Posted in Travelling

Road trip Ireland, part 2!

I am back for part 2, road tripping through West & South-west Ireland! 🙂

After a lovely breakfast, we packed our stuff & went to the top of a hill, with excellent views of the surrounding area & also Galway Bay!

What a view!

This day we had to drive this map to the next B&B!

We went to visit the Aillwee Cave. This is one of the oldest caves in the whole of Ireland!!! It is located in the heart of the Burren in County Clare. A 10 minute drive by car from Ballyvaughan. Perched high on its Burren terraced mountainside. It costs 12 euros per adult person. You have to pay, directly at the below entrance of the gate. Then, you drive up a big hill to park your car.

An expert guides and informs you during your 30 minute tour. The tour consists of a walk through the beautiful caverns – over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside the thunderous waterfall which sometimes gently sprays the unsuspecting visitor! Marvel at the frozen waterfall and explore the now extinct brown bears’ bones (ursos arctos). It is worth a visit! You go down 90 meters below ground & the temperature will drop. 😉 You could also ask questions.

Stalagtites!

And an inside waterfall too,…

Then we drove off to visit the Poulnabrone Dolmen, in the heart of the Burren, further along the road from the Aillwee cave. The Poulnabrone Dolmen is a (Poll na mBrón in Irish, meaning “hole of the quern stones” (bró in Irish)) is a portal tomb, one of approximately 172 in Ireland. It dates back to the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC and 2900 BC. The dolmen itself is well kept! The surrounding area is just so beautiful with The Burren stones & the mountains.

Here, you can park your car for free & you can visit the dolmen on foot, it is also free of charge. Information boards explain everything well in English & in Gaelic! Come early in then morning, so you can take photos without people in it! It is well worth a visit!

It looks like this:

The stone below is typical for the Burren.

Then, we drove off to visit Lisdoonvarna, an old Spa town. There is not so much to see. There are many spa hotels dated back from the early seventies. You can really say that the centre is 1 street long. Nowadays, it is famous for its festivals & music. We ate here & drove further to our next destination: Doolin. We first stopped at Doolin harbour to go onto a mini cruise ship to see the Cliffs of mother by the ocean & to see seabirds & puffins!

We just saw one puffin! Sigh! We also saw caves where some scenes of the Harry Potter films were shot. I was a bit seasick at the middle & end. I didn’t enjoy that very much! Here some photos:

Then, we were very tired & headed to our new B&B for 2 nights: Lane Lodge, just off the head street aka Fisher street in Doolin.

We did book a few months in advance & had a very very small room. The landlady wasn’t at all friendly & helpful. We didn’t feel welcome at all! Her breakfasts were tasty though & her packed lunches were great too. That night we went to eat in the famous Gus O’Connors pub. It was a big pub & very cosy! We ate lovely food, the staff was super friendly & helpful. I had bangers & mash with a lovely sauce & my hubby had the filled pork roast with veggies, fries & a salad! There was live music that evening. We had a lovely time! 🙂

This was me at breakfast:

Bagel, cream cheese & smoked salmon! Yummy!

This morning, we planned that we would walk to the Cliffs of Moher. We would make a day trip out of it! We would walk 7 km to the visitor centre on top of the Cliff & come back by Bus. That was a great neat idea. We booked our B&B here because the path to the cliffs would start just across the bridge, a 2 minute walk from our B&B. That morning, it was raining a bit & it was only 16 °C. The path was sometimes steep, curved & at some point & sometimes very dangerous because the earthen road wasn’t there anymore & it was fallen into the ocean below! We walked into a farmer’s pasture. The views up to the cliffs are just amazing, beautiful & fantastic! You should do the walk, but wear your good walking shoes, you need them!!  Do not just visit the visitor centre. The views are not that great there! It will cost you money & if you walk to there, it doesn’t cost you a thing!

Some cool photos from our walk:

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In total we walked 9 km! It was such a lovely day. During the walk, there were not many people! When you reach the top & the visitor centre, it gets really crowded because the busses are offloaded with many tourists! In front of the visitor centre, we took the smaller Paddywagon bus back to Doolin. We had a very friendly driver. We showered & rested for a few hours & went to eat in The Ivy Cottage, at the end of the street.

A lovely restaurant!

The cottage is very cosy. This is a lovely restaurant with a beautiful cosy bigger garden with many lovely sitting areas. The staff is very friendly & kind. The food menu is great & versatile. We chose 2 craft beers. They were super tasty. My husband took the tasty juicy lamb burger with fries & I ate the beef burger with also fries. Everything was home-made & our dinners were superb in quality! There was even room for dessert! I chose the lemon meringue tartlet. Peter choose the banoffee cake! The desserts were just stunning & so big too! There is also a lot of space inside.

