Ireland Travel Guide
Known universally as the Emerald Isle due to itís lush and fertile greenness, Ireland sits in the Atlantic Ocean, separated from Britain by 50 miles by the Irish Sea. The northeastern part of Ireland however, (Northern Ireland) is part of the United Kingdom. The centre of the country consists largely of flat farmland and bogs drained by the famous 161 mile-long River Shannon. Encircling this central plain and mirroring the coastline are stunning lakes, mountains and hills making up some of the most beautiful and enigmatic scenery in Europe. The 3500-mile coastline of Ireland is fantastically beautiful, comprising of rugged cliffs, quiet sandy beaches and semi-tropical bays warmed by the Gulf Stream. The Atlantic coast in particular is a veritable barricade of gnarled and moody cliffs staring out across the ocean. With the countryside teeming with foxes, badgers, squirrels, hares, red-deer and a whole host of bird life, Ireland is wildlife haven. There are even turtles and triggerfish off the Atlantic coast thanks to the warm Gulf Stream.
There are hundreds beautiful towns and villages scattered throughout the 26 counties of Ireland, but itís major city is Dublin. As the capital of Ireland, Dublin is located in the valley of the River Liffey around Dublin Bay. This elegant city has become a major tourist destination in the last few years with itís young, cosmopolitan ambience and backdrop of spacious squares and broad streets lined with 18th-century Georgian mansions. There is also plenty of other stunning architecture such as Trinity College, the Bank of Ireland, Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrickís Cathedral. There is even a castle, originally constructed in 1204 by King John. These architectural landmarks are complemented by a generous helping of museums and galleries, including the National Gallery, the National Museum, Heraldic Museum and the Dublin Civic Museum. The city has also developed a very exciting nightlife that has attracted a young and trendy crowd to the ubiquitous nightclubs and bars around the old, maze-like district of Templebar. Tours of the Guinness Brewery, producing Irelandís most famous liquid export are also very popular with visitors.
Ireland is a truly beautiful country that is continuously blossoming. From the mountains of Connemara to the luscious green southwest counties of Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperaryare brimming with natural splendour, and from the cosmopolitan capital of Dublin, to the atmospheric old towns of Galway and Waterford, Ireland has something for everyone. And, although famous for itís rain, the wet stuff only serves to make this country look even more beautiful and besides, itís a great excuse for the pub.
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