Must-see attractions in Ireland

  • Ross Castle, Killarney,

    Ross Castle

    Killarney National Park

    Lakeside Ross Castle dates to the 15th century, when it was a residence of the O'Donoghue family. The entertaining 45-minute guided tour combines an…

  • Ballymastocker Beach on the western shroes of Lough Swilly in Ireland.

    Ballymastocker Beach

    County Donegal

    Once named the second-most beautiful beach in the world by British newspaper the Observer, this tawny-coloured Blue Flag beach is a supremely fine place…

  • Old Mellifont Abbey

    Counties Meath, Louth, Cavan & Monaghan

    In its Anglo-Norman prime, this abbey, 1.5km off the main Drogheda–Collon road (R168), was the Cistercians' first and most magnificent centre in Ireland…

  • Strokestown Park

    The Midlands

    At the end of Strokestown's main avenue, triple Gothic arches lead to Strokestown Park House. The original 120-sq-km estate was granted by King Charles II…

  • Culdaff beach, Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal

    Culdaff Beach

    Inishowen Peninsula

    This Blue Flag beach is great for swimming and windsurfing. You can wander its gorgeous length and get lost in the grassy sand dunes, and there's a fun…

  • Derrynane National Historic Park

    Ring of Kerry

    Derrynane House was the home of Maurice 'Hunting Cap' O'Connell, a notorious local smuggler who grew rich on trade with France and Spain. He was the uncle…

  • Kells Priory

    Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny

    This fortified Augustinian monastery is the best sort of ruin, where you can amble around whenever you like, with no tour guides, set hours or fees. Most…

  • Belvedere House & Gardens

    The Midlands

    Magnificent Belvedere House, 7.5km south of Mullingar, is an unmissable sight. This immense 1740-built hunting and fishing lodge is set in 65 hectares of…

  • Bantry House & Garden

    County Cork

    With its melancholic air of faded gentility, 18th-century Bantry House makes for an intriguing visit. From the Gobelin tapestries in the drawing room to…

  • Ballintubber Abbey

    County Mayo

    Imposing Ballintubber Abbey is the only church in Ireland founded by an Irish king that remains in use. It's reputed to have been established in 1216 next…

  • Hunt Museum

    Limerick City

    Although named for its benefactors, this museum, opened in 1997, is also a treasure hunt. Visitors are encouraged to open drawers and poke around the…

  • Ilnacullin

    Beara Peninsula

    This horticultural miracle of an island was created in the early 20th century when the island's owner commissioned architect Harold Peto to design a…

  • Altamont Gardens

    Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny

    One of Ireland's most magnificent landscaped gardens, Altamont covers 16 hectares on the banks of the River Slaney. Carefully selected plantings are…

  • Poulnabrone Dolmen

    The Burren

    Also known as the Portal Tomb, Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Ireland's most photographed ancient monuments. Built more than 5000 years ago, the other…

  • Céide Fields

    County Mayo

    An exposed hillside 8km northwest of Ballycastle is home to one of the world's most extensive Stone Age monuments. So far stone-walled fields, houses and…

  • Clara Bog Nature Reserve

    The Midlands

    Clara Bog is one of the few great expanses of classic bogland in Western Europe to escape being stripped for fuel. Deceptively flat and seemingly lifeless…

  • Kylemore Abbey

    Connemara

    Photogenically perched on the shores of Pollacapall Lough, 4km east of Letterfrack, Kylemore is a crenellated 19th-century neo-Gothic fantasy. It was…

  • Jerpoint Abbey

    Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny

    One of Ireland’s finest Cistercian ruins, Jerpoint Abbey was established in the 12th century, with the tower and cloister dating from the late 14th or…

  • Gallarus Oratory

    Dingle Peninsula

    Gallarus Oratory is one of Ireland's most beautiful ancient buildings, its smoothly constructed dry-stone walls in the shape of an upturned boat. It has…

