Trekking to Downfall, 1820–1850

  • Glenn Hooper


Although the Act of Union created its own touristic impetus, throughout the late teens and 1820s the numbers of travellers to Ireland continued to rise, a noteworthy phenomenon as these years had seen the re-opening of continental Europe as a tourist destination and if anything one might have expected a decline in visitors to Ireland. It is true that many thousands still saw the opportunity to visit Europe as too great a temptation, and poured across the channel in increasing numbers; James Buzzard states that ‘after 1815 Britons seemed to explode across the Channel, heading abroad in greater numbers than ever before’, a feature of contemporary tourism that was noted by many observers of the day:

The topical literature of the years following the Napoleonic Wars is full of hyperbole about British tourists’ deluge, invasion, or infestation of the Continent, an onslaught marked chiefly by suddenness, liquid formlessness, and deafening noise. The Westminster Review remarked in 1825 that ‘immediately after the peace’ of 1815, ‘the inundation of Britons, like a second irruption of the Goths, poured down upon Italy…’ Numerous testimonies feature a spectacle of British men and women flowing furiously across the Channel, transforming in their numbers the favoured Continental routes and haunts.1


Late Eighteenth British Reader Potato Blight Peak District Travel Account 
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© Glenn Hooper 2005

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  • Glenn Hooper

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