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Cavan Crystal Hotel – Hotel Review

Cavan Crystal Hotel – Hotel Review

Cavan Crystal Hotel
A Modern and Impressive Hotel in Cavan with excellent service and a large restaurant


About the Cavan Crystal Hotel

Cavan Crystal Hotel is in the heart of the stunning Lake County in the Midlands of Ireland. The Hotel is nicely situated near many different tourist attractions and is the closest four-star hotel to Cavan Town. I walked it myself a few times with no issues and is only a few minutes from the town.  You can also relax in the award-winning Zest Health & Fitness Club which features an 18-metre Swimming Pool, Steam Room, Jacuzzi, Sauna, and a fully equipped Gym – this access is complimentary when you book a stay at the hotel. You can also enjoy a wide range of delicious food from the Bar Menu or a cocktail or other libation in the Atrium Bar! 

The Cavan Cavan Crystal Hotel is only 1 hour and 10 minutes from Dublin via the M3 Motorway and also includes beautiful Gardens & Children’s Playground, Complimentary Wi-Fi, and free on-site parking for all guests.

My Visit to the Hotel

Having won a trip to the Cavan Crystal Hotel on Pigsback, I was looking forward to visiting Cavan for the first time but I was dreading such a long trip. It took over 5 hours (including a stop off for lunch) to get to the Cavan hotel. When we arrived the girl on reception, Orlaith, actually remembered speaking to me on the phone earlier (very impressed with service at the hotel in general). The hotel foyer is bright and nicely decorated in modern clean designs.

The rooms are large with bigger than standard bathrooms, fruit baskets and robes were in the room (not sure if these were standard) but overall the room was very nice. Newspapers were left outside your door the next morning and a turndown service was provided around 7 pm which was not availed of. (it was a nice touch though). Overall I’m not a fan of turndown service, it just seems a bit like “servant turn down my bed for me” and I’m sure the housekeeping staff has better things to be doing than opening people’s beds.

The Opus One restaurant has a wide selection of quality dishes, from duck and venison to seabass and vegetarian options. The starter and main courses were excellent with 2 small complementary intermediate offerings between starter and main and also main and dessert. One criticism of the restaurant, however, the menu does not change, so if you are staying here for more than one night you may run out of options. I personally think that a restaurant needs a selection of daily specials, especially for those staying at the hotel for repeated days. We only ate here once as a result.

The leisure center and gym are good, with a large pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and steam room – however, it can get crowded at times (especially if there are lots of children). However there is very little privacy from the gent’s dressing area and when the pool door opens, make sure you are not getting changed nearby otherwise … oops!

There is a Spa at the hotel but strangely this is not open on Sundays, probably the main day people will be relaxing and will avail of such a service. Note, this visit was a few years ago and perhaps a revisit might be warranted to see if things had changed.

Pros: Great service, great food, attentive staff and nice rooms, comfortable sleep.

Cons: The Evening Menu in the Restaurant does not change, the spa is not open on Sundays, Bar area can lack a bit of atmosphere.

Overall: 7.5/10

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Cavan Crystal Hotel


Ireland’s Best: New Activities and Cherished Favorites 

Ireland’s Best: New Activities and Cherished Favorites 

Ireland is seeing a surge in new sights alongside its famous traditional events. The Ireland’s Ancient East Maze at Skypark, now the biggest wooden maze in Ireland, is a hit, with paths that change every time you visit.

Older traditions aren’t forgotten either. Summer starts with the Bealtaine festival, full of fire and dance, and the Puck Fair still makes a goat a king for a day every August.

In 2022, around 13 million people enjoyed Irish attractions like these, and the maze alone has hundreds of great reviews, proving that Ireland’s mix of the new and the time-honored is a big success.

Kiss the Blarney Stone

One of the most iconic and popular things to do in Ireland is to kiss the Blarney Stone at the top of Blarney Castle in County Cork. According to legend, anyone who kisses the stone will be endowed with the gift of eloquence, or the ability to speak persuasively and charmingly. To kiss the stone, visitors have to lie down and lower themselves over the edge of the castle’s battlements, which can be a thrilling experience in itself.

