Glendalough is pronounced Glen-da-lock and means Glen of Two Lakes
Howth has a Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in the Martello Tower
The avenue to Powerscourt House is a lined with 2,000 beech trees
Malahide Castle is set in 250 acres of parkland
Dublin is known as the gateway to Ireland and with good reason. There's a fine selection of trips and excursions out of Dublin, with the Wicklow mountains nearby and some excellent Irish coastal resorts to both the north and south of Dublin. Here's our pick of them:
Catch the DART railway to the Howth peninsula to the north of Dublin Bay. At Howth there is a fine castle, the 14th century church of St Mary and the enormously attractive Howth harbour.
There is a a splendid circular walk around the headland on coastal paths and at Howth lighthouse you get spectacular views across the bay to Dublin. End the walk with some tasty fish and chips at the 'Chipper' in Howth.
Glendalough is one of the most important sites for monastic ruins in Ireland and is set in the spectacular Wicklow Mountains. The Glendalough site is truly beautiful with lakes, streams and wooded hillsides.
The monastery was established in the 6th century by the hermit St Kevin and became a centre of learning. Today there's a Cathedral, minus its roof, a 30m high tower and a church, known as St Kevin's Kitchen. The visitor centre has excellent displays on the history and wildlife of the Glendalough area.
There's excellent walking around Glendalough with three nature trails, each less than an hour long. There's also the long-distance Wicklow Way for a more challenging hike. Glendalough's granite cliffs, at the north-western end of the valley, are very popular with rock-climbers.
Roundwood, just north of Glendalough, is the highest village in Ireland (279m). The village has three good pubs, a large campsite, and many fine walks. Nearby, the two lakes Lough Dan and Tay lie in the forested hills.
Enniskerry is a lovely small village surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains. Powerscourt Estate lies just outside the village and boasts some of the finest gardens in the world. The Palladian Powerscourt House was gutted by fire in 1974 but has now been restored.
The Italianate garden terraces have magnificent views and a 400ft (122m) waterfall is the highest in the country. The garden designer Daniel Robertson suffered gout and directed operations from a wheelbarrow, while fortified with bottles of sherry.
Visitors can enjoy the Japanese garden, a later addition, or wander along the River Dargle and around the ornamental lakes.
The home of the Talbot family for nearly 800 years until the 1970s, Malhide Castle has the only preserved medieval Great Hall in Ireland.
It's on the coast about 10 miles north of Dublin and also displays part of the National Portrait Collection. The Fry Railway collection of handmade models of Irish trains, a fine restaurant and a good cafe add to the attractions.
Few countries can rival Ireland's passion for horse racing. The stud is near Kildare to the west of Dublin and the Curragh and Punchestown racecourses are also nearby. There's a Museum of Horse Racing which boast the skeleton of the legendary Arkle.
Handweavers have been hard at work at Avoca in County Wicklow since the 1720s producing beautiful cloth. This, the oldest handweaving mill in Ireland, is in thickly wooded hills where the rivers Avonbeg and Avonmore meet near to the coastal town of Arklow south of Dublin.
Established in 1798, Johnnie Fox's is one of the oldest pubs in Ireland. It's the highest pub in the country and found at Glencullen, nestling in the Dublin Mountains. Traditional music, dancing and storytelling add to the pleasure of its open turf fires.