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4 of the most beautiful countryside drives through the Sunny South East

Make the most of the bank holiday.

THERE’S A BANK Holiday on the way and don’t worry if you haven’t made plans, there’s still time to make the most of the three day weekend and head off on a last minute road trip. Whilst we are spoiled for choice here in Ireland when it comes to scenic routes we happen to think the Sunny South East is a perfect place to enjoy a bank holiday (or any time) road trip.

To give you some inspiration here are some of our favourite road trip routes around this picturesque part of the country.

Haroldstown Dolmen, Carlow

Source: Shutterstock

Located on the R727 connecting Hacketstown with Tullow, this is one of the most well- preserved examples of a portal dolmen in Ireland.

The tomb, which is over 5,000 years old, is located on the banks of the River Slaney. The road to the tomb winds past colourful fields and the hills and hedgerows should be blooming with the golden glow of yellow furze at this time of year. It is a very pretty drive.

River Valley Route, Kilkenny

Source: Melanie May

There’s plenty to discover on this enchanting and scenic journey along the rivers Nore and Barrow.

Starting in Kilkenny you first follow the River Barrow stopping along the way for a picnic in Inistioge or to explore the many villages. You then continue south through the Nore Valley (via R700) and you should really plan at stop at the Woodstock Gardens in Inistioge, home to the longest monkey-puzzle avenue in Europe.

After New Ross (via R729), this route swaps the River Nore for the River Barrow, veering north through St Mullin’s, Graiguenamanagh and Borris, before returning to Kilkenny.

Lismore and The Vee Drive, Waterford and Tipperary

Source: Melanie May

This route through the south east of Ireland starts in Lismore and takes in The Vee, Clogheen, Goatenbridge, Newcastle, Mount Melleray and Cappoquin.

The Vee in Tipperary has some of the most spectacular views in all of Ireland and the drive itself is undulating and full of twists and turns so it makes a great route for those who love to drive.

Make sure you pull in at one of the lay-bys and enjoy a picnic as you soak in the seemingly endless views, which at this time of the year have an added pop of colour with purple heather and  yellow furze sprouting on the hills.

Hook Lighthouse, Wexford

Source: Shutterstock/grafxart

Did you know that back in 2011 the Lonely Planet listed Hook Heritage Centre and lighthouse in County Wexford as one of the top 14 attractions in Ireland and the number one ‘flashiest’ lighthouse in the world?

It’s also one of the oldest working lighthouses in the world. You can drive the length of the Ring of Hook Coastal Drive in less than an hour and it is a great route to soak up the beautiful and unspoilt coastal rural scenery this part of Ireland has to offer.

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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