The Blarney Stone is not the only attraction at Blarney Castle, however. Visitors can also explore the castle’s history and architecture, as well as the beautiful gardens and grounds that surround it.

There are several trails and walks that visitors can follow, such as the Rock Close, the Fern Garden, and the Poison Garden, where they can see plants that are used for medicinal or deadly purposes. Visitors can also visit the Blarney House, a Scottish baronial-style mansion that dates back to the 18th century and is still inhabited by the descendants of the original owners.

Learn to Pour the Perfect Pint of Guinness

Guinness is Ireland’s most famous export and the most popular beer on the Emerald Isle. The dark stout has a distinctive flavor and appearance, and there is a special technique for pouring it correctly.

Visitors can visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, where they can take a tour of the brewery and its history and then try their hand at the art of pulling a pint.

The Guinness Storehouse is not just a brewery but also a museum and an attraction that celebrates the culture and heritage of Ireland. Visitors can see exhibits and displays that showcase the history of Guinness, its advertising campaigns, its ingredients, and its impact on society.

Visitors can also enjoy interactive experiences, such as tasting different varieties of Guinness, learning how to pair it with food, and even creating their personalized bottles. The highlight of the visit is the Gravity Bar, where visitors can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness and a panoramic view of Dublin.

Drive the Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Atlantic Way, a 1,550-mile long route that stretches along the west coast of Ireland, from Kinsale in County Cork to the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, is loved by all visitors. The route passes by some of the most stunning landscapes and seascapes that Ireland has to offer, as well as charming villages, historic sites, and cultural attractions.

The Wild Atlantic Way is divided into six regions, each with its character and highlights. Visitors can explore the Southern Peninsulas, where they can see the Skellig Islands, the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula.

Visitors can visit the Cliff Coast, where they can marvel at the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and the Aran Islands. Visitors can discover the Bay Coast, where they can enjoy the beaches, islands, and mountains of Galway, Mayo, and Sligo. Visitors can experience the Surf Coast, where they can surf, kayak, and kiteboard in the Atlantic waves.

Visitors can admire the Northern Headlands, where they can see the Donegal Highlands, the Slieve League Cliffs, and the Glenveagh National Park. Visitors can reach the end of the route at the Inishowen Peninsula, where they can witness the Northern Lights and the Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland.

Play Online Casino Games

One of the newest and most exciting things to do in Ireland is to play online casino games, where visitors can have fun and win money from the comfort of their own homes or hotel rooms.

Online casinos are websites or apps that offer a variety of casino games, such as slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, and more, that visitors can play with real money or for free. Online casinos are legal and regulated in Ireland, and visitors can find many reputable and trustworthy sites that cater to Irish players.

Playing Ireland online casinos games can be a great way to relax and enjoy themselves, as well as to test their skills and luck.

Visitors can choose from hundreds of games that suit their preferences and budget, and they can also benefit from bonuses, promotions, and rewards that online casinos offer their customers. Visitors can also play online casino games on their mobile devices, which means they

Eat Like a King in a Castle

Ireland is home to many castles that date back to medieval times and reflect the rich and turbulent history of the country. Some of these castles have been converted into hotels, restaurants, or museums, where visitors can experience a taste of the past and enjoy royal treatment.

The best place to enjoy a medieval banquet is Bunratty Castle in County Clare, a 15th-century fortress restored to its former glory. Here, visitors can join the Earl of Thomond and his guests for a four-course meal accompanied by wine, mead, and entertainment by the castle’s musicians, singers, and dancers.

Visitors can also explore the castle’s rooms and halls, as well as the folk park that surrounds it, where they can see replicas of rural cottages, farmhouses, and shops from the 19th century.

Learn about Ireland’s Emigration at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Ireland has a long and complex history of emigration, as millions of Irish people left their homeland over the centuries for various reasons, such as famine, war, oppression, or opportunity. The Irish diaspora has spread worldwide and has contributed to the culture, society, and history of many countries.

Visitors can visit EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin, a state-of-the-art interactive museum that showcases the impact of the Irish people on the world.

EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, is located in the vaults of the CHQ building, a former warehouse used to store goods and ship passengers during the 19th century. One of Ireland’s best museums consists of 20 themed galleries that cover different aspects of the Irish emigration, such as the causes, the journeys, the destinations, the challenges, and the legacies.

Visitors can see exhibits and displays that feature personal stories, historical facts, artifacts, documents, and multimedia presentations. Visitors can also participate in interactive activities, such as tracing their Irish ancestry, creating their passport, and sending a digital postcard.

EPIC Ireland - Ireland's Best: New Activities and Cherished Favorites


Ireland is a country that will surprise and delight visitors with its variety and charm. It is a country that has a rich and fascinating history, a vibrant and diverse culture, and a stunning and scenic landscape.

It is a country that offers many activities and attractions that will appeal to different tastes and preferences and create lasting memories. Ireland is a country worth visiting, and that will make visitors want to return again and again.

Ireland’s Storytelling Legacy is Fueling the World of Film, TV, & Games

Ireland’s Storytelling Legacy is Fueling the World of Film, TV, & Games

Ireland has a rich storytelling tradition and a history of creative excellence, which has helped to cultivate it as a major influence in modern media, punching well above its weight in multiple categories. For decades, Ireland has been a popular choice for film and television productions, and in recent times, the same has proven true for both video and casino games. From the silver screen to the latest in cutting-edge slots, the cultural influence of the Emerald Isle can be felt.


There’s no shortage of Ireland on the silver screen, including some all-time great movies. One that could have easily been a disaster due to the extensive stereotyping (but turned out rather well) was 1959’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Although live-action Disney films are ten a penny these days, back then, this was something of a novelty. The genuinely frightening banshee villain offsets leprechauns and Celtic undertones. Another great highlight is the sharp-witted chemistry between Darby O’Gill and the king of the leprechauns. The film also features Sean Connery, before he hit the big time as James Bond.

The 1950s also saw The Quiet Man (1952), with John Wayne as the lead in an unusual non-Western appearance. Wayne starred as a retired Irish American boxer returning to his roots only to fall for a fiery redhead played by Maureen O’Hara. The problem is her brother is less than enthused at the prospective romantic pairing, leading to a lengthy fistfight.

Into The West (1992) is a more recent entry with Irish travelers as the cultural backdrop. The grim premise, a pair of brothers living with an alcoholic father, is contrasted by the magical appearance of their grandfather on a white horse. When the horse is stolen, the boys head after it into the west, followed by their father, who was previously King of the Travellers. Redemption and magical realism make this a unique story.

Casino Games

The Irish storytelling tradition and culture have underpinned numerous efforts in entertainment genres, and casino games are no exception. Celtic Witches, leprechauns, the luck of the Irish, and pots of gold are common themes for slots in online casinos, up there with other dominant themes such as ancient Egypt and Norse mythology. From sound design to graphical choices, musical backdrops, and sound effects, Irish slots have a captivating narrative that transports players to the Emerald Isle for betting entertainment. The smartest way to play Irish slots is to take advantage of no deposit bonuses. It’s easy to learn how to play without depositing by consulting a reputable casino review site while making use of the best no deposit bonuses for Ireland. Free spins and free cash are the most common promo types, with free spins normally being tied to a single online casino slot and free cash usable on almost every game in a casino.

Video Games

The Viking influence in Ireland is something that should not be overlooked as numerous Irish settlements such as the oldest city of Waterford were founded by the Norse warriors. This led to an Irish flavor in the 2020 smash hit video game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. While primarily concerned with the axe-laden Viking visits to England, the Wrath of the Druids chapter features clan dynamics and Dublin-based action during the city’s earliest years.

Back in 2007, Folklore blended Irish mythology with the action RPG genre and featured a pair of protagonists. The small village of Doolin is hiding a secret that the player must seek to uncover by wandering the Netherworld in a story brimming with little nuggets of Irish cultural history and folklore. In the same way, many Irish slots are imbued with the culture of the Emerald Isle and can be played with no deposit bonus codes.

Point and click is a little old hat, but in 1996, Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars added an Irish element to this old-school genre. The setting includes Lochmarne, a fictional Irish village, and plenty of stereotypes with clever dialogue (such as dispelling the inaccuracy of the expression ‘top ‘o the morning’).


