There are few better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than a spontaneous cross-country day trip, and with so many fantastic destinations dotted around this little island of ours, there's no reason to ever be stuck for something to do on your day off.
Ireland is bursting with pockets of cultural, scenery and heritage just begging to be explored, and seeing as most of them will only cost you the price of petrol money or bus fare, it'd be rude not to, really.
Here's our top five picks:
1. Glencar Waterfall
Situated near the Leitrim-Sligo border, Ireland's most beautiful waterfall flows from a height of 50ft and once served as inspiration for the William Butler Yeats poem, The Stolen Child.
The relaxed atmosphere offers the perfect escape from urban life and is a popular day trip destination for families, couples and friends alike.
There are picnic and café facilities available on site, as well as ample parking and tranquillity for days.
2. Lough Derg
Easily accessible from all corners of the country, the Lakelands Lough Derg are absolutely bursting with scenery and heritage just waiting to be discovered.
Located between the counties of Clare, Tipperary and Galway, the lake offers a huge variety of water activities including stand up paddling, sailing, cruising canoeing and fishing.
And for those of you who don't fancy getting wet, there are plenty of scenic walking routes to explore and local food to be sampled.
3. Kinnagoe Bay – Donegal
One of Ireland's most beautiful 'hidden' beaches, this small stretch of golden sand is completely enclosed by a sloping hillside, making it the perfect spot for some serious rest and relaxation… well once you get down the hill, of course.
There are a handful of parking spaces available, however, if you're not lucky enough to nab one of these, you'll need to continue your journey on foot.
The steep descent does require some hard work, and you'll probably fall more than once, but hey, it'll all be worth it when you get a glimpse of that breathtaking ocean view.
4. Cobh – Cork
Popular among tourists and local alike, Cork's colourful waterfront town is one of the most charming Ireland has to offer.
Visitors can grab a bite at one of the many bars and restaurants, or soak up the history at the Titanic experience.
Or, if you fancy, you can even hire your very own self drive boat and take it for a spin around the world's second largest natural harbour.
5. The Japanese Gardens – Kildare
Created between the years of 1906 – 1910, the world famous Japanese Gardens were laid out by Japanese gardeber Tass Eida and his son Minoru.
Designed to symbolise the 'Life of Man', the gardens offer vistors a uniquely peaceful experience as they stroll through the seamless fusion of Eastern and Western cultures.
Oh, and if you fancy a bit of retail therapy to go along with all the soul searching, Kildare Village is just a 4 minute drive away – just saying.