Leap Year’s locations were the best thing about it
Today is the Leap Year and that date will forever be marred for Irish people by the 2009 romantic cringe fest starring Amy Adams. However not everything about the film was bad, the locations stole the show. Here are 5 of them.
Leap Year is not only implausible, the accents are terrible and it’s also woefully geographically incorrect. So much so it borders on Magic Realism. While the film received ire of critics around the world but didn’t bomb at the box office. The film has even gone on to become one of those ‘so bad it’s good’ films for the terminally romantic and those who can suspend their disbelief.
All in all though, love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the Irish landscape looks very well indeed. In fact it’s the star of the show and the film has contributed to the Irish tourism industry in the following years. Even if tourists may be somewhat disappointed not to find Oirishy locals with twinkling eyes and speaking in riddles. Well almost.
Inishmore, Aran Islands, Galway
Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, actually stands in for Dingle in the film. Why? We don’t know, but we assume it was down to budget constraints and not that Inishmore makes a more authentic Dingle than say, Dingle. Inishmore is a stunning location, as an extension of the Burren you can expect karst topography with plenty of clints and grikes and the unique flora of the region. The ancient Dun Aengus is every bit as impressive as Skellig Micheal although the Kerry Island is getting all the Star Wars related press. There are also the lesser known sites of Dún Dúchathair (Black Fort), Dún Eoghanachta (Fort of the Eóganachta), and Dún Eochla on Inishmore and are equally breath-taking.
Carton House, Maynooth, Kildare
One of the best examples of stately homes in Ireland was built in the 17th century and was the traditional seat of the Earls of Kildare. The famous gardens which were the finest example of a Georgian-created parkland landscape in Ireland were controversially redeveloped into two world-class golf courses. Carton House is a stunning location to visit should you have the occasion and for film buffs, Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon might be a better reference.
The Rock of Dunamase, Laois
The 9th century fort was later built on by the Normans in the 12th century creating a seriously imposing castle. Cromwell sacked the castle and it was blown up in 1650 to prevent the Irish form using it. So the ruins have parts of blown out fortified walls strewn around them rather than the usual signs of gradual decay. The rock is 46 feet high and offers a panoramic view of the landscape and the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the distance.
One of the most visited tourist destinations in Ireland is easy to reach from Dublin but no less impressive for it. The upper lake at Glendalough features in the wedding scene in the film and while almost everyone in Ireland would jump at the chance to have a wedding reception there, it would never happen. The area is a great day out though and easy to reach. The waiting for the bus scene bus post wedding scene was apparently shot in nearby Enniskerry a small but picture postcard village in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains with proximity to Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall.
The Doolough Pass
Doolough Pass from Louisburg to Leenane is one of Ireland’s most scenic drives. The roads features in the Connemara section of the film. Eerily beautiful the Doolough Pass was the scene of a village tragedy when during the famine in 1849 600 residents of the village of Louisborough set off to Delphi Lodge where the landlord and council of guardians were to beg for food. When they arrived they were told that the gentry couldn’t be disturbed while taking their lunch and where then sent off emptyhanded. Most of them perished on the return journey.
Leap Card is the most popular way to pay for public transport and offers users a 20% saving in respect to cash. With Leap Card you don’t have the hassle of looking for exact change, just swipe and walk on. The new Leap Top up App allows users of NFC enabled Android phones to top up instantly on-the-go. For more visit www.leapcard.ie.