An Unforgettable 18-Day Road Trip That’s Packed With The Best Places to Visit in Ireland


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 banjaxxed 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.

Here’s everything you need to know about day 18!

What we'll be doingWhere we'll be sleepingWhat you'll need
    • Breakfast in St. George’s Market
    • A hike up Carlingford’s Slieve Foye
    • A post hike feed
    • Coffee, a ramble, pints and chips
The Oystercatcher Lodge, Carlingford
  • Rain gear
  • Water

Day 18 Stop #1 – Grab some brekkie in St. Georges Market (note: only open on Friday and Saturday)

Arrive for 10:10 with an empty belly

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.

St george's market belfast city
St Georges Market by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

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.

Day 18 Stop #2 – A Hike up Slieve Foye in Carlingford

Belfast to Carlingford – 1 hour and 15-minute drive (leave at 11, arrive for 12:15)

I visited Carlingford recently and had an absolutely cracking weekend.

It’s the perfect place for mixing adventure with a lively night out.

Today, we’re going to hike up Slieve Foye, a hike that’ll take around 3 hours depending on fitness levels.

slieve foy hike carlingford
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

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.

hiking slieve foye
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

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.

The view from the top is absolutely magnificent.

Day 18 Stop #3 – A Post-Hike Feed

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!)

where to eat carlingford
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Grab a bite to eat and rest the legs.

Day 18 Stop #4 – Coffee, a ramble by the Marina and Pints… oh, and Chips!

Finish up in Ruby Ellen’s at around 17:00 and get a coffee to go

I’m actually buzzing just thinking about this.

Grab a nice strong coffee to go after you finish eating and walk down and towards the marina.

walking in carlingford
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

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.

guinness mayo
Jam packed with goodness

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.

We’ve several mode detailed road trip guides en route over the coming weeks, so check back regularly or follow us on Instagram for the latest updates.