Ireland is a country in Europe located to the west of England. It is sometimes referred to as the Republic of Ireland to differentiate it from Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland occupies most of the island of Ireland, which it shares with Northern Ireland to its north. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Irish Sea to its east. The Celtic Sea and the St George’s Channel separate it from England to the south and south-East.
From 1801 until 1922, Ireland was a part of the United Kingdom. During the Great Famine, which lasted four years beginning in 1845, over a million Irish died and another one and a half million left the country. Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom in 1922, but was Northern Island chose to join back in the United Kingdom creating the partition that still exists today, and which threw the island into a civil war that lasted for decades. A peace settlement, which is still being worked out, went into effect in 1998.
The country is divided into twenty six counties with creates a lot of cultural diversity. The country has a very mild temperature which rarely gets below freezing, or over the low eighties. Rain, however is frequent and falls year round. The small country boasts three international airports, and has a very nice rail system which links most towns in the country. There are also ferry services between Ireland and England and France. The countryside is known for lush rolling green hills, and a huge saturation of old castles.
While Ireland is known for many wonderful traditional foods, such as Irish stew, Colcannon, and the ever popular bacon and cabbage, (corned beef became the American substitute) he country is also undergoing a renaissance, as new cuisines and European chefs are finding their way onto this island republic. And no visit to Ireland would be complete without a stop at one of the multitude of Irish pubs and a glass of Black and Tan, followed by a nice Irish coffee.
Of course, no trip to Ireland could be complete without a round or two of golf. Ireland has more golf courses per square mile than any country on earth, and with the beautiful countryside and spectacular seascapes, golf on the emerald isle is an experience you won’t soon forget.
And finally, there are the many castles and ancient monuments that dot this majestic island. These ancient castles may be fallen in ruin or recaptured in majestic five star luxury, the castles of Ireland are as famous as its ale and its golf and should not be missed. If possible, make it a point to visit Trim Castle or Dunluce Castle, two of the most majestic, or stop by Leap Castle if you don’t mind it being haunted.
No matter your reason for visiting this beautiful island country, Ireland will make a lasting impression and will be a place you will want to return to again and again.
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