Travel // Mini Ireland Road Trip – Cork and The Ring of Kerry

Hey again! 4th time in a week… whats going on here! Told you I’d do some catching up this week… It’s been really nice catching up and writing up all these posts. Over the past 6 weeks I’d tried to start a couple posts but just couldn’t get into it. I was getting majorly stressed out at my old job worried I wouldn’t get everything done and when I wasn’t working I felt very guilty – I know, ridiculous when I was leaving anyway! Either way, its been nice writing again and going through all my pics. I’m definitely going to get back into blogging once a week again and I should be able to with better hours at my new job – yay 😊

The count down is on for my new job starting tomorrow (Monday). I hadn’t really thought about it much other than being excited about a new challenge and change. It was only yesterday I started feeling a little nervous – I obviously want to make a good impression but I’m sure it will all go fine. Need to get that first day outfit sorted and ready to go tonight… I will be wearing heels for sure!
Anyways… onto what this post is all about… our mini Ireland road trip from the beginning of September. The idea for the trip came out of a need for a little break. Our last holiday together was to Florida at the beginning of April and wow it feels like ages ago now! We’ve been saving up for our Australia adventure in December which has meant no summer holiday this year. So we thought why not go to Ireland, see some family and have a little drive around. We managed to get return flights for £50 each (bargain!) and hire a car for £100 for 5 days. We then only had to find accommodation for 2 nights as we stayed with family for the other days. All in all it was a pretty cheap long weekend away – just what was needed!

We got our flight first thing Thursday morning and touched down in Shannon for 10:30am. After we’d picked up the car we drove to see my cousins at Uni in Limerick and took them out for lunch. We then made our way down to Galbally to see my auntie. My grandparent’s are from Galbally, a little village in County Limerick and my auntie moved there about 15 years ago and built the most gorgeous house there. So we stayed here for the day and night and had a lovely catch up with my cousins and auntie.

So here’s our route for days 2 and 3: It was a lot to fit into a couple days but we wouldn’t have changed it.

Day 2: Rock of Cashel and Cork

First stop was The Rock Of Cashel. I’d been here as a child but thought we’d come back and show Tim a bit of Irish history. I’d forgotten how windy it could get at the top! I’d also heard mentioned it was worth a trip down to Hore Abbey (meaning Yew Tree)  a 13th century monastery which is a little walk down the hill (about 10 mins walk). We preferred More Abbey to the Rock of Cashel as it was much quieter and quite a nice ruin. Definitely worth a walk down to if you get the chance but its in the middle of field so beware of all the cow pats!
Next stop was Cork for a bite of lunch. Honestly the city of Cork isn’t as nice as I remember but we managed to get a nice bite to eat in a little Asian restaurant called Koto. We both got Chicken Katsu and a drink for €11 each which we wolfed down!
We then got back on the road and went to the Jameson Distillery in Midleton for a tour. (It worked out a €22 each.) We were so glad we made the trip and had a great time! You get a tour around the old distillery and learn about how the whiskey is made and how its different to Scotch and American Whiskey. At the end we also got to try the difference between all 3 types of Whiskey (Irish, Scotch and American) – its definitely an acquired taste but the Irish Whiskey was my favourite. It wasn’t as smokey as Scotch and had more flavour than American. At the end we also got a voucher to have a whiskey based drink. We went for the cocktail which was Jameson with ginger ale and lime and it was very tasty. I’d definitely have it again for sure – could imagine having it as a refreshing cocktail in the summer.
After the tour finished we got back on the road and made our way to our Airbnb for the night which was about a 15 minute drive outside Macroom. It would have been better if it had been closer to Macroom so we could have walked in but was still good for the night. Our Airbnb hosts were a lovely couple and were so welcoming. They have a very friendly dog who does like to jump up but we both like dogs so all was fine. (See here for Airbnb link)
That evening we went to Dan Buckley’s Bar at the Castle Hotel where we managed to watch the rugby. The food was delish – I had chorizo to start while Tim had chicken wings. We then both had fish and chips for our mains accompanied by some cider – delish!
All in all it was a lovely day and safe to say we slept very well!

