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Princess Grace

AL SO FE AT U RIN G ON E OF T H E GRE AT E ST P RIVAT E C O LLECTI O NS OF ORIGIN AL AU D RE Y H E P BU RN C OU T U RE IN EXI S TENCE

IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2017/2018

WHERE ROYALTY & ICONS MINGLE…

Michael Jackson

Marilyn Monroe

Princess Diana

T HE M USE UM O F ST Y L E I C O NS AT N E W BR IDG E SILVERWARE, NEWBRID GE, CO. K ILDARE, IRELAND.

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ASHVILLE MEDIA GROUP

Located in the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre, the Museum of Style Icons boasts a world-class collection of some of the greatest style and cinema memorabilia ever to exist. The collection includes garments worn by Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Elvis, Tippi Hedren, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Kim Kardashian and so much more.


WHERE ROYALTY & ICONS MINGLE…

Princess Grace

AL SO FE AT U RIN G ON E OF T H E GRE AT E ST P RIVATE CO LLECTI O NS OF ORIGIN AL AU D RE Y H E P BU RN C OU T U R E I N EXI S TENCE

Michael Jackson

Marilyn Monroe

Princess Diana

Located in the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre, the Museum of Style Icons boasts a world-class collection of some of the greatest style and cinema memorabilia ever to exist. The collection includes garments worn by Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Elvis, Tippi Hedren, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Kim Kardashian and so much more.

THE M USE UM O F ST Y L E I C O N S AT NEWB R IDG E SILVERWARE, NEWBRID GE, CO. KILDARE, IRELAND.

MU SEUM | VI SITOR CENTRE | SILVER RES TAUR A NT T: 3 5 3 ( 0 ) 4 5 4 3 1 3 0 1. S H O P O NL I NE AT W W W. NE W B R IDG ESILVERWA R E.CO M

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Welcome

A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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2017/18 Issue EDITOR Maev Martin EDITORIAL/ PRODUCTION MANAGER Mary Connaughton DESIGN MANAGER Jane Matthews DESIGN Antoinette Sinclair PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE Nicole Ennis SALES DIRECTOR Paul Clemenson PHOTOGRAPHY In thanking our advertisers for supplying information and photography for this publication, we would also like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the following: Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Bruckless House, Ireland’s Blue Book, The Merrion Hotel, The K Club, Kilkea Castle, Hook Lighthouse, Pat Doherty (Doagh Famine Village), Collette Gill (Clontarf 2014 Committee), Heidi Donelon Ireland Whiskey Trail), Dick Mack’s Pub, Ashford Castle Hotel, Ballygarry House Hotel, Harvey’s Point, Kelly’s Hotel, Newforge House, Ballymaloe Cookery School, Kieran Clancy/PicSure LTD, Old Head Kinsale, Chris Hill Photographic, Jameson, Tralee Bay Wetlands, Seafari, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Athy Heritage Centre, Tony Pleavin, Gardiner Mitchell, Derek Cullen, iStock, Raymond Fogarty/www.aircamireland.ie, Dublin Regional Tourist Authority and its image contributors, Jason Baxter, Leo Byrne, Luke Myers, Stephen Power, John Kelly/The Clare Champion, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Bernie Brown, Mike Mulcaire.

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elcome to Ireland at Your Leisure and to what we hope will be an indispensable guide for you as you travel around the island of Ireland. This publication gives you an in-depth insight into the island’s seven regions – Dublin and the East, the South East, the South West, Shannon and the Midlands, the West, the North West, and Northern Ireland. Whether it is the striking natural rock formations of the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim or the mesmeric beauty of the Ring of Kerry, home to islands like Skellig Michael, where the filming for Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place, Ireland has something to interest and excite everyone. As you peruse the publication you will come across some interesting facts. For example, did you know that the Titanic Experience Visitor Centre in Cork is located in the original White Star Line ticket office? And that you can retrace the steps of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic from Queenstown on April 11th 1912, with Officer Boxall as your virtual guide? Or that Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, is older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids? Ireland is a land steeped in myths and legends but one that has also fully embraced the modern age. The culturally curious will delight in exploring Ireland’s Ancient East, from its Megalithic passage tombs to its castles and ancient monasteries, while Dublin will provide you with a true marriage of the old and the new as you experience its rich Georgian and Victorian heritage, as well as the varied nightlife and culinary excellence of its restaurants. The sunny south east has water sports, quaint villages and lively food festivals, as well as some impressive historical sites. Must see attractions include Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile and Waterford’s Viking Triangle. Ireland’s south west will keep you busy – whether it is the yachting and fishing havens of Kinsale and Baltimore in Cork or the tranquil beauty of Killarney National Park in Kerry. More than any other region, it is Shannon and the Midlands that is responsible for Ireland’s reputation as the land of saints and scholars. And, if you are looking for a region that offers completely contrasting experiences, then the west coast is the place to be. You can wander Galway city’s cobblestone streets and explore the wild beauty of Connemara, or take the journey of a lifetime on the world’s longest touring route - the Wild Atlantic Way - which stretches from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in Cork. Whatever activities or length of route takes your fancy, there is a personalised Wild Atlantic Way experience for you. Travelling northwards, the north west will impress you with its mix of traditional culture and outdoor adventure before you reach our journey’s end in Northern Ireland, home to Ireland’s second city, Belfast. Whether you are looking for a city break, a cultural awakening, an action packed adventure, child-friendly facilities, or a tranquil setting to relax and unwind, we have done our best to bring you as many holiday experiences as possible. Enjoy! Maev Martin Editor

Ireland at Your Leisure is published by Ashville Media Group Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: (01) 432 2200 Fax: (01) 676 6043 Email: info@ashville.com; Web: www.ashville.com Publisher’s Statement The information in Ireland at Your Leisure is carefully researched and believed to be accurate and authoritative, but the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. Statements and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the publisher. Copyright 2018 Ireland at Your Leisure magazine. No part of this may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without written permission from the publisher. All discounts, promotions and competitions contained in this magazine are run independently of Ireland at Your Leisure. The promoter/advertiser is responsible for honouring the prize.

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ACTIVITIES

HORSERIDING, PAINTBALLING, COASTAL FUN AND ROLLERCOASTER RIDES – NO MATTER WHERE YOUR IRISH JOURNEY TAKES YOU, THERE IS ALWAYS PLENTY OF CRAIC TO BE HAD.

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Activities

Festival Calendar

ACTIVITIES

Soak up the atmosphere at a host of great festivals, music, cultural events and fantastic fun activities spread right across the island of Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Day parade, Dublin

JULY 2017 1-31 July: ACHILL ISLAND FESTIVAL OF THE SEA 2017 Achill Island, Co Mayo

Adventure Travel Trade Association Summit at the Wild Atlantic Way

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reland boasts a broad range of unique things to do, and activities to suit all ages. Whether it’s a session in a cosy pub, exploring Irish mythology and history, or horseriding through picturesque countryside, there is something on offer to suit everyone. You can experience traditional Irish music at the five-day Masters of Tradition festival in Bantry, County Cork, taking place at the end of August, or jazz at the internationally renowned Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the end of October. The Galway Arts Festival in July and the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August are always great stops for the craic, with theatre, street art, music, comedy, literature and music and much more taking place. Ireland is bursting with family fun and child-friendly activities, including the Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum, a fantastic creative space for children up to nine years, educationally designed to inspire life-long learning through play. Go on a family adventure at activity centres like the Adventure Islands in County Mayo or take a memorable boat trip to watch and learn about Ireland’s resident bottlenose dolphins in Carrigaholt, County Clare. End your days relaxing at one of Ireland’s award-winning spas – after all that adventure, you’ll need it!

THE BIG DAY Where better to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on March 17th than at the big parade in Dublin? The festivities on March 17th 2018 will take place throughout Dublin and the island of Ireland. For more information, log on to www.stpatricksday.ie

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4-8 July: BARD SUMMER SCHOOL & FESTIVAL Clare Island, Co Mayo 4-23 July: EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL 2017 Donegal Town, Co Donegal 20-23 July: THE FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY 2017 Dublin City, Co Dublin

AUGUST 2017 11-12 August: TASTE OF CAVAN 2017 Cavan Town, Co Cavan 11-20 August: KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL Kilkenny City, Co Kilkenny 16-22 August: ROSE OF TRALEE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL Tralee, Co Kerry 24-27 August: CHARLIE CHAPLIN COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL Waterville, Co Kerry

SEPTEMBER 2017 6-10 September: HILLSBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL OYSTER FESTIVAL Hillsborough, Co Down 7–9 September: IRISH CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL Dublin City, Co Dublin 21–24 September: NEW ROSS PIANO FESTIVAL New Ross, Co Wexford

OCTOBER 2017 13 October–6 November: SPIRITS OF MEATH HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL Trim, Co Meath 14–15 October: KINSALE GOURMET FESTIVAL Kinsale, Co Cork 19–29 October: THE IMAGINE ARTS FESTIVAL Waterford City, Co Waterford 19 October -5 November: WEXFORD FESTIVAL OPERA Wexford Town, Co Wexford

22–30 October: CONNEMARA SEA WEEK 2017 Letterfrack, Co Galway 25–30 October: SLIGO LIVE 2017 Sligo Town, Co Sligo 27–30 October: CORK JAZZ FESTIVAL Cork City, Co Cork 27-30 October: SHACKLETON AUTUMN SCHOOL FESTIVAL Athy, Co Kildare

NOVEMBER 2017 9–12 November: KILKENOMICS ECONOMICS FESTIVAL Kilkenny City, Co Kilkenny 9-13 November: THE ENNIS TRAD FESTIVAL Ennis, Co Clare

FEBRUARY 2018 22–25 February: TEDFEST Aran Islands, Co Galway

MARCH 2018 17 March: ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVALS Nationwide

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Activities

ACTIVITIES

ULSTER AMERICAN FOLK PARK, OMAGH, CO. TYRONE Outdoor museum www.nmni.com/uafp

THE QUICK GUIDE TO THINGS TO DO WILDERNESS IRELAND, STRANDHILL, CO. SLIGO Adventure guides www.wildernessireland.com

CLEARSKY ADVENTURE CENTRE, STRANGFORD, CO. DOWN Adventure centre www.clearsky-adventure.com

WESTPORT HOUSE, WESTPORT, CO. MAYO Adventure centre www.westporthouse.ie

TAYTO PARK, ASHBOURNE, CO. MEATH Amusement park www.taytocrisps.ie

BEL AIR HOTEL & EQUESTRIAN CENTRE, ASHFORD, CO. WICKLOW Horse riding www.belairhotelequestrian.com

SHANNON FERRIES, KILLIMER, CO. CLARE Ferry crossing

KILMORE QUAY HARBOUR, CO. WEXFORD Fishing village www.visitkilmorequay.com

SKIBBEREEN HERITAGE CENTRE, SKIBBEREEN, CO. CORK Heritage centre www.skibbereenheritage.com

INCHYDONEY SPA, CLONAKILTY, CO. CORK Spa www.inchydoneyisland.com

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Humpback Whale, West Cork

ACTIVITY:

FUN

From wildlife observation to action-packed adventure pit-stops, visitors to Irish shores will find a variety of fun things to do for all the family. Activity Centres With plenty of indoor and outdoor activity centres around Ireland, there’s no excuse to stay at home, even when the rain starts. Puddenhill Activity Centre in Garristown, County Meath is located just 30 minutes from Dublin city centre with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities on offer, including indoor karting, indoor paintballing and laser tag paintball. In the south, Rebel Adventures in Clonakilty, County Cork, is a multi-activity company where you can choose from a variety of pursuits. Play war games using guns based on technology used by the Irish and British army for combat training or go laser clay shooting with real guns, real traps and real clays. For adventure in the west, the Adventure Islands activity operator in Westport, County Mayo has a wide range of water and land-based activities for children and adults alike. Thrill-seekers can participate in zorbing, combat games, wakeboarding, waterskiing and cliff diving. Quieter activities include hill walking, orienteering, horse trekking, mountain trekking, dinghy sailing and camping. In 2009 and 2010, scenes from the HBO TV show Game of Thrones were filmed in the castle courtyard at Clearsky Adventure Centre, which is located just 45 minutes from Belfast in Downpatrick, County Down. A replica of the ‘Winterfell Archery Range’ has been recreated in the same spot where filming took place, and you can dress up in costumes from the show and receive archery instruction from costumed instructors.

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COASTAL FUN

Dolphinwatch Carrigaholt

Location Carrigaholt, Co. Clare Contact: www. dolphinwatch.ie Cost: Adults - €35, Children (16 years and under) – €20, Babies (under 2 years) – free. Go For: Watch and learn about Ireland’s only resident wild

bottlenose dolphins at the Shannon Estuary. An EU Special Area of Conservation, it is home to a variety of nesting seabirds, spectacular cliffs and fascinating maritime history. On board the passenger boat, Draíocht (the Irish word for ‘magic’) you will depart from Carrigaholt Castle Pier on a fully guided trip and see dolphins in their natural habitat while enjoying stunning views of Loop Head and the Kerry coast. Stay For: Carrigaholt is a recommended destination point on the Wild Atlantic Way and Dolphinwatch is one of the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Top Ten Attractions in Ireland.

Whale Watch West Cork Location Baltimore, Co. Cork Contact: www.whalewatchwestcork.com Cost: €50 per person Go For: A guided tour of marine wildlife off the coast of Cork.

To date, 24 species of the world’s whales and dolphins have been recorded in Irish waters, with over 12 cetacean species spotted in west Cork waters, making it one of the richest areas for whale and dolphin watching in Ireland. A variety of species can be spotted, including minke whales, basking sharks and fin whales. Other marine wildlife can also be seen throughout the season. Stay For: The return journey is along the beautiful west Cork coastline and islands where you can view castles, harbours and inlets.

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Activities

Blasket Islands, Wild Atlantic Way

Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours Location Baile an Trasna, Ventry Harbour, Co. Kerry Contact: www.marinetours.ie Cost: Morning tour - €35 per person. Afternoon tour €50. All day tour - €60. Offshore Pelagic tour - 880 Go For: In the spectacularly beautiful Atlantic waters of

Dingle Bay, you will encounter porpoises, common dolphins, risso’s dolphins and minke whales – the most frequently observed species. Killer whales can occasionally be observed in passage, while humpback and fin whales appear in these waters in the late summer and autumn months. Visit the remote islands of Inis na Bró, Inishvickillane and Tearaght where thousands of migrating seabirds nest during the summer months, including puffins and Manx shearwaters. Stay For: The Great Blasket Island is home to a colony of about 700 grey seals.

Titanic Harbour Guided Tour Location Donegall Quay, Belfast, Co. Antrim Contact: www.laganboatcompany.com Cost: Family - £30 (2 adults, 2 children) Go For: The tour explains the story of Belfast’s maritime

heritage and takes you on a unique trip to see the birthplace of the famous liner and her connection to the city. Learn about the history of the Harland & Wolff shipyards and the famous Titanic sites around Belfast Harbour. The Lagan Boat Company also offers tours of the River Lagan and seasonal trips to historic Carrickfergus, where you can visit the town’s well-preserved Norman castle and museum. Stay For: The tour offers visitors the chance to see the Musgrave Channel, home to Belfast’s large breeding seal colony.

Titanic Museum, Belfast

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Activities

ACTIVITY:

ADVENTURE TOURS

Looking for a thrill? From powerboat tours to cycling tours and hilltop treks, get your adrenalin pumping on one of the excellent adventure tours Ireland has to offer. Experience the beauty of the Irish countryside from an exciting perspective. A trip to the National Flight Centre in Leixlip, County Kildare provides scenic flights and tours from their base at Weston Airport. Operated on a Cessna 172 aircraft which carries a maximum of three passengers and costs 147; great value at only 49 per head for 30 minutes. They also provide floatplane tours of the river Shannon from their floatplane base in Mount Shannon on Lough Derg. The centre also has a Boeing 737 Simulator which is available for individuals or groups, and is operated by professional airline pilots. Explore Dublin from a different point of view with City Kayaking, operated by Adventure Training Ireland, 15 per hour for a single kayak, 22 per hour for a double. This is certainly a unique experience, with instructors providing some traning to get you going, while they will also be present on a safety boat should you need any help. Located at their base at the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship on Custom House Quay, City Kayaking can be reached in less than a ten minute walk from O’Connell Street. Alternatively, you can take a day tour or walking adventure holiday with Hilltop Treks. Providing great insight into Ireland’s beautiful landscape, they also include details of the country’s rich heritage and history. Adventure tours include some of Ireland’s highlights, such as the beautiful and rugged environs of Wicklow, the Wild Atlantic Way, The Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Islands, The Ring of Kerry, The Burren and more. Day tours include options to travel from Dublin to the Titanic in Belfast, to Newgrange in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, or day tours with guided walks, horse riding or cycling. If your tour brings you to Northern Ireland, stop off in Newtownabbey, County Antrim to learn how to fly with Northern Ireland’s longest established paragliding school, First Flight Paragliding. Courses take place seven days a week (weather depending) on various sites around Northern Ireland. The Introductory One-day ‘Taster’ Course costs £120 or, alternatively, you can get airborne as a passenger with the instructor for a flight usually lasting about 20 – 30 minutes and costing £60.

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Kayaking on the River Liffey, Dublin

Horse Riding From beach rides and post to post treks to cross-country routes, Ireland boasts some of the best riding breaks you could wish for, catering for a range of experience levels. Clonshire Equestrian & Polo Centre in Adare, County Limerick welcomes visitors of all ages and abilities, whether it be for a day or two, or to partake in their renowned week-long programme. Set on 130 acres of parkland, it is located just 20 minutes from Limerick City and 2.5km from the charming village of Adare. The highly-qualified staff do their best to match each rider with a suitable horse to ensure they get the most from their experience, and are happy to organise individual coaching. Among their programmes are a pony camp, and a residential programme for unaccompanied children. The 2017 Dublin Horse Show will take place from August 9th to 13th with live music and entertainment, art, fashion, shopping, food and the best in national and international equestrian competitions. Ladies Day on Thursday, August 10th promises fantastic prizes for ‘best dressed lady’, ‘most colourful outfit’ and ‘most creative hat’. There is also a prize for ‘best dressed man’.

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Activities

Angling

Spa and Wellness

Ireland is recognised as being an outstanding fishing holiday destination in Europe. The vast variety and quality of fishing in Ireland makes it the perfect destination for your angling holiday. Kilmore Quay in south Wexford is considered a ‘sea angling centre of excellence’. Whether fishing from a boat or from the shore, the sea angler has the opportunity to target fish from a variety of interesting marks and locations. 41 species have been caught on rod and line off Kilmore Quay, varying from hard-fighting bass and fast-running tope, to the sleek blue shark. A 55-berth marina is home to a fleet of purpose-built licensed charter vessels which operate on a daily basis and work the fish-rich waters off the Saltee Islands. For the small boat angler, a wide slipway, accessible at all stages of the tide, opens the door to a host of sea-angling opportunities. The Brandies, Barrels and Conningbeg Rock are well-known offshore marks here. Codling, pollack, wrasse, pouting, conger and ling abound on these offshore reefs, with ray, flatfish, smooth hound and tope resident over the inshore banks. Shore angling is equally varied. Local storm beaches are home to bass, smooth hound, and flatfish, with night tides being particularly good. Nearby estuaries such as Cullenstown and Bannow provide autumn and winter sport for anglers targeting specimen flounder, while big tides and settled weather in the spring and summer offer the fly fisherman superb conditions to target sea trout and bass. With a range of experienced charter skippers, good local food and angler-friendly accommodation, Kilmore Quay is ideal as a base for an all-round angling break. For more information, log onto www.visitkilmorequay.com.

The World Pairs Angling Championship 2012, Co Leitrim

Recharge your batteries at one of Ireland’s top-class spa destinations. Reap the benefits of natural resources combined with high-quality amenities located in incredible settings.

Seaweed – a natural resource

From seaweed baths to peat treatments, a trip to an Irish spa is a great way to detoxify the skin, soothe aching muscles and indulge in a calming, simple and yet powerfully restorative experience. Marine cure therapy is one of Ireland’s most famous indigenous therapies. Simply bathing in mineral rich seaweed can have significant benefits, helping sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and eczema, and easing joint pain and post-traumatic stress injuries. The Voya spa in Strandhill, County Sligo specialises in seaweed baths and is the ideal pit stop after a weekend of surfing on Strandhill’s famous waves or after a round of golf at the local links golf club. A family-run spa, it attracts over 40,000 visitors each year who come for the full body massage and facial experience – among the most popular options. Seaweed’s antioxidant and anti-ageing qualities come into their own when applied directly to skin, feeding it with a boost of raw nutrition for a visible result. It is an all-round healer and beautifier, working to fight cellulite and restore skin elasticity. Peat might seem like an unusual ingredient to put on your skin, but believe it or not, it is the ultimate way to condition winter skin and soothe aching, tired muscles. In 2003, two bog bodies dating back to the Iron Age were discovered and their skin was in remarkable condition. The therapists at ESPA at the Powerscourt Hotel in County Wicklow are putting peat to good use with their ‘Warming Peat Ritual’, made with 100 per cent natural Óg Ireland Peat. The signature ‘Peat Ritual’ commences with an ‘ESPA Salt and Oil Body Scrub’ with muscle warming oils to prepare the skin for treatment. Gently heated Óg Ireland peat is then applied over the body, focusing on key tension areas. Stress is eased away with an oriental head massage, followed by warm oils being applied in preparation for a full body massage. Peat improves the skin’s tonicity and is an ideal anti-ageing treatment due to its content of copper and zinc and its skin healing properties. It is also a good treatment for acne, psoriasis and eczema. Be sure to take advantage of Ireland’s natural resources and ease away the stresses of a busy lifestyle.

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ACTIVITY:

DRIVING TOURS

Driving tours allow visitors the time and freedom to discover Ireland at their leisure – get off the beaten track and uncover hidden gems. From stunning coastal runs, to wild mountain passes and pit-stops at historical landmarks, a wealth of attractions and breathtaking sights will captivate visitors. The Grand Tour Kildare Wicklow The Grand Tour takes in spectacular scenery, beautiful big houses

and gardens and intriguing early Christian heritage sites in Kildare and Wicklow – visitors can pick the best bits to cover in a day or immerse themselves fully in a longer, more leisurely tour. This 324km touring route contains plenty of hidden gems, including a Givenchy dress worn by Princess Grace of Monaco at the Newbridge Museum of Style Icons, and St Kevin’s, a sixthcentury monastic settlement at Glendalough. Along the way, stop off in spectacular gardens and well-preserved old mansions.

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Places to see en route include Avondale House and Forest Park, Blessington Lakes, Bray Promenade and Sealife Centre, Brittas Bay, Glendalough, Mount Usher Gardens, Powerscourt House & Gardens and Waterfall, Russborough House Gardens and Maze, the Sally Gap and Wicklow’s Historic Gaol. For more information and to start planning your tour, log onto www.grandtour.ie

Causeway Coastal Route Driving Tour In Northern Ireland, the Causeway Coastal driving tour from Belfast to Derry is a great way to experience the northern coast. Gain an insight into its heritage and history while taking in the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO world heritage site. Leaving Belfast, join the Causeway Coastal Route at Newtownabbey with the beautiful Belfast Lough providing stunning views to your right. Stop at Newtownabbey’s Loughshore Park with spectacular views of where the Titanic first sailed as she departed the shipyards of Harland & Wolff. You will then come to the pretty seaside town of Carrickfergus with its well-preserved 12th century Norman castle. Next on the route is Kilroot, where Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels) first made his living as a minister. Continue to Larne, gateway to the beautiful Glens of Antrim. Head northwards through a selection of villages and the Glens of Antrim will unfold before you. Slip off the side road to Glenoe where four waterfalls create magnificent views. Just outside Larne, take the famous Antrim Coast Road.

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Activities

Culture For Kids Ireland boasts numerous cultural attractions and entertainment for children. Museums, folk parks and fun parks give your children the opportunity to run around and enjoy themselves while simultaneously exploring educational and sensory activities.

Causeway Coastal Route

At the foot of Glenarm Glen lies the little village of Glenarm, set slightly inland where you can stop in for the traditional folk music sessions. It is also home to the Glenarm Castle and the beautiful public parkland of Glenarm Forest. Driving further on will bring you to Cushendall. Here, the town’s four-storey Curfew Tower is surrounded by pretty buildings and some convivial watering-holes. Next, head towards the seaside resort of Ballycastle where ferries leave for Rathlin Island, well worth visiting but visitors must allow 45 minutes for crossing each side. Heading west, take in the stunning scenery of the Causeway Coast before arriving at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge spanning a 24-meter chasm. Head inland to the village of Bushmills, home to the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. After Bushmills, stop at the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway. Heading west, observe the romantic ruin of Dunluce Castle before continuing on through Portrush and Portstewart, lively seaside resorts. Returning on to the Causeway coastal route, head towards Limavady, along by Castlerock. Look out for the glorious Mussenden Temple, the clifftop folly said to have been inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Rome. Drive down to Downhill, Benone or Magilligan Beach and take a walk. These windswept and dramatic beaches are so long you’ll often be the only one around. Limavady, a vibrant market town, is next along your route, before arriving in Derry to spend the night. An ideal place to end the trip, it is the only completely walled city in the British Isles. You can wander along the 17th century walls and enjoy the charms this northern city has to offer.

IMAGINOSITY, Dublin Children’s Museum in Sandyford, County Dublin, is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. A child-centred creative and educational space for children under nine years, your children can dance and dress up in costumes in The Theatre or present the news at the TV station, become a mechanic in the Garage, or an engineer in the Construction Zone; the list goes on. All visitors are encouraged to get involved and celebrate children’s imaginations. For a unique experience, visit the LAMBERT PUPPET THEATRE in Monkstown, County Dublin, Ireland’s only purpose-built puppet theatre, which first opened its doors to the public in 1972. Eugene Lambert and his wife Mai visited The Harlequin Puppet Theatre in Colwyn Bay and an International Puppet Festival in Prague. Inspired, they decided to set up their own puppet theatre. A stop off in TAYTO PARK in Ashbourne, County Meath is a sure way to find excitement and adventure. An amusement park with over 100 attractions, the main attractions are the animals: porcupines, emus, wild cat, buffalo, highland cattle and many more. The Pow Wow Playground was specially built for children aged between 4 and 14 and contains four towers, each with different connectors, slides, climbing walls and bridges. The park is the only one of its kind in Ireland. The ULSTER AMERICAN FOLK PARK in Omagh, County Tyrone is another great way to have some family fun and education. Immerse yourself and your children in the story of Irish emigration at a museum that brings it all to life. The adventure takes you from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board an emigrant sailing ship, to the log cabins of the American frontier. Costumed characters guide you on your tour, with traditional crafts, stories and food to share. Make your trip to Ireland this year a memorable one for you and your family – have some fun!

Ulster American Folkpark

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Accommodation

ACCOMMODATION WHEN YOU VISIT IRELAND, YOU’LL FIND NO LACK OF OPTIONS WHEN SEARCHING FOR A PLACE TO REST YOUR HEAD.

HOTEL RATING SYSTEM

★★

Functional locations, with good levels of comfort and service. Not all guest rooms will include private bathrooms.

Generally a family-run premises promising charm and atmosphere. Guest rooms include private bathroom, and dining facilities will be available for guests – though you shouldn’t expect late-night room service.

★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

Ranges from small family-run hotels to larger city hotels. Guest rooms include private bathrooms with bath/shower. Three star hotel restaurants marry quality food preparation with a relaxed atmosphere.

Includes contemporary hotels and charming period houses furnished to the highest standards of modern comforts. Guest accommodation is luxurious, with suites and half-suites available, and adjoining restaurants provide quality food.

The very best of the best in comfort and service. Hotels of this standard will range from stately castles and country club hotels to luxury city hotels. Accommodation in such locations is a blend of luxury and space, while they also include some of Ireland’s best restaurants.

HOTELS ON THE ISLAND OF IRELAND ARE RATED ON A ONE TO FIVE STAR SCALE.

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Accommodation

A guest bedroom at Luttrellstown Castle Resort in Castleknock, Co Dublin

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Accommodation

Hidden Ireland

ACCOMMODATION Stay in a lighthouse, ancient castle or country manor – the choice is yours!

Bruckless House

H

Ashford Catle, Cong, Co. Mayo

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rom cheap and cheerful to castle luxury, Ireland boasts accommodation to suit each visitor to these shores, no matter what the budget. From lighthouses to medieval castles and everything in between, Ireland’s accommodation is extremely varied, and you’ll find a warm welcome and a tasty meal no matter where your adventures take you. Ireland’s top hotels are located all across the country – no matter where you are, or when, there’s always a friendly reception awaiting you, and there’s plenty to do and see. For a different view, the lighthouse on Clare Island stands guard at the entrance to Clew Bay, County Mayo, described as a ‘great escape’ and a ‘restorative haven’. Once a welcome sight for sailors, the lighthouse has since been transformed into fully catered and luxurious accommodation for travellers searching for a less traditional experience. Inhabited for thousands of years, dating

Adare Manor

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back before 3500BC, the ruin of a tower house remains on the eastern edge of the island, once home to Grace O’Malley, the 16th century pirate queen and contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Irish castle hotels offer visitors the chance to experience part of Ireland’s history first hand. Kilkea Castle in County Kildare combines history with indulgence. Founded by Sir Walter de Riddlesford in the 12th century, this hotel and golf resort sits on 100 acres of woodland, gardens and an 18 hole golf course, through which the pleasant River Griese flows. Closer to Dublin, Clontarf Castle lies only ten minutes from Dublin’s city centre, and a short 15 minute drive from Dublin Airport. Clontarf is the site of the historic Battle of Clontarf which took place on Good Friday, 23 April 1014 when Brian Boru (High King of Ireland) met the forces of Mael Morda (King of

Bushmills Hotel

idden Ireland is a fascinating collection of privately owned historic country houses where visitors stay as guests. Country houses offer the opportunity to explore the best of Ireland’s countryside, while the town houses provide a relaxing way to visit Ireland’s towns and cities. They range from Ireland and Northern Ireland’s grandest and most important Georgian buildings to charming rural rectories, but they are united by their owners’ commitment to traditional hospitality and service in a rapidly changing world. Spend your days in Donegal surfing in Bundoran, and your evenings and nights enjoying the splendid luxury of Bruckless House, the 18th century home of the Evans family, and a nationally listed protected building. 18km west of Donegal town, bordering Bruckless Bay, it features developed and protected mature woodlands, locally bred Connemara ponies, and an award-winning and nationally recognised Robinsonian garden. Or enjoy fishing, walking and tours of the west of Ireland from Clonalis House in County Roscommon, the ancestral home of the O’Conor family, descendants of Ireland’s last high king and the traditional kings of Connacht. The family has lived on this estate for 700 years and guests are invited to explore the family’s rich and varied history. Things to see include the harp of the blind Irish composer and harpist, Turlough O’Carolan, one of Ireland’s greatest and best known travelling bards; a collection of family portraits; the library of Charles O’Conor of Belnagare (famous 18th century antiquarian; the largest private collection of original documents in Irish) and the O’Conor coronation stone, on which the kings of Connacht were crowned. Southern Ireland has its fair share of historical resting places too. In Killarney, County Kerry lies the elegant Coolclogher Manor House, another of Ireland’s listed buildings which has occupied this land since 1746. Situated on the Ring of Kerry, Ross Castle is within walking distance.

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Accommodation

ACCOMMODATION

NEWFORGE HOUSE, MAGHERALIN, CRAIGAVON, CO. ARMAGH ★★★★★ www.newforgehouse.com

THE QUICK SLEEPOVER GUIDE

HARVEY’S POINT, DONEGAL TOWN, CO. DONEGAL ★★★★ www.harveyspoint.com

CABRA CASTLE HOTEL, KINGSCOURT, CO. CAVAN ★★★★ www.cabracastle.com

ASHFORD CASTLE HOTEL, CONG, CO. MAYO ★★★★★ www.ashfordcastle.com

THE WESTIN DUBLIN, WESTMORELAND STREET, DUBLIN CITY ★★★★★ www.thewestindublin.com

LANGTON HOUSE HOTEL, KILKENNY CITY ★★★★ www.langtons.ie BALLYGARRY HOUSE AND SPA, TRALEE, CO. KERRY ★★★★ www.ballygarryhouse.com

KELLY’S RESORT HOTEL AND SPA, ROSSLARE, CO. WEXFORD ★★★★ www.kellys.ie

AMBASSADOR HOTEL & HEALTH CLUB, MILITARY HILL, CORK CITY ★★★★ www.ambassadorhotelcork.ie

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Accommodation

The Blue Book

Newforge House

Oliver St John Gogarty’s

Leinster) and Sitric, the Viking King of Dublin and prevailed, at the cost of his own life. Clontarf Castle was originally constructed in 1172 by Hugh de Lacy and stood proud until 1835, when sinking foundations called for a rebuild. Today it operates as a four star luxury location. Luxury For something a little less formal, but still luxurious and packed with facilities and activities, the Kildare Hotel, Spa and Country Club (also known as The K Club), with its five star rating, is one of the country’s leading golf resorts, located in the pretty village of Straffan, County Kildare, just 30 minutes from Dublin’s city centre. An 18th century Irish country house, the estate covers an impressive 220ha of parkland and gardens. Also nestled amidst mature parkland, and located only 2km from historic Kilkenny city, is the five star Lyrath Estate Hotel that fuses contemporary design with 17th century elegance. There are numerous activities available to keep you and your family entertained – from indoor games rooms to boating on the hotel’s private lake, or mountain biking around the estate.

Clare Island Lighthouse

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Ballinahinch Castle

Stunning Sights Sitting in front of a stunning backdrop, Achill Island Hotel is one of the country’s newer hotels, combining first class accommodation with aspects of local culture and heritage. Achill Island is the country’s largest island, sitting off the coast of County Mayo, and early human settlements are thought to date back to 3000BC. Take a stroll along one of five blue flag beaches, dive in some of the clearest water in Europe or try your luck with a fishing rod, in waters that hold the record for some of the heaviest fish caught in Ireland. A trip to Northern Ireland is never a wasted journey: locals are renowned for their hospitality and welcome, the views are spectacular, while dotted around these nine counties are numerous ancient sites steeped in myth and legend, like the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, a natural basalt rock formation that was long held to be the remnants of a causeway built by the giant Fionn MacCumhaill. There are many bases from which you can explore the rich history and heritage of Northern Ireland. The ultimate expression of old world heritage and new world luxury, the Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, is located on a 600acre peninsula within two hours’ drive of Dublin and Belfast airports, and was named Northern Ireland’s 2014 Hotel of the Year. Or if you’d like to wake up each morning to a truly wonderful view, for a little less, the three star Whistledown Hotel is an example of excellence, on the shores of Carlingford Lough. Lighthouses, castles, resorts and scenic hotels – with countless places to stay across the country, make sure you choose a resting spot that you’ll remember!

F

ormed in 1974, with 11 founding members, the Blue Book Association nestles comfortably in the gap between bed and breakfast accommodation and the larger hotel industry. In the 2017 edition of Ireland’s Blue Book, there are 48 properties spread across the island, with an additional two exclusive rental properties. A strict criteria is involved for potential members, so you can be sure your visit to a Blue Book venue will be marked by strong individualistic style and character. Each property is distinct and unique, and offers an experience that is hard to find elsewhere. Liss Ard Estate, for example – situated one mile from Skibbereen Village in beautiful west Cork – occupies a 185-acre estate, and sits beside a charming 50-acre lake. Boasting a rich history, dating back over 160 years to the time of the prominent O’Donovan Anglo-Irish landlords, it promises enchantment, contemporary design and peace and tranquillity. Less than an hour from Dublin Airport, Rathsallagh House is a large and comfortable house sitting on 530-acres of peaceful parkland, combined with a walled garden and an 18-hole championship golf course. Less than an hour from Dublin Airport, Rathsallagh offers a gateway to the sights of the east with Glendalough, the Wicklow Mountains, the National Stud (which includes its own Japanese Gardens) and the Curragh all well within driving distance. And at the very tip of Ireland, in ancient Armagh, once one of the royal capitals of pagan Gaelic Ireland, Newforge House is cradled in mature gardens and green fields in the village of Magheralin. Built in 1785, the Georgian country house has been in the Mathers family for six generations. Contemporary comforts blend easily with period features, and first-class food is a cornerstone of any visit. Centrally located in Northern Ireland, Newforge is a great base for touring Counties Armagh and Down, with the main M1 motorway a mere two miles away, and Belfast airport and the ferry terminal a 30 minute drive.

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Visit Our Beautiful 1,000 acre Estate and Enjoy: • No1 Visitor Attraction in West of Ireland • 6 Acre Victorian Walled Garden • Restored Rooms in the Abbey • Gothic Church • History Talks and Guided Tours • Woodland & Lakeshore Walks • Café &Tea House, Craft & Design Shop

+353 (0) 95 52001 bookings@kylemoreabbey.com www.kylemoreabbey.com

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IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2018/2019 IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2015/2016

Enjoy the Waterford Crystal Factory Experience. Book your tour online today.

On social media:

ASHVILLE MEDIA GROUP

To book your factory tour visit waterfordvisitorcentre.com or phone +353 (0)51 317000

DUBLIN

SHANNON

WATERFORD CORK

www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

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THINGS TO DO & SEE WHEREVER YOUR IRISH TRIP TAKES YOU, BE SURE TO STOP OFF AT SOME OF THE TOP CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

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The SS Nomadic, a steamship of the White Star Line, launched in 1911 in Belfast and put on display in 2013. Built as a tender to RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic, she is now the last surviving White Star Line vessel; in the background is the Titanic Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2017/2018 | 21

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Attractions and Events

EVENTS Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Dublin

ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS

When you visit Ireland, you’ll find no lack of options when searching for festivals and fun.

JULY 2017

OCTOBER 2017

n 29 June – 2 July: CASTLEBAR INTERNATIONAL 4 DAYS WALKS 2017 Castlebar, Co Mayo n 9 July: SLIGO STAGES RALLY 2017 Sligo Town, Co Sligo

n 7 October: QUEST KILLARNEY OCTOBER Killarney, Co Kerry n 22 – 30 October: CONNEMARA SEA WEEK Letterfrack, Co Galway n 29 October: DUBLIN MARATHON Dublin City, Co Dubllin

AUGUST 2017 n 6-7 August: NATIONAL STEAM RALLY Stradbally, Co Laois n 9-13 August: DUBLIN HORSE SHOW Ballsbridge, Co Dublin n 23 August: VIRGINA AGRICULTURAL SHOW Virginia, Co Cavan n 25 - 26 August: DAYTRIPPER WATERFORD 2017 Waterford City, Co Waterford n 27 August: LIMERICK SHOW 2017 Patrickswell, Co Limerick

Limerick City

SEPTEMBER 2017 Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb 3200 BC , County Meath, Ireland

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ith a turbulent and diverse past, Ireland has a range of historical and natural attractions that will intrigue and entertain visitors. Discover the secrets of Christians and pilgrims, of medieval and Viking quarters, or explore breathtaking UNESCO world heritage sites, such as the Cliffs of Moher and the Skellig Rocks, and

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experience the atmosphere of forgotten Ireland while enjoying tranquil scenes at ancient castles and settlements. Travel 5,000 years back in time to the ancient passage tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, monuments older than the pyramids of Egypt. If you are looking for a memorable experience, a stop at these destinations will certainly make it a trip to remember!

n 8–10 September: CANNONBALL IRELAND Dublin City, Co Dublin n 19 – 21 September: NATIONAL PLOUGHING CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017 Screggan, Co Offaly n 29 – 30 September: YOUGHAL THROUGH THE AGES Youghal, Co Cork

NOVEMBER 2017 n 4 November: TURF WARRIOR Leenane, Co Galway n 11 November: WESTPORT 2 SEA SUMMIT Westport, Co Mayo n 13-26 November: GALWAY SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FESTIVAL EXHIBITION Galway City, Co Galway

DECEMBER 2017 n 1 December: KILLARNEY HISTORIC CAR STAGES RALLY Killarney, Co Kerry n 21 December: WINTER SOLSTICE AT NEWGRANGE Donore, Co Meath n 30 December – 1 January: NYF DUBLIN – THE ULTIMATE NEW YEAR’S EVE Dublin City, Co Dublin

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Attractions and Events

DOAGH FAMINE VILLAGE, LAGACURRY, CO. DONEGAL Historical attraction www.doaghfaminevillage.com

ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS

THE QUICK GUIDE TO WHAT’S GOING ON

TITANIC BELFAST, TITANIC QUARTER, BELFAST Visitor centre www.titanicbelfast.com

BENBULBEN, SLIGO TOWN, CO. SLIGO Natural attraction www.sligotourism.ie

CORRIB CRUISES, LOUGH CORRIB, CO. GALWAY Lake cruise www.corribcruises.com

DUBLIN CASTLE, DUBLIN CITY Historical attraction www.dublincastle.ie

DUNGUAIRE CASTLE, KINVARRA, CO . GALWAY Historical attraction www.shannonheritage.com

KING JOHN’S CASTLE, NICHOLAS STREET, LIMERICK CITY Historical attraction www.shannonheritage.com/ kingjohnscastle/

ROCK OF DUNAMASE, CARLOW ROAD, PORTLAOISE, CO. LAOIS Historical attraction www.laois.ie

LISMORE CASTLE GARDENS, LISMORE, CO. WATERFORD Historic gardens www.lismorecastlegardens.com SKELLIG ISLAND, CO. KERRY Monastic settlement www.skelligexperience.com

CHARLES FORT, KINSALE, CO. CORK Historical site

FOTA HOUSE ARBORETUM & GARDENS, FOTA ISLAND, CO. CORK Historical attractions www.fotahouse.com

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Attractions and Events

Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre

ATTRACTIONS Have you ever visited a Neolithic monument? Viewed the Atlantic Ocean from the top of a 700ft-high sheer cliff? This is just a taster of the remarkable experiences visitors to Irish shores can enjoy. Why not visit the birthplace of the world-famous ocean liner, the RMS Titanic? Or take a trip to Blarney Castle where the Blarney Stone is said to have the power to confer eloquence on all who kiss it. You will never again be lost for words! Titanic Belfast, Co. Antrim

A visit to the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre in Donore, County Meath, is a great way to explore the Neolithic monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. The extensive exhibition includes a full scale replica of the chamber at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Newgrange, as well as a full model of one of the smaller tombs at Knowth. Brú na Bóinne, which means the ‘palace’ or the ‘mansion’ of the Boyne, refers to the area within the bend of the River Boyne that contains one of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes. The archaeological landscape within Brú na Bóinne is dominated by the three well-known large passage tombs; Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, built some 5,000 years ago in the Neolithic or Late Stone Age. The Brú na Bóinne tombs, in particular Knowth, contain the largest assemblage of megalithic art in western Europe. All admissions to Newgrange and Knowth are through the visitor centre; there is no direct access to these monuments. Visitors are brought from the visitor centre to the monuments by shuttle bus.

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction and a signature discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Located on the west coast of Ireland close to Liscannor village, County Clare, they stretch for 8km (five miles) along the Atlantic coast and reach 214m (702 feet) at their highest point at Knockardakin. The word Mothar means ‘ruined fort’ in ancient Gaelic, and a 1st century BC fort once stood where Moher tower now stands, so the ‘Cliffs of Moher’ translates as ‘the cliffs of the ruined fort’. However, no trace of this fort now remains. Located almost midway along these spectacular cliffs, The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is home to an environmentallyfriendly visitor centre, O’Brien’s Tower, a 19th century viewing tower, and 800 metres of protected cliff-side pathways, viewing areas and steps.

Titanic Belfast Titanic Belfast is a must-see attraction in any tour of Belfast and Northern Ireland. Located in the heart of Belfast, County Antrim, the exhibition is housed in an iconic, six-floor building right beside the historic site of this world-famous ship’s construction. Your journey takes you through nine galleries employing a variety of interactive media to tell the story of the RMS Titanic, from its conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through its construction and launch, to its famous maiden voyage and tragic end. The exhibition includes historical information about Belfast as a boomtown at the start of the century, and is brought up to the present with the discovery of the wreck and live links to contemporary undersea exploration. High points include a dark ride and an underwater exploration theatre.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

Blarney Castle and Blarney Stone Built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, Blarney Castle is most famous for the Blarney Stone, which is said to have the power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements and to kiss it, you will have to lean backwards from the parapet walk while holding on to an iron railing! From the top of the castle you can take in the wonderful views of over 60 acres of sprawling parklands. There are pleasant walks along the riverbanks and in springtime the castle grounds are filled with thousands of bulbs and the ‘Belgian beds’, full of hybrid azaleas, are in full flower. In autumn, the grounds turn beautiful shades of red, amber and gold. No matter your tastes, Ireland is sure to have something to keep you occupied. From historic sites of ancient significance to arts festivals and visitor centres – it is all waiting for you to discover!

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The Blarney Stone

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Attractions and Events

Centre Spotlight

EPIC STORIES OF THE IRISH DIASPORA Dublin’s most interactive visitor attraction, Epic Ireland, is well worth a visit.

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he visitor attraction uses leading state-of-the-art experimental technology as it interprets the unique global journey of Irish people and the influence they have had worldwide. Designed by Event Communications, the multi-award winning designers of Titanic Belfast, Epic Ireland tells the authentic and epic story of 10 million journeys and the roots of 70 million people.

Located in the beautiful vaults of the iconic chq Building, situated on Custom House Quay in the centre of Dublin, visitors will follow a path through 20 immersive and interactive galleries illuminating the story of Ireland’s communities overseas - past, present and future. The galleries are organised into four compelling themes of migration, motivation, influence and connection. These themes explore the stories of adventure and tragedy that have shaped the narrative of Irish emigration - why people through the ages have left Ireland; the extraordinary influence of the Irish abroad in politics, business, science, sport and the arts; and how the technology of today has changed the emigrant experience. As well as the high tech interactive exhibition, Epic Ireland also offers a state-of-the-art genealogy centre which is operated by Eneclann, Ireland’s leading genealogical services provider. In addition to extensive, easy to use research facilities, the genealogy centre also offers the latest DNA testing to help visitors explore their Irish roots. “The vision and objective of Epic Ireland is to be the essential first port of call for visitors to Ireland, the first piece of orientation for any trip,” says Conal Harvey, Managing Director, Epic Ireland. “Its purpose is to tell untold epic stories in a unique, highly entertaining and informative way. Epic Ireland provides the opportunity to celebrate and enhance the connectivity between Ireland and those who left, but benefited from being Irish. It also enables those with no connection to Ireland or its diaspora to have the opportunity to understand this story of the Irish people and why emigration looms so large in the Irish consciousness both in the past and today.” Epic Ireland was founded by Neville Isdell, former Chairman and CEO of Coca Cola and a member of the Irish diaspora. Neville left Ulster with his parents for Northern Rhodesia in the mid1950s and has subsequently lived and worked outside Ireland for more than 60 years.

Contact Tickets for Epic Ireland are available now from the Epic Ireland website at W: www.epicirelandchq.com or for updates on Epic Ireland log on to F: www.facebook.com/epicirelandchq

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IRISH FOOD & DRINK EAT YOUR WAY AROUND IRELAND – SAVOUR FOOD MADE BY PASSIONATE PEOPLE WHO ARE PROUD OF THEIR LOCAL INGREDIENTS, AND CHEFS WHO PRODUCE A VAST RANGE OF TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY IRISH DISHES.

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Irish Food & Drink

REGULAR MARKETS Regular Markets

IRISH FOOD & DRINK

From traditional foods to modern cookery marvels, when you visit Ireland, be sure to give your taste buds a treat.

English Market, Cork city

DAILY

SATURDAY

English Market, Cork, all year 8am - 6pm

Temple Bar Food Market, Dublin, 10am-4.30pm Westport Food & Craft Market, Mayo, 9am-5pm Carlow Farmers Market, Carlow, Saturday, 9am-2pm Birr Farmers Market, Offaly, 9am-5pm

TUESDAY Macroom Farmers’ Market, Cork, 9am - 2pm University of Limerick (UL) Farmers’ Market, Limerick, 12pm-5pm The Village Market, Keogh’s Yard, Oughterard, Galway, 10am - 6pm

WEDNESDAY Docklands CoCo Market, Dublin, 12pm -2.30pm Ballincollig Farmers’ Market, Cork, 10am -3pm Kenmare Farmers’ Market, Kerry, 9am-5pm

THURSDAY

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival

G

one are the days when pints and potatoes were the stars of an Irish menu. From traditional foods such as soda bread, colcannon, smoked salmon, Irish stew and black pudding, to exciting dishes from afar, Ireland is a foodie paradise with plenty on offer to tantalise your tastebuds. Taking cookery classes is a great way to experience Irish food and locally sourced ingredients. At the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, you will cook in the middle of a 100-acre, organic farm, ten acres of which are devoted to organic market gardens, orchards and greenhouses. In recent years, vibrant food and farmers’ markets have become increasingly popular around the country and showcase local ingredients and high-

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quality produce. Trading since 1788, the English Market in Cork is open daily all year round and is a bustling, social hub in the city, famously visited by the Queen of England in 2011. Festivals around the country take place throughout the year to celebrate the best of Irish food. Feast on the famous Galway oysters at the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, the world’s oldest oyster festival. Ireland is also credited with having invented whiskey. Starting in the airport, follow the Ireland Whiskey Trail around the country stopping off in whiskey distilleries, the best whiskey pubs and bars in the country, the finest whiskey shops and some top class hotels and golf courses, where whiskey is as much at home as excellence and hospitality.

