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best places to visit in ireland, ed hannon, visions of the past

Best Kept Secrets – Some of the Best Places to Visit in Ireland

Ireland is full of wonderful, picturesque places to visit and if you are visiting the country for the first or even the second time, you will have no shortage of locations to see and things to do. However, in case you have already seen the Giant’s Causeway, driven along the Ring of Kerry and done more or less everything else that travelers and tourists tend to do around these parts, it might be time to take a deeper look into the nooks and crannies of Ireland in search of its best kept secrets. Flying into Dublin and hitting the road is always my favorite way to explore Ireland. So while you’re at it, check out these cool gems!


Some of the Best Places to Visit in Ireland


Rock of Dunamase in County Laois


best places to visit in ireland

Photo source CCL


Built in the 9th century or possibly even earlier, this ruined fortress is witness to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th Century. The fittingly majestic view of the castle has the Wicklow Mountains to its east, the Slieve Bloom Mountains to its west and the Timahoe round tower to its south. This is one of the many places you can visit in Ireland that will take your breath away!


Timoney Stones in County Tipperary


Near Roscrea, on top of the hills of North Tipperary, you will find the roughly 200 mysterious Timoney stones. There are stones as low as just a foot from the ground and there are giant ones which tower above the average man at nearly 7 feet. There were five stone cairns here as well, but unfortunately, they have since become the victims of man’s folly, along with 90 other standing stones. The purpose, pattern or the functions of these stones remain an unsolved mystery till date.


Huntington Castle and The Temple of Isis


Ireland's Ancient East, Huntington Castle, Christa Thompson
Holding some heavy armor at Huntington Castle, photo Christa Thompson


Not only does it sound like an Indiana Jones movie, but it is almost just as adventurous too. Outside the Jacobean castle in Clonegal stands a beautiful garden with serene streams and an ancient yew tree that’s more than five centuries old. During the late afternoons and the early mornings, you can actually hear various species of birds sing and chirp while the stream bubbles along with the rhythm. Inside the castle, there’s the Temple of Isis built in 1976, in place of what used to be the dungeon once. The shrine is home to all forms of female symbols of divinity and remains a strange and unique place on its own.


Caves of Kesh in County Sligo


best places in ireland, ed hannon, visions of the past
Photo from my friend Ed Hannon of the Visions of the Past blog


The 16 prehistoric Caves of Kesh were once home to the first men in Ireland and they are still a site to behold. If you stand afar and look at them, you will be able to see all 16 caves of different sizes located at the white rocky side of the mountain. As long as you are in Sligo, you should also check out Queen Maeve’s Cairn and the Carrowkeel Necropolis.
Along with these four top recommendations of best places to visit in Ireland, you should also visit the Mussenden Temple in County Derry and go kayaking on River Blackwater if you want to explore more of Ireland’s less traveled roads (or water!). Keep one thing in mind though, while the secretive places might be secluded or even empty when you visit them, the hotels will most likely not be so.


To make sure that you get a luxurious room to come back to after a day of unique adventure, visit Luxury Link to book the rooms in advance. While you are on your way to exploring the some of the best places to visit Ireland, it is more than likely that you will find some of your own, because that’s just how it works there.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

2 thoughts on “Best Kept Secrets – Some of the Best Places to Visit in Ireland

  1. Stunning views of the surrounding countryside make the towering Rock of Dunamase a strategic place to build a fortress. Through the centuries, warriors have fought to control this limestone outcrop, known as a “hum”.

  2. It’s refreshing to come across a post about other places to visit in Ireland. There are so many of these unique treasures hidden and in plan site around the Emerald Isle that are worth seeking out.

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