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Aran Inspired

Castle Archdale Islands

In the northeastern part of Lower Lough Erne, just off the coast of Archdale Country Park sit a group of tiny islands. They are actually the tops of small hills, or drumlins, created during the formation of Lough Erne. The islands are a beautiful sight, especially in autumn when the rare spindle trees appear with dark red leaves and bright pink fruits, accented by the golden aspens. Garden warblers make their homes here, rare birds nesting within the dense foliage. The most common trees in the park are the oak and ash, and they stand out from the surrounding forests, which contain an abundance of conifers. These islands once had a rich agricultural potential, but are now long deserted, as evidenced by old irrigation ditches and the ruins of what were once farmhouses.

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Connemara National Park

This protected wilderness area is a region of great, remote natural beauty, in one of the most westerly regions of Ireland. Near the Village of Letterfrack, the National Park at Connemara contains an assortment of geological formations, wildlife, and plant life, all gathered into one area for an exhilarating outdoor experience. Located on the slopes of the mountain range known as the Twelve Bens, the plant life is plentiful.

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Ardigole and Healy Pass

Ardigole is a small, pretty and historic harbour village located on the scenic Healy Pass road. This hilly route through the Caha mountains on the Beara peninsula offers amazing panoramas, particularly if taken in the late afternoon on a summer’s day. The road winds from West Cork through to County Kerry.

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Killykeen Forest Park

Killykeen Forest Park is a beautiful mixed woodlands park, comprising 600 acres, woven around the lake and islands of Lough Oughter (pronounced Ooter).

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The Hill of Tara

Around 5,000 years old, the Hill of Tara in County Meath was the seat of power for ancient Ireland's high kings. Less than an hour's drive from Dublin, Tara has an innocuously serene rural setting, yet a high concentration of ancient ceremonial monuments have been uncovered at the location, which has not been thoroughly excavated.

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Slieve Bloom Mountains

Beautiful, surprising, haunting and peaceful, Ireland's Slieve Bloom Mountains are a hillwalker's paradise. The mountain range forms a broad elongated dome, extending for almost 25km in a north-easterly/south-westerly direction on the Laois/Offaly border, near the centre of the Irish Republic. Rising from a flat central plain, the mountains provide great panoramic views of the surrounding midlands, though the range never exceeds 610m. Now a Government-protected area, the bog-covered Slieve Bloom National Nature Reserve extends some 2100 hectares over the peaks of Arderin (the highest), Wolftrap, Carnahinch, Barna and Knockachorra mountains and the Ridge of Capard.

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Dún a Rí Forest Park

One of Ireland's Government-protected Forest Parks, Dún a Rí (pronounced Doon A Ree) lies in a tranquil glen near the town of Kingscourt, County Cavan. Also known as Dún Na Rí  or Dún An Rí, the name loosely means "the King's Fort".

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Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall

 Nestled in the Wicklow Mountains near the village of Enniskerry is perhaps the most beautiful garden in all of County Wicklow, at the Estate of Powerscourt. The breathtaking mountain setting combines with a formal landscape to create a garden experience widely recognized as one of the finest in all of Europe. The design is inspired by Italian and Greek tradition, and incorporates unique antique sculpture, fountains, and ironwork -- all amidst the beauty of the horticultural wonders growing there.

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Croagh Patrick

Ireland, the mountain's slopes offer a magnificent view of Clew Bay and beyond. Croagh Patrick’s history as a place of worship reaches back in time as far as 3,000 BC. The mountain’s popularity among religious pilgrims dates to the time of St. Patrick, who is said to have completed a forty-day Lenten ritual of fasting and penance here. Legend also has it that Croagh Patrick is the mount from which he banished snakes from Ireland forever!

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Castlewellan Castle and Forest Park

The large granite manor house at Castlewellan, County Down, was built by William Annesley in 1856. Overlooking a lake, and with magnificent views of the Mourne Mountains, it boasts a castellated architectural style known as Scottish Baronial. The house currently serves as a private conference centre for Christian groups. The rest of the estate was designated as Castlewellan Forest Park in 1969.

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