Welcome to Ireland's Ancient East
When you explore Ireland’s Ancient East, you wander through 5,000
years of history.
In these lush, green lands, tales of feuding dynasties hide behind crumbling
Gothic architecture, ghostly tombs predate the pyramids, and knights, kings,
monks and Vikings loom large in incredible stories.
The gateway to Ireland's Ancient East
We starting our trip through the Ireland’s Ancient East in Cork – the second biggest city in Ireland. But it is more like a bigger town.
Cork is a flourishing town and the gateway to Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way in the West of Ireland. Take a walk around the
17th century Elizabethan Fort and try to count the uncountable churches from above the city. Visit the Cork City Gaol,
which is a former prison, now a museum. Your next stop should be the Butter Museum, a hub of folklore, food and farming history.
Don’t forget to explore the diverse English Market, where you can find anything from lovely vintage clothes, sweets, fruits,
fish, meat and handmade souvenirs.
Stop and take a lunch, like a sweet chick or a fresh sandwich at the English-Market, before you will leave Cork.
Blackrock Castle Observatory
Corks harbour is one of the finest natural anchorages. Visit Blackrock Castle, where you can discover 500 years of
globally influential history.
Blackrock Castle is the oldest surviving building, which is still in use, has served as an Court, a lighthouse,
a signalling station and a gun battery, defending the river approach to Cork.
Today it is used as an Observatory and celebrates 500years of history.
The tragic history of Spike Island
Nestled near Cobh, next to Corks natural harbour, you get access to Spike Island by boat. The island is dominated by the
star shaped Fort Mitchel. When it was completed around 1850 it was used to protect and defend Cork Harbour. So the guns
are now on public view.
Walk in the footsteps of the famous Irish patriot John Mitchel, after whom the fort is named. He was incarcerated on the
islands prison – Ireland’s Alcatraz. You can learn how some of the prisoners were able to escape.
It is amazing for visitors to look at the gorgeous design and size of the 19th century fort, which is surrounded by
a dry ditch. You can enjoy views of the lower harbour, of the outstanding stonework and you can learn from the
If you like to stay longer in Cork, the Midleton East Hotel in Cork is a good choice.
The Jameson Whiskey distillery in Midleton shows how the masters craft the famous Jameson Whiskey. Park your car and
try some of the finest whiskeys and take a look at the largest pot in the world.
Hook Head lighthouse
One of Ireland’s favourite attractions is the Hook Lighthouse. The world’s oldest working lighthouse is located on a hook
in the south-east of Waterford. The lighthouse has shone across 800 years. Meet the life-size hologram figures
St Dubhán and William Marshall and listen their stories about fellow monks from 5th century, who warned sailors
with the beacon and the construction of this lighthouse tower.
Follow the history of the Vikings and the Normans
Three museums near the Dooley’s Hotel, called Waterford Treasures, tell the 1100 year old story of Waterford
from its foundation by Viking sea pirates.
In the Waterford Viking Triangle the exhibition presents virtual adventures, medieval embroidered silk Cloth of Gold
vestments – the only complete medieval in Europe. It is an exciting, funny tour with dancing, singing and costumes and
much more treasures from the middle ages.
Another interactive exhibition centre could you find in the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Take the time to enjoy
Ireland’s wild nature and discover a part of the Norman way of life on the Norman Way, a heritage trail along
the south coast of County Wexford.
Dunbrody famine Ship Visitor Centre
In Wexford you can also explore Dunbrody Famine Ship and Emigrant Experience, which is an essential stop on
any tour of Ireland. The impressive visit of the reconstructed ship and the visitor centre tells the story of a horrible
time of Ireland and the desperate search for a better life in a better world. So you can learn here a lot about
Stay in the Talbot Hotel Wexford, so you will have time to explore more of the attractions of this area. You will be near to all
amenities with this location near to the city centre. So you can relax after a day full of adventures in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Out of a younger past, you can visit the ancestral home of John F. Kennedy. Here is the birthplace of Kennedys Grandfather
Patrick Kennedy. The museum celebrates the story of five generations of the Kennedy dynasty. It is today still farmed by
Continue to Irelands inland
The Ancient East is famous for his castles. The Kilkenny Castle at the river Nore was built in the 12th century
and finished 1213. In 1391 James Butler, the earl of Ormonde, bought it. So it becomes for the next
600 years the place of the butler dynasty.
