Five Uncommon Irish Attractions
You probably already have a vision of Ireland in your mind. You might be thinking of amazing iconic locations like the Cliffs of Moher or the Giant’s Causeway or maybe the more alcoholic attractions of the Guinness Experience in Dublin. But there are many other more unusual visitor attractions to consider when you come to Ireland on business or pleasure.
Make sure you have the perfect, easy base somewhere cheap and clean like Travelodge Ireland and then go off the well-beaten path using this list of five uncommon Irish attractions. Then you can wow your friends with your unusual Irish experiences.
These then are our five lesser-known but fully-deserving Irish tourist attractions for you to enjoy.
1: Dublin’s Museum Flat
The Museum Flat at the Iveagh Trust complex on Patrick Street near St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin is a curio of the past. When its long-term tenants died in 1915, the flat was maintained exactly as they had left it, giving visitors an amazing insight into both the normal living conditions of the time for thousands of Dubliners. You also get an inside view of the family who lived in these charity apartments built thanks to the beneficence of the Guinness family. During the hundredth anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Ireland, there is perhaps no better location to try and imagine how the plain people of Dublin lived during that turbulent period.
2: The Irish Sky Garden
A more modern and more esoteric pleasure than the Museum Flat, the Irish Sky Garden in Skibbereen in Count Cork is a local treasure and a national secret. A drive of only an hour from Cork City, the Sky Garden was created by an American artist, James Turrell who was inspired by the stunning juxtaposition of the lush and verdant Irish countryside against the constantly moving clouds and sky overhead. Picture a huge man-made crater dragged from the earth in which you can lie down on a central plinth for completely unobstructed views of the day and night-time sky. The intensity of the views brings star gazing to a whole new level.
3: The Wonderful Barn
A historical curio in County Kildare, the Wonderful Barn was part of the enormous Castletown House estate when it was built in the 18th century. And ever since 1743 the Wonderful Barn has stood out, there aren’t too many 42-metre tall corkscrew-shaped barns with winding exterior stairs in Ireland! It might be an uncommon sight but the Wonderful Barn was built with good intentions. Katherine Connolly kept her tenants alive during a time of famine in Ireland by employing them to work on this towering grain store.
4: St. Michan’s Mummies in Dublin
One of the most unusual tourist attractions in Dublin, St. Michan’s Anglican church in the city centre holds some uncommon parishioners. Step down into the church crypts and you’ll be stirred and slightly shaken by the so-called Mummies underneath. Due to the unusually dry air in the earth below the church, the remains of well-to-do Dublin families from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries have been effectively mummified in their broken coffins. While the Mummies, staring at you from the remnants of their coffin, look as if they might spring out at any moment, it’s become something of a Dublin good luck charm for visitors to touch one of their bony hands. Some visitors to St Michan’s also contend that they hear whispered voices and feel spectral icy fingers when they peered closer to the mummies in the crypt.
5: The Indian Sculpture Park in County Wicklow, close to Dublin
Ireland has been home to many new immigrants over the last ten years or so but this is one of the more uncommon arrivals. County Wicklow is the final settlement for some stunning Indian art works including over 30 black granite stone sculptures standing 15 feet tall. Victoria’s Way is the location for the Asian fancy of a German resident called Victor Langheld who was a big fan of the sub-continent and its art and wanted to bring some of those artistic treasure to Irish shores. A fancy for which Irish visitors are eternally grateful.