11. The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of up to one million visitors every year. Standing 214m (702 feet) at their highest point they stretch for 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland. From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connemara, Loop Head to the south.
12. Glenevin Waterfall, Co. Donegal
The walk up Glenevein Valley to the Glenevin Waterfall in Clonmany, County Donegal, takes the rambler on a safe, well sign -posted route. Newly installed picnic areas blend easily into the natural landscape. Footbridges are dotted along the track as visitors criss cross the stream using the stepping stones.
13. 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 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.
14. Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim
Dunluce Castle is located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North Antrim coast, and was the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan. There is archaeological evidence of a village that surrounded the castle which was destroyed by fire in 1641. The site was also witness to the sinking of a colony ship that broke up on the rocks off Islay in 1857 with the loss of 240 lives.
15. Keem Bay, Co. Mayo
Keem Bay, Achill Island, Co. Mayo. Located past Dooagh village in the west of Achill Island in County Mayo. Keem Bay contains a Blue Flag beach. The bay was formerly the site of a basking shark fishery. There is an old British army lookout post on the top of Moyteoge to the bay’s south. To the west is an old booley village, at Bunown. To the north stands Croaghaun, with Europe’s highest cliffs. The road leading to Keem Bay is high with steep cliffs.
16. Newgrange, Co. Meath
Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built around 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.
17. Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry
Skellig Michael or Great Skellig, is an island (the larger of the two Skellig Islands) in the Atlantic Ocean, 11.6 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. A Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century, and was continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century. The remains of this monastery, along with most of the island itself, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1996. This location is also highly rumoured to be used in the new Star Wars movie! It certainly is out of this world!
18. The Rock of Dunamase, Co. Laois
Dunamase or The Rock of Dunamase is a rocky outcrop in the townland of Park or Dunamase in County Laois. The rock, 46 metres (151 ft) above a flat plain, has the ruins of Dunamase Castle, a defensive stronghold dating from the early Anglo-Norman period with a view across to the Slieve Bloom Mountains. It is near the N80 road between the towns of Portlaoise and Stradbally.
19. Belbulben, Co. Sligo
Benbulbin, sometimes spelled Ben Bulben or Benbulben (from the Irish: Binn Ghulbain), is a large rock formation in County Sligo, Ireland. It is part of the Dartry Mountains, in an area sometimes called “Yeats Country”. Benbulbin is a protected site, designated as a County Geological Site by Sligo County Council.
20. Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary
The Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.
21. The Ring of Kerry, Co. Kerry
Irelands rugged rock, sweeping woodlands, coastal magnificence both salt and fresh, castles, chapels, museums, villages, estates, parks and studs are all contained in the Ring of Kerry. A 180km circular drive will occupy and fill any weekend!