Ireland is steeped in historic going back thousands of years. Our historic towns will transport you back in time to the Ireland of old. From the old historic roots of each Irish town, you will find that its modern inhabitants keep the old Irish spirit alive with their zest for Irish heritage and culture.
Why choose a B&B Ireland Walkers Welcome Historic Town Walking Holiday?
A Walkers Welcome Bed and Breakfast holiday combining B&B and exploration of a historic town walk is ideal for those who like to see the sights, take in a bit of history and also enjoy their walking activities. Your B&B host will be very familiar with the local town and can give you some tips on the must see attractions. Our Walkers Welcome B&B holiday packages are a great value for money option for history loving walkers.
Irish towns have grown over the past centuries and especially during the Celtic Tiger years, but their true Irish historic roots are very much evident when you take a historic walk around these towns. From cobbled streets, to old fishing ports, ancient taverns still open for business and the quaint old houses of the past. Irish history is well and truly alive!
The Birth of Irish Historic Towns
Many Irish towns grew from their foundations as old Celtic monasteries. Some Irish towns were founded by the Normans or the Vikings.
Others were products of the medieval era in Ireland. Historic towns were often built beside rivers or lakes as the fruits of the water provided sustenance to live, but also were very beautiful scenic locations.
Many towns of Ireland are officially named as Heritage Towns Of Ireland as each town has a unique historic character evident in its architecture and historical attractions. When you visit these historic towns you cannot but sense the past and can imagine what it was like for the Irish living there so many years ago. Historic towns are carefully chosen and their historical features are clearly presented to the visitor – for example you will find many have a Heritage Visitor Centre, a historic signposted walks or tourist trails around the town.
The Titanic Trail Cobh (Queenstown) Cork, Ireland, is a fascinating guided tour that explores the town of Cobh in Cork Harbour which was the last port of call of RMS Titanic. This Irish heritage walking tour takes visitors through the historic town of Cobh where the buildings, streets and piers have not changed since the Titanic’s sinking nearly 100 years ago.
“Set on the banks of the River Feale, the North Kerry town of Listowel has its origins in a fortress developed by the Fitzmaurice clan. And at its heart remains the 15th-century Listowel Castle, a sensitively restored Geraldine fortress distinguished by its two remaining towers (there were four originally), which are joined by a curtain wall. Listowel has three interlinking heritage trails, laid out along blue (2.1km), green (1.5km) and red (2.8km) routes signposted through the town. Between them, the trails take in Market Square, the old famine memorial graveyard at Teampall Bán, the five-arch Listowel Bridge (dating from 1829), and the town racecourse (the lively Listowel Races take place in September)” – Discover Ireland.
Longford Town Park Sli na Sláinte is 2.6km in length and starts at the bridge steps on Bridge Street. To follow the route, continue down the steps onto the path along the river Camlin. Follow the path under the arch and onto the Town Park where the route continues along the river path for over 1km. At the end of the Town Park, turn right and back along The Mall through the park, an onto the narrow laneway which leads onto Battery Road. The route turns right onto Battery Road and then follows left onto Church Street before ending back at the starting point on Bridge Street.
Slane is a heritage oasis on the River Boyne. Though synonymous with Slane Castle. The central feature of the village is an octagon built on an axis of four Georgian houses. The Hill of Slane lies in the north of the town. Tours are available and pick of the interiors is a circular ballroom in Gothic Revival style. You’ll also encounter several gifts sent by George IV to his mistress, Lady Elizabeth Conyngham… including a none-too-modest portrait of himself. Of course, Slane Castle is also known internationally for its mega-concerts. Bowie, Dylan, Springsteen and U2 are just a few of the acts that have entertained the masses here. Slane’s heritage trail includes two churches named for St. Patrick and, beside the canal and river, a fine example of a Georgian mill dating from 1766. Across the road, on the sloping southern approach to the town, you can see the looming south gate of the castle.
“There is more to Cashel than the Rock, however, as the town’s fine heritage trail illustrates. Take the Cashel Palace Hotel, a Queen Anne-style mansion that once housed the local archbishop. Cashel is also home to St John the Baptist Church (1749) and the Georgian St. John’s Cathedral. The former boasts a mosaic of the ascension of Christ into heaven, the latter an organ by Samuel Green. Cashel’s hidden gem is the Bolton Library (housed in the Cathedral chapter house), which was founded in 1744. This unassuming building hosts the finest collection of antiquarian books outside Dublin, including early editions by Dante, Swift, Calvin, Erasmus and Machiavelli” – Discover Ireland.
Enniscorthy hosts two heritage trails. Its Purple Route (1.9km) leads over Seamus Rafter Bridge en route to Vinegar Hill, and the Blue Route passes Enniscorthy’s Norman castle. Another highlight is St. Aidan’s Cathedral, a Gothic Revival building designed by Augustus Pugin. In the town centre, the Athenaeum is an old concert hall where Count John McCormack, the famous tenor, performed and historical figures like Douglas Hyde and Padraig Pearse lectured and spoke.
For more information on Historic Towns of Ireland visit Heritage Towns of Ireland