Sunday, July 31, 2011

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

(does not include Dublin or Galway County; includes Counties Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leinster, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Sligo, Tipperary & Waterford)

GENERAL
Blue Book – irelands-blue-book.ie; register of high end country inns; not cheap; more like Relais & Chateaux.



COUNTY CAVAN
Cavan
Hotels
Radisson Blu Farnham Estate – Farnham Estate; 011-353-049-437-7700 or 800-333-3333; farnhamestate.ie; 300 year-old structure with modern wing; spa; 150 rooms; any of 8 rooms in original house are best.



COUNTY CLARE
Ballyvaughan
Bars & Nightclubs
O’Lochlainn – Ballyvaugh Road; 011-353-065-707-7006; Steven Speilberg described this as one of best pubs he has been in; proprietor is Margaret, who opens at 8 every night unless gets her act together sooner or feels like dallying bit; essentially 1 quiet room (can hear grandfather clock ticking) crammed with antiques, old pictures, older maps, and bric-a-brac; stocks over 400 whiskeys from around world, but serves only 50 or so (rest, crowding shelves behind bar, are for show; crushed ice produced by hand crank and deafening rattle machine.
Hotels
Gregans Castle Hotel – Corkscrew Hill; 011-353-065-707-7005; gregans.ie; sweeping mountain views.

Bunratty
Sights & Sites
Bunratty Castle – Limerick-Ennis Road; 011-353-061-360-788; shannonheritage.com; can arrange medieval banquet.

Burren
Sights & Sites
Poulnabrone Dolmen – R480 (5 miles south of Ballyvaughan, 6 miles north-west of Kilnaboy); megalithicireland.com/Poulnabrone.htm; means “hole of quern stones”; portal tomb - 1 of approximately 174 in Ireland; dates back to Neolithic period, probably between 4200-2900 BCE.

Doolin
Sights & Sites
Cliffs of Moher – R478 (7 miles north of Lahinch, in Liscannor parish, at Burren area’s south-western edge); 011-353-065-708-1171; cliffs rise 394' above Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head; reach maximum height just north of O’Brien’s Tower (round stone tower), 8 kms away; on clear day, Aran Islands visible in Galway Bay, as are Connemara hills and valleys.

Doonbeg
Hotels
Doonbeg Golf Club – N67; 011-353-065-905-5600 or 866-366-6234; doonbeggolfclub.com; great hiking on cliffs at Kilkee, sea views, fire places; stunning setting on remote white-capped bay in west County Clare; perfect in every detail; dolphin watching, hiking spa treatments; oceanview suites best.

Lahinch
Hotels
Moy House – 011-353-065-708-2800; moyhouse.com; some rooms with fireplaces and sea views.
Restaurants
Barrtra Seafood Restaurant – Miltown Malbay Road; 011-353-065-708-1280; barrtra.com.

Newmarket-on-Fergus
Hotels
Dromoland Castle – Limerick-Ennis Road; 011-353-061-368-144 or 800-346-7007; dromoland.ie; former private residence; Waterford crystal chandeliers; tranquil walking trails on property; spa.



COUNTY CORK
Ballingeary
Sights & Sites
Gougane Barra – just off Macroom-Glengarriff (R584) Road, west of Ballingeary; Ireland’s 1st national park (1966); beautiful and wild scenery; magnificent Forest Park covers 1K acres; Lee River rises here and flows to Cork Harbor; tiny island in lake, connected to shore by causeway; here that Cork Patron St. Finbarr founds early Christian monastery.

Bantry
Bars & Nightclubs
Schooner – Barrack Street; 011-353-027-52115; live music sometimes at night.
Restaurants
Snug – Quay; 011-353-027-50057; try mussels.

Castlelyons
Hotels
Ballyvolane House & Blackwater Salmon Fishery – Fermoy; 011-353-025-36349; ballyvolane.ie; extraordinary gardens.

Clonakilty
Hotels
Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa – Beach Road; 011-353-023-883-3143; inchydoneyisland.com.