Mahon Point Farmers’ Market Cork, 10am - 3pm Dungarvan Farmers’ Market, Waterford, 9.30am - 2pm Castleisland Farmers Market, Kerry, 9.00am - 2pm Carrick-on-Shannon Farmers’ Market, Leitrim, Thursday, 10am - 2pm

FRIDAY Kinvara Farmers’ Market, Galway, 10am - 2pm Abbeyfeale Farmers’ Market Limerick, 9am - 1.30pm Listowel Farmers’ Market Kerry, 9am - 2pm Castlebar Farmers’ Market, Market Square, Castlebar, Mayo, 9am - 6pm

SUNDAY People’s Park Market, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, 11am – 4pm Macreddin Village Food Market Wicklow, 12.30pm-5.30pm; 1st Sunday of Every Month, April - October Lismore Farmers’ Market, Waterford, 10am - 4pm Strandhill People’s Market, Sligo, 11am - 4pm

WEEKENDS & BANK HOLIDAYS Galway Farmers’ Market, Galway; Saturdays and bank holidays 8.30am6.00pm, Sundays 2pm-6pm St George’s Market, Belfast, Antrim; Friday 6am - 2pm, Saturday 9am - 3pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm Howth Market, Dublin; Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 9am - 6pm

Temple Bar Market, Dublin

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Irish Irish Food Food & Drink & Drink

IRISH FOOD & DRINK

THE QUICK GUIDE TO FOODIE DESTINATIONS

JJ O’MALLEY’S BAR & RESTAURANT, WESTPORT, CO. MAYO Bar/Restaurant

NEWFORGE HOUSE, MAGHERALIN, CRAIGAVON, CO. ARMAGH Country House

CHANDPUR INDIAN RESTAURANT, MAIN STREET, DONEGAL TOWN, CO. DONEGAL Indian restaurant

ST. GEORGE’S MARKET, BELFAST, CO. ANTRIM Food market

LOUGH BISHOP HOUSE, DERRYNAGARRA, COLLINSTOWN, CO. WESTMEATH Farmhouse/B&B

CHAPTER ONE, 18-19 PARNELL SQUARE NORTH, DUBLIN CITY Restaurant www.chapteronerestaurant.com

BURKES BAR & RESTAURANT, CLONBUR, CO. GALWAY Restaurant

RATHSALLAGH HOUSE , DUNLAVIN, CO. WICKLOW Hotel/Restaurant www.rathsallagh.com

CAMPAGNE , KILKENNY CITY, CO. KILKENNY Restaurant www.campagne.ie

DICK MACKS, GREEN STREET, DINGLE, CO. KERRY Pub dickmacks. homestead.com

CORK ENGLISH MARKET, CORK CITY, CO. CORK Food market www.englishmarket.ie

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Irish Food & Drink

Cookery Schools

Ballyknocken Cookery School, Co. Wicklow

Cookery classes are a great way to discover Irish food and locally sourced ingredients. Whether it be a cookery shortbreak, a week-long class or even a 12-week long course, make your trip memorable at some of the top cookery schools in the country. BALLYMALOE COOKERY SCHOOL located in Shanagarry, County Cork has provided classes since 1983. Run by chef Darina Allen and her husband Tim, a farmer, the school has its own organic market gardens, orchards and greenhouses, so students can be sure they are using the finest and freshest of ingredients. Ballymaloe Cookery School offers courses in a wide range of subjects. ‘Pizza Masterclass’, ‘Sushi made Simple’, ‘Gluten Free Cooking’ and ‘Feel Good Food for Winter’ are just a few of the short courses they offer. They also offer a 12-week intensive Certificate Course. The school’s facilities are among the best in the country, with state-ofthe-art kitchens, a dining room, lecture rooms, library and self-catering accommodation, as well as beautiful gardens and orchards. BALLYKNOCKEN COOKERY SCHOOL, situated in the beautiful town of Ashford, County Wicklow, offers a selection of day, weekend and residential courses with themes such as ‘Gourmet Cooking’, ‘Southern Italian Cuisine’ and ‘Baker’s Delight’ to name a few. Run by chef Catherine Fulvio, the school emphasises the use of good, local ingredients, many of which are supplied from the Ballyknocken Farm garden and from the local farmers of Wicklow. Ballyknocken Cookery School also welcomes private groups, and has a wide range of courses and fun events on offer. Accommodation is available at Ballyknocken Farmhouse and special packages to include cookery and overnight stays can be arranged.

Ballymaloe, Co. Cork

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Whiskey Tour of Ireland The Ireland Whiskey Trail is an award-winning guide to Ireland’s distilleries, best whiskey pubs, bars and shops. More pubs, distilleries and hotels can be added to your itinerary as desired. For more information log on to www.irelandwhiskeytrail.com Boasting more Irish brands than any other whiskey brands in Ireland, the first stop on the itinerary is the Irish Whiskey Collection store in Terminal 2 Dublin Airport which is undoubtedly the world’s best travel retail shop for Irish whiskeys. It won a Frontier Award in Cannes in 2011 and more recently the Retail Excellence Ireland Store of the Year Award 2013. Second on the list is the Jameson Distillery Bow Street in Dublin 7, John Jameson’s former distillery which offers guided tours and whiskey tastings. From there, travel into Dublin city centre to visit The Temple Bar in the most popular and lively part of Dublin. This popular Irish pub is where you will find Ireland’s biggest collection of whiskeys. Next on the itinerary is The Mercantile, situated on Dublin’s Dame Street, which has developed an impressive whiskey collection, with over 85 Irish whiskeys and 50 international whiskeys. The O’Neill Bar & Restaurant on Dublin’s Suffolk Street has a whiskey collection spread over two floors. In the downstairs section, you’ll find plenty of choice in the main bar and in the beautifully ornate Victorian bar (where the carvery stands) and upstairs, you have a dedicated whiskey bar. The Celtic Whiskey Shop on Dawson Street is number five on the trail. If you are looking for a rare, unusual or collectable Irish whiskey, then the Celtic Whiskey Shop is probably where you will find it. A five minute walk will bring you to Brooks Hotel & The Jasmine Bar on Drury’s Street. Ever wondered about the origin of the name ‘whiskey’ or about the different production styles of whiskey? The answers are all in Jasmine Bar’s Whiskey Library. Mitchell & Son Wine and Spirits in Dublin’s Docklands is eighth on the trail. The shop offers a range of whiskies and is a famed wine specialist. From the Docklands, the trail takes you on to Yamamori Sushi & Tengu Bar on Lower Ormond Quay and its sister restaurant, Yamamori Izakaya on South Great George’s Street. Rarely do people consider Japan as a whiskey destination, yet it is one of the world’s great whiskey-producing and consuming nations. A ten minute drive will bring you to the Brian Boru Pub in Glasnevin, a well-loved Victorian pub with its own whiskey bar, and a large collection to reflect the many Irish whiskeys now being produced in Ireland. The Dylan Whiskey Bar in the medieval city of Kilkenny is your first stop outside of Dublin. Winner of Powers Snug of the Year 2011, tastings are available on demand in this dedicated whisky bar. An hour’s car journey from here will take you to

The O’Neill Bar & Restaurant, Dublin

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Irish Food & Drink Irish Food & Drink

Food Roadtrip Galway Oyster Festival, Galway city

Pot Stills at Dingle Distillery, Co. Kerry

Malone’s Galtee Inn in Cahir, County Tipperary. Opening early

in the morning, it is as famous for its excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as it is for its creamy pints and great range of whiskeys, and right next door is Ireland’s smallest whiskey bar, which seats about five people. The Jameson Experience in Midleton, County Cork is one of the most striking and interesting tourist attractions in Ireland. This distillery operated for 150 years, from 1825 until 1975, and has been beautifully preserved. The tour guides visitors through the story and making of Irish whiskey and ends with a complimentary glass of Jameson. While in Midleton, call into Michael Canty’s Pub on Connolly Street, a traditional Victorian Irish pub with a full range of Midleton whiskeys on offer. While in this area, it would be an excellent idea to stay at the Castlemartyr Resort, a five-star, luxury hotel and golf club close to the distillery with a bar of its own stocked with one of Ireland’s best Irish whiskey selections. The Tap Tavern bar is one of the oldest in Kinsale, County Cork. The only family-run bar in town, it has been in the same family for the past four generations. The Folk House is nearby and specialises in home-infused whiskeys. Kinsale is known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland, and here you will have an opportunity to sample many different types of whiskey, not least of which is the Kinsale 2000. Killarney is your next stop, to see Courtney’s Pub on Plunkett Street, one of Killarney’s oldest and most popular pubs. It offers a drinks menu that lists over 50 Irish and 30 Scottish whiskeys as well as some bourbon and Japanese whiskeys. You will also find Beaufort Bar & Restaurant in Killarney that has an excellent restaurant and more than 100 different whiskeys to discover. Continuing through Kerry, the Dingle Distillery, a small artisan whiskey distillery, offers daily visits but pre-booking is essential. Dick Mack’s in Dingle is an iconic pub in Ireland with a superb choice of Irish whiskeys including some limited editions as well as whiskeys from every region in Scotland, together with some impressive international names. A two-hour drive will bring you to Michael Flannery’s Pub in Limerick, where you can enjoy an Irish whiskey, a whiskey tasting, or a pint or craft beer in front of a real fire. Famous in Limerick for being an old-fashioned pub, there is no TV and a lively traditional music session takes place every Tuesday. Located just 15 minutes from Shannon airport in the car and opposite Bunratty Folk Park, the Creamery Bar & Restaurant in Bunratty, County Clare is an ideal place to stop on your way to Galway.

AUGUST 4–7 2017 ENNISCORTHY ROCKIN’ FOOD FESTIVAL Enniscorthy, Co Wexford www.thisiscavan.ie

AUGUST 11–12 2017

SEPTEMBER 22–24 2017 GALWAY INTERNATIONAL OYSTER AND SEAFOOD FESTIVAL Galway City, Co Galway www.galwayoysterfestival.com

TASTE OF CAVAN 2017 Cavan Town, Co Cavan www.thisiscavan.ie

AUGUST 19–20 2017 VALENTIA ISLAND KING SCALLOP FESTIVAL Knightstown, Co Kerry www.valentiaisland.ie

AUGUST 25–27 2017 A TASTE OF DONEGAL FOOD FESTIVAL Donegal Town, Co Donegal www.irishcraftbeerfestival.com

SEPTEMBER 8–10 2017 WATERFORD HARVEST FOOD FESTIVAL Waterford City, Co Waterford www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie

OCTOBER 14–15 2017 KINSALE GOURMET FESTIVAL Kinsale, Co Cork www.kinsalerestaurants.com

OCTOBER 27–30 2017 SAVOUR KILKENNY FESTIVAL

Kilkenny www.savourkilkenny.com

Burren Slow Food Festival

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Irish Food & Drink

Jameson Distillery

Irish Coffee at Foynes

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With a good selection of whiskey, they are famous for their pints of stout. Next on the itinerary is O’Loclainn’s Irish Whiskey Bar in Ballyvaughan, County Clare, which specialises in whiskey and is full of old memorabilia. As the owner is a farmer during the day, this cosy traditional Irish pub does not open until 8pm. Arriving in Galway, Garavan’s Bar on William Street has traditional music sessions every weekend and has also hosted the Powers Irish Coffee Making Championship in the west of Ireland. This encouraged them to specialise in the making of this classic Irish concoction, and now they serve one of the best Irish Coffees in Galway. Freeney’s Pub & Off-Licence is located on High Street and is a traditional pub, whiskey shop and fishing shop all under one roof. An hour’s drive towards the coast will bring you to Clifden and Lowry’s Irish Pub on Market Street, which is famous around these parts for its traditional Irish music sessions, usually taking place six days a week (Monday to Saturday) from St Patrick’s Day to November 1 every year. Leaving Galway, the next stop on your itinerary is Mooney’s Pub in Monasterevin, County Kildare, which is not to be missed for its treasured bottle of Cassidy’s whiskey from the old distillery. A short drive will bring you to the Fisherman’s Thatched Inn, in Ballybrittas, County Laois. A thatched pub dating back to the 1600s, it is one of Ireland’s most traditional pubs. Take a trip to the Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre in Tullamore, County Offaly, an interactive guided tour in a restored 19th century warehouse. While in Tullamore, The Brewery Tap is a very popular traditional Irish pub close to the centre with a full range of Tullamore Dew whiskeys, including some rarities. Kilbeggan Distillery Experience in County Westmeath is your next stop. A restored, fully operational distillery, it is the oldest continually licensed distillery in Ireland offering daily guided tours and tastings. Finally, end your whiskey tour of Ireland at McCaul’s Pub on Bridge Street, County Cavan, a friendly traditional Irish pub. No matter where you are in Ireland, one thing is for sure – you’re never far from a delicious meal and a relaxing drink!

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GOLF

WHETHER YOU’RE A VISITING PRO, OR AN AMATEUR AT ANY LEVEL, IRELAND’S WIDE RANGE OF FANTASTIC GOLF COURSES HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, FROM DONEGAL TO DUBLIN, CORK TO CLARE.

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Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort, Co Limerick

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Golfing Guide

Ireland’s Best Courses

GOLF

The K Club

Catering for all rankings and experience levels, a range of top-class golf clubs with excellent facilities can be found around the country.

Old Head Kinsale, Co. Cork

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reland is one of the world’s leading destinations for golf. From the flatlands of Kildare to the rugged coastline of Kinsale, you’ll find parklands, woodlands and links courses. And don’t forget to visit the 19th hole after your golfing day is done. We’ll welcome you into our clubhouse, pub or restaurant to hear all about how you nailed that hole-in-one! Ireland has produced many golfing greats, including Paul McGinley, Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup Captain, Rory McIlroy, who was world number one in the Official World Golf Ranking for 95 weeks, Padraig Harrington, who has three major championships to his name, and Graeme McDowell, the first European to win the US Open in 40 years in 2010. The 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open was held at The K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare, from May 19th to 22nd. The competition is usually held at Ireland’s most prestigious golfing venues – recent years have seen the event hosted by Adare Manor in County Limerick, Carton House in County Kildare and the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim.

FOLLOW THE SHAMROCK

WHEN CHOOSING A GOLF COURSE, FOLLOW THE SHAMROCK – THE OFFICIAL MARK OF FÁILTE IRELAND’S QUALITY ASSURANCE.

When you see this symbol, you’ll know the course you’re visiting is quality assured. Courses with the shamrock symbol will have staff on-hand to ensure your arrival is welcomed, to show you where all the facilities are located, and to answer any queries you may have about the course. The symbol also ensures that the course you’ve chosen is well-maintained, so you can concentrate on your game.

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LOCATION: Straffan, County Kildare COURSE: Parkland & Links LENGTH: 7,350 / 7,277 yards PAR: 72 (both)

Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Club

Old Head Golf Links

LOCATION: Blessington, County Wicklow COURSE: Championship LENGTH: 7,165 yards PAR: 72

LOCATION: Kinsale, County Cork COURSE: Links LENGTH: 7,159 yards PAR: 72

The K Club is one of Europe’s greatest golfing destinations. A combination of two courses – the Palmer Ryder Cup course and the Smurfit course – it offers golfers 36 exciting holes. The Palmer Ryder Cup Course is regularly ranked as one of the top three parkland courses in the country. Designed by Arnold Palmer, it hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006 and 11 European Opens. The Smurfit Course – a true championship golf course – is an inland links course, filled with dramatic landscapes and vantage points.

Standing on the tee at Tulfarris by the shores of Blessington Lake will leave you speechless. Set across three of the lake’s stunning peninsulas, the 18-hole championship course, designed by Patrick Merrigan, provides one of the finest golfing challenges in the country. Nestled amid 200 acres of mature woodland against the backdrop of Wicklow’s rolling hills, and just an hour from Dublin, Tulfarris is the perfect place to test your golfing skills while taking in the breathtaking surroundings.

Situated on 200 acres of land jutting out more than two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, the Old Head Golf Links is home to a world-class 18-hole, par 72 course. From the tip, the course stretches over 7,000 yards, with a minimum five tees per hole; nine holes stretch along the cliffs, with a stunning ocean backdrop for all 18. The course was voted one of the most spectacular courses on the planet by Links Magazine in 2011. Other facilities at the location include a warm-up range and a game practice area.

Druids Glen

Adare Manor

Lough Erne Golf Resort

LOCATION: Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow COURSE: Parkland LENGTH: 6,560 yards PAR: 71

LOCATION: Adare, County Limerick COURSE: Parkland LENGTH: 7,453 PAR: 72

LOCATION: Enniskillen, County Fermanagh COURSE: Parkland LENGTH: 7,167 yards PAR: 72

Known as the ‘Augusta of Europe’, Druid’s Glen hosted the Irish Open for four consecutive years, with a course that has tested golf’s great players, including Ballesteros, Montgomerie and Garcia. Situated in a truly beautiful location, and often called ‘nature’s gift to golf’, it’s a challenging course that will test even the most accomplished of golfers. And, when your day of golf is over, you can relax in the 400-year old Woodstock House clubhouse and enjoy the fine dining experience on offer.

Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort offers a superb 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior. The demense’s parkland atmosphere has been maintained with a course set amid mature trees, a 14 acre lake and the River Maigue. Desmond Castle – dating from 1200AD – and the ruins of a Franciscan abbey from the mid-1400s provide a spectacular historical backdrop to the course. Following the day’s activities, visitors can dine at the Carriage House Bar and Restaurant.

Lough Erne Golf Resort is home to two championship golf courses, the Faldo Course and Castle Hume Golf Course. The resort is located on a private 600-acre peninsula in between Lower Lough Erne and Castle Hume Lough. The Faldo Championship Course was designed by the six-time Major winner Nick Faldo, his first such design in Ireland. Golfers can enjoy a quick snack at the Halfway House located behind the ninth, and if you’re looking to improve your game, the resort’s Golf Academy provides a range of lessons and schools for golfers of all levels.

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Golfing Guide

GOLF

THE QUICK COURSE GUIDE

GALWAY BAY GOLF RESORT, ORANMORE, CO. GALWAY Links www.galwaybaygolfresort.com

BALLYLIFFIN GOLF CLUB, BALLYLIFFIN, INISHOWEN, CO. DONEGAL Links www.ballyliffingolfclub.com

ROYAL PORTRUSH GOLF CLUB, PORTRUSH, CO. ANTRIM Links

www.royalportrushgolfclub.com

STRANDHILL GOLF CLUB, STRANDHILL, CO. SLIGO Links

www.strandhillgolfclub.com

THE ROYAL COUNTY DOWN GOLF CLUB, NEWCASTLE, CO. DOWN Links www.royalcountydown.org

PORTMARNOCK GOLF CLUB, FINGAL, CO. DUBLIN Links www.portmarnockgolfclub.ie

THE K CLUB, STRAFFAN, CO. KILDARE Parkland/ Inland Links www.kclub.ie

ADARE MANOR, ADARE, CO. LIMERICK Parkland www.adaremanor.com

DUNDRUM HOUSE HOTEL, DUNDRUM, CASHEL, CO. TIPPERARY Championship Parkland www.dundrumhousehotel.com

WATERVILLE GOLF LINKS, WATERVILLE, CO. KERRY Links www.watervillegolflinks.ie

OLD HEAD GOLF LINKS, KINSALE, CO. CORK Links www.oldhead.com

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On The Water

ON THE WATER FROM FISHING TO DIVING, SURFING TO A LEISURELY CRUISE ALONG THE SHANNON, EXPERIENCE ALL OF THE WONDERS IRELAND’S COASTS, RIVERS, LAKES AND CANALS HAVE TO OFFER.

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Dun Laoghaire harbour, Co Dublin

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On The Water

Ireland’s Blueway Trail

WATERWAYS

Ireland is home to myriad lakes, rivers, streams and waterbased adventure centres, not to mention our coastline. If you want to get wet, you’re in the right place! Cruising on the River Shannon

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reland is one of the most popular sport fishing and water sports destinations in Europe, and for good reason too. The massive variety and quality of fishing and water sports has given the country an enviable reputation. Ireland’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters are a proud heritage and a rich resource, and their distinct beauty has been enjoyed by locals and visitors for countless millennia.

Shannon Cruise The longest river in Ireland, the River Shannon presents a wealth of opportunities for fishing, watersports and pleasure boating. Meandering for over 200 miles from its source in County Cavan to its estuary on the sea in County Clare, in the past the Shannon was the route by which Viking raiders penetrated the heart of the country – in the 9th century, the Norse leader Turgis sailed the Shannon’s waves to Lough Derg in County Clare, plundering the monastic settlements along the way. These days, the river activities are decidedly more

Ireland’s Blueway

Killary Harbour

Achill Island

Take the trip of a lifetime through Ireland’s Blueway, an inviting network of water trails along the west coast of Ireland. Stretching from north-west Mayo to south Galway, these beautiful trails offer a host of activities like kayaking and snorkelling. Each of the five Blueway sites (Keem Beach, Old Head, Inishbofin, Killary Fjord and Mannin Bay) have on-site info boards with trail maps, safety details and info on equipment hire and tuition.

Killary Harbour is a fjord in the heart of Connemara that forms a natural border between counties Galway and Mayo; 16 kilometres long and in the centre over 45 metres deep. It is one of three glacial fjords that exist in Ireland. On its northern shore lies Mweelrea Mountain, Connacht’s highest, rising to 814 metres, while to the south are the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens. The area contains some of Ireland’s most awe-inspiring and dramatic scenery.

Achill Island has long been a popular water sports and walking destination with a range of accommodation, dining and entertainment options. The Blueway trails on the island are located on the north and western coastline at Doogort and Keem. Keem was once home to large numbers of basking shark which can grow to 11 metres in length but have no teeth. Occasionally basking sharks visit the area, as do porpoises. You may also spot trigger fish and spider crabs, usually from midJuly and just out from the beach, a few metres under the surface.

Inishbofin Island

Old Head

Mannin Bay

Accessible by ferry, Inishbofin is a vibrant island with a range of accommodation and dining options and a variety of walking and cycling trails. The island’s snorkel trail brings you west and into contact with a large variety of sea life, including beadlet, anemones, starfish, limpet, mussels, barnacles, starfish, spider crabs and hermit crabs.

Old Head is a blue flag beach located approx. 3.5km east of Louisburgh village. It has a small harbour, an attractive and popular sandy beach and a woodland walk, while the nearby village has a number of shops, pubs and dining outlets. Keep an eye out for anemones, shoals of fish and shore crab.

Mannin Bay, to the south west of Clifden, has a small roadside beach which is an ideal launch point for a range of waterbased activities. Entry to the beach is via the small car park. Look closely at the sand here and you will see it is made up of the remains of a type of coralline seaweed and the skeletal remains of barnacles, molluscs and sponge.

THE BLUEWAY CODE

FOLLOW THE BLUEWAY CODE TO HELP KEEP IRELAND’S BLUEWAY SITES IN TOP CONDITION.

Galway hooker, traditional sailing boat

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Prepare for your Blueway experience and stay within your limits – the limits of your fitness, experience, equipment, weather and tides. Travel in an appropriate group size according to the conditions and your abilities. Help manage this Blueway, and please leave no trace. Respect the host community, landowners and other water users.

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On The Water

ON THE WATER

THE ULTIMATE WATERWAY

CARROWMENA ACTIVITY CENTRE LIMAVADY, CO. DERRY Watersports www.carrowmena.co.uk

LOUGH NEAGH, COUNTIES ANTRIM, DOWN, ARMAGH, TYRONE & DERRY Variety of watersports www.discoverloughneagh.com

BUNDORAN SURF CO., BUNDORAN, CO. DONEGAL Surf school www.bundoransurfco.com

ACHILL ISLAND, CO. MAYO Variety of watersports www.achilltourism.com

CARLINGFORD LOUGH, COUNTIES LOUTH & DOWN Variety of watersports www.carlingford.ie

LOUGH DERG, COUNTIES CLARE, GALWAY & TIPPERARY Fishing, powerboating, yachting

KILKEE DIVING AND WATERSPORTS CENTRE, KILKEE, CO. CLARE Variety of watersports

STAR OUTDOORS ADVENTURE CENTRE, KENMARE, CO. KERRY Water/land-based activities www.staroutdoors.ie

BRITTAS BAY SURF SCHOOL, BRITTAS BAY BEACH, CO. WICKLOW Surf school www.brittasbaysurfschool.com

SAILING IRELAND, KILMORE QUAY, CO. WEXFORD Sailing www.sailingireland.ie

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On The Water

civilised. There are many companies operating the length and breadth of Ireland’s longest river, offering the chance to view some of the country’s ancient sights by boat, witness Ireland’s water flora and fauna in their natural habitat, or simply enjoy a relaxing cruise, floating through calm waters and fantastic scenery. Sail around Killaloe with Killaloe River Cruises, discovering the ancient capital of Ireland and home of legendary High King Brian Boru, learn about the history of the Killaloe Canal, and the Shannon Scheme of 1929 as you cruise towards the ancient spot where Brian Boru kept watch over the crossing at Beal Boru. If time is on your side, why not spend three nights or longer floating down the Shannon with Carrickcraft’s fleet of boats, experiencing the idyllic towns, villages, forestry and historical sites that dot this ancient waterway, including one of the world’s most famous monastic sights, Clonmacnoise, founded in 546AD. Or, if you’re searching for a shorter experience (and need to save some time), take the 20-minute Shannon Ferry across the water, saving you 85 miles as you pass from County Clare into County Kerry, enjoying the beautiful scenery as you travel.

Surfing When it comes to surfing, there’s no place hotter than Ireland (figuratively speaking, of course!). Featuring a rugged and scenic coastline, visiting surfers can take advantage of a fantastic variety of beach, reef and break points along our coast. The surfing season runs between September and May, so grab your board and discover what Ireland’s coast has to offer! No matter what part of Ireland you find yourself in, you can be sure there’s a beach and waves not too far away. In County Donegal, Bundoran has earned its reputation as the surf capital of Ireland, boasting some of the best known surf schools in the country, and the beach at Rossnowlagh is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. Mayo is rich in great surfing beaches including Bertra. For a total getaway, head for the brilliant beaches of Belmullet, or Keel Strand in Achill. SurfMayo at Carrownisky Strand in Louisburgh is one of the first surf schools established in Ireland and is open seven days a week every month of the year, apart from Christmas. Throughout the year, surf schools in Clare are always busy, and once you’ve brushed up on your skills, head off and practice at less crowded beaches such as Doolin, Doonbeg and Spanish Point. The south west is the great surfing secret of Ireland. Inch and Banna beaches are long, sandy, and bordered by the Kerry Mountains. In Ballybunion, world-class surf breaks along four miles of golden sands, ensuring a trip you won’t forget, while the Atlantic cliff break ensures exhilarating challenges for serious surfers. At Brandon Bay you’ll find the longest beach in the country, Castlegregory, extending almost 20km, with gentle beach break surfing that’s perfect for novices. West Cork also

Course angling Fermanagh

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boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Grab your board and take advantage of the rebel county’s seas at scenic highlights such as Barley Cove, Garrettstown or Castlefreke. The endless beach at Inchydoney is the perfect place to get all the family involved, with lessons running all year round. Waterford’s coast is fringed with sandy beaches, including Bunhahon. Terrific Tramore is a centre of surfing around here and it’s perfect for beginner and intermediate alike.

Adventure on the Waves (and Beneath) Located in its marine, coastal and inland waterways are waters practically teeming with life – from basking sharks in Cork Harbour to feeding dolphins off the coast of County Kerry – coupled with a plethora of fascinating wreck sites on the seafloor. Well-known sites in this area include the 1588 Spanish Armada and 1796 Spanish Armada wrecks which lie off the coast of Cork, an early medieval bridge in the River Shannon at the monastery of Clonmacnoise, and the Lough Kinale book shrine from a crannóg site in County Longford. For beginners, there are many outdoor education centres dotted around the country that provide sailing and kayaking lessons for all of your sailing needs, like Kinsale Outdoor Education centre in County Cork, and Sailing Ireland, Kilmore Quay, County Wexford. For the more experienced, take a sailing trip and enjoy an unparalleled view of Ireland’s coastline and marine wildlife around west Cork with West Cork Sailing & Powerboat centre, based in Beara, County Cork. If your interests lie beneath the waves, learn to dive at Burren Adventures in Ballyvaughan, County Clare, which provides scuba diving lessons for all levels of divers, or in Waterworld, Ireland’s largest diving and leisure centre, in the spectacular Dingle Peninsula, Kerry. Visit discoverireland.ie for a comprehensive list of diving and sailing schools and operators around the island of Ireland.

Iconic Lakes Killarney

Lough Derg

Glendalough

The Lakes of Killarney are one of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions – Lough Leane, Middle Lake and Upper Lake. The three lakes are found in a valley that stretches southward between the mountains in Killarney National Park, which include the highest mountain range in Ireland, the McGillycuddy Reeks. The best way to see the lakes is by one of the organised tours – getting around can become a little confusing, and you don’t want to miss any beauty spots!

A historic island with its roots in Christianity and pre-Christian times. Pilgrims travelled here for hundreds of years right up to the mid 19th century. The island is also associated with the famous Irish chieftain Brian Boru. His brother was abbot here and Brian is said to have built one of the churches on the island. You can walk among the ruins of churches, round towers and crosses that date back before 1000AD, while Romanesque arches dating from the 12th century can also be seen.

Glendalough (Gleann Dá Loch in Irish, meaning ‘The Glen of the Two Lakes’) is located in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, which receives over one million visitors every year. Visit the ancient monastery that was founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. A round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses are still standing to this day. The round tower is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the area. The site also includes a Celtic high cross, St. Mary’s Church and St. Kevin’s Church, and a fantastic walking trail.

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On The Water

Ballybunion, ะกo. Kerry

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Wild Atlantic Way

THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY IS A FANTASTIC ROAD TRIP THROUGH THE MYRIAD WONDERFUL SIGHTS AND VIEWS ON IRELAND’S WEST COAST. FROM DONEGAL IN THE NORTH TO CORK IN THE SOUTH, THE OPEN ROAD AWAITS!

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Wild Atlantic Way

MALIN FANAD HEAD

SLIABH LIAG MULLAGHMORE HEAD DOWNPATRICK HEAD

KEEM STRAND

DERRYGIMLAGH

CLIFFS OF MOHER

LOOP HEAD

BLASKETS SKELLIGS VIEWPOINT DURSEY ISLAND

OLD KINSALE HEAD MIZEN HEAD

WILD H ATLANTIC WAY

ave you ever dreamed of undertaking a journey that takes you on a path of discovery to secret locations, hidden treasures and vistas that are truly wonderful to behold? Well now you can! Take a trip along the wildest, most captivating coastal drive in the world – Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. You can drive the whole route in just a few days, or relax, take your time, and discover a new world out along the rugged coastline of Ireland’s western counties – surfing the magnificent waves in Donegal, learning a few simple words of Irish in our Gaeltacht areas (Irish-speaking regions), or marvelling at the ancient monastic settlements on the truly captivating Skellig Michael in Kerry. Follow these routes or map out your own – one thing is for sure, you won’t be disappointed!

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Wild Atlantic Way

Slieve League, Co Donegal

EXPLORE

DONEGAL

A breathtaking county filled with sandy beaches, a captivating coastline and plenty of cosy pubs to while away an afternoon – you might not want to leave.

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ravelling around County Donegal takes in Malin Head, Fanad Head and Slieve League, a route which is approximately 557km (346 miles). Deriving its name from the Irish Dún na nGall (Fort of the Foreigner), the county is dotted with pre-Christian tombs and other prehistoric sites dating back 9,000 years. It’s known for the beauty of its rugged coastline, the wild geography that once protected its inhabitants from invasion, and some of the country’s best surfing spots. DAY 1 – MUFF TO BUNCRANA: 157.5KM (97 MILES) Cross the River Foyle leaving the city of Derry in your wake, and head northwest. You’ll find yourself driving through the town of Muff and the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula, the huge Lough Swilly visible on the horizon. Turn south west and you’ll arrive in the town of Buncrana where you can rent a bike, trace your family history or visit the historic Buncrana Castle.

DAY 2 – BUNCRANA TO LETTERKENNY: 45.5KM (28 MILES) Head south west again from Buncrana, with Lough Swilly once more providing a truly magnificent backdrop. Sites to visit in this

DRIVING THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY In Ireland, we drive on the left side of the road and drivers’ seats are on the right side of the vehicle. All the speed limits are posted in kilometres per hour, and the route has been marked with the Wild Atlantic Way logo. Just look for the signposts along the way to know you are on the right track. In these pages are several sample journeys you can follow while driving the Wild Atlantic Way – all journey times are calculated at 50 km/h . Slow down and enjoy the view!

area include the Grianan of Aileach (Fortress of the Sun), a circular stone ring fort dating from the 8th century AD. Turning the car west, you’ll head for the coast before turning slightly south, arriving in the heart of Donegal – the town of Letterkenny. DAY 3 – LETTEKENNY TO BUNBEG: 171KM (106 MILES) Point your car north, leaving Letterkenny, and towards the Fanad Peninsula. The route here is replete with geological features; follow the road southwards back along the coastline of the Fanad before looping up again towards Horn Head, passing through the village of Dunfanaghy, where you can stretch the legs with a brisk coastal walk or visit the Glenveagh National Park a little further on along the coast. As you continue west, you’ll pass through Donegal’s Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking community), and you may notice a great deal of signposts in Irish. Head for the village of Bunbeg, where excursions to nearby islands are available from Bunbeg Harbour. DAY 4 – BUNBEG TO ARDARA: 72KM (44 MILES) On leaving Bunbeg, head south again and before long you’ll reach Dungloe, another Gaeltacht town, where the primary language is Irish – though everyone will speak English too. If you’re hungry, the local restaurants all feature fresh fish from the boats, while you can also explore nearby Mount Errigal, or take a trip out to Arranmore Island. Keep the Atlantic on your right as you leave Dungloe and head south for Ardara, a designated heritage town. There are plenty of cottages and hotels dotted around this festive town, a great place to spend the night. DAY 5 – ARDARA TO DONEGAL TOWN: 111KM (68 MILES) Leaving Ardara, head south towards Killybegs, a beautiful fishing town whose history is outlined in the Maritime and Heritage Centre. If you have time, don’t forget to take a lesiurely stroll along the golden sands of Fintra Beach, from which you can see the lighthouse at St John’s Point, and neighbouring Ben Bulben Mountain. Donegal town lies east from Killybegs, and in between the two lie the Slieve League cliffs, some of Europe’s highest accessible cliffs. Donegal town itself is packed with shops, restaurants and historical sites, including Donegal Castle and the ruins of a Franciscan friary.

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Keem beach, Achill Island, Co. Mayo

EXPLORE

DONEGAL, SLIGO & MAYO

From rugged coastline to perfect waves and centuries old historic sights, there’s plenty to do and see from Donegal to Mayo.

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overing three of Ireland’s counties, from Donegal through surfing Sligo and concluding in Mayo, five days provides ample time to see all of the sites. The gateway to the north west of Ireland, Sligo is a place steeped in history, from the Dominican Order that has remained in Sligo for more than 700 years, to the wrecks of the Spanish Armada at Streedagh Strand, which met their fate while fleeing from a failed invasion of England. Neighbouring Mayo – Ireland’s third-largest county – has a rich archaeological heritage coupled with spectacular landscape. DAY 1 – DONEGAL TOWN TO SLIGO TOWN: 100KM (62 MILES) Heading southbound from Donegal town you’ll find yourself in Sligo town within an hour or two, driving along the Atlantic coast. Sligo town is well-known for its traditional music sessions, so blend in with the locals, climb to the cairn of Queen Maeve of Connacht at the summit of nearby Knocknarea Mountain or pay a visit to Sligo Abbey.

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DAY 2 – SLIGO TOWN TO DOWNPATRICK HEAD: 125KM (77 MILES) Leaving Sligo town, head towards the ocean and Strandhill Beach to take in some surfing – all levels welcomed. From there, continue south west towards Aughris, part of the Dunmoran/Aughris coastal walk, which will take you to a deserted village of Booley huts, once used by herdsmen to remain close to their cattle. Ballina town lies west of Aughris, and continue along the coastline until you reach Downpatrick Head, standing 126 feet above the sea. DAY 3 – DOWNPATRICK HEAD TO BELMULLET: 169KM (105 MILES) Follow the road leading west from Downpatrick Head until you reach the Céide Fields, where settlers began to farm over 5,000 years ago. Half an hour to the north west lies Belmullet, a Gaeltacht town lying on the Erris Peninsula, where you can take in the end of the North Mayo Sculpture Trail, a series of sculptures created to celebrate 5,000 years of settlement in Mayo. DAY 4 – BELMULLET TO KEEM STRAND: 133KM (82 MILES) Turn south for Ballycroy village to visit the Ballycroy National Park, filled with dedicated walking trails through the Bephin Beg mountain range. Further south is Keem Strand, one of Mayo’s blue flag beaches looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. DAY 5 – KEEM STRAND TO WESTPORT: 97KM (60 MILES) Located south of Keem Strand is Clew Bay, home to 117 islands, the largest of which – Clare Island – can be reached via ferry, and was once home to the pirate queen Grace O’Malley. The town of Westport is only a few minutes away, voted one of the best places to live in Ireland. If you’re visiting during September, the Westport Food Festival promises a great time, and there’s plenty of accommodation to spend a night, or three.

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head. Heading east and then south will bring you to Roundstone, where transatlantic transmissions were first recorded around Derrygimlagh Bog. On the way, take in the unique landscape of Connemara’s lakes, mountains and fields, Coral Strand outside Ballyconneely or Gurteen Beach on the way to Roundstone. DAY 2 – ROUNDSTONE TO GALWAY CITY: 185KM (115 MILES) Follow the Atlantic Road signs to Rossaveal, one of Galway’s Gaeltacht areas and the gateway to the Aran Islands (daily sailings to all three are available). The village of Spiddal will be the next stop on your route through this captivating area, the home of Irish language television soap opera Ros na Rún. Galway city will be your next encounter, a medieval town that will surely keep you occupied between shopping, eating, visiting places of interest and resting for the night. DAY 3 – GALWAY CITY TO DOOLIN: 95KM (59 MILES) From Galway city, head east and keep the coastline on your right, leading you south towards the picturesque village of Ballyvaughan located near the Burren in County Clare, a lunar-like landscape popular with botanists and naturalists (and archaeologists too: the Neolithic Poulnabrane Dolmen dates back to between 42002900BC, for example). Your next stop will be the fishing village of Doolin, a charming seaside village known for its welcoming pubs and traditional music sessions. Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

EXPLORE

MAYO, GALWAY & CLARE

DAY 4 – DOOLIN TO KILKEE: 78KM (48 MILES) Kilkee lies south of Doolin, but in between are a host of sights to be seen, including the Cliffs of Moher and Ireland’s surfing capital, Lahinch, which also features a championship links golf course if finding your balance on a slippery board isn’t your thing. Below Lahinch and before you reach Kilkee you’ll find Spanish Point, which takes its name from the Spanish sailors who lost their lives there following the wrecking of the Spanish Armada in 1588; those who made it to shore were executed. From Spanish Point it’s a short trip to the town of Kilkee, Loop Head’s main town and a popular seaside resort that overlooks Horseshoe Bay, which is protected from the might of the Atlantic Ocean by the Duggerna Reef. Keem Strand

From the Céide Fields to the Burren, take your time as you journey through the fantastic sights and scenery of the unspoiled west.

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his route takes you through some of Ireland’s most striking scenery, from the rugged beauty of Connemara to the sheer Cliffs of Moher. There’s so much to do and see, with Georgian architecture, lively cafés and restaurants and some great traditional music pubs – four days might not be enough! DAY 1 – WESTPORT TO CLIFDEN: 164KM (101 MILES) Once you’ve had your fill of Westport, head south towards the town of Louisburgh, a small town on the Bunowen River. Take in over 700 archaeological sites, music festivals and panoramic views of nearby Croagh Patrick, climbed by pilgrims on ‘Reek Sunday’ each year, the last Sunday in July. Following the Wild Atlantic Way signposts you’ll pass through the village of Leenane and reach the fjord of Killary Harbour, one of only three fjords in Ireland. Here you can take a guided walk along the Famine Trail before departing for Letterfrack through lakeland landscape and finally on to Clifden, the home of great food, drink and places to rest your

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Slea Head, Co Kerry

EXPLORE

CLARE, LIMERICK & KERRY Ireland’s southwest is home to many jewels, including the hauntingly beautiful Ring of Kerry. Leading you from Clare through neighbouring Limerick into County Kerry, this route features a wonderful mix of food, history and, of course, fantastic coastal views. DAY 1 – LOOP HEAD TO TRALEE: 167KM (103 MILES) Heading southeast towards the ferry crossing at Killimer, enjoy the panoramic views from Loop Head – on a clear day at the lighthouse you can see from the Twelve Bens mountain peaks of Connemara to the Blasket Islands in County Kerry. You’ll disembark from the ferry in Tarbert (so-named for an old Norse word meaning ‘draw-boat’) and head east into County Limerick and the town of Foynes, home to the Flying Boat Museum featuring an eclectic mixture of clandestine war stories, a 1940s cinema and a Boeing 314 Pan Am Clipper flying boat replica. From Foynes, follow the road west back into Kerry through Ballyduff and into Fenit – where you’ll discover Saint Brendan the Navigator and the legendary story of his quest for the ‘Isle of the Blessed’ (some believe this was North America), a journey filled with devils and

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sea monsters. From Fenit it’s only a short trip to Tralee, one of Ireland’s best known towns and home of the Rose of Tralee festival. DAY 2 – TRALEE TO GLENBEIGH: 180KM (112 MILES) From Tralee, all roads lead west to the captivating Dingle Peninsula, which includes Mount Brandon (named for St Brendan), the highest peak on the peninsula and the conclusion to a Christian pilgrimage trail. On the way to the harbour town of Dunquin, along the Slea Head Drive, don’t forget to stop at the Gallarus Oratory, an early Christian stone church built in the shape of an overturned boat, and take in the coastal views along this route stretching out to the Blasket Islands, which can be reached by boat from Dunquin. Leaving Dunquin and the Blaskets behind, strike out east for Dingle, an artisan town that is home to weavers, cheesemakers, potters and jewellers, food festivals and perennial favourite Fungie the bottlenose dolphin. DAY 3 – GLENBEIGH TO KENMARE 165KM (102 MILES) The route through Kerry will bring you further into the Iveragh peninsula, through the town of Glenbeigh (often called the jewel in the Ring of Kerry) and south west toward Valentia Island to see the Skellig Islands, once home to a monastic settlement high on the island, which survived for several centuries through a solitary lifestyle, rough weather and Viking raids. Follow the route signs along the coast to the south and then the east, through the village of Waterville and past a bronze statue of Charlie Chaplin, and Derrynane, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Emancipator’, who campaigned for Catholic Emancipation in the years before the Great Irish Famine. While the beautiful scenery will captivate you, the final stop on this route – Kenmare – awaits along the twisting Ring of Kerry, a vibrant and colourful town filled with shopping, gourmet food, and unspoiled scenery.

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Dursey island

EXPLORE

CORK & KERRY

The Rebel County and the Kingdom of Kerry are as famous for their prowess in Irish sport as they are for the distinctive welcoming nature of their people.

DAY 2 – BANTRY TO BALTIMORE: 165KM (102 MILES) Beyond Bantry to the south west is Sheep’s Head, also known as Muntervary, an unspoilt peninsula featuring coastal walks and a pleasant little café to refresh yourself before continuing on your journey. Turn northeast and follow the road to Durrus, the gateway to Mizen Head (Ireland’s most southerly point), which stretches out into the Atlantic Ocean. From there, cross the peninsula heading southeast past the scenic collection of islands between Mizen Head and Baltimore (pictures are a must, while you can visit Cape Clear or Heir Island by ferry). Upon reaching Baltimore itself, there is plenty to do in the way of water activities, from sailing and whale watching to diving and angling, lots of charming accommodation, and ‘the Beacon’, a coastal icon built by the British following the 1798 rebellion to form part of Ireland’s coastal warning system. The town is a historian’s delight and boasts a colourful history, including the Sack of Baltimore in 1631, when much of the town’s population were carried off in a North African pirate raid, never to be seen again. DAY 3 – BALTIMORE TO KINSALE: 179KM (111 MILES) Leaving Baltimore behind, drive east along the Wild Atlantic Way heading towards Kinsale, one of Cork’s most striking headlands and home to a fantastic golf course set in a dramatic backdrop, and the scene of countless shipwrecks over the years, including the torpedoing of the Lusitania passenger ship by a German U-boat in 1915. Your next and final stop on the Wild Atlantic Way will be Kinsale town itself, a medieval fishing port with a wide and fantastically varied range of pubs, restaurants and cafés. Take a pleasant walk through the town’s streets and visit the 17th century star-shaped Charles Fort that was used until 1922, or the James Fort that guards the entrance to the narrow harbour. The entry to scenic west Cork, Kinsale is also known as a yachting and angling centre, as well as home to the world-class golfing destination. These routes have only touched upon some of the fantastic sights and scenery to be seen as you journey along Ireland’s coast. Though you could drive the whole route in one go, you don’t have to – why not slow down, and take in your surroundings, delving deep into the sights and experiences that Ireland has to offer. There’s a vast library of scenic treasures and adventures just waiting to be discovered along the way.

Whale watching, golfing, shipwrecks and copper mines all await you as you journey from Kerry into neighbouring County Cork, Ireland’s Rebel County. DAY 1 – KENMARE TO BANTRY: 165KM (120 MILES) Saying farewell to the pretty town of Kenmare, you’ll cross into County Cork and turn southwest towards Dursey Island as you journey along the Beara Peninsula, filled with hills and cliffs, small villages and rocky paths. Along the way stop off in Allihies, a village known for copper mining during the 19th century, whose story is told at the town’s Copper Mine Museum, or stretch your legs for a while on one of the area’s short coastal walks. Dursey Island is only a short trip away, reachable by the only cable car in Ireland when the weather is fine and perfect for bird, whale and dolphin watching off Cork’s coast. The Wild Atlantic Way continues on the road to Glengarrif and the intriguing Ewe Sculpture Garden, the garden island of Garinish in Bantry Bay and Glengarrif Nature Reserve. Bantry is only a short drive from here – a busy coastal town and one of the region’s most popular destinations, the highlight of which is Bantry House, which has been in the White family since the mid-1700s.

The Skelligs

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Skelligs viewpoint, Co. Kerry

EXPLORE

SIGNATURE POINTS

Discover a host of hidden treasures as you journey around the Wild Atlantic Way, from the Slieve Liag Cliffs in County Donegal to the ancient monastic settlement on County Kerry’s Skellig Michael.

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rom Donegal to Galway, Kerry to Cork, the sights and sounds of the Wild Atlantic Way will stun your senses and reinvigorate your soul. Here are some of the best natural attractions or landmarks that are simply unmissable, and will help you get the most out of an action-packed holiday as you travel the Wild Atlantic Way. MIZEN HEAD SIGNAL STATION Originally built to save sailors’ lives from the deadly rocks at Ireland’s most southwesterly point, Mizen Head Signal Station in west Cork is open to the public, and combines several exciting experiences in one package – a dynamic visitors’ centre filled with items such as a propeller from the S.S. Irada, a navigational aids simulator, the 99-step walk to the signal station that takes in the arched bridge and a stunning scenic backdrop, and the keepers’ quarters in the station itself, where you can see the engine room, Marconi radio room and the Mizen map collection, among other interesting items.

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KEEM BEACH A sheltered beach on Achill Island (Ireland’s largest island) in County Mayo, Keem Beach is located at the head of a valley between the cliffs of Benmore to the west, and Croaghaun Mountain in the east. The beach is accessible to cars via a clifftop route which is said to cross a seam of amethyst in the cliffside. SLIEVE LIAG CLIFFS The Slieve League Cliffs (Slieve Liag, in Irish) are some of the highest of their kind in Europe, and offer terrific views out across the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay, where the cliff face of Bunglas rises 600m over the ocean below. For much of Ireland’s history this has been a sacred mountain, and was a site of Christian pilgrimage for a thousand years, and a pagan ritual site for many centuries before. OLD HEAD Protruding more than two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, the Old Head of Kinsale in County Cork is home to a world-class 18hole golf course. Other points of interest include a lighthouse established by Robert Reading – the first and last Baronet Reading – in the 17th century, and the nearest land point to the site of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915, a luxurious ocean liner that was torpedoed by a German U-boat approximately 14 miles off the coast of Kinsale. FANAD HEAD Situated on the Fanad Peninsula, between Lough Swilly and Mulroy Bay on County Donegal’s north coast, a lighthouse sits on the peninsula’s eastern shore and was voted the world’s second most beautiful lighthouse after Lindau Lighthouse in Germany by Mental Floss, while the beach at Ballymastocker Bay was voted the second most beautiful beach in the world.