Day 3: Ring of Kerry and Dingle

The next day we woke up at 8ish to have breakfast and then get on the road for a very full day. The airbnb had some breakfast and tea so I had porridge while Tim had cereal washed down with a cup of tea. It’s such a nice touch when your airbnb gives you a few little extras like tea, fresh milk and breakfast!
Our airbnb host had suggested we made a detour on our road trip and head to Gougane Barra first which was a great shout. It was a peaceful little place and had a cute little church on the edge of a lake. It’s a pilgrimage site and has some walks around. Definitely worth the detour!
We next made our way down to Glengarriff and saw some stunning sites. It was a lovely day where we parked up at lots of different places to explore and I loved how chilled it was. 
We stopped off somewhere along the road in Derreenafoyale and walked down a overgrown path down to the Blackwater River. It was just us and the views were just perfect…
The next place were were aiming for was was Torc Waterfall although we stopped at lots of little places along the way to admire the amazing views. If you do the Ring of Kerry take your time and just stop where you feel to take in the views.
Torc waterfall was very pretty but very busy! The last time I saw a waterfall was last summer in Yosemite – Torc waterfall was obviously different but gorgeous in its own right. Obviously we had to get a couple selfies with it 😋
Next stop was Kenmare which was a cute colourful town where we grabbed some lunch. 
We then spent the rest of the day driving around the Ring of Kerry taking in the sites. It’s just breathtaking and I’m so glad we decided to do it. Luckily Tim loves driving so was happy behind the wheel. 
I mean… how amazing is this view?!
You wouldn’t think we were in Ireland!
The sun was out so we had a little sit down by the beach…
After we’d been around the Ring of Kerry we went up to Inch Beach where you can drive along the beach which was very cool. If we had longer we would have definitely gotten out and spent some time around here but we wanted to get down to Dingle.
Dingle was lovely! I just wish we’d had longer there. When we pulled up in Dingle we got a call from our hotel in Tralee saying they were fully booked so couldn’t put us up. It was only 5pm and we were  quite annoyed as we’d called them up at 12pm to confirm our booking and book in for dinner which had come with our package. They were going to move our booking to a ‘similar’ hotel but when we looked it up it just wasn’t the same standard. In the end we called up my family in Dublin and asked if we could come that evening and stay an extra night. 
We went to grab some ice-cream from Murphy’s which I’d seen on instagram and then got on the road. I had dreamy creamy caramel while Tim had sticky toffee pudding. Both were very tasty!
So we then got back on the road for a 4 hour drive to Dublin… It was definitely a long day of driving but we were happy to get the long drive out the way and enjoyed a couple glasses of wine with my great auntie and uncle at their B&B in Dun Laoghaire.

Days 4 and 5: Dublin and Dun Laoghaire

The next day was a chilled one – we went to a food market, walled around the pier and saw some family. We then finished off the evening at a delicious Indian and then went back to my family’s for some more wine. Just what holidays should be like! 
(I didn’t take many pics from these couple days as it was just nice to enjoy the moment.)
Our final day started with a delicious breakfast made by my auntie – she trained as a chef – before getting on the road and into Dublin to go to the Guinness Factory. It was a great self-guided tour and you get to try a taster of Guinness as well as getting a drink at the end. I’m still not a fan of Guinness as much as I’ve tried it so went for a Club Orange as my free drink in The Gravity Bar.
I do love visiting Ireland and it really doesn’t take long from Birmingham. It was a lovely little trip away and definitely made us forget about work for a few days.
When we next go I’d love to do Galway and the Cliffs of Moher. On the list for next time!
Hope you have a lovely week and wish me luck for tomorrow!
Until next time,
Cathers xx