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Aran Inspired

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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The Aran Islands

Over the centuries, these barren limestone islands, located about 30 miles offshore in Galway Bay, have been transformed into beautiful but isolated farmland communities. There are three islands – Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer. The presence of Iron Age Forts on two of the islands indicates that humans lived here from around 3000 B.C. In the 1800’s, the population was decimated by famine and emigration. Early in the following century, novelists revived interest in the Arans, and American film director Robert O’Flaherty filmed the classic documentary, Man of Aran, on Inishmore.

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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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This area of Galway city, once a fishing village, is renowned as the origin of the traditional Claddagh ring. Its design, two hands together upon a heart with a crown on top, signifies love, loyalty, and friendship.

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Allihies – with two shops, a post office and four pubs – is typical of the type of self-contained Irish village that was once found throughout the country. Villages like Allihies (population: 650) are becoming less prolific as the country’s rapid urbanisation continues, with more people moving to suburban dormitories.

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Salthill is a popular, old-fashioned seaside promenade and resort connected to Galway city, complete with a beautiful long, sandy beach along Galway Bay. The resort area still maintains traditional amusement arcades, a small fairground, cafes, pubs, eateries, hotels and B&Bs. On hot summer days, especially weekends or public holidays, the beaches can get extremely busy and, while there is a free car park, spaces are at a premium.

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Garadice Lake

Located in a remote, scenic setting, Garadice Lough in County Leitrim is part of the 40 mile / 63 km Shannon-Erne waterway, traversable by boat. Renowned among fishing enthusiasts, Garadice is a medium sized lake by Irish standards, occupying roughly 1200-acres / 5 square km. The lake is 5 metres / 16 feet deep, although in places it sinks three times deeper.

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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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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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Bushy Park

Bushy Park in Terenure, a south Dublin suburb, is a family-oriented  riverside and woodland park, away from the bustle of the city. It is known for its various outdoor and leisure amenities.

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