Welcome back everyone!
Hope you enjoyed my piece about my favorite lunches in the city, there are a lot of great eats in Dublin. However, speaking of great eats, there are plenty more outside of the city. One county deemed the “Food Capital of Ireland” is Cork, which I had the pleasure of visiting this past November. I went for a long weekend to visit my good friend and fellow Study Abroad Blogger Erin O’Donovan, and she made sure to give me such an amazing tour of both Cork and the surrounding towns. When I first arrived, we got some delicious food at her favorite cafe and she showed me around the gorgeous University College Cork campus. We also walked around the city and through the infamous Marina Market Cork, which had endless food vendors, living up to the city’s nickname. Beyond the city, we traveled around the southernmost part of Ireland, first stopping at Kinsale (the cutest town ever) before making our way to Old Head, which is located at the edge of the town. It was a great way to get away from the city and catch some beautiful views of the blue Celtic Sea. Later that weekend, We went to the Blarney Castle to kiss the lucky Blarney Stone, and met up with some of our Holy Cross friends for a meal.
Now, one of my first trips outside of Dublin last semester was to Galway, on the complete opposite coast of Ireland. Right on the water, beaches everywhere, and home of the infamous Claddagh ring, there is so much to see and do. It was about a 3 hour train ride from the city, and my friends and I planned it as a spontaneous day trip the day before we went. We first stopped at the center of the city and walked around the market that was selling amazing arts and local food. Next on our list: obtaining our Claddagh rings. The original store famous for creating the rings is called Thomas Dillon Claddagh, right in the heart of the city. However, for college students on a budget, their prices did not quite match ours. So we found an amazing family run store that sold them for a much better price, called the Claddagh and Celtic Jewellery Company. After that, we got some tea at a restaurant called The Secret Garden, which was a perfect recommendation from some friends. We also walked to South Park, which was right along the water and had beautiful views. Next time I go to Galway, I’m definitely hitting the Aran Islands.
So I’ve been to the south coast of Ireland, west coast of Ireland, and recently made my way to Northern Ireland, as one major area on my bucket list was to hit Giant’s Causeway. Two weeks ago, two of my friends joined me on a lovely weekend trip up to Belfast, making good use of our Bank Holiday weekend. We spent the first day walking around the city by visiting the Botanical Gardens, learning about the Titanic (as it was built in Belfast), and grabbing food at the different markets around the city. If you ever get the chance to try the Belfast Bap, make sure you have an empty stomach and are not planning a major meal for the rest of the day. It is a delicious, but very filling, sandwich. After exploring the city, we took the next day to adventure up all the way to the top of the island through a tour that took us along the coast all the way to Giant’s Causeway. This was one of the most beautiful areas I think I’ve ever been to and highly recommend anyone to go if given the chance. With whipping winds and crashing waves along crazy cliffs, you understand why the area is as famous as it is.
Now, I can’t finish this blog post without talking about my favorite spot outside of Dublin City. Back on the east coast of Ireland, still in County Dublin but only a 30 minute DART ride from the city, is Howth. Over the years, this seaside town has become a lot more popular, as it is known for the stunning cliff walk that takes you around the town with beautiful views of the ocean. I’ve yet to do the entire cliff walk, but I’ve been about three times thus far and look forward to the next time I go. When I need to get away from the city, or want to eat fish and chips while looking at the water, this is my go to spot. There’s also a super cute market right by the train station with vintage jewelry and delicious food I highly recommend checking out. Howth is a great place to go if you need to escape the city feel for a few hours and get some gorgeous seaside views, plus a great way to see the sunrise.
As much as I love Dublin and will continue to praise it in my other blogs, there is so much to see and do beyond the city, especially along the coast of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Thanks for reading about my coastal adventures all around the island!
Until Next Time,