The breakaway list- Explore your own County- Munster

Yesterday was a good day. The government announced that we can start enjoying intercounty travel again from the 10th of May. For all of those families that have been kept apart since Christmas, they can look forward to visiting their loved ones again. Hospitality and Tourism businesses will start re-opening from June but on a step by step basis. So our explore your own County list has turned into a “explore all Counties” list. This week we are exploring our top spots for each County in Munster. The province of big mountains and epic coasts. Lets explore your own County- Munster.

County Clare

I lived in County Clare for a very short space of time but it really is an enchanting County. Lots of history and music. Authentic Ireland is really still alive in County Clare- here are our top spots

  1. Take a wild Atlantic wander. A few years ago I took advantage of a nice day with nothing to do except drive. County Clare has so many beauty spots along its coastline to explore from Kilrush, Kilkee, Spanish Point, Lahinch, Liscannor, The Cliffs of Moher and so much more. Check out the blog post here.
  2. Take a hike in the Burren: Trek up to Knockanes (207 metres) which continues as a curving terraced ridge to Mullaghmór to the south. The scenery from up here is amazing. Click here for the walking map
  3. Visit Scattery Island. Off the coast of Kilrush, this small but beautiful Island is the previous home to many of Irelands saints and scholars. You can take a tour of the Island or explore all of the heritage sites, lighthouse and deserted buildings for yourself.

County Cork

The biggest County in Ireland- there is so much to do and see and still be safe. Cork is home to some beautiful hotels and guesthouses, produces some of the best food in Ireland (Clonakilty Black and White pudding yes please!) and some of the friendliest people. Here are our top spots for galavanting

  1. The Ballycotton Cliff walk: Unless we are going through a heatwave I would take walking boots. It can get quite mucky. The views are unreal. Its not a loop so its about 7km in total. Perfect for a Sunday stroll!
  2. Walk the beach at Inchadoney: This is one of my favourite beaches in Cork. Pre Covid you could do a nice long walk on the beach and then get a slap up meal in the Hotel. There is a coffee truck there now though- The wandering Bean.
  3. Take a trip on Irelands only Cable car: If you are taking a trip to West Cork then you need to put this on the itinerary. The trip over is short but pretty amazing. Don’t be surprised if you are accompanied by a sheep or two. Check out our blog post from a trip to Dursey Island a few years ago.

County Kerry

I love Kerry. I think the entire world loves Kerry. We spent an amazing few days in Dingle last summer. I did my summer placement from college in Killarney and I love going back to revisit. These are our top spots

  1. Drive the Conor Pass: Or the slea head drive for that matter. Instead of taking the long way around the mountain, the people of Kerry built the roads along the side of the mountain- but they didn’t build them very wide. A great experience to get the heart pumping!
  2. Explore Killarney National Park: On a sunny day there is no better place to be. This park is full of wildlife and beautiful walks and trails for miles and miles. Bring a packed lunch and enjoy!
  3. Visit the Statue of St Brendan at Fenit: This statue was erected in 2004 but was made famous this year from the Jerusalema Challenge from the Gardai. We have never been but its on the bucket list.

County Tipperary

Its a long way to Tipperary- not on the M7 it isn’t. I can’t wait to visit the permier County this year and visit family- and some of its amazing beauty spots. These are our favourite

  1. Enjoy the great outdoors in the Glen of Aherlow: The entrance to the Glen of Aherlow Nature Park is adjacent to Christ the King. The Nature Park is a series of loop walking trails, suitable for families, with information panels on the flora and fauna of the area, picnic tables, so take a ramble in a natural woodland at your leisure.
  2. Climb Slieve na mBan:  The mountain of women- Legend goes that Fionn Mac Cumhaill (An Irish warrior) decided to choose his bride from a race between a group of women. The first to reach the summit was the woman he would take as his bride. Fionn only had eye’s for one Irish woman though- Gráinne- and apparently he showed her a shortcut before the race so that he wouldn’t have to choose anyone else. He obviously had zero faith in her fitness levels! Read our full blog here from when we climbed Slievenamon.
  3. Discover Lough Derg: Visit the look out at Portroe, wander around Castlelough or walk a section of the Lough Derg way. There are so many pretty towns and villages along the shores of this lake.

County Waterford

Ah the sunny south east! We spent all of our summer holidays as kids in Waterford. The excitement would be ninety as we left Cavan for the long spin down the road- I really don’t know how Mammy Leddy did it! These are our top spots in Waterford

  1. Tramore: Obviously. Dooleys chips and a walk along the beach. Heaven. I also love the Doneraile walk and last summer we went all the way out to Newtown Cove. We can’t wait to get back!
  2. Cycle or walk the Greenway: Follow the old railway line from Waterford city to Dungarvan along 46kms of fully off road path. We haven’t done this yet but we can’t wait.
  3. Take the Ardmore Cliff walk:  Features on the walk include St Declan’s Well , the old Coastguard Station, the Castle, the Lookout Post (used for observation during World War II), and Father O’Donnell’s Well.

County Limerick

I miss a good night out in Limerick city! There is so much history in this County. If you find yourself in Limerick be sure to visit King Johns Castle- a trip back in time for all the family. These are our top spot for County Limerick

  1. The new Limerick Greenway: Yeah!! Another Greenway that isn’t 3000 kilometres in lenght! The Limerick Greenway is a 40km walking and cycling off-road route running along the old railway line connecting the towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale. Can’t wait to visit
  2. Visit Lough Gur: This mystical and enchanting place of stone circles, megalithic tombs, crannogs, ring forts and castles is a must visit. The stunning views and walks around the lakeshore are impressive enough but you’ll also find ancient burial mounds, megalithic tombs, forts and standing stones scattered around this mysterious landscape. The magical fairy trail and superb Solstice Playground at Lough Gur are sure to enthral younger visitors too.
  3. Visit the milk market: Now open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, under the Canopy- we love having a walk around local markets like this one. Support your local producers and take a visit this weekend.

So there you have it- our top spots that we would definitely visit if we lived in the Counties of Munster. Hopefully we will get the chance to visit again soon.

Next week we will be checking out the best spots in Leinster. Until then- stay safe- and explore your own County!

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