5 things to do in Ireland during the Summer months!
Ireland’s culture, for all the grand attributes you can spout, is hardly mysterious. It’s everywhere. Any high sun, sunset or sea breeze and you’ll find yourself reflecting on a grand memory you’ve made on it’s historic land, and even the ones you wish to make. It’s familiar to all who have yearned for love, found passion in their lives or asked for more. Have you met hardships or difficulties in your life, well this home welcomes you, too. Every patch of grass, seaside beach and clifftop whisper memories made and wait for tomorrow’s memories yet to be shared. There is never a wrong time to make your first or 8th trip to Ireland, but journey to Ireland in summer and find your planned trip begins a lot more like an adventure. Dancing at trad festivals, climbing atop world renowned landmark and travelling across The Wild Atlantic Way are only a few ideas you can take down on your list, but rest assured there is not one right way to do it. Let’s take a look to see five of my favourite ways you can experience Ireland this summer.
1. Fleadh Cheoil
As a seasoned veteran of the Fleadh Cheoil after it’s stop in Ennis I can proudly say this is a fantastic dive into Irish culture. It’s an intense experience as you listen to trad musicians from around the world compete with each other on a national stage. In the meantime you’ll be moving from pub to pub pushing past merry folk from all walks of life to listen to the incredible musicians and Irish dancers giving their best in the name of the Fleadh Cheoil. With your best drink as a companion you’ll meet people from all over the globe that have joined together in this festival.
2. Wild Atlantic Way
Having spent most of my life in Clare I’d be remise not to mention the Wild Atlantic Way, a trail found throughout Ireland. This quintessential visit will take you between Donegal and Cork, themselves beautiful in uncountable ways, but you’ll find the best part of the journey is found in Clare with the Burren and Cliffs of Moher. There are views found here, particularly with the Cliffs of Moher, that you won’t find anywhere else. Hyperbole that is not. Type any of these locations into Instagram and find that people of all nationalities and ethnicities have travelled from their home to take pictures for social media, and for their scrapbooks to show their future-grandchildren. A view from the peak of these cliffs would inspire confidence in any lion. Fly into Shannon Airport and stay in Bunratty to find yourself there in a flash, with so many amenities inbetween.
3. Iconic Landmarks
What top-visits to Ireland list would be right without a mention of the Blarney Stone? Some stereotypes are just right and bending down and reaching out to give a peck to a magical (?) stone inside a castle is the best way to really fall into that “Irish adventure” I mentioned earlier. If that isn’t enough, The Giant’s Causeway in Antrim is a jaw-dropping site that will inspire awe in any child as you can tell them the story of Fionn McCool, the giant who built the blocky pathway. Or tell them that you’ve just jumped into a Minecraft world, and they’ll hopefully be cheery for the rest of the evening. Regardless, these are unique Irish experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
4. Visit the Aran Islands
Inishmaan, Inishmore and Inisheer comprise the Aran Islands, locations so pristine and authentic that I’d consider them essential places to visit for a truly pure Irish adventure. These islands are so pure and authentic that their main language is Irish, though of course you won’t have any issues speaking English. Grab a bike and take a look at the sights and sounds, walk along the beach or visit the pubs before moving onto the next island. Even consider buying yourself a handmade Aran sweater, a garment that surged in popularity after Chris Evans wore one in the recent film Knives Out! Unless you want a fake, factory-made Aran sweater. The pick is easy.
5. Willie Clancy Week
Oh, the Willie Clancy Festival. Not unlike the Fleadh Cheoil, with streets packed with trad musicians, Irish dancers and youths battling over whether to bite the burger in their left hand or sip their beer in the right, Willie Clancy Festival is the best week of the year for anyone around Clare. Being well-versed in these mannerisms of the festival, I can honestly say this is the best way to experience Ireland. Named after a famous uilleann piper, people from all over gather to celebrate in his name. While the Fleadh Cheoil moves from town to town, Willie Clancy has always been in Miltown Malbay with people of all ages and nationalities staying in hotels or camper vans beside the beach before moving into the town for celebration. Adventure-wise, though, you’d best hitch a tent beside the beach and get ready to play music or crack jokes around a new friend’s campfire. July can’t come soon enough.
Written by Kieran Cunnane