I really want to make a tradition of making little wishlists every Summer for places I want to visit in Ireland. Summers always feel like they’re full of possibilities here, more than any other places I’ve lived in. Probably because the Winters are so long and dreary, you feel lucky and so emboldened as soon as the sun shows its first rays. You really owe it to yourself to make the most of the brighter days. I made one of theses lists back in 2015, and used it through that Summer and the next one. Actually, I still have a few items I need to tick off so I will definitely go back to it (go have a look at it if you need activity ideas, I reviewed the ones I have done). But I also wanted a fresh one for this new Summery chapter. If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, it won’t surprise you that this lists feature a few grand houses and nature spots. Also, most of the places are close to or easily reachable from Dublin. Here they come, the 10 things I most aspire to do this sweet Irish Summer.
- Visit the handweaving mill at Avoca (co. Wicklow)
I would love to see how Avoca’s colourful blankets and throws are made They are some of Ireland’s most famous exports and this mill is said to be the oldest one working in the country! I’m hoping I can combine the tour with a visit to its neighbouring Knockanree Botanic Gardens.
- Tour Ardgillan Castle (co. Dublin)
There’s nothing that makes me happier than visiting a period house and its gardens. Especially when those come with impressive sea views. Bonus point, this castle is in county Dublin so it should be easy enough to get to it!
- Pick raspberries at Lamberts Fruit Farm (co. Dublin)
I can’t think of a more summery activity than picking fruits in a field! Located in Rathfarnam, Lamberts Farm open its door to the public for a couple of months just as their berries (strawberries, gooseberries and raspberries) get ripe for the season.
- See the puffins at Great Saltee Island (co. Wexford)
Up until recently I thought you could only see puffins on the West Coast of Ireland, which is not that easily accessible for me. But it turns out, and it looks like it’s a bit hush-hush, there’s an island off the Wexford coast, where hundreds of puffins (and other birds) like to spend the nesting season. It’d be a dream come true to take a little boat trip there! (granted it is done with respect to the local wildlife).
- Finally tick off Glendalough from my Irish bucket list (co. Wicklow)
Yes, I’m not proud of myself, I have been living here for 9 years and I still haven’t visited this Irish nature wonder which attracts thousands of people from all over the world. Don’t ask me why, I’m as confused as you are.
- Meditate in Victor’s Way Garden (co. Wicklow)
This garden is said to be contemplative, it is full of Indian statues, some of them looking rather strange. Definitely not your typical Wicklow garden!
- Buy a 99 with flake at Teddy’s Ice cream (co. Dublin)
Last year, I finally tasted Murphy’s ice-cream. I think it’s time, this year, I tried this Dublin institution. I’ll probably go to the original Dun Laoghaire location, as I’ve been meaning to explore this sea town again. It looks like it changed quite a bit since the last time I went.
- Eat at The Happy Pear (co. Wicklow)
I’ve been meaning to eat there for aaages, I’m just a klutz when it comes to read opening hours. This Summer, I’ll tattoo them on my arm! I would also love to make more of an effort to eat vegan when I’m out. Do you know of any great cafes or restaurants that have an interesting vegan menu?
- Walk in Talbot Botanic Garden (co. Dublin)
This garden is located on the grounds of Malahide Castle. Last time I was there, albeit a long time ago, they were closed for renovations. It would be nice to see what they did with the place and it would be the perfect occasion to finally take a tour of the castle!
- Visit Castletown House (co. Kildare)
I promised myself to explore county Kildare this year. It is a direct neighbour to Dublin and quite well-served by transport, so really there’s no excuse to my vast ignorance when it comes to this county. I would love to start with Castletown House as I love the Palladian architecture, also it hosts a very cute market every Sunday!
What are your plans for this Summer?