A taste of Wicklow, Wexford and Kilkenny
It's a gorgeous morning here after the first frost and I thought I'd head for a drive and explore the south of Dublin. First, stop for me down the coast just on the border of Dublin and Wicklow is Bray, in County Wicklow. Maeve is waiting to welcome you to her home. Bray is easily accessed by train and dart, a light rail. The journey is quite spectacular, especially the coastal section giving wonderful views of Dublin Bay (often compared to the Bay of Naples. Visit Wicklow Gaol and see where prisoners were held for transportation to America and Australia. Truly atmospheric.
When it comes to culture, it's hard to beat the Wexford Festival Opera. In Wexford, I fancy staying in Limestone Cottage, where Mary and Paul are Freebird Hosts.The house is very close to one of Ireland's most spectacular structures, the Hook Lighthouse, noted to be the oldest working lighthouse in the world. The haunted Loftus Hall is not far either, with a staircase as stunning as the one in the Titanic.
The landscape around here is rugged and beautiful and steeped in history and home to many historic sites and settlements. It’s even where the saying ‘By Hook or by Crook’ was coined from, with Crook down the coast in Cork. You can board the full-size replica of the Dunbrody Famine ship and get an idea of the conditions endured by many who fled these shores for North America in the 19th century. Visit the Kennedy homestead and see where the Great Grandfather of President John F. Kennedy was born. Mary and Paul will be delighted to make your stay comfortable and interesting, sharing their beautiful area. After the opera, Time to visit Gorey and stay with Laura. Gorey is a vibrant town with a plenty of restaurants. Wexford Town is 45 minutes away.
Kilkenny is a beautiful, historic city famous for art and craft. Close by, in Thomastown, Michael has lots of ideas for you, especially if you are into walking or hill climbing. For golfers, Mount Juliet is close by. There is great fishing there too, you must be able to tell at this stage that I like fishing!
Next week, I will be taking in some more areas of Ireland where The Freebird Club has hosts ready to look after you. Each home is as welcoming as the next. Keep an eye out for The Examiner tomorrow, word of mouth is that there will be a piece on The Freebird Club in it!
Be as free as a bird!
The Freebird Club Team
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