Last week I wrote about my weekend away with my family in Dublin. Read on to find out what I got up to on the second half of my trip…
After an early start and yet another delicious cooked breakfast, we headed off to the Guinness Storehouse, one of the most iconic Dublin attractions, to find out how the famous Irish beer is brewed.
I was a bit sceptical about how good this attraction would be, considering I really don’t like to drink Guinness! But was actually really impressed at the end, and was especially impressed with how they treated us as a group with my Grandad in a wheelchair. We were fast-tracked past the queues for the tasting experience and pint-crafting lesson; they even had a lowered bar so he could pour his own pint. The highlight of the visit was the amazing Gravity Bar on the top level of the Storehouse which offered stunning 360 degree views of the city and landscape beyond.
Later that afternoon we met up again with our extended Irish family and hit the road south towards Wicklow. We drove up into the mountains to find the Glenmalure Lodge, which had once belonged to my Grandad’s Grandparents. This beautiful, rustic pub and lodge overlooked the most incredible view of the mountain valley and I made a vow to come back during the winter months. I think cosying up by the lodge’s open fires then taking a walk over the snowy mountains would be an amazing experience!
Back in the centre of Dublin that evening we all went for drinks at the Hard Rock Cafe on Fleet Street where I had a scrumptious frozen Piña Colada, before heading back to the tried and tested Merchants Arch pub for more drinks and more live music!
The next morning, as it was our last day in the city, the boyfriend and I escaped for some ‘together time’ and decided it would be rude not to visit the Shrine of St Valentine at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Whitefriar Street (romantic aren’t we?). The tour guide from the bus tour the day before had tipped us off about this hidden gem and told is it was good luck for courting couples to pay homage to the famous Saint!
Next we ambled along Grafton Street, the main shopping street in the city where I miraculously managed to not spend a cent! This whole area was bustling with shoppers and had plenty of cafes to call into after shopping ‘til you drop. Near the end of Grafton Street was the gorgeous campus of Trinity College, so we stopped and had a nosy round.
Like something out of Harry Potter, the college was made up of old stone buildings set around a central quad, one of which was home to The Book of Kells, an ancient manuscript containing the four Gospels which originates from around the year 800! The queue to visit the manuscript was huge, so would be worth pre-booking tickets if this is on your must-see list in Dublin.
Before heading back to the hotel to collect our bags for the airport we stopped and had milkshakes at Eddie Rocket’s City Diner on O’Connell Street. Mine was a gloriously sickly Peanut Butter Cup flavour, and his was classic strawberry. The diner had a cool, laid back, retro vibe with a replica duke-box machine on our table, monochrome tiles and neon signs galore. After spying someone else’s stack of giant onion rings, I wished we’d stopped here for food too. There’s always next time!
We all had such an amazing time in Dublin and I loved discovering more about the city my Grandad grew up in. He’s been going on about the weekend ever since so safe to say he enjoyed it too.