Ireland. It is a small island at the western edge of northern Europe, far, one would think, from centers of power, commerce, and travel. The power of the landscapes, stories, and music of Ireland, though, have lasted through the ages, and continue to do so. Folk of Irish descent claim their heritage proudly in countries as distant from the Emerald Isle as Australia and the United States, as different as Spain and South Africa. people who claim no Irish heritage at all still become enraptured with the stories and songs, the photographs of the places, the tales of history and legend. In the spring of the year, Patrick season as it’s sometimes known, celebrations of Ireland circle the globe and longing to visit or return rises apace.
Come with me then, and learn about people, places, and music of an Ireland you may not have heard about…
Going to a real Irish pub is a dream of many who visit. There’s more to pubs than the drinking, though. Learn about that in Musical Pubs in Ireland.
There are two countries in island of Ireland, the Republic in the twenty six counties to the south and Northern Ireland in the six counties to the north. While you will be very welcome when you visit Northern Ireland, you may wonder about the history of political and social division and how this might have impact upon your plans. One way to learn more is consider the visions of the artists of the Bogside, in Derry. Walk with me in the Bogside in History in Walls: Derry.
Another way to understand this aspect of Ireland’s history is through music. You’ll find four songs to help you understand, as well as bit of travel advice, in Northern Ireland: Songs, Stories, History, Travel.
It’s lovely to travel to Ireland in spring and summer, which is when most people visit. The quiet cold days of winter have their own charm, however. Take a January journey with me from Donegal to Louth, in Ireland in Winter: A Journey of Trees.
It’s fine and lovely to explore the well known places, the ones you’ve heard of and dreamed about, such as Temple Bar, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, and Newgrange. You may want to consider Ireland beyond the well trodden paths though. Come with me to Newry Market: Crossroads in Time and see what I mean…
Then there’s the music, always the music. The subject matter of Irish music is life, really, it’s just endless. Meet a few of the best musicians to take you there in Ireland in Music: Four Voices and explore a bit further in Irish Music: A Bouquet of Albums for Spring.
Hungry for more? Check out the resources you’ll find here at Perceptive Travel through our search box and tag list to your right, and take a look at the resource Doctor Jessica Voigts of Wandering Educators has put together in The Best of Ireland: An A to Z Guide.
Photograph by Kerry Dexter
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Kerry Dexter is one of six writers who contribute to Perceptive Travel’s blog. You’ll most often find her writing about travels in Europe and North America in stories that connect to music, history, and the arts, including An Evening in Belfast and teaching Irish music tradition.