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Touring Ireland In A Hire Car

Feb 26, 2008
Having some Irish heritage somewhere along the family line I decided to fly over to Ireland as the flights were so cheap. I also got a great deal on car hire so picked up the keys from the desk and drove my saloon car, complete with family out into the beautiful countryside of Ireland.

The hire car was both comfortable and easy to drive and gave the perfect platform to view the glorious scenery. Being somewhat of an amateur historian I would get good use out of my hire car as I toured the many historical sites Ireland has to offer. Known as the land of saints and scholars it surely would make and entertaining and educational trip.

The largest county in Ireland; Cork would be where our tour would begin. Here a hire car would be an essential prerequisite for travel as much of the county is rural. The lush pastures were a sight to behold as the gentle hills rolled by serenely. Whilst in Cork I strongly advise visiting Blarney Castle, this partial ruin is awash with battlements and it is easy to imagine medieval times while walking around the grounds.

Kissing the famous Blarney Stone is not for the fainthearted as it requires hanging over the battlements upside down to access this historic symbol. Said to give the power of eloquence, or more colloquially the gift of the gab it may even improve your speaking skills. On driving away from the castle grounds in the hire car I could even feel its effects as I was suddenly an expert in the history of Ireland.

While driving the hire car we passed a field that had what I thought were rugby posts, how wrong I was. The game of hurling was being played and this gave an insight in the most fascinating of Gaelic sports. Resembling a mix between hockey and La Crosse the game looked mighty dangerous from where I was standing as the little ball was hurled around the pitch at breakneck speed. Fortunately I was not asked to join in.

The next port of call was Kinsale, a popular tourist destination I had worried that there would be a lack of parking for the hire car. I had need not of worried as we arrived at the town and found a lovely spot overlooking the quaint harbour. As we walked the narrow streets we found ourselves surrounded by colourful buildings showing the true eccentricity that Ireland has to offer.

Kinsale has long been established as the gourmet capital of Ireland, with some great restaurants providing some fine Irish cuisine and the sea food is to die for. Having left for the trip on somewhat of a wing and a prayer I had had nightmares of having to sleep in the hire car. Luckily there was an abundance of accommodation in the town and we were put up comfortably.

While we stayed in the town it was vital to sample some of the famed hospitality of Ireland. With the stout flowing freely I soon found myself singing with the locals and enjoying their company immensely. Thankfully I had put the wife down as a named driver when booking the hire car; as you may imagine, I was in no fit state to drive when we left early the next morning.

Our trip to Ireland was certainly made easier with the use of a hire car. Without one it is nearly impossible to do all you want to do in a short space of time. On reflection I feel we did not even scratch the surface of this magical isle. I recommend to anyone thinking of visiting Ireland to lengthen their stay, I think I will definitely be going back regularly to fully absorb all this enchanting culture has to offer.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty has visited the Emerald Isle many times and has used Budget's car hire Ireland services extensively. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk/car-hire/car-hire-ireland.htm
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