Windmills, ferries and scenic roads – Wild Atlantic Way

We were heading towards to famous Atlantic Way, with promises of epic views, twisting roads and more nature then you can shake a stick out. Well we did find exactly that.

We started our day with breakfast in the castle (after an early start as our bedroom was located underneath the breakfast room) but it didn’t leave much to be desired. The novelty of staying in a castle made the stay but it wasn’t ‘all that’.

Irish Castle

Our first stop of the day was at Blennerville Windmill. We approached along a road in between a river and a man made canal, over a bridge and into a car park. It was pretty quiet with very few people but we ventured into the visitor centre all the same.

The windmill is 21.3m high and was originally built in 1800 as a mill for flour. They still occasionally mill on site today, all depends on the direction of the wind!

Inside the visitor centre there is a short video on the windmill and an exhibition on Irish emigration. The Tralee harbour was home to the ships that shipped Irish families to America. Once we’d worked our way around the inside we were taken for a tour of the windmill itself.

The tour guide was the resident miller and was SUPER enthusiastic.  

He took us through the three levels and explained how all the parts worked, how they mill the flour and the shoots to take the bags up and down. The tour was certainly made by the Irish miller – whose name I cannot remember!

From the windmill we followed the Wild Atlantic Way for a few hours making our way towards Tarbert Ferry. 

We opted to just follow the brown signs directing you along its twists and turns. It meant we drove through small villages, along sections high on cliffs and low by the beach, at time we were the only car around.

It wasn’t a really easy drive but it was really fun and made us feel like we were on a proper adventure, pre-satnav!

With no real schedule to keep it was a treat.

The route goes on for miles and miles, we just saw a very small portion in the middle. I’d love to go back one day and drive the whole route!

We got to the ferry and spotted a sign explaining if you buy your ticket online you can save some euros, so we did just that. The ticket guards system didn’t have us on file but saw our confirmation and let us on no problem. Seems a lot of people do it that way.

20 minutes later we had left County Kerry and entered County Clare. 

Not content with the hours of driving we had already done we opted to complete the Lizard Head Loop. Another scenic driving route that takes you up to the Loop Head lighthouse.

We didn’t go into the lighthouse but spent half an hour or saw walking around the cliff top admiring the expansive views of the Atlantic ocean.

There was very little between us and the ‘new world’.

At this point exhaustion was starting to set in. We’d had a busy few days in Dublin and not a huge amount of sleep since so we took the quick route to Doolin and our BnB. I’d heard that Doolin had a good night time scene with good music and food. I’m not sure if it was just the day we were there or what but it was pretty tame. We bounced between a few pubs in the town but decided on a relatively early night.

We did get some pretty awesome pizza on the way back which we ate (slightly drunk) on the wall outside a shop! Classy!

It was a day with a lot of car time but you can’t beat a road trip with your bestie. We know exactly how to survive a long journey, I do the driving and Stuart keeps us fed, watered and good music on the stereo. It’s a perfect combo!

 

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