Country Offaly

County Offaly is one of the many counties located in Ireland – (pronounced as Contae Uibh Fhailí in Irish). It is located in the Leinster province, which is a part of the Midlands Region. The Irish name of this country stems from the ancient kingdom of Uí Failghe, though, before becoming County Offaly, the land was known officially known as King’s County. In the 2016 census, it was recorded that the total population of Country Offaly was 78,003, and the people are ruled under the local authority – which is known as Offaly County Council.


County Offaly is filled with a rich history, one of the oldest recorded settlements that were known in the county goes by the name of Boora Bog – which dates all the way back to the Mesolithic era. Although, through careful examination of the excavations that took place on the land shows that the settlement was more than likely temporary in nature. The conclusion came from the fact that no set structures were set and by the array of scattered arrowheads, stone axes, and broken blades. These items are assumed to date anywhere from 6,800-6,000 BCE.

Additionally, other items, such as the Dowris Hoard was found in the midst of a bog, which was located in Dowris, Whigsborough, an area located nearby Birr. It is estimated that the Hoard was from the Late Bronze Age. It holds the impressive record of being the largest number of scattered items of the Bronze Age to be found in Ireland. In total, there were nearly 200 items found, where 190 of them were undestroyed. These items were separated so that 111 ended up in the National Museum of Ireland while the remaining 79 were sent to the British Museum. The items consisted of a cluster of axes (43), trumpets (24), and crotals (44) (A crotal is a bell/chime like instrument which is only found in Ireland). One of the highlights was a bronze bucket which was solely contrasted from sheets of bronze welded together – the other two buckets which were found are considered to originate from the nearby native colonies.

The history o the country itself stems from an attempt by the English crown to expand its influence in Ireland, which is how Laois and Offaly came into existence. The reasoning behind the creation was motivated by the decline in the English power, which was shown to happen greatly after the Norman Conquest of Ireland. Despite the importance of the countries, both Offaly and Laois, which was formally known as Leix, were considered to be smaller scale petty kingdoms in the Gaelic Irish region, which happens to be located closely to Pale. Pale has a rich history of being willfully loyal to the English Crown, even after Norman’s Conquest.

Most of the country was ruled over by the Kingdom of Firceall, which was ruled by the well-known O’Molloy clean. The kingdoms were not connected back then as Firceall was considered to be a branch of the Kingdom of Meath, while Offaly was considered to be a branch of the Leinster kingdom. Back then, most of the southern region of Offaly was ruled by Ó Cearbhaill of Éile. Which was originally formed to be a part of the Munster Kingdom. Though in due time, the petty kingdoms were disregarded by the Tudor plantations. It was not until 1556 that the Parliament of Ireland created a new Act which deemed “King’s County” to be an official area of land. The new county name originated from the king of Ireland at the time, King Phillip. This act slowly dissolved the past baronies and replaced them with the now current day County System. Despite being officially known as Offaly, there was no official legislation which changed the name from King’s Country – which is the current, legal name of the country.

Geography and Political Subdivisions

To date, Offaly is considered to be the 18th largest country out of the 32 located in Ireland and holds the title of being 24th in regards to the population. In a more specific light, it is considered to be the 5th largest out of all of the Leinster counties – which includes 12 – and has the 10th largest in population matters.
The county town, which doubles as being the largest of the towns in Offaly is called Tullamore. Offaly is surrounded by several other counties, some of which are popular tourist hotspots: Laois, Meath, Galway, Tipperary, Roscommon, and Kildare. Also, in Offaly, the Slieve Boom Mountain range can be clearly seen in the distance. The mountain range is home to some of the highest points including Wolftrap and Stillbrook Hill and. Another scenic spot in the county is located in the northern region and is called Croghan Hill.

In the north-western section of the country, the River Shannon can be spotted. Along with that, the River Camcor travels throughout the county and can be spotted in both Birr and can be walked alongside in the Wild Trout Conservation. Additionally, the country is no stranger to stunning nature as several additional rivers run through separate parts. The Brosna river spans across from Lough Owel to Shannon Harbor. While the Silver River spans across several towns and villages. Offaly is home to a variety of small-scale lakes and swamplands.

