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Village Walks: Ireland

50 Adventures on Foot

by Etain O'Carroll

Village Walks: Ireland

Take a stroll through the strikingly verdant landscapes of the Emerald Isle with Village Walks: Ireland from Chronicle Books. This set of 50 cards takes you through Ireland, with something for everyone: history, art, literature, politics, cuisine, and do not forget the pub crawl. Journey from Dún Aonghusa, an over-2,000-year-old stone fort on the island of Inis Mór, through Viking Dublin, and finally to Falls Road in Belfast, the hotspot of "The Troubles." Each walk is mapped out on a small card that can easily fit into a purse or pocket, making it easier to carry the ones you need instead of hauling around a travel book. Their sturdiness helps them to withstand the unpredictable Irish weather, and they're numbered for easy organization, making it easy to replace in their small box after a stroll.

Each walk is a pleasant one-to-two miles and uses easily identifiable landmarks to help tourists navigate the area. For instance, the walk through Dublin’s shopping district known as Grafton Street, offers a variety of experiences: Brown Thomas, Ireland’s most fashionable department store; Davy Byrne’s pub, made famous by Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses; and Powerscourt Townhouse, an 18th century home now renovated as a shopping center. If it is a spiritual journey you seek, Village Walks provides a guide through Croagh Patrick in County Mayo. Begin at the Famine Memorial, and then make your way past a statue of St. Patrick to climb Ireland's most famous mountain known as "The Reek," where St. Patrick is believed to have fasted and prayed in A.D. 441. From the summit, take in a view of the islands in Clew Bay. Perfect for anyone with a bit of wanderlust, the enjoyable walks through Ireland ensure you will experience a true sense of Irish history and culture.

Reviewed by Laura Medrano

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(Updated 02/08/10 CT)

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