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Aran Inspired

Kilbeggan Distillery / Locke's Distillery

Kilbeggan Distillery, also known as Locke's Distillery, is located in the small town of Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, just off the main route from Galway to Dublin. It claims to be the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. The distillery produced Irish malt whiskey from 1757 until 1954. Reopened in 1982 as a visitor attraction and museum, 85% of the original machinery remains intact.

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Seabank Beach

The historical fishing village of Arklow contains a number of interesting heritage sites, but beach lovers will be eager to head on to nearby Seabank Beach. Unique and peaceful, and nicknamed “The Virgin Beach” because it is so pristine, Seabank Beach contains one of the few remaining intact dune systems on Ireland’s east coast. You can reach Seabank Beach on foot from Arklow; yet when you arrive you’ll feel as though you’ve just landed in some distant, undiscovered paradise.

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Brittas Bay

Day tourists from Dublin enjoy visiting the coastline at Brittas Bay, 40 minutes drive south from the city, just four kilometres off the N11 motorway. The Bay meanders through coves, rocky areas and caves, interspersed with stretches of bright, soft and sandy beach perfect for swimming and walking. Be sure to visit Silver Strand, a popular and swimming area at the foot of a sloping hillside.

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Fore Abbey and the Seven Wonders of Fore

When you visit the village of Fore, County Westmeath, and roam the surrounding fields, you’ll enjoy a first hand experience with origins of traditional Irish folklore tales that have been around for more than a thousand years. Not only is Fore one of the most beautiful, ancient and unspoiled places in Ireland, it remains one of the least known -- with few tourists around, it remains a true hidden gem. Just a few kilometres from Castlepollard, this ancient slice of Ireland's heritage revolves around the tales of Saint Fechin. Founder of the village’s Benedictine monastery during the seventh century, Fechin was a man of faith who influenced the surrounding area in seven miraculous ways, collectively known as the Seven Wonders of Fore.

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Curraghmore House and Gardens

Near the village of Portlaw in County Waterford, the beautiful Curraghmore House was one of four Irish castles built by the Cambro-Norman De la Poer family in 1170. It remains the private home of the De la Poer Beresford family, which holds the title "Marquess of Waterford" in the British peerage system. In February 2015, John Beresford (Lord Wateford) died, and the title passed to his son, Henry Nicholas, who is now the 9th Marquis of Waterford. Curraghmore house is located about 26km / 20 miles from Waterford city.

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Drumlane Abbey

Drumlane abbey is an ancient ruin in a scenic location overlooking a lake, accessed via a narrow country laneway, 4 miles / 6.5km from Belturbet, County Cavan. A truly hidden gem, the abbey lies just outside the small rural village of Milltown, and is accessible only via a narrow country laneway. Saint Mogue, who has close associations with County Cavan, was long believed to have established the original monastery on this site in the 6th century.

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Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church

The Church run by the Carmelite order on Whitefriar street is a popular choice for couples, because it holds the remains of Saint Valentine. Despite its drab external appearance, this 19th-century Byzantine building is worth visiting for its relaxing, peaceful atmosphere, and beautiful interior. The church is cathedral like, with tall ceilings, impressive arches and decorative stain-glass windows. What makes the church most worth visiting, however, are its unique shrines.

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Beltany Stone Circle

This remarkable, 5,000 year old megalithic site of stone circles in County Donegal is reminiscent of Stonehenge in Britain. Constructed before the Bronze Age, the Beltany Stone Circle is around 45 metres / 150ft in diameter, and contains 64 stones, some of them 2.4 metres / 8ft tall. They encircle a large area of raised ground. Research carried out on behalf of a local group, Raphoe Community In Action and funded by the Irish Heritage Council, dated the megalith to around 3,000 BCE and concluded it is almost certainly the ruins of a passage tomb / burial mound.

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Tory Island

Tory Island, the northermost outpost in Ireland, has been populated for thousands of years, and is rich in history and heritage despite its tiny size. Also known by its Gaelic name of Toraigh (same pronunciation) this small and barren land mass is situated nine miles (13km) off the shore of Ireland’s northern peninsulas. It is about three miles (5km) wide and one mile (1.2km) long. Up until the mid 20th century, the island was extremely isolated, receiving only rare visitors. Today, the daily ‘Tor Mor’ ferry carries passengers from Donegal coast on the mainland to and from Tory Island.

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Grianan Fort / Grianan of Aileach

This stone Celtic fort, known as Grianan of Aileach, is circular in shape and located atop an 810 foot high hill northeast of Letterkenny. The views from this site are breathtaking, and include the areas around Donegal Town and Kerry. The hills of peninsulas Fanad and Inishowen are visible, along with the River Swilly, Lough Swilly and surrounding landscapes.

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