20 Most Charming Small Towns In Ireland.
On the plane and along your travels you might hear it said: tá Fáilte romhat (taw fall-cha row-at) – you’re very welcome. Or, more famously, céad míle fáilte – a hundred thousand welcomes. Irish friendliness is an over-simplification of a character that is infinitely complex, but the Irish are nonetheless warm and welcoming. But this isn’t just altruism, as the comfort they seek is actually their own, for the Irish cannot be at ease in the company of those who aren’t. A hundred thousand welcomes. It seems excessive, but in Ireland, excess is encouraged, so long as it’s practised in moderation. It’s become almost trite to declare that Ireland operates a cultural surplus. Its main strengths are the literary and musical fields, where Ireland has long punched well above its weight, but Ireland is well represented in most other fields too. Wherever you go you will discover an abundance of cultural expression. You can attend a play by a literary great in Dublin, toe-tap your way through a traditional-music ‘session’ in a west-of-Ireland pub or get your EDM on at a club in Belfast. The Irish summer is awash with festivals celebrating everything from flowers in bloom to high literature. Ireland is a stunner. The Irish need little prodding to proclaim theirs the most beautiful land in the world, and will support their claim with examples, from the brooding loneliness of Connemara to the dramatic wildness of Donegal and the world-famous scenery of counties Kerry and Cork. Northern Ireland might be a different country, but it’s very much the same land and you’ll find beauty throughout the province, from the mountains of Mourne to the lakelands of Roscommon and its own scenic star turn along the Antrim Coast. Credit: Fionn Davenport for Lonely Planet.
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