The landscape in Offaly is mainly composed of flatlands and has a respuitation for having a variety of bogs and peatlands. These bogs and peatlands cover nearly 21% of the land mass in Offaly – though that can be viewed through tourist tours and walk when the water is low. The most well-known bogs in the county are the Bog of Allen, Boora Bog, Clara Bog, and the Raheenmore Bog.

While bogs and rivers are the norms in Offaly, the county is home to thousands of acres of forest, and which unlike the bogs, it only amounts to around 4.5% of the total landmass area. This number also includes the woodlands found in the Sileve Blooms as well as the Parklands in Lough Boora. Though, a majority of the woodland area, 75% to be exact, is considered to stem from the vast Conifer High Forest.

Listed below are the towns and villages located in the county:

Shannon Harbour
Walsh Island

Local Government and Politics

As mentioned before, the local authority in Offaly is known as the Offaly County Council. The council is tasked with being responsible for an array of duties which can range from cultural and social services, housing and housing policies, economically related duties, taxing, as well as the internal structure in Offaly.

In 2014, the Local Government Reform Act was passed which changed the number of councillors .in the council from 21 to 19. Additionally, the electoral areas were changed to be set at three, which means Tullamore will only have seen members, Edenderry will have 6 members, and Birr will have only 6 members. Before the chance, there was another electoral area located in Ferbane which hosted four members.

Until 2011, Offaly’s general elections were considered to be a part of the Laois-Offaly community instead of being its own separate being. This was the norm for decades since 1921. Though in the 2011 election, some of the southern regions in Offaly were instead to considered to be attached to the Tipperary North. In 2013, another major change was created when the Electoral Act was established. This will be the final change from separating the Laois-Offaly elections to instead allowing the creation of 24 new electoral divisions.

Interesting Places in Offaly

• A shrew of wildlife can be found in the Boora Bog. A large number of Irish grey partridge’s can be found here.
• An ancient mummy was discovered in Croghan Hill, which is nearly 230 meters high. The mummy was dubbed as the Croghan Bog Man and is displayed at the National History Museum.
• Birr Theatre and Arts Centre
• Birr, which is located in the southern part of the country, is home to an impressive castle and garden mixture, which is officially known as Birr Castle. The castle is formally owned by the Parson Family, who proudly bears the cross of Earl of Rosse. Though, the real attention grabber is the 19th century styled telescope called the Leviathan of Parsontown.
• Charleville Castle located in Tullamore
• Clara Bog Nature Reserve
• Clonmacnoise is home to an ancient Christian monastic site which ancient Irish High Crosses can be viewed.
• Durrow Abbey and High Cross
• Georgian Birr
• Kinnitty Castle
• Leap Castle
• Scenic views of both Offaly and Laois can be seen from the Sileve Bloom Mountain range.
• Sculpture in the Parklands.
• The former U.S president, Barak Obama, ancestral home is located in Moneygall – which has a fitting visitor center which is called Obama Plaza.
• The Old Churches of Rahan and Lynally
• Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre

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County Monaghan

County Monaghan is one of Ireland’s many counties. It is included in Border Region and is located in the Ulster province. The name is derived from one of the towns located in the county. The local authority for the county is called the Monaghan County Council and it hosts four political groups. The last recorded population amount for the county was 60,483 when the 2011 census results were released.

The county was created in 1585 after the rulers of Airgíalla, Mac Mathghamhna, decoded to officially join the Irish Kingdom. Though after both the modern day Irish war which lead to independence along with the final signing of the treaty between Anglo-Irish – County Monaghan was a part of the free states of Ireland as well as being one of the three Ulster counties to join the free states.


There was a meeting scheduled in 1585 where the English lord Sir John Perrot, frequented the area of Ulster with Irish chieftains to request that the county is divided into three separate counties due to the large size. The request also included having the rulers of Airgíalla all be appointed to be chefs in the area. Thus, the following was a commission which created County Monaghan. After the creation, five baronies were created within the county – Cremorne, Dartrey, Farney, Monaghan, and Truagh – which were remained under the chiefs of McKenna’s control.

However, the county did differently from the other two after defeating the Hugh O’Neill rebellion in 1603. Afterward, the count was left in the control of the native chiefs instead of being appointed a new chief. This did not last for long as a hybrid of Scottish and English colonization soon began in County after the 1621 Irish Rebellion – who was accompanied by the Irish Catholics.

