Touring Ireland: Our Six National Parks

 

Ireland is extremely well-known for its nature. Our nickname “The Emerald Isle” was given to us due to our limitless, rolling green landscapes, teeming with flora, fauna and bodies of water. Six National Parks have been set up across the island to preserve slices of the land and ensure the safety of countless different habitats unique to Ireland. These parks are all different to each other, with every park offering something totally unique for visitors to explore and learn about. Our National Parks are perfect for a day trip, so read on and start planning a day out while you’re touring Ireland!

Ballycroy National Park

Ballycroy is located in Northwest Mayo and is one of the largest natural expanses of peatland in Europe. It is roughly 45 square miles in size, containing a diverse mix of flora and fauna. It was established as a national park in 1998. The park contains an information centre as well as tea rooms for anyone visiting the park. When touring Ireland, if you’re looking to find a landscape that is the epitome of the West Coast, Ballycroy is the destination for you. The park contains countless breathtaking views of the western landscape, providing lots of brilliant photo opportunities for anyone lucky enough to be touring Ireland. For more details on Ballycroy National Park,click here.

Connemara National Park

Located in west County Galway, Connemara National Park was established and opened in 1980. It contains roughly 30 square miles of mountains, grasslands, bogs, heaths and forestry. The park contains mountains (Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght) which are part of a local mountain range known as the Twelve Bens. 4000-year-old megalithic court-tombs also reside on the land. Fauna including the famous Connemara ponies and red deer roam the park. The grounds contain an information centre and tea rooms for visitors. Connemara is a picture-perfect destination for visitors, with the rich, rugged landscape providing a paradise for any adventurous spirits touring Ireland. For more details on Connemara National Park, click here

The Burren National Park

The Burren is a huge karst landscape situated in County Clare. It was created in the Ice Age, and the etymology behind its name is Irish for “Great Rock”. The Burren National Park is located in the south-eastern corner of the Burren and is approximately 1500 hectares (6 square miles) in size. The land was bought by the Government for nature conservation and public access. It contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren, including limestone pavement, calcareous grassland and hazel scrub. The Burren contains many hidden gems, such as underground rivers and lakes, as well as caves and chambers, making it a fun, adventurous day out for people touring Ireland. It also contains some of the best examples of Europe’s Megalithic tombs. For more information on The Burren National Park, click here.

Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh was established in 1984 and is Ireland’s second-largest national park. Located in County Donegal, it covers over 65 square miles of hillside within the heart of the Derryveagh mountains. Glenveagh is brilliant for anyone touring Ireland with an interest in wildlife, as the park is home to the largest herd of red deer in Ireland, and the formerly extinct golden eagle was reintroduced to the park in 2000. Other fauna such as hares, peregrine falcons, and foxes all thrive in Glenveagh. At the centre of the park resides Lough Veagh, the largest body of water in the park. A nature education centre, restaurant and tea rooms are all open to the public. For more information on Glenveagh National Park, click here.

Killarney National Park

 Killarney National Park, situated in County Kerry, is Ireland’s first established national park. Opened in 1932, the park covers over 39 square miles of woodland, lakes, waterfalls and mountains. The park contains Ireland’s only native herd of red deer, and is a prime area for many rare species of fauna to thrive. The park provides sanctuary to oak and yew woodlands of international importance, and was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981. There are also many attractions on the grounds, including Muckross House, Knockreer Demesne and the Old Weir Bridge. There is an education centre for visitors located in Muckross House. Killarney Park is worth a visit when touring Ireland at any time of the year. For more information on Killarney National Park, click here

Wicklow Mountains

The Wicklow Mountains form the largest continuous uphill area in Ireland. They were established as a National Park in 1991, covering approx. 79 square miles of land. Powerscourt Waterfall is situated in the park and is Ireland’s largest waterfall at 397 feet tall. Glendalough Valley, the park’s biggest tourist attraction, sees more visitors than any other part of the park. Glendalough features a collection of Early Medieval monastic structures associated with St Kevin, a hermit priest. The grounds are also home to an education centre and a sensory garden. Anyone visiting the park is in for a treat, as recreational activities available within the park include walking and hiking, rock climbing, limited swimming and fishing. For more information on Wicklow Mountains National Park, click here.

