Best sunrise spots in Ireland's Ancient East to catch on your next Winter break

By Sarah McKenna

November 6, 2023 at 4:34pm


Brought to you by DiscoverIreland

There's no better way to kickstart your morning.

We're on a mission to help you get the most out of your next winter break in Ireland's Ancient East, one surefire way to maximise your time during your eastern getaway is by kicking off with an early start. Setting the alarm clock a little early has never been more important now that the clocks have gone back. Not only does this ensure that you can pack plenty more great activities into your getaway, but it also gives you the glorious opportunity to catch a precious winter sunrise.

To set you up for a couple of great days in Ireland's Ancient East, we've put together some of our favourite spots to catch the sunrise plus some nearby breakfast spots and activities to get your morning off to a flying start.

Ready to wrap up warm and catch those pretty pink skies from some of Ireland's most picturesque areas? You've come to the right place. Here are our top spots in Ireland's Ancient East to catch a winter sunrise on your next break.

Co. Wicklow


On your next Wicklow break, kick off your morning in the seaside town of Bray where you can perch on the pebbled beach and watch the sunrise against the dramatic backdrop of Bray Head. Once you've taken in the fresh sea air, head to the nearby Powerscourt Estate for breakfast and a wander. Tuck into the tasty offerings in the restaurant, grab a coffee from the Avoca Café, and then enjoy a walk around the breathtaking grounds as the sun continues to rise. Take in the beautifully maintained gardens, the secret hollows and of course, the iconic Powerscourt Waterfall, which is the highest of its kind in Ireland.

After you visit Powerscourt, wander into the picturesque Enniskerry Town and enjoy a hearty lunch from Poppies, a beloved local restaurant and café.

Co. Waterford

For an unforgettable sunrise during your next short break to Waterford, start your day along the Ardmore Cliff Walk. Set up a picnic blanket, bring a warming flask of coffee or tea and some breakfast, and enjoy the incredible scenery as the rough winter waves strike the cliffside. Once it's light, embark on the four-kilometre loop walk. As you explore, keep your eyes peeled for the early Christian sites dotted along the way, as you take in all that fresh, crisp winter air.

After your walk, head to the town of Ardmore and order some fish and chips from Shipmates – the perfect warming lunch for a winter day spent by the sea. Finish up with a stroll or a paddle along the sweeping Ardmore Beach.


Co. Louth

Set yourself up for a brilliant morning on your next Louth getaway by catching the sunrise at Carlingford Pier. Snuggle up with a coffee at a peaceful lakeside spot and watch as the Carlingford Lough becomes gently illuminated by the rising sun. Afterwards, stroll through Carlingford Town and tuck into a traditional Irish breakfast from Ruby Ellen's Tea Rooms.

After fuelling up here, it's time to take advantage of some of Carlingford's most thrilling activities. Visit Carlingford Adventure where you can try your hand at canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing or archery. Once you've had your fill of fresh winter air and adventure, warm up with some pub food in the cosy surroundings of Ma Bakers.

Co. Carlow

With a bustling atmosphere, historical attractions and plenty of great nature walks, there are so many reasons to visit Co. Carlow for your next short break this winter. Get your day off to a strong start by perching by the River Barrow in Carlow Town and watching the sunrise. As the town starts to wake up, nab your coffee fix from the Lazy River Café.


After a peaceful morning in the town, head to the Delta Sensory Gardens. Breathe in the crisp winter air as you enjoy a quiet contemplative walk through the grounds. Come lunchtime, satisfy your hunger at the Café Thyme, where a large selection of hot dishes, treats and coffees await.

So what are you waiting for? Set that alarm and get exploring!

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Cover photo courtesy of Fáilte Ireland (L) and Pexels (R).