Jerpoint Abbey, County Kilkenny
Read More

Jerpoint Abbey, County Kilkenny

Lying on the banks of the Little Arrigle just south of Thomastown, Jerpoint Abbey ranks among the finest Cistercian ruins in Ireland, despite the loss of many of its domestic buildings. Founded in about 1160, the fortified medieval complex rivalled nearby Duiske Abbey in prestige. Jerpoint flourished until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when it […]

Fore Abbey, County Westmeath
Read More

Fore Abbey, County Westmeath

The ruins of Fore Abbey lie in glorious rolling countryside about 8km east of Tullynally Castle. St Fechin established a monastery here in 630, but what you see now are the remains of a large Benedictine priory founded around 1200. Located on the northern border of the Pale, Fore Abbey was heavily fortified in the […]

Ardfert Cathedral, County Kerry
Read More

Ardfert Cathedral, County Kerry

This complex of churches is linked to the cult of St Brendan the Navigator, who was born nearby in 484 and founded a monastery here. The ruined cathedral dates back to the 12th century and retains a delicate Romanesque doorway and blind arcading. Inside, an effigy of a 14th century bishop occupies a niche in […]

Clare Island, County Mayo
Read More

Clare Island, County Mayo

Clare Island, set in Clew Bay, is dominated by two hills, and a square 15th century castle commands the headland and harbour. In the 16th century the island was the stronghold of Grace O’Malley, pirate queen and patriot, who held sway over the western coast. Although, according to Tudor stat papers, she was received at […]

Tory Island, County Donegal
Read More

Tory Island, County Donegal

The turbulent Tory Sound separates this windswept island from the north-western corner of mainland Donegal. Given that rough weather can cut off the tiny island for days, it is not surprising that Tory’s inhabitants have developed a strong sense of independence. Most islanders speak Gaelic and they have even have their own monarch; the powers […]

Portstewart, County Londonderry
Read More

Portstewart, County Londonderry

A popular holiday destination for Victorian middle-class families, the resort still emits a sedate, old-fashioned air. Its long, crescent-shaped seafront promenade is sheltered by rocky headlands. Just west of town, and accessible by road or by a Cliffside walk, stretches Portstewart Strand, a magnificent, long, sandy beach, protected by the National Trust.   On Ramore […]

Holy Cross Abbey, County Tipperary
Read More

Holy Cross Abbey, County Tipperary

Founded in 1169 by the Benedictines, Holy Cross was supposedly endowed with a splinter from the True Cross, hence its name. Now it has been completely restored, and the church has become once again a popular place of worship and pilgrimage.   Most of the present structure dates from the 15th century. It was built […]

Read More

Baltimore, County Cork

Baltimore’s most bizarre claim to fame dates to 1631 when more than 100 citizens were carried off as slaves by Algerian pirates. Now that the threat of being  kidnapped has gone, this village appeals to the yachting fraternity and island-hoppers. Like neighbouring Schull and Castletownshend, the town bustles with summer festivals.   Overlooking the harbour […]

Read More

Lough Arrow, County Sligo

People go to Lough Arrow to sail and fish for the local trout, and also simply to enjoy the glorious countryside. You can explore the lake by boat, but the views from the shore are the real joy of Lough Arrow. A full circuit of the lake is highly recommended, but for the most breath-taking […]

Read More

Kilmacduagh, County Galway

This monastic settlement is in a remote location on the borders of Counties Clare and Galway, roughly 5km southwest of Gort. The sense of isolation is accentuated by the stony moonscape of the Burren to the west. Reputedly founded by St Colman MacDuagh in the early 7th century, Kilmacduagh owes more to the monastic revival […]