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10+ Best Day Trips from Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is the capital of Ireland, a European country which is often fondly referred to as ‘The Emerald Isle’ on account of how beautiful and green is. The city also happens to be a great base from which to explore the rest of the verdant country. Here’s your ultimate guide to the best day trips from Dublin, including travel tips, and potential tours to book!

Dublin itself is famed for being the home of Guinness beer, several impressive museums (a handful of which are free to visit), and for its Temple Bar district, an area home to numerous pubs and taverns. Though the city is capital of Ireland, that doesn’t mean that Dublin lacks hidden gems.

One of the more iconic places in the city if you’re a history buff is Trinity College Library, which in turn boasts the Book of Kells. For even more inspiration about Dublin, be sure to check out our weekend in Dublin travel guide and our best Dublin tips.

How to spend a rainy day in Dublin and still have fun! Looking for the best things to do in the Irish capital city in the rain? This is your ultimate guide for indoor attractions in the Emerald Isle Capital of Dublin in Europe

Blarney Castle

By by Kathryn Bird of Wandering Bird

If you have the option for a day trip from Dublin, don’t miss visiting Blarney Castle- and the famous Blarney Stone. The castle was built over 600 years ago, and it’s now one of the most visited places in Ireland.

Millions flock here every year- mostly to kiss the Blarney Stone. Legend has it that if you kiss the ‘Stone of Eloquence’, you’ll never again be lost for words or make a fool out of yourself whilst speaking.

Still, kissing a stone which millions of other people have kissed before you… not sure how appropriate that is in today’s times of social distancing! Don’t ignore the rest of Blarney Castle- there’s a lot more to it than a stone.

For a start, the grounds are beautiful- and walking around them is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Don’t miss Rock Close or the Wishing steps- it really does feel like an enchanted grotto. 

There’s also the Witch’s stone, the dungeons, the battlements and views from the Castle itself and the Lake, where treasure is rumoured to have been hidden hundreds of years ago.

It’s really easy to visit the castle, especially if you have your own vehicle. There’s plenty of parking, even if you’re campervanning in Ireland and have a larger vehicle.

You can also reach the castle by bus, taxi and organised tours, which run almost daily from Dublin. If you’re interested in booking a guided tour from Dublin, then check out this tour from the Irish capital.

blarney castle

Kilkenny

By Cath of Travel Around Ireland

Kilkenny is a great place to visit in Ireland during a day trip from Dublin. Once the medieval capital of Ireland, Kilkenny is located just over one and a half hours from the Irish capital by car or less than two hours by public transport.

The M9 motorway is the quickest route by car or tour bus, while there are regular train and bus services direct from Dublin to Kilkenny. Kilkenny is known for its arts and craft shops, its medieval castle, and many other remnants from its past history.

There are Tudor houses and interesting facades to see along the ‘Medieval Mile’, an area in the very heart of the city which is characterised by narrow lanes strewn with interesting historical buildings, including museums and shops.

Kilkenny’s cathedral, St Canice’s Cathedral, is Ireland’s second-largest cathedral and the present building, dating from the 13th century stands on the site of an earlier 6th-century monastery. There are interesting grave slabs to see, a round tower to climb, and more.

But the must-visit place in Kilkenny is the castle. With a history dating back to the 12th century, there are plenty of impressive rooms with beautiful portrait paintings to view, and extensive gardens and parklands to enjoy if the weather holds up. You can take guided tours throughout the year, or self-guided during summer.

Kilkenny is one of Ireland’s most visited historical cities and many visitors enjoy the arts and craft shops, live music venues, and fine restaurants, cafes, and pubs, whether on a day trip or staying longer. If you time things right, you could catch the Kilkenny Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in May/June or the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August.

For those who prefer a guided day trip as opposed to organising your own public transportation or renting a car, consider checking out this Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny Full-Day tour from Dublin.

kilkenny castle
Kilkenny Ireland

Howth

By Katy Shaw of A Rambling Unicorn

The fishing village of Howth can be found just under half an hour from Dublin and is easily one of the best day trips from the Irish capital city. Howth is a quaint fishing village with fabulous walking trails and lovely ocean views.

