Derry/Londonderry is a place striding out from its troubled past. It has an intense vibrancy about it that many larger cities would envy. With its energetic arts scene, expressive murals and imposing city walls, Derry/Londonderry is one of the most interesting places to visit in Europe. Once you’ve finished your stay in the Maiden City travel south through the highlands of Donegal to Rindoon/Lecarrow.
Just three kilometres from the tiny village of Lecarrow is the abandoned medieval town of Rindoon. Wonderfully located on a peninsula jutting out into Lough Ree, the town is the best preserved and most impressive abandoned medieval settlement in either Ireland or the UK.
There are some impressive medieval remains, including a restored castle, available for your viewing pleasure in Athenry. While in the town, why not try out some archery at the Heritage Centre. Next up is the festival and party capital of Ireland, Galway. The best thing to do here is to simply soak up the atmosphere on the medieval streets. The city is also a great place to strike out from to visit Connemara and the Aran Islands. When you leave for Limerick don’t simply take the easy route. Turn right at Kilcolgan and head for the moon landscape of the Burren and the awesome sight of the Cliffs of Moher. When you arrive at Limerick make sure to check out King John’s Castle and the Hunt Museum. If possible, try to coincide your visit with a Munster rugby match at Thomand Park.
Not far south from Limerick is the well preserved medieval town of Kilmallock. With its town walls, religious houses, and towers this is the place to visit if you want to get a good idea of how medieval towns looked like. Kilmallock is also just a few kilometers from the exhilarating Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails. Not half an hour away is Buttevant. Laid out by the Anglo-Normans in the same fashion as towns in Southern France, this delightful place is dotted with medieval remains. Only one kilometer away is Ballybeg Priory, complete with its dovecot. Your final stop is Cork. Like Derry/ Londonderry, Cork is an energetic and interesting place full of cultural institutions, distinctive pubs and superb restaurants.