Discovering new places and revisiting old favourites make us all happy, and we hope to bring a little of that feeling to you with our Abbey Favourites series! Below you'll find some of our best-loved personal travel experiences, with a new story from an Abbey colleague added every week - come travelling with us!
One of my favourite trips I’ve taken in my native Scotland was with some of the Abbey team to the West Coast last year. On our first day we stopped in at the grand Inveraray Castle to learn a lot more about the Clan Campbell, while in the evening we dined and slept at the cosy Loch Melfort hotel – we particularly enjoyed the stunning views across the bay here! The following day we boarded two ferries with Caledonian MacBrayne to and from the Isle of Mull, which really added a touch of adventure to the journey! Driving the single-track road from Kilchoan on the tranquil Ardnamurchan peninsula was a real highlight, and we encountered many white furry friends along the way. Our trip was a perfect introduction to this part of Scotland!
Earlier this year some of my colleagues and I travelled to Kerry and Cork and experienced the warm hospitality of some of our wonderful suppliers. My favourite – but busy! - day started with spotting seals on a boat tour with the Harbour Queen Ferry, tasting some fine Irish whiskey in Clonakilty Distillery and enjoying lunch next door at the Whales Tail Bistro, and ending our day with beer, pizza, and live music in the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork. In Killarney we spent a night in the exquisite Randles Hotel who looked after us very well!
On our way back to Dublin we paid a quick visit to Russborough House and learned about its fascinating history, before being treated to a falconry experience!
One of my most memorable trips was to Northern Ireland and to the beautiful walled city of (London)Derry! We started our day with a guided tour of the city with Ruiairi O’hEara, walking along the promenade formed by the walls and enjoying the spectacular view of the old town. We passed by the area known as Free Derry and learned more about it with a visit to the Museum of Free Derry, before making our way to the beautiful Bishop's Gate Hotel. We admired the view of the main city road leading to the Guildhall and made plans to return for Halloween, as Derry is well known all over Ireland for its Halloween celebrations! On our way home, we had to make a stop at the unmissable Giant’s Causeway, as well as a welcome pit stop at the Bushmills Distillery for a sip of local whiskey!
The North West is one of my favorite places in Ireland. I took this trip many years ago, but it's inspired me to return many times since! We started our journey with a visit to the Ulster American Folk Park, a museum that vividly brings to life the experiences of thousands of Ulster emigrants – I highly recommend it! We enjoyed a wonderful stay at the Radisson Hotel Letterkenny, before heading off the next morning to explore the scenic regions and deserted beaches of Inishowen Peninsula. The scenery in this part of Ireland is spectacular – we visited Glenveagh Castle and National Park, as well as Slieve League, noted as some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. We ended our trip with a stop at Glencar Waterfall, from where the poet W.B. Yeats often drew inspiration, and we could see why – it is absolutely beautiful!
On a summer staycation with some friends I had the pleasure of staying in the Montenotte Hotel and exploring beautiful Cork! The weather was amazing so we spent an entire day driving the Ring of Beara, taking a picnic with us to enjoy along the way. This drive is part of the Wild Atlantic Way and along the route are the cable cars to Dursey Island – definitely a unique experience! The next day we made sure to sample some fish and chips before spending a full afternoon exploring Spike Island – an amazing place with a fascinating history! We ended our trip with an unmissable stop at the Jameson Distillery Middleton to enjoy some rare whiskeys!