When people in Germany ask me what Ireland is like for a holiday, I am always keen to make it clear that if they are looking for a beach holiday they can forget Ireland. “If you don’t mind the weather, you can have a great holiday in Ireland” I tell them.
After this year’s holiday in Ireland I am gonig to have to revise my reply to the question about holidays in Ireland. We spent four weeks in Ireland. The sun made an occasional appearance. The temperatures dipped and soared, often. From chilly 14°C to roasting 24°C, we had a bit of everything, but there was hardly a day we couldn’t have gone to the beach.
The first morning was grey but warm, so we took off for Laytown beach only to be met with warnings of a plague of poisonous jellyfish. We steered clear of the water and built sandcastles with the boys’ cousins. Lunch was a picnic of fruit, yogurt, crisps and fizzy water, all eaten with a sprinkling of sand.
On a dull and dreary Friday afternoon we paddled our feet in the sea at Greystones. The boys climbed the rocks while I sat and looked out across the water, thinking how wonderful it must be to wake up with a view of the sea every day.
Two days later we spent a happy afternoon in the sun at Keem Beach on Achill Island, building a dam on the stream, swimming in the sea and drinking in the stunning scenery.
A couple of days later we took another trip to Keem. After almost an hour of fun in the sand and the pools, the heavens opened and we rushed to the car, getting there half soaked. The snack van in the car park saved the day. We bought hot chocolate and donuts and had an in-car picnic as the rain lashed down. It was the stuff Irish childhood memories are made of.
At Mulranny beach on the second last day of our week in the west, we paddled our feet and picniced on instant soup, tea and chocolate biscuits. Our Kelly Kettle came in very handy for boiling water for our hot drinks. We didn’t want to leave.
Back on the east coast, Bettystown beach was less spectacular, scenery-wise, but we ran to the dunes and played, saw dogs and ate ice cream, paddled and splashed ignoring the grey skies and the wind. It was such good fun we went back a couple of times.
Our final morning of the holiday was bright, hot and sunny, so we raced through the packing and headed for Laytown beach. The tide was just beginning to go out and the beach was almost empty. As I said to the boys at the time “It looks like a place you’d go on holiday, doesn’t it?”.
All these years I’ve been wrong. If you are looking for a beach holiday, Ireland is a great place for one.
In other news, I have been shortlisted in the Diaspora Category of the Blog Awards Ireland. If you like what I write, then I would be delighted if you took a moment to pop over and vote for me [click here]. It only takes a moment. You can log in with Facebook, LinkedIn or G+.