Cork
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Crawford Art Gallery Café – Emmett Place; 011-353-021-427-4415; crawfordartgallery.ie/dining.html; great spot for cake & coffee.
Hotels
Ballymaloe House – about 20 minutes outside of town; see below (Shanagarry).
Clarion Hotel – Lapp’s Quay; 011-353-021-422-4900; clarionhotelcorkcity.com; overlooks River Lee; modern hotel; understated rooms feature flat-screen TVs, free WiFi & tea-coffeemaking facilities; some rooms offer balconies with river views; indoor pool.
Hayfield Manor – Perrott Avenue, College Road; 011-353-021-484-5900; hayfieldmanor.ie; ivy-clad brickwork & walled gardens; country house charm but inner city convenience; rooms furnished with mahogany antiques & gold brocade; indoor pool is calm haven.
Restaurants
Cafe Paradiso – 16 Lancaster Quay; 011-353-021-427-7939; paradiso.restaurant; vegetarian.
Electric Restaurant – 41 South Mall; 011-353-021-422-2990; electriccork.com; terrace has unrivaled St. Finbarr’s cathedral views; grass-fed Black Angus steaks, fantastic fish.
Farmgate Cafe – 33-34 Princes Street (in English Market); 011-353-021-427-8134; farmgate.ie/corkhome.htm; Irish cuisine.
Jacques – 23 Oliver Plunkett Street; 011-353-021-427-7387; jacquesrestaurant.ie; over 30 years in business; Irish cuisine.
Shopping
English Market – Princes Street; 011-353-021-000-000; englishmarket.ie; best market in town; locally produced & organic food in 18th Century covered market.
Sights & Sites
Blackrock Castle – Castle Road (Blackrock, 1 hour walk from Cork); 011-353-021-432-6120; bco.ie; castle with turrets; looks especially dramatic at sunset.
Crawford Art Gallery – Emmett Place; 011-353-021-480-5042; crawfordartgallery.ie; national cultural institution public art gallery; dedicated to contemporary & historic art.
Honan Chapel – O’Donovan Rossa Road (at University College Cork); 011-353-021-490-3088; honanchapel.com; chapel & liturgical collection date to Irish Arts & Crafts movement late phase (1894-1925); both building & furnishings were designed & produced as single commission; accounts for overall design & style unity; rich interplay of Celto-Byzantine motifs in building fabric & ornate furnishings, altar plate, hangings & vestments; Celtic art & Hiberno-Romanesque architecture traditions blended with tastes for Symbolism (arts) & Art Nouveau popular in Europe before WWI; in Ireland this was known, artistically, as Celtic Twilight (time for rediscovering lost national identity through Celtic art & myths - seen in poetry of W. B. Yeats & plays of J. M. Synge; Chapel is most similar to 12 th Century church of St. Cronan in Roscrea, County Tipperary, while its bell-tower on north wall inspired by round towers of monastic settlements so common in Ireland from 9th Century on; Harry Clarke designed St. Gobnait window (south side); make sure to see mosaic floors, designed to look like rivers.
Huguenot Quarter – area around French Church Street & Carey’s Lane; celebratingcorkpast.com/huguenot; pedestrian trips are pleasing muddle of bookshops, clothing, independent restaurants & vintage clothing; ideal for afternoon stroll.
Shandon – shandonbells.ie; district in Cork city noted for brightly painted streets & Church of St. Anne; climb church tower for great view.

Doneraile
Hotels
Creagh House – Main Street; 011-353-022-24433; creaghhouse.ie; by River Awbeg; 2-story suite with bay view and fireplace.

Durrus
Hotel
Blairs Cove House – Coolcolaghta (near Bantry); 011-353-027-61127; blairscove.ie; lovely.
Restaurants
Blairs Cove House – Coolcolaghta (near Bantry); 011-353-027-61127; blairscove.ie.

Shanagarry
Hotels
Ballymaloe House – Hegarty’s Terrace; 011-353-021-465-2531; ballymaloe.ie; extraordinary gardens.
Restaurants
Ballymaloe House – Hegarty’s Terrace; 011-353-021-465-2531; ballymaloe.ie.



COUNTY DONEGAL
Ardara
Hotels
Green Gate – Ardvally; 011-353-087-575-798; greengate.eu; converted barns, nice but not luxurious.

