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Cork Independent


No place like home

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019 4:07pm

While nothing can match the thrill of hopping on a plane or ferry destined for far off shores, there is more than enough picturesque locations and fantastic destinations to be found on our doorstep. From Cork to Donegal, Dublin to Galway and everywhere in between, here are the best places to visit if you are planning a staycation.

One of the pros of living in such a large county means you can go on a day trip or holiday without even leaving Cork! There are so many cultural, historical and foodie attractions in our lovely city, while the coastal towns such as Kinsale, Cobh, Youghal, or farther afield like Allihies on the Beara Peninsula have much to offer if you’re looking for a long weekend in the countryside.

For a family day out head to Spike Island in Cork Harbour where an 18th century star fort still stands.

Kinsale is known as the gourmet capital of Ireland with foodie delights available from fancy restaurants, the weekly market and local food trucks. The town is also the start (or end) of the Wild Atlantic Way so it is the perfect place to begin a staycation adventure.

For some magnificent sea views hop along to Mizen Head, the most southwesterly point of Ireland. You really will feel like you’re at the end of the world.

Moving out of the county there are plenty of sights to see across the province. Clare has a wealth of historical sites including Bunratty Castle & Folk Park as well as natural landscapes like the Burren or the Cliffs of Moher.

Everyone knows the Ring of Kerry and for good reason. One of the highlights of the area must be Derrynane Beach in Cahirdaniel. When the tide is out a small island can be accessed along with the ruins of Derrynane Abbey, said to be built in the sixth century.

Walk or cycle along the Waterford Greenway to ‘the oldest city in the country’ and find out more about Ireland’s Viking past.

Get a taste of Limerick city at the weekly Milk Market before heading to the Hunt Museum or King John’s Castle, or take a walk along the Shannon, Ireland’s longest river.

The Rock of Cashel in Tipperary is much more than just a picnic stop on the way to Dublin, it is a fascinating destination for history buffs and families alike.

Out on the west coast of Ireland, Connacht has much to offer for the perfect staycation. Enjoy Galway city, breathe in the fresh air on the Aran Islands or at Connemara National Park or visit stately homes such as Westport House in Mayo or Lissadell House in Sligo.

Leinster is of course home to our capital city, and while Dublin has so much to offer, it’s best to visit before the height of tourist season.

Set off along the Wicklow Way to Glendalough to escape the hustle and bustle or get a sense of celtic history by visiting the sights of the Boyne Valley including Newgrange and the Hill of Tara, the historical seat of the high kings of Ireland.

Heading up to Ulster, recall your school geography lessons at the Giant’s Causeway, go on a ‘Game of Thrones’ tour or cross the 30 metre high Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Antrim. Or stop by Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland to head back down the Wild Atlantic Way to Cork!

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