The Sydney Morning Herald 25th October, 1849 page 3
GO TO IRELAND.
(From the Times, June 15. – abridged)
A SEASON comes in every year when English- men are converted into a nation of tourists.
The high-pressure Parliamentary, professional, and commercial occupation is taken off, and the enjoyment of the holiday-making is in proportion to the irksomeness of the previous confinement. We are a good deal laughed at by foreigners for our roving propensities—they are never at the pains to consider the true explanation of the fact. It is because we work so hard that, when we find an opportunity, we travel so fast and so far. We are but changing our occupation after all, and making a business of our amusement.
An English traveller does his work as conscientiously as the most trustworthy bagman. He purchases one of Mr. Murray’s handbooks for a particular district, and verifies the indications it contains. He checks off the mountains, ruins, and galleries, and is very careful in communicating to Mr. Murray any information he may practically glean as to the qualities of inns and the peculiarity of diet. ” Tourism” is, in fact, a duty of annual recurrence, and must be discharged.
This year, unfortunately, the continent is sealed to pleasure-seekers. To which of the old remembered spots shall a tourist convey himself and his family? To be sure, if he has a taste for Dutch pictures there is the Hague, and the flat plains of the peaceful lHollanders. Between this and Turkey a traveller must make his election if he desire to travel in continental parts. In Paris a man’a dressing-case and the bonnet-boxes of his helpmate might at any moment be converted into the topmost ornaments of a tasty barricade. If a summer party should try the Rhine, this is but another word for offering themselves as targets to the Trans Rhenane marksmen. A corpulent merchant or a dust conveyancer who should adventure his person at Baden would, as a matter of course, in twenty-four hours find his head decorated with a gaily-plumed hat, and himself marching under the greenwood tree to various Republican airs of an exciting character. Prussia won’t do. Saxony with its beautiful capital is still worse. Who would willingly try the Danube and Austria ? The Italian peninsula is out of the question. From desecrated Venice to that city which has been so rashly styled Eternal, and thence to Naples, all is trouble, disorder, or actual warfare. For this year the Continent is hermetically sealed to all but the most adventurous and irresponsible tourists.
We are so far happy in the British isles, that it is rather an advantage to those amongst us who love beautiful scenery for its own sake to be turned back upon our own country. The impulse to “take a run upon the continent” when we have a month to spare is too strong to contend against. Now, whether we will or no, we must fall back upon our own resources. There are the Scotch Highlands and the English lakes; there are North and South Wales-Snowden and the Vale of Festiniog ; Chepstow and the Wye ; there is Devonshire with the Dart and the Exe ; there are the southern counties with all their beautiful home scenery. All these points are more or less visited by all wanderers.
There is one portion of the British isles, however, which, as far as beauty and variety of scenery are concerned, yields to no other, but yet remains comparatively unknown. How few are the persons who, except for business purposes, have visited the southern and western districts of Ireland? One occasionally meets a stray sportsman who has gone salmon-fishing in the Shannon, or spent a season in Connemara, but these are rare exceptions to the rule.
Ireland, by mere tourists, not being natives of the country, is rather less frequented than the Spanish Peninsula, and yet it would be easy to point out in it districts which, once seen, would hang in the recollection for ever as spectacles of natural beauty. There is the Bay of Dublin; nearly the whole of the county of Wicklow; the counties of Waterford and Cork; Kerry with the Killarney Lakes; the South Riding of Tipperary with the Golden Vale; portions of Limerick; Clare with the Mohir Cliffs and its fine coast scenery; Galway with its magnificent bay; Connemera with the Killeries, and districts of Mayo,
If a tourist should visit the spots we have just indicated he would return with the conviction, that beautiful as continental scenery may be, there are points in Ireland which may stand competition with the show districts of any other country.
In the advertising columns of The Times of this day will be found an advertisement to which we wish to give every support in our power. An agreement has been come to between the London and North-Western Railway Company, the Chester and Holyhead Railway Company, and the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, by which tourists can be transported from London to Killarney and back for £6 in the first, and £4 in the second class.
They will have an opportunity given them of visiting the Cove of Cork and the beautiful scenery of the south of Ireland. Other advantages are offered, particulars of which will be found in the advertisement. There is no way in which a fortnight could be more profitably or ” enjoyably” spent than in such a trip; but, independently of this, we wish to recommend the scheme to public attention for other considerations.