A month ago, Jake and I were lucky to take a trip to Southwest Ireland! While we’re not getting married until June (so close!) we had time in March to take a special trip, and decided to visit Ireland as our honeymoon! I finally took the time to collect our photographs and write down everywhere we visited, and I used google maps to make a really neat map of our trip below! Each place we stopped is listed, along with photos we took attached to each pin.
Our trip overall was really wonderful. It was mid-March, so the weather was still a bit cloudy and damp, but the mist never got in our way! We went on several great hikes and we were lucky that the Atlantic coastal views always seemed to clear up just in time.
We used Air BNB to book all of our bed and breakfast lodgings for the trip, and each stay was really fantastic with friendly hosts and ample Irish breakfasts! Our first house in Corofin was an easy jumping off point to explore the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. We hiked near the Cliffs of Moher near the town of Liscannor, then headed in the afternoon to hike in the Burren National Park. The Burren was really very strange and beautiful; it is an area of land covered in eroding limestone rock where most soil has been worn away by thousands of years of livestock grazing.
A few days later, we drove through the mountains of Kerry near the scenic Ring of Kerry to our stay at an Irish farmhouse. We took a break from hearty (but delicious!) pub food and cooked some simple meals for ourselves from Irish produce. We picked up a few Irish ciders and stouts and enjoyed relaxing by a wood stove, burning homemade peat that our host provided. We woke up in the morning to drink coffee and look out across the bogs, towards the Atlantic, and it was incredibly peaceful. We took a few hikes and made stops around Kerry that were incredibly stunning with views of the Atlantic, Kerry Cliffs, and Skelligs in the distance. While making our way to Cork we also stopped for a steep hike in Killarney National Park with a sweeping view of lakes, estates, and forest.
We ended our trip spending a few days in Cork. Our first night was Jake’s birthday, so we treated ourselves to a proper dinner at Market Lane, where we had a creative and delicious meal of modern Irish food alongside craft beer from Market Lane’s sister brewery, Elbow Lane. After dinner we went to The Roundy for an evening of whiskey, craft beer, Beamish, and Murphy’s to celebrate!
On Saint Patrick’s Day, we hung around St. Patrick’s Street to watch a truly Irish parade! Afterwards we visited the Cork Butter Museum, which was delightful, although unfortunately there weren’t any butter samples. We eventually spent a lot of time eating pizza and drinking Irish craft beer at Franciscan Wells Brewery, which was also hosting an Irish craft beer cask festival the same day. We got to try all of the Irish stouts, pale ales, red ales, and sours we could want in one place!
As a cap to our trip we made reservations for lunch at the Ballymaloe House, where we enjoyed a decadent lunch of Atlantic fish, Irish vegetables, and a desert cart. We spent the morning window shopping for treats at the English Market and special cookbooks at Vibes & Scribes used book store, and ended the day with a leisurely walk along the Atlantic near Ballycottin.
We were both very glad that we decided to travel around one area of Ireland. It was very relaxed, and we were able to explore in different areas without feeling pressure to drive long distances or see a lot of sights in one day. Perhaps another day we can visit Ireland again!