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BLASKET ISLANDS An archipelago lying off the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, the mystical Blasket Islands are famous for their storytellers who come from a traditional, isolated and simple culture that lived off the land and the sea. Though the last of the island’s inhabitants left in 1953, you can still take a boat to visit the mountainous main Great Blasket Island, and wander through ruined cottages, climb An Blascard Mór, take in some dolphin and whale watching and much more. Back on the mainland, the Blasket Centre provides a great insight into the hard lives of the islanders who once lived on these islands, the story of emigration and the literary heritage of the Blaskets.

MALIN HEAD Located in County Donegal, Malin Head is renowned for rugged coastlines and beautiful beaches. See if you can spot the wreck of the Twilight at low tide (which sank in 1889 while sailing to Derry), or visit the radio station, built in 1910. From Banba’s Crown, you can see Inishtrahull Island and its almost 200-year-old lighthouse, while on a clear day you can see the hills of Scotland, and Tory Island to the west. Or take a stroll along the cliffs to Hell’s Hole, a subterranean cavern 250 feet long and eight feet wide, into which the tide rushes with great force. The Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry

DERRYGIMLAGH A mosaic of tiny lakes and peatland, Derrygimlagh is the site of two of 20th century history’s most remarkable achievements. At the side of the Bog Road lies the remains of the world’s first permanent trans-Atlantic radio station, which was built by Guglielmo Marconi. It opened in 1907 and was raised to the ground during the Irish War of Independence. A little further on lies a memorial to Alcock and Brown, two British airmen who crash-landed their Vickers-Vimy biplane (without injury) into Derrigimlagh Bog at the end of the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1919.

SKELLIGS VIEWPOINT Standing alone in the Atlantic Ocean 13km south west of Valentia Island, County Kerry, the Skellig Islands have entranced visitors for centuries, viewable from any vantage point on the Ring of Kerry route. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skellig Michael exists as a well-preserved outpost of early monastic Christianity, reached by climbing 500 stone steps on a 1,000-year-old stairway. It was described by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw as “an incredible, impossible, mad place. I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in; it is part of our dream world.” Small Skellig, meanwhile, is home to 27,000 pairs of gannets, the second largest colony in the world. Reachable by a boat trip, you can also visit the Skellig Experience Centre on dry land.

Fanad Head Lighthouse, Co. Donegal

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IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST FOR THOSE WHO LOVE TO PEEL BACK THE LAYERS OF TIME, IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST IS A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE 5,000 YEARS OF EUROPEAN HISTORY IN A COMPACT AREA. GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK TO SEE, HEAR, TOUCH AND FEEL THE IMPRINTS OF THE MILLENNIA OF SETTLERS IN THIS LAND.

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Loughcrew Cairns, Co Meath

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ROADTRIP 5,000 YEARS IN 400 MILES In Ireland’s Ancient East, visitors will listen to the best storytellers in the world and become part of 5,000 years of history.

MELLIFONT ABBEY JOURNEY: From Dublin: 45 minutes

MONAGHAN

CAVAN

HILL OF TARA JOURNEY: From Dublin: 45 minutes

LOUTH

LONGFORD

BRÚ NA BÓINNE JOURNEY: From Dublin: 45 minutes

MEATH WESTMEATH NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND

DUBLIN OFFALY

KILDARE

WICKLOW

LAOIS

HUNTINGTON CASTLE JOURNEY: From Dublin: 1 hour 30 minutes

CARLOW KILKENNY

LIMERICK

GLENDALOUGH JOURNEY: From Dublin: 1 hour 15 minutes

TIPPERARY

IRISH NATIONAL STUD AND JAPANESE GARDENS JOURNEY: From Dublin: 53 minutes

WEXFORD WELLS HOUSE JOURNEY: From Dublin: 1 hour 30 minutes

WATERFORD

CORK

TITANIC EXPERIENCE JOURNEY: From Dublin: 2 hours 40 minutes

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HOLYCROSS ABBEY JOURNEY: From Dublin: 1 hour 46 minutes

WATERFORD VIKING TRIANGLE JOURNEY: From Dublin: 1 hour 55 minutes

MEDIEVAL MILE JOURNEY: From Dublin: 1hour 30 minutes

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Viking Triangle, Reginald’s Tower, Co Waterford

ANCIENT EAST

JOURNEY

When you travel through Ireland’s Ancient East you will be taking a journey through 5,000 years of history. You will discover vibrant towns and villages set in a lush green landscape where life is celebrated through festivals, food and a deep-rooted love of place.

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panning 17 counties, Ireland’s Ancient East shows you every face of the island. You will find megalithic tombs that predate the pyramids, medieval castles, holy treasures, ghostly Gothic architecture, and panoramic seascapes. Whether you are running from the witch’s ghost in St Canice’s Cathedral, exploring the sixth century monastic retreat of Glendalough, or gazing across the sea from the world’s oldest lighthouse at Hook Head, one thing is certain - Ireland’s ancient history is still very much alive. There is an engaging authenticity to life in the local, bustling towns and villages. Take in a festival, try tasty local specialities, drive leafy roads through lush rolling valleys, and explore meandering rivers and the mountains that once protected the original inhabitants.

MELLIFONT ABBEY, Co Louth Old Mellifont Abbey in County Louth was the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, founded in 1142 by St Malachy of Armagh. The site is located just a 10 minute drive from Drogheda and features an unusual octagonal lavabo in which the monks washed their hands, dating from circa 1200. The Old Mellifont Abbey Visitor Centre houses an interesting exhibition on the work of masons in the Middle Ages, with fine examples of their craft on display, alongside remnants of the abbey’s gate and its church. JOURNEY: From Dublin - 45 minutes HILL OF TARA, Co Meath Depart Dublin early morning for the Boyne Valley which was once Ireland’s ancient capital and its most sacred and mythical landscape. First stop should be at the Hill of Tara, located between Navan and Dunshaughlin. It is said that a quarter of the landscape of Ireland can be seen from this hill. Though best known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the Hill has been an important site since the late Stone Age when a passage-tomb was constructed. However, Tara was at the height of its power as a political and religious centre in the early centuries after Christ. JOURNEY: From Dublin - 45 minutes BRÚ NA BÓINNE, Co Meath Continue north east to the Valley’s most famous attraction, Brú na Bóinne, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange is the most

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famous of its megalithic tombs, but go off the beaten track and discover the tombs at Knowth and Dowth which are equally as impressive. JOURNEY: From Dublin - 45 minutes NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND, Co Dublin The Treasury exhibition space has been reopened after a major refurbishment and you can see iconic artefacts such as the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan Hoard. Make sure to visit the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition which includes recently found bog bodies. Ór, Ireland’s gold exhibition, is one of the largest and most important gold collections in Europe. Featured in the fascinating Ancient Egypt exhibition is the gilt and painted cartonnage case of the mummy Tentdinebu, as well as tomb furniture, offering tables, jewellery and household objects. Not to be missed is the Viking Ireland exhibition, which features finds from the Museum’s Dublin excavations, carried out between 1962 and 1981. GLENDALOUGH VISITOR CENTRE, Co.Wicklow Glendalough Visitor Centre is dedicated to showcasing the Glendalough monastic site, one of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions. Positioned in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the Glendalough monastic site is a fascinating early Christian settlement in a spectacular natural location, founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century. The extensive ruins of Glendalough include several early churches, and an impressive 30-metre high round tower. The valley stretches for approximately 3km and contains several areas of great historical interest and beauty. JOURNEY: 1 hour 15 minutes from Dublin. IRISH NATIONAL STUD AND JAPANESE GARDENS, Co Kildare In the nearby Co Kildare you can see some of the stars of the horse breeding world at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. JOURNEY: 53 minutes from Dublin. HUNTINGTON CASTLE, Co Carlow Visit Huntington Castle to step into another world. The 17th century house is a treasure trove of historical architecture and objects, while the Yew Tree Walk, Lime Tree Avenue and water features are just some of the elements of Huntington’s delightful gardens and pleasure grounds. Located in Clonegal, County Carlow, Huntington Castle was originally built as a defensive garrison. After its soldiers relocated, it was developed into a family estate by the Baron of Esmonde. Many generations of the family added various extensions and details, resulting in the creation of a truly unique and interesting building. JOURNEY: 1 hour 30 minutes from Dublin. WELLS HOUSE, Co Wexford The estate of Wells House and Gardens is located in County Wexford and comprises 450 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds. The gardens were designed by renowned architect Daniel Robertson in the 1830s who introduced features such as the Terrace Gardens, Radiating Parterre, Arboretum and Main Avenue. Two woodland walks - the Lady Frances Woodland Walk and the Mogue’s Walk contain hidden treasures in a verdant landscape of mature plants and trees. Families will enjoy the Wishing Well, Lady Frances’ Daffodils and the Craft Courtyard on the site of the old stables. JOURNEY: 1 hour 30 minutes from Dublin. MEDIEVAL MILE , Kilkenny city, Co Kilkenny Once the medieval capital of Ireland, the city has a rich medieval heritage visible through its narrow streetscapes, its historical buildings and landmarks. Saint Canice, who gives Kilkenny its name, founded a

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monastic settlement here in the 6th century. Built in the 13th century and a great example of ornate stonemasonry skills, St Canice’s is the second longest cathedral in Ireland. Strongbow, the legendary Norman invader, built a fort in the 12th century on the site where Kilkenny Castle stands today. William Marshall, Strongbow’s son-inlaw, the 4th Earl of Pembroke, fortified the city walls, built a stone castle on the site, and consolidated the Norman’s position of power in the city. JOURNEY: 1 hour 30 minutes from Dublin. HOLYCROSS ABBEY, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Just outside Thurles, Holycross Abbey was founded in 1168 for the Benedictines by the King of Munster, Donal O Brien. A particle of the True Cross was enshrined (and still remains) in the abbey, and subsequently Holycross became one of the most frequented places of pilgrimage in Ireland. JOURNEY: Loughcrew to Holycross: 1 hour 46mins. WATERFORD VIKING TRIANGLE, Waterford Three museums tell the story of Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city founded by the Vikings in 914. The story of the city starts at Reginald’s Tower, a 12th century mural tower where the Viking museum is located. The exhibits include a set of Viking warrior armour dating from the 9th century. JOURNEY: 1 hour 55mins from Dublin. TITANIC EXPERIENCE, Cobh, Co Cork Titanic Experience Cobh is a visitor centre located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh town, formerly known as Queenstown, the departure point for the final 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic. The visitor experience is presented in two parts. The first is an exciting immersive audio visual tour retracing the steps of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic from Queenstown on April 11th 1912. With Officer Boxall as your virtual guide, innovative audio visual technology and the replica interior ship set, experience the anticipation of the long journey ahead and the new life waiting for Queenstown’s passengers in America. Share the excitement of boarding the most luxurious liner of her time and feel the horror of the tragedy on that fateful night. JOURNEY: 2 hours 40 minutes from Dublin

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Find your Irish ancestors today with one of our local genealogy centres

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TRACING YOUR ANCESTORS

DELVE INTO YOUR PAST – AFTER ALL, YOU COULD BE RELATED TO THE ANCIENT KINGS AND QUEENS OF IRELAND!

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Tracing Your Roots

Useful Websites

TRACING YOUR ANCESTORS

There’s a story behind each family name – walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and discover yours!

www.nli.ie The National Library of Ireland website. www.census.nationalarchives.ie Includes a database of the 1901 and 1911 Census returns and digitised images of the original documents for all of Ireland. www.irishgenealogy.ie A government-run site with a database of church records relating to many locations in counties Kerry, Dublin, Carlow and Cork. Further records will also be added to this site. www.rootsireland.ie The website of the county genealogy centres which provides access (via 1 day, 1 month, 1 year subscriptions) to over 20 million church, civil, land, census, gravestone and ships’ passenger records for the majority of Irish counties. www.familysearch.org Run by the Latter Day Saints Church this contains a database of Irish civil records index of births, deaths and marriages from 1845 –1958 which you can search online. www.findmypast.ie Includes over 3.5 million crime and legal records, almost two million names in directories and almanacs, and exclusive land and estate records, census substitutes, travel and migration records, and details of Irish who fought overseas. This is also a subscription website.

Replica passenger ticket from the Dunbrody Famine Ship, Co. Wexford

W

hen you begin researching your family history you never know what you are going to find. Not everyone can boast connections with glamorous relatives, but with four recent US presidents claiming Irish family connections, researching your genealogy in Ireland is undoubtedly a rewarding and exciting adventure. It is recommended that you study the history of your family before beginning your research in Ireland. Working back through the records in your own country to identify your emigrant ancestors will make your trip worthwhile and increase your prospects of visiting your ancestral area. Gather as much basic information as possible. Details such as the name of your ancestor, approximate date of birth, parish or county of origin, religious denomination, names of ancestor’s parents, name of ancestor’s spouse and the date and place of marriage will all prove valuable on your search.

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Sources that will supply this information vary from country to country, but the types of records that are likely to provide information include church records (baptism and marriage certificates), birth, death, and marriage certificates held by civil authorities, census returns, city directories, gravestone inscriptions, newspaper obituaries, wills, naturalisation papers and passenger lists. Whether you choose to conduct your own research and spend successive holidays in Ireland tracing your ancestors, or commission research, there are many options from which to choose. National repositories of material are available to those who wish to trace their ancestors. A network of county genealogy centres have experienced local staff who will assist you on your journey and have millions of records online at www.rootsireland.ie. The National Library on Kildare Street, Dublin (Tel: (01) 603 0200) has a dedicated genealogy research room where you

can access online resources and get advice from trained staff via a free genealogy advisory service. Log onto www.nli.ie before your trip to learn more about its holdings. The National Archives, also located in Dublin city (Tel: (01) 407 2300), operates a free genealogy service with members of Accredited Genealogists of Ireland (AGI). This service is provided free of charge to callers, and members of the AGI can advise you on where to go and how to use relevant records. For those whose ancestors were born in Ulster, a visit to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast is a great starting point. PRONI hold many records for all nine counties of Ulster, including the 1901 census returns, Griffith’s Valuation, tithe applotment books, and copies of church registers of all denominations. If the exact details of your emigrant ancestor are lost in the mists of time and you are unable to pinpoint their place of origin, learning about their circumstances can be a very rewarding and worthwhile undertaking. Exploring attractions such as the Dunbrody emigrant ship in New Ross, County Wexford, or the Country Life – National Museum of Ireland in County Mayo would give a valuable insight into your ancestor’s experiences.

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Tracing Your Roots

Genealogy Centres - Members of the Roots Ireland network County Genealogy Centres will carry out commissioned research using their unique local knowledge and databases. The types of service available, as well as charges, can be obtained by contacting the relevant centre. DUBLIN & THE EAST

SOUTH WEST

DUN LAOGHAIRE HERITAGE & GENEALOGY, CRAFT COURTYARD, MARLAY PARK, RATHFARNHAM, DUBLIN 16 T: +353 (0) 1 4954485 E: ncmalone@dlrcoco.ie

CORK CITY ANCESTRAL

KILDARE GENEALOGY, RIVERBANK, MAIN STREET, NEWBRIDGE, CO KILDARE T: +353 (0) 45 448350 W: www.kildaregenealogy@ iol.ie LOUTH CO LIBRARY, RODEN PLACE, DUNDALK, CO LOUTH T: +353 (0) 42 9335457 E: referencelibrary@louthcoco.ie SWORDS HISTORICAL SOCIETY, CARNEGIE LIBRARY, NORTH STREET, SWORDS, CO DUBLIN T: +353 (0) 1 8400080 E: swordsheritage@eircom.net WICKLOW FAMILY HISTORY CENTRE, COUNTY ARCHIVES, COUNTY BUILDINGS, STATION ROAD, WICKLOW TOWN T: +353 (0) 404 20126 E: wfh@eircom.net

SOUTH EAST

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PROJECT, C/O CORK COUNTY LIBRARY, FARRANLEA ROAD,

T: +353 (0) 61 496 542

CO CORK

E: research@

T: + 353 (0) 21 4285648

limerickgenealogy.com

E: corkancestry@corkcoco.ie MALLOW HERITAGE CENTRE, 27-28 BANK PLACE, MALLOW, CO CORK T: + 353 (0) 22 50302 E: mallowheritagecentre@ gmail.com SKIBBEREEN HERITAGE CENTRE, OLD GASWORKS BUILDING, UPPER STREET, SKIBBEREEN, CO. CORK T: +353 (0) 28 40900 E: skibbheritage1@ gmail.com

SHANNON & MIDLANDS BRU BORU CULTURAL CENTRE, ROCK OF CASHEL, CASHEL, CO. TIPPERARY T: +353 (0) 62 61122 E: eolas@bruboru.com CARLOW LIBRARY, GENEALOGY SERVICE, TULLOW STREET,

ROTHE HOUSE & GARDEN TRUST, ROTHE HOUSE, PARLIAMENT STREET, KILKENNY T: +353 (0) 56 772 2893 E: kilkennyfamilyhistory@ rothehouse.com

CARLOW

WATERFORD HERITAGE SERVICES, GENEALOGICAL CENTRE, JENKINS LANE, CO WATERFORD T: +353 (0) 51 876 123 E: mnoc@iol.ie

IRISH MIDLANDS

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LIMERICK GENEALOGY, LISSANALTA HOUSE, DOORADOYLE, CO LIMERICK

T: +353 (0)59 9129709 E: genealogy@carlowcoco.ie CLARE HERITAGE CENTRE, COROFIN, CO. CLARE T: +353 (0) 65 683 7955 E: clareheritage@eircom.net

ANCESTRY, BURY QUAY, TULLAMORE, CO OFFALY T: +353 (0) 57 9321421 E: info@offalyhistory.com

LONGFORD GENEALOGY, 17 LONGFORD STREET, LONGFORD T: +353 (0) 43 3341235 E: longroot@iol.ie MEATH HERITAGE CENTRE, TOWN HALL, CASTLE STREET, TRIM, CO MEATH T: +353 (0) 46 9436633 E: noeltrim@gmail.com NORTH TIPPERARY GENEALOGY CENTRE, THE GOVERNOR’S HOUSE, KICKHAM STREET, NENAGH, CO TIPPERARY T: +353 (0) 67 33850 E: tipperarynorthgenealogy@ eircom.net WESTMEATH GENEALOGY, DÚN NA SÍ AMENITY AND HERITAGE PARK, KNOCKDOMNEY, MOATE, CO WESTMEATH T: +353 (0) 90 6481183 E: dunnasimoate@eircom.net

WEST EAST GALWAY FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY, WOODFORD HERITAGE CENTRE, WOODFORD, LOUGHREA, CO GALWAY T: +353 (0) 90 974309 E: galwayroots@eircom.net FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH CENTRE, ENNISCOE, CASTLEHILL, BALLINA, CO MAYO T: +353 (0) 96 31809 E: northmayo@gmail.com

GALWAY FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY (WEST), ST JOSEPH’S COMMUNITY CENTRE, SHANTALLA, CO GALWAY T: +353 (0) 91 860 464 E: galwayfshwest@eircom.net ROSCOMMON HERITAGE & GENEALOGY COMPANY, CHURCH STREET, STROKESTOWN, CO ROSCOMMON T: +353 (0) 71 9633380 E: info@roscommonroots.com SLIGO HERITAGE AND GENEALOGY CENTRE, ARAS REDDAN, TEMPLE STREET, SLIGO T: +353 (0) 71 914 3728 E: heritagesligo@eircom.net SOUTH MAYO FAMILY RESEARCH, MAIN STREET, BALLINROBE, CO. MAYO T: +353 (0) 94 954 1214 E: soumayo@iol.ie

NORTH WEST CAVAN GENEALOGY, 1ST FLOOR, JOHNSTON CENTRAL LIBRARY, FARNHAM STREET, CAVAN T: +353 (0) 49 4361094 E: cavangenealogy@eircom.net DONEGAL ANCESTRY, OLD MEETINGHOUSE, BACK LANE, RAMELTON, CO DONEGAL T: +353 (0) 74 915 8285 E: info@donegalancestry.com LEITRIM GENEALOGY CENTRE, BALLINAMORE, CO LEITRIM T: +353 (0) 71 964 4012 E: leitrimgenealogy@eircom.net MONAGHAN GENEALOGY, 6 TULLY, MONAGHAN E: theomcmahon@eircom.net

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Genealogy Centres continued NORTHERN IRELAND ARMAGH ANCESTRY, THE NAVAN CENTRE, 81 KILLYLEA ROAD, ARMAGH, NORTHERN IRELAND, BT60 4LD T: +44 (0) 28 3752 1800 E: researcher@ armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk DERRY CITY & STRABANE DISTRICT COUNCIL GENEALOGY CENTRE, TOWER MUSEUM, UNION HALL PLACE, DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND, BT48 6LU T: +44 (0) 28 7137 2411 E: genealogyderrystrabane.com FERMANAGH/TYRONE IRISH WORLD HERITAGE CENTRE, 51 DUNGANNON ROAD, COALISLAND, CO

TYRONE, NORTHERN IRELAND, B71 4HP T: +44 (0) 28 8774 6065 E: info@irish-world.com MELLON CENTRE FOR MIGRATION STUDIES, ULSTER AMERICAN FOLK PARK, MELLON ROAD, CASTLETOWN, OMAGH, CO TYRONE, NORTHERN IRELAND, BT78 5QU T: +44 (0) 28 8225 6315 E: mcms@librariesni.org.uk

Independent Genealogy Centres ENECLANN LTD, AUNGIER STREET, DUBLIN 2 T: +353 (0) 1 671 0338 W: www.eneclann.ie

IVEAGH ANCESTRY, BANBRIDGE, CO DOWN T: +44 (0) 28 4067 1401 W: www. iveaghancestry.com

HISTORICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES BELFAST T: +44 (0) 28 9336 8502 W: www.historical

MC RESEARCH, DUNDALK, CO LOUTH T: +353 (0) 42 937 2046 W: www.mc-research.com

researchassociates.com

ULSTER HISTORICAL FOUNDATION, THE CORN EXCHANGE, 31 GORDON STREET, BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND, BT1 2LG T: +44 (0) 28 90 661988 E: enquiry@uhf.org.uk

Common Irish Names NAME

GAELIC

MEANING

BRENNAN

Ó Braonáin

Sorrow

BYRNE

Ó Broin

Raven

DOHERTY

Ó Dochartaigh

Hurtful

DOYLE

Ó Dubhghaill

Dark Stranger

GALLAGHER

Ó Gallcobhair

Foreign help/ lover of foreigners

KELLY

Ó Ceallaigh

KENNEDY

Ó Cinnéide

LYNCH

Ó Loinsigh

Seafarer

MCCARTHY

Mac Carthaigh

Loving

MURPHY

Ó Murchadha

Sea warrior

MURRAY

Ó Muireadhaigh

Lord, master

O’BRIEN

Ó Briain

Descendant of Brian (Boru)

O’CONNOR

Ó Conchobhair

Lover of hounds

O’NEILL

Ó Néill

Son of Niall

O’REILLY

Ó Raghallaigh

Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Co. Galway

Uncertain, probably from ceallach, meaning strife Ugly head/ helmet headed

Uncertain, possibly ‘sociable tribe’

O’SULLIVAN

Ó Súileabhain

Hawk-eyed/One-eyed

QUINN

Ó Cuinn

Descendant of Conn, meaning wisdom or chief

RYAN

Ó Maoilriain

Little king

SMITH

Mac Gabhann

Son of the smith

WALSH

Breathnach

From Wales

Rock of Cashel

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Dublin is one of Europe’s most colourful capital cities, from the vibrant Temple Bar with its medieval street pattern and narrow, cobbled streets, to the historic Dublin Castle and the treasures housed in Trinity College. As a touring base, Dublin has plenty to keep you busy in itself. Then, when you venture further afield, the east has more to offer its visitors – from ancient Newgrange in the Boyne Valley and Mellifont Abbey (once home to Cistercian monks), to the rolling plains of the Curragh, the centre of Irish horseracing, and the natural beauty of the hills and valleys of Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland.

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Dublin and the East

River Liffey, Dublin

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Dublin and the East

Highlights

LOU T

H

DU

BL

IN

MEATH

KILDARE WICKLOW

JULY

Friday 11 August – Monday 14 August CARLINGFORD OYSTER FESTIVAL, CARLINGFORD, CO LOUTH The famous festival promises a packed programme of delicious gastronomy and oyster pearl antics.

Thursday 20 July – Sunday 23 July THE FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY, DUBLIN CITY A festival packed with arts and science activities set in Dublin city centre.

AUGUST

DUBLIN Ireland’s capital city, Dublin is located in the province of Leinster on Ireland’s east coast, and has stood at the mouth of the River Liffey for the past 1,000 years. A lively and vibrant city, Dublin combines old-world charm with modern cosmopolitan flavour.

T

he city of Dublin can trace back its origin more than a thousand years when it was officially established as a Viking settlement in 998AD. The Vikings become synonymous with looting, burning and pillaging; particularly from Ireland’s rich churches and monasteries. However, the Norsemen also left a more positive and lasting legacy in the towns and cities they founded, and brought trade, commerce and Ireland’s first use of coinage. Though a number of rebellions threatened their hold on the city, Dublin remained in Viking hands until the Norman conquest of Ireland in 1169 and flourished under their hands, becoming the political and commercial capital of Ireland, replacing Tara, County Meath, the seat of the Irish high kings. Throughout the following centuries, Dublin continued to grow, despite constant raids from surrounding clans, the ravaging Black Death and the Tudor conquest of Ireland in the 16th century. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Dublin saw a remarkable period of growth in trading and the beginning of a golden age of architecture as the city’s noblemen relocated to the city’s southside, sparking a wave of Georgian construction,

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Sunday 6 August – Sunday 13 August IRISH DANCE FESTIVAL 2017, CARLINGFORD, CO LOUTH A week of master classes, sessions, céilis and craic.

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August GROOVE FEST @ KILLRUDDERY HOUSE & GARDENS, BRAY, CO WICKLOW A family-friendly music festival for all ages.

TOURIST OFFICE INFORMATION DUBLIN: Suffolk Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 605 7700

SEPTEMBER Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September IRISH CHAMPIONS WEEKEND, DUBLIN AND KILDARE A fantastic weekend of racing at Leopardstown and the Curragh Racecourse.

OCTOBER Friday 27 October Monday 30 October WICKLOW WALKING FESTIVAL, GLENDALOUGH, CO WICKLOW A variety of walking challenges from rolling hills to rugged mountains.

MEATH: Headfort Place, Kells. Tel: 046 924 8856 LOUTH: The Tholsel, West Street, Drogheda, Co Louth. Tel: 041 987 2843 KILDARE: Market Square, Kildare Town. Tel: 045 530 672 WICKLOW: Fitzwilliam Square, Wicklow Town. Tel: 0404 69117

BLUE FLAG BEACHES DUBLIN Portmarnock, Seapoint WICKLOW Bray South Promenade, Brittas Bay North, Brittas Bay South, Greystones LOUTH Templeton, Port, Clogherhead

THE KEY ACCOMMODATION

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

ACTIVITIES

SHOPPING

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Dublin and the East

Custom House

Phil Lynott Statue

St.Patrick’s Cathedral

Trinity College

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Dublin and the East

O’Connell Street

ROADTRIP

This tour takes you from Dublin city through the countryside into the Wicklow Mountains and the fantastic scenery of Glendalough and into the flatlands of County Kildare.

which still stands today. Many of the city’s famous buildings were erected during this period, including the Four Courts and the Customs House, and the wide central boulevard then known as Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street). The years that followed, however, brought the Great Famine that ravaged Ireland’s population, which has never recovered. Waves of revolutionary feeling swept the country as various rebellions rose and failed, culminating in the 1916 Rising and the subsequent War of Independence, which saw 26 Irish counties uniting under Irish rule, followed swiftly by the Civil War during the early 1920s, events still quite sharp in Irish minds. Today Ireland’s capital city is one in which you can find world-renowned entertainers, fantastic culinary experiences and the same ‘céad míle fáilte’– the hundred-thousand welcomes for which the Irish (and Dubliners) are justifiably famed.

E

A

D B C

From (A) Dublin city, head south along the winding R115 route and very soon you’ll find yourself in Wicklow, where you’ll be surrounded by hills and valleys, forest and woodland and a veritable host of activities including cycling, hiking, walking or horseriding. Crossing over the (B) Sally Gap, Glendalough follow the road as far as Laragh, where you’ll take the R756 to (C) Glendalough. Here you’ll find one of the most peaceful and beautiful attractions Ireland has to offer, right in the heart of the Garden of Ireland. For thousands of years, people have been drawn to the valley of the two lakes, home to an ancient monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. JOURNEY: 41KM Carry on through the National Park (following roads N81, R411, R413, M7) to (D) Kildare, where you can tour the Irish National Stud and adjoining Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachra’s Gardens. The famous stud farm here now belongs to the Irish people, and continues to produce thoroughbred racing Japanese Gardens stallions – Sea the Stars (horse of the year in 2009) and Sun Chariot (one of the few horses to complete the fillies Triple Crown) were both born and bred here, while the Stud is currently home to the living legends Vintage Crop, Moscow Flyer, Kicking King and Beef or Salmon. The stud’s Japanese Gardens are world-renowned and continue to flourish, a source of peace and inspiration for all who visit. St. Fiachra’s Garden, meanwhile, moves you to a different world from centuries past, as it aims to capture the spirit which inspired Ireland’s historic monastic settlements. JOURNEY: 50KM Though there’s plenty to see in between, there are few better sights than that of (E) Newgrange in County Meath (take R415, R408, R407, R158, N2). A few minutes’ drive from the N2, along the banks of the River Boyne, lies the fascinating megalithic site of Newgrange, which has a roof that has stayed miraculously waterproof for over 5,000 years. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient burial mound covers an area of over one acre and is surrounded by 97 kerbstones, which are elaborately decorated with megalithic artworks. Visitor access to the site is by guided tour only, and your destination is the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre. JOURNEY: 88KM From here it’s a straightforward trip down the M1 to Dublin ready for your journey home, or the beginning of your next exciting adventure in Ireland.

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National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology

Trinity College Library

DUBLIN CITY

SOUTH

T

here’s so much to do in Dublin, and many famous heritage sites and museums are located south of the Liffey. For a distinctive look into Ireland’s past, head to the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, on Kildare Street. It houses a rare collection of artefacts dating from 7000BC to the 20th century, and features permanent exhibitions including Ór – Ireland’s Gold, Prehistoric Ireland, Viking Ireland and Ancient Egypt. Open all year round, Tel: (01) 677 7444. Near the museum is the famous Trinity College, located right in the heart of Dublin. The main Regent House entrance leads into Front Square, Library Square and Parliament Square, all overshadowed by the magnificent Campanile designed by Edward Lanyon in the 1850s. Elsewhere, the campus features many fine buildings, including the Graduates’ Memorial Building, Rubrics and Provost’s House. There are a number of fine modern sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore and Alexander Calder, as well as statues of the college’s many famous luminaries. Also worth seeing are the Berkeley Library, the Douglas Hyde Gallery of Modern Art and the Dublin Experience, a 45-minute multimedia introduction to the city. What attracts most visitors to the Trinity campus is a visit to the college’s single most impressive element, the famous 9th century illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells – one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful books. Along with the equally venerable Book of Armagh and Book of Durrow, it is housed in the east pavilion of the Colonnades Library.

Until the Act of Union in 1801, the Bank of Ireland building across from Trinity College served as the Irish parliament building. Since its construction in 1729, a host of illustrious architects (including Edward Lovett Pearce, James Gandon, Robert Park and Francis Johnston) have added their own touches, yet the building retains a glorious consistency of style. The House of Lords Chamber, with its 18th century chandeliers, tapestries and oak panelling, offers a fascinating glimpse of the past. The building can be visited Tuesday to Friday, 10am-4pm, and there are free talks/tours available on request, Tel: (01) 671 1488. Finally, make your way up Dame Street to visit Dublin Castle and City Hall, where you can view the State Apartments and the Chester Beatty Library. Dublin Castle was built in the 13th century on a site originally occupied by the Vikings. Over its long history, it has been a military fortress, a treasury and the seat of English government in Ireland for 700 years. Open all year round, Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm, and weekends, 2pm5pm, Tel: (01) 645 8813. Meanwhile, The Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library that houses the fascinating collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (18751968) in a restored 18th century building in Dublin Castle. The Library was named Irish Museum of the Year in 2000 and was awarded the title of European Museum of the Year 2002, a coveted international accolade in the museum world. The Library’s exhibitions open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. The rich collection from countries across Asia, the Middle East, north Africa and Europe offers visitors a visual feast. Admission is free. Contact Chester Beatty Library for further details, Tel: (01) 407 0750. The City Hall, Tel: (01) 222 2204, one of Dublin’s finest neo-classical buildings, houses a multimedia exhibition tracing the evolution of the city from 1170 to the present day, with emphasis on the development of the civic government. The story is told through the display of civic regalia, including the great city sword and mace, the Lord Mayor’s chain and other city treasures, and supported by digital interactive displays, archive films, models and costumes. Slightly further from the city centre is Kilmainham Gaol. Antique-lovers should stop off en-route at Francis Street in the historic Liberties area to snap up a rarity. From its construction in 1792 until its decommissioning in 1924, Kilmainham Gaol has witnessed some of the most heroic and tragic events in Irish history including the executions that followed the 1916 Easter Rising. A visit begins with an excellent audio-visual introduction, followed by a tour that ends with an atmospheric visit to the prison yard where the executions took place. Open daily, all year round, Tel: (01) 453 5984.

Dublin Castle

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Dublin and the East

DUBLIN CITY SOUTH: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Book of Kells EXHIBITION Written around the year 800AD, the Book of Kells is one of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts in the world. It is written on vellum and contains a Latin text of the Gospels accompanied by intricate pages of decoration, with smaller painted decorations appearing throughout the text. The manuscript was given to Trinity College in the 17th century and has been on display in the Old Library since the 19th century. Two volumes can normally be seen, one opened to display a major decorated page, and one to show two pages of script. Location: Trinity College Library, College Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 (0)1 896 1661

St Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

HISTORICAL SITE Having long

played its part in Irish life since its foundation in 1191, the history of St Patrick’s Cathedral includes the term of Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels) as its dean, from 1713-1745. The cathedral’s permanent exhibition is entitled Living Stones, which aims to highlight the fact that the cathedral isn’t simply a museum but a building that embraces both its history and its current function. Music has been and continues to be an important aspect of the cathedral, and during the school term the church’s choir sings there twice daily. Location: St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8. Tel: +353 (0)1 453 9472 Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse

HISTORICAL SITE Early manuscripts date Christchurch Cathedral to approximately 1030AD. Since then, the cathedral has been an important part of Dublin’s history, with political changes over the years being reflected in the changes of administration at the cathedral. Today, it is home to interesting items such as the Treasures of Christchurch exhibition, while the church is open to visitors from Monday to Sunday.

VISITOR CENTRE Come and experience an unforgettable welcome and a magical journey deep into the heart of the world famous Guinness brand and company. Located in a historical company central to Dublin and Ireland’s heritage, the seven floors of the Guinness Storehouse bring to life the rich heritage of Guinness, telling a story from its origins at St James’s Gate in Dublin to its growth as a global brand.

Location: Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch Place, Dublin 8. Tel: +353 (0)1 677 8099

Location: St James’s Gate, Dublin 8. Tel: +353 (0)1 408 4800

Christchurch Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

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Dublin and the East

Phoenix Park

DUBLIN CITY

T

NORTH

he northside of Dublin offers a very different atmosphere to the south, with its own rare attractions to enjoy. Now marked by the Spire on O’Connell Street you are sure to find your way, and once you’ve crossed the river you’ll find quality shops and shopping centres featuring a wide choice of unique souvenirs, clothing and gourmet items. So venture north and see what else this inspiring city has to offer. Probably one of the the most famous and definitely the biggest natural attraction is the Phoenix Park. Encompassing more than 700 hectares – twice the size of New York’s Central Park – the Phoenix Park is one of the largest city parks in the world. It features gardens, lakes, football and hurling fields, polo grounds, the headquarters of the Garda Síochána, as well as the residences of the US Ambassador and the Irish President. The Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Tel: (01) 677 0095, features a lively exhibition and audio-visual presentation on the history and wildlife of the park. Visitors can also tour the adjacent Ashtown Castle, a 17th century tower house. Located at the north end of the park is Farmleigh, the former home of the Guinness family. Tours around the house are available, Tel: (01) 815 5900. Also within the park is Dublin Zoo, one of the oldest in Europe. Open all year round, Tel: (01) 474 8900. If you’re a follower of history, the northside offers plenty of heritage sites to explore. The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks houses the State’s exquisite collection of silver, ceramics, glassware, furniture, clothing, jewellery, coins and medals. Major collections include The Way We Wore, an exhibition presenting 250 years of Irish National Museum of Ireland clothing and jewellery; Airgead –

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A Thousand Years of Irish Coins and Currency; and a fascinating exhibition of the work of Irish-born Eileen Gray, one of the most influential designers and architects of the 20th century. Open all year round, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sunday, 2pm5pm, Tel: (01) 677 7444. Admission is free. The General Post Office (GPO) on O’Connell Street was the site of the proclamation and final battle of the 1916 Rising and is perhaps Dublin’s most famous historical landmark. Its impressive interior was gutted by fire during the Easter Rising and still bears bullet holes from this time, and signs of damage from the start of the Civil War in 1922. The building still fulfils its primary function as Dublin’s post office HQ. Meanwhile, art lovers will appreciate the Hugh Lane Gallery, Tel: (01) 222 5550, as it houses an extensive collection of 20th century Irish art, with work by Walter Osborne, Sir John Lavery, Roderic O’Conor and Jack B. Yeats. Its international collection includes Manet, Monet, Renoir and Degas, as well as late 20th century painters such as Francis Bacon. Bacon’s studio, along with its many drawings and canvasses, was gifted to the gallery in 1998. Ireland’s national theatre, the Abbey, Lower Abbey Street, Tel: (01) 878 7222, marked the beginning of its second century in 2005. Founded by one of Ireland’s literary heroes, W.B. Yeats, and Lady Augusta Gregory, the theatre has been involved in, and mirrored, the development of the city since 1904. Shopping on the northside is a different experience from the south. Fine fashion, homewares and cosmetics can all be found at the major department stores such as Arnotts and Debenhams on Henry Street. The Jervis Centre is located on Mary Street and houses everything from large department stores to shops selling homewares, books and strange gadgets. For more Irish gift items, head to Clerys on O’Connell Street or one of the many Carroll’s Irish gift stores. If you’re a lover of books you’ll enjoy Eason’s on O’Connell Street and Chapters around the corner on Parnell Street. Finally, towards the end of your day of touring, stop off at the Jameson Distillery Bow Street in Smithfield, Tel: (01) 807 2355. An hour-long tour guides you through the old distillery and the history of this world-famous whiskey, ending in a relaxing tasting session. After your visit to Jameson’s, kick back for the evening in the nearby Smithfield area, which is growing in popularity as trendy bars and restaurants open up shop.

Abbey Theatre

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now OPEN

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Dublin and the East

/

Things to do

Jameson Distillery

DUBLIN CITY NORTH: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Glasnevin Cemetery

Story of the Irish

Malahide Castle and Gardens

Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

Visitor Experience

Historic Site

Museum & Guided Tours

The Jameson Distillery Bow Street has been redeveloped as a fantastic visitor centre. The distillery now welcomes over 350,000 visitors each year, making the centre not just a tour site, but also a fascinating and engaging experience rich in Irish heritage and has become one of Ireland’s finest visitor attractions. Jameson whiskey tours offer guided tours through the romantic past of Irish whiskey making. Learn about the angels share, triple distillation and, above all, the smooth taste of Jameson Irish whiskey. Open seven days all year, the journey begins with an audio-visual presentation followed by a guided walk through the recreated distillery and culminates in the Jameson Bar with a complimentary glass of Jameson ginger and lime and a chance to become a ‘qualified Irish whiskey taster’. Why not consider a delicious lunch in the restaurant or browse the distillery gift shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts or a special memento of your visit. A second whiskey delight is their sister visitor attraction, the Jameson Experience, nestled in the town of Midleton, County Cork. Located just 15 minutes from Cork city and set on 15 acres of beautiful landscape, this was known as the Old Midleton Distillery and is actually the site where the full portfolio of Irish whiskey from Irish Distillers is produced today. Open seven days a week, these tours are offered on scheduled times and can be booked online at www.jamesonwhiskey.com/ tours. The Malthouse Restaurant and Jameson gift shop are also available here, and guests can pick up a special memento of their visit.

A unique attraction

Malahide Castle and

Since 1832, more than

using live actors and

Gardens is situated just

1.5 million people have

cinema. Experience

outside the picturesque

been interred in Glasnevin

9,000 years of Irish

Malahide Village &

Cemetery. Covering 124 acres

cultural triumphs, feel

Marina along the scenic

of parkland, the cemetery

their proud defiance

northeast coast of Dublin.

is one of Ireland’s most

as they fight against

Malahide Castle is a 12th

popular visitor attractions

annihilation, witness

century castle steeped

and is firmly established

their heart wrenching

in history having had

on the list of best things

famine, and rejoice at

one family – The Talbots

to do in Dublin. Awarded

their unbelievable rise

– reside here for nearly

Best Cultural Experience in

from the ashes. This is

800 years! Explore the

Ireland at the Irish Tourism

a great starting point

new visitor centre and

Industry Awards, Glasnevin

to any vacation, giving

interpretive areas before

is frequently listed at No.1

context to Ireland’s

embarking on a fascinat-

on Tripadvisor. Daily walking

Ancient East and

ing guided tour. The

tours, interactive exhibitions

West, Newgrange, the

‘Talbot’ botanical gardens

and dramatic re-enactments

Vikings, St Patrick, the

are home to nearly 5,000

chart a fascinating history

Book of Kells, Invasian,

species of plants collected

Celebrating history, heritage

the British, Famine, the

from Australia, Chile,

and culture, join this

1916 Rebellion, and

Tasmania and China.

intriguing journey through

Location: The Jameson Distillery Bow Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. Tel: +353 (0)1 807 2355

Jameson Distillery Bow Street VISITOR TOUR Founded in Smithfield in 1780 by John Jameson,

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Ireland’s past.

Modern Ireland. Location: Malahide, Location: Central

Co. Dublin

Location: Finglas Road,

Dublin.

Tel: +353 (0) 1 816

Dublin 11

Tel: +353 (0) 1 8733537

9538

Tel: +353 (0)1 882 6550

Web: www.

Web: www.malahide-

Web: www.museum@

storyoftheirish.ie

castleandgardens.ie

glasnevintrust.ie

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Dublin and the East

Dublin Coast Killiney

COUNTY

DUBLIN

T

hough it’s often difficult to tell where Dublin city ends and Dublin county begins, it’s worth remembering that, not too long ago, all the suburban areas around the city – north and south – were once towns and villages in their own right, surrounded by acres of fields and linked to the nearby capital by connecting roads. Today, the whole area is a large conurbation, yet each of County Dublin’s towns and villages retains its own unique character. Throughout County Dublin, you’ll find all the cosmopolitan amenities you’d expect of the city, albeit at a less frenetic pace. For further information on all Dublin city and county attractions, see www.visitdublin.com.

James Joyce Museum

SOUTH COUNTY

DUBLIN

L

ike the city, County Dublin is divided into north and south areas by the River Liffey. Directly south of the river, Dublin Bay arcs around scenic old coastal villages and towns, including Blackrock, Monkstown, Dún Laoghaire, Killiney and Dalkey. This region is managed by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Inland and to the west, however, is an area of thriving suburbs offering a wealth of heritage attractions, cultural activities and nature reserves. Managed by South Dublin County Council, this area includes the towns of Rathfarnham, Lucan, Clondalkin and Tallaght, and is worth exploring. When touring the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area you will find a wealth of heritage sites, museums, parks, beaches and seaside villages. The fresh seaside air may be the first thing you notice, followed by a varied range of unique architecture and a colourful atmosphere. Some of Dublin’s finest gourmet restaurants also reside here in the towns of Blackrock, Monkstown, Dún Laoghaire and Dalkey, serving up a delicious palate that includes fresh seafood and international cuisine. Visitors will enjoy a trip to Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre, Tel: (01) 285 8366. The centre comprises the 15th century castle, early Christian church and graveyard, plus an exhibition hall and more. If you are a fan of James Joyce or just curious to know more about Ireland’s most famous writer, the Sandycove Martello Tower where the opening sequence to Ulysses is set, houses the James Joyce Museum. The collection includes letters, photographs, personal possessions of Joyce, and first and rare editions, including the original edition of Ulysses published by Shakespeare and Company in 1922. Bloomsday is celebrated by Dubliners each year on June 16th, the date Joyce’s ‘everyman’, Leopold Bloom, began his day-long odyssey. Joyceans come from all corners of the globe to celebrate the life and work of their favourite author with readings, performances, breakfasts, walks, conferences and visits to the pub. When the touring is done, take a refreshing walk along the

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Dublin and the East

coast breathing in the fresh seaside air. Killiney Bay in particular offers the most magnificent views. If it’s a bit of shopping you’re after, the south county area boasts an array of top quality options. Dundrum Shopping Centre has brought with it stylish department stores like House of Fraser and designer outlets. The food court here has a delicious selection to suit every palate. In Blackrock, stop at the Blackrock Shopping Centre or the Frascati Centre. On weekends, the Blackrock Market offers bric-a-brac, clothes, antiques and books. A bit further south is the Bloomfield Centre in Dún Laoghaire, plus many of the villages feature lovely boutiques and shops, so make sure to sample their wares. Be sure to make time to walk Dún Laoghaire Pier, from which you can see the extraordinary little island of Ireland’s Eye, watch yachts and cruisers cast off, and enjoy an ice cream. Extend your tour through the varied landscapes and villages managed by South Dublin County Council – an area that cannot be ignored. Moving inland and westward are the suburbs of Rathfarnham, Tallaght, Lucan and Clondalkin, home to beautiful wooded parklands. Tymon Regional Park in Tallaght boasts a number of water features and wildfowl colonies as well as an awardwinning urban forest, while Clondalkin’s Corkagh Regional Park has a rich heritage of mature trees, extensive woodlands and a full range of sporting facilities, including fishing facilities. Here you will find Camac Valley Tourist Caravan and Camping Park. These two large parklands are complemented by three smaller parks: Esker Park in Lucan, Dodder Valley Park in Firhouse and Sean Walsh Memorial Park beside Tallaght village. Set in over 155 acres of spectacular parkland is one of the country’s premier public golf courses – Grange Castle Golf Club. There’s more heritage to explore in south County Dublin.

Accommodation The Grand Hotel Malahide, Co. Dublin

Waterside House Hotel

Dundrum Shopping Centre

Shopping Ecirette Talbot Street

Rathfarnham Castle

Donabate Located in Malahide,

Having become

the Grand Hotel (four

Located only 10km

increasingly popular,

star) is ideally located

from Dublin Airport

electronic cigarettes,

close to Dublin Airport,

and just off the M1, the

also known as

Dublin city and the

convenient location in

e-cigarettes or personal

Irish Sea. Along with

the quaint village of

vaporisers, are devices

great dining facilities,

Donabate allows easy

designed to simulate

guests can avail of the

access throughout

the feeling of smoking

Arena health and fitness

Ireland and abroad.

without the harmful

club and the beautiful

Enjoy the stunning views

effects. With no tar,

seaside location. Lunch

of Lambay Island, Howth

carcinogens or any of

is served in the Palm

Head and Ireland’s

the many chemicals,

Court Carvery and the

Eye from the seaview

it looks and feels like a

Coast Restaurant, while

rooms. Enjoy a unique

normal cigarette. It can

dinner and evening food

dining experience

be used in public places,

can be found at both

with a view in our

and offers massive

the Coast Restaurant

restaurant – Samphire

savings. Benefits include

and Ryan’s Bar. Malahide

@ The Waterside – or

no more unpleasant

is home to restaurants,

casual dining in The

smells clinging to your

bars, friendly shops

Tower Bar & Bistro.

clothes. Try for free

and stores alongside a

The seafront terrace

at the megastore.

beautiful marina and

provides steps leading

fantastic golf course.

onto Donabate beach.

Location:

Location:

Dublin 1

Malahide, Co. Dublin

Donabate, Co. Dublin

Tel: +353 (0)1

Tel: +353 (0) 1 845 0000

Tel: +353 (0) 1 843 6153

853 3894

Location: 12 Talbot Street,

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Tallaght was, with Finglas, one of ‘The Two Eyes of Ireland’ in the 9th century. In the early 14th century, the archbishops of Dublin built a medieval castle on or close to the monastery site, and a small tower survives in the grounds of the Dominican priory. Located on the Liffey, Lucan is a fast-growing town that embraces its old village, which features some fine examples of Georgian architecture and a charming ivy-covered bridge. The Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham is also well worth a visit. Formerly a school run by the Irish patriot, this building is now a museum tracing the history of the revolutionary, Padraic Pearse, and his brother William, who were both executed after the 1916 Rising. The museum is in the grounds of St Enda’s Park, Tel: (01) 493 4208, a truly charming place with riverside walks, a waterfall and walled garden. Opening hours vary with the season, although the park is usually open during daylight hours. For shopping, the Mill Centre is based on the site of Clondalkin’s old paper mill, while in Tallaght there is The Square with its enormous range of shops as well as a 13-screen cinema. The Liffey Valley Shopping Centre opened in 1998 and is further evidence of south Dublin’s strong shopping facilities. Finally, a visit to Rathfarnham Castle, Tel: (01) 493 9462, is always a worthy trip. Recent research dates the castle back to 1583. Visitors can experience a castle undergoing active conservation and catch glimpses of the many layers of the castle’s history. At Killakee, you can enjoy one of the best panoramic views of Dublin Bay and the city. A steep climb up Hell Fire Hill brings you to the ruins of the imposing Hell Fire Club,where the first Earl of Rosse and his friends were once said to engage in devil worship, hence the hill’s name.