Located only 40 minutes away from Dublin by public bus or train, this charming town is the perfect day trip from the big city. Though public transportation is the most budget way of travelling, those looking to delve deep into the history of the town may consider booking a guided tour of Howth and Malahide Castle in this guided tour.

One of Howth’s most popular attractions is its network of hiking trails. The Howth Cliff Walk traces the edge of Howth peninsula along heather-covered hills and features a scenic vista of the Baily Lighthouse. There are several walking loops to choose from which all begin at the DART station.

A stroll along the Howth Pier is an excellent alternative for the less adventurous. The pier leads to the picturesque Howth Lighthouse and provides great views of a small uninhabited island called Ireland’s Eye. Boat trips to the island acquaint visitors with its history and showcase the historic Martello Tower along with nesting seabirds.

No trip to Howth is complete without a visit to Howth Castle. The ancestral home of the St. Lawrence family, this fifteenth century castle boasts a large woodland estate and has been used as a filming location for several movies.

Visitors can stroll through the rhododendron gardens and view the castle’s exterior; tours inside the castle are by private arrangement only. According to legend, the famous Gaelic Chieftain (and sometime pirate) Grace O’Malley was turned away from Howth Castle during a spontaneous visit in 1575.

In retaliation, she kidnapped the Earl’s grandson and heir. As ransom, she extracted a promise that the castle gates would never be closed to the public again. To this day, an extra place is set for unexpected guests in the dining room.

Be sure to grab lunch in town before heading back to Dublin for the day. As befits a fishing village, Howth is known for its incredible seafood. There are several restaurants and cafes to choose from, including O’Connell’s Pub along Howth Harbour or the Oar House Fish Restaurant on the West Pier.

howth harbour
Howth Ireland

Glendalough

By Sinead of Map Made Memories

Glendalough in County Wicklow is one of the most visited attractions in Ireland. The historic location is home to the monastic ruins of a Christian monastery that was founded here by St Kevin in the 6th century.

The Ireland settlement is situated in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, a 1 ½ hour drive from Dublin. The extensive site consists of an informative visitors’ centre, several ruined churches, a 12th century priest’s house and a large graveyard featuring ornately carved Celtic crosses.

Some of these huge granite crosses date back to the 6th century. The most iconic feature at Glendalough – and one that features on many Irish postcards – is St Kevin’s Tower (also known as The Round Tower), a Rapunzel-esque tower 30 metres high.

The monastic site is free to enter and explore but visitors must pay to park and to enter the visitors’ centre. After exploring the site, visitors can follow the marked circular trail linking the Upper and Lower Lakes sections of the site.

This accessible path brings visitors to the lough and a pretty woodland waterfall. There are several scenic hikes to choose from in this area including a section of the famous 81-mile-long Wicklow Way. 

There is no public transport to Glendalough so visitors need to drive, join a tour from the city centre or catch St Kevin’s Bus, a private bus company that operates return trips to Glendalough from Dublin.

However, self-driving is best as it enables visitors to stop at scenic spots on route such as Lough Tay – affectionately known as The Guinness Lake – or 80 metre high Glenmacnass Waterfall. Check car rental comparisons here. Alternatively, consider booking a Glendalough, Wicklow, Kilkenny & Sheep Dog Demonstration tour like this one.

Glendalough
Glendalough

The Wicklow Mountains

By Kathryn Bird of Biker Girl Life

If you enjoy beautiful scenery and want to get away from the world for a while, one of the best day trips from Dublin is a visit to the Wicklow Mountains National Park.

This breathtakingly beautiful area is one of 6 National Parks in Ireland and covers 205km. It’s a fairly new park- only established in 1991, but it’s well-managed and home to a whole range of outdoor activities. Even better, it’s only about an hour south of Dublin, yet you feel an entire world away.

The best way to enjoy the park is with your own vehicle, although it is serviced by buses and it’s close enough to get a taxi as well if you wish. There is a free car park at Laragh, and several paid parking areas, especially near the visitor centre.

Once at the park, there’s plenty to do, including hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, bird watching and even wild swimming (in approved areas so be sure to check online prior to visiting).

Don’t miss the Wicklow Gap (on the R756- one of the best motorcycle touring roads in the area) and also the early medieval ruins at Glendalough. Just down from Glendalough is also the Miner’s roads and remnants of the mining villages, which are full of history. 

