I know what you're thinking. A land of castles, endless green pastures & and sprawling estates is that of fairytales.
Friends, I almost don't want to share this secret....
If you have any kind of penchant for the old world, serene landscapes, hidden gardens or gorgeous winding roads, you absolutely MUST plan a trip to Ireland. There has never been a place that makes me feel more like an enchanted princess than the Irish countryside.
- We started our journey in Dublin in a gorgeous little bed & breakfast called Trinity Lodge. It was the perfect downtown hub to explore the historic sights of Dublin. Kyle particularly loved the Long Room at Trinity College while I fell in love with a cottage, The Superintendent's Lodge, in the middle of St. Stephens Green.
Get lost down the winding streets of history.
- Next, rent a car. Make your way to Castleton House. Learn about the gorgeous Georgian palace that was constructed in the 1720's. You can't help but feel like royalty in the grandeur of this estate.
- Travel south to Powercourt House & Gardens. If you're lucky, you may run into a few new friends on your journey! If horses, gorgeous views of the countryside & towering estates don't make you reminisce for a time of princes & princesses, then I don't know what will!
- Continue south to Glendalough & Kevin's Monastic City. Founded in the 6th century, this gorgeous settlement was constructed by a small group of monks. The historic architecture, sweeping greenery and open country air make this a must-stop along your Irish journey toward queendom.
Kyle & I never travel without a copy of Lonely Planet. The "Discover" editions are perfect for getting a broad picture of the best sights to see as well as specific recommendations. Whether you're looking for a long road trip guide or a place to stay near the highlights, check out this book! (We've had the Greece & Italy copies tucked in our suitcases for every trip!)
By a landslide, the most luxurious and fantastic stay in Ireland is the Waterford Castle. The castle is set on a 310-acre private island, only accessible via a private car ferry.
- Once you arrive, I swear you're transported to a magical wonderland. The historic 16th Century luxury castle exudes the grandeur of times lost long ago. I'm talking tea time in the parlor by a gigantic roaring fire and croquet on the lawn as large hares bound past. (Yes. Just like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.) There are long, winding trails to explore, and delightful suites to enjoy.
There are so many other dazzling places to visit in Ireland. It is such a lush country and natural beauty abounds. What sights are on your bucket list? Did I miss any delightful places?
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