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IRELAND’S TOP LINKS COURSES STUNNING PARKLAND & HEATHLAND COURSES A COURSE TO FIT EVERY WALLET OR LEVEL OF PLAYER

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Dublin and the East

COUNTY DUBLIN

FINGAL

watering array of restaurants and gastro pubs serving modern Irish cooking that is influenced by the range of chefs working in the area and the abundance of fabulous local ingredients. The rich fertile lands of North County Dublin provide around 55% of the country’s fresh produce. They are also home to two of Ireland’s leading fishing ports, in Howth and Skerries, where fresh seafood lands every day. Fingal has something to offer all tastes and pockets! And if it’s location and atmosphere you are looking for, then there are restaurants and cafés in picturesque historical buildings, on stilts in the water, and even in bank vaults and harbour buildings. The area enjoys a proud reputation for the quality of its diverse array of accommodation, offering style, comfort and elegance combined with the most modern facilities. Choose from luxurious hotels, charming guesthouses and homely B&Bs. For more information, check out www.visitfingal.ie.

Howth

O

n the doorstep to Dublin city and home to Dublin International Airport, the Fingal region of Dublin offers the best of Ireland - old world charm, beautiful coastal scenery, great food and a rich heritage. The landscape is diverse, ranging from sleepy rural villages in a rolling country landscape, to bustling coastal villages surrounded by sandy beaches and rugged coastline, and vibrant urban towns of ancient heritage. The area is renowned for its magnificent castles and stately homes, some dating back to the 12th century, and many of which are set amid beautiful gardens in spacious demesnes. Most notable among these are Malahide Castle, Ardgillan Castle and Newbridge House. There is also a plethora of other buildings of historic, scientific and cultural importance such as Skerries Mills, The National Transport Museum, a Vintage Radio Museum in Howth, and the historic Dunsink Observatory. Fingal’s amazing coastal location is perfect for those with a penchant for outdoor adventure. The expanse of Dublin Bay offers vast open skies, great sweeping beaches, estuaries and coves. If kitesurfing, kayaking, scuba diving or powerboating is your thing, then Fingal has the perfect place for you to indulge, be it in Howth, Malahide or Skerries. Those who enjoy an invigorating walk or cycle will be spoilt for choice with a trail or loop to suit every ability and taste. And the picturesque open countryside and magnificent sandy coastline provide the essential ingredients for superb parkland and links golf courses. With over 27 courses dotted throughout the area, there is certainly a course to suit every golfers ability, taste and pocket. Fingal has become a place to have a true gourmet food experience. It offers a mouth

Skerries Mills

COUNTY DUBLIN: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Skerries Mills HISTORICAL SITE Skerries Mills complex offers a unique experience to visit two windmills, a watermill, mill ponds and mill races. The history of the complex dates back to the 16th century and, to this day, all is in working order. The complex is open daily and guided tours (lasting approximately 50 minutes) are available. Try your hand at stone-grinding and see the waterwheel in action turning the machinery inside the mill. Relax in the Watermill Café, where fresh products are baked daily and a wide variety of hot and cold food is served, or browse in the award-winning Craft Shop for that souvenir or special gift. Ample free car parking is available. Skerries Mills is a must for all visitors to the region.

Ardgillan Castle

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Location: Skerries Mills, Skerries, Co. Dublin Tel: +353 (0)1 849 5208

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Bailey Lighthouse, Howth

STUNNING CLIFF WALKS, FRESH SEAFOOD AND BEAUTIFUL SCENERY, MINUTES FROM THE CITY.

03/07/2017 16:16


Dublin and the East

Newgrange

COUNTY

MEATH

K

nown as the fifth province, Meath was once the seat of the pre-Christian high kings and the spiritual and political hub of pagan Ireland. Although the county has few large towns, the whole history of Ireland is said to be written along the banks of the River Boyne, which bisects the county. Its immense historical significance can be seen at Tara and the world-famous megalithic passage tombs at Newgrange and Knowth, built around 3200BC. Ireland’s rich monastic heritage is also evident throughout the county, particularly at Kells. With its lush pasturelands and a long tradition of agriculture, Meath is also home to some of the finest produce and this is reflected in the many fine restaurants represented by the Meath Good Food Circle.

Duleek TOWN Situated in the quiet valley of the Nanny River is the town of Duleek. In the 5th century, St Patrick founded a church here – however there are no remains of this building today. The town was later raided frequently by the Norsemen based in Drogheda, but the town’s small community managed to survive and, at times, flourished. A member of the O’Kelly family founded an abbey dedicated to the Virgin Mary here around the 12th century and, in 1182, Hugh de Lacy – to whom the district fell – founded St Mary’s Augustinian Priory. Today, many interesting ruins remain. Duleek also features a 9th century high cross displaying scenes of the crucifixion and the holy family. In addition to this cross, a wayside cross was built by Dame Jennet Dowdall in 1601 as a memorial to her first husband, William Bathe. She erected a number of other wayside crosses, including the Artcarne Cross, 5km south west of Duleek.

Kells Heritage Centre HISTORICAL ATTRACTION

TOMB The passage tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, outside Donore, are reason enough to visit Meath. The Brú na Bóinne Centre interprets the archaeological heritage of the Boyne Valley and is one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. Access to Newgrange and Knowth is via the centre, where there is a fine exhibition, tourist office, gift shop and restaurant. This site is extremely busy and visitors are advised to arrive early.

The little town of Kells, north west of Navan, is where the famous Book of Kells was written. Established by St Colmcille in the 6th century, it was once one of the most important ecclesiastical centres in Ireland and the many high crosses dating from as early as the 9th century still bear witness Kells to the fact. The Kells Heritage Centre gives an excellent interpretation of the culture of monastic Ireland. Open all year round.

Location: Donore, Co. Meath Tel: +353 (0) 41 988 0300

Location: Kells, Co. Meath Tel: +353 (0) 46 924 7840

COUNTY MEATH: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Brú na Bóinne Centre

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Dublin and the East

Slane Castle

Dining Clonabreany House

The Snail Box

Franzinis

Kilmoon

Trim

Clonabreany House lies at the gateway to the Boyne Valley near Crossakiel, County Meath, offering ten individually-styled and substantial four-star Georgian houses, fully furnished with fitted kitchens, luxury bathrooms and an eclectic mixture of period and modern furnishings. Clonabreany is surrounded by breathtaking countryside, historical sites and numerous other visitor attractions.

Take in panoramic views of counties Meath, Dublin and Louth and the Cooley Peninsula over a delicious meal. With old world character and charm combined with a modern and relaxed ambience, we take pride in offering our patrons a relaxed and delicious dining experience. Or join us at the bar for some great music sessions every weekend, and spend the night in one of our nine spacious and comfortable guestrooms.

Franzinis has a broad appeal catering for guests from 9 days to 90 years! With a busy Sunday family lunch trade and a more adult atmosphere in the later hours, after dark, the restaurant is a very popular choice for family events and special occasions with several private areas on-site, with larger areas also available for bigger gatherings and celebrations. They believe in ‘keeping it local’, making a contribution to the local economy, while utilising the very best quality Irish ingredients.

Location: Kells, Clonabreany, Co. Meath Tel: +353 (0) 46 924 3814

Location: Kilmoon House, Kilmoon, Co. Meath Tel: +353 (0) 1 835 4277

Clonabreany

Location: 5 Frenchs Lane, Trim, Co. Meath Tel: +353 (0) 46 943 1002

Trim Castle

Navan HISTORICAL TOWN Navan, the county town of Meath, lies at the confluence of the rivers Boyne and Blackwater. South east of the town are the impressive remains of Althumney House, a 15th century castle allegedly set alight by its owners following the defeat of King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Best known as the seat of Ireland’s high kings, the nearby Hill of Tara, Tel: 046 902 5903, has occupied a place in Irish history and legend since the late Stone Age. The site features remains of Bronze Age passage graves, raths, earthworks, the great banqueting hall and the Lia Fail (the Ritual Stone of Destiny), which was used in the conferral of the Irish high kings. Most of the tour of the site is outdoors, so dress according to the weather.

Slane HISTORICAL SITE The village of Slane overlooks the River Boyne and was originally the manorial village for the impressive Slane Castle, recently restored following a disastrous fire in 1991. Slane Castle is open for tours for limited days during the summer months, Tel: 041 982 0643. The castle has, in recent years, become host to the famous annual Slane rock concert held at the end of the summer. The Hill of Slane, about 1km north of the village, was once a site of great druidic significance. In 433AD, St Patrick chose this spot to light his Easter fire, symbolising Christianity’s triumph over paganism. To this day, on the eve of Easter Sunday, the local priest still lights a fire on the hill, which features the remains of a motte and bailey castle and the ruins of a church, tower and other buildings that were once part of a Franciscan friary. On a clear day, it is said that a person standing on the tower can see the River Boyne and seven other counties.

Trim HISTORICAL SITE Trim is an attractive little town on the banks of the River Boyne, with a medieval heritage and buildings to match. The most impressive of these is Trim Castle. Across the river from the castle are the 15th century ruins of Talbot Castle, and the 12th century Augustinian abbey of St Mary’s. The 12th century ruins of Bective Abbey lie halfway between Trim and Navan. Contact the Trim Tourist Information Office for more information, Tel: (046) 943 7227. Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland and was the film location for Braveheart. Hugh de Lacy began construction in 1172 but the central tower – the keep – was not completed until the 1220s. Trim Castle, Tel: 046 943 8619, has undergone extensive restoration and conservation work and only recently opened to the public. Guided tours of the keep are available and visitors can also explore the rest of the castle. Some of the stairs in the keep are very steep, therefore it is not accessible for visitors with disabilities and there is restricted access to the grounds. Trim Visitor Centre on Castle Street is also worth visiting and has a multimedia show reflecting Trim’s former power and glory as well as a craft shop.

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The award winning Silken Thomas is your complete pub where you can literally

EAT, DRINK, DANCE & SLEEP! Silken Thomas is complete Irish hospitality. Food served all day in Flanagan’s Lounge or enjoy dinner in Chapter 16 restaurant. Traditional bars to sip a pint of Guinness. Welcoming accommodation in Lord Edward, our quality assured guest house. Less than 5 minute walk from Kildare Village Chic Outlet Shopping & 10 minute walk from the Irish National Stud.

Easy Access from Exit 13 on M7 - Kildare Village Exit Ph:+353 (0)45 522232 Web: www.siklenthomas.com The Square, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare

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03/17 © Kildare Village 2017 *on the recommended retail price.

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Dublin and the East

COUNTY

Things to do

WICKLOW

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f Ireland is the Emerald Isle, then Wicklow is its greenest county. Known as the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow is a land of majestic mountains and spectacular valleys, the most famous of which is the beautiful Glendalough, home to one of the country’s oldest monastic settlements, built in the sixth century by St Kevin. County Wicklow is an area rich in history and culture, with five of Ireland’s finest historic houses and gardens, including Powerscourt and Avondale House. With a stunning variety of landscapes, from colourful mountain ranges to sandy beaches straddling its unique coastline, the county is a haven for fans of outdoor pursuits. But there is far more to Wicklow than her magnificent scenery, history and culture. There are over 20 golf courses to choose from, the Wicklow Mountains National Park to discover on foot and craft and film trails to explore, while crystal streams lie in the folds of the Wicklow foothills waiting to challenge the expert angler or firsttime fisherman. For further information contact Wicklow County Tourism, telephone (0404) 20070.

Russborough House

Wicklow’s Historic Gaol

Brennanstown Riding School

Historic House

Wicklow town

Hollybrook

For the last decade Russborough has always featured in lists of the best places to visit in Ireland, and is a centre that has become an even more attractive location to spend your time. With award-winning guided house tours, an engaging 3D interactive basement exhibition, gorgeous tea rooms, an 18th century walled garden, and much more, it is a mustsee attraction that appeals to families and art and culture lovers alike.

Stop off for an unforgettable interactive journey through two centuries of Irish history. Just ten minutes off the motorway, Wicklow’s Historic Gaol is one of the Garden County’s ‘must-do’ experiences. The multimedia tour is perfect for families and includes holographic projections of cruel prison guards, lifelike audio from the 1798 rebellion and interaction with the notorious inmates. Refuel at the charming café or picnic area.

Fáilte Irelandapproved, Brennanstown Riding School is one of the county’s foremost facilities. You’ll find yourself with 1,000 acres of Wicklow countryside to explore, with a choice of crosscountry rides and treks. Tuition is available from the school for riders of all ages and experience – both adults and children.

Location: Kilmantin Hill, Wicklow town Tel: +353 (0) 404 61599 Web: www.wicklows historicgaol.com

Location: Hollybrook, Kilmacanogue, Bray, Co. Wicklow Tel: +353 (0) 1 286 3778

Location: Blessington, Co. Wicklow Tel: +353 (0) 45 865 239

Accommodation

Powerscourt

COUNTY WICKLOW: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Powerscourt Gardens GARDENS Powerscourt House is an 18th century house with the Sugarloaf Mountain in the background. It incorporates a terrace restaurant overlooking the garden, speciality shops, garden pavilion, an interiors gallery and an exhibition on the history of the estate. Take a stroll in the wonderful gardens – 47 acres in size – a breathtaking mix of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes with secret hollows, rambling walks, walled gardens and over 200 variations of trees and shrubs. There’s lots to see and explore. Location: Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow Tel: +353 (0) 1 204 6000

Tulfarris Hotel

Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort Blessington, Co. Wicklow

On arriving at the 4 star Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort, you enter a whole new world of leisure and pleasure. Situated on the shores of the Blessington Lakes, on a beautiful 200 acre woodland, bordered by the impressive rolling hills of County Wicklow, this estate comprises an original 18th century manor house, an elegant 4 star hotel and 18 hole championship golf course; all just an hour from Dublin city centre and 75 minutes from Dun Laoghaire Ferry. Location: Blessington Lakes, Blessington Co. Wicklow Tel: +353 (0) 45 867 600

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THE SOUTH EAST From the busy port of Rosslare Harbour to the metropolitan hustle and bustle of Kilkenny and Waterford city, and the welcoming towns and villages across Laois and Carlow, you’ll find a wealth of things to see and do, from beautiful scenery and forest parks to scenic mountain drives and golden strands. The south east is rich in ancient heritage – from Reginald’s Tower in Waterford city to the Rock of Dunamase in Laois and Kilkenny’s Jerpoint Abbey, you’ll never be short of something to do.

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Jerpoint Abbey, Co. Kilkenny

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The South East

Highlights Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois

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WATERFORD

SOUTH EAST

Popular with visitors, the sunny south east has it all – from watersports to historical attractions, shopping and pleasant, charming towns and villages.

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omprising counties Laois, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Waterford, the southeastern region of Ireland is home to myriad activities, sights and locations. Kilkenny, a medieval city, is one of the homes of the fast-paced Gaelic sport of hurling – take in a game if you can. Waterford lies on the southern point of the region, a seasisde resort and home to internationally-renowned Waterford Crystal. Waterford city was founded by the Vikings centuries ago, and tours of this ancient city shouldn’t be missed. Don’t forget to take in Reginald’s Tower, the Bishop’s Palace, the city walls and Christ Church cathedral to name but a few – all located in the city. Next door, County Wexford offers picturesque views and pleasant villages, and is home to one of Ireland’s most remembered events – the ill-fated 1798 Rebellion. Stop in at the National 1798 Rebellion Centre in Enniscorthy – here you can discover more about the key figures of the rebellion, take part in a 4D experience and discover how weapons from the period worked. Landlocked Carlow, meanwhile, is a great place for a walk or a hike, or a river adventure. Take a stroll through the ruins and gardens of Duckett’s Grove, enjoy some shopping in Carlow town or relax as a river barge wends its way slowly down the Barrow river. Finally, neighbouring Laois is an oasis of peace, with rolling hills and plains, beautiful gardens and inland waterways. There’s plenty to do and see across the sunny south east, no matter what you’re looking for – it all awaits!

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JULY Friday 21 July – Sunday 30 July CARLOW GARDEN FESTIVAL, CARLOW TOWN, CO CARLOW Advice and tips for budding and experienced gardeners.

AUGUST Sunday, 6 August and Monday 7 August NATIONAL STEAM RALLY, STRADBALLY,

CO LAOIS Ireland’s oldest steam rally includes steam engine demonstrations and lots of family events including fashion, arts, crafts, jewellery and much more.

SEPTEMBER Tuesday 19 – Thursday 21 September NATIONAL PLOUGHING CHAMPIONSHIPS

TOURIST OFFICE INFORMATION

Tourism officials will be happy to point out local attractions and help find your way. WEXFORD: The Quay Front, Wexford town. Tel: +353 (0) 53 91 23 111 WATERFORD: 120 Parade Quay, Waterford City. Tel: +353 (0) 51 875 823 KILKENNY: Rose Inn Street, Kilkenny city. Tel: +353 (0) 56 775 1500 LAOIS: James Fintan Lawlor Avenue, Portlaoise Tel: +353 (0) 57 86 21178 CARLOW: College Street, Carlow. Tel: +353 (0) 59 913 0411

BLUE FLAG BEACHES

The Blue Flag represents beaches which have achieved an eco-friendly standard. WEXFORD Ballinesker, Courtown, Morriscastle, Curracloe, Rosslare Strand, Ballymoney North WATERFORD Councillors Strand, Dunmore Strand, Tramore, Clonea

2017, SCREGGAN, TULLAMORE, CO OFFALY Europe’s largest outdoor event with an agricultural/rural theme.

NOVEMBER Monday 20 – Sunday 26 November EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL, KILKENNY CITY, CO KILKENNY A chance to view European films that don’t usually make it to the conventional cinema.

THE KEY ACCOMMODATION

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

ACTIVITIES

SHOPPING

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The South East

Canoeing in Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny

Master jug maker at Waterford Crystal visitor centre

Statue at Huntington Castle, Co Carlow

Loftus Hall, Co Wexford

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The South East

Kilkenny Castle

Inistioge

ROADTRIP

A leisurely trip, this route will take you from Kilkenny city through the heart of the south east, and a worthwhile exploration of some of Ireland’s most beautiful monastic sites. KILKENNY CITY TO KELLS From (A) Kilkenny city, take the R697 some 15km south to the town of Kells, where there’s plenty to see, including an impressive 10-arch bridge and (B) Kells Priory, one of Ireland’s most impressive monastic sites. Venture roughly 3km south and follow the signposts to Kilree Tower and High Cross, which is said to mark the resting place of the 9th century Irish king, Niall Caille. JOURNEY: 15km KELLS TO INISTIOGE Returning to Kells, follow the L4206 southeast to the junction with the R448, and turn left for the monastic ruins of Jerpoint, once home to the Cistercian order of monks. From here, it’s a 1km journey to (C) Thomastown, a small market town and a great place to stop off, stretch your legs and get something to eat. Once back on the road, follow the winding R700 southeast in the direction of (D) Inistioge, a pleasant and charming little village where you can take a stroll along the tree-lined square and down towards the river. JOURNEY: 20km INISTIOGE TO ENNISCORTHY This is a pleasant scenic drive through the River Nore Valley, which includes a number of crossings on old stone bridges. Follow the R700 south from Inistioge to (E) New Ross in Co. Wexford (home to the reconstructed Dunbrody famine ship, the star-shaped Duncannon fort – built in 1588, and which still keeps watch over Waterford Harbour – and Tintern Abbey, once home

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to the order of Cistercian monks founded c.1200 AD). From there, follow the N30 north east towards (F) Enniscorthy, 20km north of Wexford town. During the 1798 Rebellion, Enniscorthy saw fierce fighting, including the Battle of Vinegar Hill, with the events recounted in the local museum. The main attraction is Enniscorthy Castle, which was used as a prison for captured rebels. JOURNEY: 43km ENNISCORTHY TO KILKENNY CITY Leaving Enniscorthy, follow the R702 through the

Blackstairs Mountains until it links with the R703 at (G) Graiguenamanagh. Then, take the road west to the village of (H) Kilfane and then continue north along the R448 until you reach (I) Dungarvan Glebe, and then (J) Gowran, famous both for its racecourse and the 13th century St. Mary’s church. From Gowran, head north west along the R702 for approx. 5km until you reach the R712; turn left, and continue straight for (A) Kilkenny city, home to Kilkenny Castle, a recently restored historic site that is always worth the tour. JOURNEY: 65km

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The South East

Accommodation Ferrycarrig Hotel

Brandon House Hotel

Ferrycarrig, Wexford

New Ross, Wexford

The four star Ferrycarrig Hotel is perfectly situated with wonderful views overlooking the River Slaney – all 102 of the hotel’s bedrooms overlook the river’s estuary. Boasting all of the requirements a four star hotel needs, the Ferrycarrig Hotel is part of the Griffin Group, which traces its roots in the Irish hospitality industry back almost 100 years.

Dolmen, Co Wexford

COUNTY

WEXFORD

Culture, history, shopping, festivals, sports, adventure activities and much more – County Wexford welcomes you to experience all it has to offer.

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ocated on the southeastern tip of Ireland, County Wexford has been described as the ‘secret island’ – an unspoiled oasis in the sunniest corner of the country just waiting to be discovered. Over the centuries, Celts, Vikings and Normans came and stayed and today’s visitor can easily see why: lush, rolling farmland bordered by stunning beaches and brooding mountains; some of the best restaurants, pubs and hotels in Ireland; festivals of all kinds; outdoor activities offering superb golf courses, angling, scuba diving, equestrian sports, walking, agri-tourism and much more besides. Visitors can even turn back the clock and explore Wexford’s unique culture and heritage through its ‘open air museum’ of ramparts Wexford and castles, abbeys, manor houses and the oldest lighthouse in Europe.

Location: Ferrycarrig, Co Wexford Tel: +353 (0) 53 912 0999

The Brandon House Hotel and Solas Croí Eco Spa is situated in a convenient location on the N25 in New Ross, in between Wexford and Waterford. This deluxe country manor house is set in landscaped grounds with panoramic views overlooking the River Barrow. Also on site is the Solas Croí Eco Spa that offers a variety of treatments and therapies, and provides the perfect escape for the ideal spa break, pampering weekend, or even quiet comfort.

Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens New Ross, Wexford Whether you visit Kilmokea to stay in the house and be pampered with fine food or rent a self catering cottage for a while or simply enjoy visiting the gardens followed by lunch in the Conservatory, Kilmokea has something for everybody. Bedrooms in the main house are in relaxed good taste. The cottages are cosy and well equipped.

Location: New Ross, Co. Wexford Tel: +353 (0) 51 421 703

Location: Campile, New Ross, Co. Wexford Tel: +353 (0) 51 388 109 Web: www.kilmokea. com

Rainbow Farm Lakes

Hook Head Safaris

Enniscorthy

Arthurstown

Situated in the heart of County Wexford, Rainbow Farm offers the perfect setting for both bait and fly fishing. Within a 10-acre wildlife reserve you’ll find two large lakes that contain brown and rainbow trout weighing up to 10lbs. The perfect spot for the holidaying fisherman!

Along with a local guide, why not take part in a jeep (4x4) safari via ferry over the Suir river, and visit attractions including Ballyahack Castle and Duncannon Fort. There’s also a tour of Hook lighthouse, a cliff walk to the village of Slade, and a coastal drive around Hook Head peninsula. The local guides have a unique insight into this area.

Activities Hook Lighthouse Historic Site Purpose-built as a lighthouse 800 years ago, and still fully operational today, Hook Lighthouse is one of a kind! The visitor centre offers guided tours of the medieval tower. Pay a visit to the visitors centre and gift shop, café and bakery, or relax by the sea with a coffee and homemade scone, keep an eye out for seals, dolphins and even whales! Free parking, toilets, picnic areas and Wi-Fi. Location: Fethardon-Sea, Co. Wexford Tel: +353 (0) 51 397 055

Location: Kellystown, Adamstown, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford Tel: +353 (0) 53 924 0707

Location: Coleman Lane, Arthurstown, Co. Wexford Tel: +353 (0) 51 389 917

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The South East

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Dunbrody Famine ship

Johnstown Castle

Hook Lighthouse

Discover the desperation of the famine era, immerse yourself in a time of rebellion or relax with a pleasant stroll through country gardens and fishing villages.

democracy in Europe through a spectacular exhibition using state-of-the-art audio-visual material, including interactive computers. The Centre has a well-stocked craft/gift shop as well as a restaurant that is an ideal location for lunch or afternoon tea. A meeting room is also available for hire. It also houses Enniscorthy tourist office.

WEXFORD: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens HISTORIC VENUE Kilmokea is a Georgian house that was built in 1794, and recently restored. As a member of ‘Hidden Ireland’, guests experience Irish country life at its very best. Garden visitors can stroll around the exquisite grounds and have lunch or cream teas in the magnificent Georgian conservatory. The gardens are open to the public from March to November, while the house is open to guests from February. Location: Great Island, Campile, Co. Wexford. Tel: +353 (0) 51 388 109

Duncannon HISTORIC VILLAGE A fishing village located on the Ring of Hook Drive, Duncannon is widely known for its star-shaped fortress, Duncannon Fort, built in 1588. The fort features a maritime museum charting the history of one of the most dangerous coastlines in Ireland, an arts centre, a café and a craft shop.

National 1798 Rebellion Centre VISITOR CENTRE The National 1798 Rebellion Centre is open for visitors all year round. It tells the story of the birth of popular

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Location: Mill Park Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford Tel: +353 (0) 53 923 7596/7

Dunbrody Famine Ship VISITOR EXPERIENCE As you enter the inland port on the River Barrow, you will immediately be drawn to the sight of the beautiful tall ship, Dunbrody, towering over the quayside. Dunbrody is open to the public all year round and makes for a fascinating visit. Actors transport you back in time and you will relive the voyages of the 19th century Famine emigrants. An audio-visual presentation as well as the most comprehensive computer database of 19th century British and Irish emigration to the United States completes a most compelling visitor experience – now one of the most popular in Ireland. Facilities include a café with outdoor seating, tourist information office, souvenir shop and internet access. All facilities are wheelchair accessible. Location: New Ross, Co. Wexford. Tel: +353 (0) 51 425 239

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Dunbrody Famine Ship, Co Wexford

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The South East

Winterval in Waterford city

COUNTY

WATERFORD

A host of activities await you in County Waterford, from shopping and coastal fun to cultural and historic experiences.

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acked full of houses and gardens, pre-historic and historic sites – including the town of Lismore, which was originally a monastic settlement founded in the 7th century by St. Carthage – Waterford combines the low farm lands and sandy beaches of neighbouring Wexford with the more rugged landscape of Cork to the south, with 147 km of coastline, 49 beaches, beautiful river valleys, lakes and two dramatic mountain ranges. Like Wexford, Waterford was an area that found favour with the invading Norsemen from Scandinavia, and later fell into the hands of the Anglo-Normans. Until the 17th century, Waterford city was Ireland’s second city; founded by Viking traders in 914, it takes its name from the Norse word Vedrarfjiordr, meaning ‘windy fjord’. The city is a thriving commercial city and port on the tidal estuary of the River Suir. Waterford’s 11th century city walls are the best surviving examples of their type outside Derry and the city is home to the world-famous Waterford Crystal and the ever popular Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre. The Mall in Waterford is a wide 18th century street that still features many original buildings from that era, including City Hall, the Theatre Royal and Bishop’s Palace – one of the finest townhouses in Ireland, which is now used as the City’s engineering office. The riverside Granary on Waterford Quay houses the award-winning Waterford Treasures Museum, one of Ireland’s most dynamic and coveted museums and visitor centres. Reginald’s Tower, a refurbished 12th century Norman tower, resembles a great stone barrel and was built on the site of an older wooden Viking structure. It was here that Strongbow met Aoife, whose subsequent marriage was to change the course of Irish history. A great way to familiarise yourself with the city is by taking the award-winning Waterford City Walking Tour, Waterford Tel: (051) 873 711. The interactive, one-hour journey takes you to some of the highlights of the city.

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Accommodation Cliff House Hotel

Granville Hotel

Middle Road, Ardmore, Waterford

Meagher Quay, Waterford city

A 39-room boutique hotel beside the sea, the Cliff House Hotel offers comfort and luxury as a base for your southeastern adventures. Also on site is a Michelinstar restaurant, and a destination spa, where you can relax and rewind after a day filled with sightseeing and dining. A beautiful little town tucked away on the coast, Ardmore is your haven for sandy beaches, traditional music and thatched cottages.

Located in the heart of the business and shopping centre of Waterford city. The Granville Hotel features 100 guest rooms, the award-winning Bianconi Restaurant and the warm Thomas Francis Meagher Bar. Dating back to the 17th century, the hotel was once home to Thomas Francis Meagher. It’s a great location from which to explore Waterford city – nearby you’ll discover the Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre, Reginald’s Tower and more.

Location: Ardmore, Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 24 87800

Location: Waterford city Tel: +353 (0) 51 305 555

The Fitzwilton Hotel Waterford city Waterford City’s only four-star boutique hotel is located in the heart of Waterford city. The Fitzwilton offers 90 stunning rooms and suites, all tastefully furnished. Experience the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Restaurant Chez – K’s or enjoy the Met Bar-Café. With daily menus and specials and live music and entertainment weekly, an enjoyable stay is guaranteed. Location: Bridge Street, Waterford city Tel: +353 (0) 51 846 900 Web: www. fitzwiltonhotel.ie

Glasha Farmhouse

Majestic Hotel

Gold Coast Hotel and Golf Resort

Ballymacarbry

Tramore

Dungarvan

An exceptionally elegant five star farmhouse in Co. Waterford, guests can relax in sheer decadence at Glasha. A multi award-winning bed and breakfast nestled in the Nire Valley, guests can enjoy king-size beds, spacious rooms, the impressive mountain landscape, and delicious home cooked breakfasts, courtesy of host Olive O’Gorman.

Overlooking Tramore Bay and the 5km of beautiful beach, the Majestic Hotel is less than 10km from Waterford city. Each room includes TV, phone, WiFi, safety deposit boxes and more. The Garden Room Restaurant offers panoramic views of both Tramore Bay and Brownstown Head. Tramore beach is only a short stroll away.

This three-star hotel offers 36 comfortable bedrooms, many of which benefit from a beautiful seaview. There’s also a wide selection of selfcatering cottages, villas, suites and lodges. The leisure centre in Dungarvan has a pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi and there’s an outdoor playground and tennis court. The 18-hole Gold Coast Golf Course is close by.

Location: Ballymacarbry (via Clonmel), Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 52 613 6108

Location: Tramore, Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 51 381 761

Location: Ballinacourty, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 58 45050

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The South East

Viking Triangle ReginaldsTower, Co Waterford

Activitities Sólás na Mara Healthcare Facility Sólás na Mara is a modern healthcare facility embracing traditional methods. Located in the heart of Gaeltacht na Déise, Suaimhneas and Tearnaimh are on offer here, starting with the south east’s only hot seawater and seaweed baths. At Sólás na Mara, they also apply this science in the form of physical therapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture and massage, to aid in pre and post competition recovery. Location: Helbhic Head, Ring, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 58 46052

Ardmore Open Farm

WATERFORD: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Hundreds of years of culture and history are spread across County Waterford, from historic settlements to river cruises. Ardmore HISTORIC SETTLEMENT Originally a 5th century monastic settlement founded by St Declan in 316AD, Ardmore is now a popular seaside resort on the Gaeltacht and Galltacht scenic drive. Offering Blue Flag beaches, cliff walks and fine attractions such as Ardmore Round Tower and Cathedral, Ardmore Pottery Craft and St Declan’s Way – a 94km pilgrim’s way walk to Cashel – there is much you can do here.

Waterford Treasures VISITOR CENTRE The multi-award-winning Waterford Museum of Treasures is an interactive journey through 1,000 years of history of Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford. From its earliest Viking origins to the present, rare and fascinating objects are used to bring the story of this city to life. A must-see when visiting Waterford, facilities include full restaurant and coffee shop, souvenir and gift shop, tourist information office and exhibition area. Audio guides are available in six languages. Location: The Granary, Merchants Quay, Waterford, Co. Waterford. Tel: +353 (0) 51 304 500

Name of place here

Edmund Rice Heritage Centre

Aoife’s Café & Gallery

Heritage Centre

Historic Building

The Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre in Waterford is the resting place of Edmund Rice, founder of the Christian and Presentation Brothers. Its captivating features include a multimedia tour of 18th century Waterford. Inside is the tomb of Blessed Edmund Rice with his name in Ogham, the ancient Irish alphabet.

33 The Mall is the oldest and most beautiful Georgian building situated in Waterford City. T.F. Meagher flew the Irish tricolour here for the first time in 1848. The 1848 Tricolour Festival takes place every March in celebration of this historical fact. Aoife’s is proud to bear the same name as Aoife Ní Diarmait, the daughter of the king of Leinster.

Location: Mt Sion, Barrack Street, Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 51 874 390

Location: 33 The Mall, Waterford city Tel: +353 (0) 51 325 988

Suir River Cruises Waterford

Ardmore Ardmore Open Farm is located just minutes from the seaside village of Ardmore and is situated overlooking Whiting Bay. It combines a large indoor play centre with an open farm, with particular emphasis on rare breeds of animals, some of which have not been seen in this country before. Ardmore Open Farm is a haven for children with endless hours of fun and activity. The farm is wheelchair accessible and has a full café. Location: Ballykilmurry, Ardmore, Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 24 87600 Web: www. ardmoreopenfarm.ie

Waterford Walking Tours Waterford city

Suir River Cruises operates in Waterford city on the river Suir. The Suir, along with the rivers Barrow and the Nore, are known as the Three Sisters. Owned by a local skipper with a deep knowledge of the city and its surrounds, its legends, its history, its triumphs and its tragedies, taking a cruise along the Suir is a great idea for your next social outing or for touring this famous city. Take a one or two hour cruise along the Suir at 10am, 12.30 pm or 3pm; or contact to discuss private hire. Location: Waterford city, Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 87 280 7563

Led by Jack Burtchaell, the tour of Waterford city’s Viking Triangle lasts 1 hour and covers over 1,000 years of history, and includes four national monuments, two cathedrals and much more. The tour has won the National Award of Excellence ‘Best Tour Feature’ on eight occasions. Public walking tours for individuals and small groups are held twice daily from Waterford Tourist Office at 11.45am and 1.45pm. Location: Waterford Tourist Office Tel: +353 (0) 51 873 711

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Waterford Harvest Festival

Bishop’s Palace

Lismore Heritage Centre VISITOR EXPERIENCE A visit to Lismore Heritage Centre is a must for those wishing to discover more about Lismore, one of Ireland’s most picturesque and romantic places. Here, the visitor can come face-to-face with historic figures such as Bishop Miler Magrath, Sir Walter Raleigh, Richard Boyle and the many Dukes of Devonshire who influenced the unique architecture of the town. Meet monks and Vikings and discover the ancient treasures of the town. Most of all, enjoy the award-winning presentation ‘The Lismore Experience’ that takes you on a fascinating journey through time and relates the story of Lismore since 636AD. Location: The Courthouse, Lismore, Co. Waterford. Tel: +353 (0) 58 54975.

Reginald’s Tower Craft worker at Inistioge Pottery

HISTORIC ATTRACTION One of Waterford’s landmark monuments, Reginald’s Tower has seen continuous use for the past 800 years. A circular defence tower, it was first built by the Vikings sometime after 914AD, and rebuilt by the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century, with the top two floors added in the 15th century. Having been used over the years as a place to mint new coins for King John in the 13th century, a store for munitions during the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the strong point of the medieval city walls until 1700, today Reginald’s Tower houses an exhibition on Viking Waterford. Location: The Quay, Waterford city Tel: +353 (0) 51 304 220

Passage East Ferry Company Ltd PASSENGER FERRY The vital link in the South East Coastal Drive, the Passage East Car Ferry operates a continuous cross-river ferry service between Ballyhack in Co. Wexford and Passage East, Co. Waterford. With about 130 crossings every day, you won’t have long to wait! Fares for car and passengers: 8 single, 12 return. First sailing: Monday to Saturday, 7am; Sundays and public holidays, 9.30am. Last sailing: April 1st to September 30th, 10pm; October 1st to March 31st, 8pm. Location: Barrack Street, Passage East, Co. Waterford Tel: +353 (0) 51 382480

Waterford City Tours VISITOR EXPERIENCE The Walking Tours of Waterford operate from mid-March to mid-October and feature a walking tour of one hour’s duration that includes two cathedrals, four national monuments and a gallery of rogues and rascals. The walk meets at the tourist office. Location: Waterford, Co. Waterford. Tel: +353 (0) 51 873 711

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The South East

Street art in Kilkenny

Accommodation

COUNTY

KILKENNY

An agricutural county, also famous for its hurling prowess, the jewel of the county is medieval Kilkenny city, where the mark of the Anglo-Normans is still clear to this day.

K

ilkenny is an area of rich farmland dotted with medieval ruins, solid stone walls, charming villages and a host of historic monuments, including Jerpoint Abbey, one of Ireland’s finest monastic settlements. The county’s most scenic areas cluster around the river valleys of the Nore and Barrow. From the 12th century, Kilkenny was favoured by the Anglo-Normans, and their mark can still be seen throughout the architecture of Kilkenny itself, an outstanding medieval city and one of the most attractive large towns in Ireland. Co. Kilkenny is closely associated with the ancient Irish game of hurling, which – as any local will attest – is more like a religion than a sport in these parts. Kilkenny With its maze of narrow streets and impressive castle, Kilkenny city is situated about 50km inland on both sides of the River Nore. Kilkenny is, in fact, a large town but its title as a city, dating from

Mount Juliet Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel Kilkenny city

Activities Woodstock Garden and Arboretum Garden Centre

Located 20 minutes from Kilkenny city, this four star hotel has 31 individual guest rooms, each one of which takes a name from the history of the estate, and the history of Kilkenny, such as ‘The King of Ossory’ or ‘The Black Earl’. Enjoy golf on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, fishing on the estate’s lakes and rivers, take a walk through the woodlands, enjoy a bike ride or simply relax and treat yourself in the spa. Location: Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny Tel: +353 (0) 56 777 3000

A restored building that lies in the heart of Kilkenny city, the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel fuses history and hospitality. The award-winning four star boutique hotel contains 46 contemporary guest rooms, meeting facilities, and the popular Hibernian Bar, City Bar & Grill and Morrison’s late bar, where you can dance the nights away each weekend. Location: 1 Ormonde Street, Kilkenny city Tel: +353 (0) 56 777 1888

Walk through a collection of rare and exotic trees. Visit the walled garden where fruits and vegetables are once again grown in abundance or enjoy tea in a beautiful conservatory overlooking the gardens. Open all year round, daylight hours. Guided tours available by appointment. Admission fee – €4 per car includes admission for all car occupants. Buses and coaches strictly by prior booking. Location: Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny Tel: +353 (0) 87 854 9785

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The South East

Rothe House, Co Kilkenny

1609, has more to do with its prestigious heritage and the fact that it contains a cathedral. Due to the black limestone, which features to great effect in many of its buildings, Kilkenny is often referred to as the Marble City. Near the centre of town and overlooking the Nore, Kilkenny Castle dates from 1172 and was built by Richard Le Clare, the Anglo-Norman conqueror of Ireland. Three of the four original towers survive. Open to the public are the Long Gallery, with its vividly painted ceiling and portraits of the Butler ancestors, and the Butler Gallery with its collection of contemporary art. Recent renovations have added the Drawing Room, Library and a number of State bedrooms. Rothe House, a fine Tudor merchant’s house on Parliament Street, dates from 1594. It’s built around a series of courtyards and one of its timber-panelled rooms features a museum of local items. The 13th century St Canice’s Cathedral dominates Irishtown at the north end of Parliament Street. According to tradition, the first church was built here in the sixth century by St Canice, patron saint of Kilkenny. The external architecture and the interior, with its 19th century stained glass windows, tombs and grave slabs, are impressive.

KILKENNY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

An area favoured by the Anglo-Normans since the 1100s when the Norman invasion of Ireland first began, there are myriad castles, abbeys and ruins to discover here. Dunmore Cave HISTORIC SITE Consisting of a series of chambers that have been formed over the course of millions of years, this cave contains some of the finest calcite formations to be found in any Irish cave. Known for centuries, one of the most interesting references to the cave’s existence comes from the Annals, which tell of a Viking massacre which took place in 928AD. Admission to the caves is by guided tour only – open 7 days a week, tours commencing at 9.30am (closed Mondays and Tuesdays November-March).

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Exhibitions and displays can be viewed at the visitor centre. Location: Castlecomer Road, Co. Kilkenny Tel: +353 (0) 56 776 7726

Jerpoint Abbey HISTORIC SITE Founded in the 12th century, Jerpoint Abbey was once home to the Cistercian monastic order. Though feeling the effects of time, the Abbey is still quite well-preserved, and gives an insight into how the Cistercian monks once lived, before the abbey was dissolved in 1540. Interesting features include the 12th century church with Romanesque details, tomb sculptures dating between the 13th and 16th centuries, the sculptured cloister arcade that features unique carving, and the visitor centre that is home to an interesting exhibition on the abbey. Location: Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny Tel: +353 (0) 56 772 4623

Kilkenny Castle HISTORIC SITE In existence for the past eight centuries, Kilkenny Castle has undergone considerable renovations and additions, resulting in the multi-layered and complex structure you see today, a mixture of several architectural styles. The original castle was built for William Marshall, 4th Earl of Pembroke, during the early 13th century, and later spent 600 years as the principal Irish residence for the powerful Butler family, lasting from c. 1391 to 1967. The castle currently belongs to the people of Kilkenny, and includes the sprawling parklands through which you can take a leisurely stroll. Location: The Parade, Kilkenny City Tel: +353 (0) 56 770 4100

Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum GARDENS Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum are located just outside the village of Inistioge, overlooking the banks of the River Nore in Co. Kilkenny. These Victorian gardens were developed circa 1840–1890 by Lady Louisa and Colonel William Tighe and were considered one of the greatest gardens in Ireland. The gardens have recently been restored by Kilkenny County Council and features include the Turner Conservatory, the walled garden, the flower terraces, the rose garden, the Monkey Puzzle Walk, the Noble Fir Walk and the arboretum. Facilities include car parking, toilets, mobility buggy and tearooms. The tearooms are seasonal – please call ahead to check opening times. Location: Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny; Tel: +353 (0) 56 775 8797

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Kilkenny Castle

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The South East

Rock of Dunamase, Co Laois

Accommodation Abbeyleix Manor Hotel

Ballyfin Demense Ballyfin, Co. Laois

Abbeyleix, Co. Laois

COUNTY

LAOIS

Formerly known as the Queen’s County – for the Tudor Queen Mary – Laois is a hotbed of welcoming landscape, culture and history.

L

aois is situated in the heart of some of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes, where history has left its mark in the remains of Celtic ring forts, medieval ruins and monastic buildings. County Laois is steeped in heritage and folklore and has numerous historic buildings and gardens which are a testament to this, many located on the Heritage Trail. Home to the oldest mountains in Europe, Laois is imbued with myth and legend. The county has over 1,000 heritage sites that take you on a fascinating journey into its past. Some of the places you shouldn’t miss include the crumbling fortress at the Rock of Dunamase, Emo Court House and Gardens, which were designed by James Gandon, and Ballaghmore Castle and its grounds, which contain 100 varieties of tree. Although sobering, the Workhouse Museum in Donaghmore provides vivid stories of families who lived and died here after the Great Famine. Keep your eyes peeled while travelling and you’ll see countless monastic ruins that date from the sixth century, like Aghaboe Abbey and Timahoe’s round tower. Durrow and Abbeyleix are also worth a visit as both are designated heritage sites. The spectacular Emo Court is a jewel in Laois’s crown, as is Heywood Gardens. One of the primary reasons to visit Laois, however, is to see and experience the magnificent Slieve Bloom Mountains. From the summit of Mount Arderin on a clear day, it is possible to see the highest points of all four of the ancient provinces. The Rock of Dunamase, near Stradbally, is one of the country’s great fortifications where Vikings and Normans have fought over its possession. Finally, Laois is Laois dotted with many charming villages to visit, including Abbeyleix and Stradbally. For further details see Laois Tourism on www.laoistourism.ie.

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Portlaoise Heritage Hotel Portlaoise

Just eight miles from the major town of Portlaoise, the three star Abbeyleix Manor offers a place to retreat from the world, or to explore the surrounding region. A family-run hotel with 44 stylish guestrooms and a range of cuisine from Irish to Asian and Italian, the hotel is also within easy driving range of Dublin and Cork. The charming town of Abbeyleix is a short walk away.

A lavish Regency mansion situated at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains, this small 15-room hotel has been restored to its former glory, and provides a resting spot filled with history, style and tranquillity. If the weather is nice and you’re feeling energetic, why not explore the 600 acres of parkland enclosed by a stone wall; taking in boating and fishing on the lakes and woodland walks, follies and grottoes.

Location: Cork Road, Abbeyleix Tel: +353 (0) 57 873 0111

Location: Ballyfin, Co. Laois Tel: +353 (0) 57 875 5866

A contemporary fourstar hotel located in the centre of Portlaoise, the Heritage Hotel provides excellent accessibility – the M7 motorway linking you to Dublin, Cork and Limerick is close by. Dine in the renowned Spago Italian bistro, the Fitzmaurice, Molly’s or Charter Bar. Relax in the Heritage health and fitness club which includes Ealu beauty therapy, for total relaxation. Location: Town centre, Portlaoise, Co. Laois Tel: +353 (0) 57 867 8588

Quaker Graveyard, Rosenallis, Co Laois

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Emo House, Co Laois

LAOIS: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Electric Picnic

Follow the Laois heritage trail through the county, discovering some of the 1,000 monuments and historical sites waiting for you in the Queen’s County. Emo Court House and Gardens

Rock of Dunamase

HISTORICAL SITE Designed in 1790 by architect James Gandon for

HISTORICAL SITE Sitting atop a hill overlooking the valley of the O’Moores just outside the town of Portlaoise, the Rock of Dunamase has had a rich and varied history. The first settlement here was pillaged in 842 by the Vikings, and it became an Anglo-Norman fortified stronghold when the Normans arrived in Ireland in the late 12th century. Held by the Marshalls and the O’Moores over the centuries, its current state is said to have been the result of a siege and resulting explosion by Cromwellian generals in 1651.

the Earls of Portarlington, Emo Court House is often held up as a wonderful example of neo-classical style. Following a period of ownership by the religious Jesuit order, the house passed into the hands of Mr Cholmeley-Harrison during the 1960s, who restored it to its current condition.The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland, and you can take a stroll along the 2.2km walking loop that circles around the 20-acre man-made lake. Location: Emo, Co. Laois Tel: +353 (0) 57 862 6573

Killeshin Church

Location: Near Portlaoise, Co. Laois Tel: +353 (0) 57 866 4129

Aghaboe Abbey

MONASTIC SITE The village of Killeshin takes its name from the Irish Cill Uisean meaning ‘Church of Uisean’, an abbott at Killeshin monastery that was founded during the late 5th or early 6th century. Although the round tower was destroyed during the 18th century, you can still view the remains of the Romanesque church that once stood proud here, including some fascinating carvings on the doorway, which includes an inscription reading ‘Orait Do Diarmuit Ri Lagen’ (a prayer for Diarmait, King of Leinster) – thought to be a reference to the famous Diarmait MacMurchada, who invited the Normans to Ireland.

MONASTIC SITE Founded in the sixth century by St. Canice, Aghaboe Abbey grew to become a centre for learning, commerce and agriculture. It was burnt in 1234 and subsequently rebuilt, finding new life as an Augustinian priory, on which an 18th century Church of Ireland now stands. The ruins that still stand near the abbey belong to a Dominican friary founded in 1382 by the Lord of Ossory, Finghan MacGillapatrick, while nearby you can find the tree-covered remains of a Norman motte.

Location: Killeshin, Co. Laois Tel: +353 (0) 57 862 1178

Location: Ballacolla, Portlaoise, Co. Laois Tel: +353 (0) 57 873 9628

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The South East

Accommodation Mount Wolseley Hotel

Dolmen Hotel

Barrowville Town House

Carlow

Tullow, Co. Carlow One of Ireland’s best hotels and golf courses, the facilities at the four star Mount Wolseley hotel, spa and golf resort include its own 18-hole championship golf course, a state-of-the-art gym, holiday lodges and fine dining restaurants and more. Reconstructed in 1864, the estate was sold to the Patrician Order in 1925, and purchased by the Morrissey family in 1994, who developed the world-class resort you can visit today. Dunleckney Manor, Co Carlow

Location: Tullow Tel: +353 (0) 59 91 80100

Carlow Located on the banks of the River Barrow, the Dolmen Hotel is a comfortable and attractive three star hotel, close to Carlow town and Kilkenny city, and only an hour’s drive from Dublin, Rosslare and Waterford. A wide range of Irish cuisine is available at the Barrow Grill, while the Belmont Restaurant offers classical surroundings for a more intimate dining experience. Guests can also take a stroll through the landscaped gardens.

Barrowville Town House is a registered three star guesthouse located in Carlow town, recommended by The Bridgestone 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland. This Regency house (which enjoys listed status) was comprehensively renovated in the late 1980s. The seven guest bedrooms are all en suite and equipped with television, radio, direct dial phone and hairdryer. Broadband and free parking available.

Location: Kilkenny Road, Carlow Tel: +353 (0) 59 91 42002

Location: Kilkenny Road, Carlow town Tel: +353 (0) 59 91 43324

COUNTY

CARLOW

A county of mountains, rivers, valleys and superb countryside, County Carlow is a destination worth discovering and exploring.

C

ounty Carlow is one of Ireland’s most charming inland counties. The rivers Barrow and Slaney wind gently through its rolling valleys and the legacy of those who’ve travelled them can be seen in Carlow’s mystical pagan sites, early Christian settlements and magnificent Georgian country homes and gardens. Carlow is dotted with picturesque riverside towns and villages. Exhilarating outdoor adventure, traditional rural life, vibrant shopping and a rich cultural heritage are just some of the attractions Carlow offers its visitors. From one end of the county to the other the towns and villages express a unique charm and rich heritage. Focal points for living and trading, riverside towns with graceful medieval bridges, old stone-built estate towns, and bustling market towns and hillside villages all add their individual colour Carlow and character to the Carlow landscape. Carlow has something to offer everyone. Those who love to suck in fresh air will be tempted by hiking in the stunning Blackstairs Mountains or

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There are numerous great dining options across Carlow

Altamont Gardens, Co Carlow

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River Barrow, Co Carlow

angling and boating on the twinkling River Barrow. Great times to visit are during the walking festival in October or the Carlow Regatta that takes place in May. This is one of the oldest rowing events in the country. History buffs will be drawn to Carlow’s rich vein of monasteries and dolmens. The mustvisit list includes the monastic site at Saint Mullins, Killeshin’s Romanesque doorway, Old Leighlin’s medieval Cathedral and Europe’s biggest dolmen at Brownshill. Historic Carlow town was once the 14th century capital of Ireland; today it offers farmer’s markets, great boutique shopping, fine restaurants and an eclectic cultural calendar. The famous Eigse arts festival takes over the town for eight days in June, while July’s Floral Festival Trail covers some of the south east’s most beautiful gardens, including the Victorian Altamont Gardens and the stunning Duckett’s Grove, a Gothic revival castle dating from the 18th century.

CARLOW: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Take the time to experience outdoor adventure, rural life, vibrant shopping and a rich cultural heritage. Brownshill Dolmen HISTORIC SITE Located just a few minutes outside Carlow town, the Brownshill Dolmen is a relic from another era, a portal tomb dating back to pre-historic times, with an estimated date of construction ranging from 4,900 and 5,550 years ago. Reputed to be one of the largest in Europe, the huge capstone weighs over 100 tonnes. Location: Hacketstown Road, Co. Carlow Tel: +353 (0) 59 913 1554

Duckett’s Grove HISTORIC HOUSE The home of the Duckett family from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, Duckett’s Grove has dominated the landscape around Carlow for more than 300 years, once part of a huge 12,000 acre estate. Following

a period of restoration, the walled gardens and wooded pleasure grounds have been re-opened to the public. The walled gardens have been the subject of a renovation project over the past few years, which involved revealing old paths and reinstating beds and borders. A major draw of Duckett’s Grove in recent times has been the tea rooms, which use the finest of local ingredients, and always have something tasty on offer – more information available on their Facebook page, ‘The Tea Rooms At Duckett’s Grove’. Location: Rainstown, Co. Carlow Tel: +353 (0) 59 913 0411

County Carlow TOURIST SITES With mountains, glorious countryside and river valleys all close at hand, Carlow is a county worth discovering and exploring. Against a beautiful landscape visitors will uncover a great holiday experience – exhilarating outdoor adventure, traditional rural life, vibrant shopping and a rich, cultural heritage. Home to three of Ireland’s key national walking routes – The South Leinster, the Barrow and the Wicklow Ways – the county is blessed with hundreds of miles of excellent and varied walking. The golfing visitor will find an impressive variety of golf courses, par 3s and golf ranges to suit all levels. The rivers Barrow and Slaney and their many tributaries provide exciting activities for the passive and active water enthusiast. Co. Carlow is steeped in historical and archaeological artefacts from pagan sites such as the Brownshill Dolmen to ecclesiastical settlements, many of which are of national and international significance. The Carlow Garden Trail is another gem for visitors to enjoy featuring a collection of eighteen gardening attractions including great old gardens such as those at Altamont and smaller gardens that are maturing beautifully with time. Tel: +353 (0) 59 913 0411 Web: www.carlowtourism.com

Huntington Castle & Gardens HISTORIC HOUSE The ancient seat of the Esmonde family, the current Durdin Robertson family are direct descendants of the castle’s original occupants. Huntington Castle was built in 1625 as a garrison on the route between Dublin and Wexford, later converted to a family home. The accompanying gardens were established in the 1680s and include French limes, ornamental lawns, fish ponds and a yew walk. There’s also a kids adventure playground and farm to keep the children amused. Location: Clonegal, Co. Carlow Tel: +353 (0) 59 937 7160

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THE SOUTH WEST

The spectacular beauty of west Cork and the Ring of Kerry make Ireland’s south west one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Explore the lively streets of Cork, Ireland’s second city, or the yachting and fishing havens of Kinsale and Baltimore. In Kerry, visit the majestic Skelligs, Valentia Island and the Blasket Islands, stroll in the tranquil beauty of Killarney national park or take a once-ina-lifetime trip to see the Dingle dolphin, Fungie.

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Ring of Kerry

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The South West

Highlights

Puck Fair, Killorglin, Co Kerry

JULY

KERRY CORK

n Friday 14 – Friday 21 July WEST CORK LITERARY FESTIVAL, BANTRY, CO CORK A programme packed with writing workshops, readings, evening events, book launches and more.

AUGUST

SOUTH WEST

From lively Cork city to the natural beauty of the Killarney Lakes and much more waiting to be discovered in County Kerry, you’ll find the best of both worlds in the south west.

K

nown as the Rebel County, Cork has the history to back this claim up, once loyal to the dispossessed House of York during the English War of the Roses. Later, the county’s nickname became a reference to its rebellious nature, and can claim the birthplace of General Michael Collins, perhaps Ireland’s most famous revolutionary – born in Béal na mBláth. There’s something for everyone in Cork – take a stroll through Fota Island Wildlife Park and see the animals, or experience Cork city’s historical background through Cork City Gaol or St Finbarr’s Cathedral. It’s also home to some of the most spectacular coastline in the country, with the beautiful and intricate peninsular landscapes of Beara, Sheep’s Head and Mizen Head. Don’t forget to take a trip to Blarney Castle in northwest Cork – home to the famed Blarney Stone, which is said to grant the gift of the gab to anyone who kisses it. Next door is County Kerry, and both counties have long shared a rivalry perpetuated through Gaelic football – the Munster Gaelic football title (and the bragging rights) generally coming to one of the two. Known as the Kingdom, Kerry is a proud county and a place of scenic beauty, history and mythology, and the county’s sandy beaches, majestic mountains and rugged coastlines are home to some of the most unspoiled and atmospheric scenery in the world. Popular areas include the town of Killarney, the world-famous Ring of Kerry located on the Iveragh Peninsula and offshore attractions such as Valentia Island and the remote Skelligs, home to the ruins of Ireland’s earliest monastic settlements.

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n Tuesday 1 – Thursday 3 September CORK CRAFT & DESIGN 2017, CORK CITY, CO CORK Take in locally crafted products, exhibits, exhibitions, workshops and more.

n Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 August PUCK FAIR, KILLORGLIN, CO KERRY A more unusual annual tradition, come along and watch a wild goat being crowned King of the town for three days and nights. n Wednesday 16 – Tuesday 22 August ROSE OF TRALEE, TRALEE, CO KERRY One of Ireland’s largest festivals.

TOURIST OFFICE INFORMATION n CORK: Bantry (Tel: +353 (0) 27 50229); Clonakilty (Tel: +353 (0) 23 883 3226); Cobh (Tel: +353 (0) 21 481 3301); Cork city (Tel: +353 (0) 21 425 5100); Kinsale (Tel: +353 21 477 2234); Midleton (Tel: +353 (0) 21 461 3702); Skibbereen (Tel: +353 (0) 21 21766); Youghal (Tel: +353 (0) 24 92447). n KERRY: Cahersiveen (Tel: +353 (0) 66 947 2777); Dingle (Tel: +353 (0) 66 915 1188); Glenbeigh (Tel: +353 (0) 66 9769 184); Kenmare (Tel: +353 (0) 64 664 1233); Killarney (Tel: +353 (0) 64 663 1633; Listowel (Tel: +353 (0) 68 22212); Tralee (Tel: +353 (0) 66 712 1288); Valentia (Tel: +353 (0) 66 947 6985).

BLUE FLAG BEACHES n CORK Garrylucas, Inchdoney, Owenahincha, Tragumna, Barleycove, Redbarn, Garretstown n KERRY Derrynane, Ballinskelligs, White Strand, Kells, Inch, Ventry, Magherabeg, Fenit, Banna, Ballyheigue, Ballybunion South, Ballybunion North, Rossbeigh

SEPTEMBER n Friday 1 – Sunday 3 September CAPE CLEAR ISLAND INTERNATIONAL STORYTELLING FESTIVAL, CAPE CLEAR ISLAND, CO CORK A unique storytelling festival in a breathtaking location.

OCTOBER n Saturday 7 October QUEST KILLARNEY ADVENTURE RACE, KILLARNEY, CO KERRY Ireland’s biggest adventure race.

NOVEMBER n Thursday 9 – Sunday 12 November NATIONAL CIRCUS FESTIVAL OF IRELAND, TRALEE, CO KERRY One of the country’s most exciting emerging festivals.

THE KEY ACCOMMODATION

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

ACTIVITIES

SHOPPING

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The South West

Fungie the dolphin, Dingle, Co Kerry

The Milk Market, Kinsale, Co Cork

Kinsale Port, Cork

Michael Collins statue, Clonakilty

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ROADTRIP

This spectacular journey travels through some of Cork’s most scenic towns and villages, taking in a stunning vista of rugged coastlines along the route – from Youghal to historic Kinsale on the Atlantic coastline and Mizen Head before looping gently back to Cork along the river Lee. YOUGHAL TO KINSALE Beginning in the town of (A) Youghal, a seaside resort in County Cork, travel south west (via E30/ N25) to historic (B) Midleton, a town that has been famous since the 19th century for whiskey distilling, and whose origins date back to the 12th century. Today, the town’s main attractions include the Jameson Heritage Centre, where you can take the Jameson Experience tour and discover restored machinery, old Irish distilling methods and much more. From Midleton, take the N25 to (C) Cork city, stopping in at Barryscourt Castle along the way, the 16th century seat of the Barry family. On the outskirts of the city, follow the N40, N27 and then the R600 towards (D) Kinsale, another Cork town that is steeped in history, where you can visit the old James and Charles forts, St Multose Church and Desmond Castle. JOURNEY: 73km KINSALE TO CROOKHAVEN From Kinsale, strike out south west for (E) Clonakilty along the R600/601, a small and charming town which dates from the 17th century. Clonakilty has plenty to interest the tourist both in and around the town – from the West Cork Regional Museum to the 10-day festival held in the town each July. Next, take the N71 to the town of (F) Rosscarbery, best known as the birthplace of the founder of the Fenian movement, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. The next stop will be the picturesque town of (G) Skibbereen, further southwest along the N71, where you can visit the heritage centre and learn about the impact of the Great Famine in what was one of the worst affected areas in Ireland. From Skibbereen, you can choose one of two routes; a 12km drive to Baltimore (scene of a 17th century sacking and kidnapping by Algerian pirates) via the R595 or follow the N71 to the busy town of Schull and on to (H) Crookhaven near Mizen

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Hole 17 on Kinsale Headland, Co Cork

Ballingeary before reaching (K) Macroom, a beautiful market town with a colourful town centre. Nearby attractions include the gateway and tower of the once proud Macroom Castle and the 19th century Bealick Mill. JOURNEY: 93km

Head, where some truly magnificent views await. JOURNEY: 78km (112 via Crookhaven) CROOKHAVEN TO MACROOM From Crookhaven, follow the R591 north for a spectacular drive along the coast as you wind your way to (I) Bantry, the scene of a failed landing by French forces during the 18th century, an event that is commemorated by the French Armada Centre. Other places of interest around Bantry include the 18th century Bantry House featuring wonderful gardens and tapestries and pony trekking around Bantry Bay. From here, take the N71 north before following the R584 east over the Shehy Mountains, stopping in at (J) Ballingeary Forest Park. Don’t forget to stop in at Gougane Barra on the way past; a tiny island sits in the centre of Gougane Barra Lake containing the remains of St. Finbarr’s monastery from the sixth century. Continuing along the R584 you’ll pass through the small village of

MACROOM TO YOUGHAL From Macroom, head east along the R618 for (L) Blarney – home to Blarney Castle and the world-famous Blarney Stone, which is said to grant anyone who kisses it the ‘gift of the gab’ – the power of speech. There are plenty of other attractions here to occupy your attention, including the Blarney Woollen Mills, Blarney House, which was built on the grounds in 1874, and the charming village of Blarney itself. From Blarney, follow the N20 and N8 into and through Cork city, and then the N25 on the outskirts of the city, heading once again for Midleton and returning to where you began in Youghal. JOURNEY: 89km

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The Jameson Experience, Midleton, Co Cork

CORK: PLACES OF

INTEREST

From gardens to guerilla warfare, historic castles to the ill-fated Titanic’s trail, County Cork has plenty to offer its visitors. Blarney Castle & Rock Close Gardens VISITOR ATTRACTION Built nearly 600 years ago, Blarney Castle is known the world over for the famous stone that has been a must-see attraction for any visitor to Ireland over the past 200 years. Legend has it that if Blarney Stone you place a kiss upon the famous stone you will be bestowed with the ‘gift of the gab.’ Location: Blarney, Co. Cork. Tel: +353 (0) 21 438 5252

The Jameson Experience VISITOR CENTRE Founded in Smithfield in 1780 by John Jame-

son, The Old Jameson Distillery has been redeveloped as the Jameson Distillery Bow Street visitor centre. The distillery now welcomes over 350,000 visitors each year, making the centre not just a tour site, but also a fascinating and engaging experience rich in Irish heritage, and one of Ireland’s finest visitor attractions. Jameson whiskey tours offer guided tours through the romantic past of Irish whiskey making. Learn about the

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angels’ share, triple distillation and, above all, the smooth taste of Jameson Irish whiskey. Open seven days a week all year round, the journey begins with an audio-visual presentation followed by a guided walk through the recreated distillery and culminates in the Jameson Bar with a complimentary glass of Jameson ginger and lime and a chance to become a ‘qualified Irish whiskey taster’. Why not consider a delicious lunch in the restaurant or browse the distillery gift shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts or a special memento of your visit. A second whiskey delight is their sister visitor attraction the Jameson Experience, nestled in the town of Midleton County Cork. Located just 15 minutes from Cork city and set on 15 acres of beautiful landscape, this was known as the Old Midleton Distillery and is actually the site where the full portfolio of Irish whiskey from Irish Distillers is produced today. Open seven days a week, these tours are offered on scheduled times and can be booked online www.jamesonwhiskey.com/tours. The Malthouse Restaurant and Jameson Gift shop are also available here where guests can pick up a special memento of their visit. Location: Distillery Walk, Midleton, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 21 461 3594

Michael Collins Centre VISITOR CENTRE A revolutionary and politician, Michael Collins is recognised for the extremely important role he played in the foundation of the modern Irish state. At the centre you can learn more about Collins’ early life, family history and the surrounding area through an audio-visual display and presentation. The Michael Collins Tour takes in various places associated with Collins including Béal na mBláth, the site where he was ambushed and killed in 1922. Location: Clonakilty, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 23 884 6107

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Get Away for a Break See www.heronscove.com for rates

www.heronscove.com

Mizen Head Signal Station Ireland’s Most Southwesterly Point! 028 35000 / 35115 www.mizenhead.ie

• Handmade Model Villages • G-Scale Model Trains • Free WIFI • • Road Train Tour of Clonakilty • Old Carriage Tea Room • • Gift Shop • Guided Tours • Free Parking • Wheelchair Access •

OPEN DAILY 11.00 A.M. - 5.00 P.M. West Cork Model Railway Village Inchydoney Road, Clonakilty, Co. Cork www.modelvillage.ie Phone: 023 8833224 Email: modelvillage@eircom.net

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Enjoy the Waterford Crystal Factory Experience. Book your tour online today.

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Activities Kinsale Historic harbour town Just 30 minutes from Cork city, the historic harbour town of Kinsale is proud to be Ireland’s Best Small Tourist Town and the start/finish point of the Wild Atlantic Way, offering visitors many attractions and hidden gems! There is so much to see and do all year round, on and off the water: gourmet restaurants, boutiques and galleries or simply enjoying the view. With a busy calendar of events this year we hope that you will visit soon! See www.kinsale.ie and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Activities Millstreet Country Park Visitor Attraction Covered in miles of trails – some quite short and others offering more of a challenge – you can also take advantage of the park’s fleet of transport vehicles, driven by friendly local guides. Hop on or off when you choose, for a leisurely exploration of this beautiful park. Location: Millstreet, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 29 70810 Web: www.millstreetcountrypark. com

Mizen Head Signal Station

Youghal Walking Trail

Skibbereen Heritage Centre

West Cork Model Railway Village

Historic Site

Youghal

Visitor Centre

Clonakilty

Mizen Head Signal Station can be found at Ireland’s most southwesterly point in west Cork. The path to the Signal Station goes down the cliffs to the bridge and out to the point and the former Keepers’ Quarters with interpretive displays. There are several paths north along the coast to the Sheep’s Head and south down to the sea arch.

The Youghal guided tour takes approx. 1.5 hours and commences from the heritage centre in the tourist office. Visit sites such as Myrtle Grove, the home of Sir Walter Raleigh when he lived in Youghal. Guided tours cost €7 per person, and discounts are available for groups, seniors and students.

Learn about the Great Famine of the 1840s. Rediscover this era through exhibits, dramatisations and interactive stations at the Skibbereen Famine Story exhibition, and take a virtual tour of Famine sites in the town. Open daily (except Sunday) May to September, 10am-6pm. Open daily (Tuesday to Saturday) March, April & October, 10am-6pm.

A model of the West Cork railway meanders through four miniature towns as they were in the 1940s, with charming animated scenes and miniature people. Stop by the craft shop and tearoom in authentic railway carriages overlooking Clonakilty Bay, or enjoy a road train ride around Clonakilty. Open daily 11am to 5pm, 10am to 6pm in August.

Location: Mizen Head, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 28 35115 Web: www. mizenhead.ie info@ mizenhead.ie

Location: Youghal, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 24 20 170 Web: www. youghal4all.com

Location: Old Gasworks Building, Upper Bridge Street Tel: +353 (0) 28 40900 Web: www. skibbheritage.com

Location: Inchydoney Road, Clonakilty, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 23 883 3224 Web: www. modelvillage.ie

Mizen Head Signal Station

Blue Pool Ferries Glengarrif ACTIVITY Garinish Island (Ilnacullin), on the gateway to the Beara Peninsula, is an internationally renowned sub-tropical garden paradise where the extraordinarily mild climate of the area has encouraged the growth of a huge array of rare plants. A number of unusual garden buildings are featured within the island together with a replica sun temple and a very well preserved Napoleonic Martello tower. No visit to west Cork or the Ring of Kerry is complete without a visit to this island. Blue Pool Ferries have two fully licensed ferry boats which depart every 30 minutes (March to October) from the Blue Pool amenity. Location: Glengarrif, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 27 63333

Kinsale Harbour Cruises

SKIBBEREEN

H E R I TA G E C E N T R E GREAT FAMINE EXHIBITION Learn about the defining period in Irish history in the town that became synonymous for its suffering during the crisis LOUGH HYNE VISITOR CENTRE Find out about this unique salt-water lake, one of the most scenic places in West Cork and Europe’s first Marine Nature Reserve.

GENEALOGY SERVICE: for the greater West Cork area.

ALSO FEATURES: Archaeology trail, River Ilen wildlife panels, small gift shop and a great welcome!

OPEN: Daily ex Sunday Jun-Aug | Tue-Sat Mar-May and Sep-Oct | 10am - 6pm www.skibbheritage.com | T: 028 40900

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CRUISE This unique trip is an opportunity to view Kinsale town from the water, promising you a very different view of Kinsale and its beautiful surrounding natural harbour. A Kinsale harbour cruise brings you the perfect combination of culture, information, relaxation and stunning scenery. Kinsale has a wealth of historic sites and this tour gives you a bird’s eye view and an opportunity to appreciate them in context. The boat passes by Charles Fort, James Fort, the Block House and two yacht marinas. Jerome’s commentary gives a brief history, anecdotal legends and an insight into how the town has developed over the centuries. The tour represents excellent value for money and is perfect family entertainment as herons, seals and other wildlife can often be seen. Location: Upper Lispatrick, Old Head, Kinsale, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 86 250 5456

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Lakes of Killarney, Co Kerry

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CITY OF

CORK

Dating back to the sixth century, you’ll find a modern, vibrant city which hasn’t forgotten its historical roots.

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ften referred to as Ireland’s second city, residents of Cork will, of course, tell you otherwise and remind you that Cork is the real capital. Both city and county are great sources of pride and loyalty to those who call themselves Corkonians. Its Irish name, ‘Corcaigh’, refers to the reclaimed marshland upon which much of the city is built. Cork is situated on the River Lee, which splits into a series of attractive channels with quays and bridges on the western side before widening into a fine natural harbour. In the 18th century, ocean-going vessels were able to come as far up-river as what are now St Patrick’s Street and Grand Parade. Still an important seaport, Cork is also a centre for commerce and industry. Settlement in Cork dates back to the seventh century when St Finbarr established a monastery there, which soon became a wealthy centre of learning. Plundered for a time by the Norsemen, the area soon became attractive to these northern attackers who eventually came to stay, beginning Cork’s long tradition of trade and commerce. The Norse were the first in a long line of raiders to cast their gaze towards Cork. Once in the control of the Gaelic chieftain, Dermot MacCarthy, the city was fought over by the Tudors and Stuarts and eventually fell into the hands of Oliver Cromwell. With such a turbulent history, little of the medieval city now remains, nor is there a great deal which dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. With a few Georgian buildings, Cork’s best surviving architecture dates from the 19th century and is especially notable in the wonderful St Finbarr’s Cathedral. An imposing Church of Ireland cathedral dating from 1879, St Finbarr’s was designed by the Victorian architect, William Burgess. The cathedral is said to occupy the site of the sixth century church of St Finbarr and its graceful French Gothic triple spires can be seen from all over the city. Today, Cork is a bustling, modern city with a varied and lively nightlife, a thriving university, as well as plenty of historic sites and places of interest. Cork’s main thoroughfares are Oliver Plunkett Street and St Patrick’s Street. Cork International Airport is approximately 8km from the city centre, while the ferry port at Ringaskiddy is 13km away. The tourist information office on Grand Parade near Oliver Plunkett Street is open all year round, Tel: (021) 425 5100. The world-famous International Cork Jazz Festival takes the city by storm every year in late October and is followed closely by the equally popular Cork International Film Festival, which takes place in early November. Programmes are available from the Cork Opera House on Emmet Place (Tel: 021 427 0022), and it’s a good idea to book tickets well in advance as both festivals draw sizeable audiences. In May, Cork city hosts an annual Choral Festival and the annual Cork Midsummer Festival takes place in Cork city June. Arguably one of the city’s top attractions is the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery located at

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Dining in Cork city

Cork city

Emmet Place. Housing an amazing collection of Irish and international works, including paintings by Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, Walter Osborne, Edith Somerville, Sir John Lavery and Louis le Brocquy, it is a must-see when visiting Cork. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am–5pm (last entrance at 4.45pm), Tel: 021 480 5042. The Cork Public Museum can be found in Fitzgerald Park on the Mardyke. The permanent exhibition here traces the development of Cork from the Mesolithic period right up to the present day and contains many objects that have been firm favourites with visitors over the years, including the Garryduff Gold Bird, the Iron Age Cork Helmet Horns and very fine collections of Cork Silver, Cork Gold and Youghal Lace. The 1916 to 1921 exhibition commemorates the special role that Cork men and women played in the War of Independence. Particular attention is paid to the parts played by Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney, the first and second Republican Lord Mayors of Cork who both died in 1920. The museum also holds a large archive of 18th and 19th century documents pertaining to important historical events of those centuries. Of particular note in these collections is the illuminated address presented to Parnell by the Corporation of Cork and the Cobh Famine Relief Book. Temporary exhibitions are housed in the Dalton and O’Kelly galleries which have been purpose-built to international criteria. For information on current exhibitions housed in these galleries, contact the museum before your visit, Tel: (021) 427 0679.

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Cork City Gaol, Tel: (021) 430 5022, is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Featuring a magnificent audio-visual production, furnished cells with original graffiti from past prisoners and a few interesting surprises, the Gaol is an exciting journey for adults and children alike. Its size and charm make Cork city an ideal place to tour on foot. For a walking tour of the south and west city, begin at Grand Parade and turn left through Bishop Lucey Park, which leads to the Cork Archive Centre and Triskel Arts Centre. Then continue down South Main Street and turn left into Tuckey Street, which brings you back to Grand Parade, close to the Nationalist Monument, down South Mall, past the Imperial Hotel where Michael Collins spent his last night before setting out on his final fateful journey on August 22nd 1922. At the end of South Mall, cross Parnell Bridge to the right, taking in the steps of City Hall where US President John F. Kennedy addressed a rapturous Cork crowd during his visit in 1963. Turn immediately right along Union Quay to George’s Quay and Holy Trinity Church. Pass along the single-arched Parliament Bridge and, further along, the 18th century South Gate Bridge that once marked the entrance to the medieval city. St Finbarr’s Cathedral is straight ahead on this route. To the west of the cathedral lies the attractive campus of University College Cork (UCC) – a walking tour in itself. Passing through the University’s quadrangle and on through the North Wing, the road leads down to the main gates of UCC and just outside is the Cork Public Museum, which is well worth a visit. From the museum, Mardyke Walk and Dyke Parade lead back to the city via Lancaster Quay, Washington Street and, finally, Grand Parade. A walking tour of the north city follows a roughly circular route, starting and finishing at the corner of St Patrick’s Street and Grand Parade. From the Queen’s Old Castle Argus Shop, walk along St Patrick’s Street, which was originally built over a branch of the River Lee. The curve it follows describes the shape of the former watercourse. Crossing the triple-arched St Patrick’s Bridge to St Patrick’s Quay, a left turn passes by the fine late 18th century Georgian façades of Camden Place. The road bends around to the right, then left down Dominick Street through the city’s old commercial centre. On the corner of Church Street stands the impressive St Anne’s Church with its famous Shandon Steeple. A left turn off Church Street down Shandon Street leads to the North Gate Bridge. Turn right along the riverside and walk along North Mall. The road winds to the right, away from the River Lee and up Sunday’s Well Road, just past the magnificent St Vincent’s Church and towards the City Gaol on Convent Avenue. Continuing on Sunday’s Well Road, just past the Shanakiel Junction, turn left down the steps leading to Daly’s Bridge, a pedestrian bridge spanning the river and known locally as ‘The Shakey Bridge’. At the far side of the bridge is Fitzgerald Park, home to the Cork Public Museum. Turn left out of the park along Dyke Parade, Sheare’s Street and the wonderfully restored Fenns Quay. Turn right by the courthouse into Washington Street and, by turning left, you will be back at Queen’s Old Castle at the end of the tour. Cork is a shopper’s paradise with designer boutiques, rare book and toy shops and major high street and department stores. Gourmet lovers will drool over the English Market located in the heart of the city on Grand Parade. Open Monday to Saturday, 8am-6pm, the market features shops selling everything from Cork’s famous delicacy – tripe and drisheen – to garlic-stuffed olives and aromatic cheeses. The Cork Heritage Park, Tel: (021) 435 8854, in the suburb of Blackrock, makes for a lovely day trip for families with facilities including an activity centre, pet farm and museum.

Accommodation Ambassador Hotel

Gresham Metropole Hotel

Rolf’s Country House

Military Hill

MacCurtain Street

Baltimore

Ideally located only a few minutes’ walk from Cork’s bustling city centre, the four star Ambassador Hotel is perched on Military Hill, and at night you can see the lights of Cork for miles around. Built in 1872 as a military hospital, and later used as a nursing home, there is a sense of history here. There are 70 spacious rooms and a host of in-room facilities.

Located in the city’s centre, only a few paces from many shops and restaurants, the three star Gresham Metropole is one of the best known hotels in the city, and is renowned for its hospitality. Located close to bus and rail stations, you’ll stay in one of 112 fully-equipped and well-decorated guest rooms, with complimentary highspeed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

The ideal base to explore beautiful west Cork, Rolf’s Country House is situated in an idyllic location, overlooking Baltimore Harbour, Roaring Water bay and its islands. If you’re feeling hungry, or looking to relax, visit the a la carte restaurant/wine bar which serves fine foods and wine, lunch and dinner. Double rooms from €40 – €60 per room, while there are also 3 star cottages from €450.

Location: Military Hill, St. Luke’s, Cork city Tel: +353 (0) 21 453 9000

Location: MacCurtain Street, Cork city Tel: +353 (0) 21 464 3700

Dining

Location: Baltimore, Co. Cork Tel +353 (0) 28 20289 Web: rolfscountryhouse. com Email: rolfsholidays@ eircom.net

Activities

Bushe’s Bar

Glebe Gardens

Desmond Castle

Baltimore

Baltimore

Kinsale

A family-run bar located in the charming village of Baltimore on the south west coast of Ireland, Bushe’s Bar overlooks the harbour and islands. Watch fishing boats and ferries returning to the island and seals swimming between the piers. Visiting sailors and tourists to the region regularly make a point of stopping off for a drink or two while enjoying their renowned hospitality.

Discover a vibrant west Cork haven, growing, cooking and serving the best of contemporary dining and entertainment. The open gardens span 5 acres and provide much of the produce for the Glebe café and restaurant with events, live music, weddings and parties hosted in the Glebe courtyard and amphitheater. Whether you’re a garden enthusiast or foodie, Glebe has something for everyone.

Build around 1500AD by Maurice Bacach Fitzgerald, the 9th Earl of Desmond, Desmond Castle consists of a keep, rear storehouses and offices. Though it was originally constructed as a custom house, the castle has also seen use as a prison and workhouse. The castle has housed the International Museum of Wine since 1997, documenting the story of Ireland’s wine links with Europe and further afield.

Location: Baltimore, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 28 20232

Location: Cork Street, Kinsale, Co Cork Tel: +353 (0) 21 477 4855

Location: The Square, Baltimore, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 28 20125

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Blackrock Castle Observatory HISTORIC CASTLE There’s plenty to do here for the amateur stargazer – an all-ages exhibition on the universe, extreme life forms on earth and life in outer space; a comet chaser interactive exhibit where you can virtually save the Earth from destruction; and the professional astronomical observatory – a working research observatory with a 16” robotic telescope. Blackrock Castle was built over 400 years ago on the River Lee, and the castle and dungeon tours bring you to those areas that still exist as a castle. Location: Castle Road, Blackrock, Cork city Tel: +353 (0) 21 432 6120

Red Abbey HISTORIC SITE The tower of the Red Abbey is the city’s only surviving link to medieval times, the only structure from that era which still stands in the city today. Founded in the late 13th/early 14th centuries, it was once an Augustinian friary, and appears to have been occupied until the rebellion of 1641. Much of the structure was destroyed in a fire in December 1799; by that stage the tower was in use as a sugar refinery. Listed as a national monument, the Red Abbey is currently the focus of a restoration effort. Location: Red Abbey Street, Cork city Tel: +353 (0) 21 4255 100

Shandon Bells

CORK CITY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Discover more about Ireland’s second city – from the prisoners who were once held captive in Cork City Gaol, to the Red Abbey, Cork city’s link to the medieval age. Cork City Gaol HISTORIC SITE Just 2km from the city centre sits this magnificent castle-like building and former jailhouse. Now restored, its furnished cells, life-sized figures, sound effects and audio-visual presentation offer an excellent outing for adults and children alike. Tours are available in 13 languages. Visit the Radio Museum Experience at the same location. Uniquely situated in the Governor’s House, the restored 1920s Radio Studio and surrounding exhibitions provide a nostalgic and informative view of early Irish broadcasting. Open seven days a week throughout the year. Location: Sunday’s Well, Cork city Tel: +353 (0) 21 430 5022

Cork City Hall HISTORIC SITE The current building replaced the previous City Hall which was destroyed during the burning of Cork in 1920. The foundation stone was laid by Eamon de Valera on July 9th 1932 and was officially opened by de Valera on September 8th 1936. The City Hall currently houses Cork city’s administration, while also used to host concerts. During office opening hours, you can visit and see the Connemara marble staircase. The building was designed by architects Jones and Kelly, and the exterior façade uses limestone quarried in nearby Little Island.

Cork Opera House Location: Anglesea Street, Cork city Tel: +353 (0) 21 496 6222

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COUNTY

KERRY

Accommodation

Journeying through County Kerry may be as close as you’ll get to the mythical Ireland you’ll find in brochures and in dreams.

K

erry is the most visited county in Ireland and has more registered-approved accommodation than any other area, apart from Dublin. Kerry’s sandy beaches, majestic mountains and rugged coastlines are home to some of the most unspoiled and atmospheric scenery in the world. The most popular areas include the town of Killarney and the worldfamous Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula. Kerry also covers half of the Beara Peninsula and includes offshore attractions such as Valentia Island and the remote Skelligs, where the ruins of Ireland’s earliest monastic settlements still stand. A spectacular landmass jutting out into the sea in the Kingdom of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula is renowned for its rugged beauty. Majestic rolling mountains, sparkling lakes, haunting woodlands and golden sandy beaches can be enjoyed in this most westerly Kerry coast off Europe. Home to craftspeople such as potters, knitters,

Killarney National Park, Tel: 064 663340 E: info@ladiesview.com

Surfing the Wild Atlantic Way

Muckross Park Hotel

Dingle Skellig Hotel

The Smugglers Inn

Killarney

Dingle

Waterville

One of the oldest hotels in Kerry, the Muckross Park Hotel first opened its doors back in 1795, as The Herbert Arms on the original Muckross Estate. The five star hotel boasts large luxurious guest rooms, with fine dining at GB Shaw’s restaurant, which prides itself on quality local food. For a more informal meal, there’s Molly Darcy’s traditional pub and restaurant while Monks Bar serves cocktails, wines and speciality whiskeys.

A four-star hotel, the Dingle Skellig hotel sits on the shore of Dingle bay with modern rooms, several great dining options and a fantastic view over Dingle bay. The Skellig Leisure Club consists of a swimming pool, jacuzzi and more while the Peninsula Spa is a great way to unwind. A great place from which to explore the region, Dingle Lighthouse, Oceanworld, Gallarus Castle and the Ventry Blue Flag beach are all nearby.

Situated on the famous Ring of Kerry, on a sandy beach one mile from the village of Waterville, this family-run inn is well-known for its warm hospitality and comfortable en suite bedrooms (many with sea view). The gourmet restaurant is world-famous for its fresh seasonal local produce and seafood speciality (live lobsters and crayfish). Recommended by many good food guides, there is also a fully-licensed bar serving bar food.

Location: Killarney, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 64 662 3400

Location: Dingle, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 915 0200

Location: Cliff Road, Waterville, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 947 4330

www.ladiesview.com Enjoy breathtaking views of Killarney’s Lakes from our new roof terrace Cafe “Altitude” Gift Shop * Cafe * Bar Throws * Perfumes Kinitwear * Jewellery * Lace & Headwear The Ring of Kerry refreshment stop

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jewellers, woodworkers, candlemakers, curraghmakers, painters and writers, the Dingle Peninsula is rich in culture. With worldrenowned restaurants and the finest accommodation, ranging from hotels and guesthouses to self-catering cottages and campsites, the Dingle Peninsula has everything you need for an unforgettable holiday. The Dingle Peninsula is a treasure of pre-Christian and early Christian sites and monuments. Features include the mountain-top fortress of Caherconree, the promontory fort at Dunbeg, the beehive dwellings at Fahan, the church ruin at Kilmalkeadar, the excavated monastery at Riask, and the famous Oratory at Gallarus – which is the best-preserved site of early Christian worship in Ireland. Killarney is perhaps Ireland’s most popular tourist town, offering visitors a wide range of accommodation, restaurants, pubs and a unique atmosphere worth sampling at any time of the year. At the beginning of the 20th century, Poet Laureate, Alfred Austin, wrote of the Killarney Valley: “If mountain, wood and water harmoniously blent constitute the most perfect and adequate loveliness that nature presents, it surely must be owned that it has, all the world over, no superior”. The Gap of Dunloe Tour is an iconic tour of Killarney’s three lakes and the magnificent glacial Gap of Dunloe. The tour begins with a journey to Kate Kearney’s Cottage where you can take a pony or jaunting car through the Six-Mile Pass – at your own risk! Alternatively, keen walkers may care to ‘Walk the Gap’ as the Gap offers an ideal opportunity for hiking. After a refreshment stop at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, boats wait on the Gearhameen River to take you on your homeward journey. The Beara Peninsula is the mirror image of the Ring of Kerry and a walk through here will take you through breathtaking

landscapes, little coastal villages and the classic west Cork towns of Bantry and Glengarrif, with stops at the Italian Gardens on Garinish Island. Walking this route usually takes from 10.30am until 5pm. Regarded as one of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of Ireland, no trip to Kerry can be completed without a tour of the famous Ring of Kerry. Part of the mystical and unspoilt region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years, the Ring of Kerry’s spectacular beauty is beyond question and it is a natural centre for outdoor pursuits including golf, cycling, walking, riding and the very best fishing for salmon and trout – in addition to some of the finest beaches in Europe for a traditional seaside holiday. Above all, the Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland. Look out for the Iron Age forts, Ogham stones, old monasteries and a landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago. The Ring of Kerry route covers 170km, starting from Killarney, heading around the Iveragh Peninsula and passing through Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen and Killorglin. Popular landmarks along the way include the Gap of Dunloe; Rossbeigh, the 8km scenic golden sand beach at Glenbeigh which is perfect for both relaxing and adventurous water sports; Derrynane House, home to the late Daniel O’Connell, which has been restored to its former glory; the Skellig Experience; Valentia Island, which is accessible from the bridge at the town of Portmagee; and Molls Gap, located on the long and winding road between Kenmare and Killarney, perfect for viewing the famous MacGillicuddy’s Reeks and surrounding lakes. This is a fabulous driving route with some incredible scenery – be sure not to miss it!

Activities Siamsa Tíre National Folk Theatre

Ladies View Killarney Killarney National Park

Tralee Join us for the Festival of Folk 2017, May 8th – September 23rd 2017, when we bring together the people of Kerry and visitors from all over the world to enjoy the best of Irish culture, music, song and dance. There is an energy, wildness, and passion about these performances which creates a memorable and emotional experience for our visitors. Location: Town Park, Tralee, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 712 3055 Web: www.siamsatire.com

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Great Blasket Island Looped Walk Great Blasket

Overlooking the world-famous Lakes of Killarney, Ladies View on the Ring of Kerry comprises a gift store and café/bar. This is a superb complex that will provide you with a welcome break from your tour in a beautiful and peaceful location. The café/bar has a delightful menu with seating indoors, while the well stocked gift shop will provide you with a great place to shop with very competitive prices. Open daily from 10:00am until 6:45pm and free car parking. Location: Ladies View, Killarney, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 64 663 3430

The looped walk on the scenic Blasket Island in County Kerry takes in the mountain summit, and is a 3.5 hour walk along tracks on this uninhabited island. Once home to an Irish-speaking population, the island lies 2km from the mainland with a summer ferry service operating from Dunquin Pier. Location: Great Blasket Island, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 915 1188

Dingle Artworks

Muckross House

Dingle

Killarney

Dingle Artworks is located in the centre of Dingle town. The main contributor is June McIntyre who founded the gallery in 2001. She specialises in silk paintings, batiks, and oil paintings, including botanical pictures of Kerry flowers. Three other artists also exhibit, including her daughter, sculptor Louise McIntyre, Ian Bucket of Barnyard Animals and ceramicist John Sheehy.

This 19th century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney’s three lakes, famed worldwide for their splendour and beauty. Step back in time to a different Ireland at the traditional farms, witness traditional spinning and weaving, handthrown pottery or relax and dine in the Garden restaurant.

Louis Mulcahy Workshop Slea Head

Location: Green Street, Dingle, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 915220 Web: www.dingleartworks.com

Location: The National Park, Killarney, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 64 667 0144

Located on the scenic Slea Head drive, Louis Mulcahy pottery is a place where you can browse, experience, create, learn, immerse yourself and bring home a memory. There’s a huge selection of pots available, from tiny eggcups and dinner sets to lamp bases and flowerpots. Learn how the pottery is made at the workshop, avail of workshop prices and enjoy home baking and local produce in the café. Location: Clogher, Ballyferriter, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Tel: +353 (0) 66 915 6229 Web: www. louismulcahy.com

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The South West

Shopping

Activities Tralee Bay Wetlands

Mannix Point

Tralee Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre is located off the N86, a stone’s throw from Tralee town centre. Visitors experience the interactive wildlife exhibition, a guided nature boat tour, 20m viewing tower, explore the nature board walk or enjoy the watersports lake. Free car and coach parking and WiFi is available. Location: Ballyard Road, Tralee, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 712 6700

Moriarty’s

Gap of Dunloe, Killarney

Ring of Kerry Located on the water’s edge just outside Cahirciveen on the famous Ring of Kerry, the Mannix Point campsite looks across the bay to Valentia Island, and to the hills and mountains of the south west of Ireland. Praised by visitors for warm welcomes, activities and a great atmosphere, the owner is Mortimer Moriarty, a treasure-trove of local knowledge. Location: Ring of Kerry, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 947 2806

A landmark destination for shoppers, food lovers, families and garden enthusiasts alike, Moriarty’s is located at the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe. A bright and spacious store and restaurant that caters for large tour groups, individuals and families, their exclusive range of tweeds, hand knits and jewelry are unrivalled anywhere, while their restaurant produce is carefully selected from the finest local artisan producers and their own kitchen garden. Nestled amongst beautiful landscaped gardens, customers can learn about the flora, fauna, history and geology of the area through detailed information boards. Location: Gap of Dunloe, Killarney, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 64 664 4144

Gap of Dunloe

Tralee Golf Course

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IRISH MUSIC, SONG AND DANCE

f estival of f ol k

may-september

SHOWS NIGHTLY AT 8.30PM

SONG & DANCE WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE WITH CAST OF NATIONAL FOLK THEATRE

THE NATIONAL FOLK THEATRE OF IRELAND Siamsa Tíre, Town Park, Tralee Box Office: (066) 7123055 • www.siamsatire.com 242317_1C_SiamsaTire_SM_IAYL17.indd 1

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The South West

KERRY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Ruins, walking trails, glacial lakes and fantastic scenery – you may not want to leave. The Blasket Heritage Centre & Restaurant VISITOR CENTRE The Blasket Centre is the ideal stop off at the halfway point of the Slea Head Drive. This famous interpretative centre is dedicated to the memory of the people and culture of the Blasket Island, which was abandoned in 1953. The Centre tells their story with audio-visual presentations, photographic exhibitions, artifacts, storyboards and interactive displays. The restaurant offers a full menu specialising in home baking and a family-friendly experience. Amazing sea views, ample parking and toilet facilities are available. Fáilte romhaibh isteach! Location: Dún Chaoin, Slea Head Drive, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 915 6444

Inisfallen Island HISTORIC SITE Inisfallen’s main claim to fame is the fact that the famous 13th century Annals of Inisfallen were written here and it was also where Ireland’s most famous High King, Brian Ború, was educated. Having hired a boat at Ross Castle in Killarney, a short 20-minute journey takes visitors to the site of a monastery founded in the seventh century by St Finian the Leper. The original monastery is gone but there is a 12th century oratory from a ruined Romanesque priory near the original site. Location: Lough Leane, Co. Kerry

Muckross House

Muckross House HISTORIC HOUSE Discover the magic of Muckross, with something for all ages. Situated amidst the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park, this magnificent Victorian mansion recreates a life of majestic splendour and is the centrepiece of the many aspects of Muckross. Explore the Muckross Traditional Farms, the Muckross Craft Centre and the Garden Restaurant, which all combine to make Muckross a truly unique destination. Location: Killarney, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 64 667 0144

Valentia Island HISTORIC SITE Just 500m off Kerry’s west coast and one mile from the Ring of Kerry, Valentia Island is an unspoilt haven. Easily accessible by ferry at Knightstown or via the bridge at Portmagee, the island is a mere 11km long and 3km wide. Arriving by ferry, the crossing takes just five minutes and the Valentia Ferry runs a continuous shuttle service every day from April to October. Breathe in the scenery and views of Valentia Harbour, Knightstown (with its famous landmark clock and lifeboat station), Valentia lighthouse, the smaller Beginish and Church Islands and the majestic Kerry Mountains. Watch the gannets dive and the seals bob during your journey. A great place to mooch, you’ll find much to interest you on the island. Tetrapod footprints at Dohilla are some 385 million years old, an example of the world’s oldest and rarest fossilised footprints. The Altazamuth in Knightstown was used to determine the earth’s latitude and longitude in 1862. The Megalithic tomb at Feighmane, beehive huts, Ogham stones and other evidence that Valentia has been inhabited since pre-Christian times are all found throughout the tiny island. You’ll find a place for quiet contemplation at St Brendan’s Well. Also, visit the local heritage centre and learn about Valentia’s rich history, its location as the terminus of the first transatlantic telegraph cable and its past inhabitants. Location: Portmagee, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 66 947 6985

Seafari Cruises

Skelligs

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ACTIVITIES AND PASTIMES Seafari’s two-hour, 10-mile long cruise takes you on a magical tour around the sheltered Kenmare Bay. Captain Ray and his guides provide an entertaining commentary throughout and you are given the unique opportunity to see a large colony of common seals and their pups and white-tailed sea eagles. Cameras are highly recommended to remember the experience. Customer comments from Seafari’s visitor’s book show a universal ‘seal’ of approval! The use of binoculars, charts and wildlife books and refreshments of tea, coffee, lollipops and a tot of rum for adults are all complimentary. Reservations are essential for wildlife and barbecue cruises. Location: The Pier, Kenmare, Co. Kerry Tel: +353 (0) 64 664 2059

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WO R K S H O P

CAFÉ

SHOWROOM

Distinctive pieces made with skill and passion by the team in our Workshop near Clogher Strand, Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry

Open 7 Days, All Year Oscailte Gach Lá

The Perfect Stop on Dingle’s Slea Head Drive Clogher Strand, Ballyferriter, Dingle, Co. Kerry

Tel Fón: 066 9156229 • www.louismulcahy.com

IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2018/2019 IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2015/2016

Enjoy the Waterford Crystal Factory Experience. Book your tour online today.

On social media:

ASHVILLE MEDIA GROUP

To book your factory tour visit waterfordvisitorcentre.com or phone +353 (0)51 317000

DUBLIN

SHANNON

WATERFORD CORK

www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

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SHANNON AND THE MIDLANDS

Comprising counties Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, Offaly and Westmeath, the region offers the pastoral tranquility of the River Shannon and the open moors. Great castles, monastic ruins and old cathedrals dot the countryside and are poignant reminders of another Ireland – the Ireland of saints and scholars. IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2017/2018 | 129

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Shannon and the Midlands

Highlights

JULY

WESTMEATH OFFALY

CLARE

TIP PE RA RY

LIMERICK

SHANNON AND THE MIDLANDS

Journey through the Shannon and midland counties where the countryside is welcoming and the atmosphere historic.

F

rom Tipperary in the south to Westmeath in the north, then along the river Shannon into County Clare, Shannon and the Midlands are the heartland of Ireland. Explore the beauty and variety of Ireland’s lush countryside from the historic atmosphere of the Rock of Cashel and Clonmacnoise to the extraordinary stone landscape of the Burren. Cruise the Shannon-Erne waterway, fish the flowing rivers or soak in the atmosphere of the region’s many castles, historic houses and ancient monuments.

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n Sunday 9 July MULLINGAR AGRICULTURAL SHOW, MULLINGAR, CO WESTMEATH One of the oldest agricultural shows in the country. n Monday 10 – Sunday 16 July LIMERICK PRIDE FESTIVAL 2017 Limerick Pride Festival 2017 will showcase a city that is ‘truly open and accepting’, with fun, colourful and exciting events for everyone.

n Saturday 22 July FOYNES AIR SHOW, FOYNES, CO LIMERICK A free, fun-filled family event packed with aerial acrobatics and entertainment.

