Magical is truly the word that comes to mind when I think of Ireland—magical in every possible way! Both my husband and I were blown away by Ireland’s natural beauty, charm and friendly people. Ireland succeeded every possible expectation we had in our minds and I can honestly say it is my favorite places in the world.
My husband was in Ireland at the end of their patrol and I am so thankful I was able to fly up and meet him for a few days. Military life is really hard some days, well a lot of the days, but then there are moments you simply have to take advantage of and I am so thankful we worked really hard to allow me to go!
This was honestly the first time since our honeymoon over 4 years ago that we had time away together just the two of us without it being a family or work trip. That may have influenced why we loved Ireland so much, but each day was truly romantic and magical!
The winding roads, endless green fields and charming, colorful towns were quite picturesque. The Irish people are so lively and friendly and the food was just amazing! Some of my favorite meals ever were in the cute little town of Dingle and I loved how gluten-free friendly and local all the food was. If you have a gluten allergy, I can honestly say Ireland is the most allergy friendly place I have ever visited, far more than anything in California, and that’s saying alot! The food is just real though, so unless you are eating the bread or scones, most everything is naturally gluten free.
We chose to drive into the country side rather than go the opposite way into the city of Dublin and I am so thankful we chose that itinerary. We only had about 3 1/2 days and we were truly able to explore a lot while at the same time being very relaxed.
Thankfully my sweet Stephen pulled the car over about every 5 minutes because I wanted to capture every green field and all sheep and cows. I even got to hold a 1 week old baby lamb and that might just make one of the top 5 moments of my life! haha but really, that little baby was the sweetest and so little and fluffy!
Spring in Ireland Itinerary
Dingle Peninsula & Ring of Kerry
We stayed at the Milton House in Dingle and I cannot recommend this property enough—the owners and staff were simply the sweetest and made us feel like family. They have a fun lounge and bar area that was great to relax in the afternoons on the comfy couch sipping on some local made Dingle gin (tonic for the hubby and soda water for me). Their breakfast was amazing and I fell in love with Irish black pudding. I even had a few bites of their homemade and very hearty Irish bread, mostly because the butter was a creamy golden yellow!
Dingle is a fun sea town to explore as all the buildings are colorful and charming. For dinner I highly recommend Ashes and Out of the Blue—best seafood and lobster bisque I have ever had in my life. Everything is local and fresh and so flavorful!
O’Sullivan’s Courthouse Pub is a local little spot with live music each night and such a fun vibe inside. We loved the Irish music!!
We had lunch at Goat Street Social and the most amazing warm goat cheese and beet salad ever. We loved Bean in Dingle for coffee and Murphy’s Ice Cream for the husband. He was shocked by the creamy and not overly sweet taste and I sort of regret not having a little bite!
Spending a morning or afternoon driving around the Dingle Peninsula is a must and some of the most breathtaking coastline and green fields I have ever seen. It was lamb season so we pulled off the side of the road to hold a sweet baby lamb—it took everything in my not to bring him home! Be sure to stop and explore some of the artisan shops along the way. That area is known for its pottery and woolen goods like blankets, scarves and sweaters which we for sure loaded up on! Trust me, you must get a sweater and blanket while you are there!
On the drive back to the city we stopped and explored along the road as well as the town of Kerry and the Gap of Dunloe. We sadly did not make it into the Gap of Dunloe, even though that was high on my list, because you either have to take a horse drawn carriage or walk and it was snowing and we were not properly dressed. I would love to go back and explore that area more, but just driving around in your car is so beautiful!
Blarney Castle & Gardens
Blarney Castle was one of those touristy things that turned out to be just spectacular and far exceeded our expectations. We both didn’t realize that the castle has huge gardens and grounds and we arrived just as everything was in bloom! There were fields of daffodils everywhere and the most beautiful white trees lining the sidewalks. You can for sure spend a lot of time just wandering the property and it truly is worth it!
Blarney Castle is known for it’s Kissing Stone which is supposed to give you the gift of eloquence, and that part honesty was a bit crowded but we checked it off the list.
Cobh is a cute little port city where I kissed the hubby good bye. It is charming and small, but historically known for being the last port call of the Titanic before it ventured across the Atlantic. I would have liked to go to the Titanic Museum but we didn’t have time. Be sure to see the Cathedral and the rainbow houses just one street in front of the Cathedral. Oh and make sure to splurge for a Baileys coffee (hold the sugar) at Kelly’s in Cobh.
Packing for Ireland
Whatever season you may find yourself traveling to Ireland, I for sure recommend packing layers. The temperature is a bit all over the place, so layering up and adjusting throughout the day was helpful.
I recommend a good pair of rain boots, I love Hunter’s Originals but also recommend their smaller travel size, a trench coat, a few scarves or bandanas to keep your hair out of your face because it is very windy, layering up with sweaters. I would also pack a solid pair of walking shoes (I love these white sneakers or these ankle booties) that are comfortable and stylish for when you want to walk around or go out to dinner.
I truly can’t recommend Ireland enough and I already dreaming of when we can make it back!! Have any of you been to Ireland? Let me know in the comments so I can explore new places next time!