One of the most entertaining instances of a television series set in Ireland is the classic comedy Father Ted, created by Graham Linehan. Although only 25 episodes, the show soon established (and maintains) a cult following thanks to its charming cast of priests and their housekeepers. Perfectly mingling comedy with nuance placed deeper meanings alongside amusing silliness. And, as a cherry on top of this televisual cake, the show had music by The Divine Comedy, including the classic My Lovely Horse.

Derry Girls started in 2018 and ran for three seasons. The story follows a quintet of teenagers living in mid-1990s Derry. This comedy put together a fictional storyline for the characters while referring to real events during the Troubles and the start of the Peace Process (another instance of putting together the profound and the daft).

From classic comedy to video games old and new, online slots to fantastic films, Irish culture has seeped into media across the board to excellent effect.

A Cluster of Seaweed, Emma Verling, Book Launch

A Cluster of Seaweed, Emma Verling, Book Launch

A Cluster of Seaweed Book Launch – A Book dedicated “To all who love Béarra”

My science teacher from De La Salle secondary school, Mr. Martin Verling wrote a book about the Beara peninsula (a beautiful part of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way) in the Irish language. I never knew how talented he was as a write or indeed an artist. After his death, his wife Emma, continued his work and painstakingly translated the book into English. On Wednesday, 5 April 2023, in Evie’s Hall in Eyeries, Dr. Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Director of the Folklore Collection, UCD, launched ‘A Cluster of Seaweed’ by Emma Verling née Ní Mhurchú.

Críostóir supervised, directed, and edited my translation of my late husband, Martin Verling’s book, ‘Mioscais na gCumar.’ The cultural landscape of Atlantic island and coastal communities is of particular interest to Críostóir, and his Ph.D. dealt with the subject of storytelling in fishing communities in Corca Dhuibhne, west Kerry. Over ten years, I had many meetings with him in Cnuasach Bhéaloideas, UCD, and he was always welcoming, kind, courteous, and endlessly generous with his time. Without his constant interest and input, this book would never have been published. Gura fada buan tú, a Chríostóir!

Brian Boss O’Sullivan Bhealaigh chaired the launch. The really appreciative audience included relatives of the seanchaithe, Béarra people, and very many people who have chosen to make Béarra their home.

            A Cluster of Seaweed contains a rich body of stories, seanchas – historical lore – songs, and stories from Béarra, where Irish was widely spoken until recent times. The collection brings together traditions of landlords and land agents, stories of the devastating Great Famine, trade and commerce, legends of the fairy host and otherworld animals, folk cures and popular beliefs, as well as tales of mythological figures, such as the Old Woman of Béarra and the Gaibhleann Gabha, a folk counterpart of the mythological smith, Goibhniú.

A Cluster of Seaweed Book Cover - Emma & Martin Verling

            The book runs to 487 pages and contains the stories of 17 storytellers from Cill Chaitiairn and Dhá Dhrom, (Ardgroom) whose genealogy is traced by Riobard O’Dwyer in 23 pages. The Recording Context section brings us into the homes of these storytellers and introduces us to them and to their families, so while reading the stories, we can imagine ourselves in the storyteller’s kitchen during the recording session. The Recording Context is based on diary entries made by folklore collector, Tadhg Ó Murchú, when he returned from his day’s recording. This is a portion of Tadhg O Murchú’s diary account of a visit to Pádraig Ó Laochdha’s house in Cill Chaitiairn:

The house was beautiful, and really spic and span inside. There was an old woman, an old man and a nice, good-looking young woman inside, and a beautiful infant child. The old man was sitting on the upper end of the seat near the fire. He was a medium-sized man with broad shoulders and a very dark complexion. He had black hair, a blue coat, and a black, wide-brimmed hat. The typical dress of the Béarra men, as we were used to seeing long ago when they came to our locality to buy boats. The old woman was busy around the house, and the young woman was minding the child.” (P.446)

The indices of people and places were collated by Shane McDonald, Waterford. Martin’s map at the back of the book is a guide to the townlands in which the storytellers lived. His notes on the stories run to 40 pages and the book also contains many photos including those of some of the storytellers such as Brídín Ní Mhurchú, Pointe na Reanna, Diarmaid Ó Sé, Fán Shliabh, and Diarmaid Ó hÚrdail, Caobach, Féith, Cill Chaitiairn. In this context, the following line from a poem by Alice Walker rings true:

“The meaning of your lives is still unfolding…”

The cover of the book is based on Martin’s painting of two seals. A Cluster of Seaweed was beautifully designed by Romanian, Iulian Pirpiliu, originally an aeronautical engineer, and printed by Stewart O’Connell of Johnswood Press.

