3 Stunning Ireland Hidden Gems to See
Ireland is visited by millions of people every single year, but most do not get to see much besides the very popular travel destinations. Since there are countless vacation getaways available in Ireland, there is no reason why you shouldn’t also go for the lesser-known options. Below you can find some incredible hidden gems in the country you should seriously consider visiting.
1. Lismore Castle
Lismore Castle is one of Ireland’s crown jewels – an elegant home to the Duke of Devonshire that welcomes visitors who can explore its seven acres of magnificent gardens, offering incredible views.
This castle is an incredible feat of 19th-Century architecture & an incredible sight! Originally, Arthur Keily-Ussher used it as an extravagant entranceway into his estate.
After reconstruction in Gothic style, it now serves as the luxurious residence for the Duke of Devonshire. The grounds contain numerous historical relics, beautiful gardens, and some of the greatest works by old masters and contemporary artists alike.
As soon as it’s time to leave the castle grounds, head into Lismore & explore this picturesque riverside town. Lismore is famous for its boutique shops & unique dining options; guests can also take advantage of its yacht-filled harbor, culinary tours & experiences, and beautiful surroundings.
Check out Bad Eddie, a massive shipwreck off Maheraclogher Beach, or head out onto Dingle cliffs to visit Gallarus Oratory which dates back to the 6th-7th centuries. Alternatively, Lough Ouler provides hikers with an adventuresome trail.
2. Plassey Shipwreck
As one of Ireland’s hidden gems, this shipwreck stands out on Inis Oirr. Formerly serving the Royal Navy before being sold into merchant service, MV Plassey ran aground at Inisheer Beach on Inis Oirr in 1960 – yet no lives were lost thanks to quick thinking by locals who saved everyone on board and made for safe passage back out into open waters. Today it remains a must-see stop when visiting Inis Oirr.
At the height of winter 2013-2014, Aran Islands were hit hard by some of the strongest storms and tides ever witnessed on these islands. Miraculously, though, one shipwreck, called Plassey Shipwreck, managed to survive this disaster; now standing as a symbol of both sea power and islanders’ determination.
History lovers will find much to explore here, such as Teach Synge – an Irish playwright John Millington Synge’s cottage where some of his most celebrated works were written – or Leenaun Village where Sean Bean’s movie The Field was shot.
Are You an Avid Walker? There are plenty of scenic hikes across the Aran Islands for avid walkers to enjoy, with Lub Dun Eochla, a 10km looped walk starting at Kilronan Pier on Inis Oirr and leading past ancient churches, sunken graves, breathtaking ocean views, and ancient churches being some of the highlights.
3. Hell Fire Club
There are countless tales revolving around these mysterious ruins and hunting lodges situated deep within Dublin Mountains. Locals refer to it as Hell Fire Club and local legend has it that this location has links with rituals, black magic, and even Satan himself.
William Connolly built it as a luxury hunting lodge in 1725 but its history is anything but pleasant. Later it was leased by Richard Parsons of the Hellfire Club who used it for drinking, gambling, and womanizing to shock society; there have been multiple reports detailing his depravity and profanity against society; he even welcomed Dr Madden of his church without wearing clothing!
The Hellfire Club existed from 1645-1740 before disbanding, but its legacy lives on in popular culture today. Some historians speculate that it may have been an underground Masonic organization engaging in dark arts such as murder and human sacrifice.
Beltany Stone Circle is one of Ireland’s greatest hidden treasures. Situated south of Raphoe and featuring 64 stones of various sizes arranged in a circular formation, its popularity dates back to Bronze Age times despite speculations regarding supernatural phenomena and mystic rituals connected to it. Beltany remains an exciting and engaging location worthy of exploration – visit today and discover for yourself!