Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2019

4 Unusual And Cool Places To Visit In Ireland For Free

Ireland is a green and lovely country with major cities, towns and quaint villages to visit. Set on an island in the North Atlantic Sea, Ireland is separated from Great Britain by the St. George’s Channel, Irish Sea and North Channel.  

Dublin is a large, bustling and exciting city with many attractions to visit, plenty of entertainment, culture and more. There are several smaller cities or towns to visit with unusual attractions to see. For those on a travel budget, the following are some less usual and occasionally slightly weird locations to visit on an enjoyable hike across Ireland. Most are free, or with an affordable entrance fee.

Photo by Heather James via Wikimedia Commons

  1. St. Michan’s Church, Dublin and the Mummies

St. Michan’s Church dates back to 1686 and its vaults are unique in Ireland, as they contain many mummified remains. The walls were constructed of limestone, which is believed to have kept the air dry and preserved the mummies in the vault. Among them is the mummy of a six-and-a-half foot man, who many believe was a crusader. There are also the 400-year-old remains of a nun and a mummy whose right hand and feet were severed. Henry and John Sheares, two brothers who were involved in the 1798 rebellion, also lie here, among others.

  1. The Glen in Sligo

Heading further north, we now visit Sligo, or rather The Glen, a magical place near the town. The Glen has been described as being a “microvalley,” sheltered from the wind and other aspects of the area. You walk through a rusty iron gate to discover a lush, green place that feels like you are in a fairy tale. The sheer rock walls of the Knocknarea Mountain surrounding The Glen go as high as 60 feet, making a slate background to the beautiful green of the ivy-covered stone, ancient trees, hanging vines and mossy rock. The silence is almost deafening here, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic in peace.

Knocknarea is in itself a popular hiking spot, filled with magical Irish lore, including a huge pile of stones which are thought to be the tomb of mythical Queen Maeve. It is believed to give you good luck should you take a stone at the bottom of the pile and put it on the top.

  1. Victor’s Way Indian Sculpture Park, Wicklow

Heading right across the country to Wicklow, we now visit an eccentric Indian sculpture garden and place of contemplation which is dedicated to mathematician, Alan Turing. The park covers 22 acres and has many sculptures, including the dancing figures of Shiva, Ganesh and a variety of other Hindu deities.

There are also some rather bizarre sculptures including “The Split Man” (pictured below) which represents a figure being ripped in two, or more accurately, “the mental state of the dysfunctional human.” There is also a skeletal Buddha figure and a huge disembodied finger. The 14 sculptures reportedly took some 20 years to complete and were made by craftsmen in Mahabalipuram, India and transported to Ireland.

To aid the preservation of the park, there is a small entrance fee of €5 (5.65 USD) per person. Please note the sculpture park is closed during winter, but reopens at Easter.

  1. Drombeg Stone Circle, Cork County

Heading down to Cork County, we now visit a humbler and smaller version of the famous Stonehenge. Drombeg Stone Circle is also known as “Druid’s Altar” and was created by the people of megalithic Ireland. Originally there were 17 stones in the circle, but now there are only 13. Radiocarbon dating performed on human remains found here put the site at somewhere between 1100-800 BC.

On the surrounding plains, other relics can be seen including the remains of a dwelling and primitive kitchen and a sacred well. Drombeg Stone Circle is around a one-hour drive from the city of Cork.


Have fun hiking through Ireland, where they are many other fun and fascinating places to visit and things to do.

Author: Anne Sewell

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