Dingle is one of my favorite places in all of Ireland.
I came to Dingle for my first time on a solo trip. I was in the fall semester of my last year of grad school, and wanted to get away away from the U.S. to write one of my big papers. I ended up staying at a wonderful BnB that overlooked the bay with the BEST hosts you could imagine. I hope to visit them again someday with Ash...
...But enough reminiscing of my first trip. Ash and I didn't stay in Dingle, but instead stopped through on our way to Doolin from Cork. It was sort of an impromptu idea- I told Ash that the Slea Head drive was beautiful, and after some quick planning, we agreed that there was time to do it.
From Cork to Dingle, it is a 2.5 hour drive; not bad. We arrived in the small village of Dingle mid-morning and started our time here by walking around the town. Dingle sits right on a harbor that connects to the Atlantic Ocean, so after visiting some shops in the village we were able to peruse the sailboats that inhabited the water here. When we finally had our fill of fun, we hopped in the car and began our journey around the peninsula, aka Slea Head.
The Slea Head drive is one small part of the Wild Atlantic Way, a famous route that goes all the way up and down the west coast of Ireland. Beautiful, gorgeous, amazing, inspiring... what more can I say? Places like this are the reason I stress renting a car rather than taking a tour. We were able to stop whenever and wherever we wanted to get the most wonderful photos. The narrow road sits between cliff walls and the Atlantic Ocean, with some parts only wide enough for one car. Although it was interesting (and sometimes nerve wracking) trying to navigate the two-way traffic under these conditions, it was completely worth it. Ash claims that this area was one of the most beautiful places we saw in Ireland, and we saw a lot.
Though the majority of the drive is meant for scenic viewing pleasure, there are also some fun spots to check out. Ash and I stopped first at a small cafe near the beginning of the drive. The Stonehouse Cafe & Restaurant is really pleasant. With the nice weather we took the opportunity to sit outside where there were picnic benches overlooking the ocean. We had some lunch and a couple of Irish Coffees before we hopped back in the car for the remaining drive.
If you enjoy ceramics, another stop worth seeing is the Louis Mulcahy Pottery shop. The shop is a working studio, store, and cafe. Although nothing was purchased here this trip, we did have fun walking around and looking at all of the work.
The Dingle Peninsula is amazing. If you can stay in Dingle for a couple of nights, I would recommend it because there is so much more to do and see than I mentioned in this blog. If you can't stay overnight, at least come out this way to drive Slea Head- you won't regret it.
Have you been to Dingle or completed the drive? Were there other cool experiences that you had here that are worth mentioning? Tell us about your travels by adding your comments below!
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