Churchill
Sights & Sites
Glebe House & Gallery (includes St. Columb’s Gardens) – R251 (Tully More); 011-353-074-913-7071; glebegallery.ie; English painter Derrick Hill bought this 1828 mansion in 1953, providing him with mainland base close to his beloved Tory Island; sumptuously decorated with evident love of all things exotic; real lure here is Hill’s astonishing art collection; besides paintings by Hill & Tory Island’s “naive” artists are works by Picasso, Landseer, Hokusai, Jack B. Yeats & Kokoschka; guided tour takes about 45 minutes; before Hill arrived, house served as rectory & then hotel; lavish gardens can also be toured; cute little cafe.
Tory Island – 14.5 kms off north-west coast; wildatlanticway.com/stories/islands/tory-island-the-secret-kingdom; Ireland’s most remote inhabited island; population of 144.

Dunfanaghy
Hotels
Mill – Main Street; 011-353-074-913-6985; themillrestaurant.com; 6 rooms, luxurious.
Restaurants
Mill – Main Street; 011-353-074-913-6985; themillrestaurant.com; excellent food.

Rathmullan
Hotels
Rathmullan House – on Loch Swilly; 011-353-074-915-8188; rathmullanhouse.com; beautiful garden and beach; indoor pool.



COUNTY DUBLIN
Glencullen
Restaurants
Johnnie Fox’s – 011-353-012-955-647; jfp.ie; try seafood chowder.

Killiney
Hotels
Fitzpatrick Castle – Killiney Hill Road; 011-353-012-305-400; fitzpatrickcastle.com; Victorian facade of battlements, towers, and turrets; restored 1741 gem; hilltop grounds have clear Dublin Bay views; wandering lobby that seems to go on forever, filled with comfortable sofas, piano, and working fireplaces; excellent bar, with leather chairs to sink into, and 2 good restaurants.
Sights & Sites
Martello Tower #7 – Tara Hill (at Killiney Avenue & Killiney Hill Road junction); 011-353-08-7288-5522 or 011-353-012-350-777; niall.tower@iol.ie; located on private land, but open to public; Martello towers are small defensive forts built across British Empire during 19th Century, from Napoleonic Wars onwards; up to 40' h (with 2 floors); round structure and thick walls make them resistant to cannon fire.



COUNTY KERRY
Caherdaniel
Hotels
Iskeroon Inn – 011-353-066-947-5119; iskeroon.com; beach house B&B; 4 acres rambling subtropical gardens; 1 of finest locations in Ireland.

Cahersiveen
Hotels
QC’s Townhouse – 3 Main St (Ring of Kerry); 011-353-066-947-224; qcbar.com; 5 rooms may be Kerry’s grooviest.
Restaurants
O’Neill’s Point Seafood Bar – Renard Point; 011-353-066-947-2165; striking blue pub beside Valentia Island ferry terminal; run by O’Neill family for over 150 years; traditional Irish cooking; generous dishes with a strong seafood base; unusually, no chips, desserts, or credit card payments.
QC’s Seafood Bar & Restaurant – 3 Main St (Ring of Kerry); 011-353-066-947-224; qcbar.com; gorgeously situated; great fish & chips.

Dingle
Restaurants
Boat Yard – Strand Street; 011-353-066-915-0920; facebook.com/theboatyardrestaurant; order Dingle crab sampler (Dingle crab chowder, Dingle crab cakes, Dingle crab claws, and Dingle crab quiche).

Iveragh Peninsula
Sights & Sites
Skellig Michael (Irish, Sceilig Mhichíl, or “Great Skellig”) – Portmagee (arrange to depart from here); skelligislands.com; larger of 2 Skellig Islands; Christian monastery founded on island between 6-8th Century, continuously occupied until abandoned in late 12th Century; remains on UNESCO World Heritage List; in 8th or 9th Century, West Munster King Duagh fled here after feud with Cashel Kings.

Kenmare
Hotels
Sheen Falls Lodge – Kenmare; 011-353-064-664-1600; sheenfallslodge.ie; 300 acre estate with lovely falls and walking trails.
Restaurants
La Cascade – Kenmare (at Sheen Falls Lodge); 011-353-064-664-1600; sheenfallslodge.ie; excellent.
Sights & Sites
Molly Gallivan’s – 71 Glengarrif Road; 011-353-064-664-0714; mollygallivans.com; restored rural farm and homstead.

