The kiddos and I spent the last two days exploring Ireland’s smallest county- Louth. Even though The Grey has returned to the Emerald Isle, it stayed dry so we were able to pack a lot in.
This is your quintessential Irish seaside town. The small quirky village looks onto a lovely beach with a crazy tide. We really lucked out with our Airbnbs on this trip. This one was above a cafe overlooking the town and directly opposite the entrance to the beach. The kids were delighted!
Everyday we spent some time on the beach playing in the sand, collecting shells and building forts.
The tide on this beach is insane. It goes out a whopping three kilometers twice a day, and you can walk all the way out on the shore.
By the time the sun was setting. The tide had come all the way back in. Here was the view from our window.
The spotless town has won the Tidy Towns a few times so it was fun to take a gander through the village and check out its nooks and crannies. We came across Blackrock Park which has a playground. My two were all over it!
We discovered two more tiny beaches on the other side of the village; The Priests Beach (opposite the church) and The Ladies Beach. Because the tide was out, the two were fascinated by the jelly fish lying scattered for miles.
The town is filled with dinky stores, cafes and restaurants. We filled our bellies in Belle’s Tearoom before the afternoon spin in the car. My two are really going to miss Irish scones when we hit back to Seattle next week.
In the afternoon, we took a thirty minute spin in the car and ended up in the medieval town of Carlingford. There’s the ruins of two castles, the ruins of a Dominican Friary and Carlingford Heritage Center all within a small space. You also have gorgeous views of the Cooley Peninsula.
The Priory is the most impressive of the ruins, but after KJ discovered a dead bird on the ground…and then another….and another….and another, I decided this couldn’t be a good omen and we needed to get out of there.
As we were trying to make our rushed escape, the kids let out an excited squeal. A couple of horses were making their way towards us and when the riders let them pet the horses, they were delighted!
There’s also signs leprechaun shenanigans all over Carlingford.
The underground leprechaun caverns were closed but we discovered a gem of a place right across the road. There’s a tiny, magical themed park on Ghan Road and, maybe because it was completely unexpected, this was possibly my favorite part of the Louth trip. Each exhibit has a sign explaining it’s story. As we had done The Giant’s Causeway a few days prior, we were delighted to find Finn McCool’s chair. The hens were also a highlight for the kids.
Monasterboice Round Tower and High Crosses.
These historic monastic ruins date back all the way to the 5th century. The impressive high crosses are some of the oldest of their kind in Ireland. The high tower protected the monks and their valuables against the many Viking invasions and is as impressive as the more famed Gelndalough that we visited last week.
Old Mellifont Abbey
We have seen quite a few ancient ruins in the last few weeks, but I found Old Mellifont Abbey to be quite impressive. A fifteen minute drive from Monasterboice, it’s well worth a visit! Considering it was the first Cistercian Monastery founded in Ireland in 1142, it has held up well!
KJ tried his hand at a few photos.
Cuchulainn’s Castle….is closed!
After growing up hearing the stories of the ancient Irish warrior, we were disappointed to find this outside Cuchulainn’s castle.
St Peter’s Parish Church Drogheda
You might be wondering what the big deal about a church is. Well, this one houses a relic- a pretty gory one actually. A shrine to Saint Oliver Plunkett containing his head- his actual REAL head- lies within the church! I had to see this one for myself.
Next up- Wexford where I meet up with my mom and my sister and her family. Not going to lie, when it came to it, I was a little daunted by the idea of travelling around Ireland on my own with two little ones. But I’m so glad we did it! Of course we missed Wyatt, but we did and saw so much and I got to be a tourist in the parts of my home country that I had never seen before. The best thing I did was go to Mr Price before I left and spend thirty quid on some knick knacks. This bought me a few hours every few days. For example, if I was trying to pack up a house on my own to go to the next place, I would bust out new coloring books and colors. Or after a day of hiking and exploring when the two were starting to get a little snippey with each other, I would throw an activity box their way and BINGO! Two hours of uninterrupted peace! Looking forward to seeing what Wexford has to offer.