Photos of many of the seanchaithe and of those who played a part in this publication were displayed in the hall – Tadhg Ó Murchú, the folklore collector from Uíbh Ráthach; Dr. Gearóid Ó Crualaioch, UCC, who wrote the foreword for both Mioscais na gCumar and A Cluster of Seaweed; Fachtna Ó Donabháin who organized the unveiling of the plaque in honour of seanchaí, Pádraig Ó Murchú; Riobard O’Dwyer, genealogist; Dr. Riobard Ó hÚrdail, UCC, who is an authority on the dialect of the Irish of Béarra; Jeremiah Murphy, Cathair Caim, who supplied valuable information on seine fishing; Mrs. Kate O’Leary in whose house in Eyeries Tadhg Ó Murchú stayed; Professor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, Maigh Nuad, who published Mioscais na gCumar and Martin Verling who edited Mioscais na gCumar. 

            Photographer, Seán Moriarty, made an excellent photographic record of the launch, capturing the atmosphere of what was a most enjoyable occasion. Evie’s Hall, built by her father, master carpenter, John Murphy, was a really comfortable and spacious venue. The fact that Irish classes were held in the original hall across the road in the 1940s, provides a real sense of continuity and an inspiration for us to learn, or relearn Irish.  After the launch, a lovely reception was held in Mary O’Shea’s public house.

A Cluster of Seaweed Book Launch - Emma & Martin Verling

Gabhaim buíochas ó chroí le gach duine a thacaigh leis an tSeoladh seo agus le gach éinne a bhí i láthair chun beatha, misneach agus gaois ár sinsear a cheiliúradh.

Emma Verling née Ní Mhurchú

Na hAoraí agus Port Láirge.

A Cluster of Seaweed is on sale in Béarra, in Walsh’s Bookshop, Dungarvan, and in the Book Centre, Waterford.

Click Here to visit the Book Centre listing for the book.

A Cluster of Seaweed Book Launch - Emma & Martin Verling

Guests of my life

You came in the early dawn,

And you came in the night.

Your name was uttered

By the spring flowers

And the showers of rain.

You brought the harp into my life,

And you brought the lamp.

After you had taken your leave,

I found God’s footprints on my floor.

                                                                                        Rabindranath Tagore

Exploring Ireland’s History: Where Tradition Meets Technology

Exploring Ireland’s History: Where Tradition Meets Technology

Ireland is a land steeped in history, with a rich cultural heritage that has been passed down through the generations. From the ancient Celts to the modern-day, Ireland has always been a place where tradition meets technology, where the old ways are respected and the new ways embraced. In this article, we will explore the many ways in which Ireland’s history has been shaped by its unique blend of tradition and technology.


Ireland’s Architecture

Ireland's Architecture
One of the most obvious examples of this blending of old and new is Ireland’s architecture. The country is home to a wealth of historic buildings, from ancient castles and abbeys to Georgian townhouses and Victorian mansions. These buildings are not just relics of the past, however; many have been repurposed for modern uses, such as hotels, offices, and even apartments. In some cases, modern technology has been integrated into these historic buildings, such as elevators and air conditioning systems, to make them more comfortable and functional.

Today, many of Ireland’s historic buildings have embraced modern technology, introducing electronic gaming machines, like the popular slot machines, and high-tech sound systems, in order to improve the guest experience. With the ever-increasing developments occurring within technology, it comes as no surprise that slot machine mechanics have evolved over time, from classic one-armed bandits, fruit machines, and mechanical slot machines, to the adoption of the much more common electrical slot machines. This has also led to the development of online slots which are now one of the most popular games at online casinos, offering thousands of various titles within vast libraries.

