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While nearly every Irish town and village has its own collection of pubs to choose from, it has to be said that some places have more than their fair share. This Irish Pub & Folk Tour will help you discover these pub locations that are well-known for their great atmospheres, superb fare, plentiful drink and of course great traditional Irish music. Your tour will begin in Kilkenny which is regarded by many as Ireland’s top pub destination and end in Dublin which is famous not only for its bustling nightlife but also for the many wonderful historic buildings and museums that are dispersed throughout the city. As you travel from each location you will find inspiring scenery and many historically significant sites and buildings that will make your trip to Ireland unforgettable.
After collecting your rental car, your Irish Tourism itinerary will direct you as far as Kilkenny where your vacation begins. Often referred to as ‘Ireland’s Medieval Capital’ Kilkenny has a varied collection of pubs for you to enjoy, some are tranquil sanctuaries to engage in pleasant conversations and others are contemporary hot-spots well known for late night sessions. On route to Kilkenny from Dublin there are a number of places that you might wish to stop. The National Stud & Japanese Gardens for example has been a stop for many the horse enthusiast since the early 1900’s. Here you will find a museum detailing the history of the horse in Ireland, the stud farm itself where race horses are conceived, born and raised and the magnificent Japanese Gardens, regarded by many the seasoned traveller as the finest of their kind in Europe. Characterised by superbly renovated old buildings, Kilkenny City is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of interesting sites to see. You might visit Kilkenny Castle, a 12th century castle renovated in Victorian times or Saint Canice's Cathedral with its neighbouring round tower which is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny. The round tower may be climbed by visitors who wish to gaze over Kilkenny’s interesting and varied scenery from above.
Your tour route today will take you from Kilkenny to Killarney in county Kerry. Killarney is often considered the gateway to the Ring of Kerry and its bustling pub scene, live shows and concerts make the town a preferred overnight stop for many the international tourist and Irish tourist alike. On your tour route you will find the magnificent Rock of Cashel, an impressive cluster of medieval structures set upon an outcrop of limestone in the Vale County of Tipperary. Saint Patrick is known to have prayed on the rock and converted local high kings to Christianity. Cahir Castle, one of Ireland’s best-preserved castles can also be easily found nearby. For those who wish to travel the slightly longer route to Killarney, Blarney Castle can be discovered. Cormac MacCarthy, a great Irish chieftain built the castle almost six hundred years ago and since then the castle and its ‘stone of eloquence’ has been attracting thousands of curious visitors every year. Legend has it that if you kiss the stone you will never be lost for words and have as the Irish say, ‘the gift of the gab’. When you get to Killarney there are many walks and trails for you to enjoy including a two-hour tour around the town itself. You will also have the opportunity to visit Ross Castle which sits delightfully on the shores of Killarney’s lower lake, the Gap of Dunloe and Killarney National Park. In the evenings the town’s pub scene comes to life. As you rest from your travels you are sure to find a wide variety of traditional music as you explore the many old-style and contemporary pubs that this famous town has to offer.
The Ring of Kerry is a stunning journey through mountain and coastal scenery combined with the colourful towns and villages that are dotted around the Iveragh peninsula. Some popular stops include Kenmare which is famed for its many traditional pubs and restaurants, Waterville which is impressively positioned between the rough Atlantic Ocean and the fresh water lake of Lough Currane, the traditional market town of Cahersiveen with its traditional shop fronts and Valentia Island where a walk to the top of Geokaun Mountain will offer you unforgettable views. This driving tour will take you approximately three hours and for those that need a rest from driving we can arrange a bus tour through this route. As a substitute to the Ring of Kerry tour you may favour a wonderful tour by pony and trap that takes you through the Black Valley in the Gap of Dunloe. After an optional bite to eat at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, you will return to Killarney by boat on the beautiful Lakes of Killarney.