It’s perfectly possible to get a taste of everything the park has to offer with just a day trip but there are accommodation options in the area if you’d like to extend your stay for a day or two, making the Wicklow Mountains a great weekend getaway from Dublin.

wicklow mountains

Mourne Mountains

By Annabel of Smudged Postcard

The Mourne Mountains offer visitors to Ireland a wild, peaceful and scenic day out away from the hustle and bustle of the Republic’s capital. The mountain range is approximately two hours drive north from Dublin, over the border in Northern Ireland.

Although the mountains are not high – Slieve Donard at 850 metres is Northern Ireland’s highest peak – there are some challenging treks to be enjoyed. The most challenging peaks to conquer (Donard is not the hardest) are Slievelamagan and Slieve Binnian which can be tackled together as a one day hike.

Alternatively, following the route of the old stone Mourne wall takes in 15 of the mountain peaks and offers incredible views across the region. This 22 mile wall was built some 100 years ago to prevent livestock straying towards the region’s reservoirs.

For families or those wishing for a more gentle ramble, Tollymore Forest Park is a wonderful day out in the foothills of the Mournes. There are some lovely trails of up to 5 miles through the woodland along the banks of the Shimna River.

Home to the elusive red squirrel, this forest park is packed with enjoyable features such as old stone bridges and crumbling follies as well as plenty of stepping stones across the river which kids will enjoy hopping along.

The Mournes are a short drive from the popular seaside town of Newcastle which is the perfect destination for dinner after a strenuous day in the mountains – or for a dip in the sea to refresh weary limbs!

River Shimna Tollymore Forest Park

The Titanic Experience in Belfast

By Anne of Packing Light Travel

The Titanic Experience in Belfast warrants a spot on any travel list. Not only did the RMS Titanic have her beginnings in Belfast, but the Titanic Quarter has rejuvenated part of the Harland and Wolff shipyards where the legendary vessel was designed and built.

For travellers based in Dublin, the good news is that a visit to the Titanic Experience can be comfortably accomplished in a day trip. Travel by car takes two hours, and an express bus from downtown Dublin to central Belfast takes two hours and twenty minutes with departures every hour.

On arrival, a short walk to the Titanic Quarter follows the River Lagan; it’s also accessed by taxi or local bus service. The Titanic Experience includes several components.

Anchoring the experience is the architectural gem, Titanic Belfast, where visitors are treated to a self-guided journey through nine interactive galleries. These include photographs, exhibits, a film in the underwater exploration theatre, and a gondola ride through a simulated shipyard.

The building incorporates many design elements of the Titanic. For example, it stands 38 metres tall, the same height as its namesake. Benches around the building are spaced in the same sequence as Titanic’s Morse code distress signal. The memorial lawns are sized according to the number of lives lost; the strip of lawn symbolising casualties amongst the crew is the largest.

In the adjacent Hamilton dry dock sits the SS Nomadic, the original tender that ferried passengers from Cherbourg, the last port of call before the ill-fated vessel ventured out into the Atlantic.

After her illustrious service in two world wars, the Nomadic has been restored to her glory days of 1912. Sitting beside the Nomadic is an original Harland and Wolff caisson, a dock gate built in 1867. A self-guided tour of the Nomadic is a rewarding aspect of the Titanic Experience.

If a day trip feels rushed, an overnight stay in the Titanic Hotel Belfast broadens the Titanic Experience. It’s located in the building that housed the Harland and Wolff Headquarters and Drawing Offices.

For travellers intrigued by the story of the Titanic, the Titanic Experience is a fitting tribute to the workers and the city that built her. It’s one not to be missed and is a great day trip from Dublin. Book your Titanic Experience with SS Nomadic Visit tickets in advance here.

The Titanic Experience in Belfast
belfast

Galway

By Yulia of Miss Tourist

When visiting Ireland it is hard to ignore the sense of deja vu that comes with hearing the song “Galway Girl” by Ed Sheeran on repeat everywhere you go. It’s best to take this as a sign to visit the wonderful city of Galway. 

