Dingle town & peninsula, Ireland

Dingle town & peninsula, Ireland
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We've been exploring the West Coast of Ireland
and now we’re heading for Dingle which some people would say is the finest destination
in the country. Dingle is a lush green peninsula extending
out into the Atlantic Ocean. Entering the Dingle Peninsula and passing
through villages of Blennerville, Camp and Annascaul. We stop by the roadside for a lovely view
looking down towards the coast and across the green fields. Next stop, Dingle, our home base for the next
couple days. The town is one of Ireland's best with excellent
hotels, of course many pubs, and in recent years, Dingle has become one of the gourmet
capitals of the country with many fine restaurants. We will be taking you inside a couple of them. The drive in gave us a nice overview and will
be taking you on several walks through town. Arriving at our Hotel Benners, it’s on the
main street of Dingle, a very convenient location. Most of the rooms are in the back away from
the street making very quiet relaxing spot to stay. We will show you a little more of the hotel
later in the program, but first we’re eager to get out and take a walk around. We just stepped right outside the front door
of the hotel and we are on Main Street, Dingle. It's got a lot of pubs, restaurants, a few
art galleries and shops, and yet it still retains a local feeling, because it's a couple
blocks away from the touristic center. Dingle is rather small, as we will show you
on the map. It's just got three principal streets, Main,
Green and Strand, with the center of action clustered in a few small blocks by the waterfront. You can see the town center is small enough
that you don't need to worry about looking at a map or reading a guidebook to find out
where to go. It's all right there in front of you, one
place after another, the shops, pubs and restaurants making it easy to see all of the center in
a couple of hours. Of course you’ll want to spend time eating
and drinking, and shopping. Because Dingle is out on this peninsula, a
little bit hard to get to, and yet it's one of the nicest places in Ireland. It's got the urban charm of a town. Most visitors find the real attraction is
the surrounding areas with the beautiful countryside and the historic sites. With a few minute’s drive, you are at the
edge of town and beyond that, you're in the countryside almost immediately. So we hop in our van and do a tour of the
peninsula. It's not unusual to run into some rain when
you're out here in the far tip of Europe, in the Atlantic Ocean. And we had some rain this morning, but it
cleared up a little bit during the day. Dingle is a peninsula sticking into the sea
at the western edge of Europe, set amid wild green scenery surrounded by the ocean. One of the main historic sites you'll see
is Dunbeg Fort. It's quite typical of the Celtic fortresses
of the Iron Age in Ireland. It's built right up against the edge of a
cliff, so it's easy to defend itself with the big walls on one side and the sea cliff
on the other. And what was a purpose, what was it for? Well, this was a nearly settlement. It is very early, 500 BC. This is what they built. They are under attack, they are defending
and attacking. Probably house up to maybe 20 people, you
know, 4 or 5 families with one head guy. Uh-huh. And when they come under attack, all in here,
they would bring animals in here, everything. And, there would have been timber structures
in here. And under attack that would bring animals
in here, keep everything safe because when they raid, they carry everything.. They are kept flat enough for walking. It’s called dry stonewalling. That’s what it is, and it’s still carried
out today. People can build walls that will last another
couple of hundred years. Curious stone structures, the beehive huts. These stone domes were first built about 3,000
years ago, it's believed, and they were probably the homes of ordinary people, of the farmers
who lived in the area, with several generations living together under one roof. Okay, we’ve got a series of, one, two, three
beehive huts, early settlements. The stone domes are built up and what's called
the corbel style in which each layer of stones as you go higher is grouped more towards the
center of the structure until finally meeting at the top, forming a very solid stone dome,
even without the use of mortar, all held together by gravity and friction. There called beehive huts because of the shape,
not because there were any bees inside. These were for people. It's believed this site was occupied until
about 1,200 A.D., by which time it had evolved into a farmstead for an extended family with
the habitation sites, and with the corrals and room for livestock, farm buildings and
storage places. The style of prehistoric stone-dome dwelling
is not unique to Ireland. It's found in the South of Italy and other
places throughout Europe dating back to the Iron Age, thousands of years ago. It's estimated there are the remains of about
400 beehive huts scattered throughout the Dingle Peninsula. This seems to be the most intact and accessible
combination of huts, right on the side of the road, so it's great place to stop and
learn about them. One of the legends says that they were the
huts of the monks. There were certainly a lot of monks and early
Irish Catholics living in the area, but there is no definite proof that these were occupied
by monks. They were built to about 1000 BC, well before
the Christian era, before the time of monks. We’re lucky today that some of Ireland's
prehistory is still quite visible, with stone structures that have survived for thousands
of years. It's believed that people have been living
on the Dingle Peninsula for at least 6,000 years, living a settled life as farmers and
fishermen in a Neolithic culture. Archaeologists have counted nearly 5000 stone
structures and ruins and remains on the Dingle Peninsula. It is the highest density of Irish prehistoric
structures in the entire country. The other most amazing of the ancient structures
on Dingle Peninsula is the Gallarus Oratory. It's an ancient stone church made with no
mortar at all. The stones are just piled one on top of the
other for a very snug fit. It's one of the oldest and most famous churches
in the whole of Ireland and yet mysterious. Nobody knows quite exactly how old it is. Estimates bring it back to the 9th-century,
10th-century, not quite sure. The church is in almost perfect condition
showing how incredibly-well it was constructed in the first place. The building technique again was the corbelling
system where one row of stones overlaps the row underneath, with the building getting
more narrow as it grows higher. The structure is waterproof and airtight,
forming a sheltered space for intimate religious activities. Presumably they came on Sundays and Holy days
to conduct mass. It was obviously for a small congregation. There wouldn't have been a very large population
