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Top 10 Ireland Experiences in Spring

By Kathy Deady

Those lucky enough to pay a visit to Ireland in the spring months understand exactly why this country is also known as the Emerald Isle. The lush green scenery extends into mile upon mile of rugged wilderness. Be prepared for unexpected downpours of rain and a fantastic time.

We’ve picked some of the top experiences to be enjoyed in Ireland between the months of March and May.

1. Find a St. Patrick’s Day party

You won’t have to look far – this is the event of the year in Ireland. Street parades and village parties start early and festivities go on late into the night to the sounds of clinking glasses, joyful singing, violins and drums. Every pub offer promotions and serve local specialities on the day, so it’s a great chance to try something new. Don’t be afraid to mention if it’s your first St. Patrick’s – the locals will relish the opportunity to show you a good time!

2. Marvel at the Giant’s Causeway

This striking basalt rock formation on the northern coast of Northern Ireland is worth the visit at any time of year. Shrouded in legend, this curious coastline has provided inspiration for artists, writers, musicians and photographers for hundreds of years. The stunning sunrises and sunsets seen in the region during this season add extra drama to the looming cliffs and pounding sea spray.

3. Take a trip to Galway

Wander through cobbled streets and admire the mix of Medieval architecture, colorful modern houses, and charming harbor. Galway City is a west coast urban hub and popular student town. Despite its quaint appearance, there is plenty of fun to be had by night. Galway county also has its fair share of impressive abbeys, a few within easy distance of the town.

4. Chow down on some Irish chowder and soda bread

A hearty Irish chowder always contains potatoes, with regional variations including fish, beef, lamb or seafood. Its perfect partner, soda bread, is raised with baking soda rather than yeast. This means it has a slightly sour, nutty taste and a dense texture, which is sure to fill you up on a chilly day.

5. Trinity College and The Old Library

The stunning grounds of Ireland’s best known college in Dublin come into bloom around April. The famous, classically designed Old Library is the ideal place to take refuge during a sudden spring shower, where pristine shelves of ancient books extend high into the ceiling. It is home to the Book of Kells, one of the oldest Latin manuscripts in existence.

6. Bag a bargain at Penney’s

If you’re looking to overhaul your spring wardrobe on a budget, the huge and iconic Penney’s store in Dublin (known in Britain as Primark) is your one-stop-shop. The Penney’s chain of clothing and homeware stores is famed for producing their own, inexpensive takes on the very latest designer trends. It’s possible for men and women to snap up an entire new outfit, including shoes, for under $50. Stores can also be found in other major towns and cities.

7. Jig to an Irish folk band

Irish music continues to evolve and gain popularity around the world. Pubs and local music venues across Ireland regularly invite traditional bands to play. Not only can these musicians play a mean tune on notoriously difficult string and woodwind instruments, they’re usually natural entertainers. Band sets are as much a show as they are music performances. The crowd will be encouraged to get up and dance, and may spill onto the stage and even out onto the street.

8. Take in the views from the Rock of Cashel

The ‘rock’ is in fact a striking group of Medieval buildings at the top of a lone hill in picturesque South Tipperary. The structures comprise of a chapel, cathedral and the remnants of a castle, thought to have been constructed around the 12th century. Historical talks, tours and shows take place at this hugely popular site on a daily basis during peak tourism seasons and there are always several interactive family events over the Easter weekend.

9. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way

Claimed to be the longest fully coastal drive in the world, this touring route runs the entire length of the west Irish coast. The entire journey could easily been completed in a day, but is best taken at a leisurely pace over a couple of days to accommodate stop offs in quirky villages and exploring unexpected corners you’d never have thought to visit. Highlights include friendly fishing villages, the spectacular Moher cliffs and the scenic Ring of Kerry.

10. And of course, enjoy a Guinness or two in a traditional pub

This is an experience that should be had wherever possible while in Ireland. The cozy, friendly pubs are the iconic of the country and where you’ll find the best local advice and storytelling. On a rainy day, try catching a live rugby game – on nice day, seek out a country pub with outdoors tables and a view. Some say drinking Guinness is good for you – it contains high levels of antioxidants, as well as vitamin and iron content. We’re not going to argue with that.

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