Things to see in Southeast Ireland

Jerpoint Abbey, photo by Eirian Evans

Ireland, like the UK, doesn’t have a very good reputation when it comes to weather. And while it’s true that Irish weather is capricious to say the least, it rarely ruins your fun – such is the way of things in Ireland! But if you really hate rain and cloudy skies, then maybe you should spend some time in Southeast Ireland, nicknamed Sunny Ireland, because it gets the best weather in the country. And it’s not just the weather that makes Southeast Ireland attractive to visitors, because there are more than enough historic towns, beautiful beaches and amazing scenery to be found. County Carlow, Kilkenny, Wateford and Wexford are full of interesting sights, so here are some things to see in Southeast Ireland.

Altamont Gardens, Co

Altamont are known to be the most romantic gardens in Ireland, and a jewel of Irish gardening. The 100 acre estate is a combination of formal and informal gardens, with mazes of alleys leading to a scenic pond. Roses, rhododendrons and other flowers turn the garden into a wonderland in summer, but if you want to see something unusual, take a walk in the Bog Garden, the Arboretum and the Ice Age Glen.

Dunmore Caves, Co Kilkenny

Dunmore Caves, photo by Crispin Purdye

Dunmore Cave is one of those special cases when a place is really exciting for both science fans (because of its very interesting geology) and for those who love tales and history. This beautiful show case is rumored to be the site of a huge Viking massacre in the 10th century. The cave has some of the most beautiful calcite formations in Ireland.

Dungarven Castle, Co Waterford

Dungarven Castle, also called King John’s Castle, is an Anglo-Norman castle (common in the UK but very rare in Ireland) dating back to the 12th century. King John of England owned the castle, and he also built wall that enclosed the town of Dungarvan, nut no trace of them remains. Parts of the castle were added later, and some 18th century barracks have been converted into a very informative museum about the history of Dungarvan Castle.

Tintern Abbey, Co Wexford

Altamont Gardens, photo by Jonathan Billinger

When the Earl of Pembroke got caught in a storm in the late 12th century, he made a vow to build an abbey should he survive. This is how Tintern Abbey came to be built in 1200. Only the ruins of this amazing structure remain now, but parts of the abbey have been restored and it is easy to see how beautiful the building must have been in its heyday.

Jerpoint Abbey, Co Waterford

Jerpoint Abbey is the finest Cistercian monastery in the country, and one of the top things to see in Southeastern Ireland. The abbey is quite well preserved and it contains some of the most beautiful stone carvings in any religious site in Ireland. The abbey is now considered to be a national treasure.

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