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11th Jun 2017

7 Incredible Road Trips You Should Take In Leinster This Summer

Rebecca Stafford

Road trips are the ideal summer adventure, packing up a car with the squad, getting a tonne of goodies and having a pretty lit playlist that you can all sing your heart outs to, the fights between the actual driver and the backseat driver who just so happens to have the map, it’s all part of the summer adventure.

So we’ve put together the most incredible road trips to take in Leinster, from nature routes like the Wicklow Mountains to historic routes along the Boyne Valley.

1. Boyne Valley Drive

The Boyne Valley Drive starts in Oldtown, Meath and finishes in Drogheda, Louth. This drive is rich in history as you can make stops at places like Newgrange, the site of the Battle of the Boyne, Trim Castle, Slane Castle and the Hill of Tara. If you get to Drogheda, check out the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett, an Irish saint from the 1600’s, in St Peter’s Church.

The journey is roughly a total of 225km if you were to do the full trip. There’s something for those food lovers as well as historians as throughout the Summer there are plenty of mouthwatering events taking place throughout the Boyne Valley, such as the Meath Food Safari which gives tours of different producers farms.

2. The Sally Gap

The Sally Gap is perfect for those in Dublin who only have a few hours to kill. It’s a straight road that takes you to the blanket bogs of the Wicklow Mountains then through to the magnificent green valleys of Glendalough. It’s only a short drive from Dublin and is great if you want to get some fresh air away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. It gives a stunning view of Lough Tay and Powerscourt Waterfall is the perfect place for a nice walk to stretch your legs.

3. Kilkenny’s River Valley Route

Instead of taking a coastal route why not go inland? The Kilkenny River Valley drive starts in Kilkenny town and follows the River Nore down through Bennettsbridge, Thomastown and Inistioge, make sure to stop off for some lunch in a café in Inistioge. 

The route crosses a gorgeous 10 arched stone bridge which takes you in the direction of Graiguenamanagh. If you’re looking for something interesting to do along the way pop into the National Reptile Zoo in Gowran.

4. Carlingford and Cooley Peninsula

The Carlingford and Cooley Peninsula has a wonderful scenic drive along Dundalk Bay and Carlingford Lough. Stop off at and ponder at some ringforts, neolithic tombs and castles along this drive or even stop off for a picnic lunch near Long Woman’s Grave.

5. Gordon Bennett Route

The Gordon Bennett Route, named after a famous race that took place in 1903, is a five-stage historic drive that takes you through the wonderful counties of Carlow, Kildare and Laois. Make sure to take a stop at the Irish National Stud, Japanese Gardens and St Fiachra’s Garden in Kildare which was created between 1906 and 1910 by a Japanese Gardener, Tassa Eida and his son. It is a beautiful place for getting some fresh air and getting out of the confined car.

6. Bray to Dublin City Centre

Taking the coastal road from Bray into Dublin’s City Centre brings you through towns like Dún Laoghaire, Killiney and Dalkey, with plenty of lovely cafés and restaurants to stop along the way. I recommend taking a pit stop for ice cream at Scrumdiddlys in Dún Laoghaire.

7. Dollymount to Howth Head

This drive takes you along the coast of the Northside of Dublin, it’s a short trip but Howth is perfect for a nice walk or picnic, or for just getting an ice cream and walking along the pier, and all the pretty houses along the way are a bonus.

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