Galway is located directly opposite Dublin on the western coast of Ireland. With frequent busses and easy roads connecting the two it’s easy to head to Galway as a day trip from Dublin.

With a 2.5 hour drive each way, visiting in a day is certainly doable but if you have more time it’s best to stay a couple of nights in one of the many amazing Galway hotels to get the best experience of this vibrant city. 

Thanks to its position at the meeting place of the River Corrib and the Atlantic Ocean, Galway has been an important city for centuries and much of its historical value can still be seen in today’s culture.

Walk through the winding Latin Quarter to admire parts of the medieval walls that remain standing, and make sure to stop into a traditional pub for some authentic Irish folk music over a pint of Guinness.

TIP: Plan your visit to correspond with a festival to truly experience the vibrance of this city. Galway is not only an interesting place to discover cultures of the past, the city is known as the festival capital of Ireland and hosts 122 different events per year on average. 

Full of ivory covered castles, independent art galleries and pubs alive with Celtic tunes, there really is something for everyone in the colourful city of Galway, Ireland making it the perfect day trip from Dublin! Book your Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour in advance here.

galway houses
Galway ireland

Brú na Bóinne 

 By Erica of Trip Scholars

Located less than an hour away from Dublin, the Brú na Bóinne site is a must-see Dublin day trip for history fans. A visit to the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site is a phenomenal day trip from Dublin. It is one of two UNESCO sites in Ireland and UNESCO identifies it as, “Europe’s largest and most important concentration of prehistoric megalithic art.” 

Thus far, almost one hundred Neolithic burial tombs have been discovered in the region and the three major ones are all available to visit through the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Center. Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth are imposing burial mounds built about 5,000 years ago, making them older than Stonehenge or the Egyptian Pyramids! 

Visiting in person allows you to see evidence of the complex and advanced culture that created them. The structures are massive in size and required great organization to build.

The entrance to the Newgrange passage tomb is aligned with the sun on the winter solstice indicating their awareness of astronomy and science. The artwork decorating the mounds and the remains found within, all show signs of an intriguing culture. 

Before you go, decide which of the burial mounds you want to see and get your tickets in advance. On the day of your visit, start at the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Center where they have an informative educational centre and food area.

You will then board shuttle busses that bring you to each of the nearby chambers. At the sites there are informative guided tours. During the pandemic, there have been restrictions on visiting and you may not be able to enter inside of the tombs.

It is only 40 km from Dublin, making it less than an hour away by car. There are also public buses and tour buses that can get you there easily. Your visit to one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites will be a memorable day trip from Dublin. 

Brú na Bóinne 
Brú na Bóinne

Cliffs of Moher

By Rose of Where Goes Rose?

Although it’s a long day trip from Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher is one of Ireland’s most iconic locations that almost every traveller will want to visit during their trip.

The Cliffs of Moher are found on the southwest coast of Ireland within the Burren, a region known for its striking natural features including caves, fossils and limestone formations made by melting glaciers. The Cliffs run for 14 kilometers, soaking up tremendous views. In the right season, you may be lucky enough to glimpse nesting puffins.

During a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, you’ll get to walk along the cliffs and soak up mesmerising views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands. If you can time your trip for sunset, even better! 

An extra draw for Harry Potter fans is the fact that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was filmed at the Cliffs of Moher. You may recognise the dramatic, stormy cliffs from the scene where Harry and Dumbledore go on a quest to find one of the Horcruxes. Look closely and you may be able to spot the entrance to the cave!

A tip for your Cliffs of Moher day trip is to set off early if you want to see other attractions in the region. The drive from Dublin takes 3 hours and can be done independently or by organised day tour. 

Visit nearby attractions including Poulnabrone Tomb, a megalithic site built 5,000 years ago. While driving through the burren, look out for ‘fairy rings’ where trees and mushrooms naturally sit in a circle. Locals will tell you these are magical places not to be walked within.

cliffs of moher
cliffs of moher

Cork

By Alicia from Travels with the Crew

Yet another settlement in Ireland which is particularly famous is that of Cork, making it one of the top day trips from Dublin. Cork is a great day trip from Dublin. It offers the best of the countryside with its wild green pastures, forested areas, castles, great restaurants and night life

The best part of the city is arguably the English market which has local produce from meat to cheese, fruit, vegetables etc. If you go to the English market you must visit the stall called Cafe Marius who make and sell beautiful lemon and poppyseed cake among lots of other delicious items.