One of the longest but most dramatic days of your tour brings you from Killarney to the west coast of County Clare. First stop will be the Village of Adare in County Limerick. Adare is regarded by many as Ireland’s prettiest village with its charming thatched cottages, pretty Public Park and ancient churches. Shortly after this, you arrive at Bunratty Castle. Built in 1425, this grand castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval glory. Within the grounds of the Castle, 19th century Irish life is accurately recreated through the reconstructed traditional Irish buildings in the folk park. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this fascinating place as you stroll from cottage to cottage or around the delightful village complete with post office, school, doctors house, printers, hardware shop, and of course the local pub where you can indulge in a pint of Guinness or an Irish Coffee! A short distance away, the majestic Cliffs of Moher are without doubt one of Ireland’s most spectacular attractions, offering stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. Just north of the Cliffs you can then visit the lunar like Burren region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs. You then arrive at the village of Doolin which is often referred to as ‘the music capital of Ireland’. With a great many pubs and restaurants to enjoy, over the last number of years Doolin has been attracting considerable crowds to spontaneous music sessions!
Today you travel to Dublin via Galway and Clonmacnoise. Clonmacnoise is an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon and includes the remnants of eight churches, a cathedral, a number of Christian high crosses, two round towers and a large collection of early Christian grave stones. From here, travel either to Dublin or take a slight detour to the ancient passage tombs of Newgrange and Knowth. One of the greatest wonders of the world, Newgrange is older than the Pyramids of Egypt and is the most notable passage-tomb in Europe. The many attractions and museums in Dublin are easily accessible on foot or with the help of the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus service that stops at all of the major attractions including Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral, Trinity Castle & the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol, the National Museum of Ireland and The Guinness Storehouse to name just a few. In the evening Dublin City comes alive with its myriad pubs complete with excellent food and traditional & contemporary Irish music and entertainment. You will have the opportunity to experience an evening’s entertainment at one of the cities Irish Night Pub Events including; ‘The Abbey Tavern’, ‘The Merry Ploughboy’ or the more intimate ‘Irish House Party’ where good food combined with exceptional traditional music and dance is the order of the day.
Continue your sightseeing in Dublin today visiting the many historical and modern attractions that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Other attractions include Saint Patrick’s Cathedral which has a spectacular choir featuring banners and stalls decorated with the insignia of the Knights of St. Patrick, the James Joyce Centre a well restored Georgian town house which contains a museum dedicated to this famous writer & the Dublin Writers Museum which contains exhibits relating to all Irish literature from 300 years ago to the present day. Of course, you may wish to take time out to shop in busy Grafton Street or any one of the quaint streets that the café strewn city centre has to offer. Also worth a visit is EPIC, the Irish emigration museum and the GPO (General Post Office) which houses the ‘GPO Witness History’ visitor attraction. This exhibition tells the story of the 1916 rising and the aftermath of this historic rebellion. This evening you might like to spend some time in the Temple Bar area, possibly the most famous cultural district in Ireland. This compact area boasts an impressive choice of cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops to suit all pockets and tastes and all within easy walking distance of Temple Bar's many galleries and cultural centres. At night this area is a major centre for nightlife, with many nightclubs, restaurants and bars opening their doors. Famous pubs in the area include The Porterhouse, Farrington’s Pub, the Temple Bar Pub and the Quays Bar to name but a few.
The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe.
The Cliffs of Moher boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as are the valleys and hills of Connemara.
The Cobh Heritage Centre provides information on life in Ireland through the 18th and 19th centuries, the mass emigration, the Great Famine, and on how criminals were transported...
Doolin is small fishing village on a sandy bay world-famous for its wealth of Irish music & has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions and festivals. Overlooked by Doonag...
Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin ...
This little town is world-famous due to its exquisite location beside lakes and mountains.Take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through the grounds of the Killarney National Park ...
Kilmainham Gaol (Irish: Príosún Chill Mhaighneann) 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 o...
Trinity is located in the centre of Dublin, Ireland, on College Green opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament. Library of Trinity College is a copyright library for Irelan...
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin. The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, bu...
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