Ireland's top 20 "hidden gems" have been ranked in a new study from Polestar revealing authentic destinations that are off the beaten track.
The ranking of Ireland's top hidden gems was compiled by Polestar, a Swedish electric vehicle brand, which harnessed data from TikTok, TripAdvisor, and Instagram to uncover true hidden gems in each of Ireland's counties.
The company analyzed the number of TikTok views and Instagram hashtags that each tourist destination in Ireland generated, with true hidden gems ranking highly if they generated a low number of views or hashtags.
Farney Castle, Co Tipperary
The study ranked Farney Castle in Co Tipperary as the top hidden gem in the country. Located in Holycross, Farney Castle was constructed in 1185 and is the only round tower in Ireland that is occupied as a family home.
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The John F Kennedy Arboretum, Co Wexford
The John F Kennedy Arboretum in Co Wexford comes second in the recent study. Dedicated to the 35th President of the United States, the JFK Arboretum is located on the Hook Peninsula and contains 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from all temperate climates of the world. The 252-hectare garden additionally features a picturesque lake and a visitor center offering exhibits on JFK and the Arboretum itself.
Did you know?March 24, 2023
The JFK Arboretum contains 4,500 types of trees & shrubs from all temperate regions of the world many of them rare & endangered.
Lough Muckno Park, Co Monaghan
Rounding out the top three is Lough Muckno Park in Co Monaghan. Located near Castleblaney, Lough Muckno Park features nature trails, water sports, picnic areas, and fishing.
Tobernalt Holy Well, Co Sligo
The spectacular Tobernalt Holy Well in Co Sligo, which predates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland in the 5th century, is ranked fourth on the new list. The Holy Well is set on a natural spring and draws thousands of pilgrims.
The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Co Waterford
The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens is located in the beautiful seaside town of Tramore, Co Waterford and reflects the life and wanderings of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, who grew up in Ireland before traveling extensively through Japan.
Moone High Cross, Co Kildare
The Moone High Cross, a tenth-century granite cross in Co Kildare, is sixth on the list. Standing 17.5 feet high, it's the second tallest high cross in Ireland.
10th century carvings adorning the base of the Moone high cross, Co Kildare. From top to bottom they depict Adam and Eve, the sacrifice of Isaac and Daniel in the lion's den. pic.twitter.com/jAoHy94qEd— Irish Archaeology (@irarchaeology) January 25, 2022
Gaelic Chieftain sculpture, Co Roscommon
The Gaelic Chieftain sculpture in Co Roscommon, which was unveiled in 1999, is ranked seventh.
Creevela Friary, Co Leitrim
Located west of Dromahair, Leitrim's Creevelea Friary, a 16th-century Franciscan Friary, is ranked eighth on the list.
The Shannon Pot, Co Cavan
The Shannon Pot, an oval-shaped lake near Cuilcagh Mountain in Co Cavan that is the source of the River Shannon, is ranked ninth.
Woodstock House and Gardens, Co Kilkenny
Rounding out the top ten is Woodstock House and Gardens in Co Kilkenny. The derelict Georgian house and estate is home to one of Ireland's finest gardens and is located near the village of Inistioge.
Ireland's top 20 "true hidden gems," according to Polestar:
- Farney Castle, Co Tipperary
- JFK Arboretum, Co Wexford
- Lough Muckno Park, Co Monaghan
- Tobernalt Holy Well, Co Sligo
- Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Co Waterford
- Moone High Cross, Co Kildare
- Gaelic Chieftain, Co Roscommon
- Creevelea Friary, Co Leitrim
- The Shannon Pot, Co Cavan
- Woodstock House and Gardens, Co Kilkenny
- Leebeen Park, Co Longford
- Abbey of Aghaboe, Co Laois
- Roscommon Friary, Co Roscommon
- St. Mel's Cathedral, Co Longford
- Sacred Heart Chuch, Co Roscommon
- The Barrow Way, Co Kilkenny
- Kilcullen Farm, Co Kildare
- Milford Mills, Co Carlow
- Diamond Hill, Co Galway
- Burren Nature Sanctuary, Co Galway