Cork City Gaol is interesting and offers great views over Cork City. It tells visitors about Ireland’s past political situation through interpretive displays. There are lots of nature trails surrounding the gaol which are interesting to walk along!

A stroll downtown is a great way to end your day. There are beautiful shops and boutiques as well as delicious restaurants like Market Lane. This restaurant is a family favourite. They do old Irish food with a modern twist. 

Nearby Cork is Blarney Castle so you could combine it with a visit to Cork. Blarney Castle is an old castle built in the 14th century which has the Blarney Stone inside of it. The legend surrounding the stone is that if you kiss it, then you will be blessed with wisdom and eloquence.

No matter how you choose to spend your day in Cork you are sure to enjoy your day away, especially if you’re spending a week in Ireland! The easiest way to get from Dublin to Cork is by train.

Direct trains from city to city take around two hours and forty-five minutes, though you can also book a guided tour like this one if you wish to save time on organising the finite details yourself.

cork
cork ireland

Giant’s Causeway

By Nicole of Go Far Grow Close

If the Giant’s Causeway looks familiar to you, then it’s probably because you’ve seen it used as a backdrop for many a filming location over the years, including the hit HBO show, Game of Thrones.

One of the best day trips from Dublin is to Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. It is approximately 170 mi (273 km) from Dublin or just under 3 hours drive. Most of the drive is on the main highway without significant views until the last 30 minutes when you drive along beautiful country roads.

Once you reach the coast, you are treated to breathtaking views of the Irish Sea and majestic cliffs.Giant’s Causeway consists of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of a volcanic eruption several million years ago.

The columns form stepping stones from the beach into the North Atlantic Ocean. Most of the columns are hexagonal but some have four, five, or even seven sides. It is a World Unesco Heritage Site and a national nature reserve.

Local folklore tells a different story. A giant named Finn McCool had a fight across the sea with a Scottish man named Benandonner. In anger, Finn grabbed huge rocks and hurled them into the water, forming a trail of stepping stones.

You are welcome to climb on the columns or jump from one to another. It is also beautiful to just sit and look out to the sea while waves splash all around.The best time to go is before 10:00 am or after 4:00 pm to miss the crowds and bus tours. In addition, entrance is free unless you want to go to the Visitors Centre or park in the upper lot.

If you don’t want to take public transport and don’t wish to rent your own car, then an alternative is to book a day tour from Dublin. For example, this Giants Causeway, Dark Hedges, and Belfast Tour from Dublin

giants causeway
Giant's Causeway

Dalkey

By Mary of Be Right Back Mary

One of the best day trips from Dublin is Dalkey. Dalkey is a beautiful seaside town located only 45min from Dublin city centre. It is accessible by car or by taking the Dart (the local train) for only a couple of euros.

Dalkey is a great place to spend a day away from Dublin as it is a beautiful and quaint seaside town which offers one of the best views of Dublin. When arriving in Dalkey, the first place to visit is Killiney hill.

Killiney hill offers a unique 360 degree view of Dublin and the sea. This view makes Dalkey a must-see when visiting Dublin County. From the train station, taking a left and going up the streets will take you all the way to the obelisk. It is an easy walk up the town and Killiney park.

Dalkey is also a historical town and the heart of the town is home to Dalkey castle and the heritage centre. While making your way down to the town centre, you will be able to admire some beautiful mansions.

To visit the castle and heritage centre, it is recommended to book in advance as slots fill up quickly. Dalkey’s main street is filled with a mix of laid-back and fancier restaurants such as 1909 Restaurant and Wine Bar where you can try the delicious burgers and crème brûlée. 

After lunch, a 15min walk takes you to Sorrento park. The top of the park offers an amazing view on Dalkey Island and the Martello tower on one side and on the obelisk on the other side.

