One of Ireland’s four provinces, Leinster, has a lot of offer. Here are the 28 things best things that everyone must have on their Leinster Bucket List.
1. River Shannon from Athlone Town, Co. Westmeath
The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland at 360.5 km. This is an amazing part of the river. Certainly a site to see!
2. Molly Malone, Dublin
“Molly Malone” (also known as “Cockles and Mussels” or “In Dublin’s Fair City”) is a popular song, set in Dublin, Ireland, which has become the unofficial anthem of Dublin City.
The Molly Malone statue in Grafton Street was unveiled by then Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alderman Ben Briscoe during the 1988 Dublin Millennium celebrations, declaring 13 June as Molly Malone Day. The statue was presented to the city by Jury’s Hotel Group to mark the Millennium.
3. Newgrange, Co. Meath
Newgrange is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound has a retaining wall at the front and is ringed by ‘kerbstones’ engraved with artwork.
There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it has been speculated that it had religious significance – it is aligned with the rising sun and its light floods the chamber on the winter solstice.
It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Trim Castle, Trim, Co. Meath
Trim Castle is a Norman castle on the south bank of the River Boyne in Trim, County Meath, Ireland. Over a period of 30 years, it was built by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter as the caput of the Lordship of Meath.
The Castle is noted for the part it played in the filming of the Mel Gibson directed film Braveheart.
5. Proleek Dolmen, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth
The megalithic dolmen at Proleek, located in the legendary Cooley Peninsula, is one of the finest examples in Ireland and is widely photographed and documented.
Access to the dolmen is through the grounds of a hotel, and then across a golf course, but it is well worth a visit. Nearby is a wedge tomb, or gallery grave.
6. Wheat, Collon, Co. Louth
Experiencing the amazing wheat in Co. Louth is a reminder of the enormous role agriculture has played in the history of Ireland. The beauty of a wheat field is amazing.
7. Birr Castle, Co. Offaly
Birr Castle is a large castle in the town of Birr in County Offaly, Ireland. It is the home of the seventh Earl of Rosse, and as such the residential areas of the castle are not open to the public, though the grounds and gardens of the demesne are publicly accessible.
8. The Abbey at Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly
The monastery of Clonmacnoise is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone. Clonmacnoise was founded in 544 by St. Ciarán, a young man from Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon. Until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht.
The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, visited by scholars from all over Europe.
From the ninth until the eleventh century it was allied with the kings of Meath. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here.
9. River Liffey, Dublin
The Liffey is a river in Ireland, which flows through the centre of Dublin. Its major tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac. The river supplies much of Dublin’s water, and a range of recreational opportunities.
10. Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College in Dublin is arguably the most prestigious University on the island of Ireland. The architecture on the campus is spectacular and historic. It is also home to the Book of Kells. The campus is always full of tourists. It is a University like no other!
11. Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison located in Kilmainham in Dublin, which is now a museum. It has been run since the mid-1980s by the Office of Public Works (OPW), an Irish government agency.
Kilmainham Gaol played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the prison by the British and in 1923 by the Irish Free State.
12. Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin
The Ha’penny Bridge, known later for a time as the Penny Ha’penny Bridge, and officially the Liffey Bridge, is a pedestrian bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland. Made of cast iron, the bridge was cast at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, England.
13. Malahide Castle, Co. Dublin
Malahide Castle, parts of which date to the 12th century, lies, with over 260 acres of remaining estate parkland close to the village of Malahide, nine miles north of Dublin in Ireland.
The estate began in 1185, when Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied Henry II to Ireland in 1174, was granted the “lands and harbour of Malahide”. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12th century and it was home to the Talbot family for 791 years, from 1185 until 1976, the only exception being the period from 1649–60, when Oliver Cromwell granted it to Miles Corbet after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland; Corbet was hanged following the demise of Cromwell, and the castle was restored to the Talbots.
The building was notably enlarged in the reign of Edward IV, and the towers added in 1765. The estate survived such losses as the Battle of the Boyne, when fourteen members of the owner’s family sat down to breakfast in the Great Hall, and all were dead by evening, and the Penal Laws, even though the family remained Roman Catholic until 1774.
14. Stradbally, Co. Laois
Stradbally is a picturesque town in County Laois, Ireland, located in the midlands of Ireland along the N80 road, a National Secondary Route, about 12 km (7 mi) from Portlaoise. It is known for the birth of motor racing, the Steam Rally and the Electric Picnic.
15. Mount Usher Gardens, Co. Wicklow
Mount Usher is among Ireland’s most loved gardens, by both professionals and the wider public. The gardens were first planted in 1868 in the Robinsonian style, after the Irish garden designer William Robinson, who emphasised informal planting in harmony with the natural setting of the garden.