Geography and Political Subdivisions

The Irish Republic has 26 counties, and Monaghan is considered to be the fifth smallest. Though, regarding the population of the 2011 census, Monaghan is the fourth smallest. It holds the title of being the smallest Ulster counties in both size and population. Despite being on the smaller size, Monaghan is home to an array of unique landmarks which includes the Sileve Beagh mountains, several lakes which spans across the county, and two massive forests with a high number of conifers – though with the increasing number of agriculture, these forests have been reduced to small areas of woodlands.

County Monaghan does include many civil parishes who rules over the following areas. Each one of the following towns and villages is under one of the civil parishes.

• Newbliss
• Oram
• Rockcorry
• Scotshouse
• Scotstown
• Smithborough
• Latton
• Ballybay
• Castleblayney
• Clones
• Drum
• Ballinode
• Doohamlet
• Carrickmacross
• Glaslough
• Magheracloone
• Inniskeen
• Threemilehouse
• Emyvale
• Truagh
• Killanny
• Knockatallon
• Tydavnet
• Tyholland


As mentioned above, there are five baronies located in County Monaghan, these baronies are historical subdivisions and can easily be identified on a map: Cremorne, Dartree, Farney, Monaghan, and Trough.

Tourist Destinations in Monaghan

While Monaghan is filled with a historical past, there are still a countless amount of activities and attractions that tourists can view to get a more personal touch with Monaghan and its history.

• Castle Leslie – a supposedly haunted castle and garden
• Bragen – mountain range with scenic views which are perfect for walking, biking, bird watching, and fishing
• Lough Muckno – great lake
• Clones – smaller scale town which was the inspiration for “The Butcher Boy”
• Inniskeen – a historical village
• Rossmore Park – the garden remains of the Rossmore Castle
• Monaghan Town Centre – filled with the highlighted areas, such as museums, a market, and the Catholic cathedral
• St. Peters Tin Church – A unique church that was entirely crafted out of tin

Linked to Belfast and Armagh by the Ulster railway in 1858 and by 1863 with the Enniskillen and Dundalk railway at Clones, County Monaghan became in 1876 part of the Great Northern railway. In 1922 it was the partition of Ireland that turned County Armagh into an international frontier where train inspections delayed the routines, the Government of Northern Ireland in 1957 closed the GNR between the border and Portadown, which gave the GNRB no other option but to withdraw its services to passengers. The remaining section between Glaslough, Clones and Monaghan was taken over by CIE in 1958, although goods services were withdrawn between Glaslough and Monaghan in 1959, and between Monaghan and Clones in 1960 which left Monaghan without railway services.

Politics and Local Government in County Monaghan

The four electoral areas in Monaghan includes Clones, Carrickmacross, Monaghan and Catleblayney. A nine-member town council represents Ballybay, Castleblayney, Carrickmacross, Clones and Monaghan the council deals with provisional housing and utilities as well as local matters. The county is part of the Caven-Monaghan Consistuency for the Dail Eireann, and by the general election in 2011, a turnout of 72.7% voters took part. The county for European parliament elections is part of the former Connacht-Ulster, now North-West Consistuency and politically is considered as a stronghold for the left wing, Sinn Fein the largest part of the county followed by the centre-right Fine Gael.

County Monaghan Culture and Architecture

It is the birthplace of the writer and poet Patrick Kavanagh, who based most of his work on County Monaghan. Kavanagh is known for poems such as Shancoduff and Stoney Grey Soil and seen as one of the most important writers in Irish poetry in the 20th-century. But then it is no secret that many successful artists came from Monaghan with one of the main ones being George Collie (1904–75 born in Carrickmacross who studied at Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. Collie was an inexhaustible exhibitor throughout his whole life of the Royal Hibernian Academy his works is now part of major collections at the Ulster Museum and National Gallery of Ireland. It was also home to Sir Shane Leslie and Irish writer who resided at Castle Leslie.

