The beguiling city of Dublin is a compact amalgamation of medieval churches and Georgian splendour with a Viking past. Once the second city of the British Empire, today this dynamic Irish capital hums with a cosmopolitan vibrancy. Rich with history and heritage, there is plenty to do – Dublin has a wealth of restaurants, shops and museums. Yet, a short distance to the south, the Wicklow Mountains provide a dramatic and enchanting backdrop. The countryside of County Wicklow, the ‘Garden of Ireland’, is packed with history, from ancient settlements to elegant stately homes and lush gardens, which perfectly balances the hustle and bustle of city life.
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Wildly beautiful, the Wicklow Mountains dramatically intrude on the landscape as you head south from Dublin. Deep, glacier-formed valleys and bold granite protrusions create a magnificently bleak topography, which harbours wildlife and rare plants in its bogs, lakes and moorland.
The serene Glendalough Valley is a glacially formed sweep of tranquil beauty. Glendalough means ‘valley of the two lakes’, and besides its expansive views and stunning scenery it is also home to an atmospheric, early medieval monastic settlement. Begun in the 6th century, it thrived for centuries despite sackings by the Vikings, until it was finally destroyed by the Normans in the 12th century.
The grounds surrounding this Palladian mansion are simply stunning. Home to Ireland’s highest waterfall, impeccable formal gardens, elegant statues and ornamental lakes, the backdrop of the beautiful Sugarloaf Mountain completes the picture.
Old and new sit side by side in Dublin: from contemporary shops, restaurants a lively pubs to grand old townhouses, the ancient cathedrals of Christ Church and St Patrick, and a wealth of attractions thrumming with history. From the Little Dublin Museum, the National Museums and Kilmainham Gaol to the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson’s Distillery, Dublin has plenty to keep you busy!
The National Museum on Kildare Street is a hoard of archaeological treasures house in a late 19th century building with an elegant rotunda. This fascinating museum has collections of ancient Celtic crafts, including pre-historic gold and ornate ecclesiastical metalwork, as well as mummified Iron Age bodies which were preserved by the peat bogs and sections on Viking and medieval Ireland. The sister museums, which exhibit decorative arts and natural history, are also in the city.
Mount Usher offers 20 acres of beautiful, informal gardens which have been developed over 150 years. One of Ireland’s loveliest gardens, it boasts a unique variety of trees and plants in a sheltered, valley setting. It’s an excellent example of a ‘Robinsonian’ style of garden – wild and natural, yet managed.
This charming little village enjoys a riverside location in a wooded valley. Whitewashed and pastel houses define this pretty village, which is best known as a centre of Irish handweaving craft and was also used as the filming location in the BBC programme Ballykissangel.
5 minute read
As you may know, Success Tours is part of the Albatross Group, a multi-award winning collection of group tourism businesses. One of the benefits of being part of the Group is that their team of contractors work hard to secure competitive hotel rates for us. We’re really excited to be...
By Kirsty Holmes
23rd Oct 2019
Hand picked destinations
Ireland’s east evokes images of lush landscapes, elegant cities & idyllic towns spanning centuries of history. Dotted with grand Palladian properties, gorgeously situated distilleries, & innumerable collections of fine art, an exploration of the east of this island reveals the best of Ireland’s culture & heritage.
Ireland’s hidden heartlands offer much more than just outstanding rural tranquillity and a wonderfully relaxed pace of life. Amongst the rolling hills, flourishing countryside and dewy lakes are charming Irish towns and a superb selection of museums, mansions and monasteries which combine in an enchanting mix of the ancient and the mythological.
Counties Galway & Mayo form the heart of west coast Ireland, and running through them is a section of the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland’s spectacular coastal route. The romantic Connemara Peninsula is known for its looming mountains, vast lakes, windswept islands, rugged with cliffs, and the dramatic Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only glacially formed fjord.
Ireland’s County Kildare is a flat and fertile region that stretches west of Dublin. Dotted with elegant Georgian mansions which are rich with remarkable collections of artwork, it is also known as horse country: the verdant pastures are home to high quality herds raised for breeding around the world.