  • Lough Boora Parklands

    The Midlands

    Much of County Offaly's once-extensive boglands were stripped of peat for electricity generation during the 20th century. Now Lough Boora, 17km north of…

  • Glebe House & Gallery

    County Donegal

    The English painter Derrick Hill bought this 1828 mansion in 1953, providing him with a mainland base close to his beloved Tory Island. Sumptuously…

  • Hazel Mountain Chocolate

    The Burren

    Book ahead to watch chocolate being made in small batches using rare Trinitario cacao beans and raw sugar on a 45-minute tour of this heavenly smelling…

  • Cavan Burren Park

    Counties Meath, Louth, Cavan & Monaghan

    Just 3km south of Blacklion, within the Cuilcagh Mountain Park and traversed by the Cavan Way walking route, this other-worldly megalithic site was…

  • National Museum of Country Life

    County Mayo

    The extensive and engrossing displays of this riverside museum delve into Ireland's fascinating rural traditions and skills. It's set in a modern,…

  • Cairn T

    County Meath

    At Carnbane East, Cairn T is 35m in diameter, with numerous carved stones. One of its outlying kerbstones, the Hag’s Chair, is covered in gouged holes,…

  • St Mary's Well

    County Mayo

    St Mary's is one of Ireland's most transfixing holy wells. An apparition of the Virgin Mary has drawn pilgrims here for centuries, and today a tumbledown…

  • Arigna Mining Experience

    The Midlands

    Ireland's first and last coal mine (1600s to 1990) is remembered at the Arigna Mining Experience, set in the hills above Lough Allen, 23km northeast of…

  • Banna Strand

    Tralee

    A favourite weekend getaway for Tralee residents, Banna is one of the biggest and best Blue Flag beaches in Ireland, a 6km stretch of fine golden sand…

  • Emo Court

    The Midlands

    The neoclassical, copper-domed Emo Court was designed in 1790 by James Gandon, architect of Dublin's Custom House. Originally the country seat of the…

  • Parke's Castle

    The Midlands

    The tranquil surrounds of Parke's Castle, with swans drifting by on Lough Gill and neat grass cloaking the old moat, belie the fact that its early…

  • Medieval Mile Museum

    Kilkenny City

    Dating from the early 13th century, St Mary's Church has been converted into a fascinating modern museum that charts the history of Kilkenny in medieval…

  • Kilmalkedar Church

    Dingle Peninsula

    The Dingle Peninsula's most important Christian site, Kilmalkedar has a beautiful setting with sweeping views over Smerwick Harbour. Built in the 12th…

  • Burren Perfumery & Floral Centre

    The Burren

    The Burren's wildflowers are the inspiration for the subtle scents at this wonderful perfumery and floral centre, which creates scented items such as…

  • Keem Bay Beach

    County Mayo

    Tucked away at the far west of the island, Keem Bay is Achill's most remote Blue Flag beach. The crescent of golden sands sits at the foot of steep cliffs…

  • Moore Hall

    County Mayo

    With towering walls engulfed in ivy and empty windows, Moore Hall is an astonishing and atmospheric ruin. Set beside Lough Carra, it was built in the…

  • St Mullins Monastery

    Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny

    This important monastic site, founded in the 7th century by St Moling, was the burial place of the Kings of Leinster. Its remains include four church…

  • Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb

    The Burren

    One of Ireland's most famous prehistoric grave sites, Gleninsheen lies beside the R480 7km south of Ballyvaughan. It's thought to date from 4000 to 5000…

  • St Tola Irish Goat Cheese

    The Burren

    Creamy St Tola goat's cheese is served at some of Ireland's finest restaurants, with award-winning lines including ash log, Greek-style feta and gouda…

  • Trawmore Beach

    County Mayo

    Running 3km southeast from Keel, beautiful, Blue Flag, golden-sand Trawmore is among Achill's most photographed beaches. Be aware that there are dangerous…

  • Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre

    County Meath

    Built in a spiral design echoing Newgrange, this superb interpretive centre houses interactive exhibits on prehistoric Ireland and its passage tombs. It…

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