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How to Fall in Love with Ireland

Posted on Feb 13, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt

Rainbows and leprechauns aside, Ireland is an easy place to love!

From remote mountainous bogs to dramatic coastal scenery and cheery pubs filled with traditional Irish music, here are the 4 steps of the perfect recipe to fall in love with Ireland!

At Wilderness Ireland, we’ve whisked up a perfectly delicious and foolproof recipe on how to fall in love with Ireland. So what ingredients do we need to stir together in order to fall in love with Ireland? This guide should summit all up! ;) 

Step 1: In order to fall in love with Ireland, you’ll have to experience it outdoors.

Hiking Connemara National Park fall in love with Ireland

Best way to fall in love with Ireland? Get out in the mud and muck around!

Ireland on a sunny day is magical – but Ireland in the rain is a mythical and mysterious place where a leprechaun or two wouldn’t be out of place! So to start off this recipe, you’ll need the right utensils: a pair of study hiking boots, a walking pole, and some waterproof clothing items.

Next, leave the 21st century behind as you follow Ireland’s winding country lanes into the wild landscapes. Mix together remote hills, quiet bogs, rugged mountains, dramatic coastlines, white sand beaches secreted away in forgotten coves, towering cliffs and sea stacks to whip up the true salty and savoury flavour of Ireland.

As you’re hiking the wild hills of Ireland, you’ll emerge enamoured with this glittering emerald island of rolling hills and undulating coasts. Oh and by the way, have you heard the story about the hill? We couldn’t get over it! ;)

Step 2: Next, now that you’re out and about, it’s time to add a bit of culture to the mix.

Rock of Cashel Ireland fall in love with Ireland

The heap of stone that put the ‘rock’ in Rock of Cashel – according to local legend, was thrown there by an angry devil!

Forever a distinctly rural island, Irish culture is deeply tied to its landscapes. While trekking across the island’s greenery, learn about the tragedy of the Famine by stumbling across crumbling stone fences and roads built during the famine years. Or, climb the Rock of Cashel to the monastery above, supposedly spat there by an angry devil!

Learn about Ireland under the Penal Laws by hiking through the hills to a mass rock (a rock used to saw mass secretly) – getting to the top of the hill is fun but it’s all downhill from there! And then in the evening, bring your ghoul-friend to a ghostly gothic Irish castle visiting old Irish tower!

Puns aside, get in touch with the island’s Celtic roots by learning the rich myths and legends adhered to each place – such as the Giant’s Causeway, said to have been built by warring giants, or the lakes of Mayo, supposedly made by a magical boar being hunted by wild hounds – or even megalithic tombs scattered whose placements all over Ireland often credited with the Hag of Beara, the witch of the of the winter.

Step 3: What’s Ireland without its people?

Connemara feeding the lambs -

Meeting local sheep farmers all across Ireland!

Next step, add in the human component! Ireland has long been viewed as a cheerful place full of cheerful people – a view on par with reality. The Irish are a warm and welcoming crowd who love showing off their country to anyone who’ll listen.

Everyone seems to know everyone through a complex degrees of separation; a typical conversation runs like so: “oh yes I know yer man, he’s my cousin’s brother-in-law’s childhood neighbour!” (The term “yer man” translates to “that guy.” Learn other typical Irish phrases here.)

No matter who you’re talking to, the Irish are generally happy to chat with you about their nation! Ireland wouldn’t be Ireland without the warm Irish hospitality shown at every step of the way.

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Step 4: Craic agus ceol (Irish for Fun & Music)

Ireland traditional pub music fall in love with Ireland

Cheery Irish pub for traditional Irish music & a bit of craic agus ceol

Finally, your last ingredient for falling in love with Ireland is a good bit of craic agus ceol, translating to ‘fun and music.’ This idea is embedded into Irish society, with a typical greeting being, “What’s the craic?” (translation: “How are you?” or “What’s up?”)

Another element to add is a trad session (traditional Irish music), played by a lively local band. Certain places like Dingle, Killarney or the Aran Islands are known for their traditional Irish music.

Hanging out in a pub is a must in Ireland – and chances are, while you’re at the pub you’ll get the chance to catch a trad session (traditional Irish music), played live by a lively local band. Certain places like Dingle, Killarney or the Aran Islands are known for their traditional Irish music. For a bit of animated fun, you also might catch an Irish rugby match or traditional hurling game either live or if you’re pressed for time, at the local pub.

And there you have it. At the end of the day, after you follow all four steps above, you’ll end up with a wonderful end result – you’ll be head over heels in love with Ireland.

Ready to fall in love with Ireland but not sure where to go? Here’s a bit of inspiration.

About the author

Dawn Rainbolt

American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture, intriguing history, ancient castles, cheery locals and sweeping landscapes of Ireland.

Read more articles by Dawn


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