned green and pale pink serpentine – was quarried near Portsoy in the 17th and 18th centuries, and was reputedly used in the […]

Canon Island
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Killadysert, County Clare

Killadysert takes its name from a hermitage of St Murthaile’s. there are remains of a medieval parish church with dwelling-tower.   To the East, on Inis Gad (Canon Island) in the Fergus estuary, are the remains of St Mary’s Priory, a house of Canons Regular of St Augustine. They stand inside cashel (site of an […]

Thirlestane Castle
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Lammermuir Hills, South of Eyemouth

North of Duns, the low-lying Lammermuir Hills, with their extensive grouse moors, rolling farmland and wooded valleys, run east to west along the border with East Lothian. The hills are popular with walkers and there are numerous trails, including a section of the Southern Upland Way.   To the West, the Way can be accessed […]

Liscarroll, County Cork
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Liscarroll, County Cork

There are the remains of the third largest 13th century castle in Ireland: a quadrangular court with cylindrical angle-towers, a strong rectangular gatehouse (upper storey 15th century) in the southern curtain, and a rectangular tower in the northern curtain.   Towers and curtain have lost their battlements, and the southeast tower, which contains the castle […]

Ballinamuck, County Longford
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Ballinamuck, County Longford

Here took place the last encounter of the daring French invasion of 1798. General Humbert, having marched the 160 miles from Castlebar through counties Sligo and Leitrum to Ballinamuck, with his small force of French troops and untrained insurgents, was forced to turn and accept battle with superior British forces under Lord Cornwallis. He drew […]

Dundrum, County Down
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Dundrum, County Down

Dundrum is a village and small port on Dundrum Bay. On a hill-top are the beautifully maintained remains of a great castle which was an important fortress of the abortive Norman Earldom of Ulster. The earliest castle, of motte-and-bailey type, was taken from de Lacy in 1210 by King John of England. The exact date […]

Balla, County Mayo
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Balla, County Mayo

Balla is a village on the Castlebar-Claremorris road. A broken round tower and a medieval alter in a shamefully neglected graveyard mark the site of the monastery founded in the 7th century, by St Cronan, alias Mo-Chua. To the west of the graveyard are Tobar Mhuire, alias the Blessed Well and the ruins of the […]