The lure of Ireland lies in its landscapes and its people, and
it is through involvement with both that visitors get to experience
the soul of this ancient land of saints and scholars.
Ireland's hills are a walker's paradise, not only because of the
extensive network of trails, but because by being on foot one gets
to appreciate the lakes and rivers, the coastal views and
ever-changing sky-scapes that are so much part of the Irish
landscape. Watersports such as angling, sailing and surfing are
popular too, and many visitors come for the golf, but the real
passion of the Irish is horses - there is a potential Derby winner
in every valley and a packed betting shop in every high street.
The Irish weather is not the most predictable in the world, but
then much of the beauty of the Irish landscape is due to its
climate and there has to be a price tag on being nicknamed the
'Emerald Isle'. Poor weather has had positive influences on the
Irish way of life. Music and song plays an integral part in daily
life and visitors are able to experience this in the many pubs so
characteristic of the social landscape of Ireland.
Over the years, Ireland has survived invasions, famine and civil
war, but has recently come into its own, benefiting from peace in
the North, support from the EU and a new vitality which has caused
the country to be dubbed the 'Celtic Tiger'. There has never been a
better time to visit.