trips to Ireland are like stepping into a setting from Maeve Binchy novel. You will experience quaint villages with thatched cottages, soaring peaks of its highest mountains, sea-side towns such as Cobh and cosmopolitan Dublin, Rich in literary history, you will find the birthplace of W.B. Yeats in County Sligo or the setting for James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” considered in the top 100 Best Books of All Time, and don’t forget Frank McCourt’s memoirs of his impoverished childhood in Limerick “Angela’s Ashes”. Dive into Ireland’s rich literary history. Here are just a few of the can’t miss literary attractions in Ireland:
Trinity College and the Book of Kells
Trinity College has played host to several of Ireland’s literary greats from Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde to Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker. Here you will also find the famous mid-8th century illuminated Book of Kells. The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells surpass that of other Insular Gospel books in extravagance and complexity.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels was Dean here from 1713 to 1745 and is buried here. You will find an exhibition that tells his fascinating story.
Dublin Writer’s Museum
The Dublin Writer’s Museum is a great place to start your literary tour of Ireland and is an essential visit for anyone who wants to discover, explore and simply enjoy the immense heritage of Dublin. The museum houses splendid works from the literary celebrities of the past 300 years including manuscripts, letters, portraits and personal items.
James Joyce Center
Joyce spent 6 days at the Martello Tower in Sandycove in 1904 – astay that ended in his companion Oliver St. John Gogarty firing a gun. This strange scene is immortalized in the first chapter of Joyce;s Ulysses and the tower now contains a museum dedicated to James Joyce.
National Library of Ireland
The country’s foremost literary attraction, the National Library of Ireland provides an intellectual record of the life of Ireland. The library contains a vast collection of books, manuscripts, records, photographs and maps.
Bram Stoker Park
Just outside of Dublin, in his native Clontarf there is a park dedicated to the Gothic horror writer, Bram Stoker
Patrick Kavanagh Rural and Literary Resource Center
The Center houses exhibitions on local history and on Kavanagh. The special feature of the Patrick Kavanagh Centre is the unique performance tour of Kavanagh Country, which takes in many local sites immortalised by Innishkeen's most famous son, with anecdotes, historical facts, wild rumours and even the odd poem along the way.
Little Lea, Belfast
Little Lea was the Lewis family home from 1905 until 1930. It was here that CS Lewis first took to writing as a hobby in his childhood because of a disability in his thumbs, which meant he could not make things with his hands. He claimed that someone could do more with a castle in a story than with any cardboard castle that ever stood on a nursery table. Few have proved him wrong. The house is now a private residence.
With its many connections to the beloved poet WB Yeats, this county is a pilgrimage destination for Yeats fans. The poet’s writing was shaped by the landscape and people of this farming region.
The setting for Frank McCourt’s impoverished Catholic childhood and the setting for his memoir “Angela’s Ashes”.
With such a distinguished literary history in Dublin and throughout Ireland, it is no wonder that Dublin became a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010. Start your Irish literary pursuit on your next vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations.