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Itineraries > Breaks in Ireland > The Historic South

The Historic South

The historic south of Ireland is home to some of the most fascinating historical attractions on the island. From ancient castles and towers, to monuments and walled cities, these counties are steeped in history and culture. The following selection of attractions is only a small sample of the historic delights that each location has to offer. Why not plan your break to Ireland around the exploration of these historical highlights? A memorable and exciting experience is guaranteed.

Roscrea Heritage Centre, Tipperary

Rosscrea Heritage Centre TipperaryThe Roscrea Heritage Centre is home to the 13th Century Roscrea Castle which boasts curtain walls, a gate tower and two corner towers. It dates back to the 1280s and truly is a sight to behold. The 18th Century Damer House is also open to visitors and is a stunning example of pre-Palladian architecture. The restored mill also cannot be missed, with its display of the original St Cronan’s high cross and pillar stone.

Where to stay: B&Bs in Tipperary


Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny

The Historic South Kilkenny CastleBuilt in 1195, Kilkenny Castle is one of the most stunning, yet unusual, castles in Ireland, with its complex structure of various architectural styles due to many restoration and renovation projects over the centuries. It is a magnificent Anglo-Norman stone castle that also boasts beautiful ornamental gardens and extensive land surrounding the walls. The castle’s basement is home to the Butler Gallery that hosts rotating exhibitions by the
Kilkenny Art Gallery Society.

Where to stay: B&Bs in Kilkenny


Duckett's Grove, Carlow

Duckett’s Grove is the breath-taking, 19th Century former home of the Duckett family. Despite being in ruin, the surviving towers and turrets are still a beautiful sight and are accessible for visitors to explore. What’s more, two ancient wall gardens have been revived, with the Upper Walled Garden home to a wonderful variety of flowers and shrubs and the Lower Walled Garden boasting the old orchard. The restored paths and repaired stone bridge
just add to the magic of this historical gem.

Where to stay: B&Bs in Carlow


Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford

The Historic South Irish National Heritage ParkThis award-winning heritage park takes visitors on an unforgettable journey through 9,000 years of fascinating Irish history. Spanning over 35 acres, the park is home to 16 archaeological and historical reconstructions, all located in their natural settings.  The park will give visitors a true insight into Irish history and culture, with its authentic recreations of life in Ancient Ireland. It is also a place of true beauty, set in the picturesque
surroundings of the River Slaney.

Where to stay: B&Bs in Wexford


City Walls and Towers, Waterford

The Historic South Reginalds Tower WaterfordFounded by Vikings and dating back 1100 years, Waterford City boasts the largest collection of medieval defensive towers and walls in Ireland. Records show that the city was fortified from an early date, making it a place steeped in history, heritage and culture. Today, large sections of the walls and six towers remain, including Reginald’s Tower which is undoubtedly Waterford’s most famous building. Guided walking tours of the city walls are available.

Where to stay: B&Bs in Waterford


Cork City Gaol, Cork

The Historic South Cork City GaolCork City Gaol once housed prisoners in the 19th Century but today, it is open to the public to explore the impressive prison wings, soak up the eerie atmosphere and appreciate the fine Georgian/Gothic architecture. The prison cells are furnished with life-size wax figure, sound effects and fascinating exhibitions. What’s more, a fantastic presentation gives visitor an insight into the social history and contrasting lifestyles in 19th Century
Cork, explaining why so many turned to crime.

Where to stay:  B&Bs in Cork


Ross Castle, Kerry

The Historic South Ross Castle KerryRoss Castle is a stunning 15th Century tower house that sits on the edge of Killarney’s lower lake. A guided tour is available for visitors, which provides the perfect opportunity to learn everything there is to know about its fascinating history and to take in all of the castle’s magnificent beauty. What’s more, visitors can also enjoy the castle’s breath-taking surroundings of Killarney National Park.

Where to stay: B&Bs in Kerry


B&Bs in Tipperary | B&Bs in Kilkenny | B&Bs in Carlow | B&Bs in Wexford | B&Bs in Waterford | B&Bs in Cork | B&Bs in Kerry

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