Seven Dazzling Day Trips from Dublin
The next time you’re in Dublin, consider traveling to its stunning surrounding towns and villages. Here are seven of the best day trips from dublin you can take while you are visiting the Irish capital.
Venture off to the Cliffs of Moher
Rain or shine, this is a mesmerizing trip visitors of Ireland shouldn’t miss. You have to see this 8-km spectacle to believe its grandeur. Pictures fail to give justice to its sheer beauty. Travel to County Clare to witness this breathtaking coastal gem. Tourists often choose between cruising and joining a guided walking tour along the cliff paths.
Ideally, visitors spend a day to fully appreciate this tourist attraction, but if you are strapped for time, you can schedule your visit in the afternoon and stay until sunset.Your are in for a dramatic scene when the sun goes down on the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you capture this with a camera or just with your eyes, it’s an image you will never forget. To complete this sensational experience, there’s a harpist playing Irish folk music.
Visit the stunning seaside village of Howth
Take a 50-minute train ride from Dublin to the picturesque peninsula of Howth. Wander through the halls of the 14th-century Howth Castle with one of the owners as a tour guide. Feast your eyes on the castle’s beautiful blooms by roaming the courtyard and grounds in May and June. Join a cookery class within the castle, and leave with renewed confidence in your cooking skills.
Try to picture the marina back in the day when the Norse Vikings docked at its port. As a seaside town, expect to satisfy your cravings for fresh seafood at an affordable price. The literature buff in your group can visit the former home of W.B. Yeats when he was a child.
Discover the ancient treasures of Trim
Ireland is brimming with charming castles, but the filmmaker of the 1995 hit movie Braveheart chose the largest, finest castle located in Trim. Built in the 12th century, Trim Castle can only be accessed by joining guided tours. Tour guides are experts in the castle’s history, sharing their insight and bringing life and meaning to every object and feature of the fortress. Prior booking is essential.
After soaking in the castle’s magnificent history, head over to St. Mary’s Abbey building to admire the formidable 40m Yellow Steeple. This structure served as the bell tower of the abbey from 13th to 16th century. The stonework turns to yellow at sunset (hence the name), so stay awhile to get a glimpse of this moment.
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Newgrange
Take a bus to Newgrange and demystify Ireland’s ancient past. Explore the stories told within this World Heritage prehistoric site. When ancient farmers prospered from tending their lands in the Boyne Valley, they built huge mounds, like Newgrange, as a sacred site of worship and other significant ceremonies. Throughout areas along River Boyne, you will find big and small mounds like this.
Get a taste of Ireland’s quaint, well-preserved countryside at Wicklow Mountains National Park
Find Celtic crosses, decades-old graveyards, and gorgeous old churches at every bend of Glendalough. St. Mary’s Church, one of Ireland’s prettiest churches built in the 12th century, is a favorite stopover of tourists visiting the village. If you can’t get enough of intriguing ruins, pop by St. Kevin’s Church (Kevin’s Kitchen) and examine its curious structure.
Well-preserved historic homes and ancient ruins are not the only claim to fame of Glendalough.Scenic spots, nature trails, and invigorating hikes also await travelers at Wicklow Mountains National Park. Most visitors cannot get enough of the mountain’s magnificent sight so consider staying overnight in Glendalough. It’s a photographer’s dream destination.
Explore the Powerscourt Gardens and House
Take your time and stroll through the interiors and beautifully-kept grounds of Powerscourt Gardens and House. Plan your visit and be strategic about how you tackle the estate because it’s massive with a lot of sights and attractions to distract curious visitors. Picture this: the gardens span 43 acres and are maintained by a team of gardeners since 1731.
On average, tourists spend about two or three hours wandering around the estate, exploring and discovering surprising sights, such as the Dolphin Pond, Pepperpot Tower and Pet Cemetery. Having doubts if this trip is worth taking? National Geographic has rated it among the top 10 gardens in the world. Now you will be able to cross off a remarkable destination from your travel bucket list.
Stay in the Ashford Castle for a day or two
Former presidents Reagan and Kennedy stayed in the VIP suites at Ashford Castle. The interior design and facilities have been updated to meet modern needs and demands, but guests can still feel like royals upon staying within this Victorian Neo-Gothic structure.
Understandably, the castle is a popular honeymoon destination. Traveling couples can dine at the Dungeon and the George V Dining Room, and enjoy wine and food pairings at the Castle’s Wine Cellars. There are countless activities fit for royalty, such as horse riding, falconry, fishing, golfing, cycling, kayaking, and even zip lining. With its 350-acre grounds, Ashford Castle offers fantastic activities that will keep you entertained for days.