Later the Irish state takes care of it. Restored it is now together with his big park a famous tourist attraction.
The Butler gallery inside, is one of the most important galleries, except from Dublin. You can visit also the library, a salon
and the sleeping room, which are shining with the charm of 1830.
St. Canince’s Cathedral & Round Tower
The St. Canince’s Cathedral is an essential part of the structural heritage of Kilkenny.
Combining different structural impacts, from Christians and Normans, this is a must visit place in Ireland’s Ancient East.
If you want a little bit more extra fun, you can climb on a clear day at one of the only two round towers in the country,
so you can enjoy a magnificent view of Kilkenny and the surrounding area.
The Dunmore cave is a limestone cave, which series of chambers with some of the finest calcite formations
Irelands formed over millions of years. History and geology found evidences of Viking activity in this cave.
Take a rest in Carlow
While you’re stay in the Talbot Hotel Carlow you can visit the Triple Bullaun Stone, which is a large natural stone with
three hollows scooped out. These were used in pre historic times for ramming ingredients.
Strolling through the Oak Park Forest Park, where you can choose between colour-coded walkways with different
lengths and enjoy the landscape or taking the Carlow Town Heritage Trail to explore the town.
Irish National Stud and Gardens
Located in Kildare Town, the Irish National Stud and Garden offers a unique experience for visitors to enjoy.
Strolling through the Japanese Gardens and learn about thoroughbred horse industry.
In the Stud you can marvel the horses at close quarters. From horses to horticulture over wonderful Gardens,
you will have a lovely and relaxing day here.
Enjoy your stay at the Westgrove Hotel and discover the places of interest around Kildare
Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre
The Award-Winning Gardens of Birr Castle Gardens and the Science Centre are both awesome for discover
feats of science and engineering as well as rare trees and flowers.
You can find wonderful wildlife and take walks along rivers and lakes.
You are invited to explore from the County Arms Hotel these part of Ireland’s East.
Clonmacnoise in Birr is a unique ruin of a cloister in County Offaly at the river Shannon.
The story of this cloister goes back to the 6th century. Today it is one of the most visited attractions in Ireland.
Welcome to the beautiful capitol of Ireland
In and around Dublin you can find comfortable hotels from where you can start your trips through the northern part
of Ireland’s Ancient East.
Take a walk through the city and visit the famous statue of Molly Malone, whose story you can hear
in this song. Further you can discover the City Centre with St. Stephens Green, the St. Patricks Cathedral,
Dublin Castle and the Trinity College, which foundation was in 1592.
If you have acquired a taste for Guinness or whiskey, you should visit the Jameson Distillery or the Guinness Store House,
from where you will have a great view over Dublin.
Newgrange and Knowth
Newgrange is a 5,200 year old Neolithic passage tomb situated in the Boyne Valley. Together with Knowth and Dowth,
it is part of a complex of over 40 tombs. Most of the megalithic rock art in Western Europe is found here.
The most impressive spectacle take place on Winter Solstice at Newgrange.
On mornings around the winter solstice a beam of sunlight shines through the roofbox above the South East entrance
and travels up the 19 metre passage into the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens so that the whole
cruciform chamber is illuminated.
The Hill of Uisneach as the centre of Ireland is one of the most historic and mystical sanctuaries in the world.
It has played a part in a lots of Irish events.
The Hill of Tara, with his history that goes back over 5,000 years, was the seat of Ireland’s Kings.
There are rumours that King Laoghaire is buried here upright with his sword in hand to be able to fight against his enemies,
even in death.
This is 5,000 years of history. This is Ireland’s Ancient East.