The same can be said for modern sound systems, which are much more powerful now in venues like The Workman’s or O’Donaghue’s, where visitors might catch everything from traditional Irish musicians to famous names like Belle & Sebastian or Father John Misty. Thankfully, sounding crystal clear and on form rather than fuzzy and full of feedback, as in the days of old.


Tech Industry

Another example of Ireland’s embrace of technology is its thriving tech industry. The country has become a hub for tech companies in recent years, with major players such as Google, Facebook, and Apple all establishing offices in Ireland. This has brought not only jobs and economic growth to the country but also an infusion of modern technology and innovation.

This tech boom has led to the development of numerous start-ups and small businesses in the country, many of which are at the forefront of emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and renewable energy. With a strong emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, Ireland’s tech industry is poised to continue driving economic growth and shaping the country’s future.



A Hurley, used in the irish GAA traditional spurt of Hurling

Even in the world of sports, tradition, and technology coexist in Ireland. Gaelic football and hurling, two of Ireland’s national sports, have been played for centuries and have deep roots in Irish culture. But modern technology has also had an impact on these sports, with video analysis and other tools now used to help teams prepare for games and to analyze their performance.



Technology is not the only thing that has shaped Ireland’s history. Tradition and heritage are equally important, and Ireland has a rich cultural heritage that is deeply ingrained in its society. From the ancient Celtic festivals of Samhain and Imbolc to the more modern St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s traditions and customs are a vital part of its identity.

One example of this is the Irish language, which has been spoken in Ireland for over 2,000 years. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in it, with efforts to revive it and promote it as a living, breathing language that is still relevant today.

Traditional music is another important part of Ireland’s cultural heritage. From the haunting sounds of the uilleann pipes to the lively reels and jigs of Irish dance music, traditional music is an integral part of Irish life. Many of the traditional instruments, such as the bodhrán drum and the tin whistle, have been played for centuries and are still popular today.

In conclusion, Ireland is a country that has always been defined by its unique blend of tradition and technology. From its ancient castles to its modern tech companies, this is a place where the past meets the present and the old ways coexist with the new. This blending of old and new is what makes Ireland such a fascinating and unique place to explore, and it is something that is sure to continue shaping the country’s history for years to come. So the next time you find yourself in Ireland, be sure to experience the best of both worlds. Cheers to where tradition meets technology in perfect harmony!

Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route, Ireland’s West Coast

Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route, Ireland’s West Coast

Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route

The Wild Atlantic Way is a designated section of the West coast of Ireland. Its tagline is that you can ‘Explore 9 counties along this unforgettable coastal touring route to enjoy breathtaking scenery and exceptional experiences.’ I first travelled this part of Ireland around 1984, when we drove from Waterford, through Cork, Kerry, Clare and into Galway before heading home east via Dublin. I remember areas like Scull, Garnish Island, the Tarbert Ferry and the amazing Cliffs of Moher. This post outlines a decent Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route which takes in some of the key areas and sights in the area. This is also a driving route which I have recently done myself in November 2017.

This Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route will bring you from Kenmare to Doolin (or vice versa). The drive, according to Google Maps would take you around 6h 15 minutes but in reality, with Irish roads, it will be more than that. Don’t forget you will want to stop off and see these places. With this in mind, I suggest stopping overnight somewhere of your choosing along the way. You are quite close to Adare and also Limerick if you feel like venturing off-route momentarily for hotels.

The Wild Atlantic Way is a part of the world I remember from my youth, as we travelled these western costal counties of Ireland in 85, 86, 87 and 89. I have memories of Galway, The Tarbert Ferry, Lisdoonvarna, a quirky hotel in Kinsale which was full of nuns on the evening we stayed. You will experience real Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way and I just love driving along these routes. I hope this blog post will be of help to you if you are in this part of Ireland.

Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route from Doolin – Top 10 places to see

I’m going to presume that you are starting in Doolin, Co. Clare and driving south. If you are starting my Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route in Kerry then just reverse these instructions and start in Kenmare. The Top 10 places to see and do will be outlined below as headings, working from Doolin south.

