Footloose in Ireland
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Footloose in Ireland
~ 2 films on one DVD
Part one ~ Walking the Dingle Way
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!
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See what it's like - Walk with us on this DVD extract -
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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!
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Watch Viking Splash Tour
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Climate ~ (Shannon)
MAP OF DINGLE PENINSULA
Our walking route plotted on GoogleMaps not super-accurate, but interesting!
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.
MAP OF DUBLIN
Our Trail in Dublin plotted on GoogleMaps
We recommend hotel bookings by www.expedia.co.uk
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