48 hours in Ireland
It’s been a while! I’m finally getting over the wedding/honeymoon blues…by booking lots of trips away, it seems. Eek. We’ve just got back from a weekend in Ireland and I’m even more in love with the place than I was before.
It’s worth saying I’ve been to Ireland a few times as I have family in the South, so we like to go and visit as much as we can (both the array of pubs and the family!) Ireland in October is pretty stunning; autumn was in full swing and treated us to some spectacular scenery. We arrived super late Friday night, thanks to Ryanair’s inability to be on time *sigh*. We stayed in Killaloe this time, about 20 minutes from Cappamore where my family live and about 45 minutes from Shannon airport (an hour’s flight from our local airport, Stansted).
Killaloe was gorgeous and I’m gutted we didn’t have more time to explore. There were lots of pubs, restaurants and cute shops nestled along a river and surrounded by rolling hills and countryside. We stayed in a cottage and my cousins, aunt and uncle stayed two doors down (our poor neighbours!) We stayed at the Trident Lakeside Cottages which was perfect for a short break and had pretty much everything we needed for our stay. The cottages are only a short walk from Killaloe, perfect if you don’t want to keep getting in the car.
Us ‘kids’, as we like to call ourselves, went off in search of an autumnal hike and left the grown ups (our parents) back at the cottage. We stumbled across Clare Glens Waterfall, which was a stunning walk through a forest and along the Clare River. We did, admittedly, lose the path and spent half the time walking across the rocks and riverbed. I was convinced one of us would break an ankle…but the views were very much worth it. Who doesn’t love a bit of an adventure?!
We finally found the path again halfway round, which led us further into the forest and around the waterfall. We were super lucky with the weather as it was fairly mild and dry…which was good, seeing as none of us were dressed for the occasion. The walk took us around 1.5 hours but we did get lost, so if you do it properly I imagine you’ll be done in half the time! Totally recommend this walk if you want to get off the beaten track and into the Irish countryside.
After our walk there was only one thing to do…pub! Nath found a cute pub called Matt the Thresher, where we all tucked into some good homemade food and of course, some alcohol. It wouldn’t be Ireland if we didn’t do a little bit of day drinking (well, for all of us apart from our designated driver!)
We then drove over to Cappamore, the village my family live in. It’s such a quintessentially Irish village and I love it. It’s so quaint and everyone knows everyone. It’s the first time Nathan has come with us so it was really nice getting to show him around. Our parents had already gone over so we met them in the pub (of course we did!) and had another little drink and a catch up with my Great Uncle.
Sunday was a lazy morning with the family. We walked down from the cottage to Killaloe and had a wander through the side streets and along the River Shannon, stopping to pick up some knick-knacks and for some lunch at The Wooden Spoon. This was the best find! Proper home-cooked food and cakes. So. Many. Cakes. I had the sweet potato and chorizo frittata but they had loads of pastries, soup, stews, quiches and filled potatoes. They were also amazing at catering for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free. We bought a batch of cakes for the road and took a walk back to the cottage. We said our goodbyes as my cousins, aunt and uncle were heading back earlier than us.
The afternoon was spent eating cake, walking around the harbour and relaxing before our late flight back (which was again, very late due to delays. Le sigh).
Shannon airport is a really nice airport as far as airports go (how many times have I just airport?) It was very quiet, we were the only people going through security and the staff there are a barrel of laughs. Honestly, they had me in stitches and they’re definitely not afraid to take the mick out of you. My dad got the brunt of the banter, bless him and his bald head! The airport is modern, there’s a cafe and a WHSmith so enough to keep you going, even if you do get delayed.
I would love to spend a few more days in Ireland next time we head over to catch up with family. 48 hours was fun, but a little bit rushed! We’ve done Dublin, Castleconnell, Baltimore and Blarney, but there’s still so much to explore. I would love to venture over to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher, pay a visit to Killarney National Park, explore Dingle and the Ring of Kerry. Do you have any suggestions for us?
P.S. View my other travel posts while you’re here!