Sunday Special – Brú na Bóinne Monument, Ireland

Brú na Bóinne. An area of continual human settlement going back to the Neolithic era found is found in the east of Ireland (County Meath), at the bend of the River Boyne. Here you will find buildings made so long ago that they pre-date the Pyramids of Egypt. Now that is old. I need to get myself here on my next visit to the Emerald Isle. And being only about 40 km / 25 miles north of Dublin makes it quite accessible.

Aerial photo of Knowth passage tombs at Brú na Bóinne, Ireland – Photo credit:
Raemond CarolanDowth Passage Tomb 3CC BY-SA 4.0

In this UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1993) you will find the three passage tombs of Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth (filled with Megalithic artwork) along with numerous monuments that show the ingenuity and skill of the ancient architects of that time. The incredible area is the largest of its kind in Europe at a size of 780 ha / 1,927 acres. The monuments range from those of social, commerce and funerary design. It has been determined that the passage tombs were constructed around 3,300 BCE through to 2,900 BCE with extensive consideration of solar and equinox alignment. It appears the architects knew what they were doing. Visiting this ancient part of Ireland is possible though only via guided tours and tickets are required.

Newgrange passage tombs in
Brú na Bóinne , Ireland
– Photo credit:
ConoroharaBrú na Bóinne – 20170705121243CC BY-SA 4.0

Sunday Special – Dublin Mountains Way, Ireland

Exploring a region by foot can be one of the most worthwhile ways to see it. This is certainly not limited to strolling through city centres. Walking and hiking is an activity enjoyed by many, from easy hikes spanning a few hours to ones that are strenuous and require days to finish. The payoff is exercise, breathing in nature and some phenomenal views. 

Dublin Mountains Way, only a mere 8 km / 5 miles from Dublin was named one of the most scenic walks in the world by Barry Stone in his book 1001 Walks You Must Take Before You Die (2015)The 43 km / 26 mile trail winds from easterly Shankill through to Tallaght in the west. Although it is considered a moderate to difficult hike that can take anywhere from 1 – 3 days it has been divided into three sections that can be done at any pace.  The trail was completed and opened in 2009 by the Dublin Mountains Partnership (DMP) and they continue to maintain and upkeep the paths. Their website offers descriptions of the routes, downloadable .pdf maps as well as event listings, transit information and “Leave No Trace” material.  The DMP also have also set up mountain biking routes, assembled  bouldering sites, introduced wheelchair orienteering on way-marked trails and manage conservation and upkeep of the area. As with any activity, make sure you are prepared and let someone know where you are going. 

Ireland is a stunning country, arguably one of the world’s most beautiful. Why not see it’s beauty by roving and wandering along these paths?

The Scalp From Barnaslingan Hill

The Scalp (Barnaslingan) on the Dublin Mountains Way – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned By Joe King (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


The Hell Fire Club along the Dublin Mountains Way – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned by jasonrogers [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday Special – Slea Head Drive, Ireland

Since it was St Patrick’s Day on Friday, today’s Sunday Special will be a beautiful spot in Ireland. As many of you know, Ireland is my favourite country. It is beyond beautiful – a place that has captivated my heart like no other. During my first visit to the ‘Emerald Isle’ I joined a tour from Killarney to Dingle along the Slea Head Drive. This was my first “day tour” (via bus) in Ireland. I have to say, it did not disappoint. The mid-March day was pleasantly sunny and made for some great views. So much so that I can not  remember the name of each location the tour stopped in. I was so overtaken with the stunning views that I tuned out what the tour guide told us!  What I do recall are lush green hills, stunning vistas, ancient ‘beehive’ huts, the Atlantic Ocean, a few stellar beaches and hearing about a local dolphin named Fungie. At one stop there was a magnificent view of the ocean where it met with the rugged shoreline of the Dingle Peninsula. The cool wind against my face was strong yet refreshing as I watched as the waves pummeled the earth. The sun was bright but not hot, it is Ireland after all. The grass beneath my feet was soft as I walked along the coast not wanting to head back to the bus. This was one of those perfect moments. Along with scenic views there was a stop to visit some of the clochans or beehive huts that are believed to be centuries old. It amazes me that they have stood for lifetimes yet do not appear to give their age. Beaches and the colourful town of Dingle added to this pleasant day. This beautiful drive certainly has chipped away at my fear of renting a car and driving on the opposite side of the road, something that I do find daunting. Oh but Ireland, you may be worth conquering that fear.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Inch Beach, Dingle Peninsula

Beautiful Dingle Peninsula

Ancient Beehive buildings 

Killarney Town Tour

One of the things I do fairly often when travelling is to seek out and take a city tour. This not only helps me get a sense of direction but also learn a bit about the city I am in. The majority of the time I use the ones that are free and you then tip the tour guide. They may be run by the hostels or tour companies in the area. When I was in Killarney, Ireland this last trip I found a brochure at my hostel for Killarney Town Tour. I had been in town only a few hours and they were offering a tour at 6:00pm. Perfect for me as I wanted to stretch my legs after hours on a bus.

So why am I writing about this particular free walking as opposed to the others? Well it’s because this tour is run by a woman who started it up because she wanted to. She does not work for a tour company or a hostel or anything like that. She has taken her own personal time to spend a couple hours with people every evening and share with them what she knows of her home town. Lorraine O’Sullivan does this because she wants to. She started it up on her own, volunteering her time. She also knows some really interesting things about Killarney, as you would expect from someone who has grown up there. Not only that but if she doesn’t know an answer to your question she will find it out and post it on the Facebook page. Lorraine is knowledgeable and friendly.  Her tour covers a fair bit of ground and I learned many new things on my second visit to the area. At the end she invited us to join her for a pint a  local pub, which incidentally, I visited again a few days later.  So if you are in Killarney, I strongly suggest you take this free tour (and tip her at the end as you and her are worth it) to learn and see about this great Irish town. The photos below are some of the ones I took on Lorraine’s tour.


Lorraine O’Sullivan of Killarney Town Tour


Malton Hotel – if walls could speak. This hotel has an interesting past


Red stag statues. If you are lucky you msy see some in Killarney National Park

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Old Market Square sign in Killarney

**Note: All opinions in this post are my own and Killarney Town Tour has not endorsed me in any way.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World