I will never spend enough time in Ireland. Not even if I move there. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place that I have been so taken with before. Scotland is beautiful, but Ireland has my soul.
This past week, my husband and I spent five days in this magical country for a little fall getaway. (I feign to use the word “autumn” since we are nearly into winter territory.) We visited Co. Wicklow, Co. Cork, Co. Dublin, and Co. Sligo. We packed in a lot for five days. This was our third time visiting. Our first was when we were engaged. Our second, on our honeymoon (which you can read all about here) and now, this…
Day One: Powerscourt & Co. Wicklow
Fresh off the plane, we headed to The Happy Pear in Greystones for brunch. Our flight landed at 9 a.m., so we were fed and by the sea by 11 a.m. The Happy Pear is an adorable vegetarian cafe and store in downtown Greystones. I had a slice of avocado toast and a bowl of soup with a chai latte. My husband had some sort of gourmet porridge, then we headed to the beach. It was cold and windy, but any time spent near the sea is worth it to me.
After brunch, we drove to Powerscourt, where we stayed the night to celebrate our six-year anniversary. Just driving through the arched gates to the estate sets the tone for the entire experience. We visited Powerscourt house and gardens on our honeymoon the year before. While there, we promised each other we would come back to stay in the hotel because we loved it so much. I just didn’t know it would be so soon!
If you ever have the chance to stay here, I would recommend it time and again. It is such a luxurious, beautiful place to stay. The hotel staff were so incredibly kind to us and upgraded our room for free to a beautiful room. From the spa to the view of the Sugarloaf Mountain — it is a truly unique place to stay.
My favorite part was being able to walk around the gorgeous grounds. Powerscourt gardens are otherworldly. From traditional Italian style gardens to a family pet cemetery, it is a sight to behold.
Day Two: Co. Cork
The next morning, we were up early to head to Co. Cork. I had a meeting with a potential PhD advisor at UCC, so we hit the road south. We made it to our hotel by 3 p.m.
After enjoying a delicious vegan supper at 143V, an all-vegan cafe, we explored the town after dark. We made our way to a little pub called Sin E. There, we grabbed a drink and watched some trad (traditional Irish folk music). I’ve been on the hunt for true trad since we arrived in Scotland, and found it is harder to come by than it is in Ireland. So it was a breath of fresh air to be part of such an intimate experience.
In the morning, we found the super rad health food store/restaurant/co-op: Quay Co-Op. It was the perfect place to grab brunch and snacks for our adventure to Dublin.
After my meeting at UCC, it was time to hit the road again.
Day Three: Dublin
We arrived later than expected to Dublin, as the traffic was nightmarish coming into the city.
We walked around in the dark, since the sun sets here just before 4 p.m. now that it is winter. Cornucopia was our go-to spot for dinner. Then, we headed back to our AirBnB and watched a movie. It was a cozy night-in, despite being in the biggest city in Ireland. But that’s just how we roll. And, to our credit, it was raining buckets and super cold.
In the morning, we ventured out in the light to see the spots we wanted to see: Books Upstairs, Trinity College and a few shops. We were back on the road by 11 a.m. along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Day Four: Co. Sligo
Oh, Sligo. Yeats Country will forever have a special place in my heart. From the wild Atlantic Ocean to the mountains, there is so much dramatic landscape to get lost in. This trip is the third time I have visited this city and it never gets old.
We stopped at Strandhill Beach before checking in to our hotel at The Glasshouse in downtown Sligo.
The beach has such a cool vibe. There were some very daring surfers showing off their skills in the freezing water. We watched on for a while as the sun set.
Sweet Beat was our choice for food. It’s an all-vegan restaurant that serves up incredible options. I had a penne pasta. Husband had a lentil-pumpkin dhal. We shared a yummy salad mix, too. We were very hungry! And this ended up being our lunch/dinner.
Day Five: Sligo Pt. II & Home
As sad as we were to leave Ireland, we were very excited to return to our sweet kitties in Edinburgh. Plus, with it only being an affordable one-hour flight to Ireland from Edinburgh, we know we will be back soon.
Where are your favorite places to travel? Tell me in a comment below. I am always looking for suggestions.
Until next time,