Ireland’s Ancient East is the new buzzword on every explorer’s lips. After the roaring success of Fáilte Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, it was only fitting to create an epic road trip along our country’s competing coastline to up the ante.
Starting in the most southerly county, fly into Cork Airport and begin your trip with a luxurious short stay at Fota Island Resort. A rejuvenating spa experience and a great night’s sleep at our 5 star hotel will ensure your adventure starts on a perfectly positive note.
From Cork to Meath, immerse yourself in Ireland’s rich history and culture by factoring some of our favourite heritage hotspots into your route planner.
The final stop before the world’s most infamous liner made its fatal voyage to New York; the Titanic Experience is located only a short drive from Fota Island Resort in the heart of Cobh Town. Housed in the original White Star Line Ticket Office, this was the departing point of the final 123 passengers to board the ship. During your visit, you will enjoy a virtual journey giving an insight into life aboard the Titanic, all aided by a personal tour-guide. Experience the sheer terror of the disaster via unique cinematography and afterwards, you will have the opportunity to examine the various exhibitions on show.
Next, hop aboard the ferry from Kennedy Pier in Cobh to discover the dark history of Spike Island. Ireland’s answer to Alcatraz, the island was home to the country’s largest convict depot during the 1800s. Over 2,000 prisoners were held at the gaol, with its terrible conditions earning a notorious reputation worldwide.
Wexford’s premier tourist attraction, Dunbrody Famine Ship is an authentic reproduction of the original 1840’s emigrant vessel. The original ship was commissioned to carry cargo from Canada and the USA by a merchant family residing in the town of New Ross. However, on the year of her launch, famine tragically struck Ireland. To cater for the demand of people fleeing the country, the Graves family kitted out their vessels with bunk facilities to accommodate emigrants, ultimately carrying thousands to a brighter future in America. The Dunbrody Visitor Centre houses world-class exhibits and offers a touching insight into the plight of our ancestors.
A visit to an Irish castle is mandatory for every tourist visiting the Emerald Isle – and Kilkenny Castle certainly won’t disappoint. A magnificent and dramatic structure sitting beside the River Nore, the history of the castle spans over eight centuries. A pit-stop in the charming medieval city is a must for those looking to experience its friendly locals and renowned eateries.
One of Ireland’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, for thousands of years, people have been flocking to Glendalough to experience its unrivalled scenery. Be sure to add the ‘valley of the two lakes’ to your Wicklow bucket list. Boasting a beautifully peaceful atmosphere, a hike here is unlike anywhere else.
Save the best until last. Finish your road trip with a visit to Loughcrew Cairns and the Hill of Tara in county Meath. Visit the megalithic cairns peppered along the Slieve na Caillaigh hills, not forgetting the world famous archaeological ruins of Newgrange and the many Celtic monuments in the area.