Ireland The Best

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Member Reviews

I found out last year (but I kinda already figured) that I am Irish. I will go to Ireland before I die. It is top of the list. This is a super comprehensive list of where to go and what to do! Much appreciated!
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As an avid collector of travel guides and someone who has spent many a holiday in Ireland, I thought #IrelandTheBest: The Insider’s Guide to Ireland by John McKenna and Sally McKenna. would be an ideal book for me to review for #NetGalley. 

Unfortunately, this was not the case. The format of the book is essentially a list of Places to stay, eat, visit and things to do. Don't get me wrong this format allows for more places and less waffle, but it is just not my preference. 

Perhaps Ireland The Best would be better in paperback than on Kindle, when I first began to read and was bombarded with the different colours of font I thought it contained hyperlinks, which would have been brilliant but unfortunately not so I'm at loss as to why the words were in green, blue, white and red (I have my Kindle set to dark mode, hence white).

Overall informative, confusing and just not for me, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't suit others, perhaps with a more analytical brain.

As usual, my thanks to #Netgalley and publisher #CollinsReference for giving me the opportunity to review #IrelandTheBest: The Insider’s Guide to Ireland
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The material here is mostly well presented in regional sections with corresponding maps.   I was disappointed that no attention was given to any of Ireland's theatres in this guide.  This is a fine enough guide book but won't be replacing any materials that I have previously used.
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Ireland the Best
by John McKenna

This book is packed with so much, it would take you a year to go try out all the restaurants and pubs. The chapters are set up in categories of places to eat and places to sleep. It is setup by different areas of Ireland. You’ll find historical places to visit, parks for hiking and other outdoor activities. 

Each entry has a paragraph or two explaining The Who, what and when of the different places. This is the perfect guide to bring with you so you won’t miss anything.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This is such an in depth view of Ireland. What to see and what to do and where to go and everything in between. It was amZing!! And Ireland continues to be one of my very favorite places.
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John McKenna and Sally McKenna’s book, Ireland The Best: The insider’s guide to Ireland, is amazing! Initially, one could feel slightly overwhelmed by the pure length and delineation found in the Table of Contents, (from Best Wine Bars to Vinyl Shops to Best Craft Beer to Literary Locations, etc).  However, don’t be scared off! This book is impressive in its content and would clearly be a wonderfully useful resource for planning a journey through Ireland.  Don’t forget to pack this GEM in your travel bag! 

(Please note that the highlighted shade of light green used is difficult to read in an ebook format.)
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This is an incredibly comprehensive and detailed guide to traveling in Ireland.   The book starts by acknowledging the country's "famously big attractions" and also includes information on best annual events and "what the Irish gave to the modern world." The next section on Dublin has 34 sections; many of these have to do with food and with drinks ranging from coffee to cocktails.  Of course, there is also a listing of Dublin's main attractions, stores, walks and views.  There are similarly comprehensive sections on other cities including Belfast, Cork and the Galway area.  In addition to many geographic area breakdowns, there are sections on historical places, outdoor places, strolls and more.  If you are thinking of traveling to Ireland (or dreaming of going), I highly recommend this book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.  I only wish that I could hop on a plane now!
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A brilliantly detailed book on Ireland giving lots of interesting detail that allows the traveller to access information. John McKenna and Sally McKenna presented a great code to help people get the best out of the places they visit with an informative part giving the reader the history behind the locations.  A great guide!
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If you haven't seen Scotland the Best, then you aren't familiar with the format of this book. Essentially it is a book of different lists, with maps and links for you to get more info (including pictures). You can hunt by certain areas on the map for regions and cities, where different lists are noted, or search by category (ie Best Pubs). 

Things I really liked are price points for restaurants and pubs that are realistic, listings for famous graveyards and churches (yeah, history nuts  101! LOL), where to get the best Irish made items and best walking treks (with miles and difficulty levels included). Overall it's a great book to use to PLAN a trip to Ireland, and then to use while there, for last minute jaunts!
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John McKenna and Sally McKenna’s Ireland The Best is an informative and thorough travel guide to the Emerald Isle. Although the codes are a little difficult to remember, I love that the recommendations include many great details like location, price range, amenities, and when the accommodations open. While I think pictures would have really elevated the guide, the book is an invaluable resource for travellers as well as Irish locals looking for new adventures.

