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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 5 June, 2020

'On a calm day you'll see Skellig Michael': Photographer Jeremy Simpson shares his favourite Irish places

Here’s where the New Zealand native goes for incredible photos (and an Irish fry).

The Dursey Island cable car, off the coast of Cork.
The Dursey Island cable car, off the coast of Cork.
Image: Instagram/Jeremy Simpson

Each week, we ask someone who really knows Ireland’s twists and turns to share their favourite places. Today, landscape photographer Jeremy Simpson brings us around his favourite spots in Ireland – including the Dursey Island cable car views that compete with his home county of New Zealand.

My background: I’m a lad from Blenheim, New Zealand. Like many New Zealanders, I moved to Australia after school and an apprenticeship. That’s where I met my partner – who is from Offaly. We moved to Ireland three years ago, and live together in Offaly.

I first got into photography when my partner and I toured my home country in a motorhome for four weeks. I put the images up on Facebook and a few people told me I had a good eye. So from then on I’ve just built up my knowledge through watching YouTube tutorials, and lots of trial and error.

My most memorable Irish destination: The Dursey Island cable car

It’s tricky to pinpoint one place, as I have toured the whole country, but if I was to return again it would be Dursey Island off the coast of Cork, home to a cable car that’s been running since 1969.

On a good, calm day you can see Skellig Michael. The farmers who still farm on the island are very welcoming and even put us up for the night in their farm house as we got caught chatting and the operator for the cable car had gone home!

View this post on Instagram

Dursey Island. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of water called the Dursey Sound which has a very strong tidal race, with a reef of rocks in the centre of the channel which is submerged at high tides. This peaceful island, with only a handful of semi-permanent residents, is connected to the mainland by Ireland's only cable car. • • #durseyisland #ireland #durseyislandcablecar #wildatlanticway #cablecar #ringofbeara #irelanddaily #bearapeninsula #wanderlust #sea #irland #ireland_gram #discoverireland #countycork #cork #westcork #lovinireland #igersireland #eire #durseysound #dursey #rawireland #pocket_ireland #outsidermag #ocean #nature #irish_daily #irelandinspires #inspireland

A post shared by Jeremy Simpson 🇳🇿🇮🇪 Kiwi (@kiwiexploringireland) on

My favourite Irish town or village: Westport, again and again

Westport in Mayo is a town I always love to visit: vibrant with lots going on and you have Croagh Patrick to hike. I wasn’t brave enough to do the trek barefoot, but I still made it to the top. 

The best place I’ve ever eaten an ice cream: Murphy’s Ice Cream, Killarney

These guys originally set up shop in Dingle and now they have a few shops around the country. 

The best breakfast I’ve ever eaten: Silken Thomas Pub in Kildare

Order the full Irish breakfast. I won’t say any more than that!

My favourite place to head for a walk or hike: The Slieve Bloom Mountains

This mountain range spans parts of Laois and Offaly, so from Dublin it’s a doable drive, just over an hour in the car. The place isn’t crazy busy like the Wicklow Mountains either.

shutterstock_1016915587 Walking in the Slieve Blooms. Source: Shutterstock

My hidden gem in Ireland that not many people know about: Cafe Hans in Tipperary

Below the Rock of Cashel in Tipperary is a restaurant called Cafe Hans which should immediately go on your list of restaurants to visit. It’s featured in the Michelin Guide too. When you eat there you’ll understand why…

More: ‘Not many people know about the ruined castle’: A lifelong traveller and foodie shares his favourite Irish places>

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Emily Westbrooks

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