Killarney
Hotels
Aghadoe Heights – Aghadoe; 011-353-064-31766; aghadoeheights.com; outside of town, spa with aroma grotto and thermal suite, ultra modern, with sweeping vistas; emphasis on casual at recently expanded spa; from private balcony or thermal suite, admire nearby Killarney lakes and mountains; Zen gardens; acclaimed restaurant, Fredrick’s at Heights.
Killarney Park Hotel – Town Centre; 011-353-064-663-5555; killarneyparkhotel.ie.
Restaurants
Smoke House – 8 High Street; 011-353-064-662-0801; thesmokehouse.ie; try Kerry Lamb burger.

Killorglin
Hotels
Carrig Country House – Ring of Kerry; 011-353-066-976-9100; carrighouse.com; beautiful hideaway; charming and meticulously restored Victorian residence; on Caragh Lake, with spectacular view across waters to Kerry Mountains; 4-acre gardens contain rare and unusual plants from around world.



COUNTY KILKENNY
Ballyfoyle
Sights & Sites
Dunmore Cave – close to N78 Kilkenny-Castlecomer Road (about 11 km north of Kilkenny City); 011-353-056-776-7726; limestone cave; Viking massacre site in 928 CE; overlooks Dinin River valley; contains just quarter mile passages and descends 150'; some of finest calcite formations in country; Viking artifact site.

Thomastown
Hotels
Mount Juliet Conrad – Thomastown; 011-353-056-777-3000; conradhotels.com; 1.5K acres of meadows, rivers, and woodlands; Georgian mansion 40 miles from Rock of Cashel; good restaurant.



COUNTY LEINSTER
Enniskerry
Hotels
Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt – Powerscourt Estate; 011-353-012-748-888; ritzcarlton.com.
Sights & Sites
Powerscourt Waterfall – Powerscourt Estate; 011-353-012-046-000; powerscourt.ie; impressive formal gardens and waterfall.

Laois County
Hotels
Ballyfin – Ballyfin Desmesne; 011-353-057-875-5866; ballyfin.com; Ireland’s most opulent hotel; set in Slieve Bloom mountains’ foothills.
Sights & Sites
Abbey Sensory Gardens – Main Street (Abbeyleix, at Dove House); 011-353-057-873-1325; abbeyleix.irishheritagetowns.com; walled gardens of 19th Century Brigidine convent; strongly-scented plants and those with interesting textures that can be touched and smelled; mature lime trees, rose-covered pergola, fernery, hornbeam maze & long herbaceous border.
Aghaboe Abbey – near Rathdowney, on R434 (from Portlaoise head SW on R445, at roundabout take 2nd left onto N7, then turn left for Rathdowney, then left again onto R434); megalithicireland.com/Aghaboe.html; car-park just past abandoned Abbey; founded in 6th Century by St. Canice; major agriculture, commerce, and learning center; original monastery burned in 1234 & rebuilt as Augustinian priory; nearby, tree-covered remains of Norman motte.
Ballaghmore Castle – Dublin Road (Borris-in-Ossory); 011-353-050-521-453; castleballaghmore.com; situated in beautiful landscape, with excellent walking & mountain climbing; interesting feature is Sheela na Gig, carved in corner stone of outer front-facing wall (plain, half-dead, woman with contorted face and fully exposed vagina).
Cashel Bog – 5.5 kms south of Portlaoise, on Abbeyleix Road (near Crosy Duff Hill); world’s oldest bog body found in this peat bog.
Castle Durrow & Gardens – Durrow; 011-353-057-873-6555; castledurrow.com; 30 acres terraced gardens & parkland surround magnificent house; walled organic garden, perennial borders, 18th Century pleasure garden of conifers, woodland walk, Shelly’s “Italian Garden” (with formal flower beds), & path along river joining “Leafy Loops” (walks through Durrow’s scenic countryside).
Emo Court & Gardens – Emo; 011-353-057-862-6573; heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/emocourt; situated in Europe’s 2nd largest walled park; neo-classical style house encompassed by beautiful gardens & parkland laid out in 18th Century with formal lawns, lake & woodland walks; features include longest Wellingtonia avenue in Ireland, wooded area (called “Clucker”) with azaleas & rhododendrons, “Grapery” containing unusual trees including weeping beeches & Corsican pines, trails around 25-acre ornamental lake, and ornamental temple.
Fruitlawn Garden – Abbeyleix; 011-353-057-873-0146; arthurshackleton.com or carolbooth.ie; open to public by appointment & at various points each year in aid of different charities.
Gash Gardens – Castletown (Portlaoise); 011-353-057-873-2247; gashgardens.ie; 4-acre garden created from paddock; features alpines, rhododendrons, laburnum tunnel, herbaceous borders, island beds, Moon House & trail along Nore River.
Heywood Gardens – Ballinakill; 011-353-056-772-1450; gardenvisit.com/garden/heywood_garden; formal walled gardens designed in 1912 by Sir Edwin Lutyens & probably landscaped by Gertrude Jekyl.
Mountmellick – islandireland.com/Pages/folk/mountmellick/embroidery.html; quaker community known for lace.
Poet’s cottage – Camross; 011-353-057-867-4348; laois.ie; named after Patrick Ryan, poet who lived there between 1750-1825; replica thatched-dwelling.
Portarlington – askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/heritage-towns/towns-and-villages-of-lao/portarlington; long established connection with French Hugeunots; Georgian, Hugeunot & Victorian architecture of exceptional quality.
Rock of Dunamaise – 6km east of Portlaoise (along Stradbally Road (N80)); craggy limestone outcrop rising dramatically out of flat plains; 1st fortified in Bronze Age & recorded on Ptolemy’s 140 CE map; ruins seen today are those of 13th Century castle (extensively remodeled in 15th Century & finally destroyed by Cromwell’s henchmen in 1650.
Round Tower of Timahoe – Timahoe (equidistant southeast from Port Laoise & northeast of Abbeyleix (from M7 south, take R425 south to left on R 426), Timahoe village is 10 kms down R 426; 011-353-057-866-4129 (heritage officer); roundtowers.org/timahoe/index.htm; stands in lovely park-like setting across footbridge across Bauteogue River in village center; extraordinary carved doorway; most elegant round tower in Ireland; carvings of human heads, with flowing beards and mustaches, decorate main entrance, about 5 ms from ground; smaller carvings decorate 2nd story window; built some time in 1100s, on site of religious community founded by St. Mochua around 600 CE; tower rises almost 30 ms & is 17 ms wide at base.
Slieve Blooms Mountains – slievebloom.ie or slievebloommountainsnaturereserve.ie; worth seeing are Glenbarrow Waterfall, Monicknew, Catholes & Cut; at over 2.3K hectares, Ireland’s largest state-owned Nature Reserve.