The book is a bit lengthy at more than 400 pages but don’t let that put you off! It is well worth it because there is so much helpful information and each recommendation is simple and concise. There are the usual listings of restaurants, accommodations, and historical sites. However, this book goes above and beyond by highlighting the best of just about everything you can think of in Ireland. 

The McKennas include interesting and unusual lists like Irish contributions to the world, important literary places, and the most interesting graveyards. Did you know that you can stay in a lighthouse in Ireland? There’s even a section on where to get the best fish and chips! I particularly liked the sections on filming locations and the best tea rooms. 

The codes are a useful addition to quickly convey information. At the beginning of the book, the McKennas outline how to decipher them. However, I had some trouble understanding the codes. I kept forgetting the abbreviations and I had to constantly refer to the key. Additionally, this book would be easier to read in paper format because it is a little difficult to navigate on an electronic device. However, you can easily get by without referring to the codes if you don’t want to.

Ireland The Best is a wonderful and in-depth guide to the best of everything that Ireland has to offer. I love that this book goes beyond the usual travel listings and gives a detailed look into practically everything to experience in Ireland. Although I think pictures and a slightly easier to follow coding system would have really elevated the book, I absolutely enjoyed this travel guide. The McKennas will inspire you to jump on a plane to Ireland with this book in your hand!

Thank you to NetGalley and Collins Reference for this book in exchange for an honest review.

🍀 🍀 🍀 🍀 lucky four leaf clovers out of 5!
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This travel guidebook to Ireland can make my taste fulfilled. There are many recommendations for hotels, cafes, restaurants and pubs. Also places that must be visited based on the experience of the author. The information presented is also very complete such as maps, special roads and which cities should not be missed. The index book is very easy to find. Soon we can imagine, what must be and where in Ireland. Even equipped with information about transportation, such as walking, climbing, bus rides, and others.
Also provides information about places of extraordinary places that should not be missed when coming to Ireland. I am satisfied with this book. Thank you to authors, publishers and NetGalley.
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This is a wonderful travel guide chock full of information. I fully intend to use the information when I travel to Ireland this summer.  My only complaint is that the manuscript edition was difficult to read because it is clear that there were supposed to be images that were replaced by words within, making it a little chunky.
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This book has a ton of information for tourists traveling to Ireland, but would also be great for locals needing some new places to try or find. It has everything on places to stay, eat, and see. The only issue I had was that there was so much information packed onto one page that it was hard to follow one sentence and not get lost; otherwise would recommend.
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This is a fab guide to the emerald isle for natives and travellers alike. It gives you suggestions off the beaten path as well as many attractions you may have heard of or visited already. Perfect guide to old Eire.
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Ireland The Best by John McKenna and Sally McKenna is well written and informative.  There is a clear organization to the information.  The maps included are a much needed addition to give context to the areas being talked about.
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Ireland is on my bucket list. I would truly love to visit Ireland. I would love to see the beauty and stand in the middle of all of the history. This amazing book has made that dream a little higher on my list. The book is a comprehensive guide to Ireland filled with  recommendations for restaurants, hotels and places to visit, no matter what you budget their are recommendations for you. There are all of the the high points for travelers as well as a few not on most of the other travel guides. I do wish their had of been some pictures as well, the book was so well written and so full of information, that I could not take a star off for no pictures. 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via and chose to leave this review.
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This is a fantastic travel guide for anyone visiting Ireland.  It really does give some great recommendations laid out region by region, so information is easily accessible depending on which area you are travelling to.

I was familiar with quite a few recommendations and the concise descriptions made me keen to visit those I was unfamiliar with.

My only gripe is that I think this book really only works well in paper form.  I read an eReader version and found the searching and finding the particular region I wanted both laborious and time consuming when I could have easily flicked to the page I wanted if I had the physical book in my hand.