Keep walking along Coliemore road to the small port where you might see one or two seals swimming around. If you still feel up to it, another 20min stretch takes you to Saint Patrick’s church. If you want to have the transport organisation and timing of the day taken care of for you, then consider booking this Killiney Hill & Dalkey Castle Dublin surrounds day tour.

dalkey

Rock of Cashel

By Susanna of Curiosity Saves

The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most impressive heritage sites and makes for a great day trip from Dublin. The medieval compound includes a gothic cathedral, abbey, round tower, Cormac’s chapel, high cross, the Hall of the Vicars Choral, and a graveyard.

The Rock of Cashel rests atop a limestone outcropping. According to legend, the rock appeared after St. Patrick drove the devil from a nearby cave, disrupting the geology. St. Patrick then converted King Aenghus of Munster to Christianity in the 5th century at the exact location.

During the 12th century, Cashel was one of Ireland’s most influential regions. Today, you could easily spend hours exploring this impressive monument. Tickets are 8 Euro for adults and include an optional guided tour, or you can choose to explore on your own.

Inside the compound, you’ll have access to the entire grounds, including Ireland’s only remaining Romanesque frescos, a museum, a short audio-visual experience, a gift shop, and more.

Wandering around the Rock of Cashel not only offers a look into Irish culture and history, but you get impressive views of the iconic rolling green countryside and the charming town of Cashel.

Make sure you save some time to explore the town as well, visiting the Brú Ború Heritage Center, the Hore Abbey Ruins, and the historic city wall. To get there from Dublin, you can drive a rented car taking the M7 and M8.

If you take a car, you can swing by Holycross Abbey and Cahir Castle to round out the day. You can also reach Cashel by taking a public bus 768 toward Cork and get off at Cashel. Parking is available on site, and there is a short uphill walk to the entrance. 

*It might be worth noting that there are current pandemic guidelines in place (guided tours are not happening, limited capacity, you have to buy tickets in advance, and tickets are free)* 

rock of cashel

Malahide Castle

By John of CarpeDiemEire

While many visitors to Dublin are happy to settle for a visit to Dublin Castle, little do they know that only 17km from the city centre, is the far superior Malahide Castle. Located in the trendy suburb of Malahide, it’s a building of 800 years of history. 

For nearly all of that time it remained the family home of the Talbot Family. The Talbot’s has aided Henry II in his campaign, and the lands were their reward. What is seen today is an evolved castle over the centuries, with the oldest being part from 1400 AD. 

The castle is visited by guided tour taking an hour. It’s a walk through centuries of history. The present furniture dates mostly from the 19th century, a peek into life for the Talbot family at that time. 

During the tour you’ll learn all about the various characters who called the castle home. Perhaps most interestingly is the 5 ghosts, who still apparently do. Keep an eye open for Puck the Jester in the Great Hall. His dying words were to forever haunt the castle, after being murdered for falling in love with the wrong girl. 

Of course the castle itself is only one of 10 great reasons to visit Malahide Castle, with the gardens and Ireland’s only butterfly house being notable draws. Entry to Malahide Castle costs €12. It is easiest reached by taking a train north from Dublin Connolly station to Malahide. 

malahide castle

Powerscourt House and Gardens

By Allan Wilson of It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor

With Sugar Loaf Mountain as a backdrop, Powerscourt is found just 50-minutes out from central Dublin in the scenic Wicklow Mountains, and it is a must for anyone interested in stately homes and magnificently landscaped gardens.

Powerscourt is most famous for its gardens which continuously rank in the top 3 in National Geographic’s ‘World’s Top 10 Gardens’ list, and you could really spend a day just exploring the different sections dotted with all sorts of decorative ponds and rivers, ornate statues, and seasonal flower gardens.

Although the house itself is also voted in the Top Ten Houses and Mansions Worldwide by the Lonely Planet Guide. But you really need to visit to truly understand the full beauty of Powerscourt, with the smells in the gardens, and the tranquil sounds of meandering rivers, fountains, and the surrounding wildlife.

A map of the estate is included in the entrance fee which details various way-marked paths to better explore the grounds although it’s just as much fun to just get lost in the surrounded woodlands and it’s always easy to get back.

Inside the house is a great cafe and coffee shop run by Avoca, an Irish catering franchise named after the nearby Vale of Avoca. To reach Powerscourt, it is best to have your own transport, as it is located just 50km and 50-minutes out from Dublin by car.

