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Your Aran Sweater: The Perfect Travel Companion

Your Aran Sweater: The Perfect Travel Companion

What’s your next adventure going to be? Whether you are planning to explore the wilder side of Ireland or heading off to discover another country, you’ll want to know that you have a wardrobe that can cope with the demands of travel. You might be surprised to find that an Aran Irish Sweater could be the perfect partner for your explorations, giving you the best of practicality, comfort and style. If you haven’t planned your next adventure yet, read on to find out more about some of our favourite places to explore in Ireland, and let us inspire you!

Here at Aran Sweater Market, our garments are designed with love, as well as the finest craftsmanship. Our priority is to preserve our heritage and we work with authentic Irish businesses to do just that. An Aran sweater is a little piece of Irish history and when you find the perfect match for you and your lifestyle, you’ll be choosing to support Irish culture and traditions as well as gifting yourself a new favourite piece of clothing that will look and feel great on all of your outdoor adventures.

Discover Ireland For Yourself

We’ve got some great ideas to encourage you to plan your next adventure, whether you’ve already travelled extensively in Ireland or whether this will be your first visit. Our top picks are curated to take in some unique Irish landmarks and explore the legends from ancient times, as well as inspiring you to take on a new challenge.

Packing for your adventures can be tricky, especially if you need to restrict your luggage. You may need to streamline the clothing you pack, and items that are versatile and good for layering will be helpful. Did you know that a wool sweater is a great choice because it has temperature regulating properties and doesn’t need washing often? Wool is a natural fibre that is water repellent and can help you to maintain a good body temperature all year round, so it’s a practical choice for every trip.

7 Irish Adventures You’ll Love

When you’re planning a trip, you’ll need to work out how long you can take off from work and your personal life to decide what sort of adventure you can undertake. If you are planning a solo travel experience, you should be aware of your safety, first and foremost, and ensure that you do not put yourself into danger. Avoid camping in remote locations and take care if you will be walking after dark, for instance. If you will be travelling with a friend, take the time to compare notes on your kit list with them and don’t forget to make a wet weather plan in case the Irish climate is not on your side!

Our favourite adventures in Ireland include:

1. Walking The Wicklow Way

The Wicklow Way is a great choice for an Irish adventure, especially if you love to walk. You can explore an easy access network of trails that begins in Rathfarnham, south of Dublin, and takes in mountains, upland lakes, farmland, forests and glacial valleys. The trail usually takes 8-10 days to complete, for a walker of average fitness, and is roughly 127 kilometres in length. It passes by several fascinating ruins and monuments, including the impressive remains of an early Christian monastic settlement in the Glendalough Valley.

If your challenge involves a long walk such as this, you should prepare yourself by working on your general fitness and stamina. If you are new to walking or hiking long distances, you’ll need to build up gradually and joining a local walking group may help you to improve your fitness and meet like-minded people. Thorough preparation will help to prevent any problems along the way, and you’ll find useful information and advice online, including some essential kit lists to make your packing easier. For this sort of adventure, you’ll need layers that can adapt to the weather conditions and changing temperatures throughout the day, and an Aran sweater could be the solution. Popular designs such as the Men’s Cable Knit Crew Neck Aran Wool Sweater will help you to protect you from a sudden shower and can keep you cool if the sun is out. Essentially, you won’t need to wash it after every wear, just air it out overnight at your accommodation or campsite and then pop it on again the next day.

2. Visiting the Worm Hole

Located on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands, the Worm Hole is a natural phenomenon that is well worth a trip. The Worm Hole is also known as Poll na bPeist or Serpent’s Lair, and the legends tell us that it was created many years ago when a giant dug a tunnel from one side of Inis Mor to the other. It’s a beautiful spot with a natural rectangular sea pool, and although you cannot swim here, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has been held here in recent years, with athletes diving into the water from heights of up to 27 metres.

While you’re visiting Inis Mor, you can discover several other wonderful places, including the ancient Dun Aonghus Fort. If you can, give yourself a few days to slow down to island pace and make the most of the stunning landscapes and views, enjoying sea vistas and clifftop walks. Remember to wrap up warm to protect yourself against the elements, and don’t forget that an Aran sweater is the perfect choice here on the Aran Islands. You’ll be embracing the cultural heritage of this magical place when you don your favourite sweater or cardigan as you explore the Aran Islands, and we love designs such as the Wool Cashmere Cable V-Neck Sweater, which includes a braided cable stitch that represents the interweaving strands of life and gives the traditional Aran sweater a contemporary facelift.

3. Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way

You can take cycling, walking and driving holidays along The Wild Atlantic Way, which is a breathtaking stretch of coastline in the west of Ireland, with several historical and culinary points of interest to discover. You can bring your own bike or hire from one of the many bike rental companies along the way and stay in local accommodation or camp as you go. Many people choose to start at Rathmullen and make their way north, but you can just pick a section of the route that suits your time constraints and plan an adventure that works for you.

