A round-up of travel recommendations – dining, sightseeing and lodging – from our trip to Ireland and London.
Hey, there! I took a few weeks off Friday Frosting posts while we were vacationing and now I’m back with a round up post of some of the highlights from our trip to Ireland and London! My whole family met in Dublin – my Mom, Dad and brother Pat coming from Connecticut, brother John, sister-in-law Jessa and nephew Paxton coming from San Francisco and Walter and I coming from DC. The main reason we chose Ireland as our destination is because my Dad’s family is from Ireland. The other reason was that we were all able to get pretty reasonable, direct flights into Dublin!
Our route took us from Dublin to Portlaoise (a small town where some of our relatives once lived), to Waterford, Killarney, around the Ring of Kerry, to Dingle, up to Galway and then back to Dublin. From there the rest of the family continued on to Paris and Walter and I headed to London for a few days. It was a wonderful trip, I’m so grateful for the time we got to spend adventuring as a family!
(Pax’s House – Dingle)
- Dublin – Don’t skip the Guinness Factory. If you asked any of us we would all say Dublin was our least favorite stop on the trip. But it was also necessary for getting some rest and recovery from the jet lag before hitting the road! We read that the Guinness Factory was overrated/touristy. Of course, it is a bit touristy, but it was also a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it. Even Paxton (who’s almost 2) had a great time exploring the interactive exhibits.
- Ring of Kerry – The most scenic day of our trip was the day we drove around the Ring of Kerry. We got incredibly lucky with the weather which amplified the views. Though the driving was a little stressful (thanks to John and my Dad for driving!) the expansive views were impressive. We even had to stop several times for sheep crossing!
- Dingle – Pax’s House – Given that little Paxton was traveling with us, we couldn’t pass up staying the night at Pax’s House in Dingle and boy did we get lucky with that choice! First of all, Dingle was the most beautiful stop along our route and our accommodations at Pax’s House made our stay that much more luxurious. The 7-room bed and breakfast is run by a man named John who also happens to be a chef. He had a way of making us feel like his most special guests, the rooms were gorgeous and the views incredible. The next day we were treated to one of the most amazing breakfast spreads any of us had ever experienced. We all agreed that we need to go back and that we wished we had stayed an extra night!
- Kilkee Cliffs – Thanks to the recommendation of John at Pax’s House we visited the Kilkee Cliffs on our way from Dingle to Galway. We were planning to visit the Cliff’s of Moher (a standard stop on a road trip around Ireland – which we did also), but John said that the Kilkee Cliffs were just as impressive without any crowds. He was totally right! The cliffs are not as expansive as the Cliffs of Moher, but the experience was so much better. We were essentially the only ones there, whereas at the Cliffs of Moher you are 1. paying an entrance fee and 2. battling crowds. They ended up being one of our favorite stops on our trip – definitely worth the short detour!
- Galway – Ard Bia at Nimmos – Walter and I went on a date night to the Ard Bia at Nimmos one of the nights we stayed in Galway. It’s small restaurant by the water that has the feel of being on a boat. The service was excellent and everything was delicious, I would highly recommend!
- Aran Islands – The Aran Islands are such a fun day trip from Galway. We rented bikes and biked all around the quiet island, which was a nice change from long days in the car!
- London – The Barbary and Evelyn’s Table – Based off a recommendation from one of Walter’s former co-workers we dined at The Barbary our first night in London. It’s a funky, open-kitchen, bar style concept serving up a unique Mediterranean style menu. We were so impressed with the food we did a little digging and discovered that it’s owned by a brother and sister that have 2 other restaurants, a bar and a coffee shop all within downtown London. We decided to book our last dinner at Evelyn’s Table and it was such a treat! It’s a fine dining, basement kitchen, again with a bar-style, open-kitchen concept. We got to interact directly with the chefs and were treated to the most delicious food we had all trip!
- London – Neither Walter or I had ever been to London, but we will definitely be back! There is so much to see and do, we feel like we only scratched the surface!
(Biking in the Aran Islands)
(Evelyn’s Table – London)