Visiting Ireland Off Season

When you think of Ireland you usually think of summer months or fall to visit but this was December and we wondered what it would be like.

We arrived on December 1st to a cloudy morning and 46 degrees. Off to the Man of War, a fantastic pub that opened up just for us for a great breakfast to get our day started right. With our stomachs full we drove north towards Monsterboice, with its ancient cemetery, the sun shining and the weather really isn’t so bad. The first night we stayed in Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle. The hotel is magnificent and it sits right on the water. It’s absolutely beautiful with great views and hearty Irish food. Have you ever had your morning breakfast served with Irish whiskey, well you can here.

While the sun is out today, we visit the burial spot of St. Patrick in Down Patrick; it has turned a little cool. From there we travel to Belfast. The town has really had a rebirth from our last visit. A tour of Belfast in the Ulster section will show you how Belfast was during the war. Now it is bustling with lots of people and activity. There is a huge Ferris wheel on the grounds of the town hall and a wonderful fair was going on. The Jury’s Hotel and Europa, both fine hotels are located right on the main street.

While riding through the Silent Valley and onto Armegh we finally arrive into Galway. Unfortunately it took us a lot longer than normal. We had arrived just after some really
serious flooding in that area and we had to drive around it. We stayed at the Hotel Meyrick which is located right in the heart of Galway with a beautiful park across the street. The area has tons of restaurants and stores. A pub crawl would be in order here!!!

As we drove out of Galway around the bay, with the sun shining, and on to Connemarre and the Cliffs of Moher although it was extremely windy here, one could not help but be impressed by the absolute beauty of the area. On to St. Bridget’s with a lunch stop at lively Joseph McHugh’s local pub. Make sure you have the soups with bread; there to die for!!! After that we jumped on the ferry which dropped us in Kerry just a mere 20 minute ride. By taking the ferry you cut out some road time to

Kilarney. In this wonderful town there are lots of hotels and Irish restaurants along with many fine stores to choose from. Kilarney Plaza which is located right in the heart of town has wonderful accommodations.

A not to miss spot is the Foyne Aviation Museum which serves up wonderful Irish coffee. The museum with its wonderful plane replicas is a great stop to learn about the history of aviation as it reflects to Ireland. What’s a visit to Ireland without a stop at Blarney Mills, where you can find a great selection of Irish woolens, followed it up with a traditional medieval feast at the Bunratty Castle.

As a wonderful way to leave Ireland we stayed in Dromoland Castle and how beautiful that was, you really feel like royalty. As we prepare to leave Ireland we think back on all
the beautiful places and things we saw. The weather didn’t seem to bother us at all. Ireland is such a wonderful place to visit any time of the year.

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