Fodor's To Europe!

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Day 5
Next stop: County Tipperary Previous stop: County Kildare Return to full itinerary »

This region, about an hour from Dublin, is essentially rich farmland that is studded with even richer sights. There are grand homes, unspoiled Georgian villages, and historic destinations, like Fore Abbey and Locke's Distillery. The countryside here is also ideal for cycling.
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  • Art and Culture
  • Architecture

Experiences

  • Even the drive up to Emo Court and Gardens is magnificent, thanks to its long, tree-lined avenue. Its showstopper is the domed rotunda, inspired by Rome's Pantheon. Come back down to earth in the 55 acres of gardens.
  • Located on the shores of Lough Ennel, Belvedere House is a stately 18th-century hunting lodge. It became infamous when the lady of the house, Mary Molesworth, fell in love with her husband's brother and was locked up for years.
  • Tullynally Castle, which means "Hill of the Swans," is the largest castle in Ireland that still functions as a family home. The estate is surrounded by beautiful, rolling parkland—most of it was laid out in 1760 and remains largely the same.

Festivals

  • During the summer, the Midlands rocks with festivals, literary gatherings, and small-town fairs.

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