I have craved a visit to Ireland for as long as I can remember. The Emerald Isle. Doesn’t it just sound like a magical and wondrous place?
Picture rolling hills, lush fields, and sheer cliffs edging around the two countries that make up Ireland as we know it.
We wanted to see as much as we could during our short stay. So, we split our time between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. But still, it wasn’t enough.
Two of our favourite shows — Vikings and Game of Thrones — are largely filmed in various locations around Ireland. So naturally, we were keen to explore as many of the filming locations as we could manage.
What do you do when you’ve so much to see, yet so little time?
You book yourself into a couple of tours, sit back and take in the sights, while someone else does all the work for you. Genius!
The Republic of Ireland
Basing ourselves in Dublin, we booked the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough Tour, via Grey Line Dublin. This full-day tour takes you through the Wicklow Mountains National Park, Lake Tay (aka Guinness Lake), Glendalough, and Avoca. Guinness Lake is the filming location for the Viking village of Kattegat and was high on our list of places to see. We not so subtly let the coach driver know that we were big fans of the show, and he satisfied us by providing interesting Viking tidbits throughout the day.
Guinness Lake [aka Kattegat]
[no connection to GoT or Vikings, but beautiful all the same]
We got to see so much during this tour, and the driver was absolutely fantastic, with a great sense of humour!
Also: I highly recommend the Irish Stew for lunch. Just saying.
In Belfast, we booked the Game of Thrones and Giants Causeway Tour through Viator. Some of the locations were a bit obscure, and certainly tested our memories! The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Dark Hedges were definite highlights, overshadowed only by the Giant’s Causeway itself.
Northern Ireland’s coastline is simply stunning, and it felt pretty surreal to be in some of the places we’d only ever seen on our tv.
Have you been to Ireland before? What other sights would you recommend?