Hostellers, we know that St. Patrick’s Day kept everyone busy this year (like every year) but there is one other huge event coming up: a Solar Eclipse in Ireland! And what is better than to travel and see the Solar Eclipse? Especially in Ireland…
On the 20th of March, this Friday, wake up to see a partial Solar Eclipse here in Ireland and a total one if you are around the Faroe Islands or Norway (but let’s hope you are in Ireland). At precisely 8:24am on Friday, coinciding with the March Equinox (let there be legends rising from this now) the Solar Eclipse will begin. In Ireland it will reach a maximum of approximately 80%, so you won’t be able to see the wonderful moment when the sun is covered completely. The maximum of the Solar Eclipse will be at 9:29am so be sure to pay attention if suddenly it goes dark outside.
While those are the Dublin hours for the eclipse, it’ll be more or less the same in Northern Ireland and the rest of the country as well. So below we’ve put together some magical places in Ireland which we reckon would be the best places to go to and see the solar eclipse. For the moment the weather seems to be fine on Friday, so let’s hope for the best and enjoy!
Beautiful mountains, close to Dublin… They definitely give one of the best places to see the partial Solar Eclipse on Friday. The views from Knockree or Glendalough are amazing, you just need an early start if you decide to leave on Friday morning there. Hike up the Wicklow Way, find the best spot to view the Solar Eclipse and enjoy it! We won’t see another one for many years…
Why Tramore? You might think that going to the south you will get a less percentage of the Solar Eclipse. While this may be true, but at the same time you’ll have the sea right in front of you, towards the East as well. That way you get the best view of the solar eclipse right above the sea. While in Tramore you can crash at our Beach Haven hostel and move from there further east, to Wexford for example, or the Saltee Islands. These are one of the best places because, as we said, there is nothing beyond the beach there to obstruct your viewing of the Eclipse. And it makes for a cool place to take photos too!
3. Cape Clear Island
Do we even have to say why this is one of the best spots to see it? Incredible Island off the coast of Cork with the Atlantic lapping at its coastline. Hop on a ferry from Baltimore and enjoy the spectacular views (and I don’t just mean the Solar Eclipse!). If you go there once, you’ll always want to return…
In Killarney National Park you will feel closer to nature and, hopefully see a clear blue sky above with an 80% covered sun. Why not extend your St. Patrick’s Festival Holiday to include the Solar Eclipse as well?
Just imagine going to this little romantic spot of Ireland to see the Solar Eclipse. One small hike near the Blasket Islands will make you never want to leave!
6. Cliffs of Moher
Too bad the Solar Eclipse is not during the afternoon, it would have been amazing to see it from the Cliffs of Moher towards the west. But even like this, you will get amazing photos there. The Burren is close by and you will definitely feel the magic there – the sort of magic that Ireland is famous for! This would be the perfect place to see the Solar Eclipse because of the significance of The Burren and the history of the area.
Honestly, wherever you go in Connemara you are going to have a good time enjoying the eclipse. From Galway to Clare Island, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with Ireland to the east, your morning coffee will be the best you ever had. We can’t decide which place in Connemara would be the best, so we will leave this to you to let us know… (there are just too many to choose from!)
Could we go through this article without mentioning Donegal? Hike up on Errigal Mountain or, better yet, just enjoy your breakfast at Errigal Hostel, for example, and then have the mountain as a background for an amazing eclipse. It’ll happen at the same time in Donegal as well, but being further North there might be a few minutes delay possibly, but still pretty much be prepared the entire morning and charge your camera and special glasses to see it. From Donegal Bay to Malin Head, the further north you go you will see more of the Solar Eclipse. Donegal is a great place to be on Friday morning – make sure you get out to get a look!
9. Giant Causeway, Northern Ireland
With its history and legend, this is an ideal place for seeing the eclipse… and channel the spirit of the ancient giant Fionn MacCool – the creator of the famous Giant’s Causeway itself!
And so, we end up in Dublin. We imagine a lot of people will be taking photos from with Liffey in sight or Samuel Beckett Bridge, so our tip is to be late for work (yes, come on, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity) and go to the seaside. Be it Howth Cliff or Bray or even Sandymount, just go and have the sea in front of you, listen to the waves and look at the eclipse. What could be more beautiful in Dublin? Well, a pint maybe, but perhaps it’s a little early for that at 9:29 in the morning!
Honourable mention: this will come from you. Which place do you think can give the best views of the Solar Eclipse?