Ireland’s Ancient East is made up of counties along the East coast of the country and the midlands. This part of the country is known for its beautiful coastline, stunning mountainous regions and historic landmarks.
This article will explore some of the most popular attractions in the region.
The Rock of Cashel
In the heart of County Tipperary stands a large castle, looming above the town of Cashel below it. The story of the castle is linked to the Slieve Bloom mountains, which according to legend is the foundation on which the castle was built. As the legend tells it, the Devil was once chasing an enemy when he found himself overcome with hunger.
Sweeping over the mountains below him, he took a bite out of the rock to satiate himself. As he continued to chase his enemy, he spat out the rock, hoping to flatten his foe with the large chunk of rock. This large mound became the rock upon which the seat of the Kings of Munster was built.
Today, the castle makes for a wonderful visit. Tourists can take a guided tour of the ruins and enjoy the views from the top of the hill. At the bottom of the hill there is a popular pub which hosts traditional music and dancing concerts throughout the summer for those wishing to experience a taste of Irish tradition.
The Waterford Greenway
The Waterford Greenway is a fantastic way to escape into nature while visiting Ireland. The 46km cycle and walking path follows an old railway track from Waterford City to Dungarvan. The Greenway runs along the coast and has stunning countryside views.
Along the way, walkers and cyclists can also discover the history of the landscape, with old Norman ruins, viaducts and workhouses dotted along the trail.
Once a popular site for holy pilgrimages, Glendalough in County Wicklow is a beautiful and tranquil place to hike or to discover the history of the monastic ruins at the visitor centre.
Located just an hour from Dublin City, it is a popular escape for city dwellers and tourists alike.
About 30 minutes outside Cork City, the town of Cobh (pronounced Cove) is well worth a visit. This port town was once the last place many Irish people emigrating to America and was the last port of call for the Titanic before the ship set sail on the Atlantic Ocean.
A museum dedicated to the famous vessel is a popular attraction in the town today. The town’s shore is lined with colourful town houses and quaint gift shops and ice cream stalls complete any tourist’s day out.
With so many sites to see along Ireland’s Ancient East trail, there really is something for everyone. Other towns and historic sites include Kilkenny, a medieval town home to a large caste and the burial place of St. Nicholas, Carlingford Lough in Co. Louth and Hook lighthouse in County Wexford.
Of course these are just four of the many breath-taking locations to visit along Ireland’s Ancient East. Be sure to look out for these spots and many more next time you’re looking for a day out in the Emerald Isle!
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