AUGUST n Friday 4 Friday 11 August BIRR VINTAGE WEEK AND ARTS FESTIVAL, BIRR, CO OFFALY A week-long celebration of Birr’s history and culture with a jam packed programme of events.

TOURIST OFFICE INFORMATION

Travel advisors are happy to advise you when planning a trip. n CLARE: Shannon airport. Tel: +353 (0) 61 471 664 49 Frances Street, Kilrush. Tel: +353 (0) 65 905 2470 The Square, Kilkee. Tel: +353 (0) 65 905 6880 Arthur’s Row, O’Connell Square, Ennis. Tel: +353 (0) 65 682 8366 n LIMERICK: Arthur’s Quay, Limerick city. Tel: +353 (0) 61 31 7522 n TIPPERARY: Banba Square, Nenagh. Tel: +353 (0) 67 31610 n OFFALY: Birr Community Tourist Office, O’Connor Square, Tullamore. Tel: +353 (0) 57 932 5015 n WESTMEATH: Market House, Market Square, Mullingar. Tel: +353 (0) 44 934 8650

BLUE FLAG BEACHES

n Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 August IRISH GAME AND COUNTRY FAIR, BIRR, CO OFFALY Ireland’s national game fair with family entertainment, living history, a food village and more.

OCTOBER n Wednesday 11 – Sunday 15 October OFFLINE OFFALY FILM FESTIVAL, CO OFFALY This festival caters for all film lovers with screenings of new national and international films and documentaries.

THE KEY ACCOMMODATION

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

A voluntary eco-label representing quality beaches. n CLARE Miltown Malbay, Spanish Point, Cappa Pier, Kilkee, Doonbeg, Lahinch, Fanore, Ballycuggeran, Mountshannon

ACTIVITIES

SHOPPING

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Shannon and the Midlands

The Burren, Co. Clare

Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare

Garrykennedy, Co. Tipperary

Cliff walk, Doolin, Co. Clare

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Cliffsof Moher, Co. Clare

Doolin Cave, Co. Clare

ROADTRIP

This leisurely route from the town of Ennis takes in the spectacular coastline of west Clare and the heartlands of the famous Burren region before doubling back to Ennistymon. ENNIS TO LAHINCH From (A) Ennis – home to the Clare Museum and Ennis Friary – follow the N35 north west towards the picturesque town of (B) Ennistymon. Stop to take in the character of the old shop fronts and facades and the fine views of the Cullenagh Waterfalls that can be appreciated from the grounds of the nearby Falls Hotel, or from the sevenarch bridge which spans the river. From here, continue west for about 4km to the popular seaside resort of (C) Lahinch. A must-see town, you can also stop off at the ATM – you might need it for your travels along the coast. JOURNEY: 30km LAHINCH TO LISDOONVARNA Follow the R478 road that arcs north west around Liscannor Bay to the small fishing village of Liscannor, with fine views of the whole bay area. From here, continue north along the R478 that runs alongside the popular Burren Way walking trail, past Hag’s Head and onwards to the (D) Cliffs of Moher, which boasts spectacular views, clifftop walks and an excellent visitor’s centre. From the Cliffs, you can continue to the lively spa town of (E) Lisdoonvarna, a great place to stop and recharge – visit the Burren Smokehouse and get a free taste of Burren smoked salmon. JOURNEY: 16km

south of Black Head. From Ballyvaughan, retrace your steps along the N67 for approx. two km, and turn left onto the R480, which will take you into the heart of (G) the Burren, one of the best ways to see a landscape that has been called ‘otherworldly’. Take the turn to the left 2km after joining the R480 to discover the Aillwee Caves, or continue south and keep an eye out for the impressive megalithic tombs on the east side of the road. Continue south and you’ll soon discover (H) Leamaneh Castle, where the R480 meets the R476. Once a four storey Elizabethan house, only the shell remains

now, though it is still a remarkable site. The nearby 15th century tower house is also worth a visit, and there’s a great view from the top. JOURNEY: 32km LEAMANEH TO ENNIS From Leamaneh, take the R476 west to (I) Kilfenora, which lies on the southern fringes of the Burren. Here you’ll find the Burren Display Centre and Clare Heritage and Genealogy Centre, as well as the 12th century high crosses. From here, you can follow the R481 south west, through Ennistymon, and return to Ennis. JOURNEY: 40km

F E

I

D C

H

G

B

A

LISDOONVARNA TO LEAMANEH From Lisdoonvarna, follow the N67 road north east to the pretty fishing village of (F) Ballyvaughan – stopping off just before the village at Corkscrew Hill, which offers a magnificent view of the limestone terraces

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Accommodation

The Burren

COUNTY

CLARE

With Galway Bay to the north and the Shannon estuary cutting deep into the south, the county of Clare is almost a peninsula.

T

he limestone rock that contributes to the traditionally poor farmland also gives rise to the beautiful Burren, one of the many good reasons to visit Co. Clare. With a long and fascinating history there’s plenty to see, from the spectacular Cliffs of Moher to more than 250 castles in various states of preservation. The towns of Clare, from the narrow streets of Ennis to the old shops and pubs of Ennistymon, have a special charm you’ll find nowhere else. There are few more striking places in Ireland than the majestic limestone landscapes of the Burren in the north of Co. Clare. Named after the Irish word ‘Boireann’ meaning ‘rocky land’, the area is the most extensive limestone region in Britain or Ireland. The lunar landscape of the Burren has evolved over the years into a unique botanical environment where Mediterranean and alpine plants grow side by side. Glacial, wind and rain erosion has formed limestone pavements with deep fissures known as grykes in which well-drained soils and humid, sheltered conditions allow the mélange of plants to prosper. It is also home to some of Ireland’s rarest wildlife, including the elusive pinemartin. The area is dotted with over 2,500 historic sites, including castles, round towers, stone arches, churches and the 5,000-year-old Poulnabrone dolmen. The villages and towns in the area, which include Doolin, Lisdoonvarna and Kilfenora are all worth a visit. The Burren Centre in Kilfenora offers an introduction to the area with various displays and guided Clare tours. The awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher, standing five miles long and towering almost 700ft over

Cliffs of Moher Hotel

Ballinalacken Castle Hotel

Liscannor, Clare

Doolin, Clare

Situated in the tranquil and picturesque fishing village of Liscannor, 4km from both the worldfamous Cliffs of Moher and Lahinch Golf Course. The hotel is also home to the Puffin restaurant and the Submarine bar, where guests can find quality food and drink, combined with a friendly, warm atmosphere. Local attractions include the Burren and Aillwee Caves.

Ballinalacken dates back to 1840, standing beside the 15th century O’Brien Castle, ancestral home of the O’Brien clan. Despite its ancient connections, the hotel offers all the modern comforts. The drawing room, for example, overlooks the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, the rugged Connemara Mountains and the Aran Islands.

Location: Main Street, Liscannor, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 708 6770

Location: Coast Road, Doolin, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 707 4025 Web: www.ballinalackencastle.com

Activities Shannon Ferries Travel Operator The Killimer-Tarbert car ferry links the main tourist routes of Ireland’s Shannon region on the Wild Atlantic Way from Killimer, Co. Clare to Tarbert, Co. Kerry. With scheduled sailings every day, the 20 minute journey across the Shannon estuary will save 137km and provide a staging point for the many nearby attractions. Enjoy our onboard refreshments and our visitor centre ashore at Killimer. Location: Killimer, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 905 3124 Web: www. shannonferries.com

Bunratty Castle

the Atlantic Ocean, are the quintessential emblem of Irishness, making them one of the country’s most visited attractions. On a clear day the fabulous views from O’Brien’s Tower includes the Aran Islands, the mountains of Connemara and the lighthouse on Loop Head. The tower itself was constructed in 1835 by Cornelius O’Brien as an observation point for the hundreds of tourists who visited the cliffs. This visionary was ahead of his time, believing that tourism would develop the local economy and rescue the people from poverty. Clare’s county town of Ennis is one of Ireland’s most charming places. Although the town is now a progressive business and marketing centre and was named the ‘Information Age Town’, it has not lost its appeal and cleverly marries city-calibre nightlife and shopping with the familiarity of a small community. Ennis has a rich history just waiting to be discovered, with the origins of the town dating back to the

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Activities and Pastimes (cont) Killaloe River Cruises

Quin Abbey Ennis, Co. Clare

Killaloe, Co. Clare

Quin Franciscan Friary, Co. Clare

Loop Head

founding of the Ennis Friary by the O’Brien kings of Thomond around 1240AD. The site of this Franciscan friary was originally on an island on the River Fergus around which the modern day town has grown. During the 1370s the friary was one of Ireland’s most important and prestigious theological schools with no fewer than 350 friars and 600 students. To this day, you can find the remains of an ecclesiastical jail cell, where young scholars who engaged in too much wine-induced revelry were sent to think about what they had done! The friary was finally forced to close in 1692 and thereafter fell into ruin. Today, the walls are intact and within there are many interesting sculpted tombs and carvings, including the famous 15th century McMahon Tomb with alabaster panels depicting scenes from the Passion. Back in the town, the Riches of Clare exhibition at the Clare Museum traces the story of the county from 8,000 years ago to the present day through excellent audio-visual presentations mingled with original artefacts. Killaloe is picturesque Clare at its very best. Sited at the southwest tip of Lough Derg, with the stunning backdrop of the Bernagh Mountains to the west and the Arra Mountains to the east, this town manages to find a balance between fascinating history and the modern pleasures of waterbased activities. The magnificent Killaloe Cathedral is definitely worth seeing with its exquisite Romanesque doorway and the early Christian ‘Thorgrim’s Stone’ – unusual as it bears both old Scandinavian Runic and Irish Ogham scripts. Killaloe flourished as an important religious and political centre in medieval times and the Killaloe Heritage Centre provides an excellent starting point for learning about the area.

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Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience Liscannor, Co. Clare

While on board, a detailed commentary will be provided and tea, coffee and snack refreshments are served. Within an idyllic setting on the shores of Lough Derg – Ireland’s ‘pleasure lake’ – with breathtaking views of Counties Clare and Tipperary, the Spirit of Killaloe offers a haven of tranquillity.

Just 3km south east of the village is Knappogue Castle, which hosts medieval banquets. The original Tower House dates from 1467 and during the 1641 rebellion the castle was occupied by Cromwellian forces. The ruin was rescued in the 1960s and with the help of local historians the garden has been redecorated with authentic Victorian plants.

Location: Killaloe, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 86 814 0559 Web: killaloeriver cruises.com

Location: 9 miles outside Ennis, Co. Clare Tel: Ennis Tourist Office: +353 (0) 65 682 8366

Scattery Island Centre

Craggaunowen

Visit the awe inspiring Cliffs of Moher for the ultimate family day out with free admission for children. Located on county Clare’s west coast, the Cliffs stretch for 8 kms/5 miles and 214 metres/700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Open every day from 9am, closing with daylight hours. Open until 9pm in July and August. Location: Liscannor, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 708 6141 Purchase tickets online and save time. Visit: www. cliffsofmoher.ie

Vandeleur Walled Garden

Kilrush, Co. Clare

Quinn, Co. Clare

The Scattery Island Centre is housed in the visitor reception building near the pier on Scattery Island – a 2.5km boat ride from Kilrush, County Clare. On the island you’ll find six church ruins and a 120ft high round tower, famous for being one of the highest of its kind in Ireland. Invaded by the Vikings in years gone by, and reclaimed by Brian Boru, the island is thought to have got its name from Scatty, the Norse word for treasure.

A living in the past experience, this centre interprets Ireland’s pre-historic and early Christian era. Visitors can explore a crannóg, ringfort, medieval castle and the Brendan boat – a leather boat built to re-enact the voyage of St Brendan the Navigator as he journeyed from Ireland to North America, several centuries before Christopher Columbus.

Behind beautiful old stone walls lies the forgotten garden of the Vandeleur Estate. Revived and restored to its former glory, it is now an oasis of tender and tropical plants that thrive in the area’s uniquely western latitude micro-climate. Facilities within the centre include a coffee and gift shop providing homemade food, conference suite and plant sales area. A section of the heritage exhibition, Kilrush in Landlord Times, is also displayed.

Location: Kilrush, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 682 9100

Location: Quinn, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 61 360 788

Location: Kilrush, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 905 1760

Kilrush, Co. Clare

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la Ir e

Re nd a ad t Yo er ur L s O eisu f fe re r

One Destination

A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE

Best time to visit is after 4pm • To be sure of Entry

• Magical Sunsets

• Kids Go Free

• Great Photo Opportunities

• Less Crowded

• Open until 9pm in July & August

PRESENT THIS FLYER WHEN MAKING YOUR

€4.50 entry

PURCHASE TO RECEIVE A SPECIAL REDUCED ENTRY PRICE OF €4.50 FOR ADULT ADMISSION AFTER 4PM

*Valid for admission after 4pm only *Reduced price refers to full adult admission price only

Co. Clare, Ireland. T: +353 65 7086141 242290_1C_CliffsOfMoher_SM_IAYL'17.indd 1

E: info@cliffsofmoher.ie www.cliffsofmoher.ie

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: This flyer is only valid at The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience and must be presented on arrival to avail of discounts. Offer is valid against full adult admission rate only after 4pm and does not apply to any other rate category. Offer valid for each adult in the party. Offer not valid for tickets purchased online. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Will be invalid if reproduced, damaged or tampered with in any way. No cash value is offered in lieu. Offer available to Ireland at Your Leisure readers only. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience reserves the right to withdraw offer at any time. Promoted by The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark

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Shannon and the Midlands

Activities and Pastimes (cont) Clare Museum Exhibition The Riches of Clare exhibition at Clare Museum tells the history of the county over a period of 6,000 years. The exhibition is divided into the themes of Earth, Power, Faith, Water and Energy and includes a large collection of objects on loan from the National Museum of Ireland. Admission is free with ample car parking and free coach parking beside the museum. Location: Arthur’s Row, Ennis, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 682 3382

Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre

Doolin Cave

Visitor Centre

At 7.3 metres (23 feet) Doolin Cave’s Great Stalactite is the longest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. Extend the adventure over ground following a charming farmland nature trail that takes a looped walk around the cave setting, free to all cave visitors. Enjoy delicious home-cooked foods and home-baked cakes in the comfortable surroundings of Doolin Cave Café.

Take a guided tour through beautiful caverns and The Birds of Prey Centre – home to one of the largest selection of eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and vultures. Flying displays provide a rare opportunity to see many of these wonderful species in dramatic free flight. Or watch Burren Gold Cheese being made, visit the gift shop and relax in the tearoom. Location: Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare Tel: + 353 (0) 65 707 7036 Web: www.aillweecave.ie

Natural Attraction

Location: Doolin, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 7075 761 Web: www.doolincave.ie Email: tours@doolincave.ie

Doonagore Castle, Doolin

Bunratty Castle Folk Park

CLARE: PLACES OF

INTEREST

A county where natural beauty and history meet, Clare boasts some of the most extraordinary and fascinating experiences in Ireland. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park HISTORIC SITE Bunratty Castle, built in 1425, offers medieval banquets year round. 19th century Irish life is vividly recreated at the Folk Park, where there are over 30 buildings in an urban and rural setting. Visit Bunratty House, a typical Victorian house with Regency gardens, traditional Irish farmhouses, watermills, a church, blacksmith’s forge and a village street. Traditional Irish nights are held in the Folk Park from April to October while both the Castle and Folk Park are open to day visitors year round (except for Good Friday and December 24th–26th). Reservations are necessary for all banquets/Irish nights. Location: Bunratty, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 61 360 788

The Burren Perfumery NATURAL ATTRACTION Visit Ireland’s first perfumery where natural aromatherapy products and fragrances are hand-produced using traditional methods, including steam distillation. Experience their outstanding audio-visual photographic exhibition, organic herb garden and tea-rooms. Admission free. Open all year round (check website for January). Location: Carron, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 708 9102 Web: www.burrenperfumery.com

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience VISITOR CENTRE The eco-friendly underground visitor centre at Ireland’s most spectacular sea cliffs houses the award-winning Atlantic Edge Exhibition as well as state-of-the-art visitor facilities. Outside, over 500m of cliff-edge pathways and viewing platforms afford fantastic views of the stunning Cliffs of Moher and O’Brien’s Tower. O’Brien’s Tower reopened in 2009 after a restoration project and is open every day for tours. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is open all year round but opening times vary by season – see www.cliffsofmoher.ie for full details. Location: Liscannor, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0) 65 708 6141

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VISIT CLARE MUSEUM AT ARTHUR’S ROW, ENNIS Experience 6,000 years of Clare’s history excitingly captured in the Riches of Clare exhibition.

• ARCHAEOLOGY • FOLKLIFE • HISTORY

OPENING HOURS

June – September: Monday to Saturday 09.30 – 13.00 / 14.00 – 17.30 (last admissions at 17.00) October – May: Tuesday to Saturday 09.30 – 13.00 / 14.00 – 17.30 (last admissions at 17.00) Closed Bank Holiday Weekends

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IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2015/2016

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IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2018/2019

Journey to the Great Stalactite See the largest stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere at Doolin Cave. Enjoy stunning views, meet friendly farmland animals and learn about the unique floral diversity of the Burren on the nature trail. It is free to all cave visitors.

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Shannon and the Midlands

COUNTY

LIMERICK

Accommodation

From the beauty of the Shannon region to the charming and picturesque towns and villages, Limerick is home to a wealth of historical significance.

L

imerick borders Ireland’s scenic southern and western regions and there’s plenty to interest the visitor en route. With Kerry to the south and the Galtee Mountains to the south east, Limerick is primarily an agricultural county – low, undulating farmland famous for its bacon and ham. The county is also renowned for its strong sporting heritage, including rugby favourites Young Munster and Garryowen. Co. Limerick is steeped in history; the 17th century Jacobite Siege of Limerick was a pivotal event in the struggle between Ireland and England and, to this day, the imposing remains of the city’s castle stand as a testament to it. South of the city, there is a host of fascinating historic and prehistoric sites. A few miles southwest of Limerick is the village of Adare, regarded by many as being Ireland’s prettiest and most picturesque village. The village, situated on the River Maigue, dates all the way back to the 13th century and its strategic location resulted in many conquests, wars and rebellions landing on its doorstep. The village has a rich heritage that can be explored at the heritage centre created by the Earl of Dunraven in the 19th century. Adare is also home to the ruins of a 14th century Augustinian priory, Ireland’s only Trinitarian priory, and the 13th century Franciscan friary. This little village, with its thatched cotLimerick tages, medieval churches and old-world charm, has so much to offer that you simply cannot afford to miss it.

Courtenay Lodge Hotel

Deebert House Hotel

Dunraven Arms Hotel

Newcastle West

Kilmallock

Adare, Co. Limerick

Located near the picturesque village of Adare, visitors will stay in one of 39 spacious guestrooms at the Courtenay Lodge Hotel, a three star hotel that prides itself on innovative design and creative architecture, drawing inspiration from the locality. Harry’s Bar and Oscars Restaurant are the perfect place to relax after a day of golfing, fishing or one of the many local activities.

This three star hotel is located in Kilmallock, which sits at the foot of the Ballyhoura Mountains. The hotel lies on the site of Deebert House Mill that dates back to the 1800s, though there is evidence to suggest a mill occupied the site as far back as the 1600s. Modern facilities and old world charm combine to create a 21st century experience with the charm of a bygone era in Kilmallock Hotel in County Limerick.

Location: St. Mary’s Road, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick Tel: + 353 (0) 69 62244

Location: Kilmallock, Co. Limerick Tel: + 353 (0) 63 31200

The Dunraven Arms Hotel has welcomed guests through its doors for the past 200 years. The hotel promises both an old-world atmosphere along with some old-fashioned hospitality. A four-star hotel that was once an old coach house, it includes 86 bedrooms that are uniquely styled – elegant and antique. Location: Main Street, Adare, Co. Limerick Tel: +353 (0) 61 605 900

LIMERICK: PLACES OF

INTEREST

With a range of attractions to interest visitors, Limerick has a diverse and sometimes curious history. Foynes Flying Boat Museum HISTORIC ATTRACTION Come visit the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, housed in the original terminal building in Foynes. See the exhibits and learn about the history of the flying boats in the authentic 1940s cinema. The radio and weather room is full of transmitters, receivers and Morse code equipment. The museum is also home to a full size replica B-314 flying boat and the Brendan O’Regan restaurant. Location: Áras Íde, Foynes, Co. Limerick Tel: +353 (0) 69 65416

Curraghchase Forest Park

Adare Manor

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NATURAL ATTRACTION Curraghchase Forest Park covers 313 hectares of parkland, lakes and woodlands and is home to a wide variety of animals and plants. The estate was once known as Curragh Estate before being changed to Curraghchase, and once belonged to poet and author Aubrey Thomas de Vere, born here in 1814. From the adventurous to the casual walker, there are a number of marked trails that will suit all types of visitors, from wheelchair users to family walkers. A permanent orienteering course is also available. Parking at the site is 5 per car. Location: Kilcornan, Co. Limerick Tel: + 353 (0) 61 337 322

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King’s Island

Accommodation Clarion Hotel Limerick

LIMERICK

CITY

Previously the city of culture for 2014, Limerick enjoys a reputation as a cultural hotspot. A lively city straddling the River Shannon, it is awash with historical architecture, grand museums and rugby enthusiasts.

T

he riverside city of Limerick is one of the largest in Ireland and is the principal town of the county. The city was first established by the Vikings in the 10th century. They used it as a base from which to plunder the surrounding areas. They were eventually driven out of the county by the great high king, Brian Ború. The city was granted its charter by King John in 1197 and he ordered the building of a castle on King’s Island in the heart of medieval Limerick overlooking the Shannon. The castle remains to this day and is the highlight of this heritage precinct, allowing visitors to explore 800 years of history in an imaginative exhibition. Across the river from the castle you can visit the Treaty Stone on which the treaty was signed following the last defence of the city against the Williamites in 1691. Staying on the historical track, the Romanesque St Mary’s Cathedral Limerick City was the ecclesiastical centre of the fortress for hundreds of years and is the city’s oldest building. Erected in 1172 by Donal Mór O’Brien, the last King of Munster, the original plan of the church was in the form of a Latin cross. The cathedral is filled with

Castletroy Park Hotel

Greenhills Hotel

Castletroy

Limerick city

Ireland’s tallest hotel, the Clarion Hotel overlooks the River Shannon that flows through Limerick city. A four star hotel, the Clarion offers airconditioned rooms with complimentary broadband, a health and fitness centre and two great dining options, Sinergie Restaurant – one of the city’s most popular eateries – and the relaxed Kudos Bar, which serves authentic Asian and European cuisine. Centrally located on Steamboat Quay, there’s a host of things to see and do nearby, including the Hunt Museum, Dolans traditional Irish music pub and King John’s Castle.

Located near the University of Limerick’s expansive and beautiful campus, the Castletroy Park Hotel is just 2km from the city centre, easily accessed on foot or through public transport. The four star hotel boasts a range of facilities – conference and banqueting facilities, leisure centre and beauty rooms, and superb accommodation from deluxe rooms to suites. Wi-Fi is available in all areas free of charge, while the hotel also provides free parking (without reservations). Whether you simply want to tour Limerick city or the wider region, the hotel’s location on the edge of the city allows you to do both.

A family-run hotel in Limerick city, the Greenhills Hotel is located next to the home of Munster rugby, Thomond Park, where you can take a tour of the stadium, and is close to King John’s Castle. The hotel is also a short distance from Limerick city centre. In addition, its location allows for easy access from the M7 motorway, making it ideal for visits to Bunratty Castle or Adare village. Facilities at the hotel include luxury accommodation, a restaurant and bar, conference facilities, and a leisure centre.

Location: Steamboat Quay, Limerick city Tel: + 353 (0) 61 444 100

Location: Castletroy, Limerick city Tel: + 353 (0) 61 335 566

Location: Ennis Road, Limerick city Tel: +353 (0) 61 453 033

relics of the past, including several splendidly carved misericords – unique in Ireland as the only pre-Elizabethan carvings, they probably date from around 1480. Between the castle and the cathedral you will find the Limerick City Museum, Tel: +353 (0) 61 417 826, which houses archaeological and historical items that explore Limerick’s past. Also in the area is the Poet’s Corner, where the famous five-line ‘Limerick’ poems are celebrated. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Angela’s Ashes, by local author Frank McCourt, has brought fame to the city in recent years. Visitors can also experience the Angela’s Ashes Walking Tours, Tel: +353 (0) 61 317 522. No trip to Limerick would be complete without a trip to the Hunt Museum, Tel: +353 (0) 61 312 833, housing an internationally important collection of some 2,000 original works selected according to their design, craftsmanship and artistic merit. The works range in period from the Stone Age through to the 20th century and include such treasures as the personal seal of Charles I of England, the Queen Mary of Scots Cross, a coin revered as one of the ‘30 pieces of silver’, and a bronze horse by Leonardo da Vinci. Limerick not only holds a wealth of historical significance; it is also a vibrant modern city and stands as a dynamic educational, economic, social and recreational base for the mid-western region. The city has a renowned university and is also famed for its passion for sport – football and hurling, golf, greyhound racing and boating.

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King John’s Castle

LIMERICK CITY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Follow the trail of Angela’s Ashes, marvel at the city’s old homes and castles or take in the spectacular atmosphere at Munster rugby’s Thomond Park – the choice is yours. Angela’s Ashes Walking Tour GUIDED WALK The Angela’s Ashes Walking Tour is based on

the famous book by author Frank McCourt, which has led to increased interest in Limerick city in recent years, a book that was also made into a successful film starring Robert Carlyle and Emily Watson. Locations along the walking route include Arthur’s Quay, River Shannon, Windmill Street, Barrack Hill, Leamy’s School, Parnell Street and more besides. Tours begin at Limerick’s tourist office each day at 14.30, and bookings must be made in advance with tour guide Noel Curtain. Location: Starting at Limerick Tourist Office, Arthur’s Quay. Tel: +353 (0) 87 235 1339/(0) 61 317522

Bishop’s Palace HISTORIC HOUSE Located adjacent to King John’s Castle, the Bishops’ Palace is the restored home of the former Protestant Bishops of Limerick. The Palace has a classical facade and is related to the English Palladian style. The house is currently occupied by Limerick Civic Trust. Location: Church Street, King’s Island, Limerick city Tel: +353 (0) 61 313 399

Thomond Park SPORTING ARENA Thomond Park is the home ground of Munster Rugby, one of the most successful and best supported rugby clubs in the world. The redeveloped venue now has an increased capacity of 25,600. Visit the Munster Experience Museum where you can gain insight into Munster rugby’s and Thomond Park’s history – from junior to senior level, and the trophies and medals the club and its players have won. Interesting features include visitors’ signatures such as the New Zealand Thomond Park Museum All-Blacks and Australian Wallabies – and the games room, where you can try your hand at throwing a line-out ball. An audio-visual presentation will show you how the new museum was built, replete with photos and facts. Visitors can also take the stadium tour, which brings you from the home dressing room through the tunnel and visits pitch-side and the Munster dugout, allowing for a brief glimpse into how players might feel striding out on match day. Location: Thomond Park, Limerick city Tel: + 353 (0) 61 421 100

St. Mary’s Cathedral

Cruising, River Shannon

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HISTORIC CHURCH Located where a Viking meeting house once stood, St. Mary’s Cathedral may well incorporate parts of the former palace of Donal Mór O’Brien, King of Munster, which he donated in 1168. The cathedral is still in use as a place of daily worship, and visitors can take a stroll around its lofty interior, admiring the gothic stain glass windows, the vaulted roof, medieval floor tiles and the elaborately carved 17th century choir stalls. Location: Bridge Street, Limerick city Tel: + 353 (0) 61 310 293

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Accommodation

Rock of Cashel

COUNTY

TIPPERARY

In County Tipperary you’ll find several ancient heritage sites and a county famed for its natural beauty – rolling landscapes, mountains and lakes and old-world charm.

T

ipperary, Ireland’s largest inland county, is an area of rich farmland that culminates in the southern region of the Golden Vale – Ireland’s richest pasture. Every major town lies along either the banks or tributaries of the River Suir, cutting through the middle of the county. Since the days of Cromwell, the county has been nominally divided into North and South, but these days this refers more to the county’s equestrian credentials than any political boundary. Tipperary is dotted with prosperous towns like Nenagh, Clonmel, Cahir, Thurles, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Fethard, Roscrea and Tipperary town. There are dozens of historical sites, especially the spectacular Rock of Cashel, Norman castles and the tower houses built by the Irish who resisted them. Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. This lively and prosperous town is dominated by one of Ireland’s most dramatic sites, The Rock of Cashel. The Rock lies 200ft above the town and towers over Cashel like a miniature Camelot. Mighty stone walls encircle a round tower, abbey, 12th century chapel and numerous other buildings and High Crosses. In the 4th century the Rock was the seat of power for the Eoghanachta clan from Wales, until St Patrick converted their leader to Christianity in the 5th century. Like so many other strongholds, Brian Ború took the Rock in the 10th century and in 1101 his ancestors gave it to the Church to prevent the Eoghanachta (now McCarthy) clan from retaking it. Cormac McCarthy built the chapel as a sign of goodwill before his departure in 1169. It still survives as the most remarkable Romanesque chapel in the country. Also in Cashel, don’t miss the Cashel Heritage Centre, and the Cashel Folk Village on Dominick Street, featuring thatched dwellings, traditional shops and buildings to transport you back in time. As the capital of Tipperary and Ireland’s largest inland town, Clonmel has a wealth of treasures to offer visitors. Situated on the banks of the River Suir, Clonmel has long been regarded as the best shopping town in the county. Sites of historic interest around the town include the 13th century Franciscan friary on Abbey Street, Old St Mary’s Church, the West Gate and the restored Mainguard,

which was built by James Butler in 1675 as a courthouse for the administrative area of Co. Tipperary.

Clonmel Park Hotel

Cashel Palace Hotel

Clonmel

Cashel

Located just off the main M8 Dublin to Cork route, and five minutes from Clonmel town, the Clonmel Park Hotel is only a short stroll to the shops and nearby retail park. Dine out in the Wheat Bar & Bistro or Howards Restaurant, sampling local fresh produce. A modern hotel with 99 guestrooms, there’s complimentary parking and WiFi, a state-of-the-art leisure centre, live entertainment in the Wheat Bar every weekend and a luxurious eco spa.

The four star Cashel Palace Hotel is a lavish Queen Anne-style house that incorporates walled gardens and a private walk to the nearby historic Rock of Cashel. The hotel features 19 individually-decorated bedrooms, and the finest in modern and local Irish cuisine at the Bishops Buttery Restaurant and Guinness Bar, a nod to the connection between the hotel and the Guinness family – the descendants of the hop plants belonging to Arthur Guinness’ father Richard are still tended to in the hotel’s gardens.

Baileys Hotel Cashel is ideally located halfway between Dublin & Cork in the heart of the historical town of Cashel, nestled in Tipperary’s Golden Vale and within a short stroll of the Rock of Cashel. A beautifully restored listed Georgian building, Baileys Hotel Cashel has a four star rating with 19 rooms plus a luxuriously appointed suite. A la Carte dining is available in Restaurant 42 while the Cellar Bar serves food in a cosy environment.

Location: Main Street, Cashel, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 62 62707

Location: Main Street, Cashel, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 62 61937

Location: Cahir Road Roundabout, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 52 618 8700

Baileys Hotel Cashel

Tipperary Holy Cross Abbey

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Swiss Cottage, Cahir Park

TIPPERARY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Tipperary was once home to the seat of the kings of Munster. Today the county is a treasure trove of historic gems. Rock of Cashel HISTORIC SITE One of the most visited and most spectacular attractions in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel consists of a group of buildings dating from the medieval period, set on an outcrop of limestone and including the 12th century round tower, high cross and Romanesque chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. The round tower is the Rock’s oldest building, constructed in 1101, without mortar. Two of Ireland’s most famous historic figures are associated with the Rock of Cashel – St. Patrick and Brian Boru. Brian Boru, once high king of Ireland, was crowned king of Munster here in 990, while St. Patrick is said to have converted the pagan king of Munster, Aengus MacMutfraich here around 450AD. Attractions include an audio-visual show and exhibitions. Location: Cashel, Co. Tipperary Tel: + 353 062 61437

Nenagh Castle HISTORIC CASTLE Nenagh’s oldest building, Nenagh Castle was constructed in the 13th century, and paved the way for the development of Nenagh town. The castle’s keep, like most keeps, formed part of the perimeter of the fortress, being incorporated in the curtain walls surrounded by a five-sided courtyard. The castle has had extensive renovations from 2009 to completion in June

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2013. A stone spiral staircase leads to the top of the castle, and the tower is accessible via a narrow passageway. Location: O’Rahilly Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 67 33850

Cahir Park NATIONAL PARK Cahir Park Forest was originally part of the Charteris Estate, which was acquired by the Irish government in the 1930s. The estate was originally owned by the Butlers of Ormonde until the 18th century, and both the castle on the banks of the River Suir in Cahir and the Swiss Cottage located 2km downstream in Cahir Park Wood remain popular tourist attractions. Originally used as a quiet retreat for the estate’s owners and guests, a guided tour is now offered in the Swiss Cottage, which gets many thousands of visitors each year. Take a stroll through the forest along a number of paths, or make use of the picnic tables at the carpark near the wood’s entrance. There’s plenty of wildlife living in these woods and waters, including swans, ducks, cormorants, squirrels, pheasant and woodcock. Location: Cahir, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 52 41453

Farney Castle HISTORIC HOUSE First built in 1185, the castle was originally a wooden structure. The round tower was constructed in 1495 by Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond, part of a defensive system the family employed to protect their lands in Tipperary. Farney Castle remained in the hands of the Butlers for 500 years until the castle was confiscated by King Henry VIII of England in 1536, though he returned the lands to the family once he married Anne Boleyn (daughter of James, 3rd Earl of Ormond). Following the Cromwellian years, the castle fell into the grasp of the Armstrongs – who fought against Cromwell and who spent 200 years in the castle until the late 1800s. Location: Holycross, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 504 43281

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Thurles Famine and War Museum MUSEUM Site of the pre-Reformation church of Thurles, the original structure – on which the current museum stands – was built in the 13th century by the Normans, and passed back and forth between Catholic and Protestant ownership over the following centuries, and was built on and reconstructed several times; the structure today was erected in 1812. Today, it houses the Thurles Famine and War Museum that commemorates the many people who lost their lives during the Great Famine 1845-1850. Holding the largest collection of Famine memorabilia in Ireland, interesting items include the only known minutes of a Famine food committee, as well as an example of 18th century clothing. Recently, the museum has been extended to include a collection of war memorabilia. Location: St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 504 21133

Ormond Castle

High Cross, Cashel

HISTORIC CASTLE Built by Thomas, the 10th Earl of Ormond, in the 1560s, Ormond Castle is the best example of an Elizabethan manor house in Ireland. Closely integrated into the manor house are two 15th century towers and the castle is Ireland’s only major unfortified dwelling from that period. Inside, you can view the state rooms, which contain some of the finest decorative plasterwork in the country, including plasterwork portraits. Access to the castle is free of charge, and by guided tour only. Location: Castle Park, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 51 640 787

Swiss cottage, Cahir

Rock of Cashel

Shopping Ballyartella Woollen Mills Shopping John Hanly + Co. Ltd, located at Ballyartella Woollen Mills, outside Nenagh on the banks of the Nenagh river, is one of the oldest and last surviving woollen mills in Ireland. Established in 1893 by the Hanly family, spinning weaving and finishing were all carried out on site making woollen blankets and tweed fabrics. In 1950 a fire destroyed much of the old mill but the business continued with weaving and that still continues to this day. Woollen fabrics and scarves and throws are now the mainstay of the business. Over 70 per cent is exported all over Europe, Japan and the USA. At the factory they have a factory shop selling factory products and beautifully Irish-made products. As it’s a factory shop it is only open when the factory is open so please contact the website for opening times.

The Glen of Aherlow

Location: Nenagh, Co. Tipperary Tel: +353 (0) 67 24 278 Web: www.johnhanly.com

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Accommodation Bridge House Hotel and Leisure Club

Activities

County Arms Hotel

Tullamore Dew Centre

Birr

Tullamore

For a luxury stop-off in Birr, Co. Offaly, travellers can choose the County Arms Hotel. The hotel has 70 bedrooms, all decorated to a four-star standard. The Trilogy Bar and Brasserie, which offers quality food and drink in a charming setting, is the perfect way to end your day. The chefs use fresh ingredients grown in the hotel’s gardens and greenhouses, as well as locally sourced meats.

A trip to Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre begins with the birth of a brand and ends with it in your glass. See how Tullamore Dew uses malting to trick their barley into growing and hear the tales of the distillery’s early workers. The full tour takes in every step and story of the artisan craft of whiskey making, told through captivating audio-visual media and the centre’s expert guides, finishing with a complimentary whiskey tasting.

Location: Railway Road, Birr, Co. Offaly Tel: + 353 (0) 57 912 0791

Location: Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly Tel: + 353 (0) 57 932 5015

Tullamore

Clonmacnoise, Co.Offaly

COUNTY

OFFALY

Located in the centre of thriving Tullamore is the four star Bridge House Hotel and Leisure Club. With its spectacular entrance and elegant foyer, its grand crystal chandelier and magnificent marble stairway, it is a fabulous setting for your trip. With room service available 24 hours per day, there is also ample free parking and internet access throughout the building. Location: Bridge Street, Tullamore, Co. Offaly Tel: + 353 (0) 57 932 5600

Nestled in the heart of Ireland, Offaly is a landscape of wildlife, bogland, tumbling monastic ruins and picturesque mountains.

B

ordered on the north by Westmeath and to the south by Laois and the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Offaly’s main towns are Tullamore and Birr, which is one of only 15 members of the Heritage Towns of Ireland Association. The county is also home to Clonmacnoise, the most extensive monastic settlement in Ireland. Also of massive archaeological significance is the Bog of Allen and Boora Bog between Ferbane and Kilcormac. During the Viking raids of the 9th and 10th centuries these flat, marshy lands provided a measure of defence for the local inhabitants but in recent years they have achieved greater prominence with the discovery of 9,000-year-old flint weapons. Clonmacnoise was once home to some 3,000 scholars during Europe’s Dark Age, but today you will simply find cattle grazing among the tumbled walls and birds nesting in the silent bell towers. St Ciarán established Clonmacnoise in 548AD at an intersection of the River Shannon on an important junction Offaly for Celtic river and road travel. The settlement has a violent and troubled history and has been destroyed at least 13 times by invading forces. It was finally razed by the English in 1552, but the ruins

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River Shannon

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Telescope at Birr Castle

remain the most extensive of their kind in Ireland and include a cathedral, eight churches, two round towers, three high crosses and hundreds of early Christian cross slabs. The country partly owes its title as ‘The Land of Saints and Scholars’ to Clonmacnoise, a humbling site that is still revered as a place of pilgrimage to this day. Tullamore is the county town of Offaly. This vibrant and progressive town owes much of its development to its position on the Grand Canal, which provided important transport links in the early days. It is the home of Tullamore D.E.W., a fine whiskey, and the Tullamore D.E.W. Heritage Centre charts the development of the town and the part that the whiskey industry played in that development. About a mile to the south of the town is the Charleville Forest Castle. This eerie Gothic castle boasts not only spectacular interiors but extensive grounds and the oldest oak tree in Ireland.

Birr Castle Demesne HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Birr Castle Demesne covers 50 hectares of parkland, encompassing rivers, a lake, waterfalls, formal gardens and Victorian fernery. The gardens are famous for their outstanding collection of trees and shrubs, accumulated from around the world, and are home to the Great Telescope. The Science Centre at Birr Castle, located in the old stable yard, explores the story, beginning with the construction of the telescope and what it revealed in the heavens. Birr Castle Demesne offers an excellent way to spend a relaxing afternoon while learning about the important scientific achievements of the Irish in the 18th century. Location: Birr, Co. Offaly Tel: + 353 (0) 57 912 0336

Lemanaghan Monastic Site

OFFALY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

With a diverse and multifaceted history, Offaly has countless attractions within its borders, from the ancient monastic site of Lemonaghan, to Tullamore’s Charleville Castle. Tullamore D.E.W. Heritage Centre HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Open all year round, the Tullamore D.E.W. Heritage Centre relates the story of Tullamore D.E.W. Whiskey. Housed in an 1897 converted Bonded Warehouse, visitors will see how malting was used to trick barley into growing, and hear the tales of the distillery’s early workers. The full tour takes in every step of the artisan craft of whiskey making, and is told through audiovisual media and knowledgable guides. To suit the know-how levels of Tullamore D.E.W. enthusiasts, experts and aficionados, visitors can choose from two tours. The first caters for the inquisitive, who want to truly get to know their favourite whiskey. The second is for those already well-acquainted with the whiskey-making process, but want to investigate a little deeper. The tour ends with a tutored tasting. Facilities on-site include a bar and restaurant, tourist office and gift shop. Location: Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly Tel: +353 (0) 57 932 5015

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION In 645 Diarmait, king of Ireland, granted this site to the monks of Clonmacnoise after they successfully prayed for his victory in battle. Not long afterwards, St Monaghan, a respected scholar, left Clonmacnoise and journeyed here, founding a monastery at Tuaim-nEirc. Monaghan perished in the yellow plague of 664. Since then, this area has been known as Lemanaghan: ‘the grey lands of Monaghan’. The isolated monastery experienced a golden age during the 12th century, which saw the building of the church with its beautiful Romanesque doorway and St Monaghan’s shrine. However, by 1682 it was no longer used as a place of worship. The holy well and tree continue to be a site of pilgrimage and prayer. The feast day of St Monaghan is celebrated on January 24th each year and St Monaghan’s Shrine is still venerated at the Catholic church in Boher. Location: On the R436 from Ballycumber to Ferbane; on the turn for Pullough Tel: Heritage Office, Offaly County Council, Co. Offaly: +353 (0) 57 934 6839

Charleville Castle HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Situated in Ireland’s most ancient primordial oak woods, Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Co. Offaly is Ireland’s finest gothic revival castle. Built between 1798 and 1810, it is considered to be Francis Johnston’s masterpiece, one of the leading architects of the day who also designed the GPO in Dublin. The castle is available for weddings ceremonies, seminars, photo-shoots, filming onsite, concerts and other special events, and is home to the Castlepalooza music and arts festival. Location: Tullamore, Co. Offaly Tel: + 353 (0) 57 932 3040

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Shannon and the Midlands

Belvedere House, Co. Westmeath

COUNTY

WESTMEATH

One of Ireland’s smaller counties, what Westmeath lacks in coastline, it makes up for in an abundance of lakes and waterways – the ideal base for a watersports holiday.

W

estmeath is a county of lakes and rich pastureland, well-known to trout fishermen and connoisseurs of the county’s most celebrated export: beef. Athlone, with its spectacular castle and set as it is on the glorious River Shannon, is known as the ‘Gateway to the West’. Goldsmith Country to the north of the town is one of the most scenic spots in the midlands. The county’s main centre of activity is Mullingar to the east, the only town in Ireland, aside from Dublin, beloved of James Joyce. Today, it is beloved of golfers and fishermen. Further information is available from the Mullingar Discover Ireland Centre, Tel: (047) 934 8650.

ATHLONE Athlone is the largest town on the River Shannon. It is seen as the centre of Ireland and is situated on the main Dublin-Galway route, making it an excellent stopping-off point when touring the country. Its riverside location opening on to Lough Ree makes it ideal for cruising the Shannon, fishing, or enjoying any number of

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Westmeath

Accommodation Mullingar Park Hotel

Creggan Court Hotel

Annebrook House Hotel

Mullingar

Athlone

Mullingar

The four-star Mullingar Park Hotel has earned a strong reputation as one of the leading hotels in the Midlands. It is ideally situated on the outskirts of Mullingar town, just one hour from Dublin. This contemporarily designed four-star hotel is elegantly decorated, tastefully furnished and fully equipped to international standards.

Located close to Athlone town centre, this hotel is also close to the M6 motorway, and is an ideal place from which to explore the midlands region. Featuring 70 bedrooms, the decor is light and colourful, there is carvery and bar food served daily, while the hotel also boasts impressive conferencing facilities.

A family-run hotel in Mullingar, this four-star location is one of the most centrally located hotels in the town. It features a wide range of guestrooms with facilities including personal safes, WiFi and morning newspapers. A carvery meal is served daily and bar food is available until 9pm.

Location: Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath Tel: + 353 (0) 44 933 7500

Location: Athlone N6 Centre, Athlone, Co. Westmeath Tel: + 353 (0) 90 647 7777

Location: Austin Friar Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath Tel: + 353 (0) 44 935 3300

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Shannon and the Midlands

WESTMEATH: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Steeped in mythology and history, Westmeath is home to historic houses, museums and plenty of gardens and parks should you choose to stretch your feet. Tullynally Castle HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Located just 2km west of Castlepollard are the gates of Tullynally, a huge rambling castle built by successive Earls of Longford. The Pakenhams, who later became the Earls of Longford, settled here in the 17th century and three generations still live here in their family home. Wide, terraced lawns around the castle lead to winding paths, lakes, walled gardens and assorted summer houses and follies. The adventurous should not miss the forest walk to the Chinese garden, complete with pagoda, and then on to the lower lake, past plantings of giant lilies and rhododendrons. For children there are llamas, ducks and a special treasure trail. Location: Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath Tel: +353 (0) 44 966 1159

Kilbeggan Distillery Experience

Tullynally Castle

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Established in 1757, the Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest licensed pot-still distillery in the world. The distillery is now open to the public as a museum. A guided tour, explaining the process of whiskey-making, is a visit you should have on your Irish itinerary. See for yourself the traditional method of mashing in oak mash tuns, fermenting in Oregon pine vats and the new Kilbeggan malt spirit flowing from ancient pot stills. Of course no visit would be complete without the complimentary glass of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey at the end of your tour! Location: Main Street, Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath Tel: +353 (0) 57 933 2134

water-based activities. Take a tour of Lough Ree on a powerboat with Hodson Bay Watersports, Tel: +353 (0) 90 649 4801. Athlone’s strategic position on the Shannon is evident from the splendid fortress of Athlone Castle, dating from 1210. Not only does the castle offer spectacular panoramic views of the river and the surrounding countryside, there is also a museum housed in the oldest part of the castle, the central keep. During the summer months the town comes alive with festivals, guided tours and boat trips, along with some of the finest shops and restaurants in the midlands. An Dún Transport and Heritage Museum, Tel: (090) 643 0106, is definitely worth a visit, with a collection of vintage cars, farm equipment and a European model railway and cable car among their collection. Just 10km north of Mullingar you will find the enchanting village of Crookedwood. It lies on the shores of Lough Derravarragh where the legend of the Children of Lir evolved. As the story goes, the children were exiled by their stepmother to live as swans in the Lough for hundreds of years. North of Crookedwood you will find Castlepollard, a district of low hills that provides the perfect centre for discovering the Westmeath lakelands. The 17th-century, Gothic revival Tullynally Castle is just outside the village and its gardens are open to visitors in the summer. Just a few more kilometres down the road is the quaint village of Coole, home to an excellent amenity area on the shores of the Lough and Turbotstown House, a Georgian mansion designed by the celebrated architect Francis Johnston. While in the area do not miss the charming Multifarnham, built around a Franciscan friary in the 13th century. In the grounds of the friary you will find life-sized stations of the cross, one of the finest outdoor shrines in Ireland.

Kilbeggan Distillery Experience

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THE WEST

With its incredibly varied landscape, the west is sure to be a highlight of any visit to Ireland. Wandering Galway city’s cobble-stoned streets, you’ll get to know one of the most vibrant and dynamic cities in the country. Elsewhere in the west, from fishing along the Shannon, the Inny and the Camlin River in County Longford, to traversing the wild beauty of the Aran Islands and the rugged landscape of Connemara, there’s a rare charm and a sense of hospitality you’ll find nowhere else. County Mayo boasts stunning seascapes and peaceful tranquility, while County Roscommon, with its pristine rivers, lakes and hillsides, offers unique heritage experiences and plenty of activity.

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The Wesr

Pine Island, Derryclare Lough, Co Galway

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The West

Highlights

MAYO

Macnas Festival, Galway City ROSCOMMON

N LO

GF

O

RD

GALWAY

WEST

A rugged landscape, friendly people, the Irish language and much more is waiting to be discovered in Ireland’s western region.

T

he west is sure to be a highlight of any visit to Ireland with an incredibly varied landscape that you need time to discover. From blue flag beaches to a spectacular bogland, Mayo is sure to surprise. Roscommon could be described as operating under the radar and is a great destination for watersports and river and lake cruises. It’s also the site of a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site at Rathcroghan, and birthplace of Chris O’Dowd, star of Bridesmaids. Longford’s lakes and waterways, meanwhile, complement a gentle countryside that is bound to attract those with an outdoor-sy nature. And then there’s Galway – home to the cobbled streets of Galway city and also to ancient Connemara, marked by bog grasses, stone walls and rugged landscape and a remoteness that is hard to find elsewhere. So, get ready to visit a region of history and culture, of traditional music and fantastic food, of achingly beautiful scenery and welcoming people. Welcome to the west.

