“Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”
– Sean O’Casey
Ireland has an abundance of places to see and things to do. Everything from the world-famous cliffs of Moher to trying a pint of Guinness. We are, I am happy to say, a very popular country to visit. Like many other people though, I have fallen victim to not indulging enough it the many things my home country has to offer.
So, I have decided to make a list of some things which you can only do in Ireland and which might not be as famous as others. Maybe it will inspire you to visit or try some of these lesser known places and activities, for Irish readers hopefully it will highlight some of the things we take for granted.
Climb a round tower:
Round towers are early medieval structures usually found on the grounds of old churches. There actual function is not known but it is believed they were built to act as bell towers or for protection. They have only one entrance which was accessible by a ladder. Those which remain and are open to the public are accessible by more modern stairs. The views in some of the locations are quite spectacular such as in Glendalough. Some have been found in the isle of man and one in Scotland, however, Ireland contains the most numerous and many are still open to the public.
Listen and learn Irish:
Although the number of native Irish speakers has continued to decline in modern Ireland, there are some areas where it is still the primary language. These areas are called Gaeltachts and are located primarily in the far west and north of the country. Here Irish is spoken daily and used in its traditional form. It is a great place to get a sense of ancient Ireland and a proper introduction into the native language of Ireland. If you would like to study, there are many schools open to the public which provide classes at all levels and abilities.
Attend an All-Ireland final:
Although it is possible the view the Gaelic games on your tv. There is nothing quite like a game in person especially an All-Ireland final. This is the biggest sporting event in Ireland and while attending a game you will witness the passion of the fans and players. Hurling and Gaelic Football are the two primary sports in Ireland. Both are amateur but have a much higher following than any other sport in Ireland. If this doesn’t interest you, Croke park has is the 3rd biggest stadium in Europe and has many different tours which you can take. This is definitely something you can only do in Ireland.
Check out an iconic Star Wars site
Although countless movies and tv shows have been filmed in Ireland such as Game of Thrones, none have had such an iconic setting as the final scene in Star-Wars: The force awakens. The now world famous Skellig Michael acts as the back drop to the re-introduction of Luke Skywalker. The very odd stairways and buildings were not CGI but the remnants of an old Christian monastery. They have remained intact due to the scarcity of visitors to the islands, but this is changing. Located on a tiny island off the west coast, this is a must do for any Movie, history or nature lovers.
There are many more things you can only do in Ireland, here are some more honorable mentions:
Check out Bram stalkers house (The guy who wrote Dracula)
Go to the Puk fair (A goat is the center piece of the whole show)
See the book of Kells (One of the more famous mentions, but an incredible book)
Rent a castle (It’s way out of my budget, but it sounds like fun)
If you can, come visit Ireland. It is quite incredible even if I do my best to travel to other countries. Are there things you can only do in Ireland that I haven’t mentioned?
What are some unique things you can get up to in your home country?