Our Designer's Top Tips for Travelling in Her Country of Birth
The Giant's Causeway, County Antrim
Ireland is an absolutely stunning country, it has the world's longest defined coastal touring route and drips in rich heritage and culture. It is divided up into 4 provinces; Leinster, Munster, Connaught and Ulster. Personally, I think the best way to discover Ireland is by driving. It is the best way to take in all the scenery, with plenty of B&B's along the road, and pubs with traditional music around every corner, it is truly the best way to soak up the Irish Culture.
In Leinster, I suggest staying in Dublin for a few days and seeing the Guinness Factory, walking down Grafton St, feeding the ducks in St Stephens Green Park and going on one of the hop on hop off buses. I grew up in Dublin, and studied at Trinity College, so to satisfy your historical curiosity, be sure to check out Trinity. If you need to escape the city, Howth head is absolutely gorgeous on a sunny day for a walk and real fish and chips.
Johnny Fox's is one of the most well known restaurants situated in the Dublin mountains, it has traditional music as well most evenings and gives you a real taste of what real Irish craic is! I then suggest driving down to County Wicklow, visiting Brittas Bay, Glendalough, Greystones and doing as many walks around there as possible! There are plenty of pub restaurants around the place that are perfect for pit stops in between.
My family would spend summers down in Brittas, so I have many happy childhood memories there.
In Connaught, I suggest doing a day trip out to the Aran Islands, going to Galway city or out to Achill Island. The Wild Atlantic Way also passes through Connaught, and is perfect for those wanting to get some cycling or hiking in during their holiday. The Irish West is known for it's great surf so be sure to take advantage of that if you're a surfer! For your fix of history there are plenty of ancient ruins, for example, Dun Duchathair, Kilmacduagh Tower and Dun Eochla.
The Wicklow Way, Co. Wicklow
Munster is spectacular, the home to the Burren in County Clare, you definitely should not miss it! Clonakilty in Cork is where the very popular 'Irish Pudding' is made, and Dingle is the home to the famous 'Dingle Gin'. The Cliffs of Moher offer spectacular views of the coast, and again, has wonderful walks around the area. For a taste of Irish Whiskey, the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Middleton, Co Cork has a wonderful tour and tasting. And for your fix of history, the Michael Collins Centre is situated in Cork too!
Ulster is the northern territory of Ireland, and has spectacular scenery. It is home to the Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim, the Mourne Mountains and the Carrick- a-rede rope bridge. There is plenty to do within Belfast, a city bursting with history from not so long ago, namely the Titanic Belfast Experience.
There have been plenty of incredible films and shows filmed in Ulster, most notably Game of Thrones.
It is home to the Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim, the Mourne Mountains and the Carrick- a-rede rope bridge. There is plenty to do within Belfast, a city bursting with history from not so long ago, namely the Titanic Belfast Experience.
The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
I try to get home as much as I can, given how far away it is from sunny Australia! My eldest daughter is now studying in Trinity so it gives me that extra incentive to get home. Our family is extremely proud to have such a gorgeous country to call home, and I hope that my tips help you on your next trip to the Emerald Isle.