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JULY n Saturday 1 – Sunday 2 July GALWAY GARDEN FESTIVAL, CLAREGALWAY, CO GALWAY Showcasing the best rare and special plant traders from Ireland and further afield. n Wednesday 5 – Friday 7 July PERCY FRENCH FESTIVAL 2017, CASTLECOOTE, CO ROSCOMMON Celebrating the life and times of songwriter and entertainer William Percy French.

n Monday 17 – Sunday 30 July GALWAY INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL, GALWAY CITY, CO GALWAY The worlds of visual art, street theatre, music, dance and spoken word collide on Galway city’s streets. n Thursday 20 – Sunday 30 July BOYLE ARTS FESTIVAL 2017, BOYLE, CO ROSCOMMON Ten days jam-packed with events and activities for all ages.

TOURIST OFFICE INFORMATION n GALWAY: Galway City, Co. Galway. Tel: 091 537 700 n MAYO: Bridge Street, Westport, Co. Mayo. Tel: 098 25711 n ROSCOMMON: John Harrison Memorial Hall The Square, Roscommon. Tel: 090 662 5613 n LONGFORD: Market Square, Longford town. Tel: 043 334 2577

AUGUST n Sunday 6 August GIRO DE BAILE, BALLYCASTLE, CO MAYO A scenic cycle with three route options along the North Mayo coast. n Saturday 12 – Tuesday 22 August BELMULLET GALA FESTIVAL 2016, BELMULLET, CO MAYO A festival filled with family fun and entertainment.

OCTOBER n Tuesday 24 – Monday 30 October VODAFONE COMEDY CARNIVAL, GALWAY CITY, CO GALWAY An annual comedy festival featuring the best of Irish and international talent.

THE KEY ACCOMMODATION

BLUE FLAG BEACHES n GALWAY Loughrea Lake, Traught, Salthill, Silverstrand, An Trá Mhór, Trá an Dóilin, Cill Muirbhthe, Portumna n MAYO Carrowmore, Clare Island, Dooega, Keel, Keem, Dugort, Golden Strand, Mullaghroe, Elly Bay, Ross Killala, Mulranny, Bertra

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

ACTIVITIES

SHOPPING

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The West

Roundstone Harbour, Co Galway

Baltimore Beacon, Co Cork

The Aran Islands

Keem Bay, Achill Island

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The West

Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway

Connemara, Co. Galway

ROADTRIP

Travelling from Newport, County Mayo to Doolin in County Clare, your roadtrip through Ireland’s western region certainly won’t be lacking in excitement. DAY 1 Leave (A) Newport, County Mayo, along the shore of (B) Clew Bay, on the N59 heading south for Connemara, County Galway. Stop at (C) Kylemore Abbey, beautifully overlooking a lake. Originally a millionaire’s mansion, it is now home to Ireland’s Benedictine nuns. Spend the rest of your day exploring Connemara. In the mountains of the National Park you’ll find adventure sports galore, or you can take the easier option and laze on any one of the sparkling white beaches that fringe the coastline. An overnight stay in the pretty fishing village of Roundstone, County Galway is recommended. A 40 minute drive incorporating the Sky Road will afford you stunning views and along the way to (D) Roundstone you can stop off at the Station Museum and Connemara Heritage & History Centre. JOURNEY: 101km DAY 2 Follow the N59 from Roundstone leading to (E) Galway city where you can take time out to wander before getting back in the car. You can also choose to lose yourself for a couple of extra days, exploring the attractions on offer in Galway city or simply go for a stroll along Salthill promenade to stretch your legs. Along the route, you can make a detour along the R340 out to Patrick Pearse’s Cottage (Teach an Phiarsaigh). The cottage was used by Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 Rising, as a summer residence and summer school for his pupils. Back on the N59 you can stop off at the Glengowla Mines and Aughnanure Castle in Oughterard. Find your way to the N18 and R460 and head towards the (F) Burren in County

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and after you’ve tapped your feet to the sound of the bodhrán (small Irish drum) and fiddle, make your way to the harbour, park the car and catch the ferry to the (I) Aran Islands. Just 20 minutes later you’ll find yourself besotted by the warm and wonderful sense of tradition here, with a wild beauty that captures the soul. Try to spend the day exploring the islands and their landscapes of limestone rock. On Inis Mór you can visit Dún Aonghasa, the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands. A veritable outdoor museum of artefacts and cultural importance, the first language on the islands is Gaelic, but the fáilte (welcome) goes far beyond words. Overnight on the islands or in (J) Doolin; the choice is yours. JOURNEY: 19km

Clare, which boasts a magical karst limestone landscape scattered with ancient settlements, tombs, and enchanting flora and fauna. Along the route, you can make a detour to Kinvara and visit Dunguaire Castle. Kiltartan Gregory Museum and Coole Park are also located en route. (G) Lahinch, a little to the south, is a good place to overnight, with yet another amazing beach that surfers will adore. JOURNEY: 177km DAY 3 From Lahinch it’s a short drive north to Doolin. However, you can make a stop off at the spectacular (H) Cliffs of Moher along the way, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. Doolin is often referred to as the capital of Irish traditional music,

A B

C D

E I J H

F G

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The West

Accommodation Sleepzone Tourist Hostel Galway city and Connemara

CITY

GALWAY

County Galway is located in the province of Connacht. The second-largest county in Ireland, it stretches from its eastern border with County Offaly to the Atlantic coast in the west making for an extremely varied landscape, ranging from inland farming plains to the valleys and wild, rugged coastline of Connemara.

G

alway has a rich and interesting heritage – for example the Claddagh is an area in Galway city that was once a distinct community with its own king who led the fishing fleet and made the major decisions. The fishermen here sailed a particular type of boat known as a ‘hooker’ and they spoke the Irish language. Their fishing catches were sold at Galway market beside the Spanish Arch, located in Galway city, and the age-old ceremonial blessing of Galway Bay and its fishermen still takes place annually. Although the old thatched cottages are long gone, the distinctive Claddagh ring is still worn on many hands. The Irish name for Galway (Gaillimh) means ‘stony river’, and it is believed that Galway city had its early beginnings as a fishing village. Over the centuries, this ‘City of the Tribes’ (socalled because of its 14 prosperous ruling families) expanded to become a Norman walled town and by the 14th century had developed into a thriving merchant centre whose ships traded as far afield as Spain and Portugal. The city was granted its charter by King Richard II in 1396, when he proclaimed its people to be his loyal subjects. The region entered a long period of decline with the emergence of prominent sea ports on the east coast, namely Dublin and Waterford. It would be many years before Galway would again enjoy such prosperity, but the character and style of the city is evidence of its medieval legacy. Today, Galway is thriving, and along with being a popular seaside destination with beautiful beaches and a long, winding promenade where you can watch the sunset over Galway Bay, the city is a hub for entertainment. Aside from being filled with excellent pubs, hotels and restaurants, the city is known for its many festivals with huge crowds gathering for the annual Galway Arts Festival, Galway Races and numerous other events taking place throughout the year. Old Ireland is present too, with turf fires and traditional music featuring in many pubs.

With three great Sleepzone hostels along the Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll never be stuck. Sleepzone Galway city is a great budget base with self-catering facilities and free Wi-Fi. The Connemara hostel overlooks spectacular Killary Harbour and is close to great walks, drives and outdoor activities. Our Burren hostel, meanwhile, is a great base from which to explore Clare. Location: HQ Woodquay, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 566 999

Park House Hotel

Ard Einne House

Foster Street, Eyre Square, Galway City

Inis Mór

Boasting a superb and convenient location in the heart of Galway city centre with many popular attractions on its doorstep, Park House Hotel is an excellent four-star accommodation. In addition to its enviable position, the hotel boasts a renowned restaurant and friendly service. It also serves as an excellent base for touring the west, including Connemara, the Burren, Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. Location: Eyre Square, Galway City Tel: +353 (0) 91 564 924

Ard Einne House is a three star family-run bed and breakfast with spectacular views and its own beach. After a busy day, guests can relax in the lounge, which looks out over Galway Bay. It is an ideal base for exploration of historical Inis Mór. One can travel to Inis Mór by ferry from Ros a Mhile (Galway) or Doolin (Clare) or by air (Inverin, Galway). Location: Clodagh ni Ghoill Ard Einne House Inis Mor, Arainn, Co na Gaillimhe Tel: +353 (0) 99 61126 Web: www.ardeinne. com / www.ardeinnearan.com

Galway city

JFK Memorial Plaque, Galway city

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The West

Galway Arts Festival

GALWAY CITY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Cobbled streets, fun festivals, plenty of shopping options and a host of great restaurants – Galway city welcomes you. The Spanish Arch HISTORICAL SITE Today home to the Galway City Museum, the Spanish Arch was built in 1584 and is located on the banks of the river Corrib, and on the site more commonly known as Ceann na Bhalla (The Head of the Wall). Originally an extension of the famous city walls, designed to protect the quays, in the past it was known as the Blind Arch. The arch features a wooden sculpture by well-known artist Claire Sheridan, who lived in the adjacent building during the 1950s. Location: Galway city

Galway City Museum

Among the museum highlights are the Galway civic sword and great mace. The civic sword dates from the charter of King James I in 1610, which granted authority for the carrying of such a weapon before the Mayor. The great mace, a massive piece of ornamental silverwork crafted in Dublin in 1710, was presented to the town by Edward Eyre, Mayor of Galway, in 1712. The museum is also home to two iconic symbols of the city – the statue of Padraic Ó Conaire and a traditional sailing vessel or Galway hooker, named Máirtín Oliver, which was made especially for the museum. Location: Spanish Parade, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 532 460

St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church of Ireland HISTORICAL SITE St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church was established in Galway city in 1320 and is dedicated to St Nicholas of Myra, known today as Santa Claus. The structure is well preserved, and inside visitors can view fragments of two wooden mitres and a crown that survived, in addition to the unique triple nave, fascinating carvings, gargoyles and stained glass windows. The church has attracted many notable visitors over the years, including Christopher Columbus, who is said to have prayed here during a visit to Galway in 1477. Location: Market Street, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 564 648 Galway Races

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION The museum houses exhibitions thar

explore aspects of the history and heritage of Galway city. Current exhibitions include: Routes to the Past (prehistoric Galway); Galway Within the Walls (Medieval Galway); Pádraic Ó Conaire: the Man and the Statue; Lamb in Connemara (Paintings by Charles Lamb); Dance Hall Days; Cinema, Galway goes to the Pictures; the Arts in Galway, and Galway & the Wars of Empire.

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IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2018/2019

IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2015/2016

Enjoy the Waterford Crystal Factory Experience. Book your tour online today.

On social media:

ASHVILLE MEDIA GROUP

To book your factory tour visit waterfordvisitorcentre.com or phone +353 (0)51 317000

DUBLIN

SHANNON

WATERFORD CORK

www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

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If you would like to advertise in Ireland At Your Leisure 2018/2019, please call Paul Clemenson, Sales Director on (01) 432 2262 or email paulclemenson@ashvillemediagroup.com

P

eacockes is the perfect base for visitors looking for a hotel in Connemara; outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore or those who want to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Connemara. It is a great place to stay, eat or drink. Sit back and enjoy the comfortable surroundings and efficient service, which provide a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

• Accommodation • Bar & Restaurant • Craft Shop • Coffee Shop • Conferencing Facilities Free Tea or Coffee when you order a main course or dessert

Tel: 091 552 306 | E-mail: info@peacockes.ie | www.peacockes.ie

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The West

Shopping McCambridge’s 38/39 Shop Street, Galway city McCambridge’s is a wonderful mix of select grocer, coffee shop, delicatessen and specialist offlicence downstairs, with upstairs offering a beautiful light and airy casual-style restaurant, using local ingredients to produce a range of modern Irish dishes with a Mediterranean influence. The food emporium downstairs has a great range of Irish and international cheeses and meats and a huge selection of Irish confectionery. Location: 38/39 Shop Street, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 562 259

Dining

Galway Farmers Market

Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold

McDonaghs Restaurant

38/39 Shop Street, Galway city

Galway city

Galway city

Galway’s famous bustling market has been trading in Church Lane by St Nicholas’ Church in the centre of Galway city, Co. Galway, for centuries. Visitors will find hundreds of stalls selling fresh produce and locally produced crafts and there’s a great variety of food available. Takes place every Saturday and Sunday.

Location: Beside St Nicholas Church, Church Lane, Galway city

Cava Bodega Galway city

Ard Bia at Nimmos Galway city

The original makers of the Claddagh ring and the oldest jewellers in Ireland, Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold was established in 1750. Situated in Ireland’s west coast capital, Galway city, all rings are officially stamped with a hallmark by the Irish Assay Office, which guarantees quality. Rings are hand-made in the workshop and Thomas Dillon’s can guarantee true craftsmanship and excellence.

McDonagh’s Seafood restaurant features a variety of fish dishes, from native Clarenbridge oysters to scallops, prawns, hake and lemon sole, as well as wild mussels and smoked salmon from Connemara. They also serve locally brewed beers and stout. In their Fish & Chips Bar the fish is cooked to order. Fish and chips can be taken away or eaten on the premises. Outdoor seating is available during summer months.

Situated in Galway city centre, all three of their restaurants serve the best of local, artisan and seasonal produce. The EatGalway Restaurant Group caters for all tastes. Cava showcases the very best of Spanish food and wine. Eat Gastro Pub demonstrates a commitment to good food presented in the warm and friendly setting, and Aniar, a terroir-based restaurant, reveals the food stuffs that make up Galway’s particular landscape.

Location: 1 Quay Street, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 566 365

Location: 22 Quay Street, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 565 001

Location: Middle Street, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 539 884

At Ard Bia at Nimmos restaurant, visitors can discover myriad choices of cuisine – dishes from Ireland, New Zealand and the Middle East all descend on Galway city. There is food here to suit everyone’s taste, from seasonal meats to fresh fish. All dishes are complemented by local artisan produce. The restaurant also hosts a range of cultural events throughout the year. Location: Spanish Arch, Long Walk, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 561114

Galway Arts Festival

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29/06/2017 12:16

IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2015/2016

Enjoy the Waterford Crystal Factory Experience. Book your tour online today.

On social media:

ASHVILLE MEDIA GROUP

To book your factory tour visit waterfordvisitorcentre.com or phone +353 (0)51 317000

DUBLIN

SHANNON

WATERFORD CORK

www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

IAYL Cover.indd 17

Ireland at your Leisure IAYL 234618_1C_Waterford Cover.indd 17 Advert_A4.indd Crystal_IAYL.indd1 1

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IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2018/2019 If you would like to advertise in Ireland At Your Leisure 2018/2019,

please call Paul Clemenson, Sales Director on (01) 432 2262 or email paulclemenson@ashvillemediagroup.com

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The West

Accommodation Rockbarton Park Hotel

Salthill Hotel

Peacockes Hotel

Salthill, Co. Galway

Connemara

Boasting 161 spacious rooms and suites, wake up to sweeping views of Salthill beach and the gentle sounds of the waves. Guests have complimentary use of the on-site Ocean Fitness leisure centre. Dine out at the Blackrock bar or PROM Restaurant with fine food and local ingredients. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous holiday or a relaxing escape, Salthill Hotel’s postcard perfect setting offers everything you need.

Nestled in the shadows of Connemara’s Mount Leckavrea and surrounded by beautiful lakes, Peacockes Hotel sits at Maam Cross, the gateway to the four quarters of Connemara, described as Europe’s last great wilderness. A great place to stay, eat or drink, sit back and enjoy the comfortable surroundings and efficient service, provided in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Location: Promenade, Salthill, Galway Tel: +353 (0) 91 522 711 Web: www. salthillhotel.com

Location: Maam Cross, Connemara, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 91 552 306

Salthill, Co. Galway

Clifden, Connemara

COUNTY

GALWAY

Home to the Connemara region, an astonishingly beautiful natural landscape, and vibrant Galway city filled with food and fun, and much more, Galway is the perfect destination.

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lthough Galway city makes for an excellent base to discover the rest of Galway and the west, there are many destinations to choose from as your holidaying base for the rest of the county. The awe-inspiring Twelve Bens mountains overlook Connemara, a region that is home to a national park, Irish-speaking Gaeltachts, stately homes transformed into welcoming hotels, spectacular beaches and cosy coastal villages like Roundstone and Ballyconneely. Off the coast of Connemara, a holiday on Inishbofin or one of the Aran Islands is an unrivalled experience, while the picturesque seaside town of Clifden is a must-see, particularly in late summer, when horse racing on the beach at Omey Island and the Clifden Regatta make for unforgettable family holidays. You will also find many attractions outside of the city, such as the impressive Kylemore Abbey and Gardens, a very worthwhile visit. Alternatively, you can go underground and explore the marble chambers at the Glengowla silver and lead mines, which have been preserved as a monument to Ireland’s industrial heritage. The east of Galway has a quiet, low-lying landscape and is a treasure trove of villages such as the medieval town of Athenry and other hidden pearls such as the pre-Christian Turoe Stone, Clonfert Cathedral, Dartfield Horse Museum and Portumna Forest Park. While Galway International Oyster Festival, the Galway Races and the Clarenbridge Oyster Festival compete as the social events of the season, there’s so much more on offer for you to see and do around the county. Why not experience a medieval banquet at Dunguaire Castle, or visit the Ocean and Country Galway Visitor Centre at Letterfrack to explore the underwater world on Ireland’s only glass-bottomed boat tours.

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Tyson’s Rockbarton Park Hotel is situated in a quiet residential area of Salthill, Galway, 200 metres from the seafront and within walking distance of Galway golf course and night life venues. Stay at Tyson’s Rockbarton Park Hotel and experience a family welcome, cosy bar, fresh local seafood and free parking. Rooms are available from €45. Location: 5 Rockbarton Park, Salthill, Co. Galway Tel:+353 (0) 91 522 286 Web: www. rockbartonparkhotel.ie

Shopping Aran Sweater Market

Connemara Smokehouse

Gerard Stanley & Son

Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co. Galway

Bunowen Pier, Ballyconneely, Co. Galway

Clifden, Co. Galway

Highly skilled knitting ladies from the islands and on the mainland supply genuine Aran sweaters, ensuring that customers receive only the finest examples of men’s Aran knitwear, women’s Aran knitwear, children’s Aran knitwear, and house and home crafts, while helping to preserve an old skill and craft.

Connemara Smokehouse specialises in highquality seafood, where every product is produced by traditional methods. It is located in Ballyconneely, a small village situated 10km south of Clifden. On a smokehouse tour, visitors can experience the various preparation methods and enjoy a taste.

When in Clifden it is worth visiting Stanleys, situated at the bottom of Market Street. Established in 1824, the seventh generation family-run business stocks a wide range of high quality goods, including Irish tweeds, knitwear, rugs, scarves, outdoor clothing, footwear, sportswear and fishing tackle. Stanleys pride themselves on providing both Irish and international labels.

Location: Inis Mór, Aran Islands Tel: +353 (0) 64 663 9756

Location: Ballyconneely, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 95 23739

Location: Market Street, Clifden, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 95 21039

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Activities

Dining Burke’s Bar & Restaurant

Rafftery’s Bar and Restaurant

Boluisce Restaurant

Aran Island Ferries

Clonbur

Craughwell

Spiddal

Galway city

Burke’s Bar & Restaurant is a familyrun business situated in the beautiful village of Clonbur, County Galway, Ireland. The village lies between Lough Corrib, Lough Mask and to the west Mount Gable and Lough Coolin, 35 minutes drive from Galway city. Burke’s Restaurant overlooks the magnificent scenery of Mount Gable and the surrounding hills.

A family-run business, this restaurant has remained at the centre of the community for a century. Rafftery’s serves freshly prepared food, much of which is sourced locally. Enjoy excellent food or a welcome drink at a location recommended by the Georgina Campbell Guide.

Located in Spiddal – a small fishing village on the edge of the Irish-speaking Connemara region – Boluisce restaurant specialises in seafood, with fresh catch arriving at Spiddal Pier and transported straight to the restaurant. It boasts a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and is open all year round.

Location: Craughwell, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 91 846 708

Location: Spiddal Village, Connemara, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 91 553 286

Location: Clonbur, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 94 954 6715

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Kylemore Abbey

Walk Connemara

Connemara

Moyard

Immerse yourself in traditional Irish history, culture and heritage on the Aran Islands.Based on Ireland’s west coast in Ros a’ Mhil, Aran Island Ferries offer daily sailings to Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oír, with an average journey time of 40 mins. The team can also work with customers to offer a range of bespoke package deals in association with businesses on the islands.

Kylemore Abbey, in the heart of Connemara, is one of Ireland’s most photographed sites. Visit the Victorian Walled Garden, the restored rooms in the Abbey, the Gothic Church and extensive woodland and lakeshore walks. Dine in the award-winning Mitchell’s Café or the Garden Tea House. Pick up a unique handmade gift in the Craft and Design Shop. Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is the perfect day out.

Based in Moyard, Co Galway, Walk Connemara provides guided walks, trekking, hikes and walking tours in Connemara and surrounding areas. Guided walks are provided by Paul Phelan, an experienced guide. They can also help in planning walks or tours by providing maps and transport, food and accommodation.

Location: Forster Square, Galway city Tel: +353 (0) 91 568 903 Web: www. aranislandferries.com

Location: Connemara, Co Galway Tel: +353 (0) 95 52001 Web: www. kylemoreabbey.com

Location: Cloonderavon, Moyard, Co Galway Tel: +353 (0) 87 629 1659 Web: www. walkconnemara.com

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The hills of Connemara

GALWAY: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Travel back through the centuries to a more peaceful time as you visit County Galway’s historical sites, parklands and waterways. Oranmore Castle HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Oranmore Castle was built between the

13th and 15th centuries. Originally a De Burgo (Burke) stronghold, An Cáislean Mór or the Castle of the Well played a pivotal part in the defence of Galway during the Confederate Rebellion in the 1640s, when provisions were shipped from the castle to the besieged fort of Galway. Left abandoned to the elements in 1853, it was bought in 1945 by Lady Leslie for her daughter, the writer Anita Leslie, whose daughter Leonie continues to reside in the castle with her husband, the noted musician Alec Finn of De Dannan. Today the castle is an enchanting, welcoming paradise of art, music and history. Location: Oranmore, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 86 600 3160

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Letterfrack Bay Water Tours TOUR Letterfrack Bay Water Tours has over 200 exhibits, combined with a seaside nature trail. Ireland’s only glass-bottomed boat tours sail across Ballinakill harbour, which is home to a large variety of sea birds, grey seals, dolphins and porpoises. This unique sea tour provides a voyage of discovery with a difference. See the underwater world as divers do, with commentary provided throughout the tour. Lower tides are required for the best underwater views so please enquire beforehand, particularly as boat trips may be weather-dependent. Location: Letterfrack, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0) 95 43473

Rinville Park FOREST PARK With an extensive network of walks through woodlands, open farmland and by the sea, Rinville Park offers a recreational facility of outstanding quality and beauty. Created around an ancient castle, a stately home and a fine estate demesne, which dates from the 16th century, there is access to Rinville Point and Saleen Point, where views of Galway Bay, Galway city and the Burren of County Clare can be enjoyed. The park has picnic areas and a children’s playground, and is open all year round. Admission is free. Location: Five minutes from Oranmore, Co. Galway

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Derrigimlagh, Co. Galway

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Aasleagh Falls, Co. Mayo

Accommodation Hotel Westport, Leisure Spa and Conference Newport Road, Westport, Co. Mayo

COUNTY

MAYO

Wild, dramatic, unspoiled – located on Ireland’s Atlantic west coast, Mayo is often described as one of Ireland’s hidden treasures.

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emarkably untouched by the commercialism that has affected other tourist destinations, Mayo’s landscape spans from just north of Connemara to the hundreds of islands off its west coast, including Achill Island, Clare Island and Inishturk Island, to name but a few. A cultural gem with several Irish-speaking communities (Gaeltachts), Mayo is home to more than 120,000 people with 86 towns and villages. It has plenty to offer residents and tourists alike with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and festivals to choose from. Mayo’s extensive coastline offers miles of unspoilt beaches and countless lakes and rivers provide ample opportunity for surfing, sailing, kayaking, and fishing. Ballina, which has been named the Salmon Capital of Ireland, is home to the annual Ballina Salmon Festival. The county of Mayo is also famous as the birthplace of Grace O’Malley, or Granuaile, as she is known in Irish, the Pirate Queen whose ancestors built Westport House Estate in 1730. The word ‘boycott’ was coined in Mayo and other significant historical and religious sites in the county include Ballintubber Abbey, an 800-year-old sacred site just outside Castlebar, Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holy mountain and location of the Mayo National Famine Memorial, and Knock Shrine, where in 1879 there was a reported apparition of Our Lady.

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The four star, family-owned Hotel Westport is an award-wining leisure, spa and conference hotel. It is the nearest hotel in Westport to the Great Western Greenway; 42km of walking and cycling from Westport to Achill Island. The 129 bedrooms in Hotel Westport include 48 premier rooms and six deluxe suites – enjoy a well earned stressfree break from life. Location: Newport Road, Westport Tel: +353 (0) 98 25122 Web: www. hotelwestport.ie

Knockranny House Hotel & Spa Westport A luxury four-star hotel in Westport, County Mayo, Knockranny House Hotel was awarded AA Hotel of the Year 2012-2013. There are 97 rooms in total in the hotel, which is situated on a hillside overlooking scenic Westport. There are also great views of Croagh Patrick and the islands of Clew Bay to the west and you can relax at the Spa Salveo. Location: Knockranny, Westport, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 98 28600

Mount Falcon Estate Foxford Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo A luxury four star hotel located on the west bank of the River Moy, between Foxford and Ballina, Mount Falcon Estate is set in 100 acres of magical woodland and comprises 32 bedrooms, including two suites and four deluxe rooms in the original house, the Kitchen Restaurant, the Boathole Bar, a leisure centre and the Elemis Spa. There’s also clay pigeon shooting and archery on offer, and more.

The Wyatt Hotel Westport, Co. Mayo The Wyatt Hotel is a charming three star boutique hotel located in the heart of Westport around the iconic Octagon monument. The landmark hotel has 55 tastefully decorated rooms, an upmarket Brasserie and a traditional pub called Cobbler’s Bar, so it’s no wonder The Wyatt is currently ranked Number 5 on Trip Advisor. The Wyatt Hotel: Room only rates from just €60 per room per night.

Location: Ballina, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 96 74472

Location: Westport, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 98 25027 Web: www. wyatthotel.com

Kilcommon Lodge Holiday Hostel

The Ice House Hotel

Pullathomas, Co. Mayo

Ballina

Located along the Wild Atlantic Way in north Mayo, Kilcommon Lodge is the ideal base from where to explore marked loop walks, the Céide Fields, Ballycroy National Park, sandy beaches and cliffs. Book a private room, family room or dormitory bed. Enjoy a turf fire, pool table, library and mature gardens. Self-catering facilities or home cooked meals on request. Location: Pullathomas (near Belmullet), Ballina, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 97 846 21

The Ice House Hotel is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book of Irish country houses, historic hotels and restaurants. Once a 19th century ice house, the hotel has since been restored and is located on the banks of the River Moy in County Mayo. It contains 32 luxury bedrooms and suites individually named and themed. There’s plenty to do in the area with walks, fishing, surfing and cycling all at hand. Location: The Quay Village, Ballina, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 96 23500

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Achill Sound, Co. Mayo

WESTPORT, EXPERIENCE IT YOUR WAY

Located on the banks of Clew Bay and shadowed by the majestic Croagh Patrick pilgrimage mountain, awardwinning Westport is an architectural delight full of charm and charisma.

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estport has it all - beautiful scenery, vibrant nightlife, gourmet dining, award-winning accommodation, luxury spas, boutique shopping, tree lined malls, and blue flag beaches, as well as being ideally located along the Wild Atlantic Way. Westport is also home to one of Ireland’s top tourist and family-friendly attractions, Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park. In fact, Westport is an adventure hotspot, with endless leisure and adventure activity options, from horse riding, cycling, and water sports through to adrenaline filled activities such as zorbing and zipwiring. Drenched in history, Westport has a rich cultural heritage dating back to the mid 1700s and the centrepiece of that heritage can be seen at Westport House and Gardens, once home to the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley. Today, the beautifully authentic ‘Big House’ offers a wonderful collection of spectacular artefacts, artworks and treasures. Plenty of family fun can also be found at their Pirate Adventure Park with log flume rides, pirate ship swings, swan pedaloe boats and tours of the real life dungeons. Take the time to explore the Great Western Greenway, the 42kms off-road walking and cycling trail which stretches from Westport to Achill Island along an old railway line. Bicycles and toddler trailers can be rented and pick-ups scheduled along the way, or catch a boat back to town where dinner can be caught and cooked along the route. For the food lovers, there is a wonderful selection of restaurants, bistros and pubs offering the best in local and seasonal produce, from gastro pubs to fine dining restaurants. And when the sun sets,

the nightlife gets going; you’re sure of a ‘mighty night’s craic’ in one of the many bustling bars and pubs throughout the town. Westport has a rich association with traditional music, and many venues offer impromptu sessions at any time of the day or night. Named as Ireland’s Best Place to Live by The Irish Times, this coastal town is also a winner of the 2014 Best Tourism Towns in Ireland award and a multiple winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Towns, as well as being named in the Top Ten Foodie Destinations. Westport’s most recent award of a ‘Purple Flag’ status ensures that visitors can expect outstanding standards, with an assurance of safety for both day and night-time activities. Located just one hour from Ireland West Airport Knock, and one hour from Galway and Connemara, Westport offers extensive accommodation options with a selection of three and four star hotels, hostels, traditional B&B’s and camp sites. For further information, along with the calendar of events, adventure races, and festivals, as well as information on where to stay, check out www.destinationwestport.com.

PLACES TO STAY n CASTLECOURT HOTEL (4*) www.castlecourthotel.ie n CLEW BAY HOTEL (3*) www.clewbayhotel.com n HOTEL WESTPORT (4*) www.hotelwestport.ie n KNOCKRANNY HOUSE HOTEL (4*) www.knockrannyhousehotel.ie n MILL TIMES HOTEL (3*) www.milltimeshotel.ie n THE WYATT HOTEL (3*) www.wyatthotel.com n WESTPORT COAST HOTEL (4*) www.westportcoasthotel.ie n WESTPORT WOODS HOTEL (3*+) www.westportwoodshotel.com n THE HARBOUR MILL APARTMENTS (4*) www.theharbourmill.com n CARAVAN & CAMPING PARK www.westporthouse.ie n COLLANMORE ISLAND LODGE www.theadventureislands.com

PLAN YOUR ACTIVITIES n WESTPORT HOUSE & PIRATE ADVENTURE PARK www.westporthouse.ie n CLEW BAY BIKE HIRE www.clewbaybikehire.ie n WESTPORT BIKES 4 HIRE www.westportbikes4hire.com n WESTPORT GOLF CLUB www.westportgolfclub.ie n ADVENTURE WEST www.adventurewest.ie n ADVENTURE ISLANDS www.theadventureislands.com n WESTPORT WAR GAMES ADVENTURE PARK www.westportwargames.ie

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Activities

MAYO: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Visit unspoiled Achill Island, hike the pilgrimage route up Croagh Patrick mountain or find adventure in a number of centres dotted throughout the county – there’s plenty for you to do and see in Mayo – the Yew county. Achill Island ISLAND TOUR Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Achill is a scenic island with unspoiled beaches. Drive on, breathe deep, and relax in total peace. Achill offers traditional Irish hospitality and the warmest welcome in the west. From hill-walking and outdoor activities to fishing and angling, from golf, painting or horseriding to surfing, windsurfing or scuba diving, your visit to Achill can be as active as you like. Or simply relax with a coffee or a pint and a view of Achill’s spectacular mountains, cliffs and several Blue Flag beaches. The sense of isolation in the deserted 19th century village of Slievemore is wonderfully atmospheric. Slievemore Mountain, at 671m, is the highest point on the island and some excellent walking trails take in what are claimed to be the highest cliffs in Europe. Located on the island is Grace O’Malley’s Castle (or Granuaile’s castle), a 16th century tower house associated with the O’Malley Clan – once the ruling family of Achill. There are plenty of scenic drives, with the Caurran Peninsula Drive that joins Mulranny to Achill Sound being the most recommended. There is always something to do for all ages in Achill. For further information log onto www.achilltourism.com. Location: Achill Tourism Office, Davitt Quarter, Achill Sound, Achill Island, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 98 20705 / 20400

Fr. Patrick Peyton CSC Memorial Centre TOURIST ATTRACTION The Fr. Peyton Memorial Centre is a celebration of Fr. Peyton’s incredible life and apostolic work. The centre commemorates the life of this extraordinary individual and continues to promote his timeless slogans: ‘The family that prays together, stays together’ and ‘A world at prayer is a world at peace’. Fr. Peyton was born in Attymass in 1909 and became one of Ireland’s most famous priests, internally known as the rosary priest. The centre is one of north Mayo’s most popular tourist attractions, welcoming in excess of 10,000 visitors per year. Come and experience the spectacular theatre presentation on Fr. Peyton’s life. View the impressive photographic display of the world prayer crusades of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Take time out to pray in the Oratory or Rosary garden. Enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens with the Ox mountains as a backdrop. The centre has a souvenir and book shop and a fine restaurant with seating capacity for 60 people - ideal for tour groups. All meals are cooked to order resulting in freshly prepared and cooked dishes. To facilitate visitors and tour groups the centre has its own private and secure coach and car park. Location: Attymass, Ballina, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 96 45374 Web: www.fatherpeytoncentre.ie

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Croagh Patrick

Adventure West

Corrib Cruises

Natural Attraction

Adventure Centre

Cong

Located six miles west of Westport on the Louisburgh Road, Croagh Patrick (pronounced Croke Patrick) is one of Mayo’s most famous landmarks. Best known for its association with Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who is said to have fasted for 40 days at the summit in 441AD, Croagh Patrick has been a pilgrimage destination since pre-Christian times. The Croagh Patrick Visitor Centre includes a coffee shop/ self-service restaurant, as well as a craft shop.

Adventure West – as the name suggests – has adventure activities galore to offer you. With the only custom-built zorbing track in the country there are both harnessed and hydro rides. They also have a 210m zipwire and a whole host of other adventure activities like coasteering, rock-climbing and abseiling, snorkeling, hill-walking, kayaking and much, much more.

Join local historian and ship captain Patrick Luskin on his famous Voyage Of Discovery to historic Inchagoill island (40 minute stop) on board the all weather 80 passenger Isle of Inisfree with excellent views of Ashford Castle and Connemara, and live traditional music. The cruise departs Lisloughery Pier, Cong, County Mayo every day at 2.45pm (June 1st - Sept 31st).

Location: Murrisk, Westport, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 98 64114

Location: Westport House, Old Head, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 87 362 7828 Web: www. adventurewest.ie

The Westport Bike Shop

Foxford Salmon Anglers Club

Westport

Foxford

The Westport Bike Shop is perfectly placed to hire all types of bicycles for tourists and day trippers to explore fantastic cycling trails. They have electric bikes, hybrid bikes, children’s bikes, tagalongs and trailers. Cycle on The Great Western Greenway to Achill Island and back, or along different popular routes through amazing stunning countryside. They also have a lockable, fully-enclosed private car park that is free.

The Foxford Salmon Anglers Club is dedicated to promoting salmon fishing and keeping fishing affordable for local anglers and visiting anglers. There are some great providers of accommodation around the Foxford area who specialise in catering for anglers and all their needs, from packed lunches to tackle storage, viewable on the website.

Location: Lisloughery Pier, Cong, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 87 9946 380 Web: www. corribcruises.com

Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park Westport, Co. Mayo

Location: Newport Road, Westport, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 98 24966

Location: Foxford, Co. Mayo Email: info@foxfordsal monanglers.com Web: www. foxfordsalmon anglers.com

The historic Westport House and its stunning interiors are complemented by equally stunning woods, lake and parkland grounds. The aptly-named Pirate Adventure Park is perfectly suited to children under 12 years with rides, slides, boats, trains, pitch & putt, go-karting and more. Adventurers from eight years upwards will enjoy zorbing, zip wires, high ropes and much more. Location: Quay Road, Westport Tel: +353 (0) 98 27766

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Achill Island, Co. Mayo

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Shopping

The Lodge at Ashford, Co. Mayo

Ballytoughey Loom

Foxford Woollen Mills and Shop

Patrick Sweeney & Son Ltd

Clare Island, Westport

Foxford

Achill

A member of the local craft trail, Ballytoughey Loom specialises in handweaving, natural dyeing and spinning. A wide range of handwoven accessories in natural fibres of silk, wool and cashmere are made as well as a range of handwoven, naturally dyed and homespun rugs. Most of craftswoman Bethy Moran’s unique work incorporates fine silk and concentrates on intricate patterns.

As one of the last working mills in Ireland, Foxford was founded by an Irish Sister of Charity in 1892. At that time, the area around Foxford was considered to be one of the poorest in the West of Ireland, and the mill was built to combat these poor economic conditions. Today, it is a thriving mill with master craftspeople creating beautiful pieces for sale, and a visitor centre that tells the story.

When on Achill, stop by Sweeney’s Ltd, a unique trading experience since 1870. Everything from a needle to an anchor can be found here, including gifts, clothing, rainwear, builders’ DIY provisions, house furnishings, boating and fishing gear, gas, fresh food, wines, a self-service restaurant, internet access and SuperValu supermarket.

Location: Foxford, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 94 925 6104

Location: Achill Sound, Achill Island, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 98 45211

Location: Clare Island, Co. Mayo Tel: +353 (0) 98 25800

SWEENEY’S

Céide Fields, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo

The Lodge at Ashford HISTORIC HOUSE

The Lodge at Ashford Castle is the latest addition to the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, a family-run collection of awardwinning boutique hotels located in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. Each hotel owned by Red Carnation has its own individual character and unique location that reflects the local environment, culture and cuisine, and The Lodge at Ashford Castle is no exception. The Lodge was designed originally in 1865 as the home for the estate manager of the Ashford Castle Estate. With 24 deluxe bedrooms and 26 suites divided between the main house and the new courtyard, the Nintendo Wii Room, the Cinema Room and The Vault Pool Room are fun places to spend time together. Other activities on the estate include fishing, a cruise boat on the Corrib, nature walking, archery, clay pigeon shooting, and horse riding, as well as falconry in Ireland’s first school of falconry. Situated on the outskirts of the charming village of Cong, The Lodge at Ashford Castle is the ideal destination for those seeking a cosy hideaway retreat which is still close to the heart of everything the region has to explore. Only 40 minutes drive from Galway and neighbouring Westport and Connemara. Open year round with bar food served every day in the Quay Bar, or in Wilde’s at the Lodge, where innovative dishes are presented by local Chef Jonathan Keane who has a passion for using local ingredients. At The Lodge at Ashford Castle the whole family will be entertained indoors and out, no matter what the season.

General Merchants Achill Sound, Co. Mayo Tel: (098) 45211 • Fax: (098) 45313 Supervalu Supermarket Mon-Sat: 8am – 8pm Sun: 9am – 6pm Homevalue Hardware & DIY Mon-Fri: 8am - 6pm Sat: 9am – 6pm • Sun: Closed Internet / Giftware / Clothing Mon- Sat: 9am – 6pm Sun: Closed

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Accommodation Kilronan Castle Estate and Spa Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon

Boyle Abbey

COUNTY

ROSCOMMON

One of Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotels, Kilronan is the ancestral home of the Tenison family and the legendary Colonel King Tenison. It is one of a few Irish estates that can trace its history back to royal families. Set on the shore of Lough Meelagh, a choice of accommodation is on offer, ranging from classic suites to family rooms and self catering cottages. Location: Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon Tel: +353 (0) 71 961 8000

Abbey House

Hodson Bay Hotel

Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Athlone

A Victorian house located between historic Boyle Abbey and the Boyle River. The premises is within walking distance of Boyle town centre, King House and Lough Key Forest Park, has mature gardens, and parking facilities. Guests at Abbey House can choose from self-catering or bed and breakfast options. The property caters for avid fishers with tackle and bait storage, a cold room and drying facilities. Location: Boyle, Co. Roscommon Tel: +353 (0) 71 966 2385

A comfortable fourstar hotel with 177 bedrooms, guests will have a variety of great dining options here – the Waterfront Carvery, the L’Escade restaurant, the Octagon restaurant and the Waterfront bar, which offers a lively atmosphere and live entertainment at the weekends. Relax at of and placelesiure here theName health centre with a pool, steam room, sauna, gym and spa. Location: Roscommon Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath Tel: +353 (0) 90 644 2000

A landlocked county, the landscape of Roscommon is rich cattle and sheep country, with the River Shannon flowing through Lough Boderg and Lough Bofin on the eastern border. The county features a host of interesting towns – from Strokestown, with its unique Famine Museum and well-preserved mansion, to Boyle, with its famous abbey, forest park and the impressive dolmen of Drumanone. Elsewhere in the county, there are dozens of castles, abbeys and prehistoric sites.

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here are 60 or more standing stones, cairns and fortresses located in the village of Tulsk. The most important Celtic royal site in Europe, legend says that Queen Maeve’s palace was once in the area and nearby Oweynagat Cave is believed to be the entrance to the otherworld, of which the Cruachan Aí Visitor Centre will explain all. As the birthplace of Percy French, Douglas Hyde and Matt Molloy, Roscommon has always had a strong affinity with culture, heritage and the arts. Visit today, and you’ll find a wealth of festivals, summer Roscommon schools, performance, song and dance carrying on the tradition, with the renowned Boyle Arts Festival, the county’s biggest festival taking place from Friday July 21st to Monday July 31st 2017.

Strokestown Park House

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Enter a world of Adventure BOYLE, CO. ROSCOMMON

• Boda Borg - Experience the Quest `new challenges for 2017´ • Tree Canopy Walk Old Servant Tunnels • Adventure Play Kingdom • Caravan & Camping Park • Lakeside Café • Gift Shop • 50 berth Marina • Orienteering & Wheel O Trails • Historical Forest Trails

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Other attractions within the park

• Zipit Forest Adventures • Lough Key Boat Tours • Bike Hire • Woodland Segway Glides

LOUGH KEY FOREST & ACTIVITY PARK, BOYLE, CO. ROSCOMMON N4  DUBLIN TO SLIGO RD T: 071-9673122 E: RECEPTION@LOUGHKEY.IE W: WWW.LOUGHKEY.IE

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The West

ROSCOMMON: PLACES OF

Shopping Gleeson’s Artisan Food and Wine Shop The Manse, Market Square, Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon Gleeson’s Artisan Food and Wine shop stocks carefully chosen products, including scones and soda bread baked fresh every day from core ingredients, chutneys, cheeses and much more. They also have a great wine selection and offer fresh, madeto-order sandwiches. Location: The Manse, Market Square, Roscommon Town Tel: +353 (0) 90 662 6954

Boyle Farmer’s Market Boyle, Co. Roscommon Boyle farmer’s market (Saturday, 10am2pm) offers shoppers the opportunity to talk first hand with the local growers and producers that provide fresh, locally grown produce, including vegetables that are in season, organic meat and poultry, home bakes, fruit juices, jams, sauces, gluten and wheat free breads, fresh fish and more. Location: Military Road, Boyle Tel: +353 (0) 71 966 3033

Gilligan Meats Four Mile House The Gilligan family have been involved in the meat business for the past 20 years and have built up an extensive background and knowledge in agriculture and the rearing of farm livestock. All aspects of their business take place on the Gilligan family farm, from growing crops to feeding the farm’s livestock, rearing livestock and then processing the meat. Location: Derrane Road, Four Mile House, Co. Roscommon Tel: +353 (0) 90 662 9788

INTEREST

Visit County Roscommon for its lakelands, culture and rich heritage. Lough Key Forest Park OUTDOOR ACTIVITY CENTRE Enter a world of adventure where you can do as much or as little as you like, such as Boda Borg questing, unique to Ireland – spend fun-filled hours with family or friends. After entering the weather-independent house, only teamwork, trial and error will allow you to survive the challenges. This experience is suitable for adults and children alike! Experience the Lough Key Experience audio tour, featuring 19th century tunnels and Ireland’s only tree canopy trail and the Adventure Play Kingdom, an outdoor children’s play area. Don’t forget to enjoy the Lakeside Café with its outdoor deck. And, if you’re searching for somewhere to rest your head, stay in the caravan and camping park. Location: Boyle, Co. Roscommon – N4 Dublin-Sligo road Tel: +353 (0)71 967 3122 Email: reception@loughkey.ie Web: www.loughkey.ie

Arigna Mining Experience HISTORICAL ATTRACTION At Arigna Mining Experience, visitors have the opportunity to experience the life of a coal miner in what was Ireland’s last working coal mine, which closed in 1990 after 400 years. Through a unique underground tour, discover a life that was both exhausting and dangerous, with working conditions that were very hazardous and cramped. The tour guides are all ex-miners who can provide you with an authentic, interesting experience. After your tour you can relax with a cup of coffee in the centre’s coffee shop, and take in the breathtaking views over Lough Allen and the Arigna Valley. Location: Derreenavoggy, Arigna, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon Tel: +353 (0)71 964 6466

Cruachan Aí Visitor Centre HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Located at Rathcroghan Visitor Centre in the medieval village of Tulsk, when you visit this area just off the N5 Dublin to Westport road you can experience the home of Celtic warrior Queen Maeve, the Goddess Morrigan, the Cattle Raid of Cooley, and what was once the seat of Gaelic royalty. The Rathcroghan complex, with over 200 ancient monuments, is the historical royal capital of Connaught, Ireland’s western province. Having been nominated to World Heritage status, the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre offers fullyinsured guided tours tailored to suit you and your special interests, including history, genealogy, literature, archaeology, heritage, spirituality, and mythology. Rathcroghan Visitor Centre provides professional guided tours with a qualified historian/archaeologist, plus self-guide information, maps and advice, family-friendly activities, workshops, special events and full café facilities. You can shop for unique hand crafted gifts and avail of an unparalleled specialist book selection and expert advice in Irish culture, history, or heritage in the area. Roscommon Castle, Co. Roscommon

Location: Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Cruachan Ai, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon Tel: +353 (0)71 963 9268

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Accommodation

Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival, Co. Longford

COUNTY

LONGFORD

Longford, in the north west corner of Leinster, bridges Connaught and Ulster.

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mid the prosperous agricultural land to the south lies Lough Ree, with the River Shannon running along the county’s western border. Longford remains virtually untouched by mass development and still retains a welcoming and rural charm. Cairn Hill, referred to affectionately by locals as Corn Hill, is the highest point of the county, standing at 916ft. Longford also has strong associations with the legendary Queen Maeve who, according to the epic Irish tale, An Táin Bó Cuailgne, stayed in Granard overnight with her armies while en route to steal the coveted ‘Brown Bull of Cooley’. It is also said that she later met her death while bathing on the island of Inis Clothran on Lough Ree. The county boasts several impressive archaeological sites including portal dolmens in Aughnacliff and Cleenrath. Near Granard you will find standing stones and the highest Norman motte and bailey in the country. Tourist trails that criss-cross the county provide memorable days of discovery for drivers, walkers, cyclists and those enjoying the inland waterways of Ireland. The Royal Canal, Lough Ree, Lough Gowna, the River Shannon, as well as the many smaller lakes and rivers of the county, offer endless opportunities to take part in water sporting activities. Water polo, canoeing and kayaking, white water rafting and water tubing are all enjoyed by visitors to the area. Longford offers horse riding, go-karting, grey hound racing and even flying lessons in the award-winning village of Abbeyshrule, home to Abbeyshrule Airfield, the only airfield in the midlands of Ireland and the base for Longford a number of flying schools. The airfield also hosts the longest-running air show in Ireland, attracting large crowds from home and abroad on an annual basis.

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Cooneys Hotel

Longford Country House

Richmond Inn

Ennybegs, Longford

Clondara

Ballymahon

Longford Country House is a Bed & Breakfast offering excellent accommodation in a tudor-style country home surrounded by stone walls and spacious landscaped gardens and beside four star selfcatering cottages. The area has many attractions for all the family such as golf, fishing, swimming, hill walking, music, theatre and much more.

The Richmond Inn is a family-run guesthouse and pub in the picturesque village of Clondara, located 5km from Longford Town. Once a flax mill built in 1821, it was converted into a pub in the 1930s. The river Shannon and numerous other small lakes and rivers are within easy reach. Nearby sites include Kenagh Interpretative Centre with its 2000 year old trackway and Ardagh, the tidiest village in Ireland.

Cooneys Hotel is located in the town of Ballymahon, in amongst the lakes of County Longford. The hotel contains 11 stylish and comfortable bedrooms while the Courtyard restaurant is charming and sophisticated. Nearby there are plenty of water-related activities, from fishing to angling and boating. Enjoy the scenic views of Lough Ree and the River Shannon.

