10 best spots that most people don't know in Ireland
As a small but stunning country, Ireland hosts a large number of breathtaking spots that visitors are to fall in love at first sight. In addition to various impressive destinations published on popular travel guide books and websites, many beautiful spots remain untouched by visitors. If you would love to discover places that a few people has set foot in, check out our list of 10 best spots that are virtually unknown by many people in Ireland below.
1. Ferriter's Cove
Ferriter's Cove is situated on the western tip of Dingle Peninsula where a large number of tribes settled down for nearly 6000 years. Ferriter's Cove was proven to be a temporary settlement for ancient people. Excavation at this dramatic site revealed many things about the ancient settlers. The first settlers were hunters and gathers. A wide range of food and different species of fish was identified at Ferriter's Cove.
Ferriter's Cove used to be a setllement of a number of tribes for nearly 6000 years
When you reach Ferriter's Cove, you can find some remains of shellfish in the sand dunes by your own. Scientists also found the earliest evidence for cattle in Ireland right in Ferriter's Cover. So, come here, enjoy the beautiful landscape and listen to myths and intriguing stories about this historic area of Ireland.
2. Dunbrody Abbey and Yew Hedge Maze
Dunbrody Abbey is one of the finest example of a Cistercian Monastery in Ireland
Dunbrody Abbey and Yew Hedge Maze was constructed by Herve de Montmorency in 1170. And then in 1911, the Office of Public Works takes a possession of it. The breathtaking abbey is regarded as "one of the finest example of a Cistercian Monastery in Ireland", drawing lots of visitors from around the world. As you walk around Dunbrody Abbey, you shouldn't miss nearby Dunbrody Castle which features an impressive garden of nearly 1,500 yew trees.
3. The Wonderful Barn
The Wonderful Barn was arguably "one of the best follies in Ireland"
Unlike common barn which is in shape of a rectangle and covered by straw roofs, The Wonderful Barn is a unique and beautiful grain store. Constructed in 1743 with an aim of addressing famine in the future, the Wonderful Barn was arguably one of the best follies in Ireland. The 21-meter towering barn circled by an outdoor staircase elegantly stands in a courtyard where the famous Barnhall House was built. The Barnhall House was sadly destroyed by a fire but Kildare County Council, together with Heritage Council has made a great effort to restore the damaged Barnhall House and give the Wonderful Barn a new life.
4. Slieve Bloom Mountains
Slieve Bloom Mountains is descibed as one of the most pristine areas in Ireland
Although Co. Laois is not rated as one of the beautiful spots in Ireland, it is still worth paying a visit to its Slieve Bloom Mountains. Running to the border of Offaly, this natural jewel of the midlands is described as one of the most pristine areas in Ireland. Whether or not you choose to walk, cycle around or take part in heritage tours, it is great to visit these off-the-beaten-track mountains.
5. The Swiss Cottage
Like a fairy house, the Swiss Cottage features a thatched roof and exterior woodwork
Have you ever dreamt of visiting a village in fairy tales? The Swiss Cottage in Kilcommon in the southeastern part of Ireland can make your dream come true. Its construction was started in the early 1800s and its design was inspired by famous architect John Nash's design. The fairy cottage features a thatched roof and an exterior woodwork designed as branches of trees. As you go inside, you may see the nature theme which dominate almost all the house from the furniture to wallpaper.
6. Keem Bay, Achill Island
As driving along a cliff-top road, you are able to approach Keem Bay, Achill Island. Sandwiched between the cliffs of Croaghaun and Benmore, Keem Bay is Ireland's one of the most scenic bays. Nearly uninhabited, this horseshoe-shaped bay is perfect for a fascinating getaway trip from the city life.
In the heart of Keem Bay is its stunning beach
Keem Bay boasts a stunning beach in its center. From here you can enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling trip to explore dynamic marine life under crystal waters. For hikers, an impressive 1.5-kilometer walkway starting from a watch-house at the elevation of 200 meters from the sea level to Achill Head is a must-do thing on their to-do-list as they get there. Be sure to stop at the top of Croaghaun Mountains to have a greater view of Keem Bay itself and Achill Island, too.
7. The Stone Circles along the Beara Way
One of the stunning stone circles along the Beara Way
Next, let's follow the footsteps of Irish ancestors on the Beara Way or the Green Road to discover the intriguing historic stories behind the Stone Circles. The Beara Way winds its way over mountains, across rocky fields and takes visitors to a number of stone circles. It is an impressive walkway featuring breathtaking landscape that any visitor should not miss.
8. Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio
The Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio is a museum of the history of telecommunications
Just 30-minute driving from the center of Dublin, you will get to less popular but worth-visiting place called the Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio. The unique museum is situated inside a 19th-century lookout that was a part of watchtowers in Napoleonic invasion period. As a museum of the history of telecommunications, the Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio features many intriguing exhibits including Morse equipment, crystal sets, gramophones, and so much more. Interestingly, in 1852, the very first cable connection from Wales to Ireland was carried out right here, in the Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio.
9. Brigit's Garden
Lughnasa, one of four main Celtic-typical gardens in Brigit's Garden
If you fancy taking a closer look at Celtic-typical garden, head to Brigit's Garden in Roscahill, Galway. The peaceful and stunning space in this unique garden is definitely a perfect escape from the 21st century. The Garden's highlights include four Celtic gardens, meadows, a fairy tort, and a lake. Each Celtic garden represents one of four main Celtic festivals including Samhain, Imbolc, Lughnasa, and Bealtaine, which correspond to each Celtic's season.
10. The Jealous Wall
Visitors often mistake the Jealous Wall as remains of Gothic castle or palace
The Jealous Wall, together with other Gothic follies found at Belvedere House, forms one of the most significant collections of this kind in Ireland. The unique structure of three-story "sham ruin" makes visitors mistake it as the remains of Gothic castle or palace. The Jealous Wall is said to be erected by Robert Rochfort, a jealous man, to stop himself from looking over and his generous brother – George - from looking from his opposite Palladian Pile.
Are 10 best off-the-beaten-path spots in Ireland above enough for your adventurous trip to Ireland? Hope that with our list, you will have a greater experience in your upcoming journey to this charming country.