At last. We are free from being confined to our own counties and can wander the 32 counties. Now is a good time to showcase some of the free experiences our country has to offer.
Glencar Waterfall, Co. Leitrim
A 15-meter-high rock facing waterfall through a lush forest in Co. Leitrim. Explore a woodland that inspired WB Yeat’s poem ‘The Stolen Child’ and let the stunning scenery surrounding inspire you. Entry to Glencar Waterfall is free and there is even a short 1km long walk for keen hikers and a playground to keep the kids entertained.
Botanic Gardens, Co. Belfast
Botanic Gardens is a gorgeous public garden in Belfast. Covering 28 acres, the gardens are popular with office workers, students and tourists. They are located on Stranmillis Road in Queen’s Quarter. You can walk through the Palm House, a greenhouse hosting tropical plants and hanging baskets, or the Tropical Ravine, which has some of the oldest orchids, banana plants and seed plants. A stunning walk for a sunny evening.
Phoenix Park, Co. Dublin
The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed urban park in Europe and contains several stately homes, including the official residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin, Farmleigh House and the US Ambassador’s residence. The Park is also home to the Dublin Zoo and the Victorian People’s Flower Gardens. If you are lucky you might catch some of the famous deer who have made the park their home.
Forty Foot, Co. Dublin
The Forty Foot, a historic bathing pool on a promontory on the southern tip of Dublin Bay. Dubliners come here all year round to swim in the Irish sea with friends and family. Having been to the Forty Foot many a time myself, I strongly recommend a visit out to Sandycove for your own leap into the famous Irish swimming hole.
Banna Strand, Co. Kerry
Banna Strand, also known as Banna Beach, is situated in Ballyheigue Bay. Atlantic Ocean beach extending from Ballyheigue Beach at the Blackrock in the North to Barrow Beach at its southern edge, located in County Kerry. Banna Strand has a lot to offer with many lovely restaurants around as well as a prime spot for surfing.
National Library of Ireland, Co. Dublin
The National Library of Ireland is the Republic of Ireland’s national library located in Dublin. The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is the member of the Government of Ireland responsible for the library. If you have some Irish roots there is staff on hand available to help you trace your ancestors during the week completely free of charge which is an awesome experience to have for nothing. Highly recommend this.
The Museum of Style Icons, Co. Kildare
Having studied fashion, this is quite an unreal find for any fashion-conscious person. Absolutely free to roam by yourself or you can pay for a guided tour, this will certainly be one that I will be attending soon. The Museum houses fashion collections and artifacts which once belonged to some of the greatest style icons of modern times such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Grace, Princess Diana, the Beatles and many more. Owned by Newbridge Silver who curated the collection.
National Gallery of Ireland, Co. Dublin
The National Gallery of Ireland houses the national collection of Irish and European art. It is in the centre of Dublin with one entrance on Merrion Square, beside Leinster House, and another on Clare Street. Entry to the Gallery is free. The gallery holds a world-class selection of art, so if you are an art enthusiast, it’s a must for you to visit.
Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Achill Island is Irelands largest island. It is accessible for everybody as there is bridge across to the Island. It is absolutely free to enter the island. It boasts some beautiful scenery. With the likes of Silvermore, a deserted village on the island and Keem Bay, A selection of high cliffs, there is more than enough to enjoy on Achill Island.
Trá an Dóilín, Co. Galway
Last but certainly not least, if you are looking for something undeniably traditional to Irish culture Trá an Dóilín located in the Irish-speaking region (Gaeltacht) of Connemara is a very popular beach in Ireland which you can go and enjoy for free. Well known for its clear water and fine golden sand. A perfect spot for some sunbathing and some sea swimming on a fine day. If you get a bit thirsty, there’s a pub nearby too.