An ‘alternative bucket list’ of things to do in Ireland has been created by leading travel guide Lonely Planet.
Of course, Ireland is full of great cities and famous attractions all over the country, it would take several trips to visit them all.
Places like the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant’s Causeway, Newgrange, the Ring of Kerry are all considered must visit areas of beauty or historical interest.
But for tourists who want to experience something a little different, the Lonely Planet’s guide could prove to be a real eye-opener.
The list was put together in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and many of the lesser know gems look just as intriguing as their world-famous counterparts.
Here are some of the standout alternative attractions:
National Irish Heritage Park in Ferrycarrig, Co Wexford
Lonely Planet says: “Travelling back in time is possible at Ferrycarrig’s National Irish Heritage Park when you stay overnight in a medieval wooden ringfort and experience life as it would have been in the time of St Patrick.
“The dwelling is constructed with materials that our ancestors would have used including stone, oak and ash and features a thatched roof and central hearth.”
Sliabh Liag, Co Donegal
Lonely Planet says: “Reaching three times higher than the cliffs of Moher, Sliabh Liag in Co. Donegal has what are regarded as some of the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe.
It offers unparalleled views across Donegal Bay, notably the Bunglass Viewing Platform from which you can snap spectacular views of the cliffs.”
Mayo Dark Sky Park
Lonely Planet says: “Visit Mayo Dark Sky Park, which borders Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park and you will experience one of the best places to stargaze, not only in Ireland but in the world.
“Mayo has international dark sky gold tier status because of the quality of its night sky, which is free from light pollution and where on a clear night you can see over 4500 stars along with other planets in the solar system.”
Loop Head Peninsula, Co Clare
Lonely Planet says: “With its dramatic Cliffs and glorious seascapes, this area of Co Clare is made for water adventures.
“Kayaking, scuba diving, stand up paddleboarding, surfing and sea angling are popular pursuits here and if you’re looking for a real adrenalin rush, coasteering is a relatively new exhilarating adventure sport to try.”
Fourknocks, Stamullen, Co Meath
Lonely Planet says: “Older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids, Meath is home to some of the most important prehistoric monuments in the world.
“Built around 3000 BC, Fourknocks has a larger chamber than Newgrange and a shorter passage and features engraved stones, and what is thought to be one of the first depictions of the human face found in prehistoric Irish art.”
There are many more alternative attractions on Lonely Planet’s bucket list – click here to see the full list
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling