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Ireland Driving Routes 2024

Ireland Driving Routes

Ireland is home to some of the world’s most magical driving routes. From the blustery shores of the Wild Atlantic Way to 5000 years of history around Ireland’s Ancient East, the myths and legends of the Causeway coast and everywhere in between, the welcoming nature of the local people and breathtaking landscapes will take you on a journey you will never want to end.

If you are ready to feel the warmth of Ireland, but don’t know where to start, here are our top Ireland driving routes to connect you with the magic of Ireland. 

  • The Wild Atlantic Way
  • The Causeway Coastal Route
  • Game of Thrones Driving Route
  • Ireland’s Ancient East
  • St Patrick’s Heritage Trail

1. The Wild Atlantic Way

You can start this route at either Donegal or Cork. The driving route is over 1600 miles (2600 km) and can last between 7-21 days. 

The Wild Atlantic Way is an unmissable driving route in Ireland, and arguably the pinnacle of Irish road trips. Stretching 2600 km in length along Ireland’s Coastline, it is one of the longest-defined coastal routes in the world. You can start the route from County Donegal and follow the driving route to the town of Kinsale in County Cork. Along the route, you can enjoy views of coasts, castles, and stunning scenery of the Wild Atlantic Ocean.

Head to Connemara National Park in County Galway and explore 200 hectares of hills, moors, and forests. The Park offers a range of activities including hiking through Diamond Hill to riding a native Connemara pony. Drive South to the City of Galway and experience the authenticity of Ireland. Why not visit a traditional Galway pub and enjoy some good ‘craic’ with the locals over a pint of Guinness? Head South from Galway to The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, and take in views of some of the wildest coastlines in Ireland.

Explore the enchanted villages of Clare and Limerick, and enjoy fresh seafood and traditional Irish culture. Heading South, you will reach Dingle and find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In Cork, you can journey back in time and enjoy medieval castles. Along this driving route, you will find signposts and markers helping you to navigate the route.

This driving route is built in stages, making it easy to dip in and out depending on the length of time you decide to travel.

For more inspiration check out our itinerary for the perfect Wild Atlantic Way driving experience. If you don’t want your adventure to end, join the Causeway Coastal Route.

2. The Causeway Coastal Route  

Starts at Belfast. This driving route is 120 miles (193 km) and can last between 5-7 days.

The Causeway Coastal Route was voted the Number 1 region in the world to visit by Lonely Planet in 2018, so it’s no surprise that the driving route is one of the most popular routes in Ireland. Designed to waken your giant spirit, Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal route (approximately 195 miles) is a road trip lover’s dream, taking you along rugged coastlines, to stunning valleys and mountain ranges that have inspired writers and artists from all across the globe. The road trip takes you on a journey to experience the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, known locally as the 8th Wonder of the World.

Starting at Belfast and ending in Derry/ Londonderry, you will visit some of the Antrim Coast’s top attractions including the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge suspended 30 metres above the Atlantic Ocean, and the Old Bushmills Distillery. From Belfast head to Carrickfergus Castle and enjoy the medieval structures. Along the Antrim Coast you might want to stop and enjoy The Gobbins Cliff Path, and the Glens of Antrim.

Head towards Cushendun and enjoy scenic views of cottages and coastlines that surround this driving route. Drive towards Murlough Bay and Ballycastle’s harbour, where you can take a ferry to the picturesque island of Rathlin. And just a few miles away, lies the crown jewel of the Causeway Coast; the mythical Giant’s Causeway.

Discover our full Causeway Coastal driving route journey. 

3. Game of Thrones Driving Route

Starts at Belfast. The driving route is 116 miles (186 km) and can take up to 5 days.

The Game of Thrones driving route is filled with mesmerising beauty that will leave you in complete fascination with Northern Ireland. The driving route explores the phenomenal filming locations from the hit TV show. As you explore this route, you will feel the fantasy world of Game of Thrones come to life. From Winterfell to the King’s Road where Arya disguised herself as boy, to the coveted Iron throne, you can step into the Heart of Westeros on this ultimate driving adventure.

Kickstart your road trip in the heart of Belfast City at the Titanic Quarter and visit the Home of the Iron Throne. From Belfast, head to Robb Stark’s camp in Rowallane Gardens, County Down. From there, head to Inch Abbey and explore the Riverlands of the House of Tully.

