Valentia Island, County Kerry
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Valentia Island, County Kerry

Valetina Island – also known as Valencia – with its dramatic cliffs at Bray Head, is separated from the mainland by a torturous sound with narrow entrances. It is 11km long and 3km broad, and was once famous for its slate. The original Altlantic cable was finally laid by the cable ship The Great Eastern, […]

St Andrews Cathedral, Fife
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St Andrews Cathedral, Fife

Situated at the eastern end of North Street is the ruined western end of St Andrews Cathedral, once the largest and one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Britain; the striking ruins convey a sense of its immensity. Although it was founded in 1160, it wasn’t consecrated until 1318. It was a focus of pilgrimage […]

Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles
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Thurles, County Tipperary

Thurles is an ancient episcopal market town, where in 1174 Strongbow met his match at the hands of Donal O’Brien and Roderick O’Connor. The castle (12th century) guards the bridge over the Suir, and there is another smaller fort near the square.   The handsome Cathedral of the Assumption in Lombardo Romanesque style (1865-72) by […]

The Scottish Highlands
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Central Scotland

The country’s historical roots are deeply embedded in the sandy soils of Central Scotland. Significant ruins and castles that chronicle the region’s charismatic history pepper the landscape. Key battlegrounds shaped the country’s fortunes around Stirling, and Perth is the former capital where kings were crowned on the Stone of Destiny.   Arriving from the cities […]

Temple House Castle
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Ballymote to Tubbercurry, County Sligo

From Castlebaldwin, just northwest of the lough, a minor road leads west to Ballymote, famous for its strong castle, flanked by six corner towers. Built in 1300 by Richard de Burgh, the ‘Red Earl’ of Ulster it became a bone of contention in the Civil War, when it was occupied and defended by Irish forces […]

Dungarvan Castle
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Dungarvan, County Waterford

The 5th and 6th Dukes of Devonshire re-planned the town in early 19th century, and a grid layout surrounds the spacious Grattan Square. It lies at the head of fine harbour, and is the capital of the district of The Decies. It was saved from Cromwell’s bombardment in 1649, it is said, by the Protector’s […]

Inverness Castle, Scotland
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Inverness, Scottish Highlands

Inverness, the primary city and shopping centre of the Highlands, has a great location astride the River Ness at the northern end of the Great Glen. Many come in search of monsters at nearby Loch Ness, but the picturesque River Ness is also worth a visit for a cruise to try and spot its famous […]

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 […]