Off the beaten track - places of interest for American tourists in Ireland
They may be harder to reach than the average tourist spot, but Ireland will reward you for the effort
Teapot Lane is anything but the run of the mill holiday location and is a great way to appreciate Ireland from among its natural environment.
3. Take a wobbly-kneed stroll across Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Some scenery is simply worth seeing your life flash before your eyes while crossing a shaky rope bridge over a 30m deep, 20m wide chasm. The spectacular views offered at Carrick-a-Rede is definitely one of these. Just 7 miles away from the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim, the bridge is an extremely worthwhile side-trip to take while on your way to the famous Causeway landmark.
If you’re a wildlife buff then you may enjoy the guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars that populate the rocky island and the occasional glimpse of Basking Sharks, Dolphins and Porpoises that can be seen.
Carrick-a-Rede does receive about 250,000 visitors a year so it’s stunning views are certainly no secret but be sure not to skip it on the way to the Giant’s Causeway as it will make your holiday experience even richer.
4. Step into myth and folklore: visit Queen Maeve’s alleged burial site
In Sligo, a massive cairn on top of Knocknarea mountain is said to be the resting place of Queen Maeve. The 55 by 10 metre neolithic passage tomb can be seen from many miles away and would indeed be a majestic place for the burial site of a royal figure. Though many other passage tombs are also scattered across Knocknarea, Maeve’s tomb is the largest and has never been excavated though it is commonly known as Queen Maeve’s Cairn. The trip to the top of the mountain is long but worth the effort for the vantage point if offers.
5. Climb the walls of an ancient fort for a breathtaking 360 degree uninhibited view
It is said that, on a clear day, you can see 5 counties of Ireland when standing atop the ancient stone fort of Grianán an Aileach (Fort of the Sun) in County Donegal. And indeed that is entirely believable as the Inishowen Peninsula appears to be laid out at your feet as you gaze out from the fort’s restored walls.
The fort can be traced back to 1700BC and is shrouded in myths concerning the Tuatha de Dannan people who invaded Ireland before the Celts. Dagda (The Good God) was said to have been responsible for the fort being built and it is even thought that St Patrick visited the site in the 5th century to baptise the local chieftain.