Tollymore Forest Park in Newcastle, County Down, is the 630-hectar haunted forest where we first saw the White Walkers and the Starks unite the Direwolf pups. Head to Leitrim Lodge, located at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, and enjoy the lands North of Winterfell. Northern Ireland has a beautiful scenic drive from Ballycarry to Ballintoy Harbour where you can embrace the Game of Thrones fantasy of Winterfell to the Iron Islands. To end your Game of Thrones adventure, visit the Dark Hedges and follow in Arya Stark’s footsteps.

Check out our full Game of Thrones driving route.

4. Ireland’s Ancient East

Starts at Dublin. The driving route is 250 miles (401 km) and can take up to 7 days.

Ireland's Ancient East

Are you ready to dig a little deeper? Take a road trip adventure through 5000 years of Irish history and journey back in time to explore Celtic warriors, Colonial settlers, early Saints, and Lords around Ireland’s Ancient East. As you journey the birthplace of Irish culture, you will not only be captivated by the myths and legends of days of yore, but also witness the gorgeous green landscapes that have attracted travellers from all across the world for thousands of years. If your searching for an authentic experience of Ireland, this road trip is perfect for you.

Start your road trip in Dublin and head to Boyne Valley, the birthplace of Ireland’s Ancient East in County Meath and Louth. This unique destination is surrounded with Celtic tombs, monastic ruins, sacred hills, and battlefields stepped in history. Boyne Valley has a range of things to do including Boyne boats, golf, and walking tours. And if you are looking for a lunch break stop, then the surroundings of Clonmacnoise ruined monastery, by the Shannon river, is the perfect location.

Driving southwards to Cork, you will find magical castles including the famous Blarney Castle. Follow the road towards Wicklow and explore the Historic Goal. You might want to learn about Ireland’s toughest times of hunger and poverty. At Wicklow’s Gaol you can learn the stories of passion, cruelty, misery, and exile.

View our full Ireland Ancient East driving route.

5. St Patrick’s Heritage Trail 

Starts at Downpatrick. The driving route is 92 miles (148 km) and can take up to 5 days.

Trace the tale of St Patrick and his intriguing journey from slave to Saint. The St Patrick’s Heritage trail explores his legacy across Ireland. The 92-mile linear driving route is popular in March time, around the celebration of St Patrick, however, the trial can be followed all year round to enjoy the history of Ireland.

The trial starts in Downpatrick County Down, where St Patrick first started his mission to spread Christianity throughout Ireland. In Downpatrick, you can visit a church known as Saul Church which was built to honour St Patrick. Drive towards Armagh and visit the Twin Guardians. The Guardians sit at the top of Armagh’s town hills. You might want to climb to the top of these hills and explore the stunning buildings and surroundings. Why not head to the Slemish, a hill in County Antrim, where Patrick prayed and tended sheep.

View our full St Patricks road trip trial journey.

Campervan and motorhome hire- The easiest way to enjoy Ireland’s driving routes

The perfect road trip starts with campervan hire. And at Bunk Campers, we have one of the largest range of motorhomes in the UK and Ireland. Choose your ideal motorhome from our fleet, and enjoy a magical road trip across Ireland. Depending on where you would like to start your Irish road trip, you can collect your vehicle from either our Belfast or Dublin depots. Our friendly team will give you a full vehicle demonstration and answer any questions you have.

Ireland driving routes FAQs

  1. How many days do you need to drive around Ireland?

For an enjoyable and memorable holiday, the recommended number of days to travel around Ireland is 7-14 days. To fully embrace the new destinations you are exploring, it’s important to give yourself a longer period of time to travel and include rest days.

2. Where can I hire a campervan in Ireland?

You can hire a campervan or motorhome from our Belfast or Dublin depots. Our Belfast depot is just 7 miles from the city centre and 25 minutes from Belfast City Airport. Alternatively, our Dublin Depot is conveniently located just off the M1 motorway, 15 minutes outside Dublin city centre and 1 mile from Dublin Airport.

3. Can I drive in Ireland with a US license?

As a tourist visiting Ireland, you can drive with a driving licence from any state outside the EU/EEA for up to one year. Remember to ensure that your driving licence is current and valid.

4. Which side of the road does Ireland drive on?

Likewise to the UK, motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road in Ireland and you can overtake on the right.

5. What are Ireland’s driving laws?

The speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas, 80km/h on regional and local roads, 100km/h on national roads and 120km/h on motorways. 

Why Choose Bunk?

  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Unlimited Mileage
  • Depots Nationwide
  • Discounted Ferries
  • One Way Rentals