If you’re considering taking a trip to Ireland for the first time or have visited before and are planning your next trip back (we don’t blame you!) You may already have a list of touristy spots that you want to visit. However, there are so many other places that aren’t necessarily the most popular tourist attractions that you may actually love even more.
In this list, we’re providing you with the best, most unique and out of the box things to do in Ireland that you’ve probably never heard before! Add these to your list and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
- Tolbernalt Holy Well, Co. Sligo. This beautiful spot in County Sligo is one that you certainly do not want to miss out on. The Tolbernalt Holy Well is a historical and religious landmark that is a place of reflection and serenity. Dating back to before the fifth century, it was used as a meeting place for prayer. Now, people from all over the world come for a chance to reflect and prayer at this sacred spot.
- Dunamase (or The Rock of Dunamase). This next spot is located in the townland of Park or Dunamase in County Laois and is the remains of what was once a stronghold looking out over the sprawling Irish landscape. In 842 viking pillaged the settlement but later in the 12th century, when the Normans arrived in Ireland, Dunamase became one of the most important Anglo-Norman strongholds in Laois. Although most of the castle is in ruins, you can’t help but imagine the grandiose that was once Dunamase when visiting.
- Jack Duggan’s Bar, Co. Kerry. You can’t visit Ireland without getting a genuine look at the local pub scene. When in Kerry, visit Jack Duggan’s pub for just that and so much more. It’s a no-frills, no-fuss spot perfect for a pint or two and even a bite to eat if you want one.
- Aran Islands leprechaun houses. Although the Aran Islands are certainly one of the more popular visiting spots in Ireland, many do not know that a lovely carriage ride can take you through a fantastic village of tiny leprechaun houses! Schedule a tour so you don’t miss these tiny pieces of magic. The islands themselves are extremely magical, as well, and it’s almost like being transported back in time. The simplicity of how Aran Islands inhabitants live will make you want to move here full-time.
- Guinness Tower on the grounds of Ashford Castle. Although most Ireland visitors will most likely visit the Guinness Storehouse while in Ireland and sample their wares, most will not get a chance to visit this true piece of Guinness history. Built by Benjamin Guinness himself, you can actually walk the spiral staircase to the top of the tower while exploring all that Ashford Castle has to offer you. Depending on the time of year, you may or may not be able to see the grounds at the top of the tower since it’s situated in the forest.
- Portmuck harbour in Co Antrim. This little piece of the Irish coast has views you will not want to miss. Walk along the cliffs on one of many walking trails for even more stunning views of the Antrim Coast. Take lunch as there is a lovely picnic area! It’s the perfect spot for a quiet, relaxing day away from the hustle and bustle of cities.
- Swiss Cottage, Co. Cahir. Last, but certainly not least, we couldn’t not mention the lovely Swiss Cottage in Cahir. This beautiful cottage is like something out of a storybook and a lovely tour guide will take you around it’s interior and explain it’s wonderful history and significance. In short, the cottage was built by an upper-class family who wanted to create something that they thought symbolized ‘normal,’ lower-class living. Architecture lovers will truly enjoy this find!
To view additional articles on great travel and vacation ideas to Ireland and The UK, take a look at our Blog Library