Exploring the Emerald Isle

With a history steeped in mysticism, Ireland has long been a favourite of tourists across the globe. The legend of Finn MacCool has captivated many a traveller who wanted to walk in a giant’s footsteps. However, these days Ireland is known as much for the buzzing nightlife in cities such as Dublin and Cork as it’s stunning coastlines and landscapes such as the breath-taking Burren.

For those who want to experience the rich history of a country dating back to 6000BC there could be no better starting point than Ireland’s Heritage Capital – County Meath. Dubbed the ‘Royal County’ Meath is perhaps best known for the Brú na Bóinne (Bend of the Boyne) World Heritage site – a renowned Neolithic monument which predates both Stonehenge and the pyramids of Gaza.

And then there’s Giant’s Causeway – home of the aforementioned, mythical Finn MacCool. Legend has it, MacCool – depicted as a mythical giant – built the Causeway as a stepping stone to Scotland. Whether you believe the story or not, it’s still a beautiful area to visit, and one of the most picturesque sights in all of Europe.

However, many younger visitors to Ireland may prefer the idea of exploring the bustling nightlife on offer in some of the bigger cities within the country. Ireland’s two biggest cities of Dublin and Cork are both home to a plethora of pubs and clubs that are sure to keep clubbers from all over Europe entertained on a night out – whether you fancy a pint of Guinness in a traditional Irish pub or you’d prefer to hit the town in style at one of the numerous fashionable hotspots the cities are home to, you’ll be well catered for.

Of course, many visitors will want to take in the sights on offer in these bigger cities, while avoiding the nightlife altogether. It will be of great relief for travellers of that mindset to know that there are plenty of activities on offer within Dublin and Cork that are suitable for the whole family. In particular, Imaginosity – a children’s museum –and Dublin Zoo are popular attractions within the capital city, whereas Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral and Fota Wildlife Park are popular with tourists visiting Cork.

All in all, tourists from a variety of backgrounds can enjoy everything Ireland has to offer. UK residents may be able to take advantage of cheap flights leaving from the British mainland when travelling there, whilst visitors from mainland Europe may be able to enjoy relatively inexpensive travel to Ireland as well. Tourists who have never experienced the Emerald Isle’s charms are truly missing out on some of the most beautiful scenery and captivating attractions in all of Europe.

Fiona Roy writes for a digital marketing agency. This article about exploring Dublin via cheap flights has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Dublinia, Dublin

Dublinia
Dublinia

One of the greatest tourist attractions for those staying in Dublin hotels in the heart of the city is Dublinia, which charts the medieval history of the city. Located on St Michael’s Hill, Dublinia is open all year round and provides a fascinating afternoon for kids and grown-ups alike. Those staying in hotels in London with easy access to The London Dungeon would surely be jealous if they were able to see the historical sights and experiences on offer to tourists here in Dublin!

The exhibition charts the history of Dublin, specifically from the period of the Vikings through to the closure of the monasteries in the 1540s. The highlight is the large-scale model of the city circa 1500, which has been painstakingly recreated with a high level of attention to detail. The exhibit is so evocative that you can imagine what it would have been like to have lived during these times as it provides such a fascinating insight.

The attraction is split into three sections. The first details the Viking period, where you can experience what life would have been like on a traditional longboat. You can also take a trip down a Viking street and enjoy the cramped claustrophobia of a Viking house as you become fully immersed in this intriguing period of European history. You will also get to discover bizarre burial customs and other fascinating facets of Viking life, such as what it took to be a Viking warrior. You will be able to try on clothes of the period, become a slave, and learn all about the myths and legends which formed such an integral part of Viking life.

The second section deals with Medieval Dublin. Here, you can experience the bustle of a contemporary market, the fervent excitement of a busy street, and the frenetic activity in a merchant’s quarters. You will also find out about death and disease during this period, particularly the fears associated with the plague, whilst former cures for toothache can also be discovered! War, crime, punishment, and begging are all part of the rich tapestry of this era, whilst you will also get to learn to play medieval games.

The final exhibition is the History Hunters project, which details how we know so much about Dublin’s past. Many artefacts are on display in this section, particularly those which were discovered during the famous Wood Quay excavation. The highlight is undoubtedly the skeleton of a medieval man, which will have children in particular staring in wonder. This interactive area is a great hit with the kids as they can experience what it is like to be an archaeologist whilst also testing their historical knowledge with the Time Detectives.

Dublinia is a fantastic way to spend a rainy afternoon in the city, particularly as it is so easy to reach. You can get there on bus numbers 49, 50, 54A and 123, whilst you can also get a Red Line Tram to Four Courts station.