I feel I should explain my somewhat eccentric itinerary around Ireland. I was ‘mopping up’ places I had not visited on previous holidays. Those trips took in Southern Donegal, the Mayo coast, Connemara and Kerry. This time I wanted to visit Clare, Wicklow, the tombs of Newgrange, the Mourne Mountains, Northern Donegal and the Antrim coast. All of this was possible taking advantage of the excellent Bus Eireann and Ulster Bus services, plus a few private bus services to reach the remoter places. I also recommend the extensive network of independent hostels throughout the Republic and Ulster, many of them in outstanding locations. Where there was no hostel, it was always easy to find a b&b in May and June.

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