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9 Stunning Spots You Have To Add To Your Irish Bucket List

The emerald isle that is the Republic of Ireland is, quite simply, something plucked straight out of the most wonderful fantasy book imaginable. Known for inspiring some of the most famous folk and fantasy stories of our time, it is a land deeply rooted in myth, legend and wonder. Any traveller to this island is sure to experience these feelings from the second they step foot in the country. To be clear, there really is something quite mystical in Ireland that is just waiting to be explored.

We have collected some of the most wonderful and magnificent spots in the entire country for you to start your adventure at.

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#1 Kilkenny

Between its immaculate nature, distilleries, castles, museums, and overall quaint environment, Kilkenny‎ is a can't-miss Ireland destination. The medieval architecture and sites blend fabulously with the thriving community to create a trip you'll never forget. Be sure to check out the immersive Smithwick Experience to learn all about Ireland's oldest ale and finish the tour with a cold pint fresh from the brewery.

Contributor: Samantha Morrison from glacierwellness.co

#2 Castle Leslie

Caste Leslie in Monaghan is one of the only castles in Ireland that is still owned by members of the original family. This stunning castle is rich with history yet is completely functional. You can spend the night in the castle, or just visit for a tour to explore the expansive grounds. The castle lodge serves afternoon tea, coffee and meals prepared using locally sourced Irish produce. And while the grounds are grand and impressive, it still feels warm and welcoming due to the true Irish hospitality.

Contributor: Tara Povey from whereistara.com

#3 Wicklow Mountains National Park

Wicklow Mountains National Park is Ireland's largest national park. This national park is a pleasure to drive through with rolling hills, forests, ancient ruins and sparkling lakes. Look out for herds of wild deer as you drive across the Sally Gap. There are plenty of beautiful spots to visit in the park; highlights include Lough Tay, Glenmacnass waterfall and Glendalough. It doesn't get more glorious and green than Wicklow Mountains National Park.

Contributor: Tara Povey from whereistara.com

#4 Dingle Penisular

A place I'd highly recommend visiting in Ireland is the Dingle peninsula on southwest coast. It's a gorgeous spot of sandy beaches and impressive cliffs, incredible to see on a boat tour. You can book dolphin tours to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat against the emerald green backdrop of the Irish countryside. It's a wonderful region of the country that lets you dig more into the real Ireland, out of the tourist traps in Galway and Dublin.

Contributor: Val Streif from getmyboat.com

#5 Galway City

The magical city of Galway is a must for any visitor to Ireland. From it's windy cobbled streets housing some of the most welcoming little pubs, to the magic of the mythical Spanish arch and Salt Hill promenade and not to mention the eerie silence of the waters of the canal on a foggy December night, this city must be first on your ultimate bucket list of Ireland.

Contributor: Ollie Smith from expertsure.com 

#6 Carlingford

If you are looking for a coastal town where you can enjoy the local scenery, craic and history in equal measure then Carlingford is the place for you. Located in the North East of Ireland on the Cooley Peninsula, you are just a stone's throw (or quick boat trip) away from Northern Ireland.The town is perfectly situated between Carlingford Lough and Slieve Foyle mountain.

The town boasts some outstanding medieval architecture and is famed for its oyster farms which you can sample at the local restaurants.It may look like a sleepy, picturesque town but it's extremely popular with stag and hen dos as there are plenty of pubs to choose from and there is always a party to be had.

Contributor: Stuart Cooke from unibaggage.com

#7 Glendalough

A major religious and cultural centre complete with it's round tower, round tower and many churches, this site by the lake is a must see. See the monks walking barefoot along the waters edge on a old foggy morning. The majestic oak trees from this site were used to build the second longest Viking ship ever recorded around 1042, a replica of which is currently displayed in Roskilde, Denmark.

Contributor: Ollie Smith from expertsure.com 

#8 Ashford Castle

My must-see place is Ashford Castle. Once home to the Guinness family, Ashford Castle is now a luxury hotel—and it is truly luxe. It's a massive estate that makes you feel like royalty. Staff know everyone by name, a chauffeur will drive you the short distance to town in a Land Rover, and the opulent rooms have gas fireplaces and beautiful antique furniture.

Contributor: Katie Hammel from scottscheapflights.com

#9 Cliffs Of Moher

Known for having inspired Lord of the Rings’ Middle Earth, these seaside cliffs are breathtaking. Visitors can hike along the Cliff Walk, which spans about 14 kilometers. You can also take in the scenic views from several towers along the walk.

Thrill seekers can get dangerously close to the edge for the sake of a “good picture", or if you’re a bit more cautious about heights, start at the Visitor Centre and head out on the paved path to O’Brien’s Tower (built in 1835). At its maximum height, the cliffs extend over 700 feet from sea level.

Contributor: Alex Membrillo from cardinaldigitalmarketing.com 

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Written by James Metcalfe

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