With people around the world planning St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this week, our thoughts turned to general aviation in Ireland. After reading Colm Farrell’s wonderful post Flying in Ireland – with spectacular aerial photos of the Emerald Isle like the Cliffs of Moher – we discovered there are 210 airstrips on this island of 6.4 million people.*
Detailed information on the country’s airports can be found in the 400-page Aviators Guide to Ireland from WF Aviation. As we delved deeper, we found a few places similar to those we explore on Air Fare America. In honor of St. Patrick’s pageants of Irish pride, our post features a few Irish aviation attractions both plane buffs and foodies will enjoy!
The Ulster Flying Club & Cloud 9 Restaurant at the Newtonards Airfield, County Down earned high marks from pilots and visitors alike. A beacon of Irish aviation, the airfield has a fascinating history dating back to 1934. Learn more in this brief but informative article written by Ron Armstrong for the Club’s 50th Anniversary. Cloud 9 serves both the Flying Club and the local community. Their Facebook page features wonderful photos of traditional Irish dishes like fish and chips.
In County Kildare, The Weston Restaurant serves traditional European food during the day along with classic Indian fare in the evening (aka “Weston Spice”) from an elegant interior overlooking the Weston Aerodrome. Photos on their website and Facebook page showcase beautiful planes, specialty dishes, and patrons such as celebrity pilot, accomplished aviator, and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson.
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum in County Limerick stands out as another must visit destination for flying buffs. Home to the world’s only full-size replica of the Boeing 314 Clipper flying boat, the museum tells the stories of these magnificent airplanes and the four airlines who once flew through Foynes. One of Ireland’s most famous restaurants – Brendan O’Regan’s – was once located in the terminal. Learn how one pilot’s decision to turn his plane around in the face of threatening weather led to the creation of the first Irish Coffee.
Another intriguing aviation destination is the Atlantic AirVenture Museum in County Clare. Designed for families and aviation enthusiasts, the attraction includes the Shannon Aviation Museum, an interactive Education Center, and two 737 flight simulators.
*By way of comparison, Ireland is similar in both land area (33,000 sq. miles) and population to Indiana, which has 117 public use airports.
Photos are from each of the respective organizations’ websites or social media pages; links are to the main page.