This March I decided to do a week-long solo road trip around Ireland. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life! I flew in to Dublin after scoring a ridiculous awesome deal through Scott’s Cheap Flights. I rented a car and drove from Dublin to Killarney National Park, up to the Cliffs of Moher, then to Galway, Sligo, Bushmills, and then back to Dublin.
My trip was amazing because Ireland is incredible. Everyone I met was so kind and I never got tired of people saying “Cheers!” instead of thank you, the way everyone said “lovely” and “heya,” and when the restaurant staff would tell me to “take a wee seat.” But it was also really special because it made me feel super capable. I drove for an entire week on the wrong side of the road by myself. I crossed several things off my bucket list, including seeing Trinity College Library and horseback riding in the Irish countryside. I photographed an unforgettable bridal session on to of the Cliffs of Moher. I read The Horse and His Boy in a Dublin Cafe and by the fire in the cutest hotel in Killarney. I peed on the side of the road in the Gap of Dunloe. I photographed sheep butts. Even when I had travel snafus and stressful or lonely moments, it was worth it. Ireland stole my heart and I whole-heartedly recommend doing a solo road trip across the country.
Top 10 Ireland Road Trip Recommendations:
- Eat at Queen of Tarts in Dublin. It’s the cutest little café. I had avocado toast and then took some cakes and treats to go for road trip fuel.
- Trinity College Library – it was beautiful. The only thing that would have made it more magical is if I could have camped out and read in the library all day.
- Horseback riding tour through Killarney Horse Stables. It was a great experience and Killarney National Park is stunning.
- Drive the Gap of Dunloe. The road is super narrow and kind of scary (I made sure to get back down before dark) but it was gorgeous and a great opportunity for sheep butts.
- Stay at the Randles Hotel in Killarney. It was my favorite place I stayed the whole trip! So cozy and conveniently located.
- Go to the Cliffs of Moher. You won’t regret it. Bonus points if you do a crazy photo session at the top.
- Eat breakfast at Ard Bia in Galway
- Eat a traditional meal of Irish stew at Red Door Tea Room in Northern Ireland (Ballintoy Harbor, near Giant’s Causeway).
- Crash a local walking tour at the Giant’s Causeway, given by a family that have been tour guides for Giant’s Causeway for generations
- Hang out with all the sheep
Car Rental Tip: If you are under 25 you can rent a car in Ireland! From my extensive research, I found that you can rent from Dooley Car Rental. I reserved an automatic car from them online with no problem. I did make a mistake, though. I was planning on using my credit card’s international car insurance to cover the car, and got a letter from Chase saying that they do in fact cover car insurance in Ireland (many credit card companies don’t cover Ireland). However, I didn’t reject the basic car insurance that came with the rental, meaning that my credit card would not cover any car insurance. To be safe, I ended up paying for more extensive car insurance from Dooley because I didn’t want to be liable for any damage to my rental. So an expensive lesson learned!
All photos below photographed on 35mm film.
Amilia Photography is a Nashville-based wedding photographer who adventures all over the United States and world to photograph fabulous, joyful humans (Ireland wedding, anyone?). I specialize in photographing sheep butts and kick-ass couples, so ya know…hire me ASAP. Email me at email@example.com or contact me here to tell me all about the wedding, elopement, or session you’re planning!
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