Ireland may be one of the most beautiful islands in the world. But fine weather is one of its weaker traits. Nevertheless, summer vacation on the Emerald Isle is bound to be more than memorable; here, we round up the ten childhood memories of an Irish holiday everyone has.

Ireland may not boast the warmest climate. Yet, what it lacks in temperature, it makes up for in fine hospitality, stunning landscapes and mighty craic.

Ahead of the summer season, we round up the 10 childhood memories of an Irish holiday everyone has to offer you some much-needed nostalgia.

Making friends – and being devastated to leave them

Dunmore East, Waterford | Ireland's Content Pool
Dunmore East, Waterford | Ireland’s Content Pool

Looking back on memories of Irish summer holidays, it’s safe to say we can all recall at least one friend we made along the way, if not more.

Ireland is known as the land of warm hospitality and friendly faces. And this native characteristic is inherent, even as a kid. Making friends – who you will probably never see again – and being devastated to leave them is standard practice for summer holidays in Ireland.

Sunburns – an Irish tan

Another one of the memories of an Irish summer holiday everyone has is sunburn. Or, what we may call an ‘Irish tan’. Us islanders don’t get much sun, and collectively, we’re a pasty bunch.

Given this, it comes as no surprise that summer on the Emerald Isle is a struggle. Expect burnt backs, farmer tans and red faces.

99s – a summer staple

99 Icecream Flickr @distillated
99 Icecream | Flickr @distillated

As a kid, a summer holiday in Ireland wouldn’t be complete without ingesting as many 99s as physically possible. The term ’99’ refers to soft-serve ice cream with a Cadbury’s chocolate flake. 

This summer staple can be found at the seaside en masse. In addition, ice cream trucks roam housing estates and caravan parks, tempting kids and adults alike. 

Summer smells – the sensory throwback

Nostalgia is a funny thing. Sparked by landscapes or favours, foods and, often smells, one can conjure memories of Irish summer holidays in just a fleeting moment.

Yes, nothing screams summer more than the waft of freshly cut grass, the smell of sunscreen (factor 50, obviously), or fish and chips down by the pier. 

Fun parks – Ireland’s answer to Disneyland

Lough Key Forest Park | Ireland's Content Pool
Lough Key Forest Park | Ireland’s Content Pool

Ireland has never been a top contender for world-class amusement or theme parks.

While the rest of the world has its fair share of state-of-the-art, spine-tingling roller coasters and high-speed rides, Ireland has the likes of Clara Lara and Lough Key Forest & Activity Park. These are family-friendly, outdoor activity parks, which, if it rains, are ruined.

Kids crammed into cars – the clown car approach

Speak to anyone who vacationed on the Emerald Isle as a child. They’re bound to tell you that one of their most unforgettable memories of Irish summer holidays is kids crammed into cars.

Whether you were off to the beach, to the nearby chipper, or to whatever adventure activities you had lined up, it seemed the capacity of a car could triple to journey the young ones from A to B. 

First kisses – summer romance

Summer romance. Spin the bottle. First kisses behind caravans or down by the sea. Yes, it is safe to say that most of us have a memory of a first kiss on a summer holiday in Ireland.

We also probably remember going back to school in September and gushing to our friends about being star-crossed sweethearts torn apart at the end of summer vacation. 

Irish beach days – a challenging feat

private multi generational tour of Ireland
Beach days in Ireland

Ireland isn’t exactly a beach destination. Yet that is not to say it doesn’t have some of the most stunning beaches (particularly along the Wild Atlantic Way) you’re ever likely to come across. 

Most of us can recall the days spent at the beach. We were freezing cold with sand blowing in the wind, trying to enjoy our ham sandwiches (with the crusts cut off). 

The caravan park – a classic Irish holiday memory

Collective memories of an Irish holiday are many, but one that frequently comes up is caravan park holidays. 

Holiday homes are a popular feat on the Emerald Isle. And with tonnes of vibrant, action-packed caravan parks dotted around the island, it comes as no surprise that this affordable alternative for a summer holiday is so commonly seen. 

Rain, rain and more rain – sure, it’s Ireland, what did we expect?

Rainy days | Unsplash @Daiga Ellaby
Rainy days | Unsplash @Daiga Ellaby

Ireland is associated with many things: the craic, lively pubs, traditional music, hiking, hospitality, and of course, rain.

Given this, it is only reasonable that one of the most recalled memories of an Irish holiday is rain. Sure, it’s Ireland, what did we expect?