Road-tripping across the Emerald Isle
Hop on the train south and head to Bray, a small sea-side town looking out over the Irish Sea. Make your way out of the quiet train station and through the narrow, colorful alleys to the water. The beach is covered in wishing rocks — smooth stones with white rings that wrap around their circumference. Pocket a few and head to the south end of the beach. There, a trail emerges and forks.
Hike the right-side path that climbs steeply up to the cross at the top of Bray Head. The Irish countryside rolls out behind you in smooth, green and brown hills, and the Irish Sea fades to the sky in a perfect gradient. Continue on the trail south a couple miles further, and then descend into Greystones, another small coastal town.
Eat at the Happy Pear for lunch, a homey, organic restaurant with a plethora of vegan and gluten free options. Poke around their health food shop for an extra snack before then grabbing the train back to Dublin.
Rent a car and drive to the Cliffs of Moher, stopping at Avoca for lunch on the way out of Dublin. Hope for good weather, but bring a raincoat in case water is gusting up over the cliffs like a shower. Then, continue on to the often color-blocked, sea-side city of Galway.
Grab coffee in town and ask your barista for a recommendation — or just end up at Ashford Castle near Cong for the day. Explore the wild grounds of this 800-year-old castle once owned by the Guinness Family, and make sure to walk out to the edge of Lough Corrib. Revel in the solitude as the water comes within inches of swamping your feet. Climb a few of the witchy trees spread all across the grounds — there will likely be no one around to stop you.
Climb around the ruins of Rinn Duin Castle just outside of Athlone — stop off here for a break on your drive back to Dublin. Park on the side of the road next to the sign that says “Beware of the Bull,” and meet a flock of Irish sheep.
Walk through pastures of quintessential, Irish farmland to the crumbling ruins of 800-year-old Rinn Duin Castle — you'll likely be the only one out on the peninsula. Don't be afraid to bushwhack through thorn bushes and climb up on the the castle stones, just be careful not to get stuck up on a stone wall like we did.
CLIENTS: Nau, Topo Designs
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