It was 11:57 on December 31st 2015 and I was wedged inside an uncomfortably toasty Dublin pub as the last few minutes were squeezed from 2015.
Battling heat stroke and the fuzziness that often accompanies a generous helping of Guinness, I managed to mentally scribble down a new years resolution for 2016; explore Ireland, or go broke tryin’.
So that’s what I did (I’m actually writing this from the makeshift office in the back-seat of my Ford Focus…).
Over the last twelve months, I soaked up as much Irish exploration as my bank account allowed.
2016 saw me burn through several tyres, conquer a mountain or two, embark upon countless road-trips (got spectacularly lost on every single one), sample pints in some of the best pubs in the world and experience the raw beauty that’s bursting from every inch of Ireland.
Below, you’ll get an eyeful of the places that I explored throughout the year – completely unedited, in the hope that some of you may be inspired to set off on your own Irish adventure.
1 – Spinning along the magnificent Dingle Peninsula
2 – Cycling along the miles of hand-built stone wall scattered across the island of Inis Oírr
If visiting Inis Oírr tickles your fancy, you should consider staying in the charming little town of Doolin.
Packed with hostels offering a nights kip from €20, there’s a tonne of stuff to do in and around Doolin, with an endless number of places to explore across County Clare.
3 – An extremely breezy Giants Causeway in County Antrim
4 – A heavy mist hanging over the Slieve League Cliffs in County Donegal
5 – The view from the top of Croagh Patrick (here’s a guide for those of you planning on climbing it)
6- Scoping out the sunset on Inch Beach in County Kerry
I’d absolutely love to tell you that I intentionally planned on arriving at Inch Beach just as the sun was setting, but it’d be a downright lie.
This was a complete fluke. Here’s a video of the sunset for those of you hankering for more.
7 – Gazing out towards the Blaskets from Dún Chaoin Pier in County Kerry
Situated at the northern end of a secluded bay surrounded by craggy cliffs, Dún Chaoin Pier is as mesmerizing in real life as it is in photos.
An absolute must for everyone spinning along the Ring of Kerry. Here’s some video footage of the pier and its magnificent surroundings.
8 – The world’s windiest road – Glengesh pass in County Donegal
9 – Road-trippin’ across the windswept Achill Island in County Mayo
10 – Crossing a bumpy Carrick-a-rede rope bridge on a windy winter’s morning
11 – One of the many scenes that nearly caused my camera to combust in Kerry
12 – County Antrim’s cliff-side ruins – welcome to Dunluce Castle
You’ll find the iconic ruins of Dunluce Castle perched on dramatic cliffs along County Antrim’s magnificent coastline.
A source of wanderlust for travelers the world over, the castles unique appearance and quirky history has seen it receive enormous attention online in recent years.
Its appearance in Game of Thrones alongside the Dark Hedges may have helped…
13 – Welcome to Ireland – a postcard-perfect scene on the way to Torr Head
The Causeway Costal route is easily one of Ireland’s best road-trip routes.
Taking in everything from the Dark Hedges to the Giants Causeway, it boasts an abundance of natural beauty.
I was greeted with the scene above after taking “the scenic route” on the way to Torr Head. Here it is in all its glory in video.