Ireland Observed Newsletter – October 2018

October has a special place in traditional Ireland as it is the month of the Gaelic festival of Samhain, or what is more commonly known now as Halloween. It was believed that Samhain was the time when the wall between our world and the spirit world was at its weakest…. and also the best time to book your vacations 😉

Enjoy this months newsletter. If you like it, do share it with a friend!

Cumbersome Crowds – 6 Places To Avoid If You Prefer An Authentic Adventure

For an island of its size, Ireland is teeming with highly popular attractions for international visitors. However for a few of us, large crowds can ruin even the most magnificent sights and scenery. To avoid the large crowds, stay clear of the following 6 places.

  1. Temple Bar at night – overpriced drink and inebriated bachelorettes.
  2. The Blarney Stone – popularised by a comic poet in the 1850s. The gardens are lovely, but just admire the castle from the outside. Half hour lines just are not worth the wait, and there are better castles to explore such as Ross Castle in Killarney, or Bunratty Castle near Shannon.
  1. The Dingle Peninsula is stunning, but the crowds on the Slea Head drive are an endorsement for the success of The Irish Tourist Board’s Wild Atlantic Way marketing. In the height of summer you might be quicker walking the 30 miles – except for the fact that you would be run over by a camper van on the way. From September to May, however, it is magic and uncrowded.
  1. The crowds in Dingle may be bad, but at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre they are unbearable. With nearly 2 million visitors in a year, and up to 2,000 people at any one time enjoying the visitor centre, stay well away. Enjoy the cliffs from Guerin’s Path. The view from this side is much better and it’s never crowded – no bathroom facilities, though the lines for the ones at the Visitor Centre can still be 15 minutes long, despite making them unisex to speed it up.
  1. Another place of lines is Carrick a Rede rope bridge, where even the skip the line line can result in a 30 minute wait to scare yourself senseless on a rope bridge 100 feet above a raging sea and rugged rocks, where scenes from the Game of Thrones were shot.
  1. Guinness. Lines and crowds everywhere – and to experience panoramic views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar you’ll have to endure the school dinner hall noise and subway crowds. If it’s a pint you want, there a thousand bars where you find it for a quarter of the price and just as good. If you like design (and the gallery is brilliantly designed and has one floor devoted to their outstanding advertisements) then get there as early in the day as possible.

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