Glenariff Forest Park, County Antrim
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Glenariff Forest Park, County Antrim

The rivers have carved deep valleys through the Antrim Mountains to the sea. Celebrated in song and verse, the Glens of Antrim used to be the wildest and most remote part of Ulster. This region was not ‘planted’ with English and Scots settlers in the 17th century and was the last place in Northern Ireland […]

St Patrick’s Cathedral
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Southwest Dublin

The area around Dublin Castle was first settled in prehistoric times, and it was from here that the city grew. Dublin gets its name from the dark pool (Dubh Linn) which formed at the confluence of the Liffey and the Poddle, a river which originally ran through the site of Dublin Castle. It is now […]

Jerpoint Abbey, County Kilkenny
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 […]

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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 […]