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Aran Inspired

Kildare Village

Kildare Village, located on the M7 motorway within an hour from Dublin, is Ireland’s largest outlet shopping mall and features only premium brands. A trip to Kildare Village is a popular excursion from the city, with a daily coach service departing regularly from both Dublin airport and Dublin city centre. The coaches aren't just filled with Irish shoppers – at least 25% of visitors to Kildare Village are tourists.

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The Giant's Causeway

Northern Ireland’s top tourist attraction, the Giant’s Causeway is a geological formation that looks like it belongs on another planet. (Indeed, in 2009, similar columnar basalt formations have been found on Mars! See this Nasa report.) The bizarre, honeycomb rocky structure sits beneath the dramatic sea cliffs of the north Antrim coast. It consists of around 40,000 polygonal basalt columns protruding from the sea.

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Derry City Walls

The old defensive walls surrounding the City of Derry are one if its main attractions. Extending one mile in circumference, they reach to 26 feet high and 30 feet wide in places. Derry is the only city in Ireland or the UK with a fully intact perimeter wall. Derry's walls dominate the centre of the city -- you can't miss them. There are now eight gates (entrances through the wall) to the city, up from the original four. 24 cannon used in the 1689 siege of Derry, and restored in 2005, are still visible. Alongside each cannon is a plaque, listing its origin and manufacturer.

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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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Galway City

Galway City prides itself on being the bohemian Irish city, where people can let their hair down. Galway is Ireland's city that never sleeps, alive with cultural heritage and celebration. With a population of about 65,000, it is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. It is also the ancient capital of Connaught province, and the current capital of what is known as the Hidden Ireland. Galway stands in contrast to some of Ireland's eastern cities, which many say have been "Europeanized" by recent development efforts. Galway City has earned the distinction as the keeper of the traditional customs and culture of Ireland.

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Ulster American Folk Park

To fully experience Irish life as it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s, visit this extremely popular outdoor attraction. As soon as you enter, you’ll be immersed in this turbulent period of Irish history. You’ll see demonstrators dressed in period costumes and engaged in daily activities such as weaving, spinning and forging, or baking bread on peat fires. At the middle of the park sits an old whitewashed cottage, currently serving as a museum. This is the ancestral home of Thomas Mellon, born in 1813.

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Newgrange

Built 1,000 years before Stonehenge, Newgrange is Ireland’s best-known prehistoric monument. Located in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, it is arguably Europe’s finest example of a megalithic passage grave. According to the most reliable Carbon 14 dating technique carried out at Newgrange, the structure was erected around 3200 BC, 600 years before the Giza Pyramids in Cairo. Built atop a small hillock, the tomb consists of a vast stone and turf mound about 85 metres in diameter and 13.5 metres high.

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Derry Bogside Murals / The People's Gallery

The political murals painted on walls of citizen's homes in the Bogside area of Derry City, officially known as The People's Gallery, are among the city's main attractions. In various locations close to Free Derry Corner and the Rossville Street areas, the murals began as a form of Irish nationalist / Catholic political expression during the Northern Ireland "Troubles". This was a period of violence that dogged the country during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Unlike the Belfast murals, which are created by a variety of artists on both sides of the community, the Bogside murals are the work of just three local artists Tom Kelly and William Kelly (brothers), and Kevin Hasson, who began them in 1993.

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Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Overlooking the River Shannon, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare one of the country's most popular visitor attractions. Situated among 26 acres, the castle is in excellent condition and contains the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country. The 15th and 16th century furnishings and art on display in the Great Hall capture the Celtic past and heritage of this region. At night time, the Great Hall becomes the setting for medieval costumed banquets complete with court jesters, maids, and food and drink of the middle ages.

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The Rock of Cashel

The word Cashel is derived from a Gaelic  word meaning “fortress” and it’s not hard to see why. The Rock of Cashel lays claim, with much justification, to the title “most spectacular archaeological site in Ireland”. Situated just outside Cashel town in County Tipperary, this limestone mound rises 200 feet into the air, giving an ominous and towering presence to the fortifications perched on top. These include the ruins of a castle, a cathedral, an abbey, a chapel, a round tower, high crosses and several other structures, all of which are enclosed within an impressive stone wall. The Rock’s history goes back to the fourth century AD, when it was the royal seat of the Eoghanachta clan, originally from Wales, and ultimately conquerors of the Munster province.

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