An Irish nationalist, a Catholic convert, and the cousin of the Prime Minister of the UK Winston Churchill, by the 1900s Leslie became an imperative literary figure. Leslie was also a close friend of writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald the American novelist as well as several politicians. Fitzgerald actually dedicated his novel titles The Beautiful and Damned, to Leslie. Recognised as a leading provincial museum in Ireland, the Monaghan County Museum proudly have a Council of Europe Award since 1980, to its name. The best architecture of the county was developed during the Victorian and Georgian periods which ranges from the country houses of Carrickmacross; Lough Fea, Hilton Park, Castle Leslie, Clones and Glaslough.

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What are the Top 6 Festivals in Ireland?

Ireland is a popular tourist destination as there have been a recorded 7,604,400 visitors from overseas. This has been a part of the shocking 8% increase in tourism since the previous year. Although, the reason why there are so many visitors to Ireland is not shocking in the least. The country is filled with stunning landscapes, delicious domestically made Irish beer, along with the yearly festivals that take place.

To plan a proper trip to Ireland having some knowledge about when the best time for you is to go along with that kind of events are going on during the time is essential. Though if you enjoy a lively festival filled with an array of Irish dishes, people, and culture- then having some information on the most exciting festivals might help!

Listed below are the top 6 festivals that takes place in Ireland and what they encompass.

1. Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

This festival is heavily derived from a tradition that was created by farmers decades ago. After the farmers finished a harvest and gathered their crops, they began looking for partners to help with the workload and keep them company. Which aid in the creation of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. Although times have changed and more diversity if being seen at the festival. For starters, there are two versions of this festival – one that follows the tradition more closely and the LGBTA version, which is held during the same time span in September or the beginning of October and has been dubbed as the biggest same-sex coupling event in the world!

2. Kilkenny Arts Festival

Art lovers should rejoice in knowing that there has been a festival created that is purely devoted to showing the different art forms in Ireland. Originally, it was created by a band of musicians who wanted everybody to see there was more to the country than drinking and sightseeing. Due to its popularity, the event has been pushed to last for nine days and for the event to be hosted at the Kilkenny Castle on its 40th anniversary.

3. Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parada

This parade is one of the most well known globally. It begins either on March 17th or the days following it, but it should be known that this event is not always held on St. Patrick’s Day for one reason or another. This is the best chance to witness Ireland in its pure, unrestricted form. From the Irish music, food, and the dancing – you will truly feel like a resident of the country instead of a visitor for a week.

4. Killgorin, County Kerry – Puck Fair

There is probably no other place in the world where you can witness a goat being crowned king by a young local schoolgirl other than in Ireland. This festival is a tradition that is held from August 10th – 12th. One popular guess from where this tale was created from was the story of a male goat (also known as a puck), that somehow saved the local village from being plundered by a group of menacing raiders.

5. Country Cork – Redhead Convention

Despite the endless tales of redheads being the cause of bad luck – Ireland loves to celebrate their brightly colored redheads in a festival that started a little over a decade ago. While the convention started off as a measly joking idea between two siblings – it has grown into an exciting three days event that spans over August 22nd- 24th.

6. Galway Oyster Festival

While oysters are not a popular food choice, in Ireland there is a whole festival dedicated to the tastiness of oysters. Although, if the clammed snack is not your cup of tea, – there are loads o other seafood options that you can choose from as you start your journey of eating your way through Irish delicacies.

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Touring the Famous Irish Whiskey Mills

The Scots seem to have competition in terms of whiskey as Irish whiskey is finally coming back into the light as one of the fastest growing beverages in the world. Even though the 20th century seems to be the end of whiskey drinking – a modern audience of millennials and older are enjoying the classic drink even more since it is being offered in an array of unique and delicious flavours. The new distillery that is opening in Ireland is marketing towards a younger audience while the older ones are making changes to keep their brand in competition with the more modern facilities.

County Kerry, Dingle Distillery

The stunning building that is Dingle Distillery, which is more westward, is standing high and mighty in its beautiful scenic location filled with nature and the sound of the wind. Despite being new in the world of the classic beverage, the owners are the furthest things from being considered newbies in this growing industry, as they have been known to craft some of the strongest and tastiest Irish beer while in Dublin. This distillery is focused on quality over quality as they only produce two casks of their drinks a day.

