Four scenic road trips in Ireland

Ancient castles, cozy villages, strange rock formations and stunning vistas over the mountains and the sea: these four road trips through Ireland have it all.

Dunamase Castle, Laois © Getty Images/iStockphoto

Read also: 50 beautiful places in Ireland and Northern Ireland

The Gordon Bennett Route

One of the most beautiful journeys by car in the old east of Ireland is that, in imitation of the famous Gordon Bennett Cup, a motor racing which was the precursor of the current Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The Gordon Bennett Route, through the counties of Carlow, Kildare and Laois, was, in 1903, driven by the world’s greatest daredevils with for that time recordsnelheden of about 78 miles per hour. It was the first time ever that an international motor racing was held on a closed circuit. The flamboyant American media tycoon James Gordon Bennett was the big instigator of the race.

Kildare © Andreas F. Borchert, Wikicommons

The trail is now fully marked and therefore easy to follow. In the county of Kildare runs the route through Athy and on to Kilcullen. Then you cross the Curragh plains in the direction of the town of Kildare. Places you can visit include the St. Brigid’s Cathedral, Irish National Stud and The Curragh. also, however, not to take a look at the Gordon Bennett exhibition at the Athy Heritage Centre.

Wicklow Mountains © Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Braveheart Drive

A nice short ride, of about eighty miles, it is the Braveheart Drive in the west of County Wicklow. Many of the spectacular combat sequences and panoramic landscapes in the Oscar winning film Braveheart were filmed in the scenic hills and valleys of the Wicklow Mountains. The route starts in the village of Hollywood (the original Hollywood that the California city is named) and then along the Wicklow Gap, one of the highest mountain passes in Ireland.

Wicklow Mountains © Getty Images/iStockphoto

The copper coast

Still a lovely route in the east of Ireland along the County Waterford’s Copper Coast on a sunny day. The Copper Coast stretches between the seaside resorts of Tramore and Dungarvan and is great for a car trip. Panoramic views of the sea, picturesque coastal villages and breathtaking views from the cliffs, all set against the backdrop of the Comeragh Mountains are the main ingredients of the ride.

Golden Coast © Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sights on the route are Kilfarrasy Beach with the most beautiful views of the entire route, Ballyscanlon Forest, relics from the stone-age, castles and the Copper Coast Geopark Centre, where the culture of this area and the history of the copper mines to be told.

Dungarvan © Mik Herman, Wikicommons

Causeway Coastal Route

Between Belfast and Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland runs the iconic 120-mile-long legendary Causeway Coastal Route, one of the most beautiful road trips in the world.

The route runs along the winding shoreline of two Northern Irish provinces on one side, flanked by impressive cliffs and valleys, and on the other side the blue sea. You’ll pass ancient castles, golden beaches, geological formations, with an unparalleled coastal scenery, unique attractions and delicious places to eat and spend the night.

Giant’s Causeway © Getty Images/iStockphoto

You can use the route in a day of driving, but much more fun is it to there are two, three or even five days so you have enough time to all the sights on the way to visit and relax to enjoy the beautiful panoramas.

The centerpiece of the route is the Giant’s Causeway, the mysterious and spectacular rock formation on the Unesco world Heritage site. This exceptional hexagonal columns, you should have seen.

Carrick-a-Rede © Getty Images/iStockphoto

But a tour and tasting at Old Bushmills Distillery, the oldest whiskey distillery in the world, beckons also, as well as a walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge above an eighty foot deep chasm where the waves beneath your feet and smashing on the rocks. There are also enchanting byways to the glens of Antrim, or to the forest of Glenarrife Forest Park.

If you take the Causeway Coastal Route, you’ll also find by Game-of-Thronesgebied. The picturesque fishing harbour of ballintoy and the surrounding beach were in the television series. That also applies for the nearby Dark Hedges, one of the most photographed spots in Northern Ireland. Along the route you can enjoy good food, stop for the Économusee workshops of the craftbeer craftsmen from Hillstown Brewery or the Game-of-Thronesedelsmeden The Steensons.

The Dark Hedges © Getty Images/iStockphoto

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