Ireland’s roads provide a great opportunity to see the country in all its glory, particularly during the autumn months. This bank holiday weekend, take a road trip with family or friends and explore all that the Irish landscape has to offer.
We have put together a list of the best scenic driving routes which are perfect for this time of the year. Use this list as road trip inspiration and hop in the car and take a spin over the long weekend:
The Sally Gap – Wicklow
The Wicklow mountains are home to the Sally Gap, perfect for a family drive. The drive features some incredible landscapes, lakes and mountain scenery. The route is close to Dublin so perfect for those who don’t want to travel far from the city, simply take the R759 east across the mountains and head north on the R115 to complete the drive.
This drive brings you past some of Wicklow’s most famous land marks like the stunning Powerscourt Waterfall, House and Gardens. You’ll also find the Great Sugar Loaf along the way, providing a great excuse to get out of the car and stretch your legs. The climb to the top of the Sugar Loaf is suitable for everyone and provides 360-degree view of the Dublin mountains and Dublin city.
Galway to Westport via Clifden
Head west on the Wild Atlantic Way and enjoy a road trip along the rugged west coast. Starting in Galway, you’ll make your way north-west winding through the stunning Twelve Bens to the picturesque town of Clifden where you’ll find plenty of great restaurants, pubs and shops. From Clifden head north to County Mayo to Doo Lough Valley which has some breath-taking views along the route between Delphi and Louisburgh. Those interested in history should stop at the Doo Lough Famine Memorial. Continue your journey on to the lively town of Westport, a vibrant, colourful place with endless things to see and do.
The Ring of Cork
If you want to unveil a hidden gem this Bank Holiday forget the Ring of Kerry, try out the Ring of Cork.
This drive takes you through the spectacular coastal views and stunning landscapes of County Cork. It travels along rural roads which connect at various stages to national routes and its advised to allow plenty of time to take in the scenery. The towns of Cobh, Midleton and Youghal are also located along the route and are the perfect for a stop along the way.
Experience all East Cork offers, as you travel through Killeagh and Castlemartyr, down to the delightful seaside towns of Shanagarry and Ballycottton. From there, you can follow the coastal roads along to Cobh, Crosshaven, Carrigaline and Cork Harbour. The final leg of the journey will take you to Watergrasshill and through the serene riverside drive from Glanmire and Little Island on to Carrigtohill and Midleton.
The Mourne Mountains
This landscape around The Mourne Mountains is simply breath-taking and provides spectacular coastline views for a perfect weekend road trip. Take in the beauty of the coastline and its quaint towns and villages by simply following the brown-signed Mourne Coastal Route, which runs between Belfast and Newry. Drive to St John’s Lighthouse and to take in impressive sights across Dundrum Bay towards the Mournes. A must see is the Slieve Gullion Forest Park which offers stunning views of the surrounding volcanic landscape.