Why Come to Ireland?
Ireland is a large island off the West Coast of Europe and is home to around 4.8 million people. Ireland is well known for its beautiful and dramatic landscapes, characterised by mountains, lakes, rivers and rugged coastlines.
There is an ancient history of Celtic civilisation in Ireland, made all the more interesting by bouts of Nordic invasion. Ireland’s Celtic music, dance and stories are unique in the world, as Ireland became the last outpost of a fully Celtic society after the Romans invaded Britain. Ireland is referred to as the land of saints and scholars, and has a rich Christian history with many ancient sites such as the Glendalough medieval monastery with its round towers, under an hour's
Why Come to Dublin?
Dublin is Ireland’s capital city, located in the sunny East of Ireland. Dublin city centre is marked by a ring of canals and by the Liffey river which runs from Dublin Bay through the length of the city centre. The Wicklow Mountains and Dublin Mountains lie inland and can be viewed from many locations. The main language spoken in Dublin is English.
The traditional name for Dublin is An Dubh Linn which means ‘the black pool’ in Irish Gaelic. A thousand years ago, Dublin was a Viking settlement. It quickly became an important setting for commerce and culture, and the stage for Anglo-Norman invasions and the fight for Irish independence. Many museums in Dublin document these time periods, with artefacts from the Viking, Celtic, Norman, Anglo-Saxon and modern Irish cultures on display.
drive from Dublin city centre. Ireland is also home to eminent writers including James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde. The recent independence of Ireland from the United Kingdom in 1922 marked it as a proud country where local people appreciate freedom and human rights.
Another key attraction is the Book of Kells which is a 1,200-year-old monastic masterpiece and is housed in the equally stunning Trinity College Library, both of which are open to tourists.
Dublin city’s architecture is well known for fine Georgian townhouses which line the city’s famous parks, including St Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square (home of the Giant’s Playground named after Oscar Wilde’s ‘the Selfish Giant’ story).
The city is served by two light rail services: the Luas, and the Dart. There are many bus routes flowing in and out of the city, and plenty of taxis that stop when hailed at any location.
Dublin is well known for its bars and restaurants, which serve an enormous range of national and international cuisine. Strolling along the shopping streets, several of which are pedestrianised, is made even more pleasant by stopping by for local oysters and Guinness, and by watching the street buskers perform traditional and modern music and dance.
There are also many inspiring bridges crossing the Liffey river and several of these are lit up at night creating wonderful reflections on the water.
Many notable writers and playwrights come from Dublin, including William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, Johnathan Swift, Bram Stoker, and James Joyce. Joyce’s best known work Ulyssess is set in Dublin and visitors interested in Joyce can go to the James Joyce museum which is housed in a water tower in the seaside area of Sandycove, overlooking the 40-foot bathing area which features in the book.
The word ‘welcome’ is heartfelt in Ireland, with the Irish people being well known for their friendliness, helpfulness and collectivist mentality. Irish cuisine is typically made using high quality local products including seafood and fish, farm raised animals, fresh leafy green vegetables and excellent dairy including butter, yoghurt and milk. Another core feature of any trip to Ireland is the whisky, and the beer which includes many types of craft beer and Guinness, one of the more famous local stouts.