Have you a week off and are stuck for things to do? The South of Ireland is home to some of the most interesting and popular tourist attractions in the country.
Hop into your car and explore the south-east of Ireland in five days, starting in our fair capital city!
Feel free to mix it up a little and explore as little or as much of the list as you like!
DAY ONE: Dublin (Inner city Dublin to Kilmainham)
Begin your trip in the bustling Temple Bar, a haven for tourists. Explore the Temple Bar food market, where you can taste dishes from all over the world and of course, you can’t miss out on a pint in actual Temple Bar!
Continue to the forbidding Dublin Castle, a place rich with history. The castle has its roots in the Viking era. Erected in the 13th century, this ancient building is home to art galleries and government gatherings alike.
Finish up the first day of your road-trip in the infamous Kilmainham Gaol, which opened its door in 1796. Many of the prominent figures of the 1916 Easter Rising were held as prisoners here and this was also sadly the place in which the likes of Pádraic Pearse and Joseph Plunkett lost their lives.
Day Two: Wicklow (From Dublin to the village of Avoca)
On day two, make your way from our capital city to the county of Co Wicklow. The first stop in Wicklow is the luxurious Powerscourt Estate. Explore the beautiful manor house and bask in the lovely sight of the Powerscourt Waterfall.
Winding our way down the countryside, the next attraction is a real treat. It is a very ancient site, linked to St Kevin, all the way back in the 6th century.
Visitors will enjoy walking the trails next to the Upper and Lower Lakes. The round tower is the perfect place to snap a top-class photo.
The Mill at Avoca Village
Established in 1723, this is said to be Ireland’s oldest handweaving mill. Located in the beautiful Avoca village in the heart of Wicklow, this attraction is where visitors can learn first-hand how the weaving process works, see the mill in action and purchase hand-made scarves and blankets. It is such a scenic location.
Day Three: Carlow (from Avoca to Carlow town)
Duckett’s Grove, Co. Carlow
We begin our exploration of Carlow at the ruins of a magnificent 19th century home. The house was designed in the architecturally impressive Gothic style and visitors will enjoy the walled gardens which boast collections of Chinese and Japanese flowers, fruits such as figs, Irish apples and even ornamental bananas!
We delve even further into the south of Ireland and into Irish history with a visit to the dolmen. The dolmen is shrouded in mystery as not much is known. Experts believe many religious rituals were performed at the site. It is part of Carlow’s ancient history.
Carlow County Museum
Speaking of history, the final stop on the Carlow part of our road-trip is the county museum. This museum immerses visitors into the history of Carlow.
Displays of note are the original gallows trapdoor of Carlow Gaol and the history. of John Tyndall, a scientist who discovered the greenhouse effect.
Day Four: Wexford (From Carlow town to Hook Head)
Dunbrody Famine Ship
From Carlow to Wexford, this part of the trip takes places in the south-east of the country. Moored in New Ross is a fully interactive model of the famine ship that transported Irish people to America. “Passengers” on board will tell you what went on during these voyages.
The John F. Kennedy Memorial Park
Travelling further into County Wexford, this park is dedicated to the memory of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The arboretum is home to over 4,500 trees from all five world continents.
Features of the park include, woodland walking trails, a hedge maze for the little ones and a beautiful lake.
Jutting out from the south-east coast of Ireland is the 800-year-old lighthouse. Visitors will love touring the ancient building and views of the coastline are simply spectacular. Campers often pitch tents at this spot.
Day Five: Waterford (Crossing from Wexford to Waterford and finishing at Mount Congreve)
House of Waterford Crystal
Cross from Wexford to Waterford via the ferry, which takes you to Passage East, Co Waterford. Prices are extremely reasonable. First off is the popular Waterford Crystal, a world-renowned company. Watch the talented craftsmen mould red-hot crystal into beautiful ornaments and explore the richly decorated gift-shop.
Minutes away is the tower that guards the ancient city of Waterford. Look at the Quay from inside the tower and learn about the tower’s role in saving Waterford from the clutches of English general Oliver Cromwell.
Last, but not least, our journey concludes in the gardens of Mount Congreve. An 18th century Georgian manor, the house alone is absolutely stunning. Visitors will enjoy strolling in the gardens which are 70 acres of beautiful flowers, woodland and ponds. A satisfying end to a five day road-trip!