Country Offaly, Tullamore Dew

While the manufacturing part of Tullamore Dew is located in a plant outside of Tullamore that features some of the most intense security around – the centre where visitors can visit is in the heart of the town and is known as one of the main attractions. Located in an older whiskey warehouse, the visitor centre is filled with unique facts tools used over the years to produce whiskey. If anything, the warehouse was upgraded to resemble of functional whiskey production centre from the reddish glow that can be coming from the malting room that is used to simulate burning coal, to the tasting session set up which encourages lively chatter.

County Carlow, Walsh Distillery

The Walsh Distillery is a name to be reckoned with as they have a recorded number of 65,000 annual bottle capacity on the dot. During the tour, guides are known to encourage visitors to get a truly authentic feeling as they should sniff and touch their journey to the entire distillery process. The modern and unique design of the distillery just enforces the fact that is has been the first one to ever be built in County Carlow for the last 200 years, which also shows its quickly growing popularity with the residents. No matter how nice the outside and interior of the distillery is – the whiskey is still controlled manually with machines. The end of the tour of the distality will always end of a glace and walkthrough of “The Irishman Founders Reserves” which features rolling green hills.

Kilkenny City, The Dylan Whisky

The Victorian-esque style building where the Dylan Whisky Distillery is located is just eight years old. Located in the Marble City’s updated John Street, this distillery makes up for its young age thanks to the array of whisky brands it has in its collection. For around €20 you can sample the delicious, simple malt, their selected brand of the month along with another whisky that has in their collection of over 200. The bar staff is filled with extremely well-trained members that can help the decisions of which whisky to try, along with providing some additional information about the brand as well. It’s obvious the distillery main muse is Bob Dylan – though the reason they currently use the Scottish spelling of whiskey will always be a mystery.

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The Best and Worst Times to Visit Ireland

Ireland is a stunning country known for its iconic folklore that involves magical fairies and for its rich and revolutionary political conquests. Though, Ireland is also the land of having the best pubs that are lively at any time of the day and night, its eye-catching scenery of rolling green hills and small villages, and well, like most other European countries – the constant downpour that marks its territory on Ireland. Even still, since 2014 over a recorded number of over seven billion tourists have visited Ireland for one reason or another – and this large number is double the entire countries population.

Though, it’s not expected that all these tourists came at the same exact time, right? Well, while there isn’t a dedicated “perfect” time to visit the country of greenery, potential visitors should know that different seasons will provide different experiences. The winters are known for being cold, quiet and coated in a beautiful layer of white snow, and the spring is the time for ample amounts of St. Patrick Day celebrations and parties. Summers are always sunny and bustling with life; while the fall creates the perfect weather combination and shows signs of the outdoor business slowing down. When deciding when to visit Ireland, it’s entirely up to you and your personal preference of when which season would give you the experience of a lifetime.

When Should You Visit Ireland For Good Weather

Irelands weather climate changes, but its never extreme. During the winter seasons, it’s rare for the weather to fall below freezing and stay that way – and during the summer the weather is known to stay around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Though, it’s not too shocking for people to see cloudy and dark skies and then clear sunny ones in quick successions, no matter what season it is.

There is one thing that you should know as a future visitor of the motherland of fun pubs – rain. Rain is one of the things the Irish face daily and depending n the timing of your trip; you will too. For starters, summer is the sunniest seasons and the days are longer and warmer, with July and August being the brightest and the busiest. However, in November and February, Ireland is going to be dark, gloomy, a bit cold, and filled with constant rainfall.

When Should You Visit for The Festivals and Cultural Events

Even though Ireland is known for their lively St. Patrick Day festivals, the country also celebrates an array of other events as well. For example, in Western Ireland, Killorglin, in the famed Country Kerry, has a Puck Fair every August, where the main event is a young girl will symbolically marry a goat who is crowned “King Puck” during the festival. Don’t worry though; the girl isn’t tied to the goat for life! Galloway is lively in September due to its array of oyster-related festivals.

When are the Worst Times to Visit Ireland

While summer is the warmest season and full of fun festivals, it also doubles as being one of Ireland’s busiest seasons, along with having a higher price to pay for flying and hotel accommodations. Thigh despite the influx of tourists and rise in prices, summer is known as the time of the year where hidden treasures are finally open. Plus, with the longer daytime, summer is the time of the year to get more activities done in one day.