Wicklow
Sights & Sites
Sally Gap & Lough Tay Drive – take N11 South, take Glendalough exit, and (just before Roundwood) Sally Gap exit (R759); spectacular views of surrounding blanket bog and Wicklow Mountains; 1 of 2 east-to-west passes across Wicklow Mountains and narrow road running through it passes above Lough Tay’s and Lough Dan’s dark waters; passes over Luggula Estate, which covers most of valley as far as Lough Dan; area forms part of walking trail known as Wicklow Way.
Wicklow Mountains National Park – Kilafin, Laragh, Wicklow Co.; 011-353-040-445-800; wicklowmountainsnationalpark.ie; covers much of upland Wicklow, approximately 50K acres; includes large areas of mountain blanket bogs, including Lugnaquilla and Liffey Head Bog complexes and Glendalough Wood Nature Reserve; wild Peregrine Falcon and rare orchids; includes monastery built by St. Kevin in 6th Century.

Enniscorthy
Hotels
Old Bridge Bed & Breakfast – Slaney Place; 011-353-053-923-4222; oldbridgehouse.net; well-situated building, crammed with fascinating, historic bric-a-brac.

Wexford
Sights & Sites
Curracloe Nature Trail – 011-353-053-914-2211; 800 metres nature trail through seashore sand dunes.
Johnstown Castle Estate – just south of Wexford; 011-353-053-917-1247; irishagrimuseum.ie; exquisite 19th Century castle on 50 ornamental ground acres; stroll through wooded grounds or relax by castle lakeside with its Gothic towers and waterfalls; walled ornamental gardens and hothouses; shaded picnic area where peacocks strut; castle itself not open to public but onsite museum re Irish famine is.