For any travellers to Ireland, I would highly recommend.
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Ireland the Best

by John and Sally McKenna

Ireland the Best, a travel guide, is written in the same format as Scotland the Best, albeit by a different author. I looked at the Amazon listing for that book briefly, mainly to see if the sample book contained pictures. This series of travel books is composed of well-organized lists and does not show off each locale with pictures but does include links so you can easily see the attraction, restaurant, etc. for yourself online.

Given the style of this book, understanding the organizational format is of prime importance, and so the authors begin their guide book with…a guide to the book. They want to transmit to you the best that Ireland has to offer based on their 30 years of exploring the island. To help you search in the book you can use the index, categories in the Table of Contents such as “The Best Places to Eat and Stay in Ireland’s South West,” or the map to view items in a particular locale.

Codes are of great importance in this book and seem a little daunting at first, but as you use the references they quickly become familiar. They include things like “atmos” for atmosphere and “df” for dog friendly.

Tick or check marks (✓) are awarded for outstanding listings. There are indications of price ranges and difficulty levels of walks. Attractions are coded with map references also.

The meat of the guide begins with sections on the most famous attractions in Ireland, means of transportation, annual events, contributions of the Irish, and famous film locations. Next are sections focusing on Ireland’s four largest cities. They examine the lodging accommodations, style of cooking, restaurants, pubs, attractions, shops, walks, and views for each city. Next the guide expands to regional hotels and restaurants and sections that let the reader explore more specific topics like tea rooms (e.g. Miss Marple’s Tea Rooms), graveyards (e.g. Yeats’ Grave at Drumcliff Parish Church, Co Sligo), and Irish crystal and glass (e.g. House of Waterford). The last major section explores the many islands. Each attraction or feature in the book has a nice, short paragraph describing it.
I have not been to Ireland, but this guide book certainly inspires me to visit. I think this book would be an essential tool for me in planning a trip to the Old Country of my husband’s roots and then enjoying its features while there.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Collins Reference for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Reference, Travel

Publication:   September 1, 2018—Collins Reference

Memorable Lines:

Ireland has a fascinating past, sculpted by the great characters—knights, saints, writers, architects, freedom fighters, clerics, politicians, artists—who have shaped the nation, whether for good or for ill. We have loved discovering the castles and keeps, the graveyards and follies, the beaches and gardens that illuminate a picture of Irish culture going right back to pre-history.

Try a leisurely holiday with an Irish Cob horse, who will pull your home through the Wicklow landscape. Or go for a 7-day walk with a friendly donkey, who will walk beside you and carry your load. 

The Shannon estuary is teaming with life, and Geoff and Susanne Magee run an informative tour of the river mouth running a Dolphin and Nature Boat Trip, on which you might see the bottle dolphins as well as grey seals and pelagic sea birds.
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Exceptional Information that made me want to take a trip back as soon as possible. 

If you’ve wondered about visiting and absorbing the magic of Ireland, this is just the book for you.
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This is an amazingly comprehensive resource for travel to Ireland. The authors have traveled extensively and actually tried the restaurants and hotels and ferreted out both popular tourist attractions and lesser known things to do.

After a general information section are chapters on different regions that give a lot of information on hotels, restaurants and things to see and do as well as any special festivals to watch out for. Dublin takes a lot of space, as you might expect, but I didn't expect to think of Dublin as a place where I would look for great Mexican food! Everything from a psychedelic van with Mexican street food to an Aztec restaurant can be found. Other ethnic restaurants are also separated by categories.

The sections that follow cover Belfast, Cork, Galway and then some of the less population dense areas in various parts of the country. After that, something new happens. I've never seen a book organised this way before but I can see how it works!

There's a section on specific types of restaurants you might look for, like vegetarian or tea rooms. Then a section on historical places to visit, followed by outdoor places and activities and strolls, walks and hikes. By the time you get to section 13, it's pointing out where to look for specific interests that travelers might have, like linen, crystal or Aran sweaters. Followed by information on what you'll find to do on the outer islands.

There's an extensive index and codes to finding things on the maps in the back of the book. Unfortunately the maps are not included in my advance readers copy so I can't comment on how easy they are to follow!

I can say, though, that I'll be referring to this book any time I plan a trip to Ireland. It really is a treasure trove of information!
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