Holiday makers who visit Ireland will be able to tick off several items in a bucket list of places to see before you die compiled by the travel bible Lonely Planet.
Lonely Planet have spent years on their list as travel experts have gone through every one of the locations in their vast collection of guidebooks to come up with their latest book – Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist.
The book is a list of 500 attractions around the world that people must see before they die. It includes everything from world famous sights to hidden gems.
The list included six tourist attractions in Ireland – Brú na Bóinne, Trinity College, the Cliffs of Moher and the Rock of Cashel which are all in the Republic and the Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic Belfast which are in the North.
The first Irish attraction in the countdown was the Rock of Cashel, which was at number 497 on the Lonely Planet list.
Elaine Moriarty is the supervisor of the Rock of Cashel. She said: “In terms of Irish history, it would be unique and we had a political, religious and ecclesiastical history here.”
The next must visit destination in Ireland to make the list was Trinity College Dublin which was placed at number 468. Trinity College is home to the world famous Book of Kells – an ancient manuscript created by Celtic monks in around AD 800.
The first must see attraction in Northern Ireland is the magnificent Titanic Quarter in Belfast. The Titanic building is shaped like the famous ship and was opened in 2012 to mark the 100 year anniversary of the doomed ship’s maiden voyage.
Inside the striking building is a museum which tells all the true stories as well as the myths and legends about the ship. It reached number 424 on Lonely Planet’s ultimate list.
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most visited attractions and was recently named the area with the ‘best cliff view’ in the world by another leading travel magazine. The Cliffs were at number 378 on the Lonely Planet list.
Katherine Webster, the director of visitor services for the Cliffs of Moher, said that people have ‘great affection’ for the iconic site.
She said: “My favourite time is watching the sun setting around 4pm or 5pm. You see the sun going down in the west, and the light is reflected on the cliffs.”
Brú na Bóinne is a World Heritage site which contains several ‘passage graves’ including the famous Newgrange. It is one of the earliest examples of human civilisation and was visited by a quarter of a million people last year. It is ranked at number 224.
Claire Tuffy of the Office of Public Works said she was proud of Brú na Bóinne‘s inclusion in the list. She said: “There are very few places that you can stand in the exact same place that people 5,000 years ago stood in.
“For people based in Ireland, I’d say come in the off-season – the winter months. There are some monuments that look better at different times of the year. Winter is most definitely Newgrange’s time.”
The highest placed attraction in Ireland was the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, which is a vast area of rock which is split into over 40,000 hexagonal columns. The Causeway just failed to make it into the top 100, reaching number 103.
The number one attraction in the world, according to Lonely Planet is Temples of Angkor in Cambodia. The Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Machu Picchu (Peru), Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal (India) make up the top five.