I don’t write these posts for clicks, advertising revenue, or for the lolz.
I write ’em in the hope that they’ll give some of you the kick in the arse you need to get out and give exploring Ireland a crack.
Why do I bother?🤔
Falling in love with Ireland has literally changed my life, and I’d like to think that it’ll do the same for you, too!
Below, I’ve fired out some of the places that I’ve recently visited, and that I’d revisit in a heartbeat ❤ – perfect for adding to your 2018-to-explore-list.
(The photos are a mix of reasonably decent quality and phone snaps, so forgive the ones where the resolution is shite!)
1 – Scoping out Scotland from Torr Head
One of the beauties of travelling around Ireland by car is that you never really know what you’re going to stumble upon – especially if you’re as prone to getting lost as I am.
I’d never even heard of Torr Head…
Then I stumbled upon it while I was driving along the Causeway Coastal Route.
See the outline of land in the distance?
That’s the Mull of Kintyre, the southwesternmost tip of the Kintyre Peninsula in southwest Scotland.
If you land here on a clear day, just kick-back, soak up the view and gulp down lungfuls of that glorious fresh ocean air.
2 – Some place near Torr Head and I have absolutely no idea what it’s called…
I’ve literally no idea what this place is called, but the view is insane!
This is testament to the above statement about etting lost.
Regardless of how meticulously you plan out your route, or how familiar you may be with certain parts of Ireland, when you take a wrong turn or simply head off-the-beaten track, you’re liable to encounter anything.
If you fancy checking this spot out – here’s the exact location on Google Maps.
Now, although we pulled in at the gate you’ll see on Google, I’m not saying that’s what you should do…
The last thing I need is one of you making absolute shit of some farmer’s gate and telling him, “some bloke off a website told me it was alright to lash the car in here…”.
3 – The charming little town of Kinsale
Kinsale is a vibrant, buzzy little fishing town in County Cork.
Yep, it’s that place where a chunk of it looks like something plucked straight from a Dulux advert.
On the day I visited, the place was hopping, with people milling in and around the town’s market (nip over to the burrito stand if you visit) and many shops, cafes and pubs.
The chances are you’ve seen the little square above on social media – there’s no photoshopping done here, it really is that colourful.
If you can wind Kinsale into your road trip route, DO!!
You won’t regret the couple of hours you spend walking and eating your way around its gorgeous streets.
4 – The Gap of Dunloe #UnBleedinReal
The Gap of Dunloe is special. There’s no other way of putting it.
A ramble around here is like a shot of adrenaline for the senses (here’s a tonne more photos along with a travel guide).
It’s hard to articulate it, but walking through the Gap of Dunloe gave me a real sense of life.
The smells that your nose is only ever treated to while out in the fresh, unspoiled country air, combined with the constant rush of wind against my face was like a reawakening, of sorts.
If you’re visiting Kerry, this place is a must.
5 – Kenmare Town – full of friendly folk
I visited Kenmare during a solo road trip early last year and it’s sat fondly in my mind ever since.
After parking the car and throwing on a hat and scarf, I sauntered off on a quest to source a strong cup of coffee.
I stumbled upon a little café/bookshop (can’t for the life of me remember the name) and got chatting to an outrageously helpful barista.
This set the mood for the rest of my stroll around the town.
It could be the colourful shopfronts, the friendly townfolk or the link to harry potter, but my minds wandered many-a-time to Kenmare ever since.
Spend an hour floating around the town, sippin’ coffee and soaking up this lovely little spot.
6 – Dun Chaoin Pier – the departure point to the Blasket Islands
This place gets its fair share of attention online.
There’s no real question as to why; it looks mental.
Mental in the best way possible, of course.
It’s like the pier you’d depart from if you were heading over to Jurassic Park…
I’ve been here a handful of times over the past few years, and it still gives me a little kick when I sit near the edge and gaze down on what has to be the world’s most unique pier.
Here’s a heap more photos of Dun Chaoin, along with a little travel guide!
7 – Achill Island -get your arse here ASAP
An ever-changing tapestry of rugged mountains, windy roads, and long windswept beaches make Achill Island in County Mayo an absolute joy to explore.
One of the deadly things about Achill is the seemingly endless encounters with raw natural beauty you have as you explore the island.
You feel like the island couldn’t possibly have anything more to offer and then BAM, you turn a corner and it’s mind blown time all over again.
Here’s loads more photos of Achill if you need any more convincing!
8 – Brow Head – (Find out more about Brow Head’s Star Wars connection here)
I had a little epiphany when I was stood on Brow Head in County Cork, getting absolutely lashed out of it by rain and wind:
Sooooo that’s why they call it the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’…
What made this sudden revelation hit me smack in the face?
Watch the video below – it’ll give you a fair idea…
9 – Glengesh Pass, County Donegal – April 2017
Glengesh Pass is hands-down the most insane road I’ve ever driven on.
Can you see why?
Glengesh Pass is a windy stretch of road that meanders through the Glengesh and Mulmosog Mountains, connecting Glencolmcille to Ardara.
If you visit, head up to the top section of the road (the Glencolmcille side) and pull in when you see the van selling hot drinks.
If you park up there you can admire the view from the car or take a seat at the little picnic table just in front of the parking spaces.
We managed to get a space to pull in just before the bend began, and from here we climbed up a little on the grassy verge to the left and watched cars navigate along the road.
It’s like something from ‘Wacky Races’ – absolutely bananas!
10 – Cliffs of Moher at sunset
I’ve visited the Cliffs of Moher a fair few times at this stage.
The last couple of times were early in the morning, a couple of hours after sunrise.
During a road trip around Clare back in November, myself and a friend ended up arriving just after a massive downpour of rain, and right before the sun started to set.
The Cliffs of Moher at sunset is a different kettle of fish altogether – I’ll let the picture speak for itself.