Though around March, St. Patrick Day celebrations are taking place. The rule of thumb is that if don’t plan on spending all your time drinking in the lively pubs or dealing with intoxicated people, maybe its best to plan your trip to Ireland for another month. On the other hand, while winter is the slowest time of the year – the weather is also the worst. If you’re looking for the perfect combination of weather, activities, and crowds, then your best bet would be to plan your trip around the spring or fall.

When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Ireland

While winter may feature some of the worst weather, it doubles as the cheapest time of year to book a flight and hotel in Ireland. Though, tourists should keep in mind that some paces may offer some seasonal rates, but other hotels are known to close until the next spring arrives. When the weather is warmer, as seen in the spring and summer months, plane tickets and hotel accommodations are bound t be even higher.

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The 5 Most Beautiful Places to visit in Ireland

Ireland is well-known for four things: Saint Patrick, Guinness beer, incredible food, and their beautiful landmarks. Many lovers of the outdoors and culture would find Ireland at the top of their bucket list of places to visit. Since the country offers thousands of acres of beautiful and undisturbed nature, small-scale villages that are filled with decades worth of history, and stunning seaside cliff views that are only seen in movies – its become a beacon for travellers.
Here is a compiled list of the top 5 most beautiful places to visit in Ireland, alongside some history about each place to give it even more character.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher is known to be most of the most popular landmarks that tourists and Irish citizens visit over the years. The cliffs are a towering 214 meters, or 702 feet, over the Atlantic Ocean and are found in western Ireland. The cliffs offer one of the coastal walks due to them spanning from the nearby historical and classic village of Doolin to the green and rocky Hags Head.

Which means people who want to visit the cliffs are also in store for seeing some of the iconic village life that has been prevalent in Ireland’s rich history. The Cliffs of Moher gives some of the eye-dazzling views as they stretch over the Galway Bay and the Northern Maum Turk Mountains. Furthermore, these cliffs offer whoever visits them an incredible view of the dazzling deep blue sea that anyone can get lost staring into.

Ring of Kerry

Also dubbed as being one of Irelands most scenic trails, the Ring of Kerry spans over 120 miles through some of the unreal landscapes that Ireland has to offer. A few of the landmarks being: bountiful meadows of the most beautiful greens, freezing glacial lakes full of pure white ice, along with dazzling heather-topped mountains that change along with the seasons.

No matter what time of year you go – you’ll always be able to find a view that you’ll like while tracking through the Ring of Kerry. Plus, if you’re looking to visit some of Ireland’s historical landmarks – you can find the Killarney National Park on the Ring of Kerry trail. This national park is home to the World Heritage bishop reserve, which is where the 15th century Ross castle is located, along with an abundance of red deer that you can peacefully observe.

Skellig Islands

Irelands Skellig Islands is a sight that can stun whoever comes across it. It can be located off Ireland’s popular Ring of Kerry trail. The Skellig Islands is a rock mound formation that rises from the sea and off the Portmagee coast.

Moreover, there are actually two islands, which are both located near one another: Little Skellig and Skellig Michael – which are both home to an impressive amount of wild bird life that can be viewed on occasion while they are flying in flocks. Visitors should keep an eye out for Black Guillemots, Razorbills, and Gannets as they are climbing the intensively steep 600-step climb to get a view of the islands.

Glenveagh National Park

The Glenveagh National Park is Ireland’s second largest national park with a range of 14,000 acres of pure and natural beauty. This park is ideal for hikers who crave stunning views and a fun terrain to track and fishermen who would want a catch a few of the plentiful fish species there, such as salmon and trout.

Moreover, the history buffs can get their fill as the Glenveagh Castle is in the park as well. Plus, this park is home to a growing number of wildlife such as the red deer which can be spotted all over, and the almost extinct Golden Eagle which was reintroduced in 2000 and is currently thriving happily.


Many tourists and Irish residents alike love going to Glendalough as a lovely and scenic day trip. This landmark is also known as the “Valley of Two Lakes” due it being in the centre of two beautiful and clear lakes. This stunning area is in the centre of the Wicklow Mountains National Park is features an array of grassy green fields, stunning and clear lakes, and a plethora of rolling hillsides that give you that true authentic Irish feeling.

In addition,Glendalough is filled with history as it was home to a 16th-century Christian settlement founded by St. Kevil – and it still is home to some impressively kept remains of that time.

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