About Ed


Hi.
My name is Ed short for Edgar. Mixed blood of Latvian and Ireland
I have lived in Mullingar town for most of my life. Traveling around the country is my favorite pass time activity, I have been to many places, and love to explore all the nooks & crannies of Ireland. The beauty of Ireland's landscape is unbelievable sometimes you feel like in a different country. From the serenity of the walk at Glendalough to the humbling feeling of being beside Cliffs of Moher is truly amazing to experience.
When I travel throughout Ireland the hospitality is the one thing that stood out most! Cork is my personal favourite as the people are so nice and welcoming my highlight was the Titanic experience where you feel like one of the passengers who are about to board the ship from the heartbreak pier that still stands to this day.
In Ireland you will always get the warmest welcome in any B&B. My other hobbies are cooking horse riding and fishing. I can’t wait to share the experiences with you for your Trip of a lifetime to this amazing Green Isle.
Sláinte (Cheers)

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About Donna


Hey, my name is Donna and I'm from the town of Mullingar in the Heart of Ireland.

One of my passions is exploring and from my experience, Ireland is a beautiful country to explore. I have so many recommendations but for newcomers to Ireland I definitely opt to send you to Westport for Croagh Patrick & Clew Bay, perfect for hiking scenery and beautiful seafood, 

My favorite place in Ireland is Galway City - I love going for a meal with my friends, followed by a stroll down the cobbled streets, before popping into one of the Traditional Irish Pubs like  An Púcan.

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About Rita


Hi, I’m Rita and I am living in Kilkenny, the Marble city.

Born in Portugal, I fell in love with Ireland from the moment I landed here. I intended to stay for 6 months, and 6 years after I just cannot imagine my life without the Irish ‘craic’. 

Working in Events & Tourism for the last years has been so rewarding - bringing people to see all the magical, undiscovered spots in this country is what I wake up for every day. I have made memories that will last a lifetime, and I work towards creating the same experiences for others visiting the Emerald island. 

My favourite place in Ireland is probably the Dingle Peninsula, where bumpy roads bring the Atlantic ocean and green mountains together. The seafood is just as brilliant as the landscape, which I couldn’t forget to mention, being the foodie that I am!

You could say I am biased when I pick Kilkenny as one of my other top spots - I just can’t get enough of this lively mediaeval city branded by its hospitality.

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About Tina


Hi my name is TinaMarie, I have been working in Travel for over 15 years now and still love it as much as when I just started. There is something very special about bringing people to Ireland because we live here we take pride in our wonderful little country and want the whole world to experience what we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.

Without a shadow of a doubt my favourite county and city in Ireland is Galway simply due to the dual aspect living you can have in this area the beauty and serenity of the Connemara countryside and the diverse cultural living of Galway city. Come and see firsthand how friendly and welcoming the Irish people are , Stop waiting and make the trip of a lifetime!

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About Sinéad


Hey! My name is Sinéad. I'm from Longford, the heart of the midlands. I'm a countryside girl at heart, depsite living in the capital for a few years while studying. I love the hustle bustle of Dublin city centre, there's always so much going on and so much to do. Although, you can't beat the tranquility of the Irish countryside in my opinion!

Apart from my hometown, one of my favorite place in Ireland has got to be 'The Kingdom' (Kerry). The scenery is just unparalleled. From the idyllic wild Atlantic coasts to our selection of well-known mountain ranges, and everything in between. The ring of Kerry is definitely a must see, the nightlife is pretty great too!!

On my weekends I love to cheer on my local Gaelic football teams. I'd definitely recommend catching a GAA match on your travels!

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About Jessica


Hi, my name is Jessica,

I'm from the town of Mullingar, known as the hidden heartlands of Ireland. Travel is my passion, every weekend I try to visit a few different counties here in Ireland and also explore new and exciting countries. Unfortunately there is just not enough time to visit everywhere I want too on our beautiful island of Ireland, Naturally the next best thing is to help make others dreams come true with the trip of a lifetime to our fair isle!

My two favorite places in Ireland is Galway and Kerry. They are full of great culture, food, scenery, and of course many traditional Irish pubs!! There is always a great lively buzz no matter what time of year you visit.

I look forward to working with many of you in the near future to offer my knowledge, guidance and support for your trip of a lifetime.

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About Ronan


Hey!

My name is Ronan and I'm from Mullingar (the heart of the Midlands). I have a passion for travelling and have been all over the world. However, my most favourite place in the world is the west of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way. From seeing Basking sharks in Keem bay in Achill Island (Mayo), to having a lovely relaxing pint of Guinness in Salthill in Galway, to taking in the majestic Cliffs of Moher in Clare and kayaking alongside dolphins in Dingle bay (Kerry) - it's all just amazing. Oh, and not to forget the delicious Skellig chocolates while looking out at Skellig Michaeal in Kerry, yum!

I love all things sport and food - when I'm not travelling around Ireland I'm cooking up a storm in the kitchen and watching some local GAA (our national sport). I can't wait to help you out and make your trip to Ireland, the trip of a lifetime!

Céad mile fáilte mo chara - (A thousand welcomes my friend).

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