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Archive for the ‘Travelling in Ireland’ Category

Ireland is the Perfect Place for a Family Reunion

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” – William Butler Yeats

Do you dream of getting your entire family together?  Many of us live far from each other, the kids are growing or gone, and the grandchildren and cousins don’t see each other often enough.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful legacy to arrange a family reunion in Ireland?

Ireland is all about families, friends and the ties that bind.  Because of this, there is no better place to strengthen your ties, relax together, laugh and reminisce.  You may even arrange to broaden your family circle, and see the Irish family you’ve never met.

Children are treasured in Ireland.  They are welcome most places, and there is a lot for them to do and enjoy.  They’ll even find shopping a small miracle as they wander through the maze of a medieval town, especially when they hear stories of witches and faeries who wandered the same streets.

And there’s so much more: festivals, circuses from Eastern Europe, wildlife parks, tidepooling, the Aquadome,  a Viking tour of Dublin, visiting an Irish farm, horseback riding, ecology for kids, cooking on a farm, visitor centers for kids at Neolithic sites, folk parks, houseboats on the Shannon River, exploring caves… That’s plenty to keep the whole crew wide-eyed and happy.  Rent an Irish house together and explore.

Make the time to enjoy and appreciate each other!

Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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Golf by the Atlantic in Lahinch, County Clare

Ireland is one of the world’s premier golf destinations.

With over 400 golf courses, you can travel anywhere in Ireland and rest assured that you are close to a golf course with a terrific reputation. Pretty wonderful!

Of the world’s twelve top-ranked courses, three are found in Ireland: Ballybunion, Royal Portrush, and Royal County Down. Considering that we’re a fairly small island, this is truly an amazing place for golfers.

You will find that Ireland’s hospitality and good cheer spill over into her clubhouses. Any level of golfer is welcome, and the courses are exceptionally well-kept. You can follow one of our suggested itineraries or create one of your own. Regardless, Authentic Ireland can help you create an itinerary that works—-and plays—-for you!

Your dedicated Authentic Ireland writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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Traditionional Pubs and Music in West Clare are Cozy, and Rocking, Affairs.

People come to Clare from all over the world to hear traditional Irish music, or trad for short. Of course it can be heard in most counties of Ireland but nowhere are the people more passionate about it than in Clare. And it shows. The quantity, quality and variety of pub sessions going on across the county throughout the year is simply unmatched anywhere else in Ireland. It would be a shame if you came to Clare and missed out!

Here’s our guide to the trad music pubs of West Clare, pubbing from Kilrush in the south to Ballyvaughan in the north.

Kilrush: Crotty’s Pub – every Tuesday, festival mid-August. The Way Inn – nightly during the summer

Carrigaholt:  The Long Dock – Wed, Friday to Sunday during the summer. Morrissey’s Village Pub – trad music and set dancing at the weekends. Eat here: Fennell’s – top notch seafood

 Kilbaha (near Loop Head): The Lighthouse Inn – irregular sessions

Kilkee: O’ Mara’s – irregular sessions

Doonbeg : Eat here: Morrissey’s Seafood Bar and Grill

Milltown: Malbay Home to the Willie Clancy Summer School.  If you are here for the week commencing the first Sunday of July, you will be treated to the best traditional music this country has to offer all week long in all bars and all free. Do yourself a favour. Outside this week try:

Lynch’s Bar – Wed, Fri & Saturday Hillery’s – Mon, Wed, Fri – Sunday Eat here: Berry Lodge and Cookery School, south of Milltown, great restaurant (reservations essential) Eat here: Black Oak, north of town, sea view location

Lahinch: The Cornerstone – Thursday The Nineteenth – Saturday, The Claremount Hotel – Sunday Eat here: Barrtra Seafood Restaurant. Excellent seafood 5km north of Lahinch Eat here: Atlantic Hotel – great food and a friendly atmosphere

Ennistymon: Daly’s – Thur & Sunday Cooley’s House – Wed & Friday

Liscannor: Eat here: Vaughan’s Anchor Inn – easily the best seafood in County Clare

Corofin: The Corofin Arms – Tuesday, Friday & Sunday Campbell ’s – Tuesday The Inchiquinn Inn – Friday

Kilfenora: A little inland, but Kilfenora can rightly claim to be the capital of the trad music kingdom that is County Clare. Linnane’s – sessions most nights, the Kilfenora Ceili Band (the Arcade Fire of trad music) play here on Wednesdays. Vaughan ’s Pub – set dancing in the barn (no kidding!) – Thurs & Sunday, session in the pub on Tuesdays Nagle’s – Sunday