Cosy!

And now for the delicious desserts:

Banoffee cake!
Lemon meringue tart!
Afterwards, we went home to sleep,… & dream of tomorrow!
The next day, we set sail to Limerick! We should arrive at 8 Pm at our new B&B Beaufort Lodge in Beaufort, 8 km west of Killarney! Yes, that is a reasonable drive of 186 km! We followed the blue line! This is how we drove:
our route that day!

Our 1st stop of the day was the city of Limerick! It is a bigger city. We walked around & through the city & saw for the 1st time, a few modern warehouses & some cool coffee bars. We visited King John’s Castle, near the river Shannon! This is a lovely castle that you must visit because it is certainly worth a visit! There are information boards & modern 3-D designs so that you get also a good visual & life real idea what it must have been in the castle & in that time. The exhibition is made with tons of humour too! We even got a detailed map in our own language, Dutch! Ha!

The staff at the entrance was also very helpful & kind. You can even get to see the ground base of the castle, some of the interior & the inside courtyard & top! The exhibition has costed a lot of money to make it so attractively & interactively to children & adults, like us! We spent about 2-3 hours here. It costed us each 13 euro. So 26 euro in total. Here are many photos from our castle visit:

The inside ruins

And some more:

Waw!

 

Then, we drove through Adare to Beaufort, 8 km west ofd Killarney! This took us a whole while because there are no more motorways here & only N-roads or smaller so you can’t get very fast to your destination. Happily, we would only arrive at 8 pm & that was the time we arrived. We checked in at our new room in our new B&B & our landlady made a dinner reservation at the local Beaufort bar & restaurant, only a 3 minute walk from our B&B. That was a great idea. We came back to eat here 3 times during our 5 day stay! It is a wonderful fine dining restaurant & they also have a big pub downstairs. They have an extended lovely menu with fine dining plates of excellent quality of foods! The staff is very kind & helpful. The drinks, plates of fine foods & desserts are all superb, they also have a big variety of whiskeys!

Lovely setting!

Our dinners:

For me: Marinated pork loin with red cabbage, apple sauce, side veggies & mash!

A sirloin steak, medium, with melted herb butter, lovely sides salad & fries!

Both our dinners were superb! This was the only time in 12 days that I ate meat! 😉

We went to bed & I will see you on the next recap! I hope you enjoyed it!

You might like:

Roadtrip Ireland, part 1!

Author:

Hello! My name is Sophie & I love to cook & bake mostly healthily but with a twist! There is a bit of gardening & travelling in here too! Enjoy! :)

25 thoughts on “Road trip Ireland, part 2!

  1. Dear Sophie,
    Your report obout your great road-trip-Ireland is not only fine to read but you give us a lot of information too. Very well done! Many thanks.
    Mamalou

  2. Alain, what an interesting report on your Ireland trip! Ans so well-written!

  3. Hi Sophie!! I just wanted to tell you that I absolutely enjoyed your trip blog!! ❤ It make me feel almost like I was there 🙂

  4. I’ve been waiting for more posts about your travels Sophie! And I loved every bit of this post– the food was so beautiful!! and that 9 km. walk in the green hills looked like a perfect way to spend a day– so pretty! And the cave looked fun (but maybe a little scary!)– And– loved the maps, so I could picture just who your were traveling! You live in such a great location for traveling!! thanks for sharing all you saw and did! hugs friend!

  5. Sophie this looks like an incredible trip! You’ve covered a lot of ground and got to experience so many things! I hope some day I can go to Ireland!!

    1. Thank you, Koko! I hope you are well!
      Then you can read part 1 too! We went for 11 nights & 12 days so there will be more recaps, you will see!

  6. Fabulous! We visited many of these places with our daughters in 1999. It sounds like things have changed a lot since then. At the cave we just walked ourselves through and there was no visitor centre at the Cliffs of Moher either. We just parked the car and walked across. I’m enjoying revisiting with you.

    1. Ooh really? That is something different! Too bad. We didn’t visit the visitor centre at all! the walk itself was amazing & free of charge!

    2. I did a road trip 10 years ago and obviously things have changed since then too. We’re planning another visit in one or two years and I really enjoy looking over your shoulder. xxxx

  7. I really enjoyed part 2 too, dear Sophie! I also have been to the Beaufort bar & restaurant, a little gem! xxx

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