Ireland's Ancient East

Ireland’s Ancient East is the storybook of Ireland and like any good book, you are sure to be taken on a compelling journey, through 5,000 years of history to be precise.

This region of Ireland comprises of 17 counties and each has its own unique chapter which is one of the reasons this region is as awe-inspiring as it sounds. Find distinctively different themes engrossing some of the most scenic areas in Ireland. From ancient high kings, saints and scholars to modern day poets, ramblers and fishermen, experience these stories being brought to life in front your very eyes.

In Ireland’s Ancient East, a few counties have stood out, maximizing the history and heritage of their special location and balancing it with great drink, better food and incomparable locals. Let us tell you a little about it…

1) Waterford City

Proud as punch to be Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford City is not shy in showing its age in fact, that’s what it does best. The 1,103 year old city has a history dating back to Viking Times which typically comes hand-in-hand with a great sense of historic fascination which is always makes for an enchanting visit.

The difference in Waterford is the locals who truly embrace visitors, wanting each one to bring a little bit of the city home with them. Find rich heritage and culture within The Viking Triangle, an area named as a result of the 1000-year-old Viking walls that once surrounded it. View pieces of regal glassware from the local famed crystal manufacturer at House of Waterford Crystal. Uncover the remarkable stories from the rooms it’s happened at the 13th century Reginald Tower. You could be surprised at how much you do take home.

​2) Limerick City

Limerick wasn’t selected as Ireland’s first ever Irish City of Culture in 2014 for no reason. Limerick was put on the map when American author Frank McCourt wrote his account of growing up here in Angela’s Ashes, which didn’t necessarily paint the city in the best of lights. Limerick slowly but surely introduced changes and perhaps due to its famed reputation for sporting prowess, Limerick was that underdog which made visitors and the world take notice.

An undeniable, new lease of life was injected into Limerick and as a result, great things are happening. The Hunt Museum showcases a great collection of national art and artifacts from around the world. King John’s Castle is a must-see for any castle hunter, but the story told inside and the castle tower which reveals outstanding views of the city and its surroundings, make it an engaging visit for anyone. The Milk Market is the oldest weekly market in the country and a source of exceptional local produce and an unparalleled experience for all the senses. Simply, Limerick keeps getting better and better –  is it any wonder the city is preparing a bid for the European Capital of Culture 2020.

3) Co. Kilkenny

Kilkenny is proving to be a real rising star. Recognized as Ireland’s heritage capital, Kilkenny is a place deeply-rooted in tradition but don’t let that fool you. Its roots, very much evolved from the medieval period, are instantly obvious when you arrive. Built from grey limestone, this city is unmistakably remarkable with its narrow streets winding around prominent castles, towers and historic structure.

There is a story behind each corner in Kilkenny – the best part? The sheer fun of uncovering it. Kilkenny’s image is a far cry to what brilliance is situated here. Kilkenny thrives on a vibrant music scene, fantastic cuisine and a love of sport that makes you question what love really is. If it is a city deep-rooted in tradition, it does so in a real grass root, humble environment. With the Irish ale experts set up at Smithwick’s Experience, the local landmark at St. Canice’s Cathedral and the quirky Petronella Restaurant & Cafe, be ready to be enchanted by Irish culture at its best. These people know where they came from and they want to show you too.

4) Co. Wicklow

Co. Wicklow, located just over 1 hour from Dublin, is a far cry from its city slicker neighbor. Known as ‘The Garden of Ireland’, Wicklow possess a sense of magic thanks to its famously wild yet visually gentle natural wonders of the world. The local, friendly rivalry between Wicklow’s glens, pinnacles and beaches to be recognized as the most outstanding natural beauty is one that isn’t being resolved anytime soon.

Equally as stunning as the other, beauty runs across landscapes here. The majestic Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow Mountains National Park and Mount Usher Gardens are all outstanding properties that need to be seen to believed whereas Wicklow’s Historic Gaol, Avondale House and Forest and The Mill at Avoca Village offer unforgettable experiences you are sure to carry with you…

Ireland’s Ancient East Must-Sees

Waterford Museum of Treasure

The award winning Waterford Museum of Treasure tells the story of Ireland’s oldest city within three museums situated in the iconic Viking Triangle – with its unique and varied collections showcased, is it time to look for gold?

 

Glendalough Monastic Site

Equally as beautiful as it is fascinating, the once ‘Monastic City’ is now known as one of the Isle’s most important monastic sites. Visit this impressive settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century….

Kilkenny Castle

Over its eight centuries, it was fit for Earls and powerful Dynasty’s, before being handed to Kilkenny’s people for just £50. Certainly not a bad deal for a stunning center piece which is as impressive on the outside as it is on the inside…

 

Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum

Learn of the culture-shifting contributions from Foynes in early transatlantic travel, in all things flying boat, the invention of Irish Coffee, and the history of Ireland’s longest, most famous river…you will be kept busy in Limericks Foynes!

 

Ireland’s East Ancient Snapshots

 

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