back in those days because of famine and disease, plague, infant mortality, warfare, short lifespan. Living conditions were difficult, and yet
the masons were able to come together and build this structure of everlasting beauty. These people had a subsistence economy that
just provided the basic needs from what they could grow and catch and fish. A small amount of trading would've taken place,
but largely they were self-sufficient back in the Middle Ages when Gallarus was built,
fully utilizing all their resources. They used the mountains for gathering and
the more-rough patches for animal grazing and the arable land for farming, for their
main staples of oats, barley and wheat. If you drove from Dingle out around the peninsula
and back again, it's just about 25 miles so you can easily do it in half a day while stopping
to look at the sites, and then head back into town. Dingle is the westernmost point in Ireland,
and so the locals like to claim that it's the westernmost point in Europe, next stop
is New York. Dingle certainly is rather remote. One could say, unspoiled, a more natural setting
than in the hustle bustle of many European locations. It's not on the tourist route as much as more
famous places like Killarney and Galway and Dublin and Cork, and therefore it's a more
quiet place. It's a little bit more peaceful. And yet Main Street is lined with pubs as
you see, and there are lots of shops to keep you busy. Woolen garments are one of the favorite items
that people love to shop for here. Get that Irish fisherman sweater or a traditional
scarf. Along with tourism, fishing is another major
activity in Dingle and surrounding waters, which are very productive for large-scale
fishing. No surprise that restaurants here specialize
in fresh fish and one of the more popular places is Out Of the Blue, that is usually
packed with locals and tourists queue up to get in, so make your reservations ahead of
time. They are ranked number one on Trip Advisor,
but they don't serve any meat, only seafood and vegetables, of course. The menu changes every day depending on what's
available from the fishing boats that dock right across the street. If you're down at the harbor pier in the morning
you might see some of the big fishing boats come in. These are large-scale factory boats generally
from other European countries, and they use Dingle as a principal harbor. Fishing has always been a major economic activity
in Ireland. Maps from the early 14th century already shows
some important fishing grounds. Irish fisheries were famous and productive
for centuries, but by the middle of the 20th century it had begun to collapse. The recovery in recent decades has made the
waters off the Irish coast in the North Atlantic among the most productive in the world. The fish are brought ashore packed in ice
containers that are destined for the continent. They are heading for France and Spain, not
so much for consumption in Ireland, although some of the fish do find their way to the
local restaurants and fish markets. What is that? John Dory. John Dory? Yeah. Okay. And they’re all the same? It’s skate, haddock. It goes to France, other fish go to Spain. Spain? Yes, the skate, the haddock, the John Dory,
it goes to France. And the other fish, monkfish, goes to Spain,
yeah. Fish consumption in Spain is six times greater
than that of Ireland, per capita, a big demand. The local commercial Dingle fishing fleet
just consists of a handful of boats anymore. And recreational fishing is a popular item
with tourists, while the seagulls wait for their meal. We had a chance to eat in another one of the
better restaurants of Dingle, Global Village, owned by Nuala Cassidy and Martin Bealin,
right on the main street. They have been there for 16 years and developed
quite a reputation. Hello, Martin here, with Global Village restaurant. Well, we had a chance to talk with Martin,
the owner-chef, while he was hard at work in the kitchen preparing his foods. But he took some time to describe his dishes
and tell us about was happening in the Dingle restaurant scene. Dingle is the place to eat in Ireland, it’s
the one. The reason is, we’ve got the ocean right
beside us, got the hills all around us, organic farms, organic vegetables, great, chefs, and
a good tourist base to keep the whole thing ticking on. Not to mention the scenery, the culture, the
music, all of things that were here already in place, and tourism coming. Now we’ve just added food into the mix. Great quality craft beers and drinks happening
in the pubs. Dingle spend a tourist destination for thirty
years. It’s been a food destination, probably,
for only five or six now, since 2008. So as the tourism comes in, it starts to support
more restaurants, a snowball thing, you know, it starts a snowball, because chefs are attracted
to where they’re going to make a living. Nobody is setting up in a town in the middle
of nowhere where nobody’s going to buy your food. Ha. Right, right. And it’s good to have competition. Competition breeds excellence, it’s all
about competition. And it brings more customers. It brings more customers, everybody works
together, and the whole thing works. It’s become about the food, you know. Not only about the food, but it’s very much
factored into decisions to travel, you know. Sure. People just say, hey, well, you know, that’s
a great spot but there’s no restaurants. So if they look and they go hey that’s a
good spot, and you know, you can really, eat well there, that starts to make a whole difference. It can be the deciding point. It can be the decider, can’t it, you know. And you get the fish from the docks? Yeah, we get fish straight off the boats. Straight up the boats, straight, beautiful
fresh fish. Meat from the Kerry hills, and we grow all
our own vegetables, organically. Oh you do? So this is from our garden. We have the organic garden back in Bantry. Uh-huh. So now we have the freshness of the vegetables
that are coming in at the moment. Carrots purée and red cabbage some bac choy
and baby fennel, spinach an asparagus and white turnips. Um-hhm. Good and healthy, wholesome, and organic. That’s a black sole, also known as Dover
sole in certain areas. In England it’s called a Dover sole. It’s a beautiful fish, only best served
on the bone. Hake, and that’s a risotto, locally-made
chorizo on top. Here we have some ray wing, ray wing, also
known as skate, or a ray wing. It’s really quite different, juicy, juicy
taste. It’s organic wild boar from Ballinwillin
farm, a pancetta made from the wild boar, and a polenta cake, this polenta cake from
a purée. (kitchen noise) And the salad, yes. They are open for dinner every day except
Tuesday from 5:30 PM. It's easy to walk here. From the waterfront, for example, it is just
500 meters away. Dingle is rather compact. And our hotel is practically across the street. The Benners, a great place to rest up, and
get up in the morning and have a delicious Irish breakfast. Getting ready for another big day, we’re
leaving town and heading south. Be sure to look at our Ireland series for
the complete picture that opens the door to this magical country



