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Around Ireland In 18 Days: A Coastal Road Trip Of A Lifetime (Full Itinerary)

Around Ireland In 18 Days: A Coastal Road Trip Of A Lifetime (Full Itinerary)

Day 18. Finishing the trip off in style in Louth

It’s crazy to think that today is the last day of the trip. I’ll be honest, I’m absolutely banjaxed from writing this guide.

I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s taken nearly 80 hours of research, writing and editing over the past month. Set the alarm for 9:30 and get out of the hotel for 10.

1. Grab some brekkie in St. Georges Market (arrive at 10:00)

st george's market belfast

Photo by Brian Morrison via Tourism Ireland

No day of successful exploration has ever been fulfilled on an empty stomach. Doubly so when there’s a hangover present. Enter St. Georges Market.

There’s been a Friday market here since 1604 and every week over 240+ traders take to the markets stalls and flog everything from shark meat to fresh fruit.

The second you step foot inside the market you’ll feel your stomach give an approving rumble as the smells of fresh food hailing from every corner of the earth wafts over you from every direction.

Have a ramble around and grab something that makes your mouth water.

2. A Hike up Slieve Foye in Carlingford (arrive for 12:15)

Slieve foy views

Photo by Marija Dolo/

The drive from Belfast to our first stop on day 18 should take around 1 hour and 15-minutes.

When you’re ready, it’s time to hike up Slieve Foye. This is a hike that’ll take around 3 hours depending on fitness levels.

I’d recommend a pair of hiking boots or runners with really good grip – we weren’t prepared when we climbed Slieve Foye and ended up on our arses many times as we made our way back down it.

Park near the village and take a right turn when you come to Ma Baker’s Pub. From there, we quite literally walked straight the whole way to the top.

Now, I’m not recommending that you do what we did, as we definitely made our own trail to the top. The folks at Discover Ireland have a thorough guide on the various walks that you can do.

3. A Post-Hike Feed

where to eat carlingford

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

You should get back to the village for roughly 15:40. Dust yourself off and take the short stroll to Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms

I had breakfast in Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms recently and it was ammmmmmmazing, so I’m sure lunch is just as good (going off the reviews it definitely is!) Grab a bite to eat and rest the legs.

4. Coffee, a ramble by the Marina and Pints… oh, and Chips!

walking in carlingford

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Grab a nice strong coffee to go after you finish eating and walk down and towards the marina. You’ve been through a lot over the past 18 days. Savour the moment.

When you’ve done all the savouring that you can muster, head back to the village and into PJ O Hare’s pub.

The evening is yours to chill, nurse a couple of well-earned drinks and soak up some atmosphere.

When you’ve finished up for the evening, head to the takeaway around the corner from Ma Baker’s pub – don’t settle for the chip van.

When you’ve a fully belly, head in the direction of your bed for the night. I’d recommend staying at the Oystercatcher Lodge as it’s nice and central and reasonably priced.

And that’s a wrap

18 long and unforgettable days of travelling around Ireland’s coastline have come to an end.

If you’ve gotten this far, I owe you a virtual pint. Let me know if you found this useful in the comments below.

If you’d like to see shorter, slower road trips, drop into our road trip guide hub and have a look around.

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Adrian Scullion

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

We are planning for a three week trip using your 18 day guide which has been really useful. We will be travelling in our 7.2m Motorhome. Are there any roads on the route that you think we should avoid. Thanks Adrian and Sheila


Thursday 29th of September 2022

How many miles in total?

Mark Vanstone

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

Great guide Keith - we are planning a 10 day trip in a motorhome with our dog Max, I don;t see anything related to some of the locations as to whether they are dog friendly or not e.g. if a visitor attraction do they let dogs in or if beaches are you allowed to walk your dog on it (or between certain dates only) etc...I understand you may not have a dog but any guidance you can provide would be well received - thanks

Kim Medcalf

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

Looks like a great itinerary, thank you. Can you tell me the total average number of km a person would drive on this trip? I am trying to get an idea of what gas would cost. We would rent a small car. Thanks


Saturday 16th of July 2022

Loftus House is closed while it’s being turned into a luxury hotel.

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