23 Dec The Beautiful Bays of Ireland
It seems strange that one of our closest neighbours isn’t as popular as some other destinations when we Brits go abroad. According to some research, Ireland languishes in 8th place out of the most popular countries for Brits to visit, behind locations such as Germany, Greece and Spain. Perhaps it’s Ireland’s famously temperamental weather that puts off more of us from hopping across the Irish Sea.
However, with no rain there would be no Emerald Isle and given the immense beauty of the Irish landscape, we think that sacrificing a suntan is well worth it. And it’s this subject which is the inspiration for today’s Sherpa Diary post as we’re going to be uncovering the best bays that Ireland has to offer. And if you’re planning a trip to Ireland anytime soon, don’t forget to bag yourself some cheap travel insurance. To help you with this, have a look at our guide to choosing the right travel insurance policy for you.
An Irish Cliff Hanger
One of the most striking features that many visitors first notice are the cliffs that are dotted around the coast of Ireland. The west coast’s Cliffs of Moher are almost as iconic as a pint of the black stuff and are one of Ireland’s most popular tourist spots. Whilst slightly further down the coast is Loop Head, complete with stunning cliffs and lighthouse, which has previously been named one of the best holiday destination in Ireland. Or on the south coast are the cliffs at Ballycotton, which offers visitors a stunning 6 mile cliff walk.
Four of the Best Bays
Whilst any one of Ireland’s stunning coastal cliffs should be on every visitor’s itinerary, in this post we’re uncovering the best bays that Ireland has to offer. So without further ado, here are our top four.
The city made internationally famous as the inspiration for a number of songs, not least a recent Ed Sheeran hit, also boasts a beautifully expansive bay. Located on the Atlantic west coast, the bay stretches a total length of 31 miles. There are numerous small islands dotted around the bay and the Arran Islands are about 30 miles west from the mouth of the bay and can be accessed by a regular ferry service. The bay is also home to the Galway Hooker, a traditional fishing boat with dark red-brown sails, many of which have recently been restored to their former glories.
Also on the west coast is Clew Bay, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful bay in Ireland. It offers spectacular views and has some of the best Blue Flag beaches in Ireland. According to legend the bay has 365 islands, one for each day of the year! The biggest of these islands is Clare Island, which shelters the bay and is inhabited by 130 people. Whilst most of the other islands are uninhabited, some hardy (and reclusive) souls live on some of the small islands all year round. In fact, John Lennon was a former resident of one.
Further down the Atlantic coast in the south west of Ireland is Bantry Bay. The bay stretches for 30 miles and has plenty of picturesque towns and villages dotted along the coast with pastel-coloured picture postcard fishing cottages. There is also plenty of accommodation and upmarket dining options to be found along this stretch of the coast, as well as regular boat trips allowing you to explore the bay from a different perspective.
Moving across to the east coast for the final destination is one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Ireland. Dublin Bay is one of the most popular destinations in the capital, featuring sandy beaches, wildlife reserves, castles and forts, and a newly created UNESCO ‘biosphere reserve’. The bay is also famous for being the setting for most of James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses.