Ireland is the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited. While other places have singularly beautiful sites, Ireland, as a whole, was by far the most scenic. From scenic countryside to dramatic cliffs to lovely castles, Ireland definitely tops my list of beautiful countries.
Ireland Trip Report
- Ireland Overview
- Driving in Ireland
- Castles, Castles, and more Castles
- Kylemore and Connemara
- The Cliffs of Insanity!
- The Loop Around the Dingle Peninsula
- Searching for the Best Guinness in Dublin
- 6 Hotels in 7 Nights! Part 1
- 6 Hotels in 7 Nights! Part 2
- Ireland’s Fine Eats – Part 1
- Ireland’s Fine Eats – Part 2
We’ll discuss the countryside and cliffs later, but for now, here’s a montage of the various castles we visited:
1. Trim Castle – We visited Trim Castle our first day in Ireland. Trim is a quaint little town about 45 minutes west of Dublin, which made it a convenient first stop on our tour of Ireland. Admission to the castle was 6 euros but because we showed up late, the guard gave us a “senior” discount and it only cost 4 euros. Unfortunately, we missed out on the last tour so did not get to go into the castle.
2. Dunguaire Castle – This castle is supposedly the most photographed castle in Ireland. It is located between Trim and Galway. Admission was 6 euros, and we were feeling cheap that day so we didn’t go in.
3. Barryscourt Castle – This castle was located near Cork. It was built in the 16th century and was built in the typical “Irish-style.” Admission is free, and we went on a free tour of the castle that lasted approximately 45 minutes. On the tour, we learned that the government imposed a roof tax on buildings back in the 1930’s. In order to avoid paying taxes, the Irish tore off the roofs of their buildings which resulted in a ton of ruins. No roof = no taxable building. Sounds like a legal loophole to me.
We went to Barryscourt instead of Blarney Castle, because Blarney Castle is supposed to be ultra-touristy and crowded. I am also kind of a germaphobe and didn’t want to even consider kissing the Blarney Stone.
4. Kilkenny Castle – This castle was built in 1195 and was in ruins until it was dramatically rebuilt and renovated in the 1970’s. It is a lovely castle and well worth the admission of 6 euros. While the inside of the castle is beautiful, pictures are prohibited for some reason, so here’s a picture of Mr. Selfish jumping for your amusement.
As is evident by the above photographs, Mr. Selfish and I completely lucked out in terms of weather. We were expecting dreary and rainy weather but actually enjoyed warm and sunny days all week in Ireland.