Ennis, County Clare
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Ennis, County Clare

North of the narrow streets of the old town stands the Court House, a Classical building of 1850-52 with original interior finishes. The ruined friary near the centre by the river, was founded by Donough Cairbrearch O’Brien in 1242, and surprised in 1543. An incongruous top storey with ugly spirelets has been added to the […]

Perth, Perthshire
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Perth, Perthshire

Lodged snugly in a lush valley alongside the M90, Perth’s biggest drawcard is historical Scone Palace, but the city’s grand Georgian buildings by the banks of the River Tay possess their own splendour. This market town was once a weaving, dyeing and glove-making centre and Scotland’s capital. Today it exudes a demure pride, suggesting the […]

Cork City
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Cork City and County

Beautifully situated on the River Lee, Cork City is after Dublin and Belfast, the 3rd city of Ireland with long established Choral, Film and Jazz Festivals. The rich farmland of Cork (the largest of the 32 counties) is separated by the Ballyhoura, Galty and the Knockmealdown Mountains range from Tipperary to the north, and two […]

Newtownards, County Down
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Newtownards, County Down

Newtownards, now a busy manufacturing centre in an old town, despite its name. It dates from 1244, when a Dominican Priory was founded here by Walter de Burgh, the church of which still stands in ruins in Court Square, off Castle Street. Of the existing remains the nave is the only original part; the tower […]

Cliffs Of Moher
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Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

The cliffs form a sheer precipice, 8km long; one of the most impressive stretches of coast in the west of Ireland. During the nesting season a remarkable variety of seabirds nest here, among them guillemots, razor-bills, puffins, kittiwakes and shags. The best view is enjoyed from O’Brien’s Folly, approached by a track leading left from […]

St Andrew Square, Edinburgh
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St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

Not as architecturally distinguished as its sister at the opposite end of George Street, St Andrew Square is dominated by the fluted column of the Melville Monument, commemorating Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811), Dundas was the most powerful Scottish politician of his time, often referred to when alive as Henry IX, the ‘Uncrowned King […]

Maynooth, County Kildare
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Maynooth, County Kildare

The castle was probably built in 1176 by Maurice Fitzgerald, a companion of Strongbow. It remained a Fitzgerald stronghold until 1535, when the rebel Lord Thomas Fitzgerald (known as ‘Silken Thomas’ from the silk fringes worn on the helmets of his retainers) was betrayed to Sir William Skeffington by his foster-brother Christopher Paris. Although restored […]

Isle of Rum, Small Isles
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Isle of Rum, Small Isles

The Isle of Rum – the biggest and most spectacular of the Small Isles – was once known as the Forbidden Island. Cleared of its crofters in early 19th century to make way for sheep, from 1888 to 1957 it was the private sporting estate of the Bulloghs, the nouveau riche Lancashire family who made […]

Navan Fort, County Armagh
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Navan Fort, County Armagh

An ancient coach road, leading due west from the cathedral hill, crosses the Callan by a charming old bridge, beyond which is St Patrick’s Well (a gnarled thorn bush is decked with votive offerings left by present-day pilgrims). Navan Fort (Emain, Macha) rises further on the right. This huge elliptical mound occupies the site of […]

Culzean Castle
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Ayrshire, North Ayrshire

Ayrshire synonymous with golf and with Robert Burns – and there’s plenty on offer here to satisfy both pursuits. Troon has six golf courses for starters, and plenty of yachties, and there’s enough Burn’s memorabilia to satisfy his most fanatic admirers.   This region’s main drawcard though is the irresistible Isle of Arran. With a […]