A holiday in Ireland offers great weather, friendly faces, and no need to worry about any language barriers. There are many places in Ireland to see and like England or
Scotland, it would be impossible to try and see everything on one holiday here.
Many places in Ireland are well known as tourist destinations, but there are some which are perhaps a little less well known but are still very much worth visiting if you get the chance. These are the hidden treasures of Ireland.
1. Country Life Museum – Mayo
While most museums tell us about the extraordinary, the battles or the discoveries, this one focuses on the lives of ordinary people. It shows in fascinating detail how people lived and coped with the challenges of everyday life. Here you can learn about how people coped during and after the potato famine and what life was really like for people in Ireland up to the 1950s.
2. Cahir Castle – Tipperary
In this lovingly restored castle, visitors have access to virtually all areas of the huge Butler stronghold including the walls and towers that make up its defences. There is a guided tour which you can take to hear history come alive as you’re told of the cannonballs, boiling oil and dungeons that awaited any who tried to attack this castle.
3. Museum of Free Derry
Presenting the story of Derry from the perspective of those who were there, and using photos, film clips, and cuttings from newspapers this clever museum brings the history of this region to life in a very vivid and interesting way.
4. Arigna Mining Experience – Leitrim
Coal mining existed here for centuries and when two decades back it ended, this traditional mining centre was turned into a visitor centre. Its stunning scenic location is the backdrop for an interesting tour that will show you the coalface where coals were extracted as well as showing you the claustrophobic working conditions. Cleverly lit and with sound effects, this offers a really fascinating and quite realistic experience.
5. Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre – Kilkenny
Formerly a quarry site Ballykeeffe has now been transformed into a 350 seat amphitheatre where dramas, concerts and other events take place. It even includes a summer climbing festival where you can literally climb the walls.
6. Marble Arch Caves – Fermanagh
Tucked away in a quiet corner these caves offer a memorable underground experience to all who visit. Tours take about an hour and 15 minutes and include a trip on a boat traversing the subterranean Claddagh River as well as the Moses walk, and the Calcite Cradle full of wonderful natural formations.