WHAT IS IT?: Irelands Ancient East is a region in Ireland where you can find Irelands most sought after historical landmarks such as Spike Island and Dublin castle. It includes 16 Irish counties stretching from Monaghan in the north to Cork in the south. While you are here you can learn about the fascinating history of Ireland from Vikings to Victorian times.
HOW TO GET HERE:
Dublin Airport: This is Irelands largest and most connected airport. It has routes from the U.S, Europe, and Asia. A public transport bus will cost around 3.00 EUR to the city center which will take 45 mins. The Airport Express will cost you 6.00 EUR and take 35 mins.
Cork Airport: Irelands second largest airport with numerous routes throughout Europe. If you plan to visit the Munster region, which is down south, this would be the most convenient option for you. A bus to the city center will take 20 mins and cost 2.40 EUR.
Belfast Airport: You should note that this airport is located in Northern Ireland. There are many buses and trains that run to and from Dublin each day but you should only fly here if you plan on only visiting northern countries such as Monaghan, Cavan or Louth.
ROSSLARE PORT: This is for those of you who want to drive over to Ireland or for those who don’t enjoy flying. Rosslare Port is located in Wexford and has routes from the UK and France. National Express offers buses that run from London to Kerry passing through Cork, Waterford, and Wexford at reasonable prices and include the ferry ticket.
WHERE TO VISIT: No matter what part of this region you visit you will have a wonderful experience and learn about the history and culture of Ireland. As I mentioned in an article about the West of Ireland you should adapt your searches to which sort of activities you wish to take part in. For example history buffs will not want to miss out on a visit to Newgrange, especially during the winter solstice. But down below are my personal favorite.
1. CORK CITY (County Cork): Visit here if you love sightseeing. Cork is known as the rebel city due to its constant rebellious attitude towards outsiders during its long historic pastime. Right in the city center you can find St. Finbarr’s Cathedral and Elizabeth fort or you can take a 20-minute train journey to Cobh where you can find ‘Irelands Alcatraz’.
2. WATERFORD CITY (County Waterford) – If heritage is what you fancy, schedule a stop here as its Irelands oldest city. Waterford is a city but it seems more like a large town which is great because you get to experience traditional Irish buildings while still having so much to see and do here. Its most popular attraction is the Medieval Museum.
3. HOOK HEAD (County Wexford) – This is for all of you who enjoy outdoor activities. Smell the fresh coastal air before making your way to the world’s oldest lighthouse. Hook Lighthouse is over 800 years old and once you’re finished with that you can make your way out onto the Irish sea with Hook Head Sea Kayaking.
4. BRAY HEAD (County Wicklow) – Check this place out if you are into hiking or camping. There are many places in Wicklow where you can go hiking but this is my favorite. This is because you have amazing scenery throughout the hike and you get a chance to stop for a picnic as Lough Bray. Once you’re done you can finish up at the seaside town of Bray.
5. DUBLIN CITY (County Dublin) – Museum or city lovers should stop and make an appearance here. Dublin is the capital with a population of 1.5 million people so you will get to see the Irish way of life. My favorite museums in Dublin are the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland which is both completely free!
TRANSPORT – Bus Eireann is the main bus service in Ireland, for these buses you can purchase a ticket on board. Dublin bus only operates in Dublin and is the main bus service here. When purchasing a ticket with this provider they do not accept notes, only coins. For intercity travel, your cheapest option is by bus. Some operators include Bus Eireann, Aircoach, and Go Bus. Make sure to purchase your ticket online for these as you will pay around 25% more if you wait till you’re on board. Irish Rail is the only train service in Ireland and even though it is more comfortable they are twice as expensive as buses.
ACCOMMODATION – Although there is a wide selection of hotels in this region, accommodation in Ireland isn’t the cheapest. In Dublin, hotel prices will be the most expensive followed by Cork and Waterford so if you do plan on visiting these cities try to visit them on weekdays where prices will be cheaper. If you are staying in smaller towns and villages you won’t find a lot of hotels around, you should try Air B&B, there are many people who rent out rooms to tourists in the countryside.
CLIMATE: Ireland’s climate is temperate and wet year-round. The coldest month is January with average lows of 4 degrees Celcius, its hottest month is July with average highs of 20 degrees Celcius, but no matter what the weather is like once you leave your accommodation always carry an umbrella because in Ireland you can easily experience all 4 seasons in one day.
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