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Visit The Rock of Cashel

by Admin · Published July 21, 2011 · Updated May 18, 2014

Taking a drive to the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary will thrust you into Irish legends where the patron saint conquered foes.

According to ancient myths, St Patrick took on the devil 30 kilometres north of the site and the ensuing fight led to stones cascading through the air and landing where the ancient structure now stands. Historians report that the entire attraction dates from several points in history and was first used as a centre for Catholic ceremonies back in 1134, when it was consecrated. A round tower from this period still stands today and is nestled among other structures on the site that have been added since this time.

Visitors to this attraction can see the changing and unusual structural design used on ancient religious buildings from earlier time periods. This varied patchwork of architecture blends to form an intriguing historical site, which draws many day-trippers and drivers to the town of Cashel, where the structure stands. Located in central Ireland, the location is in easy reach of many of the country’s towns, though drivers are advised to check their car is in good working order and its paperwork, such as motor insurance, are all up to date before leaving home, as this will ensure you get to your destination safely if you break down or experience a car accident.

Drivers will see the large structure resting above the town as they arrive at the destination. The tallest peak is the 28 metre round tower, which is considered to be one of the oldest sections of the building. It was erected around the time of King Of Munster Muirchertach O Briain’s reign who was in power in 1111. Following this, in 1127 Cormac’s Chapel was constructed and after seven years it was consecrated and became a major place of prayer in the region.

Many people like to stroll through the chapel soaking up the atmosphere created by the exquisite architecture that was not normally seen on constructions from this period. Unlike similar places of worship from the same era, Cormac’s chapel has square towers in the nave, which is not a common sight in other structures of this nature in Ireland. In addition, its walls bear paintings that take viewers on journeys thanks to the intricate images, some of which portray scenes such as the nativity.

As well as a round tower and chapel, the Rock of Cashel boasts a cathedral dating from 1235. The ruined building features a nave that was shortened in the 15th Century to make way for a large five-storey castle for the archbishop. However, visitors to the structure can still take in the cathedral’s remaining charms, including the transept’s square chapels and tomb niches.

Also added in the 15th Century is the Hall of the Vicars Choral, which has been renovated in recent times to function as the entry point to the entire attraction. Once filled with singing laymen who attended ceremonies, this also acts as a museum bearing historical findings located on the site over the years. Learn more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_of_Cashel

Tags: Cormac’s ChapelCounty TipperaryHall of the Vicars Choralhttp://en.wikipeThe Rock of CashelKing Of MunsterRock of Cashel

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Ballybunion Town North Kerry Ireland

Ballybunion is a lively coastal village situated at the mouth of the river Shannon estuary in North County Kerry Ireland.

Ballybunion Castle ruins stand high on a cliff facing out into the Atlantic Sea. All that remains of the castle is a single wall, but it gives the visitor a good impression of what the castle might have been like when it was whole.

Ballybunion’s beaches are popular in the summer with families and the town’s amusements and arcades contribute to the sea side holiday town appeal.

There are tall picturesque cliffs along the beaches that provide a home for many varieties of cliff nesting sea birds. Occasionally dolphins are seen frolicking in the sheltered part of the bay.

Ballybunion is also a popular destination for surfers with the best waves being caught at the cliffs off the beach area.

The town is particularly popular with families as it offers lots of fast food, pubs and amusement arcades making it a fun place to visit.

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Ballybunion boasts two quality golf courses.

Many sporting people rent houses in the area for weeks in the summer so they can enjoy the great golf courses in this natural clean environment of Kerry.

Ballybunion also has a Leisure Gym and Pool which gives the sporty visitor an alternative if the weather turns against them.

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Ireland Vacations – Dingle Peninsula County Kerry

by Peter · Published May 15, 2014 · Updated June 4, 2014

Sea Activities:
Surfing (read about my first time surfing!) Kayaking Scubba Diving Swimming See Fungie The Dingle Dolphin Offshore Fishing Deep Sea Fishing

Trip To The Blaskets

Indoor Activities:
Play At Height Dingle’s Indoor Climbing Wall Ocean World

Ballyferriter Museum

Blasket Heritage Centre

Dingle’s Phoenix Cinema

Outdoor Activities: Play At Heights Outdoor Rope Course Hill Walking (Organised or Independent) Cycling/Biking Horse Riding

Bird Spotting

Dingle Peninsula Things To Do

There are lots of things to do and see on the Dingle Peninsula, no matter what your motivation for visiting is. Family vacations and holidays for couples are well catered for, with plenty of attractions for both.

