Get ready for an adventure; chasing castles, expect hearty meals, serious amounts of booze and bucket loads of rain. I bet you’ve guessed where I am taking you – to the Irish lands.
Jetting off with your besties is always exciting, and is even more magical when it’s to celebrate one of my lovely friend’s wedding.
The troops arrived in Ireland for a mass reunion which of course involved laughter until our faces hurt. More alcohol consumption than your doctor should ever know about and memories that’ll last forever.
Set in a Cathedral fit for a Disney Princess I watched the stunning bride marry her Prince Charming. The sunshine was beaming, the celebrations of feasting, laughter and dodgy dance moves continued late into the night. The wedding was such an incredibly happy day full of love, and new adventures for the married couple.
Our home for the beginning of the trip was an adorable little cottage, finished with wood burner, tweed soft furnishings and Cath Kidston’s spotty oilcloths.
The extra layer of cosiness was just what we needed when waking up with very sensitive heads.
Set in Killaloe, the village looks out onto the picturesque waters of the River Shannon.
It was the perfect way to spend the next day strolling through the town with sunny skies and a fresh breeze helping to bring us back to life.
We meandered through a market, selling crafts, home cooked treats and watched this gent weave handcrafted rattan baskets.
In true Irish style the rest of the day was spent dining and drinking in cute pubs. the evening was activities included dancing and singing until the birds started tweeting.
Determined to not let the high adrenaline disappear and head straight home, Laura and I stayed on to explore further a field.
We hired a car and went on a slippery road trip, through the Ring of Kerry. In search of architectural eye candy, we whizzed around chasing castles.
But first feasted on the most delicious and gigantic lamb piled high with mash potatoes and some greens. With bellies full of hearty food we drove clockwise through the Ring of Kerry to avoid the touristy coach route.
Despite the grey skies we explored Ross Castle.
The best thing about drizzly days means you get the grounds all to yourself. Built in the late 15th century, Ross Castle is surrounded by a fortified enclosure wrapping around the entire perimeter. It has flanking towers and a stacked structure clad with mortared stone.
How cute is this mini staircase and teeny tiny opening?
Ross Castle is a serious postcard place, overlooking Lough Leane; even on a grey gloomy day it was an idyllic spot.
We toured every last stony inch of the castle grounds, and hid from the rains in doorways built just for us.
Next up we drove to Killarney National Park stopping at Torc Waterfall, which was fiercely spluttering out.
Even with the weather taking a turn for the worse we didn’t let it stop us exploring, after all the view and sounds of natural splashing waters was quite mesmerising.
Hiding under hoods from the heavy raindrops – we strolled up to catch a better glimpse of the waterfall.
If you’re feeling energetic, you can get an amazing view of the lakes by climbing up 100 stony steps. As it was raining heavily we didn’t risk slipping up/down the steps and enjoyed the view from where we were (nothing to do with feeling lazy – ok!)
Next stop was Ladies View we dashed out of the car to take in the panoramic views between Kenmare and Killarney. You can’t beat the inspiring colours of Mother Nature, can you?
Following the ring around we reached Molls Gap, which feels like you’re a million miles away as we drove through the rock with no other cars in sight. The rocks are formed with old red sandstone, situated amongst spectacular mountainous terrain.
Having covered a large chunk of the Ring of Kerry, we stayed in Kenmare Town for the evening; we booked our beds very last minute in what happened to be an abandoned and quite creepy B&B. But after some dinner and dessert we soon passed out.
Surprisingly well rest we woke up in Kenmare town, which is a charming village lined with cafes, restaurants, antique shops all decked with coloured facades and bunting.
Before setting back on the road, we indulged in traditional sausages and a few pots of tea to warm the bones.
Our wheels passed on through to Sneem as we spotted bright coloured buildings en route.
Following the winding roads we arrived at O’Carrolls Cove and hopped out the car to enjoy the lush views.
The heavens continued to pour but we merrily drove on to Waterville and then Cahersiveen. Check out the tiny houses dotted amongst the green lands.
As I stood happily snapping away my cheeky companion locked me out of the car.
Once back in the driving seat, we headed on through rolling misty mountains singing away to the radio.
We reached one of my favourite spots, Ballycarbery Castle. Situated on high grass facing the sea, the castle is embellished with greenery and is nothing short of Instagram gold.
The historical castle was built in the 15th century and is free for the public to mill around. I slowly walked up the grass mound through boggy lands soaking in the magical architecture.
Exploring the grounds was fascinating; the ivy tower has been left untouched so boulders lay around the crumbling castle.
After admiring the fairytale structure, and fully covering myself in mud and managing to dip my camera in a puddle I slowly headed back to the car impressed I didn’t slide over (despite a few near misses.)
Last stop was Bunratty Castle, before catching our flight home we indulged in one last feast.
Nestled in a quaint pub, decorated with bunting suspended from exposed brick walls and wrapped with a timber-panelled ceiling we ordered some much deserved comfort food.
We stuffed ourselves silly with Bunratty stew and plates piled high with gammon and potatoes.
Reminiscing about this trip as I share this post, it was such an awesome trip away. We flew home with smiles fixed on our faces and that warm fuzzy feeling you get after a successful adventure.
If you find time make sure you whizz around the Ring of Kerry, proof that a little rain can’t spoil your fun.