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Here are our Top Day Trips Recommendations in Dublin, as prepared by intern Mathieu.
Day 1 :
The Irish National Stud in Tully is not only an institution in County Kildare, but also a must visit for all horse industry enthusiasts. The only stud farm opened to the public in Ireland, you will admire some of the most beautiful and prestigious horses in the world. For instance, Queen Elizabeth II spent time in this farm to see where family’s best horses were produced.
The nearby Japanese Gardens give you the opportunity to fully relax by walking through this unique park. The Gardens symbolise the meeting between Eastern and Western cultures. This is really a tour worth doing for family with children.
After your visit to the Irish National Stud and walking in the Japanese Gardens, it’s time to expand your own closet in Kildare Village. Kildare Village located around 59 Km far from Dublin, is known as Ireland’s most elegant outlet shopping centre, with up to 60 % off. This is a great opportunity to wear fashion and luxury brands from Calvin Klein to Hackett or Hugo Boss. Plus they offer Tax Back shopping to non EU residents. Even for the lunch, you can enjoy cultural different cuisine, from a French Creperie, l’Officina to an Italian restaurant, l’Officina. The best way to discover all those chic, adorable but affordable brands is to take a look on your own. “Your visit, your style” as they say in Kildare Village.
Newbridge Silver Museum of Style Icons in Kildare, Ireland, allows you to turn back time and admire collections and artefacts of the greatest cinema’s figures like Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Diana, Audrey Hepburn and others icons.
Day 2 :
The Marble city of Kilkenny is only 90 minutes south of the capital. Founded in the 6th century, a monastery and over the years it attracted Ireland's various religious figures. In the 12th century, one Lord decided to built an sumptuous castle in the heart of the city. Kilkenny is also famous for its beers "Smithwhicks" and "Kilkenny", which have been brewed in the oldest brewery in Ireland, the St. Francis Abbey since 1710. It is possible to visit the brewery today. Our favourite store in the city is The Little Green Grocer - a fantastic store which stocks lots of unique Irish gifts. Our favourite restaurant is Campagne - a tour de force of French style gastronomy which was awarded a Michelin star in 2013 ; their lunch menu (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) offers fantastic value for money. The Cathedral Church of St Canice boasts a round tower (one of only two in Ireland which one can climb - weather permitting) is a gothic gem. Kilkenny Castle is one of the most popular attractions in the city; visitors will learn about the past owners the Butler family and their remarkable history, explore the elegant gardens and stroll through the city woodlands on the estate. Jerpoint Abbey, a Cistercian abbey, is located in Thomastown Co Kilkenny and is home to some notable stone carvings and sculptured tombs and its visitor centre is also recommended.
Near Athy in Co. Kildare, Burtown House is a Georgian villa surrounded by flowers, woodland gardens and a park. This house is the home of the well known Photographer James Fennell and here you can admire a surprising gallery space and lifestyle tore. The brand new Green Barn Restaurant, inside a rustic décor, looking out on the vegetable gardens, affords you the opportunity to fully enjoy your relaxing time in Burtown. Their Olive Oils are infused with kitchen garden herbs and for their salts they use a combination of Celtic sea salt and pink himalayan salt. Having had a rocky opening period where they found it difficult to overcome some teething problems, they appear to have found their feet; they now offer a gourmet cafe style menu, well-executed and professionally served.
Waterford is the oldest city of Ireland. Established in 914 AD, the Vikings invaded the region and they created a seaport to facilitate commercial exchange on the island of Ireland. Waterford's international reputation grew when very high quality crystal manufacturing began in 1783. Their work is particularly appreciated by the British royal family and you will find pieces in all the major stately homes in the world including the White House which receives a crystal bowl of Shamrock each St Patricks Day. In Waterford you will also discover Reginald’s Tower, an old defensive tower and the world's oldest mint which now houses the Waterford Museum Of Treasures which tracks the story of vikings. Be careful of swords while you admire all jewellery and ceramics from ancient Ireland!
Day 3 :
Wicklow Mountains National Park is the largest in the country. The landscape is unique and you will find lots of natural beauty spots to make this trip unforgettable. The pink heathers and yellow gorse flowers are stunning in the summer - catch the scent of the gorse flowers and close your eyes; you'll be surprised to find the scent is very similar to that of coconut - in fact, many experimental Irish chefs extract the essence from this prickly flower to create what has become known as "Irish coconut".
Glendalough (the glenn of the two lakes) is one of the most important monastic sites in the country, where many of St Kevin's buildings still survive despite the attacks over the years namely from the Vikings. It’s a real opportunity to understand better Ireland's Ancient East but on a calm and still day be sure to bring some bug spray with you as the midges (or "No-See-Ems") are plentiful owing to the lakeside setting. Even the Secret Service weren't able to contend with this challenge on a recent visit there by the Obama family. With some excellent hiking trails you could easily spend an entire day here and finish with a visit to The Wicklow Heather restaurant for a hearty meal.