The Irish bucket list: 7 places you need to visit at least once
Sponsored by Bulmers, please drink responsibly.
This week the winners of the Bulmers Bucket List competition set off on their once in a lifetime trip around Ireland.
No work, no hassle - just you, your friends and the open road.
Inspired by their adventure, we've compiled a list of eight unmissable spots around the country for the next time wanderlust strikes you and your pals.
Dingle, Co. Kerry
According to a quick survey at JOE HQ, everyone would move there in the morning given half the chance.
It's a town of legends - the birthplace of Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and the home of Fungi, Dingle - so naturally Dingle is a town with charm to spare.
There's loads to do and see - from visiting the whiskey distillery to exploring the Dingle Peninsula - and when your day of activities is finished, you'll be able to kick up your heels and enjoy the atmosphere at one of the town's many fantastic bars and restaurants.
If Ireland was a house, Dingle would be the good room your parents save for special occasions.
Westport, Co. Mayo
Sorry Enda, but Westport is the true jewel of Mayo.
Winner of more Tidy Towns competitions than you can shake a stick at, Westport is as relaxed as it is beautiful. Don't believe us? Here's what Vanity Fair author William Makepeace Thackeray had to say about it:
"The most beautiful view I ever saw in the world. It forms an event in one's life to have seen that place so beautiful that is it, and so unlike other beauties that I know of. Were such beauties lying on English shores it would be a world's wonder perhaps, if it were on the Mediterranean or Baltic, English travellers would flock to it by hundreds, why not come and see it in Ireland!"
Now for ya.
Fast forwarding to modern times, the quality of life is so high it's won awards. The town also has the distinction of winning The Irish Times' Best Place to Live in Ireland competition. There's no shortage of acticvities.
You can climb Craogh Patrick, play golf, go cycling or enjoy the atmosphere in its many pubs.
Castlegregory, Co. Kerry
Located in West Kerry, Castlegregory is a small slice of heaven.
It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. The area has a peaceful and transformative quality which makes you feel miles away from the noise and bustle of regular society.
The area is also home to some of the most amazing seafood restautants in the country.
The Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim
The Giant's Causeway is a bit of an Irish tourism anomalay.
Like the Blarney Stone, it's a must-stop destination for tourists but if you asked most Irish people they've probably never been.
No disrespect to the Blarney Stone - it's one of our favourite stand alone enchanted stones - but it doesn't inspire the same sense of awe of The Giant's Causeway.
The scenery is breath-taking and the legend of the titular giants is one of the best stories in Irish folklore.
Father Ted's parochial house
The fictional home to the country's most beloved comedy characters, the real house is a must-stop on the pilgrimage of any self respecting Ted fan along with Inis Iorr and the Dunnes in Ennis.
Ireland's most prestigious house (sorry, Aras an Uachtaran) is definitely worthy of your time. As you may have noticed, we're big Ted fans. It mightn't be the greatest sitcom ever made but its definitely in the top one.
You can visit the house if you make an appointment and the current custodians are as sound as a pound (their website is here).
Glenveagh, Co. Donegal
Clip via Siim V
Glenveagh National Park is a hidden treasure tucked away in Co. Donegal. The park has its own deer herd as well as an impressive castle and walled gardens. Take a tour of the elaborate castle which has entertained the likes of Marlyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, and John Wayne.
Grafton Street, Dublin
There's nothing to put you in the Christmas feeling quite like walking through Grafton Street when the lights are on.
There's carollers carolling, buskers busking (and some just murdering Wonderwall) and shoppers shopping. Alternatively if you want to avoid the crowds, you can nip off for a quiet pint in Kehoe's.
Sponsored by Bulmers.
Please drink responsibly.