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Ireland Landscape Photography

Opportunities abound for Ireland landscape photography on this reverent emerald Isle. Ireland showed us why this beautiful country continues to to be on the bucket-list of so many. It’s true what they say, around each corner there’s something gorgeous just waiting to be discovered. Whether it be the spectacular panoramas, the medieval ruins or the fascinating wildlife, Ireland sparkles with its splendour.

We planned our 7-day Ireland itinerary in late summer, a continuation of our European year in a motorhome and we weren’t disappointed. We were able to capture some amazing landscape photography shots as we traversed the west coast.

In this post I highlight Ireland’s fantastic scenery through a collection of my favourite landscape images.

Irish Landscapes

We drove the famous Irish routes such as the Wild Atlantic Way, Ring of Kerry, Loophead Peninsula and Sky Road Loop. These drives lived up to their reputations. We chatted to locals along the way who shared their favourite off-the-beaten path locations and combining this with geocaching, we had plenty to explore and a packed out schedule.

Below, I’ve included a map of Ireland showing the main locations for the photos included in this article.

We didn’t waste any time after arriving in Dublin, driving south west and passing many counties with names that may well be familiar to you: Tipperary, Cork, Kerry, Clare and Galway.

Map showing Ireland's different counties and where the photos were taken
Ireland counties where this article’s images were captured

Ireland Landscape Photography Equipment

For those interested in our photography equipment: I was using a Sony a6000 APS-C camera with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 lens and my wife, Shelley, had her Sony RX10IV bridge camera. Both were great portable rigs and perfect travel companions given their small size.

The only restriction using a6000 and Sigma lens was that there was no image stabilisation available in camera or lens, making hand-held low light photography a challenge, but otherwise a functional combo and not to be under-rated.

When we were in Norway, I used a tripod with the same camera / lens combo and captured some great images of the blood moon over Skudeneshavn and if you follow this link I discuss how I prepared for the shoot.

Ireland Landscape Photos

Here are a few of our favourite Ireland landscape and wildlife photos capturing for us, the ‘feel’ of Ireland.

The photos are grouped based on the area / location .

Rock of Cashel

Church ruin on a hill with sun streaming through the dark clouds around it
‘Rock of Cashel’, County Tiperrary

The earliest part of the Rock of Cashel structure is the round tower you can see in the image, which dates back to the second century. The chapel and cathedral were built a relatively short time after. However in 1749, amidst controversy, the cathedral roof was removed by the then Archbishop of Cashel. It remains the same to this day.

According to legend, the Rock of Cashel materialised after St.Patrick banished Satan from a cave. During this exodus, Satan took a bite of rock and spat it out onto a hill, forming what we now know as the Rock of Cashel.

Ring of Kerry

Straw bales bathed in golden sunlight, County Kerry

Country Kerry lies in the south-west of Ireland and is famous for it’s ‘Ring of Kerry’. This circuitous drive of 179 kilometres follows the peninsula, past the Kerry Cliffs and then heads inland to the mountainous regions within Killarney National Park.

Rocky cliffs made of layered stone with a green ocean below
Kerry Cliffs, County Kerry
Rocky steep cliffs that fall steeply into the ocean with a grassy surface on top
Kerry Cliffs, County Kerry
Sheep with one leg on some small orange flowers
One of the locals, County Kerry

Dingle Peninsula

Views to a rocky promontory over green fenced fields
Views over Coumeenole Bay towards Dunmore Head, County Kerry

The name Dunmore Head may not ring a bell but this location featured in ‘The Last Jedi’. Keep your eyes open when driving through the local villages as you can sometimes spy the odd Jedi and Darth Vadar gracing the pavements as we did at Siopa an Bhuaitlín in Ballyferriter Village.

View over a rocky promontory with small rocks into the ocean
Dunmore Head, County Kerry
Forest walkway has views to a lake with mountainous slopes and a green forest in the background
Lough Caum, Glanteenassig Forest Park, County Kerry

Glanteenassig Forest Park consists of 450 hectares of forest, lakes and mountains. You are able to drive through the park itself and pretty much arrive at various locations where you can take to foot. Wooden walkways have been constructed along some of the trails, where the going could be a bit treacherous, giving all an opportunity to experience these beautiful sights.

Brown coloured lake water is surrounded by mountainous grassy slopes
Lough Slat, Glanteenassig Forest Park, County Kerry
grey ducks with blue chevron on their wings rest on a rock in the water
Mallard ducks relax on a rocky outcrop, Glanteenassig Forest Park, County Kerry

Kilkee Area

tall slab of rectangular rock rising up from the sea
Sampson’s Island, Loop-Head Peninsula Drive, County Clare

The Loop-Head Peninsula drive is not to be missed. Park at the very end of the peninsula at the Loophead Lighthouse car park and walk the open grassy areas. The cliffs offer some spectacular views up and down the coast and across to nearby Sampson’s Island shown above.

In the 19th century, this small rocky outcrop could be accessed via a hoist assembled to a viewing platform extending from the mainland. Unfortunately, no such structure exists today. If you’re interested, you can read more on Kilkee’s Heritage.

Pretty pink flowers with a yellow bud within green grass
Sea Aster, Ireland wild flower
White and brown seagulls sit on a rocky outcrop
Herring Gull with juveniles
solitary sheep with curved horns takes shelter behind a green bush with pink flowers
Sheep takes shelter from the wind
layered rock falling into the sea
Nearby the Bridges of Ross, County Clare
a single white seagull stands on a rock with the blue sea in the background
Common Gull
Pink flowers in a green leafy bush with a blue background
Sea Aster wild flower
Green grassy plateau with steep cliffs that drop into the blue ocean
Kilkee seascape, County Clare

Don’t miss the 3.5 kilometre Kilkee Cliff Walk which tracks alongside the coastline. It’s a picturesque and easy trail.

Small brown bird walks through the tall grass amongst yellow small flowers
A Song Thrush stops to throw a pretty pose
Solitary brown bird walk across a green grassy hillock
A Curlew with a purpose

Cliffs of Moher

4 headlands with steep cliffs protrude into the sea
Cliffs of Moher, Country Clare

Join the throngs to ogle at the mighty Cliffs of Moher. You won’t have Ireland’s most famous tourist attraction to yourself but as you skirt the cliff tops further from the car park the crowds gradually dwindle.

Galway

brown butterfly basks in sunlight on a green fern frond
A Wall Brown butterfly basks in sunlight whilst resting on a fern frond outside Galway
old black wooden fishing boat moored with ropes on the beacj
Bet this old wooden fishing has a story or two. Galway.

Galway has the largest Gaelic speaking community in Ireland; known as the festival capital of Ireland and Galway county hosts the township with the longest name in all Ireland: Muckanaghederdauhaulia. Wrap your lips around that one!

red yellow leaves amongst larger green leaves
Galway greenery

Kylemore Abbey

White stoned abbey with a lake in front and a green steep mountain behind
Kylemore Abbey, County Galway

The stunning Kylemore Abbey is nestled amongst the lush green Connemara ranging across 1000 acres. Built in the late 1800’s as a private residence, it was bought in the 1920’s by the Benedictine Order who still manage and operate this beautiful estate to this day. Its structures include the castle, abbey, garden tea house and Ireland’s largest walled garden. We spent the good part of a day here soaking in the grandness of it all and filling our camera’s memory cards.

Ireland Landscape Photography – That’s a Wrap

No doubt about it, there are some superb Irish landscape photography opportunities to be had. The Emerald Isle left us with wonderful memories and it has to be strong contender for anyone’s destination bucket list.

What’s your most memorable photo of Ireland?

Is there a place in Ireland where you told yourself you just have to visit?

I’d love to hear about it.

Purple bike with pink and purple in a wooden box behind the seat leans against a shop window
A beautiful splash of colour in Westport

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