Ballybunion Golf Links - The Old Course
Ballybunion Old Couse is a true links course that dates back to 1893. It is a favorite of Tom Watson (an Honorary Captain), and a number of other PGA players. I have played this course twice, and would have to believe it would be challanging for golfers of all levels. The front nine plays on the road side, with a graveyard (literally!) off to the right of the 1st tee. The greens on the front nine are typically sitting up on mounds, so if you don't get the ball towards the middle, it very well may roll off some 20 yards in any direction. The back nine is through the dunes and along the ocean. In my view, this is why you travel to Ireland to play golf. It is stunningly beautiful, and steeped in history.
If you golf in Ireland, Ballybunion Old Course should definately be on your list of "must plays".Related to:
Old Head Golf Links
Old Head Golf Links is actually a newer layout, and is quite out of the way, but it was constructed on a peninsula surrounded by 150' cliffs. The views are breathtaking, and at times, frightening! I have never played Pebble Beach, but those who have played both have claimed this equally, if not more exciting and beautiful. The location is somewhat out of the way, but a night or 2 in Kinsale and a round at Old Head are well worth going out of your way for! I should also mention that the greens fees are quite pricey, but what the heck, you traveled all the way to Ireland to play!Related to:
Hurling is popular
Hurling is a lacrosse-like sport that combines endurance, speed and hand-to-ete coordination. It looks like great fun to play, as long as your dental insurance is paid up. It's a great conversation topic on which the Irish can talk for hours, so if your at a loss for something to say at a pub, just ask for an explanation. I had several and still can't understand the game.
The most interesting thing from a foreign perspective is that professional Hurlers play only for their local teams: if you grow up in Killarney, you play for the Killarney team. Since the players are amateurs, there's no chasing fat free agent contracts or demanding trades. However, it makes one wonder if the sport can be tainted by gambling -- wouldn't a moneyless Hurler be more apt to throw a game than a $25 million shortstop? THat would be an interesting pub discussion, too.
Equipment: There seem to be sticks involved.Related to:
- Family Travel
Each county in Ireland has their own Football team, so if you like the game then you can pay to see one played. Every team should play at least once a week. But er, remember, the teams arent as professional or rich as Manchester United or Real Madrid...
Ireland is an island, so there are miles of coast line for you to drop a line. While there it was the end of salmon season, and we got fresh fish from the docks. But it is good fun to catch them yourself.
Equipment: Fishing Pole
Glendalough, co Wicklow
Glendalough means the valley of the two lakes and it‘s located in county Wicklow. It‘s an old monastic settlement in a spectacular location: there's an old cemetery, a round tower, old ornated celtic crosses, and a little church called Saint Kevin‘s Kitchen (the oldest building). From there two paths take you to ruins of old churches or around the lake for ruins. What else? From the parling lot and pub, in less than an hour walk, you can follow a path in the forest which leads you past the two lakes to the end of the valley. There you can find the ruins of an abandoned tiny mining town. It's a nice place to set up camp if you have a tent.
Equipment: A packed lunch to eat on the bus to save time, and some water. If you decide to camp, bring a tent, a stove and water purifying tablets.
Dublin, co Dublin
Near Dublin it's possible to do some interesting day hikes and walks. Using the DART heading south you can do a lovely cliff walk from bray to Greystones, or hike from Dalkey to Killiney Head and Killiney Beach . Another option is to walk from Dun Laoghaire to Sandycove. Heading north by DART you can walk to Howth Head & Beach and take a boat trip to Ireland's Eye. More details in my Dublin page
Equipment: comfortable walking shoes are a must, and maybe some rain gear, since it often rains. A packed lunch is necessary to go from Bray to Greystones, but not for the other walks. For all, take some water with you
Play Pitch and Putt
It's the small version of Golf so it's perfect for beginners (...like me! Golf is my Handicap ;-) I had so much fun there ... and I turned out to be a real talent ;-) (The only time I did everything right though the ball flew over the fence onto the street... I guess that was Golf then ;-)
Equipment: You can rent clubs and balls if you don't have any.
It is great to climb a mountain in front of the sea! But it is special in Ireland because of the rain. You will need:
* Boots! not runners because everything is slippy
* Some plastic to put you on: it will rain, almost sure!
* Compass and a map in case of mist (it comes suddenly)
* Full clothes in your car to change them as soon as you get back to the car, because you will be wet.
Tipperary racecourse is located at Limerick Junction, if you want to place a few bets.
In fact in this area of Tipperary you'll find lots of Horse Stud farms. Horse breeding and training are very popular around this side of Tipperary and East Limerick.
Cycling to Moher
The nice thing about riding here is that you might possibly have a view like this all to yourself with no sound but the wind and birds.
Snorchling with Fungi the dolphin!
... if you can swim, and are not fuzzy about cold water - this is gonna be great!
Equipment: fins, wet-suit cause it's brrrrrrrrr cold
Gambling is very popular, you can even bet on the weather!! A turf accountant is what we in the states call (OTB) off track betting.
Equipment: A keen eye for the horses.
Lakes near Virginia. Beautiful views. Wate sports.
I took this picture and these are backs of my friends.
Go to a football match
We went to a match in Dublin once, Bohemians were playing UCD. It was an experience of a lifetime to see the old Dalymount Park stadium and how they sold merchandising from a plastic bag ;)
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