Tips For Visiting The Dingle Peninsula

It’s fair to say it will probably rain at some stage, so make sure you have good rain gear so you can get out and enjoy the peninsula without being put off by the weather. Of course, you might get lucky, so if you don’t want to bring rain gear with you, just pick it up there if needed. The other thing you should know is that most cafés and retail shops don’t open until 10am. I’ve often seen visitors walking around Dingle town or Annascaul village wondering where to get an early morning coffee, so keep the opening hours in mind.

Dingle Peninsula Activities

Since you’re on a peninsula, you can imagine that there are plenty of beaches to visit, and there is. The standard of cleanliness on these beaches tends to be very high, with most achieving the blue flag beach rating. For those visiting from abroad who are used to paying to access beaches, you’ll be happy to know it costs nothing to feel the sand between your toes on the Dingle Peninsula.

Watersports Lessons and Equipment Hire

Activities such as surfing, kayaking and boating have really caught on over the past six to eight years, and there are plenty of qualified water sports instructors offering lessons and equipment hire on several blue flag beaches around the peninsula. In my experience, the lessons are excellent and delivered to a high standard. The cost of lessons and or hiring equipment is affordable; for example a wetsuit and surfboard will cost you around €10 to hire for around 2 hours (the duration seems to be pretty flexible).

You can access surfing lessons and equipment hire on Inch Beach, and around Brandon. You can hire paddle boats, rowing boats and kayaks around the Maharee’s, Castlegregory.

For those who enjoy sea kayaking you can go on a tour from Dingle bay that will probably be joined by Dingles friendly Dolphin Fungie, who took up residence in Dingle Bay several decades ago and has become quiet a celebrity since. This guided kayak tour will bring you around the sandstone cliffs of Dingle where you’ll see views most visitors never see, including a trip through a sea cave for good measure.

Other water sports growing in popularity include windsurfing, kite surfing and paddle boarding. The people taking part in these activities tend to bring the their own equipment and are at an advanced skill level.

Hiking

There are countless walks and trails to explore on the Dingle Peninsula, like The Dingle Way, hikes over the mountains around Annascaul, and of course a climb of Mount Brandon. There are many more looped road walks and less challenging hill walks to explore.

If you’re visiting for the first time and want to do some hill/mountain hiking, it’s advisable to go out with an instructor. There are plenty of qualified and experienced walking guides around.

Dingle Peninsula Tours

The Dingle Peninsula was described as the ‘most beautiful place on earth’ by The National Geographic. It’s true that on a single day you can experience every season, and see amazing colours illuminating the land, sea and sky. Sometimes you just have to stop what you’re doing and take a moment to wonder at constantly changing scenes. It’s well worth taking a coach or bus tour of the peninsula. This is a great way to find out about this south westerly part of Ireland that is steeped in history and rich heritage.

New Tour Coming Soon!

We will shortly be announcing a new and unique heritage tour on this website so keep tuned.

Things To Do Indoors

Okay, on the off chance that the rain is down for a few days, you may wish to enjoy some indoor activities. Check out the Play At Heights indoor climbing walls. This is a popular facility that is suitable for children and adults, beginners and advanced climbers. I bring my 4 and 6 year old there regularly and they both enjoy climbing the wall. There’s also a soft play area that kids enjoy so it’s definitely worth checking out.

There is also the Dingle Ocean World, full of native and exotic fish, you get a day pass for your entrance fee and this is one the kids enjoy every time. Find out more here.

Ballyferriter Museum is a must visit for anyone interested in finding out more about the Dingle Peninsulas history and heritage.

Tags: Co. KerryDingleDingle Peninsula County KerryIrelandIreland VacationsThings to do in Dingle