Making a bucket list doesn’t mean you need to climb Mount Everest or visit the Taj Mahal. There are plenty of once-in-a-lifetime holiday destinations to enjoy in Ireland. Make 2015 your year to visit the places you’ve always wanted to see. Here are Irish Country Living’s propositions for your bucket list. Be sure to let us know what you think should be added on our Irish Country Living Facebook page.

A boat trip on the river Shannon

A boat trip on the Shannon is every bit as good as people tell you. The scenery on our waterways is absolutely fantastic and with the wind in your hair as you steer the boat along the river, you get a sense of freedom and exhilaration that you just don’t get on every holiday. Best of all, the boating community is so friendly. You might be an amateur, but when you go to dock at night there is always someone willing to help. We had the boat out on beautiful summer days and on days when the rain was bucketing down, but it was honestly great fun in both conditions.

Afternoon tea at the Shelbourne

Practically every hotel you visit these days serves afternoon tea. Some are spectacular, while others leave a lot to be desired. If you are looking for the real afternoon tea experience, there is nothing like the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. The food is top notch, with warm buttermilk scones and Castletownbere Turf Smoked Salmon on brown bread. And by God, if you like your tea you’ll be opting for another hot drop. But it’s not just the food, it’s the whole experience of the Lord Mayor’s Lounge. It’s so rich in history and a real treat. Yes, at €36.95 it is a bit more expensive than most afternoon tea’s, but this is a bucket list folks.

A visit to Newgrange

“I really must visit Newgrange.” How many times have you said this to yourself? Well folks, 2015 is the year to do it. Look, realistically your chances of seeing the winter solstice are pretty slim as only 50 people actually get in every year and over 30,500 apply. However, it really is spectacular no matter what day of the year you go. And they do a re-enactment of the solstice anyway so you get the next best thing. It is after all, older than Stonehenge in England, Machu Picchu in Peru and even the Pyramids in Eygpt. People travel from across the world to see it, so it’s worth packing the kids into the car for the day. Also, at only €6/adult and €15 for a family ticket, it is definitely one of the cheapest options for your bucket list.

Fungie in Dingle

Yes, there are a good few question marks about Fungie the Dingle dolphin. How could he possibly still be on the go? Is he really that friendly? But folks, there is a reason why thousands of people still brave the elements of Dingle harbour to see this famous mammal. Our Fungie is quite a performer and there are very few boat trips disappointed that they didn’t get a glimpse of him. And when he rises up from the sea, the excitement on the boat is just fantastic. Everyone from the youngest kids to grandparents are peering over the edge of the boat to get a glimpse. The thing is, he can’t go on forever (much to the disappointment of Kerry tourism) so make 2015 your year to see him.

Giant’s Causeway

Another “I really must” on the bucket list may be the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim, which is worth heading up north for. Although the columns of stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea will have you saying “wow”, this is just one element of what this break away entails. Get your heart racing as you walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and warm your bones with a Bushmills. Sure while you’re at it, visit the whiskey distillery and sample some of its famous 12-year-old single malt.

Foodie weekend in Kinsale

Cork prides itself on its reputation for food. From Ballymaloe to the English market, you won’t go hungry, but a foodie tour of the country simply isn’t complete without sampling your way through the fishy town of Kinsale. From Martin Shanahan’s Fishy Fish to the famous Man Friday restaurant, it is a must for lovers of seafood. Check out

The Wicklow tour

Just 15 minutes outside Dublin city centre and you’re at the foot of the Dublin mountains. Once you start your ascent overlooking the capital, you know it’ll be a journey to remember. The drive over Sally’s Gap is just breathtaking, and a brisk walk around Glendalough, especially on a cold, dry winter’s day would certainly warm the bones. Don’t forget to include a visit to Powerscourt. Gasp at the waterfall and enjoy a walk around the Japanese garden in the beautiful old stately home. You’ll need to be up early to fit everything in, but it will be worth it.

Donegal coastline

GAA victories and Daniel O’Donnell aside, Donegal needs to be explored at least once. The breathtaking views from the top of Sliabh Liag explain why Donegal is often described as the wild child of Ireland and it’s a reputation that’s well deserved. Rugged coastline hides bustling towns, while friendly locals mix with visiting surfers, keen to take advantage of the Atlantic swell at Bundoran beach. End the day with a pint of beer from the Donegal Brewing Company, before starting all over again with a sunrise walk along one of the 12 Blue Flag beaches along the coastline.