Ardal O’Hanlon, explores the Emerald Isle and Irish life as he goes off the beaten track around his beloved homeland. Using a series of Victorian guidebooks written by Mr and Mrs SC Hall to tempt the English over to Ireland, Ardal roams from small towns to idiosyncratic attractions, detours from pulpit to pub, and rejoices in the unique festivities and characters you can only find in Ireland.
Ardal looks at Irish stereotypes and issues around belief. From fairies and leprechauns to ghost hunting and tidy towns, not to mention the Church itself, Ardal is determined to find out if the people of Ireland are predisposed to faith. Could a matchmaker in County Clare possess a book with magical powers? What does it mean to have fiery hair? Ardal meets a woman who believes a holy relic saved her life. And at Blarney Castle, he discovers there may be a sting in the tail to the most famous Irish superstition of all.
Ardal joins a group of Irish Travellers for a rare visit; he meets the new generation embracing the traditions of the past; and explores how hurling and horse racing are engrained in the Irish psyche. Ardal also visits a huge crater, where he is forced to confront his own sense of identity.
Ardal investigates how the Irish became such great storytellers and why they are so keen on myths and legends. His journey begins at an ancient ring fort, before heading to Louth and Derry, as well as Stranocum, Belfast, and some of the locations used in Game of Thrones.