If you’re travelling by bike, you’ll need to pack light, but you can take more luggage if you’re travelling by car and give yourself a few more changes of clothing! An Irish sweater is a good choice either way, since it is lightweight and perfect for layering. The Roll Neck Irish Fisherman Sweater is an excellent option, available in several different colour options for men and women. The natural wool will help to protect you from the unpredictable Irish climate and you’ll look as good as you feel when you embrace this traditional style while you are adventuring along the coast.

4. Going North to Malin Head

Malin Head, Donegal, is the furthest north you can go in Ireland, and it’s home to some stunning vistas as well as the highest sand dunes in Europe. You can appreciate the history of this unique place, including the cliff top tower, Banba, which is named for the mythological patron goddess of Ireland. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you may be pleased to find that part of The Last Jedi was filmed just a short walk from the car park. You might want to find room in your luggage to pack your lightsaber!

The rugged landscape includes beautiful rocky coastline and picture-perfect seas, and you can sometimes even see the Northern Lights from here. Make the most of the opportunity, pack an evening picnic and snuggle up warm, just in case! We love layering up with garments such as the Men’s Merino Wool Ribbed Cardigan, which is ideal for popping on as the sun goes down. This gorgeous design is available in red or blue and comes with an Aran Sweater Market Certificate of Authenticity.

5. Going Whale Watching

If you’ve never visited West Cork, you’re missing out on a stunning area that offers the opportunity for several exciting adventures, including whale watching. It’s a good idea to book your whale watching tour in advance, as availability may be dependent on the season and the weather, and we suggest checking out the many options at Baltimore Harbour in West Cork. There is no guarantee of seeing whales, of course, but it is fairly likely that you will be able to spot some of the local wildlife, which includes Minke whales, Fin whales and Humpback whales, as well as dolphins, porpoises, turtles, seals and basking sharks.

It can get cold and wet if the weather turns when you are out at sea so it’s a good idea to pack an extra sweater for your boat trip. The Men's Cowl Neck Aran Sweater is a modern twist on a classic choice for fishermen and sailors. We love the stylish cowl neck and you’ll benefit from the warm, waterproof properties of this design, which features stitches that were believed to bring luck to the wearer and encourage a safe return home from the sea.

6. Visiting the Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley, in County Meath, is a truly special place in Ireland, transporting you back in time to the days when the Emerald Isle was ruled by ancient High Kings. Visit Fore Abbey, the 7th Century Monastery which was founded by St Fechin, and the Iron Age Hill of Tara, thought to be the home of royal rulers in Celtic times. It’s not far from here to the Anglo-Norman Trim Castle, a well preserved castle that dates from the Middle Ages and is well worth a visit. And, of course, you’ll want to make time to visit the Hill of Uishneact, a legendary site in Ireland.

The Hill of Uishneact was, according to ancient legends, the central point at which the five provinces of Ireland met, so great crowds would gather here at Beltane to watch the High King of Ireland light the fire that marked the transition into Summer. This tradition has been revived in recent years and it is an important cultural event in Ireland today. The Hill of Uishneact is situated on private land and, as such, it is only possible to access via a guided tour, which should be pre-booked to guarantee your place.

7. Taking a trip to Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park is located in County Kerry, and is home to the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland. This is the oldest national park in Ireland and you can enjoy incredible views of lakes and mountains as well as visiting the impressive fifteenth century Ross Castle. You can take a walking tour or simply explore the mountains, lakes and waterfalls on foot in your own time, or you may wish to travel by car. Be aware that some areas of the Park are not accessible by car, however, and take a look at the guided tour options in case one of these is perfect for you.

We have a sweater for all occasions at the Aran Sweater Market and the Aran Cable Knit Hoodie with Celtic Side Zip is an excellent option for layering up when you’re travelling. It comes in a range of gorgeous colours to ensure that you always look and feel your best, and the practical hood is perfect if you’re caught out by a sudden shower of rain.

Wherever you go for your next adventure, we hope you have a brilliant time and feel all the benefits of the perfect travel companion: your Aran sweater!

Discover Unique Aran Sweaters at Aran Sweater Market

You can find all of our Aran sweater designs online or come and visit us in one of our stores, located in the Aran Islands, Galway, Killarney or Dublin to find the perfect match for you. These beautiful cardigans, sweaters and ponchos were originally created by skilled weavers on the Aran Islands to protect their loved ones as they worked, and they are embellished with the unique stitches that represent their way of life.

Preserving Irish traditions and making the most of our cultural heritage is a key part of our ethos at Aran Sweater Market, and we can’t wait to share this with you.