A quick tour of the surrounding Wicklow Mountains is also recommended and the area is a common stop on Ireland’s Ancient East road trip. However, there are bus tours travelling directly from Dublin to Powerscourt and wider tour itineraries are also available including both the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough and other scenic spots along the way.

Powerscourt House and Gardens

Anglesey

By Mark of Wyld Family Travel

Dublin and the North Wales coastline are separated by the Irish sea, luckily ferries travel this route daily. Irish Ferries and Stena Line make up to 4 crossing daily between Ireland and Wales.

The Ferry from Dublin takes around 3 hours each way, so prepare for a long but rewarding day trip. Holly head in North Wales is located on the island of Anglesey. Anglesey is known for its natural beauty and sweeping coastlines which will require you to bring your rental car on the boat.

Once on land, you have options such as visiting the 12th century Beaumaris Castle which was built by King Edward in the 12th Century as part of his ring of castles to subdue the Welsh uprisings.

South Stack lighthouse is located close to Holyhead and is open daily during the summer months. The lighthouse provides tours and amazing views of passing ships and the cliff faces of the coastal area.

Driving around the island will have you discovering amazing small towns such as Amlwch with its copper age history and heritage buildings. If you are travelling as a family Anglesey has some great options such as adventure boats rides, an aquarium and hobby farms to visit.

North Wales is well known for its seafood we suggest you stop in any small town and grab yourself a serve of fresh fish and chips. It will be a long but rewarding day with many things to do in North Wales.

beaumaris

Armagh

By Clotilde of A Princess Travelling with Twins

Belfast, Derry, and the Giants Causeway are top options for a day trip into Northern Ireland from Dublin, but a visit to Armagh should also be on your list. By car from Dublin, it’s a little shorter than a day trip to Belfast, so that in about 1 hour 40 mins you can arrive in this double Cathedral town.

Armagh boasts not one but two historic Cathedrals, making it the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. Just to confuse the visitor, both are called St. Patricks Cathedral! As befits the complex history of religion in N. Ireland, one is a Roman Catholic Cathedral, and the other is a Church of Ireland Cathedral, but they are both beautiful and deserving of a visit, perhaps you will find as many similarities as differences!

To continue the heavenly theme, the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is great fun as well as informative for old and young alike. Home to the longest running daily climate series in the UK&IE and one of the longest in the world, the site offers fascinating displays on space and space travel in the Planetarium.

Armagh Observatory is also home to a huge Digital Full Dome Theatre showing immersive movies on a variety of topics, and outside you can discover the Astropark, walks, and the historic telescopes and domes from the Observatory’s history.

Armagh is the County Town of County Armagh, also known as the Orchard County for its abundance of orchards producing eating and cooking apples, which are delicious to eat but don’t miss their liquid form as locally produced ciders.

Leave the Georgian architecture of Armagh town behind and with a short drive through the country you can arrive at The Armagh Cider Company or Long Meadow Cider to learn about the processes, sample the produce, and perhaps have a picnic in an orchard.

Armagh

Carlingford 

By Carole of Travels With Carole

Located just an hour north of Dublin, the well-preserved medieval village of Carlingford in Ireland makes an easy and satisfying day trip. But it was not always so peaceful. 

Cuan Aighneach, as the town was originally known, was raided by the Vikings back in the 8th and 9th centuries and then built a protective castle fortification in the 13th-century.   

King John’s Castle is now a landmark and open for tours.  A stop in at the popular P.J. O’Hare pub is de rigueur. Dating to 1860, it features a display of leprechaun bones and also pours a proper Guinness and serves a great Irish coffee. 

Many people come to Carlingford to enjoy  an exquisite candlelight dinner at the well-reviewed 18th-century Early Georgian Ghan House, and some opt to stay longer and spend the night in one of the charming upstairs guest rooms. 

Cooking lessons are also sometimes scheduled. While in town do sample the famous sweet and meaty local Carlingford Oyster, now also farmed locally.  Belfast is just an hour farther north, so it is also possible to extend this day-trip escape into a longer journey.   

carlingford

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Erica

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

This is a fantastic collection of day trips from Dublin! I can't wait to go back and this explore more of these destinations!

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