Irish Dreams: Coastal Ireland

Guest Post by: My People In History

Ireland

Photo Credits @ My People In History

My turquoise adventure doesn’t seem like it would be very blue, more green. But there was plenty of blue! Ireland is known for its green and lush landscape but if you travel the coast, you’ll see plenty of shoreline of brilliant blues, steep, jagged cliffs, and of course, luscious green landscape. It is more than just green.

Why Ireland? This question has always seemed weird to me because Ireland was SUCH a dream ideal vacation to me that it was weird that other people didn’t feel the same way. I dreamed of going to Ireland since I was a little girl – I loved the myths and stories of Ireland and dreamt of the green isle for years. In college, I bought a large poster of Kylemore Abbey and it has graced my bedroom for more than 10 years now. It was a dream and one I thought was very out of reach.

Then I met and married my husband, Ben. We both dreamed of travel and decided that we’d spend a year overseas, seeing what countries we could. We’d start in Ireland. Life came though and our plans changed but I desperately wanted to still see Ireland. So we planned a month in Ireland (during my 30th birthday too!) and planned on traveling the coast.

I could write forever on the topic of our travel’s in Ireland so I’ll pick out a few of my favorite areas to share with you.

Bantry

Bantry

Photo Credit @ My People In History

For my 30th birthday, I wanted to spend time in a smaller fishing town called Bantry. This was probably my favorite place to stay. Up until now, we had stayed places by couchsurfing. At this point though, I wanted to try a bed and breakfast, one in particular called The Mill, and I was NOT disappointed! They welcomed us like we were old family returning and the hostess was always reminding us of where the tea and cookies were.  Bantry itself was a quiet place where Ben and I walked all over, especially along the water. We also spent some time biking and just enjoying fresh seafood and friendly people.

Dingle Peninsula

We spent quite a number of days around the Killarney area. We had met up with another couchsurfer and drove around the Ring of Kerry but our favorite was the less popular Dingle Peninsula. The day started off very foggy and we weren’t sure about driving in some of the more hilly areas because of the narrow roads. These roads are so narrow that when two cars pass each other they must do so slowly and cautiously. We were debating on going up something called Connor Pass, a risky drive in normal weather and we were told to avoid because of the fog. Everyone told us not to go. So what did Ben and our new friend decide to do? Drive it of course! I sat in the backseat with my eyes closed because I knew that the fog pressing on both sides of us, if dissipated, would reveal NOTHING on one side. But then we came to this and it was ALL worth it:

Dingle

Photo Credit @ My People In History

I think this area in the picture is called Brandon’s point but there aren’t a lot of signs. We sat on the edge there for quite some time, watching the ships move across the endless water. It was beautiful and incredibly peaceful.

Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park

Photo Credit @ My People In History

On our way back from our drive around the Ring of Kerry, we drove by the Killarney National Park. I knew it was beautiful and we just happened to come across it as the clouds were clearing. We had to stop and take pictures

Aran Islands

Aran Islands

Photo Credit @ My People In History

I heard so much about the Aran Islands that I really wanted to experience them. So while in Galway, we took a semi-tour to the area. I say semi because we went with a group to the Aran Islands and then Ben and I rented bikes and went on our own, meeting up with the group to head back to Galway. That is our kind of tour! This area is gorgeous! There are many unique things about the Aran Islands like the fact that most people speak Gaelic and that seals enjoy sunning near the shoreline.

Kylemore Abbey

We decided to take a tour while we were in Galway to see some of the many sights there were nearby. This included the poster that had been with me for over a decade: Kylemore Abbey. I won’t lie, I cried when I saw it (I’m an emotional person, what can I say?). I was amazed that my poster didn’t do this beautiful place justice. There isn’t much blue in this picture, but it was a dream come true for me:

Kylemore Abbey

Photo Credit @ My People In History

Sligo

Sligo

Photo Credit @ My People In History

Did you know that Ireland has a surfing area? I didn’t either! We were in Ireland in July, so this was probably about the warmest it got, maybe a bit more in August; we were in jeans and normally a jacket the entire time. There’s an area near Sligo called Strandhill that is known for its surfing. We did not surf while there, but we did take advantage of some of the coastal views by walking to the top of Knocknarae. Beautiful!

Northern Ireland

 Giant's Causeway

Photo Credit @ My People In History

We didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked in Northern Ireland. By this time, our month was nearly over and we had to get back to Dublin to catch our plane. We took another tour at this time too, so we could get to see what we could in the short amount of time we had. My favorite spot would be Giant’s Causeway – by far my favorite natural place we saw in Ireland.

About My People In History

My People In History

Photo Credit @ My People In History

First, the usual things: I graduated with a BA in Secondary Education in English and history. I was a high school English teacher (sadly, I never got to teach history, which is what I wanted) until last year when I quit to become a professional genealogist. I still love teaching but it stopped being fun for me and the negative atmosphere wasn’t something I’d wish for anyone. My love of genealogy is now becoming my career and I LOVE what I do now!

My husband and I met while we were both in college and we married in 2010. Our trip to Ireland in 2012 was, in a way, our honeymoon (we didn’t have one) and conveniently landed on my 30th birthday as well. We both love to travel and have focused on the U.S. a bit more with a hop over to Mexico (it’s been a brutal winter). Part of the bargain of not traveling for a year, was that we got to go to Ireland still and when we returned, we’d get a dog. We now have our amazing rescue dog, Enzo (a Doberman/shepherd) and live in the mid-west. My hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, music, coffee, chocolate, running (to counteract the chocolate), food, friends and family.

10 thoughts on “Irish Dreams: Coastal Ireland

  1. I am from Northern Ireland though now living in Scotland. Last year we spent two weeks travelling around and staying in B&B’s. We went right round the coast and loved Galway, Kerry, Sligo and Cork in particular. We drove past your abbey! I felt terribly homesick on my return. An ache in my soul I’ve not known before and this reminded me a little of why…

    • I’m so happy this post brought back happy memories. My mother and I are currently planning a trip to Ireland this coming August. I want to visit the places you mentioned. Do you have any other suggestions? Ireland sounds like a dream. My grandfather is actually from Ireland. My People In History has provided us an incredible post on Ireland.
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  2. So much to see. It’s been 11 years since I was back home (half way between Dublin and Belfast) and I’m heading there next year with the family. I really want to go to the Giants Causeway. I brought my Aussie husband and our baby girl home with me in 2000 and we did the west coast. Definitely time to return with the rest of the clan.

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