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road trip

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Ireland’s roads provide a great opportunity to see the country in all its glory, particularly during the summer months. This bank holiday weekend take a road trip with family or friends and explore all that the Irish landscape has to offer.

The car-buying experts at Carzone 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.

Our recommended car for this drive is the BMW 8 Series

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

Our recommended cars for this drive are the Opel Grandland X / Volkswagen T-Roc

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

Our recommended cars for this drive are the Audi A6 / Opel Insignia

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

Our recommended cars for this drive are the Hyundai Tucson / Kia Sportage / Nissan Qashqai

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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So, the clocks are going forward on Sunday, and we're losing an hour of sleep but gaining a fine stretch to the evening. 

The weather is officially warming up this weekend, and we want to take the opportunity to live a little.

Here's a few suggestions for things to do now that the clocks are going forward. 

5, Hit up a food festival

Dublin's Eatyard has become a hub of delicious food, drinks and fun, with a complimentary medley of authentic cultural cuisine, flea market finds and a laid-back atmosphere.

The food festival is located by the Bernard Shaw on Richmond Street South, and now that the days are getting longer, there is a plethora or time to spend mooching and munching your way around the stalls.

And the light will be better for amazing foodie Instagram pictures, obviously. 

4. Have a garden party

Get the girls around for a few Tom Collins cocktails and lay out some blankets, poofs and throws in the garden to create your own uber-cool laid-back mini-festival.

You could even string some fairy lights through the trees if you are feeling fancy.

 

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3. Dining al fresco

Drag the kitchen table outside and dine al fresco, or even rev up the barbecue and grill a few burgers.

While the weather may not be perfect, we better make the most of it while we can!

 

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2. Go for that epic day trip you've been meaning to take

Whether it's a trip to Lahinch to try your hand at surfing or finally heading up to the Giant's Causeway like you've always wanted, those extra hours of daylight make all the difference when you have a long drive to take across the country. 

1. Explore your city

Seriously, you've lived in your town for how long and you haven't quite managed to see al the parks, beaches and activities it ahs to offer.

Getting that extra stretch in the evenings is the perfect excuse to take a picnic to the park or cycle around your city to truly appreciate your area.

 

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Nothing beats a 99 on a summer’s day in Ireland. Yes, come rain or shine, the balance of gloriously cold, sugary ice-cream; crumbly, chocolatey Cadbury’s Flake, and fresh, crispy cone is positively second-to-none.

But world-class frozen confectionery isn’t the only perk of staying on home-soil during June, July and August.

In fact, we’d take blissful, weeks on end of beer-gardens, of road-trips, of festivals, of long hikes and even longer evenings over the sweltering heat and uncomfortable air of warmer climes.

Yes, you can have your year-round sunshine Florida; take your balmy beaches, Costa del Sol – there's an awful lot to be said for even the most dreary and overcast of summer days on the Emerald Isle.

In short: craic doesn’t need to be tropical… it only needs the right attitude.

So without further ado, SHEmazing! looks at the top six reasons why our humble Irish summers are the absolute best… 

 

1) Festivals

The festival scene in this country has positively exploded over the last few years. And it’s no longer just about music and comedy. From food and farming, to yoga and music and pets, there truly is something for everyone.

Even less-than glamorous campsites are an, ahem, experience not to be missed. Tent mishaps, toilet misdemeanours and just a load of near-misses – the tales live on long after the weekends have ended.

2) The beach

After a promising outlook from the good folk at Met Eireann, temperatures hit a tropical 18C – meaning only one thing: a mass exodus to the nearest stretch of sand.

The tailbacks will be horrific (sunny-day traffic going to Rosslare builds up around Bray) but the waiting packets of warm Tayto, sand in your pants and random encounters with half of your year from school make it all worth it.

3) Summer fashion

We won’t let a little rain stop us from donning our finest summer attire. No siree. And if in doubt, just ‘accessorise’ with a giant tote bag.

After all, at his time of year it’s the only thing in which we can carry around our requisite jumper, jacket, sunglasses, sun cream, umbrella, makeup, flats or flip-flops, chewing gum, nail varnish, a packet of popcorn, and a pair of dangly earrings. #Sorted.

4) Road-trips

You gather up your four always-up-for-it mates, and bungle yourselves into a car: you’re hitting the open road.

No trip is ever complete without Westlife's greatest hits or the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, but you'll all end up belting out Ten Green Bottles anyway.

Granted someone will always be "bursting" for the loo, and all of your phones WILL die at once (why did no one bring a USB charger?) – still, so long as you have a family-sized bag of sucky sweets, you're seriously sorted.

5) The forecast-defying BBQ

"We’ll just go for it": a definitive, game-changing phrase heard around the country from the months of May to September. But it wouldn’t be an Irish summer without a confident throw of the barbecue dice.

Some poor soul (probably one of the guys) is inevitably left in the rain turning a half dozen sad-looking sausages (while you and the rest of the girls retire to the conservatory for a natter) but that gorgeous smell of charcoal and singed meat is matchless. 

6) The spontaneous 'why not?' soiree

A true Irish summer wouldn’t be complete without a spontaneous party thrown for no reason at all. It's late afternoon, there's mischief in the air, and you get the word out: you're kicking off a bit of a session. 

In fact, so long as you’ve got your squad, a playlist, plenty of food and the right tipple by your side, it won't even matter if it rains. 

 

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With the Bank Holiday weekend now upon us, many people will be hitting the roads for a quick trip away.

Here’s how to have fun and stay safe on the roads:

Take a break
We know Ireland is not that big and it shouldn’t take more than 4 hours to get you from one end to another, but make sure you take a break half way. The motorways can get pretty boring and you need to keep your concentration up when driving.

Bring food
Bring food, lots of food. There is something quite adventurous about pulling into a pit stop on the side of the road and having a picnic – well, we think so…

Don’t be the only driver
Seriously, being the only one who can drive can be quite annoying. Make sure at least one other passenger has both a licence and insurance so you can swop and change.

Bring a map
We all have GPS on our phones but what happens when the battery dies? Never thought about that, did you?!

Now go have some fun!

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Ah, the Irish road trip.

Republic of Telly’s Bridget and Eamon outdo themselves once again with this hilarious rendition of parents on a road trip.

Simply amazing!

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