#Staycation Travel: Exploring Dublin and Ireland nature

Covid-19 hit Ireland and like most other people destroyed any travel plans this year. Disappointed I decided there was no reason to despair, I live in a beautiful and exciting place and I decided it was time to travel and discover more of Ireland.


Guest Blogger: Callum James, Travel Cult


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Exploring Dublin during Covid-19


In the first couple of months, I couldn't travel far from my house, so it was time to explore Dublin. When you live in a city for long enough, you forget about all the wonderful things you can do. Walking stretches of the canal I had always planned to walk, walking through neighbourhoods I never knew about and discovering monuments I never knew existed was an unexpected treat.



Capital cities located on the coast are fantastic. You have an outstanding balance of city life and city breaks, trips to the beaches are glorious, but nothing felt better than trips to the ‘Forty Foot’ where I got to rekindle my love for open water swimming. The freezing cold water never failed to take my breath away, but the swim always provided a fantastic feeling when coming out.


There is a perfect cycle lane that goes up the coast to one of my favourite villages, Howth a beautiful harbour only an hours cycle out of Dublin city centre.


I never knew Dublin had mountains and walking trails in the city, so I discovered new paths and admired the city from a different view. One day in the summer when restrictions eased, I decided to walk the Dublin Mountains Way, a 26 mile (42km) walking trail through the Dublin Mountains.


It was a stunning walk bringing fond memories of the previous summer when I hiked the Camino de Santiago. What I learnt from the walk is that it doesn't matter how well the route is signposted I will still get lost and the next time I decide to walk 26 miles, I will do it over two days as I wasn't able to walk correctly for a couple of weeks.


Despite living in Dublin for a while, I feel there is so much more to discover and despite spending this unexpected time discovering the city I live in, I feel maybe I don't know it at all, which is very exciting.



Dublin City Breaks suitable during a Pandemic


As time went on, I could leave the city and explore other cities. I visited Belfast and it felt terrific to be in another city. It felt weird only travelling 2 hours from Dublin and changing currency it felt like I was travelling abroad to unknown land again.


I see city breaks as a great opportunity to relax and see as much as possible and learn about the city and its history. It's dark and troubled past haunts the city, however, it creates a fascinating city break brimmed with history and events that are still in people's memories.


My visit to Limerick felt like we were living through better times, streets full of people, shops back open and industries running again. The city is full of history, castles, river walks, great food and drink. It was a great change from being in Dublin.


Galtymore


In July a friend and I walked up Galtymore, the 12th biggest mountain in Ireland and is 1 of 13 Furths (mountains over 3000ft) located in County Tipperary. What a stunning walk! Surrounded by forests, heather, bogs and steep slopes, the hike was worth every minute of pain and effort for the beautiful views along the way.


The walk was another gentle reminder that I have a terrible sense of direction. Sweat constantly dripping down my face, I never thought my Covid shaved head would create a problem on the mountains, it turns out hair is a good mop as it absorbs the mountain workout sweats.


The Irish bipolar weather couldn't make its mind up if it wanted to rain or