Photo by Salt Water New England

Monday, October 21, 2019

Reader Question: What to see, do, and buy beyond Dublin when travelling to Ireland?


A Reader Question for the Community:
I’m a regular reader of your blog currently living in Old Town Alexandria. I really enjoy your focus on high quality products from the US, Britain, and Ireland.  
We are traveling to Ireland next month for four days (including an additional day stopover in Copenhagen) with no real agenda. I was wondering if you or your readers had any advice on things to see and do beyond Dublin and if there were any items (wool sweaters, blankets, clothes) that we should pick up while we’re there? I’m hoping to stop by the Dubarry shop during our time in Dublin.  
All the best.

22 comments:

  1. See Molly Malone" The Tart with the Cart" in Dublin. Go out and see some of the fantastic neolithic sites.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kevin and Howlin in Dublin for tweets

    ReplyDelete
  3. Outside of Dublin: The Boyne Valley for neolithic sites and beautiful countryside. On your way back, Malahide village for some sea air and a meal, or a walk up and along Howth Head. Travel south from Dublin to Enniskerry, the Dargle Valley, Powerscourt and the Wicklow mountains. The National Gallery and History Museum in Dublin are excellent. Try the Kilkenny Design Shop near Trinity College for quality goods. As an aside, you may be shocked by the levels of homelessness in the city centre. It is also possible to spend a day in Belfast if you take the train, Belfast is very interesting and has some noteworthy restaurants. Have a wonderful time! Bring a light but warm and waterproof coat, a scarf and an umbrella. Gloves would not go amiss either.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Howath and Malahide, both on the Irish Sea, can be reached via a 30-minute train ride from Dublin. Two beautiful towns. Malahide has a castle and Howth has the "Ireland's Eye".

    ReplyDelete
  5. Head down to Bunratty, to shop at Bunratty Village Mills, a shopper’s paradise with everything you could wish for, and better prices than in Dublin. The Blarney Woollen Mills store sells a wide selection of Irish gifts including Waterford Crystal (although I would recommend buying Galway Crystal), Beleek China, Irish Aran knit wear, jewellery, linen and tweeds. You can browse Meadows and Byrne home furnishing store and find the best of Irish contemporary design for the home, from cookware to Irish crystal. Even better, After a day's shopping, you can have a pint and/or a meal at (the original) Durty Nellies pub.

    ReplyDelete
  6. During a recent long weekend in Dublin, I took a train down to the seaside town of Bray. I enjoy nature so I liked the walk along Bray Head. The train only takes 35-40 minutes. You can pop down for lunch and a walk on the beach.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Get upside down on your back and kiss the Blarney stone, and then afterwards think of the millions of people before you that did the very same thing, many with all kinds of sickness.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I happy to love the woolens at O'Maille's in Galway. Still family run, they did the clothes for the movie "The Quiet Man". I cherish the turtleneck Aran poncho I purchased there. They have an on-line shop, but it doesn't replace the sight and smell of wandering about the place in person.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Go Northwest to Donegal, Killybegs, Slieve League. Great shops everywhere and great pubs. Slainte !

    ReplyDelete
  10. Galway is a fun city to visit, and County Clare is beautiful - great national park (the Burren) and striking cliffs. and a little less touristy than Cork (blarney stone) and the Ring of Kerry...but it's a great country to visit regardless.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The choices are endless. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd head on down to Wexford in the sunny southeast . Full of history and interesting architecture with a maritime climate that's to some warm currents .

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'd recommend travelling down to Kinsale in County Cork for the fabulous food scene. I own a dental practice in Newcastle County Down, home of one of the best (arguably THE best) golf links courses in the world. Pick up something in tweed by Magee of Donegal for classic Irish elegance to pair with your new Dubarry boots and wear whilst staying in an authentic Irish luxury country retreat such as Castle Leslie or Ballyfin.

