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Scenic Spring Drives

6 spectacular drives to see the best of Ireland in springtime

Make the most of the grand stretch.

DESPITE THE RECENT wintery weather, springtime has actually sprung in Ireland.

And with the Easter holidays on the horizon too, now is the perfect time to plan a road trip to make the most of the milder weather (honestly, it’s on the way) and the grand stretch in the evenings.

Need a little inspiration? Here are six scenic drives that make the most of springtime in Ireland.

Stroll around Mount Usher Gardens via the Wicklow Mountains

Shutterstock / Osher Avzirov Shutterstock / Osher Avzirov / Osher Avzirov

Mount Usher Gardens in the springtime brings thousands of bulbs in full bloom on the lawns. Purple and white crocuses line the paths off the Palm Walk and magnolias begin to show what they can do.

Ashford is the perfect place to begin or end a scenic drive though the colourful Wicklow Mountains and along the Wicklow Way. You drive via the Devil’s Glen and Glendalough or through the Clara Vale or the pretty village of Roundwood. Whichever route you take, drive with the windows down and breathe in the scent of gorse that fills the air this time of year.

See the lambs via Moll’s Gap in Kerry

Shutterstock / Greg Fellmann Shutterstock / Greg Fellmann / Greg Fellmann

Springtime is the perfect time to see some cute baby lambs up close and personal. One of the best ways to do this is to visiting a sheep farm and one of the best ones is Kissane Sheep Farm which is located between Kenmare and Killarney National Park in Co Kerry.

This means, in order to get to the lambs you have to drive the infamous Moll’s Gap! Moll’s Gap is in the middle of the land, overlooking the farm and its sheep and lambs. Just remember to take it handy through the gap, it is quite narrow and slippy when wet – but this time of year is a great time to tackle the road as it won’t be as busy as it is in the summer.

A seaside stroll via the Copper Coast in Waterford

Shutterstock / Hugh O'Connor Shutterstock / Hugh O'Connor / Hugh O'Connor

The Copper Coast is stunning in its winter bleakness but come springtime it bursts into life with beautiful blooms brightening up the fields and hills that surround the rugged coastline.

This easy coastal drive is bookended by Tramore in the east and Dungarvan in the west and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and walk along the beaches which are usually pretty empty this time of year. Make sure you stay long enough to enjoy the watercolour sunsets.

A picnic in the Sperrin Mountains, in Tyrone and Derry

Melanie May Melanie May

Oh the Sperrin Mountains in spring are just magical. They are mystical too with over 90 stone circle sets in the hills. At this time of year the mountains are filled with lambs and sheep and the most vibrant flowers, shrubs and grasses. It’s truly picture perfect.

Start your journey in Strabane and drive the undulating (and almost certainly deserted) road through the Sperrin Valley and past the highest peak of Sawel. Have a picnic along the way at the Aghascrebagh Ogham Stone or in the Glenelly Valley. This is a very easy route to drive just make sure that you aren’t in a hurry as you’ll be stopping so often to take photos.

Walk off the Easter eggs at Slieve League via the Glengesh Pass in Donegal

Shutterstock / Stefano_Valeri Shutterstock / Stefano_Valeri / Stefano_Valeri

The Sliabh Liag Cliffs are some of the highest and finest marine cliffs in Europe and they are best reached via the Glengesh Pass that runs between Ardara and Gleanncholmcille.

The Glengesh Pass was once voted the most beautiful road in Ireland and it snakes through rugged landscape that glistens in the spring sun with golden-toned long grasses that fill the green fields.

Get back to nature via the Loop Head Peninsula Drive in Clare

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This isolated and wind-swept 81km route takes you past a 300 year old lighthouse, through the last parish before America and on to a Victorian streetscape. Driving this route during springtime gives you a chance to see rare seabirds at the Bridges of Ross and you’ll also catch some pretty impressive sunsets too.

Start and finish in Kilrush and visit Carrigaholt, Kilbaha, Loop Head, Cross and Kilkee. The route can be done in either direction.

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