Portsoy, Moray
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Portsoy, Moray

The pretty fishing village of Portsoy has an atmospheric 17th century harbour and maze of narrow streets lined with picturesque cottages. An ornamental stone known as Portsoy marble – actually a beautifully patterned green and pale pink serpentine – was quarried near Portsoy in the 17th and 18th centuries, and was reputedly used in the […]

Canon Island
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Killadysert, County Clare

Killadysert takes its name from a hermitage of St Murthaile’s. there are remains of a medieval parish church with dwelling-tower.   To the East, on Inis Gad (Canon Island) in the Fergus estuary, are the remains of St Mary’s Priory, a house of Canons Regular of St Augustine. They stand inside cashel (site of an […]

Thirlestane Castle
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Lammermuir Hills, South of Eyemouth

North of Duns, the low-lying Lammermuir Hills, with their extensive grouse moors, rolling farmland and wooded valleys, run east to west along the border with East Lothian. The hills are popular with walkers and there are numerous trails, including a section of the Southern Upland Way.   To the West, the Way can be accessed […]

Liscarroll, County Cork
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Liscarroll, County Cork

There are the remains of the third largest 13th century castle in Ireland: a quadrangular court with cylindrical angle-towers, a strong rectangular gatehouse (upper storey 15th century) in the southern curtain, and a rectangular tower in the northern curtain.   Towers and curtain have lost their battlements, and the southeast tower, which contains the castle […]

Ballinamuck, County Longford
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Ballinamuck, County Longford

Here took place the last encounter of the daring French invasion of 1798. General Humbert, having marched the 160 miles from Castlebar through counties Sligo and Leitrum to Ballinamuck, with his small force of French troops and untrained insurgents, was forced to turn and accept battle with superior British forces under Lord Cornwallis. He drew […]

Dundrum, County Down
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Dundrum, County Down

Dundrum is a village and small port on Dundrum Bay. On a hill-top are the beautifully maintained remains of a great castle which was an important fortress of the abortive Norman Earldom of Ulster. The earliest castle, of motte-and-bailey type, was taken from de Lacy in 1210 by King John of England. The exact date […]

Balla, County Mayo
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Balla, County Mayo

Balla is a village on the Castlebar-Claremorris road. A broken round tower and a medieval alter in a shamefully neglected graveyard mark the site of the monastery founded in the 7th century, by St Cronan, alias Mo-Chua. To the west of the graveyard are Tobar Mhuire, alias the Blessed Well and the ruins of the […]

Dunluce Castle
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Bushmills Distillery & Dunluce Castle, County Antrim

Leaving the Causeway, turn inland to Bushmills, noted for the “Old Bushmills” Whiskey Distillery. This had a license to distil whiskey dated 1608, although it was distilled for some centuries earlier. The town also has a salmon research station. From here the B17 leads directly southwest to Coleraine.   The A2 shortly regains the coast […]

Killaloe, County Clare
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Killaloe, County Clare

Killaloe is a river-side town beautifully situated at the southern end of Lough Derg and surrounded by the Arra Mountains, Slieve Bernagh and Glenmagalliagh. It is also the terminus of the Shannon cruiser which runs from Carrick-on-Shannon. A long narrow bridge of 13 arches spans the lough to the village of Ballina in Co. Tipperary. […]

Inishfree Bay, County Donegal
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Aran Island, County Donegal

Aran Island, also known as Aranmore with its lighthouse (originally of 1798, but replaced in 1865) on its north-west point, is visible for 25 miles. There is a regular ferry between Burtonport and Leabgarrow on the island, which, like the smaller islets of Inishcoo and Eighter, has good sandy beaches. There are fine views from […]