Category Archives: Ireland

DINGLE WAY – an Irish walk with character

Any dry stone wall looks good to me.

The ‘Dingle Way‘. It sounds like a gentle amble. It’s not a macho name like ‘Inca Trail’ or ‘Kokoda Track’.

And indeed, although along its 179km length there’s some slogging through mud, some scrambling over rocks and some modest climbs, it’s a walk that any active person can manage comfortably. But there’s more to it than just the walking. This is Ireland, and it’s a place with character. Continue reading

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GREAT BLASKET ISLAND – the abandoned heart of Irish heritage

Great Blasket Island extreme left. It looks fine from here, but getting there is the problem.


The weather was against us today. We were planning to take a boat out to Great Blasket Island, off the coast from the most westerly part of Ireland. Continue reading

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CAPE CLEAR, IRELAND – where cars go to die

Cape Clear Island - the most southerly part of Ireland.

Cape Clear Island makes its own rules, it seems, especially about motor vehicles. Continue reading

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KILLER GARDEN – Blarney Castle

Welcome to our garden - just don't touch or smell anything!

Blarney Castle, keeping (pun intended) up with its neighbours in other parts of the world, loves to point out the ways defenders could kill attackers.

Holes for boiling oil pouring and dungeons for burying people alive are lovingly labelled.

Blarney goes a step further; the garden below the walls features poisonous plants – wolfbane, castor oil and that greatest of all killers, tobacco.

Castor Oil plant - death by laxative?

I knew lupins were damaging to the environment, but are they harmful to us too?

We were amused to find an empty cage, which formerly housed the marijuana plant. By the cage was the following sign:

Please, Officer, can we have our pot plant back?

Entrance to Blarney Castle and Gardens costs EUR10.

The writer was the guest of Failte Ireland.

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BLARNEY STONE KISSING

My first kiss - cold, awkward and uncomfortable.

In my ignorance of compulsory Irish travel experiences, I assumed that the Blarney Stone was sticking out of a wall somewhere, and that those who wanted to gain the Irish gift of eloquence could stroll up and give it a kiss.

I didn’t realise you needed to be a contortionist with nerves of steel. Continue reading

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COBH, IRELAND – Titanic tales

Every town should have (1) colourful fishing boats (2) a spectacular cathedral (3) a link to the Titanic


If we found Cork a little colourless yesterday, we had no such problem with its neighbouring port town Cobh today.

A large proportion of the bright paint in Ireland has ended up here, and the town enthusiastically stresses its 90 minute-long Titanic connection. Continue reading

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