16. Wicklow Mountains, Co. Wicklow
The Wicklow Mountains form the largest continuous upland area in Ireland. They occupy the whole centre of County Wicklow and stretch outside its borders into Counties Carlow, Wexford and Dublin. Where the mountains extend into County Dublin, they are known locally as the Dublin Mountains. The highest peak is Lugnaquilla at 925 metres (3,035 feet).
17. Powerscourt Gardens, Co. Wicklow
Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow is one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland! The gardens at Powerscourt were laid out over two main periods. Many of the people involved in their creation and development never saw the gardens completed in their lifetime. When the house was rebuilt in the decade after 1731, the surrounding grounds were also remodelled.
The design reflected the desire to create a garden which was part of the wider landscape. And what a view it is! To the North formal tree plantations framed the vista from the house, while a walled garden, fish pond, cascades, grottos and terraces lay to the South.
Walks wound through the wooded grounds and a fine tree-lined avenue was created. When you arrive at the tree-lined avenue today, hundreds of beech trees will guide your visit.
18. Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
A popular day trip from Dublin, Glendalough, or the ‘Valley of Two Lakes’, is one of Ireland’s most prominent monastic sites, nestled in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
The 6th-century Christian settlement was founded by St. Kevin and boasts a series of impressive remains set against a backdrop of the picturesque Irish countryside. Nicknamed ‘the garden of Ireland’, Wicklow is a nature lover’s paradise of rolling meadows, vast lakes and hillsides carpeted in purple heather.
19. Avoca, Co. Wicklow
Avoca is a beautiful small town near Arklow, in County Wicklow, Ireland. It is situated on the River Avoca. voca lies on the R752 regional road linking Rathnew with Woodenbridge. The village is served by Bus Éireann route 133 from Dublin (66 km) and Wicklow (21 km) to Arklow (10 km), with two departures in each direction on Mondays to Saturdays and one each way on Sundays.
20. The Tholsel and Main Street, Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a city located in south-east part of Ireland and the county town of the eponymous County Kilkenny. It is built on both banks of the River Nore in the province of Leinster. Kilkenny is a popular tourist destination.
In 2009, the City of Kilkenny celebrated its 400th year since the granting of city status in 1609. Kilkenny’s heritage is evident in the city and environs including the historic buildings such as Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral and round tower, Rothe House, Shee Alms House, Black Abbey, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny Town Hall, St. Francis Abbey, Grace’s Castle, and St. John’s Priory. Kilkenny is regarded for its culture with craft and design workshops, the Watergate Theatre, public gardens and museums.
21. Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny
Kilkenny Castle is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland built in 1195 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several routeways. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and in its original thirteenth-century condition it would have formed an important element of the defences of the town with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, part of which can still be seen today on the Parade.
22. River Nore, Co. Kilkenny
The River Nore is a 140-kilometre long river located in the south-east of Ireland. Along with the River Suir and River Barrow, it is one of the constituent rivers of the group known as the Three Sisters.
The river drains approximately 977 square miles of Leinster. The river rises in the Devil’s Bit Mountain, County Tipperary. Flowing generally southeast, and then south, before emptying into the Celtic Sea at Waterford Harbour, Waterford.
23. River Barrow, Kilkenny
The Barrow is a river in Ireland. It is one of The Three Sisters; the other two being the River Suir and the River Nore. The Barrow is the longest of the three rivers. At 192 km, it is the second-longest river in Ireland, behind the River Shannon.
24. The Lake, Altamont Gardens, Co. Carlow
Known as the most romantic garden in Ireland, Altamont is an enchanting blend of formal and informal gardens located on a 100-acre estate. Whilst still little known, it ranks in the top ten of Irish gardens and is often referred to as ‘the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown’
25. Millford Mills, Co. Carlow
Milford Mills was founded by the Alexander family in 1790 and was totally destroyed in a fire in 1862. It has recently been refurbished and stands beside the River Barrow in County Carlow.
26. Wexford City, Co. Wexford
At first glance, Wexford (Loch Garman) appears a sleepy port town with a silted estuary that sees considerably less traffic than Waterford and Rosslare Harbour. However, there are reminders of its glorious Viking and Norman past in the meandering lanes off Main St – as well as some medieval monuments. It’s a pleasant pause if you’re looking for an urban break from the coast.
27. Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford
The spectacular ornamental grounds and gardens surrounding the 19th-century castle were designed by Daniel Robertson who is famed for the gardens at Powerscourt in Co. Wicklow.
28. Hook Head Lighthouse, Co. Wexford
Lonely Planet Guide has listed Hook as the No.1 Flashiest Lighthouse in the World! Lighthouses have a magic and mysticism of their own, none more so than the 13th Century Hook Lighthouse. One of the top things to do / Day Trips in Wexford or Waterford!