COUNTY LIMERICK
Adare
Bars & Nightclubs
Aunty Lena’s – Main Street; 011-353-061-396-114; auntylenas.com.
Hotels
Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort – 011-353-061-605-200; adaremanor.com; gothic manor amid 840 parkland acres, French gardens, and trout rivers; 52 chimneys and 75 fireplaces; looks like something from spooky bedtime story; lobby has soaring ceilings with crystal chandeliers; excellent restaurant.

Glin
Hotels
Glin Castle – 011-353-068-34173; glincastle.com; fabulous; expensive but worth it with 7 centuries of history.

Limerick
Hotels
No. 1 Pery Square – 1 Pery Square (Georgian Quarter); 011-353-061-402-402; oneperysquare.com; boutique townhouse hotel; built in 1830 and restored with great precision; ornate marble hearth to gilt-framed mirrors, never verges on rococo, but if common areas too vintage, 15 of 20 guest rooms in modern, clubbier style; 5 period-style rooms have expansive sash windows overlooking garden; single penthouse suite offers combination new and old, with multiple flatscreen televisions, private bar, and top-floor views over Limerick and surrounding Clare mountains; drawing room offers classic afternoon tea; basement is spa.
Restaurants
Brasserie One – 1 Pery Square (Georgian Quarter, at No. 1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa); 011-353-061-402-402; oneperysquare.com; at once upscale and congenial; tasting nights, guest chefs, and wine flights.

Quin
Bars & Nightclubs
Abbey Tavern – Main Street; 011-353-065-682-5525; theabbeytavernquin.com; in business since 1802; beautifully restored.
Hotels
Abbey Tavern – Main Street; 011-353-065-682-5525; theabbeytavernquin.com; in business since 1802; beautifully restored.
Restaurants
Abbey Tavern – Main Street; 011-353-065-682-5525; theabbeytavernquin.com; in business since 1802; beautifully restored.
Sights & Sites
Quin Abbey – roughly 9 miles from Ennis; 011-353-065-682-8366; discoverireland.ie/Arts-Culture-Heritage/quin-abbey/13110; ruined Franciscan abbey or friary; built in Gothic style in early 15th Century on earlier Norman castle remains; National Monument.



COUNTY MAYO
Clifden
Bars & Nightclubs
E.J. King’s – Square; 011-353-095-21330; ejkings.com.

Cong
Hotels
Ashford Castle – 011-353-094-954-6003; ashford.ie; castle dating to 13th Century against background of forest, lakes, and mountains; rooms have fireplaces.

Ennis
Bars & Nightclubs
Ciaran’s Bar – 1 Francis Street; 011-353-065-684-0180.
Knox’s Pub & Bistro – 18 Abbey Street; 011-353-065-682-2871; knoxs.ie.

Westport
Bars & Nightclubs
Matt Molloy’s Bar – Bridge Street; 011-353-098-26655; mattmolloy.com.
John’s Bar – Peter Street; 011-353-087-286-0903.



COUNTY MEATH
Carnaross
Shopping
Sheridans – Virginia Road Station; 011-353-046-924-5110; sheridanscheesemongers.com.

Navan
Hotels
Bellinter House Hotel – 011-353-046-903-0900; bellinterhouse.com; stately, Georgian home on hill overlooking river; 45 min. north of Dublin; pool and spa; meticulously restored Palladian gem; designed in 1750 by Richard Castle, architect who created Dublin’s Parliament Building; on 12 acres; 37 rooms; 2 pools, 1 indoors; screening room; excellent food; Room #1 in East Wing is spacious with dramatic, vaulted ceiling.



COUNTY SLIGO
Ballymote
Hotels
Temple House – Templehouse Demesne; 011-353-071-918-3329; templehouse.ie; hugely impressive grounds; perfect place for wedding.



COUNTY TIPPERARY
Cahir
Sights & Sites
Cahir Castle – city center; 011-353-018-366-111; one-time Butler family stronghold; impressive keep, tower, and much of its original defensive structure; 1 of Ireland’s best preserved and largest castles; situated on Suir River rocky island.