    ReplyDelete
  14. While you are in Dublin, stop by the tweed store on Nassau Street called Kevin and Howlin. I purchased a tweed cap from them while in Dublin and then later purchased some tweed jackets. They are beautifully tailored in their own tweeds.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We went south and spent a few days in Kinsale. It is a very pretty coastal town. It was a good home base to explore Cork and some of the countryside around that area. We later went up to Malahide. The castle was over-rated but the town is lovely and we had a few very nice days there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. As a born and bred Dubliner, I am biased and think Dublin is best of all. Have a pint in Davy Byrne's (made famous by Joyce's "Ulysses" and if your budget runs to it, some fresh seafood. The Chester Beatty library is one of the most amazing sites, and you also have the opportunity to see Dublin Castle. The Whiskey Museum opposite Trinity College is great. The Book of Kells in Trinity of course, Kilkenny Design Store (crystal, Newbridge jewelry, Stephen Pearce, Nicholas Moss and Louis Mulcahy pottery, Orla Kiely) which has some modern takes on Irish traditional crafts. Teelings Distillery and the Guinness Store Tour with a pint at the top in the rotating bar and excellent views of Dublin. A walk down the LIffey from The Four Courts to Custom House and see the new Beckett Bridge. The fantastic sculpture of the Irish famine and diaspora at the docks. The Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice in the Irish Museum, St Patrick's (Jonathan Swift was Dean) and Christchurch (burial place of Strongbow) cathedrals and the Dublinia Exhibition on the former Viking excavation site. All these are walkable within the city center. Stop into Butlers Chocolates for a cup of coffee and get a box made up.
    Take the train from Dublin to Belfast to see the difference between North and South - like how the buses and post boxes change color, as well as distance signs changing from metric to imperial.
    Go down to Powerscourt House in Wicklow and Avoca Woollen Mills.
    Galway for the Cliffs of Moher and a very vibrant city and have afternoon tea at the G Hotel designed by famous hat designer Philip Treacy. Head up to Mayo and to Foxford Woollen mills where the blankets are incredible.
    If you have time, do the Ring of Kerry for picturesque villages and beautiful scenery, not to mention the Blarney Stone.
    Buy: Galway or Dublin crystal that is still made in Ireland (unlike Waterford mainly made in China), I second the Tweed Shop, especially for lovely flat caps and newsboy caps.
    The Claddagh ring is the traditional wedding ring for men from the west. It's been used in many forms, and is now worn by women - there are some lovely designs and modern interpretations- go to Nassau street. Alternatively, buy a piece of Celtic knot jewelry - this was created by Catholics to represent the Trinity when it became illegal to wear a cross or crucifix after the reformation. Well, I think with my list and all the other suggestions, you will have a plethora of suggestions.
    If you are going to the countryside, I would recommend sturdy waterproof boots - Hunter Boots also make travel wellingtons. If you want to buy a proper Barbour, head over to Arnotts on Henry Street.
    Remember you can get your VAT back as you are coming from the US. Save some space in your hand luggage to bring a bottle of Teelings from the Duty Free shop at the airport - they stock the limited editions that are not exported, including varieties aged in stout, port or sherry casks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, definitely have afternoon tea while in Dublin! I had it at The Westbury Hotel but I wish now I had also had it at The Shelbourne Hotel, where I stayed. I also enjoyed Dublinia, the Viking museum at Christ Church Cathedral. It's marketed for kids and is not fancy, but it explains the history of the Viking occupation of Dublin in a very easy manner.

      Delete
  17. While not surprised by this, it is nonetheless a wonderment that nobody has mentioned visiting any of the countless sites throughout the Republic that give memory to the genocide visited on the Irish by the British in the mid-1800s. Next time you visit the Republic to shop or kiss the Stone, think of Irish children with teeth stained green from eating grass. Additionally, I am outraged that someone mentioned a city is the United Kingdom as a place to visit in "Ireland". Belfast is not in the Republic, folks, you can look it up. Muffy, I realize you won't publish this, but to the Irish, these items matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous. I'm sorry you didn't feel you could post your comments with your name. The "genocide" of which you wrote actually started in the 1600s as a means to destroy the Catholic population whereby the Irish were exported as slaves to the Caribbean. The fault of the Irish famine in the 1800s also lies with the Anglo-Irish landowners and not just the British.
      You might note that I did mention the Famine memorial in my comments and the fact that I am Irish. When one is visiting Ireland, one is visiting a geographic location - the island of Ireland which includes Northern Ireland. When one is visiting the Republic of Ireland, one is visiting a political entity. There are many Irish people across the country who would take umbrage to the fact that you define Belfast as not part of Ireland and only part of the United Kingdom. Also, while many aspects of Irish history are tragic, there is a much larger history that begins with the Celts and goes through the Vikings and the creation of Irish culture long before Britain invaded. Please do not reduce a country and a culture to a single tragic event. It does a disservice to all who have working so hard to bring peace to Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement.

      Delete
  18. Visit Trinity College and see the statue of Edmund Burke, a great statesman and philosopher. Politicians across the world, especially in the US, could learn much from his wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hanna Hats in Donegal Town. https://hannahats.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Recently returned from 14 days in the Republic of Ireland, and a looong day to/from Belfast on a guided tour (which we would not normally recommend, but it was an excellent way to visit Northern Ireland, Giants' Causeway, Titanic Museum, etc. BEFORE any hard borders might go back up (hope not).
    Head WEST from Dublin. Bunratty was our first stop from SNN, and it's a wonderful little town. Killarney was worth the stop, and was our base for touring the Dingle Peninsula & Ring of Kerry. Let someone else do the driving, or you'll be too busy avoiding catastrophe to enjoy the sights!
    Interested in getting off the beaten track? Try Union Hall, a quaint small fishing village, or Cobh (not so much off the beaten track, but worth the Titanic-related visit).
    You almost cannot go wrong anywhere along the southern coast.
    Enjoy yourselves. Slainte!

    ReplyDelete