Footloose in Ireland
                      Ireland

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  ATMOSPHERIC IRELAND       

The two destinations we recommend in Ireland are poles apart, but the one common thread is the warmth of the people and not the weather! The Dingle Peninsula has a rugged beauty with many country lanes lined with fuschias. During the day you will see wild landscape, and at night be entertained with traditional folk music and hearty suppers. Kerry Airport gets you to a bus ride away from this wonderful coast. Although the capital of Ireland is not close, you can fly from Kerry to Dublin's International Airport. "Truly Madly Deeply" is how the tourism office describes the capital. 
Mad it certainly is, and with such friendly people you can't help but have a good time. 
 
- See travel and trail information links at the bottom of the page -

  Highlights and places to visit:   

DINGLE PENINSULA- Walk some or all of the lovely Dingle Way. You can also reach nearly all of the sights by car: Dingle town crammed with atmospheric pubs, offering live music and yes, shopping! Take a  dolphin cruise in the harbour. Slea Head spectacular coastal views, Inch Strand and many scenic spots.
 

DUBLIN Elegant Georgian grand design, laced with charming pubs and hotels offering live music at night. Grand buildings to see, like Dublin Castle and Trinity College, superb shopping too. The capital city celebrates its famous writers, poets and heroes with many statues in the central green parks.

Home Page      Footloose in Ireland 
              ~ 2 films on one DVD    

Part one ~ Walking the Dingle Way
THE DETAILS...
The Dingle peninsula offers wonderful coastal scenery and easily rivals the "Ring of Kerry" tour which attracts many more tourists.
The Dingle Way, also in County Kerry, represents one of Ireland's prettiest hiking and historic trails. It takes a complete loop around the peninsula making a total of 157 km (120 miles). The southern section of the trail which we recommend, listening to local advice, is around 55 Km, taking around 4 days.  A local bus will set you down in the village of Camp where you can join the Dingle Way. It leads you down lovely fuschia-lined lanes and across a lonely peat bog. You will reach the wild coast at Inch Strand, an exquisite location for the classic 70's film 'Ryan's Daughter'. 

    
            
At Anascaul you can't help but drop in at the unusually named "South Pole Inn", where you can learn about ex-landlord and Antartic explorer Tom Crean and his amazing adventures with Scott and Shackleton. 
   The Dingle Way then takes you past ruined Minard Castle and through the lanes (boreens) and fields to the delightful fishing and tourist town of Dingle with almost 40 pubs! These brightly painted hostelries reflect the colourful Irish lifestyle and often host spirited gaelic music sessions in this isolated little town.
 
   

As well as Dingle's aquarium you can hop on a harbour cruise to see Fungi the Dolphin, their unlikely tourist attraction. Next, you stride out to Ireland's most westerly point. After crossing breezy Ventry Strand, ancient remains, beehive huts and wonderful views are to be had as you round the breathtaking coastline to Slea Head and finally arrive at Dunquin, the tip of the Dingle Peninsula and also the edge of Europe. On a good day you can visit the deserted Blasket Islands. We phoned for a taxi to take us back (very weak signal here, though), however, the Dingle Way continues on a more strenuous, but still very scenic, trail back to Tralee where it started. 
  


Rainfall is high in Western Ireland but the climate is mild. Some of the waymarking is hidden in the lush undergrowth, so it can become a game of hide and seek, and many of the small roads don't say where they are heading, be warned!

More on
DEBRA'S DIARY





See what it's like - Walk with us on this DVD extract -
press the 4-arrows button if you want full screen playback


Part two ~ Discovering Dublin  
THE DETAILS...
Our suggested Dublin trail starts at Heuston Station and roughly follows the banks of the river Liffey, passing by many of the main sights. Most of the city centre is flat and quite compact, and walking is naturally the best way to get around. First stop has to be the No.1 tourist attraction: The Guinness Storehouse where you can learn to pull a perfect pint and find out all about the black traditional beverage of Ireland. Our walk continues past lovely Ha'penny Bridge to historic O'Connell Street. As well as a place to do some superb shopping, you can't help but notice the Spire of Light spearing the Dublin skyline. Our trail then takes you away from the Liffey down to historic Trinity College.

  
 
In our film, well-known author and Dublin guide, Pat Liddy tells of his city and its long history of occupation from the Vikings to finally Independence from British rule. 
   Our city trail takes us next to Dublin Castle where we are shown round the magnificent State Rooms, which have been a meeting place for many statesmen and dignitaries from around the world including, of course, our own Queen.

  

Dublin is home to two cathedrals, both have medieval origins, we continue past them down to busy Grafton Street and St Stephens Green, where an elegant Georgian city starts to unfold. Row upon row of distinctive brick terraces with an incredible variety of colourful front doors. There is a chance to vist one of Dublin's excellent museums here too. Our trail ends at green and tranquil Merrion Square next to the National Gallery and Parliament Buildings. 
    Dublin celebrates its famous writers poets and heroes and all along our trail you can spot many spirited and humourous bronze statues in strategic places. You might round off the day in one of the many mad pubs and restaurants in the Temple Bar district. 
    If you fancy doing the trail all over again, you can take a ride on a Viking Splash tour, not on your average tour bus though: but on a 70-year old American DUKW amphibious vehicle! Lynn "the Red" amongst others will be your Viking host, on one of a fleet of amazing machines which will plunder the streets of Dublin and finally take a dip in the Grand Canal Basin!

 
 More on DEBRA'S DIARY

  Watch Viking Splash Tour 
 
  Feature pages:  
Austrian Tyrol
Austria
Switzerland
Spain
East European Cities
Ireland
Scottish Highlands
Dubrovnik
Tallinn
Rocamadour
Bavaria
London
Poland
Holland
Keukenhof Gardens
Madeira
Italian Lakes
Italy
Italy III Campania
Cotswolds

 
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Useful links:

http://www.dingleway.com

Climate ~ (Shannon)

MAP OF DINGLE PENINSULA
  
 
Our walking route plotted on GoogleMaps  not super-accurate, but interesting!
 
http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie
        
http://www.celticnature.com

Getting to Kerry Airport would probably be by Ryanair (watch your baggage allowance!). A bus service will take you to Tralee, the main town in the area, where you change for a local bus to Dingle, the best place to stay for this section of the trail. Taxi all the way might be expensive. The local bus to Dingle stops at Camp, Anascaul and Lispole which are convenient places to start and finish a days walk on the Dingle Way.

Climate ~Dublin

MAP OF DUBLIN
 
Our Trail in Dublin plotted on GoogleMaps

http://www.visitdublin.com

               
http://www.vikingsplash.ie

Guiness Storehouse

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