2021 Travel Roundup

A year of limited travel

Our 2021 travel roundup, a year after the pandemic started we were hopeful of some travel after a disruptive 2020 and a lot of cancellations. But just as the year started the waves of the virus kept coming and with a young family and new born we were staying put.

Staying Local

Not to be disheartened and a desire for adventure 2021 become the second year of local travel. To be honest, and being relatively new to Ireland thèse opportunities to travel our own locality have actually been most enjoyable.

Staying in our own county

The first 6 months was a full lockdown here in Ireland so movement was limited but we took to Google and found some local sites within this beautiful country.

Slibth Bawn wind farm

After moving house late 2020 our location brought us to just outside Roscommon. Surrounded by hillside the only negative of the move was the dozen or so wind turbines in the background.

Although a bit of a eyesore we proceeded with the move.

Embracing the wind farm

Call it an eye sore or what you like the wind turbines were part of life now, so with that in mind embracing was our best move. So one morning we headed up as we had heard there was a walking track and stunning views up there.

Slibth Bawn wind farm

The turbines as big as they look on the hills are even bigger close up. And to be quite honest I was fascinated by the engineering involved in these.

Slibth Bawn walks

Walking tracks through the hills and wind farm are very well maintained and actually very pleasant, with great views, enchanting forest and even some religious sites to be seen.

Slibth Bawn walking tracks

Portrunny Bay

Anither visit of ours was Poŕtrunny Bay located on the South West corer of Lough Ree. Another local site less than 20 minutes from us.

Great walks and views and seems a ever popular spot for fishing and people taking sails on boats.

Portrunny Bay

Australia Catch Up

With the lockdown in place it did allow to get in front in our writing and catching up and finishing with our Australia content.

We looked T the ultimate Gold Coast guide with the Top 40 Things To Do. Continuing the Gold Coast we looked at the best restaurants, cafes and the great area of Mountain Tamborine

Restaurant Guides

Another lockdown idea was to launch a restaurant and cafe guide section reviewing some of recommendations and choices from around the world. A topic we hope to really get going in 2022 and look to open up to other people to add reviews to build a large database.

Here are a few examples below of our restaurant reviews

And some of our cafes.

Navan Back on The Road

Early summer saw us head east for a family getaway.  Navan was the base we a few local points we wanted to visit and close to Dublin.

Causey Farm

Starting off at the farm for the kids to enjoy was a necessity after the drive. Lots of the usual irish farm animals, hoats  cows,pigs and donkeys, petting and feeding for the kids.

Causey Farm

Walks around the grounds with mazes a and kids activities around every corner. A huge plot of land which has been so well executed into a fun and interactive day for the kids.

Causey Farm adventure walk

Bective Stud

We chose a stay in a active stud farm, if not by chance we got lucky as Bective Stud was amazing. The stud farm itself is new in the last few yes and even for someone who knows nothing about horses the money and facilities gone into it were impressive.

Bective Stud

The apartments were unreal the decor, cleanliness and comfort were all first class. The grounds around which are available to roam around in are so well kept and perfect to get out in the fresh air.

Bective Stud accommodation

Make a booking at Bective Stud

Hill of Tara

A late afternoon drive took us to the Hill of Tara, renowned for its ancient ceremonial and burial site and not to mention the stunning views out over the Navan countryside and beyond.

Hill of Tara view

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo was next on the agenda. With the ongoing pandemic, restrictions were in place and all indoor shows and animals were a no go.

Dublin Zoo adventure

A one way system was in place which was fine, we did find a lot of empty areas not sure if this is because of the pandemic or just areas which haven’t been field. Nonetheless we had fun and the kids loved it.

Maybe check ahead before booking and see what’s available.

Make a booking via Dublin Zoo.

Westport weekend

A weekend kid free, this was more of a reconasnce mission to find out about this town we had heard so much about, restrictions were still in place but nonetheless walking, exploring, eating and drinking were on the agenda.

Knockranny House

We chose Knockranny House, close to town and a 4 star rating we thought we would treat ourselves. If truth be told although certainly not a bad hotel the Knockranny certainly needs bringing up to the 21st century. Very outdated rooms and food that is in real need of modernising.

Knockranny House Hotel

It didn’t ruin the weekend but at $300 a night there is certainly better value.

We walked the streets and impressive back streets of Westport and visited the grounds of Westport House and this was all rather picturesque place to visit.

Westport streets

This whole trip quick trip gave us some great insight for a longer trip planned for 2022, so stay tuned.

Road trip

Late October we set of on a little road trip from home in Roscommon via Galway and the off down part of Wild Atlantic way to Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher.

Doolin

We stayed in the little town of Doolin, a colourful little town, full of great traditional pubs and eateries. With access to the Cliffs of Moher walk, the Doolin pier with ferries to the Aran Islands and the Great Doolin Caves.

Doolin village

We hit the jackpot in a excellent Airbnb with beautiful views of the rugged wild west coastline. Brilliantlyexecuted and equipped stay and well worth recommending to anyone.

