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    An Irish Escape with 5 Great Reads

    Explore Ireland’s literary landscape and keep your travel flame burning for the Emerald Isle with these 5 great Irish reads.

    You can then make a plan to visit these literary locations for real on your next vacation to the Emerald Isle. Have a preview of the scenic locations that are waiting to be explored in the wonderful Tourism Ireland video below.

    5 books. 5 authors. 5 different regions… 

    © Tourism Ireland

    Dublin City

    P.S I Love You by Cecilia Ahern –  Feel the buzz and fall head over heels in the capital city and the garden of Ireland, County Wicklow.

    Dublin is a UNESCO city of Literature and the city is a fascinating – as you stroll along the canal banks, saunter through Georgian squares, and criss-cross over the River Liffey, you’ll find statues dedicated to many famous Irish writers, literary place names and some of the bridges over the River liffey are named after literary greats.

    Stop by MoLI (Museum of Literature Ireland) located at #86 St. Stephens Green, which is an interactive celebration of Irish poets, playwrights and novelists – old and new, famous and less known.

    Dublin City © Tourism Ireland

    Northern Ireland

    The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis – Embrace a giant spirit and soak up some of Ireland’s real-world fantasy locations, which inspired the author, C.S Lewis – Interestingly enough, many of these places were also used as filming locations in HBO’s hit fantasy series, Game of Thrones.

    Take a walk along the Narnia Trail – A family loop walking trail, which takes you through woodland at Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor, County Armagh. The trail is entered, like the magical world of Narnia itself, through a ‘Wardrobe Door’, beyond which lies a land filled with strange and intriguing creatures, and seeks to capture the imagination of children of all ages.

    The famous writer, C S Lewis, as a young boy, spent much holiday time in the Mournes and Rostrevor in particular, allowing him to imagine, dream and wonder, and inspiring his creation of the magical world of Narnia. ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ have sold over 100 million copies.  Lewis is reported to have written a letter to his brother saying: “That part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough is my idea of Narnia”.

    Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim © Tourism Northern Ireland

    Wild Atlantic Way & Dublin City. 

    Normal People by Sally Rooney – Follow in the footsteps of Connell and Marianne in County Sligo on the Wild Atlantic Way and around parts of Dublin City, including Trinity College. Tracing an across-the-tracks relationship from school to university and beyond, the TV adaptation of Normal People by Element Pictures has proved more than worthy of the book, with many scenes beautifully filmed in Sligo.

    Speaking about Sligo, Daisy Edgar-Jones, who plays Marianne, said: “One of my favourite places to film would probably have been Sligo. It was just the most jaw-dropping entrance to any place I’ve ever experienced. When you see Ben Bulben in the distance, it’s just immense.”© Sligo Tourism

    Sligo is also referred to as Yeat’s Country and although he’s a Dubliner by birth his Sligo mother imbued him with her love of the place. He’s buried in the tiny graveyard at Drumcliffe, close to his beloved Ben Bulben.

    Benbulben & Streedagh Beach, County Sligo ©Conor Doherty for Sligo Tourism

    Ireland’s Ancient East. 

    Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín – tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish girl who emigrates from Enniscorthy, County Wexford in Ireland’s Ancient East, to Brooklyn, New York in the 1950s.

    On the Brooklyn Movie Tour in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, it will be possible to visit the actual streets and places that feature in the book and the movie including John St, Court St, The Folly, Mrs. Kelly’s shop, The Athenaeum and St Aidan’s Cathedral. Discover the new Brooklyn Movie & 1950s Lifestyle Exhibit in Enniscorthy Castle and take a stroll on the beautiful, pristine, Curracloe Beach, which was also the set for the film Saving Private Ryan.

    Saoirse Ronan in film Brooklyn in Enniscorthy Wexford © 2015 Fox Searchlight Pictures


    © Enniscorthy Tourism

    Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. 

    Amongst women by John McGahern – A modern masterpiece, where you can absorb the peacefulness and the magic of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and County Leitrim.

    The Guardian newspaper called John McGahern “arguably the most important Irish novelist since Samuel Beckett”. A former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) went one further calling him “Ireland’s greatest writer”. The people of Leitrim simply call him one of their own. Stay at Lough Rynn Castle in County Leitrim and relax with a great read in the library called after the famous writer.

    Glencar Waterfall, Formoyle, Co Leitrim. Photographer: Peter McCabe ©Failte Ireland

    Escape to Ireland.

    Ireland is a destination where great stories begin. The 5 great reads above are a treasured part of Irish culture and heritage and can be traced across the island, written into the scenic landscapes and beautiful regions.

    Get in touch with Specialized Travel Services, to plan your escape to Ireland and to discover the many regions and landscapes that influenced great Irish writers, playwrights and poets. Bring the pages of your favourite Irish writer’s works to life and plan a trip of a lifetime around literary Ireland. The “land of 40 shades of green” has stunning scenery, a wonderful theatre culture, and a sense of immense pride that makes the entire island of Ireland a special place to visit any time of the year.

    To contact Specialized Travel Services email to or complete the contact form and don’t forget to keep in touch with us on facebook.

    Begin your next great story with an escape to Ireland…..

    Samuel Beckett Bridge, The River Liffey, Dublin City © Fáilte Ireland



    Note: Featured image at the top of the blog is of Streedagh Beach, County Sligo © Conor Doherty for Sligo Tourism


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      Photo Gallery

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      Brooklyn filmed at Curracloe Beach, Co. Wexford © Enniscorthy Tourism
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      Normal People at Streedagh Beach, Co. Sligo © BBC Element Pictures, Hulu © Photographer: Enda Bowe
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      Mourne Mountains, County Down © Tourism Ireland
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      Trinity College, Dublin City © Tourism Ireland


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