Cashel
Hotels
Cashel Palace Hotel – Main Street; 011-353-062-62707; cashel-palace.ie; originally built in 1730 as Irish church archbishop residence; mammoth red-brick Palladian mansion has been hotel for over 30 years; within walled grounds; updated and filled with antiques; corniced ceilings, Corinthian pillars, Kilkenny marble mantelpieces, and paneled early Georgian staircase; guest rooms have warm, traditional look and vast bathrooms, while 10 rooms in Mews House are smaller and more modern (be sure to ask for room with Cashel Rock view, more expensive); well-tended gardens holds mulberry bushes planted in 1702 to commemorate Queen Anne’s coronation.
Restaurants
Bishop’s Buttery – Main Street; 011-353-062-62707; cashel-palace.ie; splendid floodlit Rock views.
Sights & Sites
G.P.A. Bolton Library – Friary Street; 011-353-062-61232; cashel.anglican.org/information/diocese/cathedrals/cashel.html; occupies small, 1836 building found on Cathedral grounds; oldest book among 12K volumes is monks’ encyclopaedia dated 1168; also owns 2 pages from Chaucer’s Book of Fame (printed in London in 1483), signed note by Jonathan Swift, and religious silverware collection.
Bru Boru Cultural Centre – Rock Lane; 011-353-062-61122; ww.bruboru.ie.
Cashel Heritage Centre – Main Street (former Town Hall); 011-353-062-62511; cashel.ie; Charters of Cashel, King Charles II (1663), and James II (1687) on permanent display; craft shop stocks local crafts (Rossa Pottery and Winnie Looby textiles, Cashel Blue Cheese, jams/preserves, and books).
Rock of Cashel – St. Patrick’s Rock of Cashel; 011-353-062-61437; heritageireland.ie/en/south-east/rockofcashel; name derives from Caiseal Mumhan (meaning Munster stone fort); Rock of Cashel consists of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Cormaic’s Chapel (1127); main structure, Cathedral, built in 13th Century; occupies Donal Mor O’Brien’s Cathedral site (1169); Coronation Stone (4th Century, with St. Patrick’s Cross (12th Century) set into it), housed in Vicars Choral (fully restored, 15th Century building; site (limestone outcrop dominating skyline) on which Conall Corc built defensive position in 4th-5th Century; St. Patrick’s Rock became Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital; originally, Munster Kings’ seat until Ireland High King Brian Boru came to power; in 1101 Muircheartach O’Brien handed Rock over to Church.



COUNTY WATERFORD
Cappoquin
Hotels
Richmond House – 011-353-058-54278; richmondhouse.net; 18th Century home; rooms 5, 7 & 10 are best.

Lismore
Bars & Nightclubs
Red House Pub – North Main Street; 011-353-058-54248; good place for Guiness.
Services
Sailing – Tony O’Gallagher’s boat, Maeve, can be rented for river trips.
Sights & Sites
Knockmealdown Mountains – head east on N72 for 6½ km (4 mi) to Cappoquin (well-known angling center), then pick up R669 north into Knockmealdown Mountains; route signposted as Vee Gap Road (Vee Gap is summit); superb Tipperary plain, Galtee Mountains, and Slievenamon views; if day clear, should be able to see Rock of Cashel, ancient seat of Munster kings; just before enter Vee Gap, look for 6-foot-high stone mound on road’s left side, which marks Colonel Grubb’s grave, local landowner who liked view so much he arranged to be buried here standing up so he could look out over scene for eternity.
Lismore Castle – city center; 011-353-015-854-424; lismorecastle.com; Devonshire Dukes’ Irish home since 1753 and among most spectacular castle in Ireland; situated overlooking Blackwater valley and rolling, wooded hills to Knockmealdown Mountains beyond; once occupied by Sir Walter Raleigh.

Waterford
Hotels
Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Club – Island; 011-353-051-878-203; waterfordcastle.com; situated on own private Island; luxurious; 18-hole Championship Golf Course; can stay in Castle Gardens holiday home; 800 year-old Castle comprises 19 spacious guest rooms, which offer luxurious accommodation and stunning views; award-winning Munster Dining Room.
Shopping
Sheridans – Dunmore Road (at Ardkeen Quality Food Store); 011-353-051-874-620; sheridanscheesemongers.com.
Sights & Sites
Hook Peninsula – coastline offers 14 beaches; pretty fishing villages, bird watching on Bannow Estuary mudflats; deep sea angling; snorkeling and swimming; estuaries, rivers, valleys; rolling hills; 2 castles and lighthouse.
Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre – Kilbarry; 011-353-051-332-500; waterfordvisitorcentre.com; arrange tour.

No comments:

Post a Comment