We moved to Dublin, Ireland in early December, and this was our first weekend here. We had previously been to Dublin and had seen quite a bit of the city so decided to take a short road trip. One pleasure that we had missed in Singapore.
We found out about a charming village called Carlingford, just over an hour’s drive from Dublin, which, as we found out later, is famous for Leprechauns. More on that later.
As it was a short drive, we decided to visit a couple of interesting places along the way. The first of these was the Proleek Dolmen. The Proleek Dolmen is a Portal Tomb situated in the grounds of Ballymascanlon Hotel but is best accessed from here (map link). Portal tombs have two tall stones at the front (portal stones) and a smaller stone at the back supporting a large capstone. Proleek Portal Tomb is about 3m high and has a huge capstone weighing approximately 35 tons. These stones that are visible used to be the entrance to a larger tomb built of stones where cremated remains were stored. Legend says that a wish will be granted to anyone who can throw a pebble on its capstone so that it stays there. It was quite interesting to see a piece of ancient history dating back to around 3,000BC.
From here we drove to another site that is part of Irish folklore, called the Long Woman’s Grave (info). There wasn’t much to see but it’s fun to visit and then read up on the history, and the drive is quite pretty.
We then headed to Carlingford with a brief detour to the Slieve Foy Viewing Point (map link) for some nice views of Carlingford village and the waters. It was mid afternoon by now so we stopped for some afternoon tea at Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms (map link). It’s a cosy and charming tea room that serves an array of sandwiches, cakes and scones for afternoon tea.
It was a nice and filling break before we headed over to check-in to our B&B – Shalom BB (map link).
The owner of the B&B, Kevin Woods is also a Leprechaun Whisperer and runs an attraction called The Last Leprechauns of Ireland. It’s a fascinating story and the Slieve Foy Mountains are actually designated as a protected area for “Flora, Fauna, Wild Animals and Little People’ under the EU Habitats Directive” (it’s real, I checked…). Kids loved the whole experience and so did we.
It was evening now so we went for a short walk along the waterfront and then on to the Taaffes Castle pub that abuts an old castle. A good end to a long and enjoyable day.
The next day started off with a delicious breakfast at the B&B and a glorious sunrise.
It was the perfect start and a perfect day to enjoy the Irish countryside. We decided to go on a walk called the Molly Loop (info and map link). The trailhead is the start point for the Molly Loop and a slightly longer walk called The Rooskey Loop. We did a hybrid of the two (~5-6km) that took us past a deserted stone village and through moderate hills. The weather was beautiful for a walk with only a very brief drizzle. We hope to do lots more such walks during our time in Ireland.
That was pretty much it for this trip. Back to Dublin and finish off with a pub dinner.