IRELAND IS one beautiful country.
Whether it's miles of green fields and forests stretched out before you, the city's ancient walls and castles cast in orange light at dusk, or a series of islands standing proudly in the wild Atlantic ocean, every visitor to Ireland comes away completely in awe of the country's breathtaking beauty.
If we tried to list every gorgeous view in Ireland we'd be here forever, so we at the Irish Post have decided to break it down by province.
Last week we explored gorgeous Munster in the south-west, which covers Waterford, Limerick, Kerry, Cork, Clare and Tipperary.
Now it's Leinster's time to shine: home to Ireland's capital of Dublin, the province also includes Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow, and with so many counties to cover we thought the best place to start would be...
1 The Wicklow Mountains
Over a million people visit this incredible national park each year, and it's easy to see why. The landscape, biodiversity and breathtaking scenery makes for some gorgeous photographs-- but hikers should still be cautious. The sheer enormity of the place means getting lost is always a possibility, and Take Me To Church singer Hozier even penned a song about two lovers losing their way in the mountains and dying from exposure side-by-side. Cheery.
2 Newgrange, County Meath
The famous Neolithic monument is is over 5,000 years old, preceding Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, and on the shortest day of the year sunlight fills the massive chamber with the rising of the sun. It is one of the most historically important structures in the whole of Ireland, and visitors are left in awe of its majesty.
3 Howth Head, Dublin
Just 20 minutes from the grey concrete of the capital's city centre, Howth Head in Dublin provides a getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The former island is now a peninsula with small-village vibes, and holds some breathtaking views of the bay.
4 Shell Cottage, County Wexford
One of Ireland's most unique tourist attractions, Wexford's Shell Cottage is so named for the 50,000 shells which decorates its walls. Overlooking the Atlantic in the coastal village of Cullenstown, the owner gathered shells locally for over 30 years to complete his vision of a seashell-encrusted house.
5 The Kildare Maze
Climbing the viewing tower in Prosperous, County Kildare gives you a birds-eye view of the glory of the Kildare Maze. Set across 1.5 acres, the maze is designed in the shape of St Brigid's Cross and was designed to celebrate the millenium. Once you're done admiring the view, see if you can find your way to the centre!
6 Slieve Bloom Way, Laois/Offaly
Encompassing two counties in its enormity, the walking trail of Slieve Bloom is a favourite in Ireland's midlands. Lose yourself in nature as your transverse the woods and glens, and if you take a fall you'll more than likely land in soft heather. Class.
7 Carlingford, County Louth
The border county of Louth is home to some beautiful accents and some even more beautiful scenery. Carlingford Lough, between Northern Ireland and the Republic, is one of those places where you could just sit in one spot for hours, watching the lake and the clouds as the day passes you by.
8 Belvedere House and Gardens, County Westmeath
Mullingar in County Westmeath might be best known internationally as the hometown of ex-One Direction member Niall Horan, but nature fanatics know that Belvedere House and Gardens is the real star of Mullingar. The House itself sits on an enormous estate which includes woodlands and lakes, and guided tours offer insights into the history of the House and the area.
9 Dunmore Cave, County Kilkenny
You've seen Ireland's outer beauty, now see witness the majesty of the inside. Dunmore Caves in County Kilkenny is steeped in bloody history-- over a thousand people died in a Viking massacre in this spot in 10th century, and now, a thousand years later, you can tour the area where it happened. Bleak but educational.
10 Birr Castle, County Offaly
Ireland has no shortage of ancient castles to explore, but if you're aiming to see only one during your trip to the Emerald Isle, Birr Castle is an excellent choice.
The castle itself is only a small part of what makes this idyllic day out so great: the ancient grounds have character; birds sing and waterfalls crash around you as you explore the area which would not look out of place in a fairytale.
11 St. Mullins, County Carlow
What do you do after a long day of exploring all the little nooks and crannies of Carlow, when your feet are tired and you just want to relax and drift away? Well what better way to do that than by literally drifting-- down the Barrow River at St. Mullins, County Carlow!
12 Lough Gowna, County Longford
Right now, Longford is getting a lot of publicity due to it being the hometown of Love Island star Maura Higgins, but it has a lot more to offer as well.
The countryside of County Longford is dotted with lakes, rivers and nature, and Lough Gowna in particular is the perfect place to live out the last of the summer. It's not a Love Island villa, but it's the next best thing.