From north to south, Ireland has an abundance of beauty and wildlife. This article highlights Ten excellent places in Ireland of stunning scenery and amazing wildlife.
1. Aillwee Birds of Prey Centre – Clare
This attraction is situated in the heart of the beautiful Burren landscape and on the same site as the ancient Ailwee Caves. The first view you have of the centre is a large, striking painting of an owl’s face. Inside, you can view birds of prey up close, including barn owls and beady-eyed vultures. You can see these birds in action during the interactive flying displays. Also on offer is hawk walk, an hour-long trek through the unique Burren landscape accompanied by a guided falconer and a real live bird of prey.
2. Secret Valley Wildlife Park and Zoo – Wexford
Animals you can see at this family run zoo include raccoons, llamas and pythons, but one of the unique experiences available are the tailored experiences such as Junior Keeper, where you can clean and feed reptiles and work up close with the keepers in addition to Senior Keeper where you can act as a keeper by cleaning out animal cages and feeding foxes and meerkats! It achieved its zoo licence in 2014!
3. The Burren National Park – Clare
There is a sort of magic in the Burren that can only be experienced by visiting it. The barren, stony landscape seems otherworldly. Sights to visit are Fanore Beach, the famous Cliffs of Moher, Lisdoonvarna, (home of the matchmaker’s dances) and more. The Burren is home to unique plant life due to its unusual landscape and you’ll come across ancient burial sites as you travel through the landscape. Whether you’re into hiking or a beautiful view, the Burren is the place for you. There are endless attractions within the 1,500-hectare park.
4. National Reptile Zoo – Kilkenny
Are you brave enough to come face to face with a sharp-toothed alligator? If the answer is yes, then this reptile zoo in the South East is for you. Prepare yourself for snapping turtles, hairy tarantulas and deadly scorpions! The zoo itself has an assortment of attractions, from the Animal Encounter Zone where you hold some of the animals who live there, a chance to view Ireland’s largest snake: a 17ft python! The zoo is open all year round which is ideal as we know all too well how changeable Irish weather is.
5. Killarney National Park – Kerry
If you’re a fan of the outdoors, then the mountainous lands of Co Kerry are for you. You can run, walk or cycle through the National Park. One of the trails is the Gap of Dunloe where you take a boat trip from Ross Castle through the lower and middle lakes to Lord Brandon’s cottage. If you’re lucky you might stumble upon a herd of Red Deer that frequent these parts. Co Kerry is home to some of the most spectacular views in the country, and there is plenty of open space.