Lismore, County Waterford
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Lismore, County Waterford

This genteel riverside town is dwarfed by Lismore Castle, perched romantically above the River Blackwater. Built in 1185 but remodelled in the 19th century, the castle is the Irish seat of the Duke of Devonshire and is closed to the public. However, you can visit the sumptuous gardens, which include a lovely riverside walk. Lismore […]

Dryburgh Abbey, Berwickshire
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Dryburgh Abbey, Berwickshire

When William and Dorothy Wordsworth visited Dryburgh in 1803 during their tour of Scotland (recorded by Dorothy) they were admitted by a goblin-like woman who smelled of peat: ‘If she had emitted smoke by her breath and through every pore, the odour could not have been stronger’, wrote the poet’s sister. The abbey itself proved […]

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 […]