We took this trip in April, when spring was coming to Ireland. Whenever you go, especially on a longer trip, you have got to expect rainy days. Irish weather is not just a cliché and you might have three seasons throughout one day, coming along with storm, hail and bright sunshine.
We spent 8 days on the road to see the most famous places in Ireland and Northern Ireland. In between we went back to Dublin to take a two-day break while it was pouring rain. Therefore you want to plan in a few extra days in case the weather is too awful.
We had a small but brand new car from BUDGET for 17€ per day (+ 140€ fully comprehensive insurance). Do not worry too much about driving on the left hand side. There is surprisingly little traffic as soon as you get out of the city and on the weekdays there were more cyclists on the road than cars.
I am going to write about each day in an individual post. First we took the south route and in the second half of the journey we went up north:
Day One: Glendalough – Kilkenny – Cork
We started from Dublin 4 and went further in the direction of Dun Loaghaire and Bray. You can take the highway or go for the smaller coastal streets because the coastline is lovely towards Bray.
First stop was Glendalough, about 45 kilometres from Dublin, which is a valley in Wicklow Mountains with two lakes and a medieval church. Also there are hiking trails with various levels of difficulty.
Through the countryside (Hollywood, Carlow) we went on to Kilkenny, where we had fish & chips in the Kyteler´s Inn, an old and popular pub in the city centre. Besides a brewery that will be well-known by beer lovers, you will also find a castle and a picturesque old town with colourful little buildings.
From Kilkenny we drove south to Cork and from there it is just a stones throw to Blarney with its famous castle. We kind of skipped Cork, only strolled through the main road and took a little break in a pub to book our B&B for the night.
We stayed in the Meadow Bank B&B, which is really close to Blarney Castle and has really nice rooms. Outside the cities you will only find Bed & Breakfasts, all of them having the same price categories starting from 60 € for a double room. We always booked the rooms a couple of hours before we arrived via booking.com or directly at the owner.