The island of Ireland, home to both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, is a hotbed of cultural delights that really has to be experienced first hand. Similar to the United Kingdom mainland but possessing a flavour all their own, a visit to either one of these majestic nations will be something you aren’t soon to forget.
Here are a few of the stops you should make on your trip to Ireland regardless of your itinerary – you won’t be disappointed!
A few years ago, the decision was made to have a city of culture in the UK and the first every recipient of this designation was the Northern Ireland city of Londonderry, more commonly known simply as Derry. It will hold this title for four years, during which time it will be host to various festivals and award presentations, such as the Man Booker Prize. Be sure to make it to Derry at some point during its run (which goes through 2017) to take part in the festivities and see what makes it such a special place to be worthy of such of an impressive honour.
Those not in the know might be surprised to learn that Ireland has some pretty fabulous beaches both for natural beauty and for recreation, but it’s true. While so much is said about the green landscapes in the culture of Ireland, being and island makes water just as important to its cultural identity as anything else! Whether it’s Bundoran Beach, made famous for the world surfing championships held here in 1997 and the fact that it’s over 2km long, or the Silver Strand, a hidden gem of a beach near the Donegal peninsula, you’ll be singing the praises of Ireland’s waters long after you leave.
Known as ‘Ireland’s cultural heart’, Galway is home to numerous festivities and celebrations throughout the year for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. For those who enjoy traditional or contemporary Irish music, writing, poetry, dancing, film – or pretty much any other artistic pursuit you can think of, you don’t want to miss a visit here. In addition, for those who want to enjoy holidays in Galway, spending some time by the sea, gazing out from the quay to take in the tranquility of the Atlantic and the calm it brings to the coastal spirit.
Getting to Ireland is a cinch, by sea or by air. You can choose to fly into the major airports of Belfast in Northern Ireland or Dublin in the Republic of Ireland from many major cities worldwide, or to some of the smaller locales from within the UK. In addition, you can opt for the more laid back transportation route by taking a ferry into any one of the many port towns along the coast – perfect for those all-UK road trips that set off for a great holiday all around!