Updated: Jan 13
Ireland is a great country on it`s own, but when you get to fly above it with your other half who likes shooting, the outcome is amazing!
Upon reading the title, one may think that the whole article is only about flying, but in reality,it`s about experiencing Ireland by all means: by foot, by bike, by car.
So, let`s say you decide to go to Ireland one day, what is there to be done ?
Dublin and the surroundings
Dublin is not a huge city, so it can easily be experienced by foot. Apart from the main tourist spots such as Dublin Castle, Guinness Brewery, St. Patrick`s Cathedral, Jameson Distillery, St. Stephen`s Green, you have all these coffee houses and restaurants with amazing food. And the famous Irish butter and bread is a must try!
If you rent a car we recommend going a bit further away from the city, to Johnnie Fox`s, a traditional pub with live Irish music and super good food!
Also, you could have a walk to the Phoenix Park and enjoy the company of lots of deer right in the middle of the city! In the park there is a bike rental center where you could easily grab a bike and add up a bit of speed to your exploring.
For instance, we went to Howth Peninsula, which is a very nice place to hang out in the afternoon. The place is full of cafes and restaurants so you won`t starve after cycling, for sure.
The length is approximately 18 km one way and you pass by Dublin port and then you bike all the way on the coast.
The ride is a nice one in no wind conditions. But if the weather gets bad at any point, there are plenty of trains to come back.
If you are into sports, mountain biking is always a good idea. The easiest way to go mountain biking from Dublin is to go to Ticknock forest. Over there is a nice MTB Center - Biking.ie and a cool network of trails - Ticknock Mountain Biking Trails. If you don`t have a car, you could just type this location on Google Maps and you`ll find various trains and buses.
The trails go mainly on the hills and into the forest and there is plenty of trails for all kinds of bikers. We did a very nice ride to Guinness Lake and back but you could ask the helpful staff for other routes as well.
By the way, Guinness is not just a name for the lake, it is its actual look!! ☺
You could also head South, to Newcastle Aerodrome, and enjoy Ireland from above, like we did.
Our situation was a bit different, as I needed to get some flying hours to re-validate my Single Engine Piston License and I flew the airplane myself.
However, Newcastle Airfield is often selling flying vouchers or you could just simply rent a plane with an instructor and take the advantage of learning new things about flying. ☺
Renting the plane for an hour or so also gives you the flexibility of discussing with the instructor about what would you like to see, etc. We flew mainly in Wicklow area, went over Guinness lake, flew along the coast and a bit over Dublin.
Everything looks so beautiful from above so the whole experience is definitely worth trying!
Glendalough, meaning "Valley of two lakes" is a glacial valley in County Wicklow, renowned for an early medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by Saint Kevin.
There are many walking trails of varying difficulty over there and for those interested, rock climbing is also an option.
Cliffs of Moher
One of the symbols of Ireland, for sure!
For this, you need to head to the West, on the Atlantic coast and you need about a day if you`re coming from Dublin.
The impressive Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County clare. They run for about 14 kilometres. At their Southern end, they rise 120 metres (390 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag`s Head, and, 8 kilometres to the North, reach their maximum height of 214 metres (702 ft) just north of O`Brien`s Tower.
Apart from this, Ireland is always a good option for countryside sight seeing, and with total population of just under 4.8 millions, driving outside Dublin is a pleasure. We didn`t have the chance to go out of Dublin -Wicklow area as much as we would like, as we had to stick around the aerodrome quite a lot but the road trip options are pretty unlimited there.
We recommend driving or cycling on the hills around Dublin ( you can get cool views of the city ) and sticking around the Western coast for best scenery.
P.S: if you need accommodation in Dublin, ALWAYS avoid the Northern part of the city.
When to go
As you probably know, Ireland is quite a cold country with an extremely changing weather.
However, summer months are the best in terms of weather, but this doesn`t mean that you won`t get any rain or cold temperatures at all.
Late spring and early autumn can also be good.
For wrapping things better at the and, here are some more pictures! :)
Our photo equipment: an Olympus OM-D M5 camera ( 25 mm + 75 mm ) and a Go Pro.