October 25, 2023
A Homecoming: Follow In President Joe Biden's Footsteps With This Ancestral Trail Across Ireland
Follow in the Biden's footsteps to reconnect with your Irish heritage with Rambling Rover
We were all glued to our televisions in April as the iconic scenes of Air Force One, carrying the 46th President of the United States touched down at Belfast Airport.
President Joe Biden, accompanied by his some 400 strong entourage, has always been a huge supporter of Ireland, and voiced his pride for his Irish heritage and roots on many occasions. A huge undertaking involving An Garda Siochana and the Secret Service saw the Biden family finally get the chance to retrace their ancestral routes across our beautiful country.
Mr Biden got the formalities out of the way early on, greeting Prime Minister Sunak in Belfast, attending a reception at Aras An Uachtarain with Irish President Micheal D Higgins, and being received by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park. But from there, he was free to dive into the beauty and history of some of Ireland’s most fascinating sites.
County Louth: Tracing the Biden Family Roots
The Cooley Peninsula in Co. Louth holds special significance for President Biden, as it is the birthplace of his great-great-great-grandfather, Edward Blewitt. Blewitt immigrated to the United States in the mid-1800s, and his descendants eventually settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Biden was born.
During his visit to County Louth, President Biden was warmly welcomed by the local community. He took a trip down memory lane, visiting sites that were significant to his family history. County Louth boasts stunning landscapes and vistas, and is known for it’s amazing hiking locations, which are visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Following a visit to King John’s Castle in Carlingford, which dates back to the 12th century, POTUS greeted fans and supporters as his day set in the Wee County.
County Mayo: Celebrating Irish Culture and Friendship
President Biden's journey to Ireland continued in County Mayo, where he was greeted with open arms by the local community. An address made to the crowds in Ballina saw him weigh in on the age old ‘Mayo For Sam’ debate - amid huge support from the people of the county.
The stunning county of Mayo is situated on Ireland’s west coast, the Wild Atlantic Way and is steeped in history, with some of the most spectacular views in the world.
If you’ve always dreamed of a road trip around Ireland, President Biden’s ancestral trail will surely have renewed the passions and got you thinking of where to start! The approx 3.5 hour drive from Cooley to Ballina across the width of Ireland will see you hit some of the most beautiful attractions in the country.
- Carlingford: This beautiful medieval town is located at the foot of the Cooley Mountains and is known for its narrow streets, historic buildings, and scenic harbor. Take a stroll along the waterfront and visit the 12th-century King John's Castle.
- Slieve Gullion: This is the highest peak in County Armagh, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. You can take a scenic drive through the Slieve Gullion Forest Park and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- The Mourne Mountains: These majestic mountains offer some of the most stunning views in Ireland, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Don't miss the iconic Hare's Gap, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.
- Castlewellan Forest Park: This beautiful park is located at the foot of the Mourne Mountains and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and birdwatching. The park is also home to a beautiful castle and gardens.
- Downpatrick: This historic town is the burial place of St. Patrick, and it's home to the St. Patrick Centre, which tells the story of Ireland's patron saint. Don't miss the beautiful Down Cathedral and the nearby Inch Abbey ruins.
- Westport: This charming town is located on the shores of Clew Bay and is known for its colorful houses, lively pubs, and beautiful scenery. Visit the Westport House and Gardens or take a scenic drive along the Wild Atlantic Way.
- Croagh Patrick: This holy mountain is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Ireland, and it's believed that St. Patrick fasted for 40 days on its summit. Hike to the top for stunning views of Clew Bay and the surrounding countryside.
Why not take the trip in pure luxury with a Rambling Rover Camper van - bring the whole family to stop off at the Biden hot spots, and take in the historical landscapes along the way! Check out our campervan hire options - you can even travel with your pet!