Doolin McGann’s: – 363 nights a year and weekend afternoons McDermotts’s – 363 nights a year and weekend afternoons O’Connor’s – 363 nights a year and weekend afternoons Eat here: Cullinan’s Seafood Restaurant

Aran Islands:  Tigh Jo Mac’s, Inishmore – sessions throughout the summer Joe Whatty’s, Inishmore – live music all summer though not always trad Tigh Ruairi – Inisheer – most nights during the summer Tigh Ned’s – Inisheer – irregular nights during the summer Eat here: Pier House, Kilronan

Lisdoonvarna: More famous for tangos and slow waltzes, however.. The Royal Spa Hotel – Thur to Saturday Eat here: Sheedy’s Country House Hotel

Fanore: O’Donoghue’s Pub – middle of nowhere bar where anything can happen, Saturday night ballad sessions. Sunday afternoon Irish dances, be ready.

Ballyvaughan: Hyland’s Burren Hotel – M

That should be a good start for you.  Enjoy!

Your dedicate writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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We want to thank all our Authentic Ireland Travel clients, many of whom have become close friends and correspondents, for their loyalty, support and good cheer throughout the years.  We do believe we have the best clients in the known universe.

Our aim has always been to find out what you want, and arrange your perfect Irish holiday.  We appreciate the time you spend with us, and we thank you for sharing your dreams.

Happy Thanksgiving to our good friends, one and all!

Best — The Crew at Authentic Ireland Travel

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers: Meredith and Win Blevins

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Lough Gur, an Irish Treasure of Time Older than the Pyramids.

Drive on any motorway or back road in Ireland.  It won’t be long before you come upon an ancient site.

You may see a Norman round tower, trees settled comfortably in a mystic fairy ring, a medieval castle tumbling in upon itself or a beautifully restored castle.  Perhaps you’ll happen upon the shadowed monastery where St. Kiernan slept between mountain peaks on the shores of a soft lake.  Look in the fields, especially if you’re in the west, or in the heartland, of Ireland.  You’ll likely see a dolmen.  Older than ancient, these huge stone tables often sit alone, skylining the horizon.

Stone circles, mounds, cairns and Celtic crosses.  Carvings on blinding-white quartzite and the inscriptions of an ancient language.  Many ancient relics are perfectly preserved and come complete with a visitor’s center.  Others are content to live amiably with grazing sheep.

Every illusive or majestic remnant of Ancient Ireland gives pause. Coming upon such a site leaves you speechless, for it’s a stronger experience than words can convey.

Come home to the past in Ireland.

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers: Meredith and Win Blevins

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Adare Manor, a Rare Calendar House Complete with Gargoyles

Mysterious Adare Manor is a rare example of a Calendar House, with 365 stained-glass windows and 52 chimneys. There are also gargoyles and carvings throughout that are quite extraordinary. (And a little spooky.)

Background?  The Quins were one of the few families of true Gaelic origin in the Irish peerage. Thady Quin, born in 1645, first settled in Adare.  In 1720, Valentine Quin built the first Adare Manor by the River Maigue.

In 1832, with Ireland ravaged by the potato famine, the family went to work, turning their home into a huge Tudor manor. Their work provided labor for all the surrounding villagers. The new house was built around the existing one, which was taken down when the present manor reached its final stage.

Set on 840 acres of formal gardens and rolling grasses, Adare Manor was voted the Number One European Resort by the Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards.

But the true story of Adare is its unique presence among all other places to stay in Ireland. Situated in the heart of lovely Adare Village in County Limerick, Adare Manor is steeped in history and surrounded by medieval ruins. It is the best combination of mystery, history and comfort.

Meander through stonewalled gardens and winding woodland paths. Discover the colorful history of Adare Manor and the centuries of stories throbbing in her walls.

There is no better place to celebrate life than in Ireland.  Adare Manor is one of those remarkable places that embraces you with cozy warmth.  Watch the moonlight skim off the river as you wind down the halls.  Voices?  Oh, yes, you may hear them–all of them friendly.

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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Visit Trinity College when Traveling to Ireland

When traveling to Ireland, specifically Dublin, you must visit Trinity College.  Visit a college?  Yes, indeed.

Trinity College, in the heart of Dublin, was founded in 1592–it’s one of Europe’s oldest colleges.  Let that sit for a moment, and imagine the changes that have happened on the grounds of this unique part of Ireland.

Among Trinity’s many famous students were playwrights Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Beckett. The major attractions are the Old Library and the mystical Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript.

In Ireland, it’s easy to let your imagination soar!

Best to you from Authentic Ireland’s Dedicated team.

writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins, AIT’s exclusive partners

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