Ireland and Scotland... A family Adventure!

This summer we went on another epic adventure... this time to Ireland and Scotland! There was a little bit of work thrown in as I would LOVE to bring a group to Ireland next year but not too much, cause a girl needs vacation! The first half of the trip my husband and I spent on our own... we met up with the girl for the second half (she was already in Ireland on a leadership program).

This trip had us stay in 9 different lodgings, we were in a fancy hotel on a lake, a crappy air bnb, a lovely bed and breakfast, a seaside cottage,  a guesthouse, a tower in a University, a quaint inn, a chain hotel (for a night), and finally a castle! I wasn't ready to come home... though I really really missed my bed. It turns out that I love my mattress more than any other mattress in the land!

Day #1: Landing in Shannon Ireland, through Ennis to Miltown Malbay
We wandered around Ennis a bit on our way north and ran into a restored abbey that stole our hearts...
Day #2: The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Poulnabrone Dolmen (a BIG day!)
I LOVE THE BURREN (and its crazy rock walls!!!!)
Tiny baby wildflowers everywhere... next time we are spending all day here!
My honey took us on an adventure that resulted with me a tiny bit stuck at the top of a wall....
Poulnabrune Dolmen... my first real life Dolmen.... it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be
(i.e. there was no time travel)...
The day ended with an epic hike along the Cliffs of Moher... we found an alternate parking lot that kept us away from the hoards of tourists and made the hike delightful!
Day #3: Driving to Killarney via the Dingle Peninsula

We scampered up to O'Connor's Pass on our way around the Dingle Peninsula... a fun driving day that included the best Rhubarb Crisp I have ever eaten with an Irish Coffee (no photo, it is in my belly!)
And then we landed at our Schwanky hotel, the Lake Hotel in Killarney, where we had a hot tub in our room that over looked a 12th century castle... this was our view... it was a good stay! (and we should have a knitting retreat here!)
Day #4: Killarney Biking Adventure (no car day!)
Even though we live in the land of waterfalls... we still bike and hike to see them!

This ancient tree growing in the Cloister at MuckRoss Abbey clearly has some stories to tell...
Day #5: Driving to Kinsale
This drive took us right past Timoleague Friary, which was a completely intriguing abbey ruin.
This sign was outside the Fishy Fishy.... kinda tickled our funny bone!
(There we had THE BEST FISH STEW... and I didn't take a photo of it, cause I'm not a food blogger : )! )
Day #6: Kinsale to Cork to Maynouth to pick up the girl!
After really good coffee and crepes in Kinsale my honey took me to Hedgehog Fibres for a tour... that was awesome!
(and I got yarn!)
And then we drove north to Maynouth, and stopped by the Rock of Cashel... we wandered around the restored castle for a bit, but really fell in love with the decrepit abbey in the valley below!
Days #7 - 9: Reunited and onto Edinburgh
Fringe Festival was on while we were in Edinburgh... which made wandering around quite amusing!
We escaped the rain for a few hours and had high tea at the Signet Library.... YUM!
The rooflines in Edinburgh were phenomenal... I needed more time in this city!
Day #10: Driving to Plockton through the Highlands
Eileen Donan Castle... Scotland's most photographed castle... gorgeous but crawling with tourists, so we took a photo (like a tourist and drove on!)
Day #11: Plockton

A tiny village on Loch Carron called Plockton, with Palm Trees and seal watching and rain and really good beer!
Day #12: Driving to Inverness
At Loch Ness... have you seen my Nessie?
Day #13: Back to Ireland and North to Portstewart (this town has great ice cream... just sayin!)

Day #14: Giant's Causeway
A day full of hiking... and fish and chips (and more ice cream)!
Day #15: Back to Dublin for a last night in a Castle and then home! (ok, we really need to have a knitting retreat here too!)
Sheep on the way back...
So, yeah... that was quite an adventure, we definitely made some memories! I didn't run into as much knitting and knitting culture as I thought I would... I saw alot of "fake" aran sweaters in tourist shops and some yarn, but not much I couldn't get here. I did find all UK yarns in Kathy's Knits in Edinburgh, and I was too busy petting them to take photos. I did get to meet up with Jo and Mica from Edinburgh Yarn Fest and with Ysolda, and I forgot to take pics of those visits as well!

I am intrigued and definitely want to go back to the west coast of Ireland and go north from Shannon to Donegal (and go to the Aran Islands which we couldn't make it to this trip.) And I am definitely going to Edinburgh Yarn Fest in 2018! I want to be in that city when it is filthy with knitters!


  1. Thank you for sharing your trip!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! Breaking my phone did wonders for this trip's photography!

  3. I'm so glad you all had a good trip and thank you for posting all the photos!! I can't wait to hear about the next knitting trip and hopefully I'll still be in Europe.

  4. Great pictures Laura thanks for sharing.

  5. It all looks so wonderful. The pictures are great so thanks for sharing and telling us about your trip. Carolm7323

  6. What wonderful memories. I love the picture at high tea, the love between a father and daughter is so special and radiates in this picture.

    1. I know... the look on their faces took my breathe away : )!

  7. Perfectly condensed trip memories!

    1. LOL... it took me days to condense all of them!!! : )!

  8. Thanks for letting us peek inside your vacation. You have a lovely family!

  9. fabulous photos & story Laura, thanks for sharing & yes yes yes to a knitting retreat in Killarney.
    oh & ummmm those are not palm trees in Plockton ;)

    1. LOL... what are they? I should correct my post!

  10. I went to Ireland in 2011 (wow! has it been that long ago?!) Anyway, I too was very surprised at the lack of yarn shops. At a shop in Dublin, I bought a skein of what I was told was Irish yarn and I guess technically it was from Irish sheep - but milled in Turkey! But the country is beautiful and I want to go back. Love your pictures - I think we saw the same waterfall!

    1. I want to go back too... and I haven't been home for a month yet!

  11. So loved your pics and comments...and would love a yarn trip to Ireland and Scotland. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Laura, I cannot believe how your little girl has grown up! I have been listening to you a lit longer than I realized! Thanks for sharing your trip and pics. Still amazed at how time flies while we are living it!

  13. This is my dream trip, seeing as I am of Irish decent. I think I may join you for the Edinburgh Yarn Fest. I'm going to talk to a few of my knitting friends and see if we can manage that trip. Thanks for all the lovely pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful time. You have a lovely family.

  14. My daughter went out to Moyross (a part of the city of Limerick) to help out some friends of ours, Franciscan Friars who live there and run a summer camp for the neighborhood kids. She was absolutely dazzled. The beauty of the country as well as the friendliness of the people. She said you could joke and tease them and they took it as a sign of friendship! Cliffs of Moher were her favorite. One of the friars spent his summers at his grandparents place in Donegal and glows when he speaks about it! Did you go to Galway? i hear it is really a creative center of the country.

  15. So glad you had such a marvellous trip but years ago I got to Edinburgh then drove to John O'Groats that's North East all along the North coast to the West coast taking in the Summer Isles, Achiltibuie, Lochinver, stayed at the Summer Isles Hotel then on to Skye, Mull and a weeks hiking in Glen Coe near Fort William. Awesome that you got to Hedgehog yarns in Ireland - I have some of their yarn! I did most of what you did in Ireland but stayed in Connemara as well. Fantastic

  16. loved the pictures. I am jealous. I want to go there so badly.

  17. A week ago I had never heard of Edinburgh yarn festival.....then read your post. Just booked flights and hotel and my sister and I are off to enjoy in March! So I am sending you a huge thank you for alerting us to this event. We are soooooo excited! Isn't the world of knitting connections an amazing place?