Monday, January 2, 2017

Family visit to Ireland, June 2016

After falling out of love with Apple's once wonderfully easy to use photo software I neglected our blog in 2016. Sitting here on a very rainy New Year's Day 2017 I'm endeavouring to catch up starting with our trip to Ireland in June last year along with Susy's mum Ana. We spent a fun week in Ireland visiting some of my family and showing Ana some of Ireland's treasures.

Glendalough, County Wicklow

,Before heading down to Cork and our base for a few nights at the Dunmore House hotel just outside Clonakilty, we spent a day exploring Glendalough and driving through the Sally Gap. Glendalough is one of Ireland's most important monastic sites founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. It's a popular destination for tourists thanks to it's historic importance and spectacular setting in 'the valley of the two lakes'.

St. Kevin's Cross in the centre.

The Sally Gap

The following morning we said our goodbyes and hopped in the car to drive down to our home for the next few nights, The Dunmore House Hotel near Clonakility. This is a gem of a hotel, wonderful friendly staff, an amazing location on the edge of the Atlantic Coast and to top it all of it is dog friendly too. We had a wonderful time there,  enjoyed delicious food and the staff really made us feel at home.

Clonakility main street

The market town of Clonakility has a real West Cork feel about it, its a welcoming town with some nice shops, bars and restaurants. Be sure and buy some of it's famous Clonakilty black pudding, the perfect accompaniment to a full Irish Breakfast.

Bantry House
Bantry House and Gardens is home to the Shelswell-White family descendants of the Earls of Bantry.  Whilst slightly run down the house and gardens are well worth a visit, you can enjoy a tour of the main house and a relaxing walk around the gardens which have a stunning view over Bantry Bay. The tea rooms and patio are welcoming and the perfect place to sit and enjoy this wonderful location. We really enjoyed ourselves here and recommend taking the time to enjoy this stunning house, dogs are welcome in the gardens as long as they are kept on their lead.

View of Bantry Bay from the front of the house.

Italian gardens at the rear of Bantry House.

Pina enjoying her walk in the gardens.

Our destination the following day was Baltimore, in my opinion the centre of Baltimore itself is not the prettiest however its well worth visiting the 15th century castle which overlooks the harbour and the coastline walk out to the Beacon provides you with some spectacular views. So despite the lack of  charm of the village you won't be disappointed by your visit. Baltimore's main claim to fame is the amazing story which dates back to 1631 when 100 citizens were carried off as slaves by Algerian pirates, you'll find out more about this if you visit the castle.

Baltimore harbour

Baltimore centre

Former home to the O'Driscoll clan.

Baltimore beacon for boats approaching the town.

On our way back to Dublin we stopped off at the beautiful town of Kinsale for lunch, despite the poor weather we enjoyed a wander round this colourful harbour town full of delightful shops. To see more of Kinsale, Click here for some photos from a previous trip.