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We’ve been exploring the West Coast of Ireland and now we’re heading for Dingle which some people would say is the finest destination in the country. Dingle is a lush green peninsula extending out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Entering the Dingle Peninsula and passing through villages of Blennerville, Camp and Annascaul.
We stop by the roadside for a lovely view looking down towards the coast and across the green fields.
Next stop, Dingle, our home base for the next couple days. The town is one of Ireland’s best with excellent hotels, of course many pubs, and in recent years, Dingle has become one of the gourmet capitals of the country with many fine restaurants. We will be taking you inside a couple of them. The drive in gave us a nice overview and will be taking you on several walks through town.
Most visitors find the real attraction is the surrounding areas with the beautiful countryside and the historic sites. With a few minute’s drive, you are at the edge of town and beyond that, you’re in the countryside almost immediately.
So we hop in our van and do a tour of the peninsula. It’s not unusual to run into some rain when you’re out here in the far tip of Europe, in the Atlantic Ocean. And we had some rain this morning, but it cleared up a little bit during the day.
Dingle is a peninsula sticking into the sea at the western edge of Europe, set amid wild green scenery surrounded by the ocean.
One of the main historic sites you’ll see is Dunbeg Fort. It’s quite typical of the Celtic fortresses of the Iron Age in Ireland. It’s built right up against the edge of a cliff, so it’s easy to defend itself with the big walls on one side and the sea cliff on the other.
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30 Replies to “Dingle town & peninsula, Ireland”

  1. In Aghaidh an Namhad
    Amhrán. Salm Ásáf.

    Ná bí i do thost, a Dhia;
    ná bí balbh, a Dhia; ná bí ciúin.
    Óir féach! tá do naimhde ag tógáil clampair;
    agus tá do lucht fuatha ag tógáil a gcinn.

    O God, keep not thou silence:
    Hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
    For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult;
    And they that hate thee have lifted up the head.

  2. Very nice video well done, I only stayed in Benners Hotel last week, what a fine Hotel, one of the best I've stayed in. Can't wait to return to Dingle again and visit Slea Head. It's a pity that you didn't include the views of Slea Head but as this was posted in January, rain and cloud could have been an issue.

  3. Just recently returned from a trip to Ireland. Dingle was my favorite of all the towns we visited. The accommodations at Benner’s was superb. Had a great meal at the Dingle pub and listened to authentic Irish music compliments of the Badgers. Loved it!!!

  4. مشاء الله عليها ايرالند وشعبها عشت فيها أحد عشره سنه من أجمل أيام حياتي فضلت اكتب عربي لاني عربيه

  5. Looks like foreigners are taking all their seafood away and the Irish can afford it less than foreigners. Americans have the same problem.
    I'd rather eat at a regular restaurant than the global village. If I'm going to Ireland I want Irish food.

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