Ireland is a land of legends. From gothic castles to tales of brooding wars between gods, the toughest choice you will have to make is which mountain to climb or which fortress to conquer. Nestled in villages off the main track, or even the mainland, this small island has a big reputation that doesn’t disappoint with scenic views, quaint pubs and striking architecture.
One obvious place to start is the capital city, Dublin, a destination bursting with personality and history. For lovers of antiquity, dive straight into the historic world of Ireland by visiting the Trinity College in the heart of Dublin. Standing on the world stage, Trinity is one of only seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland – perfect for the history buffs. Being a university, Trinity of course has something for book worms. Acting as a legal deposit for Ireland and Great Britain, the Library of Trinity College contains over 6.2 million printed publications and significant quantities of manuscripts, including the Book of Kells – an illustrated Gospel manuscript in Latin that was believed to be created in 800 AD.
After all that learning, time to hit up the local pub for a pint, and there’s none more famous than the vibrant red exterior of the Temple Bar in Dublin’s Southside. The London phone booth look-alike is home to some of the world’s best whiskies, live Irish music, cigars and Temple’s own slice of outdoor heaven called the Beer Garden, located surprisingly in the middle of the pub.
And if combining history, sightseeing and drinking is to your taste then a tour of the Guinness Storehouse is a must. The Storehouse has received four million lively visitors since 2000, all walking the seven floors of the brewery that encompasses a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint. The floors hold the secrets to the creation of the world-famous ale, from an introduction to the ingredients used to interactive exhibits. Travel to the top of the building to the Gravity Bar and enjoy a stout all while taking in the city views.
Once you’ve exhausted the possibilities of the main drag, it’s time to head out of the city and into the scenic countryside. If navigating foreign roads is not up your alley, there are plenty of one-day bus tours departing early morning from the city-centre to the Hill of Tara (Temair), in County Meath, north of Dublin.