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Travel Ireland by Car | Exploring the Midlands

This is a collaborative post

Ireland has a special place in my heart as it’s where my partner is from, so we tend to make a trip over at least once a year. He was brought up in Rosemount, Westmeath (where Michael Jackson…yes THE Michael Jackson lived for a while). It is such a beautiful part of the world, the strange beauty of the bog has to be seen to be believed. Usually people arrive at Dublin and head straight for the city or drive towards the West Coast, where you’ll find Galway, the Cliffs of Moher and Tralee. But the midland counties, where he is from often get ignored and I’ve often wondered why, as it is among the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.

When we arrive, the easiest way to travel around is to hire a car. Now that we have a little family in tow, I’m always keen to find us a good deal and when searching for car insurance I’ve found www.chill.ie is a great place to start. Usually it doesn’t take very long to sort out and we are quickly on our way to start exploring together!

Travel Ireland by Car - hilltop view

One of my favourite drives with the children is from Rosemount to Kinnitty. The drive is about an hour in duration one-way and an easy route along the N52. Along the way, the landscape begins to really change and you’re surrounded by trees and nature as you enter the Slieve Bloom Mountains. You can keep going in the car up the mountains and see the beautiful views up close, and eventually loop round until you reach Kinnitty. Here we visited the famous Giltraps pub and stretched our legs a bit. I love that in Ireland, there always seems to be room for the children to amble around so Emma didn’t feel too enclosed.

Taking a different route to the last, we love a little drive down to Clonmacnoise and Birr Castle. It always works well with a young toddler to have somewhere open to stop so she can run around and Clonmacnoise is perfect. It is an old monastery with beautiful views onto the River Shannon. Afterwards, we hop back in the car and drive down to Birr Castle, right on the edge of the next county. It’s such an impressive place and the views are always breathtaking to me.

Travel Ireland by Car - Clonmacnoise

Lastly, I’d highly recommend driving towards Athlone, a large town in Westmeath with plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s a perfect place to go as a family for a fun day out. With a young family and a large age gap between the two children, it’s good to add a bit of variety to the holiday. We enjoy spending one day each holiday here – a good one to have up your sleeve for those days when it rains a little!

Our adventures in Ireland are ever-changing and we’re always discovering something new together. I find Ireland the most peaceful place and always come back completely relaxed. Being able to travel by car and explore the different towns and villages makes it so easy, and we all can’t wait for our next trip.



  1. July 14, 2017 / 8:16 am

    Great post Bridget. I agree 100% with you. I’m from Longford Town originally living in Dublin for approx 20 yrs. But my Dad still lives in Longford so we go down every now and again with the nips. We’ve been on holiday on the Shannon a few times and it’s just the best break you can get. Fact: The River Shannon is the longest inland river in the whole of Ireland & the UK! And I went to college in Athlone!

  2. August 1, 2017 / 11:57 am

    Looks like a perfect getaway! 🙂

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