The Cliffs of Moher

I first saw the cliffs of moher when I was 10 and I can recall a big field where everyone parked and a basic café with a castle nearby. Things have really changed. Now the cliffs of moher has a proper car park and a full experiential interpretive centre. If you have the time you should walk a section of the cliff top route. It is breathtaking. There is a charge for parking here. I’m a photographer also, so this is a key spot on the Wild Atlantic Way for iconic photos of Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher, on the Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route

Spanish Point

This is a very scenic area, often overlooked. It is on the way between the two endpoints on this journey and great as a stopping off point to stretch the legs and enjoy the view of the wild Atlantic. We stopped at a local hotel, got tea and used that as a base / car park to wander the local routes for an hour or so. It’s a part of the Wild Atantic Way which I hadn’t been to before and certainly worth the visit.

The Bridges of Ross, Near Spanish Point, on the Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route


This was a new one on me. I only discovered it in 2017. There are cliffs near the golf course with parking nearby and it is worth parking and taking a walk down to the sea shore. You get a great view of the sea and cliffs from here. Following on from here you can, if you wish, go straight on and visit Loop Head and the Bridges of Ross. Again, this was a fantastic spot for photos, especially on a day when the sea was a bit rough.

Kilkee, Co. Clare, Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route

The Tarbert Ferry

This ferry will bring you across the River Shannon at one of the widest points. The Journey takes around 25 minutes and gives you great views of the river and the surrounding countryside. The Tarbert Ferry is a paid for service and costs around €19 per car. There is a 10% discount if you buy the Tarbert Ferry ticket online.
Tarbert Ferry Crossing, on the Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route


Ballybunion is a beautiful coastal town and seaside resort in County Kerry, Ireland. It’s 15 km off-route from the town of Listowel. If you are a golfer, bring your clubs as there is a very good links course here.


I was here many times in the 80s and it is most famous for the Rose of Tralee festival which takes place every August. The town goes into really party mode for this event. Note, if you intend getting a hotel in Tralee during the festival it is best to book ahead as availability can be tight and prices can be out of the ordinary.
Blennerville Windmill, Tralee, Co. Kerry, on the Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route


This town is famous for one very special visitor and that is Fungi and dolphin. If you have the time you might take a boat trip and you could get to see him as he leaps from the water. I was there in 1992 and we went on a wetsuit swum where you could meet the dolphin but it was so cold that we ended up going in as far as our knees. Apparently, he was feet in front of me but I couldn’t see him. Anyway, it’s a lovely town and worth seeing.


The key feature of Inch is Inch Beach. This is an impressive three mile stretch of sandy beach, ideal for bathing, surfing and many other water sports.

Killarney National Park & the Ring of Kerry

The area around Killarney National Park and the Killarney Lakes is some of Ireland’s most iconic and spectacular scenery. There is also the Ring of Kerry which, if you have time, you could also do as it forms a looped drive. Most hotels in the area have maps of the various areas you can visit on the Ring of Kerry.
A Sheep from Ireland


This is a lovely little town with many areas around to walk and explore. If you are staying here for any length of time I recommend eating at the restaurant No. 35. This amazing restaurant sources local ingredient and creates dishes which are homely in taste but with an unusual twist. I eat here every time I visit Kenmare. The best food I have tried in that region of Ireland.

Just a note regarding driving these roads, if you go off-road, i.e. down to a remote viewing point etc, you might find that the roads are not the best maintained. Some of the roads have bad potholes and soft margins so make sure you have decent tyres on the car and you know that your vehicle can make it on the terrain required. It’s worth ensuring your insurance covers for emergency callouts and things like windscreen protection. If you are looking for good insurance and a comparison of policies the Chill Insurance website has a good tool which might help you. 

I hope you have enjoyed my Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route along Ireland’s West Coast. It is a route I have done many times in different directions. I love stopping at the smaller towns as well as visiting abandoned areas of the coast. Next up, I might try write a post for driving routes on Ireland’s Ancient East.


I hope you enjoy your journey on this Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route. You can Follow the various accounts Wild Atlantic Way Tweets and Social Media posts with the hashtag #WILDATLANTICWAY