- UK & Ireland
Five reasons why Ireland is the perfect summer holiday spot
If you’ve been longing for the green fields and grand scenery that only the island of Ireland can offer, the time to book that trip is now. Between picture-perfect beaches and a mouth-watering food scene, there are any number of reasons to head over to the Emerald Isle. But we can suggest five to get you started. Ireland is ready when you are, so plan that trip today
When it comes to beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From secluded coves on islands such as Inis Oírr, to the wide stretches of sand in County Antrim, the island’s coastline is a never-ending treasure trove of dazzling shores. The water is impossibly clear and, when the sun shines, the beaches along the west coast rival any Caribbean bay. If you fancy an epic road trip, then the Irish west coast boasts one of the longest coastal driving routes in the world. The Wild Atlantic Way weaves 1,600 miles along the West coast, with jagged bronze waymarkers pointing out the most impressive spots for stops along the way.
But while the coastline is spectacular, there’s plenty to see inland, too. The lakelands in the heart of the Island are breathtaking, with perfectly still waters surrounded by swaying reeds. Spend your days taking dips in the lakes, heading out on a kayak or sailing between lake isles, you can’t go wrong with the Fermanagh Lakelands in Northern Ireland.
A first-rate food scene
If you’re a seafood fan, the world is your oyster on the island of Ireland. Irish seafood rivals any in the world, with impossibly fresh lobsters and crab fished daily from the shores, and fat oysters that pair perfectly with a creamy pint of Guinness.
Right now, the food truck scene is revving up across the island. Indulge in artisan cheese toasties just steps away from the Giant’s Causeway, or fresh mussels on the shores of Killary Fjord. If you want to put together the ultimate picnic, you can pick up the finest farmhouse cheese and sourdough breads from places such as the St Georges Market, in Belfast, or the English Market in Cork. Better still, order a swish wicker hamper from Pudding Row in Easkey, and take it out to the natural swimming pool on the nearby beach.
Wide open spaces
While there is plenty of opportunity to surround yourself with the local buzz and friendly conversation, you can also enjoy the blissful solitude of the peaceful countryside. There’s nothing quite like the fresh, Irish country air. It even smells different – an intoxicating mix of lush greenery and turf. Step out into the coastal mountains of North Mayo and you might just find yourself with only the crashing of the waves against the cliffs and the odd grazing sheep for company.
And if you fancy a spot of stargazing, there are three Dark Sky Reserves you can visit – one in Mayo at the Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, another in Kerry in the Ballinskelligs, and the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory in Omagh, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. The wide, unpolluted skies above all of these places mean you can drive out or walk under a blanket of stars, planets – and sometimes even the northern lights.
While the island is filled with plenty of places to enjoy some perfect peace and quiet, there are plenty of cities where the craic is mighty, as they say. Dublin is a dream in the summer months, with its beautiful parks filled with locals enjoying a coffee in the sun, or people cycling along the canals. Belfast is abuzz in the summer too, as people gather outside pubs for a pint in the sunshine, or linger over a picnic in the grounds of the dreamy Botanic Gardens.
An easy journey
Wherever you’re heading to on the island of Ireland, you can be guaranteed a quick, easy and very affordable flight. Whether you’re flying into Dublin, Cork, Belfast or Shannon, the short connection time means you’ll be there in a flash. It couldn’t be easier.
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