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The Alternative Irish Attractions Bucket List

Irish Staycation Roadtrip Besties Carroll's Sockciety

Alternative Irish Attractions you cannot miss!

Circled the Ring of Kerry a few times? Got wind-swept on the Cliffs of Moher? Braved the Giant’s Causeway? If you’ve got all the main attractions ticked off your bucket list, now it’s time for some of the most obscure…the alternative Irish attractions! Here are some ideas from the weird and wonderful to the downright daft.

Johnny Foxes Pub

Boastful Pubs

Irish pubs love a claim to fame and modesty is definitely not a virtue for this lot. However outlandish their USP is, as long as they can add an “est” to the end of it, they’ve secured the bragging rights.

The smallest pub in Ireland

Ireland’s smallest pub, Dublin’s Dawson Lounge is a tight squeeze, It can only fit a maximum of 50 people at any given time, but it does serve the cheapest pint of Guinness so it could be worth it.

The longest pub in Ireland

Want more leg room? Visit the Hole in the Wall, Phoenix Park, the longest pub, not just in Ireland, but in Europe. It got its name from a hole in the wall through which they passed drinks to British soldiers, who were not allowed to leave the park while on duty (drinking was fine, apparently).

The highest pub in Ireland

At 910 ft, Johnny Foxes’ in Wicklow is Ireland’s highest pub. Well worth a visit for its eclectic traditional Irish décor, it has traditional Irish music and dancing too.

From the weird to the weird and wonderful…

A saint’s head

No, it’s not the name of another quirky Irish pub, it’s the real thing! St. Oliver Plunkett was the Irish patron saint of peace and reconciliation, but unfortunately this did not extend to him, as he was hung, drawn and quartered in 1681. His head is on display at his shrine in St. Peter’s Church, Drogheda so if you’re a fan of dismembered saints, this one’s for you.

Victor’s Way

From the weird to the weird and wonderful… Victor’s Way is an Indian sculpture park located near Roundwood, Co. Wicklow. This adults-only meditation garden takes you on a journey of contemplation, passing by a variety of amazing black granite sculptures along the way. Dedicated to Alan Turing, the inventor of the Turing Machine, the pre-cursor to the modern computer, it’s one of those places that defies explanation – you just have to see it to believe it. (Opening hours are seasonal so make sure to check before you go.)

Victor's Way
skellig michael

Lights, Camera, Action…

Hollywood Sign, Co. Wicklow

Can’t afford a trip to LA? Try Hollywood, Co. Wicklow, complete with its very own Hollywood sign. Keep an eye out for it next time you get a chance to drive through the beautiful Wicklow Gap. Speaking of Hollywood… we’ve also got some other destinations with star quality…

Skellig Michael, Kerry & Star Wars

When filming Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens they needed a location that was “otherworldly”, and Skellig Michael certainly fitted the bill.

Visiting is not for the faint hearted and getting there is a challenge in itself. Only open from May to September, it’s only accessible in a small boat, which takes 45 minutes in often choppy waters. If you survive the treacherous journey, you’ll have to climb over 600 steps with no handrails to reach the monastery at the top. The views make it well worth the trek and if you’re lucky you might even spot a puffin or two. May the force be with you!

The Best of the Rest…

Craggy Island & Ted Fest, Inishmore

Ever since the iconic TV show, Father Ted, fans have been wondering “Where is Craggy island located?” The Aran Islands (kind of). While the opening credits show Inisheer, most of the external footage was shot on Inishmore. The parochial house is actually located in Lackareagh, Co. Clare, which is not even on an island.

Hardcore fans have been making an annual pilgrimage to Inis Mór for Ted Fest, a 3-day festival celebrating all things Father Ted. You can drink lots of cups of tea (go on, go on, go on!), watch The Lovely Girls Competition (you will, you will, you will!), play in the 5 Aside Football Match (Nuns against Priests) and lots more.

The Blarney Stone, Blarney Castle, Cork

And, if you haven’t enjoyed the questionable thrill of almost plunging to your death while kissing the Blarney stone to get the “Gift of the Gab”, are you even Irish? Some impressive sets of celebrity lips have already snogged this stone, including Mick Jagger, who himself is a leader of stones!

Ted Fest

What to Pack for your Irish Staycation

Aran Jumper
An Aran Jumper

Warm in the winter and cool in the summer, Aran jumpers are perfect for all weathers, which is handy since you’re likely to encounter them on your Irish staycation, probably all in one day.

Irish Fudge
Some Sweets for the Journey

You’ll need to keep your energy up for all that sightseeing so best pack some sweets – bit of traditional Irish fudge will make any journey that little bit sweeter.

Irish Novelty Socks
Your Lucky Socks

Make sure to pack some comfy socks for all that walking (or dancing). From novelty Irish socks to serious walking socks to socks for all weathers, we’ve got plenty to choose from.

And, whatever you do, don’t forget your brolly!

Have a great trip!

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