Destination: County Wicklow Ireland

Some of you may know that I'm of Irish descent. I haven't been there in 25 years, so I was thrilled to meet Irish blogger Ashling of Allthingsnice. While I'm a city girl, Ashling is a country girl, and revels in its vast glory. I guess I might be too if I lived in such beautiful surroundings. She lives two hours north of Dublin near the border with Northern Ireland. Ashling is going to take us on a tour of County Wicklow, Ireland

Let's get to know her first.

Q: Dogs or cats? 
Cats. I have no pets at my house, but we now have four cats on the farm. Only two have names: Tommy and Tilly. They keep the mice away.

Q: Tea or coffee? 
Oh tea. I drink way too much. On average I take about 10 mugs a day- addiction I know!

Q: Cooking or baking? 
Cooking. I’m not a great baker.

Q: Spring or fall? 
I like both equally, although in Ireland we don’t use the term fall we just call it autumn. The countryside is really pretty in both spring and autumn. Spring is so green with lots of new life emerging in the hedges and fields and along the lake shores, and then in autumn the trees are amazing with all their rust, red and yellow leaves.

Q: Beach or mountains? 
Beach probably as it reminds me of good weather. My parents have a holiday home at the beach, and I love taking walks on the sand and collecting shells.

Q: Favorite city? 
That’s a difficult one. I love lots of cities, however I am a country girl at heart so I much prefer spending time in the countryside. I do like Paris, London and Prague though.

Q: Funniest travel experience? 
Meeting the Minister of Finance at the airport when going on holidays to Madeira. Coincidentally, we ended up checking into the same hotel, and meeting him almost every day there.

Q: Best meal you’ve ever had? 
Homemade Irish Boxty. If you ever visit Ireland, you need to try it.

County Wicklow Ireland

A few years ago, my husband and I decided to take a short staycation in Ireland and went to County Wicklow. It is located just South of Dublin with easy access on the motorway. We visited Avoca Village with its lovely Meeting of the Waters where two rivers merge together. Avoca village is also home to one of Ireland’s oldest working woolen mills and one of the world's oldest manufacturing companies - Avoca Handweavers.  

 {Avoca handweavers shop}

{woollen items for sale online too}

{meeting of the waters}

We also stopped off at Avondale House set in a 500 acre forest. The house is Georgian and is well worth a visit.

 {Avondale House}

{gate house at Avondale House}

From there we visited one of the main visitor destinations – Glendalough an ancient monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century. It is set in a glaciated valley with two lakes and beautiful scenery. It includes a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. It really is worth a visit. Michelle Obama and her two children visited on their trip to Ireland.

{the lake}

Our final destination, and one of my favorites, was Powerscourt Estate with its wonderful gardens and magnificently built heritage. You can spend hours taking in the beautiful gardens, have something to eat in the Avoca CafĂ© and shop in the bespoke Irish-owned shops. One of Ireland’s highest waterfalls is also nearby. The scenery and landscape are spectacular. Powerscourt is only 20 km south of Dublin, so for anyone visiting Dublin, you should plan a day to visit.

{Japanese garden at Powerscourt}

A few more questions for Ashling...

Q: Who do you travel with?
I always go on holidays with my husband. Sometimes with my parents.

Q: Where you stayed?
We stayed in a small guesthouse, however there are plenty of B&B’s and guesthouses in County Wicklow to choose from.

Q: Travel tips? 
When holidaying in Ireland, it is always a bonus to get good weather, but always come prepared with rain jackets and good footwear.

Q: If I were to do it again, I would…
When in Ireland, make sure you explore rural Ireland not just Dublin city.

Q: Where to next? 
Having recently traveled to Italy, Montenegro, mainland Greece and three of the Greek Islands along with my husband and my parents, we plan to stay close to home.

Thanks for stopping by Ashling. I hope to travel with my husband and children to Ireland in the next few years. We will definitely visit County Wicklow. In the meantime, I enjoy following Ashling on Instagram. She's an amazing photographer!

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