Airbnb Doolin

Make sure you book your Stay.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

We got to see one of Irelands most famous features the legendary Cliffs of Moher. Albeit a challenge with two small children we found this great hack in Guerins Path a little unknown car park metres from the top of the Cliffs and half the price of the main car park.

Guerins Path

It meant we avoided the walk, although the walk itself is far better and one we wanted to do with a young family it was a perfect option.

Castles

If there is one thing Ireland has an abundance of is castles. They say around 30,000 in total. There are do many striking with many restored, but many in ruins we want to tick some off. Here is the ones we did.

Only 29,994 to go !!!

Moving into 2022

We had said an early trip to Lisbon was on the cards but due to the surge of Omicron wave and and PCR testing and quarantine we opted to delay and save for a later date.

A long awaited trip back to the UK is certainly on the cards and we keep the fingers crossed for some potential European this summer.

And then there is Ireland with the success of the family road trip, possibly trips to Donegal and down to the Ring of Kerry are high up on the list.

And that’s it for now

So that’s it for our 2021 travel roundup, hopefully this time next year we will bring you more adventures from our year. Come by and keep up to date with our Instagram and Twitter so you don’t miss a thing.

See what we got up to in 2020 also with our 2020 Round up

Stay safe and happy travels

Richard and Michelle

By chalkandcheesetravels

We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

22 comments

  1. leightontravels – Beijing, China. – Freelance travel blogger from London. Former music & film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.
    leightontravels says:

    Enjoyed reading this and wow, you guys did a lot! All in your own backyard, so to speak, but some stunning natural beauty and wildlife to say the least. Funnily enough, I have never found wind turbines the eyesores that most people do. Wishing you some long overdue international travel in 2022!

    1. Thanks Leighton would love to get going internationally but we will see. We are happy with what Ireland has to offer but could do with some sun.

  2. Loved reading about your travels from last year! I definitely don’t think there’s anything wrong with staying more local – there’s always so many great discoveries to find in your own country! x

    1. Exactly right we have loved every minute travelling locally and finding such cool stuff right on our doorstep

  3. Great to see that you managed to do so much in a difficult year for travelling. We visited Ireland for the first time last year and thought it was just wonderful. We saw the Cliffs of Moher and Westport but we missed Doolin! We’ll have to return. Fingers crossed for more travel in 2022!

    1. Love Westport we will return there at some stage maybe in the summer. Thanks for coming by and reading

  4. Little Miss Traveller – England – An independent traveller writing about her visits to countries near and far - travel diaries and days out providing inspiration for fellow travellers
    Little Miss Traveller says:

    I think you made the best of your time and managed to visit some really interesting parts of Ireland. I believe that the virus has reminded us that there is much to enjoy in our own countries. Wishing you every happiness for 2022 and hopefully a return to overseas holidays.

    1. Oh most definitely and we have throughly enjoyed travelling around locally with our family.
      And to you Marion thanks very much

  5. If you’re going local, Ireland isn’t the worse place to do it. I’m starting to count those castles too 😀
    I just added Doolin to my “next time in Ireland” trip.

    1. Definitely add Doolin beautiful little place we’ll worth the trip I know a great airb&b also

  6. Looks like you guys managed to squeeze in so much despite everything in 2021! I’m sure 2022 will have lots in store.
    Also, looks like your time at the Cliffs of Moher was as grey as ours. Beautiful place though!

    1. It wasn’t great but it didn’t rain so that’s a plus will go back in the summer

  7. Are there really 30,000 castles in Ireland? That’s crazy! I really like the idea of a worldwide dining guide. That would be great for regular travelers to have a resource. The Hill of Tara is one of the things I regret not getting to see when I was there but there’s always next time!

  8. What a wonderful year of travel within Ireland! Although it’s a bummer not to have traveled internationally, it’s great you got to see more of the country and really appreciate all it has to offer. I think the pandemic has made a lot of us realize the smaller gems close to home, and to treasure them even more. Hope you have more travels coming up in 2022!

  9. You all made the most of your year I’d say, especially with little ones! Your pictures are just beautiful. Looking forward to your 2022 adventures and especially your restaurant reviews!

  10. Even though it wasn’t an ideal travel year, you really got to see some incredible sights locally! So many beautiful landscapes and towns such as Doolin and Cliffs of Moher. I’m the same way, really exploring my state and the US for now.

  11. kasiawrites – Kasiawrites Cultural Travel Blog is about adventure, exploration and discovery with a focus on responsible travel. An exciting way of learning about the world as well as self-reflection and personal freedom. A place for curious travellers, looking for new experiences, discovering new things and learning something new along the way.
    kasiawrites says:

    It sounds like you managed to explore quite a bit. I haven’t been to Ireland yet, so all these places are very appealing. Hopefully 2022 will be a better year for travel.

  12. It has been fascinating to check out travels for 2021. Like you, we focused our travels closer to home and then within our country (Canada). It was great that you got to explore so many great spots in Ireland. Local travel offered up some gems many of us miss. I hope you have a good travel year in 2022 and stay safe!

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