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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019
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7 unmissable stops for an ice cream around Ireland - and what else to check out when you park up

Make your next road trip an ice cream pilgrimage.

Outside the original Murphy's, in Dingle, Co Kerry.
Outside the original Murphy's, in Dingle, Co Kerry.
Image: Instagram/murphysicecream

“WILL WE GET out and stretch the legs?”

In a hot car on a hot day, this sentence is road trip-speak for “Will we stop for ice cream?” As soon as the sun makes an appearance, Ireland’s ice cream demand goes into overdrive.

Many of the island’s seaside towns are still home to traditional family-run cafes, as popular with the locals as they are with the island’s visitors. Meanwhile, towns and cities have seen a surge in foodie entrepreneurs experimenting with new flavours and innovative serving styles.

What better way to explore Ireland than via a hunt for the perfect summer ice cream? Read on for seven must-visit ice cream stops around Ireland, from seaside shops to gelaterias, and what else to do when you park up…

1. Clonakilty Homemade Ice Cream, Co Cork

Swing past Clonakilty Ice Cream on McCurtain Hill (you can’t miss the iconic pink and yellow frontage) to sample one of the amazing eighteen flavours on offer before heading out to one of the area’s award winning beaches.

Inchydoney is a favourite with surfers and families alike, offering vast expanses of sand and dunes to explore – the Inchydoney Surf School promises to have you enjoying the thrill of the surf in no time. For a more sedate afternoon of rock pooling, a little further on you’ll discover the tranquil delights of Red Strand.

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Beautiful day here in clonakilty west cork !! 🌞🍦🍧

A post shared by Clonakilty Homemade Ice Cream (@clonakilty_homemade_ice_cream) on

2. Morelli’s in Portstewart, Co Derry

Queues are often out the doors and down the street at Morelli’s, but the decadent range of flavours on offer are always worth the wait. Two miles of golden sand at Portstewart Strand tempt most visitors down onto the beach before or after their ice cream stop.

Behind the strand is an impressive range of towering sand dunes. A haven for nature lovers, a 3.5mile trail will take you along the beach, through the dunes and alongside the banks of the Bann Estuary (Northern Ireland’s longest river). On a clear day, the headlands of Donegal are clearly visible in the distance.

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We are ready for SUMMER 🍦

A post shared by Morellis Portstewart (@morellisportstewart) on

3. Fabio’s Ice Cream, Co Sligo

A little taste of Italy in the heart of Ireland. Fabio Boni is a master of the gelato, with a repertoire that extends to over 150 flavours. He creates a fresh selection of a dozen different flavours every day for customers.

As well as the draw of Fabio’s, Sligo town attracts lovers of Irish literature. It’s home to the Yeats Building, housing an exhibition on the Irish poet’s life alongside a reference library and gallery – Yeats is buried only 10 minutes away in Drumcliffe churchyard. 

60029424_2322397727823573_6485648960558989312_n Source: Facebook/Fabio's Homemade Italian Ice Cream

4. The Cabin in Donaghadee, Co Down

The Cabin is one of Ireland’s traditional seaside ice cream shops, stocking old-fashioned sweets and serving ice cream sliders but there’s a reason why it’s still going strong. Don’t be alarmed if you overhear someone in the queue asking for a “poke”, it’s a common Northern Irish term for an ice cream cone!

Donaghadee is a bustling seaside town awash with cafes, pubs and bistros. It also boasts an impressive lighthouse at the end of its pier that dates back to 1836. A 10 minute drive further along the coast and you’ll find yourself in the town of Bangor, home to the North Down Museum, the Walled Garden and Bangor Marina – a popular stop for yachts and visiting cruise lines.

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☁️👓

A post shared by 🍁🌚🍂🌲 (@pointtlessness) on

5. Sunday’s in Kinsale, Co Cork

Sunday’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar pays tribute to the iconic ice-cream parlors of the 1950s with its checked flooring and private booths. The menu continues in that tradition offering a vast array of American inspired milkshakes and sundaes alongside eighteen different flavours of ice cream.

A popular day tour around the region takes in Cobh (where the Titanic made its last stop on its ill-fated journey) and Blarney Castle (be sure to kiss the Blarney Stone and have the “gift of the gab” bestowed upon you), before returning to Kinsale to sample some of the culinary delights at one of the town’s many award winning restaurants.

17203185_1322827434471882_7619404982947422093_n Source: Facebook/Sunday's Ice Cream

6. Murphy’s Ice Cream, Latin Quarter, Galway city

A trip to Galway isn’t complete without a visit to Murphy’s Ice Cream in the Latin Quarter (you’ll find the original store in Dingle, Co Kerry). Flavours include Dingle Gin, and Caramelised Brown Bread.

Once you’ve parked up, the Latin Quarter is worth taking the time to explore. It’s brimming with traditional arts and crafts shops, pubs with local folk music on tap, street performers, art galleries and quality restaurants. For a dive into the Atlantic, head along the coast to Salthill and Silverstrand.

7. Teddy’s Ice Cream in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

A Dun Laoghaire institution, visitors come from near and far to sample the delights of Teddy’s Ice Cream. Established in 1950, it reeks of tradition with a raft of simple flavours, nothing too fancy, and jar after jar of hard-boiled sweets. When your ’99 is finally finished and you get an irrepressible urge for another, you’ll find some of Teddy’s vans dotted around the town, including at the end of the pier in high season.

Just 13km from Ireland’s capital city, the town is steeped in maritime history… on a sunny day the harbour area offers the ideal opportunity to people spot and yacht watch. If you need to shelter from the elements, then the National Maritime Museum of Ireland will allow you to happily while away an hour or two.

6977751227_8062a5f114_k Source: Flickr/William Murphy

More: 10 of the best secret beaches in Ireland, according to beach lovers>

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About the author:

Ally Thompson

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