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The ultimate 3-day secret South East road trip

The ultimate 3-day secret South East road trip

We're genuinely excited to staycation it this summer.

With all the uncertainty COVID has brought to international travel, it's nice to know that you can hop in the car and visit places closer to home hassle-free.

And we know what you're thinking - there's not an inch of the South East you haven't seen. Well, that's where you might be wrong...

We've put together a three-day secret South East road trip just for you guys. One car, one (long-ish) weekend, some decent weather and voilá - a holiday right on your doorstep.

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Day 1: Tipperary & Waterford

Day one kicks off at the quaint 19th-century Swiss Cottage just outside Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

From the leafy climes of the Alps it's off to India to check out the surreal Dromana Gate. Originally made from papier maché, the gate was built to greet the estate landowners from their honeymoon in 1826. Talk about notions...

"How long can it stay a secret?" Wrote National Geographic Traveller in an article lauding The Copper Coast some years back. Check it out for yourself and see if it remains one of Ireland's best-kept treasures as you scoot along its coastal byway. Check into one of the many B&Bs on the coastal route for a decent night's kip.

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Day 2: Waterford & Kilkenny

Crough Wood

Refreshed, it's a short drive to the criminally underrated Crough Wood. Nestled in the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains, the indigenous forest - divided by a cascading Mahon River - might just feel like you've fallen into a Robin Hood film set.

Sgilloge Lakes, Nire Valley

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Then it's a cross-mountain spin to the Nire Valley, where you'll undertake an hour hike to the Sgilogue Lakes. A closely guarded secret among locals, we guarantee that you'll have this slice of paradise all to yourself.

Having returned to the carpark, pop over to Dunmore East for a bite to eat and some much-needed shut-eye.

Day 3: Wexford & Carlow

It might be the last day, but there's still so much to see. Take a shortcut by hopping onto the Passage East Car Ferry to Hook Head. Feel free to venture down towards the historic lighthouse, but we suggest you take a left turn and head straight for Baginbun Beach. A little slice of Barbados in the heart of Wexford.

Keeping with the coastal vibes, hop on your second ferry of the day to the car-free Saltee Islands. A wildlife lovers paradise with its own self-styled prince, flag and throne.

For our final trip, we're heading inland towards the achingly gorgeous St. Mullins along the River Barrow in Carlow. Toast the weekend that was by having a bite to eat in its picture-perfect river-side café.

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