Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Best Countryside in Ireland

Ireland is famous for some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. It is not called the Emerald Isle for nothing, with its mountains, lakes, seashore and the shimmering green central plain, it is truly a gem. Ireland is said to have 40 shades of green that surround the castles, monasteries and ancient stone circles that dot the countryside.

The River Lee Hotel in Cork is a great place to start. One of the most luxurious hotels in Cork, where visitors can enjoy the rugged natural beauty of West Cork, the beautiful beaches and friendly people. It is also near Blarney Castle where the Blarney Stone was built into the battlements of the castle in 1446. Visitors hang upside down and kiss the stone in the hopes they will gain eloquent speech and great wit.

The Cliffs of Moher on the south western coast of County Clare rise dramatically 120 meters above the Atlantic Ocean. They are one of the most popular attractions for visitors, and are a member of the European Geoparks Network. The cliffs mainly consist of sandstone and Namurian shale, and there are 300 million year old river channels cutting through their base. Approximately 30,000 birds live on the cliffs with over 20 species.
Ireland also has beautiful landscaped gardens such as the Kilfame Glen and Waterfall. It is a romantic era garden from 1790s and has not been changed for 200 years. There are woodland paths, ancient trees and tiny bridges over the stream that is fed by the waterfall. The flowers and ferns are historically correct for the 18th century. It is an Irish Heritage Garden with 15 acres of natural landscape open to the public.

In the centre of Ireland is the Lough Boora Parklands. They contain many natural and manmade lakes, woodland areas, wetlands, 50 km of walkways and provide a new habitat for flora and fauna. The ancient bog lands, having been stripped of peat, have been reclaimed by nature. Along with enjoying the spectacular natural beauty, visitors can fish, walk, cycle, bird watch, see the archaeological Mesolithic site and view the sculptures throughout the area.

A visit to the countryside wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a working farm. Tullyboy Farm has farm animals that children can pet and feed in a safe environment. Visitors learn about Irish culture and tradition and can participate in the activities of the farm such as making butter, organic gardening, grooming animals and cooking. There are other fun activities such as fishing, herding sheep, pony rides, tractor rides and catching frogs in the bog.

The Glen of Aherlow, Tipperary is in the lush Aherlow River valley between the Galtee Mountains and Slievenamick. The local people welcome visitors who arrive to walk, horse ride, cycle and fish. There are also many early Christian and prehistoric sites in the valley. The Galtees are the highest inland mountain range in Ireland at 919 meters and are a good challenge for hill walkers. Five corrie lakes are only accessible by foot. Near the local Heritage Towns there is golfing, horse racing and other activities.

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