West Coast Ireland

Road trip time!  One of our favourite all time trips was our road trip around Northern Scotland with the Ives a few years ago.  We love the open road, fresh air and scenery that trip brought us, so we’re always looking for similar type trips to take.  We decided to do the Western Coast of Ireland.  This was a much quicker trip, as we only did 3 days and 2 nights.  We packed a lot in!

Dan and I landed in Knock where we picked up our rental car and started our journey heading south down the western coast.  Our first stop was the small city of Westport.  We originally had planned to cycle a beautiful greenway path for a few hours, however when we arrived it was pouring down rain.  So we grabbed lunch at a pub and did a bit of shopping instead 🙂

Another hour or so drive later, we arrived at Kylemore Abbey.  It’s a stunning castle that was originally a private home for a wealthy English doctor, however is most well known as a monastery for Benedictine Nuns whom fled Belgium in WW1.  It was a school for a long time, however now it is just a tourist attraction (and there are some nuns that still live there).

We then made our way over to Galway where we would be staying the night.  The town is quite cute, reminded me of a mini Dublin.  The streets are filled with performers and you don’t have to go more than 10 steps to find a cosy pub and a pint of Guinness.

The next morning we drove over to the Cliffs of Moher.  We planned this so we would arrive just after sunrise, to catch the beautiful morning sun.  It was perfect, and one of the most beautiful sights.  The sky was warm with pinks, oranges and yellows against the sweeping cliffs set along the water.  The air was crisp and it felt so good to breathe in the beauty of God’s creation.

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The best part about our trip was that after the Cliffs of Moher, we were to drive to the Shannon airport where we picked up the Phelps to join us on the rest of our trip!

Immediately we drove over to Ballybunion, where the Bromore Cliffs are.  Again, it was such a spectacular sight, as the cliffs edges sit at such a stark contrast to the smooth farm land on one side and the wild sea at the other.  Although it was quite cold and windy, the sun was shining and the skies were the most beautiful blue.

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Our resting spot for that night was in an adorable little town called Dingle.  We first checked out the Dingle Distillery, where they distill vodka, gin and whiskey.  We did a tour and a little tasting before checking into our B&B, the Ballintaggart House.  We LOVED this B&B and would highly recommend to anyone visiting the Dingle area. The host was lovely and the “house” and rooms were adorable.  And the breakfast the next morning was to die for!  That evening we explored Dingle, feasted on some local grub and enjoyed the nightlife.  It’s a really cute town and we all agreed we wished we had a bit more time there as it was our favourite spot of the trip.

Early the next morning we checked out of the B&B and drove the Dingle Peninsula loop; stopping along the way to enjoy more dramatic coastline views and funny little tourist sites.

We made our way further south, into Killarney, where we visited the Killarney National Park and took a long walk in the beautiful fresh outdoors.  The weather was perfect that day, crisp air, sunshine and blue skies.  After our long walk, we fueled back up at a pub lunch and continued on our way to Cork.  Our initial plan was to go to the famous Blarney Castle to kiss the stone, however the drive took a bit longer than expected and we ended up arriving just as they closed for the day.  Quite unfortunate!  But, probably for the best, as we had to rush to the Cork Airport to fly back to London.

It was a super quick trip, but we managed to see a lot and squeeze a lot in.  We love travelling with the Phelps and are so happy they were able to join us for a bit of the trip. I definitely would recommend this trip to others wanting to visit Ireland.  You can easily do it in the time we did, but you can also go at a bit slower pace and spend a few more days.