Rico’s 28th birthday brought us to Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula for a three-day weekend in late August. We flew into and out of Shannon, rented a car for the weekend, and stayed at Greenmount House, a short walk from the center of Dingle.
On our drive to and from the peninsula, we stopped at a few points in the eastern and northern areas. Fermoyle Strand offered us an excuse to stretch our legs and walk the beach, and as a bonus, we got to hang out with some cows near the car park! Brandon Point gave us a good taste of what this area of the world has to offer: dramatic coastal views, serene walking paths, and lots of sheep! We took scenic Conor Pass down toward Dingle, but unfortunately, the heavy fog blocked most of the view. The drive out on our final day took us to Minard Castle (which we were only able to appreciate for a moment in the pouring rain) and Inch Beach, where we drove our car onto the beach and braved the wind and rain with a something-less-than-comfortable stroll.
The Dingle Peninsula’s main attraction is Slea Head Drive, a coastal loop around the western edge of the peninsula. We started at Ventry Beach (52.132441, -10.363868) and made our way clockwise around the road. Dunbeg Promontory Fort offered both beautiful views and a view into the area’s history for context. Coumeenoole Beach was certainly a highlight of the drive; we spent our time here walking the beach’s many hidden coves and appreciating the ragged, cliff-covered coastline from below. Our final beach stop was at Fearann Beach (52.186151, -10.414643), where we walked on the harbor’s purple-tinted sand with nary another person in sight. Brief stops at Gallarus Oratory and Kilmalkedar Church offered more insight into the area’s history (and we walked some of the paths in the countryside by the church). The day couldn’t have ended with anything better than the walk up to Eask Tower (which is deceptively steep!), where we were rewarded with incredible views in every direction, basking in the golden afternoon light.
We started each day right with a filling breakfast at Greenmount House (banana pancake, lemon and sugar crepe, French toast), served in the hotel’s cozy dining room. Other noteworthy meals were had at The Wren’s Nest (noteworthy not for the food but for the off-beat hippy vibe), Random (burger and fries, fish and chips) and Murphy’s (the best ice cream in town!).
Trips like this are a welcome respite from city life in London. And though the weather didn’t always cooperate, we enjoyed spending a long weekend in the green countryside of the Emerald Isle. We’ll always remember our stay by the small vase from The Weavers' Shop and a notebook from Original Kerry Craft Centre. We know there is much more of Ireland to explore and will no doubt be back someday to see what else it has to offer!