1. Wicklow Mountains
Welcome to the Garden of Ireland where the Sally Gap road is a winding mountain way ideal for long distance walking or cycling. Lough Tay (aka Guinness Lake) is a cliff-side stunner and Lough Dan is a No.1 photo moment.
No car doesn’t mean no Glendalough. Hop on St Kevin’s bus from Dublin city centre and you’re there in an hour. The sprawling monastic community has stood here for centuries and the lake & forest walks are some of Wicklow’s finest.
3. Newgrange & The Hill of Tara
Older than the pyramids, Newgrange is a pagan masterpiece. View the vivid Celtic motifs here before climbing the nearby Hill of Tara where Ireland’s High Kings once called home. Access via Bus Eireann’s 109 service.
4. A DART Day
Dublin’s coastal rail service, The DART, is cheap and scenic. Visit Greystones for a sunny beach stroll before grabbing lunch and a pint in Bray’s award-winning Porterhouse pub.
5. Blessington Lakes & Russborough House
Blessington’s lakes are easily and affordably accessed by the 65 bus route. Take a lake walk or go canoeing, kayaking or windsurfing at Avon Ri Adventure Centre. Nearby, Russborough House is an elegant charmer with the bonus of tearooms and a garden maze.
6. The National Stud & Japanese Gardens
Easily accessed by public transport, Kildare’s National Stud is an eccentric insight into Ireland’s equestrian and astrological heritage. Afterwards, relax your mind in the Zen calm of the Japanese Gardens.
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7. Malahide Castle & Gardens
Malahide Castle on Dublin’s seaside matches art, history and 250 acres of parkland and gardens with effortless elegance. After your wander discuss your visit over luscious lunch in the Avoca Café.
8. A trip to Trim
Silent star of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, Trim Castle is a thrilling keyhole view into Ireland’s Norman History. No car is needed to visit this historical hunk as Bus Eireann’s 111 route provides regular service.
9. Howth Village
Another of Dublin’s seaside gems, Howth is easily accessed by the DART and the Howth Head Loop is a beautiful walk. After some fresh air treat yourself with seafood chowder at Wrights of Howth.
10. Powerscourt House & Gardens
This Palladian beauty is found hidden in one of Wicklow’s many valleys. The house itself is endlessly beautiful and the landscaped gardens are the cherry on top. The 145 and 44 bus routes stop in Enniskerry, leaving you just 10 minutes walk from the estate.