I AM JOINING A CRUISE FROM DOVER IN MAY, AND AM THINKING OF FLYING TO DUBLIN WITH TWO FULL DAYS TO EXPLORE THE SURROUNDS. WHAT ARE THE DON'T MISS PLACES? C. CLARKE, COFFS HARBOUR
Just south of Dublin, County Wicklow will give you a taste of the wild and extravagant beauty of the Irish countryside. Spend best part of a day exploring the surrounds of the Powerscourt Estate, a sprawling Palladian mansion surrounded by Italianate gardens and water features. Another highlight is Glendalough, an early medieval monastic settlement, still powerfully evocative of the religious devotion that is woven into the Irish soul.
With just two full days you've barely enough time to take in Dublin itself, the city has plenty to keep you entertained.
A free 90-minute walking tour departs from the Town Hall several times daily. Book in advance [neweuropetours.eu].
Evensong happens at 5:30pm, 3:15pm on Sundays, in St Patrick's Cathedral and it's a knockout. Temple Bar is a brash and touristy part of the city but it's inevitable you'll end up there at one time or another, there are heaps of bars, restaurants, galleries and a food market.
The city has a treasure trove of Georgian architecture, both in its public buildings and its rows of terrace houses. There are five Georgian squares in the city and don't miss Henrietta Street, where the Tenement Museum is scheduled to open in 2017.
Pubs are an essential part of the Dublin experience, sustenance for the soul as well as the body. Pick some of the traditional favourites such as the Porterhouse, the Auld Dubliner, the Stag's Head and the Brazen Head, which dates back to 1198, and is still kicking on.
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