Location: Killoe, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0)43 332 3320

Location: Clondara, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0) 43 26126

Location: Main Street, Ballymahon, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0) 90 643 8180

Farmer’s Market

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LONGFORD: PLACES OF

INTEREST

There are a number of historical attractions and centres scattered across Longford – visit as many as you can, your’re guaranteed to enjoy your visit. Abbeyderg

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Located just 5km from Kenagh, County Longford, the village of Abbeyderg is home to a 13th century Augustinian monastery founded by Gormgall O’Quinn. It was the final resting place of Maiolin O’Mulgonry, who has been described as Chief Ollamh and poet of Ireland. The monastery was destroyed in 1567, though some of the structure remains preserved.

Location: Kenagh, Co. Longford

Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Discover an ancient transport route, constructed in the Iron Age, that was built in the year 148BC across the bogland at the Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre, located 3km from Kenagh village close to the River Shannon. The oak road is the largest of its kind to have been uncovered in Europe and was excavated over the years by Professor Barry Raftery of University College Dublin. Inside the building, an 18-metre stretch of preserved road is on permanent display in a specially designed hall with humidifiers to prevent the ancient wood from cracking in the heat. Bord na Móna and the Heritage Service have carried out conservation work on the surrounding bog to ensure that it remains wet and that the buried road is preserved. Admission is free and access is by guided tour only.

Activities Longford Farmers Market

Longford Genealogy

Newcastle Woods

Market Square, Longford Town,

Longford

Ballymahon

Located in Longford town, trace your ancestors with the aid of the helpful staff at Longford Genealogy, who have a range of sources available to them. Opening hours are limited so email first and then make an appointment to speak with a researcher at the centre.

Take a relaxing stroll through semi-mature and mixed woodland that grows on both sides of the River Inny. The forest is home to a diverse range of tree species including oak, ash, beech, pine, Norway and sitka spruce, among others. There is a network of forest roads and pathways, perfect for a leisurely walk.

Longford Farmers Market is located in the Market Square in Longford town and is held every Friday from 9.30am-2pm. At the market, shoppers will find anything from free range eggs, home baking, homemade jams and chutneys to homegrown fruit and vegetables, honey, hummus and pesto. Fresh fish is available from Killalla, Co. Mayo, as well as a wonderful selection of flowers and plants. Location: Market Square, Longford town

Location: 17 Dublin Street, Longford town, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0) 43 334 1235 Email: longroot@iol.ie

Location: Ballymahon, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0) 43 334 2577

Location: Kenagh, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0) 43 332 2386

Ballinamuck Visitor Centre

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Located in the former Royal Irish Constabulary barracks in the picturesque village of Ballinamuck in the north of the county, the centre was officially opened by Mary McAlesse, then President of Ireland, in July 1999 and houses a fascinating and lively exhibition. The fateful events of the Battle of Ballinamuck on September 8th 1798 are vividly presented with eyewitness accounts from local people and officers of the opposing armies. The exhibition explains the background to these events and the national and international significance of the collision of forces around this county Longford village. After immersing yourself in the impressive history of the area you can walk the ground where the battle took place, visiting the many historically significant sites. Location: Ballinabuck, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0) 43 334 2577

Abbeyshrule Cistercian Abbey

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Established in 1150, Abbeyshrule Cistercian Abbey is located in Abbeyshrule village in the picturesque valley of the River Inny and is one of Ireland’s first Cisterican abbeys. The site was founded by the O’Ferralls and colonised by monks from Mellifont. Among the ruins, visitors will find the east end of the church and a lovely pointed doorway. Location: Abbeyshrule, Co. Longford Tel: +353 (0) 43 334 2577

Abbeyderg Monastery

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THE NORTH WEST Ireland’s scenic north west boasts more megalithic monuments than anywhere else in Europe, along with castles dating from Gaelic and plantation times. Once a centre of medieval scholarship, the area is also known for its beautiful cathedrals. The north west extends from the burial place of W.B. Yeats in Sligo to the wild landscape of Donegal. The spectacular beaches and rugged coastline extends to Malin Head, Ireland’s northernmost point.

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Benbulben, Sligo

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Highlights

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n Tuesday 4 – Sunday 23 July EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL 2017, DONEGAL TOWN, CO DONEGAL A bilingual (Irish and English) arts festival held throughout the county of Donegal. n Sunday 9 – Saturday 15 July CAIRDE SLIGO ARTS FESTIVAL, SLIGO TOWN, CO SLIGO An annual celebration of cultural diversity and inclusion.

NORTH WEST

Ireland’s scenic north west boasts more megalithic monuments than anywhere else in Europe, along with castles dating from Gaelic and plantation times.

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nce a centre of medieval scholarship, the area is also known for its beautiful cathedrals. The north west extends from the Sligo burial place of W.B. Yeats to the wild landscape of Donegal. The spectacular beaches and rugged coastline extends to Malin Head, Ireland’s northernmost point. Located on Europe’s longest inland navigable waterway, Leitrim is famous for cruising and, along with Cavan, which is said to have 365 lakes, has a great reputation for angling. Visitors can experience the atmosphere of Sligo’s ancient monuments and historic country houses, tour the majestic scenery of bloody foreland and the poisoned glen in Donegal, or simply bask in the traditional music and rich culture of Donegal’s Irish-speaking Gaeltacht. Log onto www.irelandnorthwest.ie to start planning your trip!

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THE KEY

ACTIVITIES

ACCOMMODATION

SHOPPING

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

PLACES OF INTERESTS

n Saturday 15 and – Sunday 16 July INISKEEN ROAD JULY

EVENING FESTIVAL, INISKEEN, CO MONAGHAN Celebrating the life and work of poet Patrick Kavanagh. n Monday 17 July – Sunday 30 July TREAD SOFTLY 2017 – YEATS ARTS FESTIVAL, SLIGO TOWN, CO SLIGO An arts festival held in honour of W.B. Yeats and the Yeats family.

AUGUST n Friday 11 and Saturday 12 August TASTE OF CAVAN 2017, CAVAN TOWN, CO CAVAN A showcase of the

THE KEY BLUE FLAG BEACHES The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. n CO. SLIGO Rosses Point n CO. DONEGAL Bundoran, Rossnowlagh, Murvagh, Fintra, Portnoo/Naran, Carrickfinn, Killahoey, Marblehill, Downings, Portsalon, Culdaff, Stroove

TOURIST OFFICE INFORMATION There is an extensive network of Tourist Information Offices and Visitor Information Points around Ireland. n DONEGAL: The Quay, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal. Tel: +353 (0) 74 972 1148 n LEITRIM: The Old Barrel Store, Bridge St, Leitrim town. Tel: +353 (0) 71 962 3274 n CAVAN: First Floor, Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan Town, Co. Cavan. Tel: +353 (0) 49 433 1942 n MONAGHAN: The Market House, Monaghan. Tel: +353 (0) 47 81122 n SLIGO: Old Bank Building, O’Connell Street, Sligo. Tel: +353 (0) 71 916 1201

best of Cavan food, restaurants and chefs.

SEPTEMBER n Friday 1 – Monday 4 September MONAGHAN RHYTHM & BLUES FESTIVAL, MONAGHAN TOWN, CO MONAGHAN A four day festival of blues music. n Monday 4 – Friday 8 September WORLD PAIRS ANGLING CHAMPIONSHIP, BALLYCONNELL, CO CAVAN Great fishing in beautiful countryside backdrop.

OCTOBER n Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 October CLONES FILM FESTIVAL, CLONES, CO MONAGHAN Film screenings in pop-up cinema venues around the town of Clones, including the restored courthouse. n October Bank Holiday Weekend VIRGINIA PUMPKIN FESTIVAL, VIRGINIA, CO CAVAN Six days and nights of spooky entertainment, food, fancy dress, a spectacular fireworks display and much more.

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W.B. Yeats by Rowan Gillespie, Leitrim

Lough Eske, Co. Donegal

Ireland Writing Retreat - Forgotten Land, Remembered Words, Co. Donegal

Lough Muckno Leisure Park and Hope Castle, Monaghan

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Errigal Mountains, Co. Donegal

ROADTRIP

Tour the scenic northwest, taking in sights from the rugged Inishowen peninsula to the vibrant town of Letterkenny and the beautiful Fanad Head peninsula. Don’t be afraid to take a detour! Day 1

Day 3

Crossing the River Foyle with the city of (A) Derry/Londonderry in your rearview mirror, head northwest. You’ll be driving through (B) Muff and across the expanse of the (C) Inishowen Peninsula, with beauty spots at almost every turn, and the massive Lough Swilly crossing your horizon. (D) Doagh Famine Village, Ballyliffin Golf Club and the opportunity to spot the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis over Mamore Gap or (E) Culdaff Beach are all highlights of the area. Swing south and you’ll come to the beating heart of the Inishowen Peninsula in the town of (F) Buncrana. With a variety of places to stay, Buncrana makes for the perfect stop and a base from which to explore. Rent a bike from Cycle Inishowen, or uncover your family history with Clonmany Genealogy. You can also take a trip to Buncrana Castle, see the landscapes from the back of a horse or go hill-walking. Alternatively, if you fancy taking it easy, book a session at the Seagrass Well Being Centre in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel and spoil yourself. JOURNEY: 157.5km

Head north again from Letterkenny, and onto the raw beauty of the (K) Fanad Head Peninsula. With a lighthouse at its peak, the route along here is studded with incredible geological formations, including the Great Arch that boasts an incredible viewpoint from every angle. Hugging the coastline, you may want to detour to (L) Glenveagh National Park (Glen of the Birches). This breathtaking National Park covers over 16,000 acres of forests, lakes and castles, and is home to a magnificent herd of red deer. Continuing west, you’re touring the Gaeltacht part of Donegal now, so a lot of the signposts will be in Irish. The tiny fishing village of (M) Bunbeg is next, and is sheltered by sea cliffs at the mouth of the Clady River. From picturesque Bunbeg Harbour, daily excursions are available to the nearby islands of (N) Innishinny, Tory and Gola – all of which give you a great vantage point of your surroundings. It’s southbound back along the coastline of Fanad, before looping up again towards (O) Horn Head, which can be found via the village of Dunfanaghy. An opportunity to stretch the legs is combined with the chance to come face-to-face with this 200 metre-high rock ledge. JOURNEY: 171km

Day 2 Heading south and west from (F) Buncrana, the mighty (G) Lough Swilly will make for a stunning backdrop. Before going too far off the peninsula, though, make time to visit the (H) Grianan of Aileach (Fortress of the Sun). This circular stone ring fort occupies a sacred site and was referenced by Ptolemy in his second century map of the world. Further south, (I) Inch Island soon looms on the horizon, and an opportunity for a round of golf presents itself at the North West Golf Club. Veering evermore west and towards the coast, and dipping slightly south again, you’ll then come into the bustling commercial heart of Donegal, (J) Letterkenny. After all that time in the wildness of the coast, it may be time for some retail therapy in the Letterkenny Shopping Centre. Post shopping, unwind in the Aura Leisure Complex: take a dip in the pool or relax with a sauna or jacuzzi. You could even sign up for Celtic stone carving classes at Redmond Herrity’s sculpture centre or head for the Colmcille Heritage Centre. JOURNEY: 45.5km

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“A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY” Image: Clogh Oughter Castle. Credit: ruraladventure.ie

For stunning heritage sites, island castles, award-winning restaurants, fabulous hotels, panoramic landscapes, world-class fishing, breathtaking walks and the friendliest people in Ireland, visit Cavan in 2017. You’ll be surprised at what you find here.

Cavan Tourist Information Office Johnston Central Library Farnham Street, Cavan, Ireland. t: +353 (0) 49 433 1942

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Accommodation Kee’s Hotel Ballybofey The family-run Kee’s Hotel contains 53 bedrooms furnished traditionally yet containing modern comforts. Following a day of exploration, guests can dine in the hotel’s great restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Visitors can also experience live music in Harry’s Bar, which was named after the current owners’ grandfather. The hotel also includes a leisure club, beauty salon and banqueting facilities.

Slieve League Mountains

Location: Stranorlar, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 913 1018

An Chúirt, Gweedore Court Hotel Gweedore A four-star hotel with great views in Gweedore, County Donegal, Gweedore Court Hotel includes 66 bedrooms with modern facilities including internet access, TV and a writing desk. On-site visitors can make use of the Earagail health club that includes a jet pool, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym. The hotel’s restaurant offers a wide range of options including breakfast, Sunday lunch and dinner prepared with local ingredients. Location: Meenderrygamph, Gweedore, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 953 290

Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa Lough Eske, Donegal Town A five-star establishment located just outside Donegal town, Lough Eske Castle boasts a rich history that dates back to the 15th century. Their 96 guest rooms range from courtyard rooms to the ultra-luxurious presidential suite. Situated between Lough Eske and the Blue Stack Mountains, it is within reach of Glenveagh National Park, the International Appalachian Trail for walking, beaches for surfing and water sports, and wonderful golf courses. Location: Lough Eske, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 972 5100

COUNTY

DONEGAL

Full of fabulous beaches and pubs, spectactular landscapes and welcoming people, spend some time in Donegal.

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lthough part of the Republic of Ireland, County Donegal extends further north than any other county in Ulster. Its landscape of bogs and dramatic cliffs is spellbinding. You will be enamoured by the beauty and contrast Donegal offers. From the mountains and peaks to the vastness of its sandy beaches, this county possesses some truly wonderous sights. Roughly one-third of the county is Irishspeaking, and the pace of life is slow and very welcoming. County Donegal is one of the most popular destinations for Irish holidaymakers. The area around Gweedore and Bunbeg on the vast, undulating west coast has fabulous Donegal beaches, along with a pub life and traditional music scene unmatched anywhere else in the country.

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Music session, Donegal

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Dining Nancy’s bar Pub/restaurant Nancy’s has a very homely feel with a selection of many small rooms, each teeming with antiques and bric-a-brac collected through the years. It is wheelchair-accessible and child friendly. Food is served seven days a week from March-October, 12-9pm. Call to check availability during the winter months. The menu is simple and classic – from hearty vegetable soup to local oysters and mussels. House specials include The Louis Armstrong Sandwich, jazzed up smoked salmon, and options for those not interested in fish. Location: Front Street, Ardara, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 95 41187

La Fantasia Italian Restaurant

Smugglers Creek Rossnowlagh

Tí Linn

@ Slieve League

Cliffs Centre

Artisan Cafe - Crafts & Art Gallery

Letterkenny Founded in 2008, La Fantasis Italian restaurant in Letterkenny boasts a lively and friendly atmosphere, aiming to discover the old Italian traditions through the creativity of the recipes made by Davide Tullio, the restaurant’s owner. La Fantasia welcomes all guests, from walk-ins to groups, children and take out. And if you’re looking for a treat, all desserts at the restaurant are made fresh on a daily basis, perfect for the visitor with a sweet tooth! Location: Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 911 3421

An award-winning restaurant, Smugglers Creek was built in 1845 and is located in a scenic region overlooking Donegal Bay. The restaurant specialises in fresh seafood, shellfish and steak dishes, with vegetarian and children’s options also available. The restaurant is also twinned with Slyne Head Irish pub in Dresden, Germany. Location: Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 71 985 2366

“See the cliffs and taste Donegals hidden delights, at Ti Lìnn we take Irish Artisan Cuisine and Italian Coffee to new heights...”

Approved Provider

www.slieveleaguecliffs.ie | Slieve League Cliffs Centre, Teelin,(On Bunglas/The Cliffs Rd)

Dunlewey, Co. Donegal

Things to do Dunree Military Museum

Donegal Castle

Cairn Visitor Centre

Visitor Attraction

Historical Attraction

Tourist Attraction

Fort Dunree, Dun Fhraoigh in Irish, means ‘Fort of the Heather’ and indicates that this site has been an important defensive site down through history. Today, however, its stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife are drawing increasing numbers of visitors to one of Inishowen’s most beautiful and peaceful locations. Fort Dunree provides scenic walks, the Guns of Dunree exhibition, the Wildlife Discovery Room, the Rockhill Collection, a shop, café, auditorium and more.

Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century by the O’Donnell chieftains, and is located in Donegal town by the banks of the river Eske. After the castle was burnt to the ground by Hugh O’Donnell to prevent it from falling into enemy hands, it was rebuilt by Sir Basil Brooke in the 16th century. Information panels tell the story of the castle’s owners from past to present, and guided tours are available.

Owned by singer/ songwriter Patsy Cavanagh, The Cairn Visitor Centre in Inishowen is a popular tourist attraction that brings Irish culture to life through life size figures, miniature countryside models and voice overs. The centre contains facilities for those with disabilities as well as ample coach and car parking.

Location: Dunree, Buncrana, Inishowen Tel: +353 (0) 74 9361817 Web: www.dunree.pro.ie

Location: Donegal town, Co Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 972 2405

Location: Drumaweir, Greencastle, Co Donegal Tel: (0) 74 938 1104 Email: carinthe@eircom.net Web: www. thecairncentre.com

Footbridge, Co. Donegal

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Glenveagh National Park and Castle

Shopping John Molloy Ardara

Kennedy of Ardara Ardara

John Molloy Ltd is a family-run business on Ireland’s north west Atlantic coast, a region noted for its rugged natural beauty and tradition in hand knitting, weaving, sheep farming and fishing. John Molloy manufactures a range of men’s and women’s garments for export. John Molloy’s Donegal Tweed includes fabrics, jackets, caps, rugs and ties. There are free handweaving and knitting demonstrations, free factory tours and a coffee shop with safe parking off road. Come and try for yourself – a must-see stop on the Wild Atlantic Way. Location: Ardara, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 954 1133

Triona Design – The Donegal Tweed Centre Ardara, Co. Donegal

Acclaimed Irish knitwear store Kennedy of Ardara is a brand that has been at the heart of Donegal knitwear for 110 years. Renowned for Aran hand-knits and Hillwalker Outdoor sweaters, the company was previously awarded the honour of ‘Irish Exporter of the Year’. Recommended by Lonely Planet, Frommers and more, the famous retail and manufacturing business has been located in the centre of the scenic heritage town of Ardara for four generations. Location: Front Street, Ardara, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 954 1106 Web: www.kennedysweaters.com

Triona Design is a family run business that caters for visitors wishing to learn the art of hand weaving or to pick up a piece of authentic Irish tweed. Based in Ardara, The Donegal Tweed Centre tweed is still woven with the same traditional skills that have been used for centuries. The workshop employs three full-time weavers and a selection of full-time and seasonal staff to ensure that all aspects of your visit are covered. Location: Ardara, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 954 1422

Accommodation Fisherman Out of Ireland

Glendowen Craft Studio

Donegal Craft Village

Ballymoon, Kilcar, Co. Donegal

Inishowen

Donegal town

Located 4km from Clonmany is Glendowen Craft Studio that specialises in designing and creating handcrafted tweed clothing. The owner Ann McGonigle designs and makes a range of tunics, capes, jackets, wraps, hats and scarves. These are all made using only the finest in Donegal tweed. The studio also hosts traditional Irish music sessions on the second Sunday of every month – pop in for an enjoyable time!

Just outside historic Donegal town you will find Donegal Craft Village, which was established in 1985 and acts as a showcase for Donegal contemporary arts and crafts. You can meet the artists who work with a range of mediums such as glass, bronze, textiles, wood, paint and precious metals. You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase unique pieces that are unavailable anywhere else in the world. In addition there’s a picnic area, landscaped grounds and free, spacious parking.

Since 1991, Fisherman Out of Ireland has been producing knitwear blending the ancient techniques and material of Donegal knitting with modern styling and clever use of colour and luxury yarns. Using only natural fibres, much of the yarn is spun by Donegal Yarns, also in Kilcar, alongside internationally obtained cashmere and alpaca blends, pure Merino and lambs wool for luxurious insulation. Visitors can take a tour of the knitwear factory and browse through the full range of knitwear in the showroom. Location: Kilcar, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0)74 973 8233

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Location: Meentagh Glen, Clonmany, Inishowen, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 937 6265

Location: Ballyshannon Road, Donegal town, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 972 2225

DONEGAL: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Take a walk through Donegal’s beautiful natural landscape or immerse yourself in the horror of the Famine era. Sliabh League Cliffs Centre VISITORS CENTRE Rising almost 2000ft/598m from the Atlantic, the Sliabh Liag cliffs offer a truly fantastic view across Donegal Bay and west over the Atlantic Ocean as far as the eye can see. Enjoy your visit and call into Tí Linn café and craft shop at Slieve League Cliffs Centre, a family affair run by husband and wife team Paddy and Siobhan Clarke. As members of Good Food Ireland, Paddy and Siobhan maintain high standards, serving locally sourced food at reasonable prices, and during the summer there are traditional music evenings with some well-known national players. Location: Teelin, Carrick, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 973 9077

Doagh Famine Village HISTORIC ATTRACTION Doagh Famine Village tells the story of a Donegal family and community living on the edge of Donegal and surviving from Famine times right up to the present day. The village contains a wide selection of actual size attractions, including some original dwellings that were still inhabited up to 20 years ago. The centre has been built around the home of the owner who lived here with his family until 1983. By then, living in a thatched cottage was no longer fashionable and today this building tells of the subsistence way of life on Doagh Island. Location: Lagacurry, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0) 74 93 78078

Glenveagh National Park and Castle HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Set in some 16,500 hectares of Donegal mountains, lakes, glens and woods, and with a large herd of red deer, Glenveagh Castle is a 19th century, castellated mansion built between 1867 and 1873. Surrounded by the famous Glenveagh Gardens, its construction in a remote mountain setting was inspired by the Victorian idyll of a romantic highland retreat. It was designed by John Townsend Trench, a cousin of its builder and first owner, John George Adair. Location: Glenveagh, Churchhill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Tel: +353 (0)76 100 2537

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Murder Hole, Melmore Head, Co. Donegal

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Accommodation

Burial site of W.B. Yeats, Sligo

Castle Dargan Hotel

Diamond Coast Hotel

Glasshouse Hotel

Ballygawley, Co. Sligo

Enniscrone

Sligo town

Situated just eight minutes from Sligo town by car, Castle Dargan Hotel is a four-star, resort hotel and offers guests a range of luxury four-star accommodation, including luxury suites in the magnificent Castle Dargan House, superior hotel bedrooms, one and two-bedroom walled garden suites and self-catering lodges available for holiday rental. Set in some of Co. Sligo’s most scenic countryside, visitors can avail of magnificent views of the Ox Mountains and the nearby woodland walks, nature and trekking trails.

The Diamond Coast Hotel in Enniscrone overlooks the championship golf course, dune lands and 5km of local beaches. The hotel contains 84 spacious guestrooms, many of which enjoy these stunning views. The Coral Restaurant offers great food and wine and the Little Diamonds kids club is open each evening during the school holidays. Nearby you’ll find Waterpoint Aqua Park or surfing on Enniscrone beach.

Each of this hotel’s 116 spacious bedrooms feature a large window with gossamer curtains, while riverview rooms enjoy the sight of the Garravogue River. On the first floor there’s a Manhattanstyle lounge called The View Bar while the hotel’s restaurant – The Kitchen – is an AA rosette winner, meaning you can be sure the food you’re receiving is of the highest quality.

Location: Bartragh, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo Tel: +353 (0) 96 26000

Location: Swan Point, Sligo town, Co. Sligo Tel: +353 (0) 71 919 4300

Location: Ballygawley, Co. Sligo Tel: +353 (0)71 911 8080

COUNTY

SLIGO

The childhood haunt of renowned Irish poet W.B. Yeats, visit the county that inspired one of Ireland’s greatest writers.

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he rich and varied landscape of Co. Sligo inspired the poetry of W.B. Yeats and the paintings of his brother Jack B. Yeats. Filled with majestic mountains and glorious beaches and lakes, Sligo offers visitors a true escape. Its contrasting scenery facilitates those interested in walking and cycling which, in turn, provides an excellent way to explore the county at your leisure. The Yeats family spent their summers in the small town of Rosses Point and the remains of W.B. Yeats are buried in the Drumcliff churchyard, where many come to visit and pay their respects to one of Ireland’s most influential writers. The area surrounding Sligo town is known as Yeats Country and is peppered with references to this Nobel Laureate. Home to the Irish Surfing Association headquarters, Sligo is also famous for its surfing. The culmination of the Atlantic Ocean and the Sligo coastSligo line result in great reef and beach breaks and welcoming waves.

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Surfing at Easkey, Co. Sligo

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High Cross Drumcliffe Graveyard Co. Sligo

Shopping Benbulben Craft Village

The Cat and The Moon

Branleys Yard, Rathcormack

4 Castle Street, Sligo town

The Benbulben Craft Village is a beautifully restored farmyard from the 17th century, situated at the foot of Benbulben. The craft village is set on a 100 acre farm that stretches to the sea in an area of north Sligo that has an ancient historical and mythological past. Crafts on display for purchase include pottery, stained glass and fused glass decorative work, woodturning and silversmithing. You can also avail of courses and workshops that are available for all levels.

Irish jewellery designer Martina Gillan founded The Cat and The Moon retail outlet in 1989. The craft boutique in Sligo town features a luxurious selection of their distinctive collection of silver and gold jewellery that is made by hand in their studio in Sligo. In addition to their collections, Martina also creates unique pieces of jewellery in silver, gold and platinum by commission for weddings, special occasions and corporate customers.

Location: Rathcormack, Co. Sligo Tel: +353 (0)85 275 2589

Location: Castle Street, Sligo Town, Co. Sligo Tel: 353 (0)71 914 3377

Michael Kennedy Ceramics Sligo town For the past 30 years, Michael Kennedy has been creating functional pottery and ceramic sculptures that evoke the west of Ireland – from the Atlantic’s energy to the colour of the flora and fauna, ancient monuments and beautiful bogland. One of the main retail locations is in Sligo town and workshops are also offered for those interested – producing products from clay to finished ceramic pieces. Location: Market Square, Sligo town Tel: +353 (0) 71 914 8844

SLIGO: PLACES OF

INTEREST

There are plenty of activities – both natural and historic – to be experienced in County Sligo. We hope you brought your walking boots. Benbulben

Benbulben, Sligo

NATURAL ATTRACTION Benbulben is known as Sligo’s ‘Table Mountain’ and is part of the Dartry Mountains. The steeper sides of Benbulben are composed of large amounts of Dartry limestone on top of smaller amounts of Glencar limestone. The smoother sides are composed of Benbulben shale. These rocks formed in the area approximately 320 million years ago. Benbulben hosts a unique variety of plants, possessing some organisms found nowhere else in Ireland. The Sligo Tourism Office do not recommend climbing the mountain. However, there is a looped walk around Benbulben, the details of which you can obtain from Sligo Tourism Office. Location: About eight miles north of Sligo town Tel: +353 (0)71 916 1201

Strandhill, Sligo

Sligo Abbey HISTORICAL ATTRACTION This Dominican abbey survives from medieval days. It was built by Maurice Fitzgerald for the Dominicans in 1252 and was accidentally burnt down in 1414, when a candle left carelessly in the building set it on fire. ‘The Abbey’, as it is known locally, was further damaged during the 1641 rebellion.

Legend says that worshippers saved the abbey’s silver bell after it was thrown into Lough Gill and only those who are free from sin can hear it peal. The site contains a great wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculpture, well-preserved cloisters and the only sculptured 15th century high altar to survive in any Irish monastic church. Location: Abbey Street, Sligo town, Co. Sligo Tel: +353 (0)71 914 6406

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Glencar Waterfall, Co Leitrim

COUNTY

LEITRIM

Leitrim may be one of Ireland’s smaller counties, but this little gem is simply bursting at the seams with things to see and do.

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eitrim lies between Longford to the south and Donegal Bay to the north-west. At Tullaghan, the county has one of the shortest coastlines in Ireland at just 5km. The county is split in two by Lough Allen and, to the south, the lush scenery of lakes and drumlins takes over. Leitrim town itself is set at the southern end Leitrim of the Shannon-Erne Waterway, reopened in 1994 after 125 years of disuse and now a popular haunt for barges and pleasure cruisers.

Accommodation Lough Rynn Castle Hotel

The Landmark Hotel

Mohill, Co. Leitrim

Carrick-on-Shannon

The luxurious four-star Lough Rynn Castle Hotel is a secluded, 18th-century manor majestically set on the shore of Lough Rynn, with breathtaking scenery, lush green pastures and ancient forests. The entire estate comprises over 300 acres of idyllic countryside, rich in history and charmed with natural beauty. This luxury castle comprises 43 unique bedrooms and suites, and each room offers a wonderful mix of old world elegance and modern standards. Facilities include air conditioning and broadband access.

A four-star hotel on the main Sligo road, the Landmark Hotel overlooks the River Shannon. Situated in the beautiful riverside town of Carrick-onShannon, it contains 49 ensuite room, and guests have a choice of restaurants – the Boardwalk Café or Aroma’s Café.

Location: Mohill, Co. Leitrim Tel: +353 (0) 71 963 2700

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Visit the Boardwalk or Mallard bars for a tasty drink in the evening. Location: Dublin Road, Carrick-onShannon, Co. Leitrim Tel: +353 (0) 71 962 2222

Lough Allen Hotel Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim Lough Allen Hotel is located on the shores of Lough Allen, only 14km from the nearby town of Carrick-on-Shannon, and a short walk from the town of Drumshanbo. Combining luxurious facilities with the peace one finds in the countryside, it’s the perfect destination for a short or long break, and provides a great base from which to explore the county. Location: Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim Tel: +353 (0) 71 964 0100

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Shopping The Leitrim Design House The Dock, Arts Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon Recommended by the Craft Council of Ireland as a leading craft and design outlet, this unique centre of excellence is housed in The Dock, a beautiful 19th-century building overlooking the Shannon. Purchase a special gift, an original piece of work, a hand-crafted item, or commission something special and unique. It represents over 250 artists working in ceramics, glass, paper, wood, textiles, metal and jewellery.

Lough Gill

Location: Carrick-onShannon, Co. Leitrim Tel: +353 (0)71 965 0550

Leitrim Crystal Carrick-on-Shannon Situated in the idyllic town of Carrick-onShannon, County Leitrim, Leitrim Crystal specialises in a wide variety of crystal products such as vases, bowls, glasses, lamps and trophies. It’s a familyrun business owned by Ken and Sandra Cunningham who established it in 2000. Ken is a qualified master crystal glass cutter. Location: Market Yard Centre, Carrick-onShannon, Co. Leitrim Tel: +353 (0) 96 22255

Origin Farmers’ Market Manorhamilton The farmers’ market at Manorhamilton takes place every Friday from 10am-2pm located in the grounds of Manorhamilton’s Bee Park Resource Centre. At the market you’ll discover stalls filled with organic meats, fruits and vegetables, cheese, fresh fish and home baking. Location: Bee Park Resource Centre, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim

LEITRIM: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Castles and natural wonders dominate the landscape of County Leitrim. Parkes Castle HISTORICAL ATTRACTION This 17th century fortified manor house was originally the stronghold of the O’Rourke clan, rulers of the kingdom of Breffni. It has been beautifully restored using Irish oak and traditional craftsmanship.The courtyard contains the foundations and features of an earlier defensive structure, while another remnant of a bygone age is a traditional blacksmith forge of 17th century style. It is open to the public from March 30th until September 18th and the average length of a visit is one hour. Location: Five Mile Bourne, Co. Leitrim Tel: +353 (0)71 916 4149

Manorhamilton Castle and Heritage Centre HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Manorhamilton Castle, around which the town of Manorhamilton has grown, has a dramatic and colourful history, stories of which live on in the town to this day. The castle overlord Sir Frederick Hamilton was to become a by-word for cruelty down through the centuries as a result of his brutality in suppressing uprisings led by the O’Rourke chieftains whose land he had seized. A permanent exhibition is on display featuring artefacts from the 17th century, replica period costumes, furniture, a castle model and other interesting items and information. Manorhamilton Castle and Heritage Centre is open all year round to the general public and to organised tours.

Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim

Location: Castle Street, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim Tel: +353 (0) 71 985 5249

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Dining

Lough Oughter, Co. Cavan

COUNTY

CAVAN

Visit County Cavan and discover a county steeped in northern history, and a place where life’s pace slows.

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bout 90 minutes drive from Dublin and bordering Northern Ireland, Cavan’s extraordinary landscape is dominated by lakes and drumlins. The Cuilcagh Mountains in the northwest are the source of the River Shannon. Each year, anglers from all over Europe converge in the county for the excellent fishing. Historically, prior to the arrival of St Patrick, Magh Sleacht, on the northwestern plain near Ballyconnell, was one of the most important druidic centres of the fifth century, though the Celtic deities diminished as St Patrick spread the word of Christianity. Although landlocked, Cavan possesses many lakes scattered amongst the drumlins of the land. Its historical significance dates back many hundreds of years. The county’s landscape foiled the attempts of the Anglo-Normans to gain a foothold in the county during the 12th century, and the land remained in the hands of the O’Reilly clan until the 16th century, when the Ulster lords were defeated by the English in the Nine Years War. Today Cavan is a modern and dynamic county of culture and festivals, Cavan whose past lies easily alongside its present.

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Murph’s Bistro Derragarra Inn

The Keepers Arms

Butler’s Bridge

Bawnboy

The ivy covered and thatched roofed Inn is a Cavan landmark and was used in the film ‘The Playboys’ starring Albert Finney. The menu at Murph’s Bistro ranges from a selection of home made pasta, chicken and duck, to whole fresh Dover sole, not forgetting a wide selection of steaks from the grill. There is also a wide range of vegetarian dishes and fresh homemade sauces suitable for coeliac diets. The Inn prides itself on accommodating all dietary requirements. Chef Fergus Murphy uses as much locally grown and organic produce as possible.

Situated in west Cavan and central to the UNESCO Geopark, the village of Bawnboy is home to The Keepers Arms Guesthouse of Ireland. It offers top of the range quality approved accommodation, with private parking and Wi-Fi, guest luggage storage and dining facilites. Ideally based for fishing, golfing and walking holidays, there is plenty to see and do in beautiful west Cavan; craft shops, art galleries, museums, grand houses and castles, along with natural phenomenon such as the Marble Arch Caves European Geopark and Cavan Burren Park.

Location: Butler’s Bridge, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 49 433 10 33

Location: Bawnboy, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 49 952 3318

Crover House Hotel Restaurant Mountnugent Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, great local food and scenic views of the surrounding gardens and Lough Sheeling at Crover House Hotel Restaurant. Pick of the week must surely be the Sunday carvery dinner – a five course meal which is served in the Arley suite. Although it’s found nestled in the heart of Cavan’s countryside, Crover House Hotel is only 40 minutes from the M3 heading for Dublin, and a mere 90 minute journey to Ireland’s northern counties. Location: Lough Sheelin, Mountnugent, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 49 854 0206

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View on River Erne

Accommodation Errigal Country House Hotel

Cavan Crystal Hotel

Cavan Road, Cootehill

Dublin Road, Cavan town

Travellers will discover a world of elegance at the Errigal Country House Hotel. The four-star, family-run hotel offers traditional Irish hospitality and modern facilities. Visitors can choose from a variety of accommodation options including standard, deluxe, executive and lodge rooms. To add an extra facet of relaxation to their stay, guests can also pay a visit to the Eden Health and Wellness Suite, which offers a range of treatments such as facials, manicures, pedicures, therapeutic baths and massages.

Cavan Crystal Hotel provides luxury accommodation on the outskirts of Cavan town. While its eye-catching interior design conveys a contemporary outlook, inside there is a sense of warmth and hospitality. The hotel has 85 beautifully appointed bedrooms including two junior suites and the impressive Presidential Suite. The area features golf clubs, equestrian centres and a children’s activity centre. Those interested in local heritage won’t want to miss the Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff and the Cavan Genealogical Research Centre.

Situated on Lough Ramor, you can relax and enjoy your time with panoramic lakeside and woodland views. This luxury accommodation is available only a short drive away on the M3 Cavan motorway from Dublin city and Dublin International Airport. In less than an hour you can immerse yourself in the charming Irish countryside, with rambling hills and lakeside views. St Kyrans Restaurant offers the finest food, hand crafted with love, in a warm atmosphere with cinematic lakeside views of Lough Ramor.

Location: Cootehill, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0)49 555 6901

Location: Cavan Town, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0)49 436 0600

Location: Dublin Road, Virginia, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 49 854 7087

St Kyrans Country House and Restaurant Virginia

Cavan Town during The Gathering in 2013

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Shopping Cavan Farmers Market Cavan town

Cavan Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 10am to 4pm in Cavan town. Stalls at the market offer a range of organic meat, fruit and vegetables as well as home-baking, cheese and fresh fish. Visitors and locals are invited to browse, buy and soak up the market atmosphere. Location: Cavan town, Co. Cavan

Elena Brennan

Bear Essentials

Lisreagh

Bawnboy

Elena is a sculptor at heart and at her studio in Cavan, she hand carves each master pattern in wax with small engraving tools before casting, using the ancient lost wax method, in precious silver and gold. Intricateness, delicacy and graceful flowing forms echo in all her pieces. Stories feature strongly in her work, with Irish legends like ‘The Children of Lir’, & an upcoming Pirate Queen collection. My Angel Collection has angels, halos, wings, hearts, etc. for those special times in life when words are not enough.

Located just beside Brackley Lake on the border between Fermanagh and Leitrim, Bear Essentials handmakes its own unique range of teddy bears. Visitors to the shop can avail of the opporunity to make their own teddy bear too! Presentations and demonstrations are available for tour groups, covering the history of teddy bears and their appeal. There’s a kids playground in the woods close by and peaceful gardens and small greenhouses.

Location: Lisreagh, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 49 436 1047

Location: Bawnboy, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 87 761 0537

Activities Cavan Burren Park

Cavan Canoeing Butler’s Bridge

Historic Site/Trail Cavan Burren Park is one of the finest integrated prehistoric landscapes in Ireland with megalithic tombs, stone walls, ancient rock art, glacial erratics and pre-bog walls, and is rich in archaeological and geological heritage. Visitors will enjoy exploring the visitor centre and five walking trails (inc. multi-access trail). Interpretation along the way will assist you in unravelling the intriguing layers of human history. Visitors can also download the free app or avail of the services of a local guide. Coach and car parking, picnic facilities and toilets are also available. Location: Blacklion, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 71 985 3941 Web: www.cavanburren.ie

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The Cavan Way Ballyconnell

Explore the waterways of County Cavan with the help of Cavan Canoe Centre. Situated only 15 minutes from Cavan town, the Centre is an ideal gateway for visitors who wish to explore Lough Oughter and its famous castle, or take a leisurely boat trip along the River Erne. Visitors to the Centre can take advantage of a number of services, which include fishing boat rental, canoe rental, guided tours to the local Lough Oughter Castle, training courses, supervised sessions, equipment sales and accommodation packages with nearby Thornton Cottage. Location: Inishmore, Butler’s Bridge, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 86 266 0686 Web: cavancanoeing.com

Follow the Cavan Way walking trail through the limestone landscape of the northern Cuilcagh and into the village of Blacklion. Visitors can enjoy the great views over Cuilcagh Mountain to the south and Lough McNean to the north. Located in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, there are plenty of other walking routes available if you’re feeling quite energetic on your holidays. Location: c/o Ballyconnell Engineers Office, Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0) 49 433 1942

Drumlane Abbey, Milltown, Cavan

CAVAN: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Festivals, history and a beautiful landscape all converge in beautiful County Cavan, the Lake County.

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Cavan County Museum

Drumlane Monastic Site

HISTORICAL ATTRACTION A tour of the museum through its elegant

exhibition galleries provides an insight into the heritage of Cavan from antiquity to recent times. Exhibition galleries trace the history and heritage of the county from prehistoric and pre-Christian time to rural life as it was in the 1950s. Rare and precious artefacts on display include the 4,000-year-old Killycluggin Stone, threefaced Corleck Head, the 1,000-year-old Lough Errol log boat, medieval sheela-na-gigs and the 18th century Cavan Mace. There are also many costumes, implements and machinery on display.

MONASTIC SITE A visit to the Drumlane Monastery is a lovely experience, as it occupies a very scenic site on the edge of a lake. Many believe St Mogue, the Bishop of Ferns, founded Drumlane Monastery in the sixth century, though others have argued that St Columcille was the original founder. In the 12th century, St Mary’s priory for the Augustinian canons was established here and the remains comprise a round tower, church, graveyard and fragments of a cross-inscribed stone. The property also boasts interesting stone carvings and heads throughout.

Location: Virginia Road, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan Tel: +353 (0)49 854 4070

Location: Milltown, Co. Cavan

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Accommodation Castle Leslie Estate

Castle Leslie

COUNTY

MONAGHAN

Poetry and folklore, farms and hiking – it all awaits those who visit County Monaghan.

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onaghan, like Cavan, is a landscape of drumlins and lakes and a popular county for fishing. Despite the unfettered appearance of its hundreds of scattered farms crisscrossed by hedgerows, Monaghan’s farming co-operatives are among the most active and progressive in Ireland. Monaghan is also the traditional centre for lacemaking in the country, a fine tradition that continues in the larger towns such as Clones and Monaghan Carrickmacross. Anyone familiar with the work of Patrick Kavanagh will also know of the strong connections Monaghan has with the famed Irish poet.

Hilton Park, Clones

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Four Seasons Hotel

Glencarn Hotel Castleblaney

Glaslough

Monaghan town

Located in 1,000 acres of magnificent Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodlands and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate is a stunningly beautiful, secluded estate in Glaslough, Co. Monaghan. Still in the hands of its founding family, it is steeped in history and full of character and charm. Just 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes from Belfast, the estate boasts a variety of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes. The castle, at the heart of the estate, offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality.

A family-run business just outside Monaghan town, the Four Seasons Hotel is a three-star family-friendly location, just 1.5 hours from both Dublin and Belfast. There are 59 wellequipped rooms with TV, WiFi, ironing capabilities, tea and coffee-making facilities and more. Dine out in the Avenue restaurant or the Range Grill and Still Bar.

Located in Castleblaney, the Glencarn Hotel has 29 guestrooms, a leisure centre, carvery lunches and an extensive bar menu at the Temple Bar. There are plenty of activities nearby to keep yourself or the kids occupied – take advantage of fishing, golf, water-skiing, walks, greyhound racing and horse racing. Friday night is dancing night at the hotel while there’s live entertainment at the weekends in the Temple Bar.

Location: Coolshannagh, Monaghan town, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 47 81888

Location: Monaghan Road, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 42 974 6666

Location: Glaslough, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 47 88100

Shopping Carrickmacross Lace Gallery

Busy Bee Ceramics

Liz Christy’s Swallow Studios

Market Square, Carrickmacross

Mullan Village, Emyvale

Castleblaney

The Carrickmacross Lace Gallery specialises in carrying out the tradition of Carrickmacross-made lace, made famous by Princess Diana’s wedding dress, the sleeves of which had been trimmed with this lace. A piece of applique lace, brought from Italy in 1816 by a Mrs Porter to her gifted sewing maid, led to the foundation of a worldfamous lace industry with a distinctive style. This tradition is now carried on by the Carrickmacross Gallery. The distinctive lace is expertly hand-stitched.

Busy Bee Ceramics is a working studio located in Mullan, a ninth century mill village, just eight miles north of Monaghan town. Their pottery products include dishwasherproof tableware such as mugs, jugs, teapots, etc. Pottery workshops are held here for every age group, children and adults, where you can learn how to ‘throw a pot’ under expert guidance and also how to decorate your very own set of pottery. Your creations will then be fired in the kiln and returned to you within two weeks.

Swallow Studios in Annayalla, County Monaghan is workshop to one of Ireland’s mostestablished textile artists, hand-weaver Liz Christy. For over 20 years, Liz has been creating colourful hand-woven scarves inspired in particular by her favourite painter, Claude Monet. As well as seeing Liz Christy scarves, you will see them being created in the workshop. No matter what Liz is working on, she is always delighted to welcome visitors and show them around the workshop.

Location: Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 42 9664176

Location: Mullan Village, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 86 1080738

Location: Annyalla, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 42 974 6614

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Monaghan town centre

MONAGHAN: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Journey through the history of County Monaghan, discovering mythology, folkore and the county’s rich culture. Patrick Kavanagh Rural and Literary Resource Centre HISTORICAL SITE The Patrick Kavanagh Rural and Literary Resource Centre is located in the home town and birthplace of the poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh. It displays a permanent exhibition dedicated to his life and work and features a 60-seat audio-visual theatre and a research library. Also on view are twelve specially commissioned paintings illustrating Kavanagh’s epic poem ‘The Great Hunger’, a miniature model depicting Kavanagh’s classic, ‘A Christmas Childhood’, Kavanagh’s death mask and other memorabilia associated with the poet. Location: Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 42 937 8560

Monaghan County Museum VISITOR CENTRE Located in Monaghan town, the Monaghan County Museum includes a number of impressive artefacts on display, including medieval crannógs and the Cross of Clogher – which dates back to the 14th century. Having won the Council of Europe Museum prize, the museum continues to be involved in local archaeological excavations. Location: 1-2 Hill Street, Monaghan town, Co. Monaghan Tel: +353 (0) 47 82928

Clones HISTORICAL TOWN Originally a monastic settlement that was founded around 500AD, the town of Clones features many sites of historical interest including a high cross, the ruins of John Wesley’s Methodist Church, Clones round tower and the ruins of an earlier motte and bailey fort. Location: Clones, Co. Monaghan

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Inspirational landscapes, beautiful scenery, locations steeped in history and a population that welcomes visitors with open arms – the joys and delights of Northern Ireland await.

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Larrybane, Co. Antrim

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Highlights DERRY

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Larrybane, Co. Antrim

JULY

AUGUST

n Saturday 8 July MUSIC BY THE LAKE, CROM ESTATE, CO FERMANAGH Relax and listen to musicians on the shores of Lough Erne.

n Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August B/E AEROSPACE FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT 2017, NEWCASTLE, CO DOWN Featuring air displays, exhibitions, live music, street entertainment and more.

n Thursday 13 July SCARVA SHAM FIGHT, LURGAN, CO ARMAGH An annual mock fight between ‘King William’ and ‘King James’ including a parade through the village of Lurgan.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Northern Ireland is home to some spectacular sights: the Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Belfast, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Mourne Mountains and many more.

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s one holidaymaker commented recently: “The one thing that remains constant about Northern Ireland is the friendliness. From its tip in Rathlin Island in north County Antrim to its very root in scenic Carlingford Lough in south County Down, Northern Ireland offers a beautiful landscape, friendly inhabitants and a warm and beguiling character. Travel from the spectacular walls of Derry in the north west to the bustling streets of Belfast in the east. Explore the lakelands of Fermanagh, the Glens of Antrim, the Sperrin region or the Mountains of Mourne. Take a coastal drive around Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula, or drive along the coastal roads to Giant’s Causeway – one of the natural wonders of the world.”

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n Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August ULSTER MILITARY VEHICLE CLUB

BLUE FLAG BEACHES The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Beaches and marinas that achieve this accolade must comply with a specific set of criteria. n DERRY Benone, Portstewart, Castlehill, Downhill n DOWN Murlough, Tyrella, Crawfordsburn, Cranfield Bay n ANTRIM West Strand, Portrush, Whiterocks, Portrush (Mill) West

TOURIST OFFICE INFORMATION There is an extensive network of Tourist Information Offices and Visitor Information Points around Ireland. n BELFAST: 8-9 Donegall Square North, BT1 5GJ. Tel: 028 9024 6609 n ANTRIM: The Old Courthouse, Market Square, Antrim BT41 4AW. Tel: 028 9442 8331 n DOWN: The St. Patrick Centre, 53a Market Street, Downpatrick, BT30 6LZ. Tel: 028 4461 2233 n DERRY: 44 Foyle Street, Derry, BT48 6AT. Tel: 028 7126 7284 n ARMAGH: 40 English Street, BT61 7BA. Tel: 028 3752 1800 n FERMANAGH: Wellington Road, Enniskillen, BT74 7EF. Tel: 028 6632 3110 n TYRONE: Strule Arts Centre, Townhall Square, Omagh, BT78 1BL. Tel: 028 8224 7831

SUMMER SHOW, PORTRUSH, CO ANTRIM A display of privately-owned military vehicles from WWII to present day.

OCTOBER n Wednesday 25 – Sunday 29 October CITY OF DERRY INTERNATIONAL CHORAL FESTIVAL, DERRY CITY A five-day festival of choral musicmaking.

THE KEY

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

PLACES OF INTERESTS

ACCOMMODATION

ACTIVITIES

SHOPPING

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Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim

Belfast City Hall

Janus Statue Boa Island, Co. Fermanagh

Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim

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ROADTRIP

Whether you follow our directions or create your own, taking a road trip across Northern Ireland is a great way of seeing the wonderful sites the province has to offer. Tollymore, Bryansford, Co. Down

Queen’s University, Belfast

Day 1

Day 3

Take the Causeway Coastal Route from (A) Belfast via (B) Carrickfergus, checking out its 800-year-old castle on the way, then take the A2 to (C) Larne. This route has been rated one of the top five road trips in the world. From here travel north and enjoy the spectacular scenery – at times you’re just metres from the sea spray. As you continue on your journey, the nine Glens of Antrim will unfold before you. Stop off to explore them, along with the white, windswept beaches. At Glenariff Forest Park take a pit-stop to enjoy the glorious woodland walks. There are beautiful villages dotted along this coast, and we recommend you stop for lunch at the picturesque village of (D) Cushendun. From here, take the road hugging the coastline to (E) Torr Head for views over to the Mull of Kintyre. Returning to the Causeway Coastal Route, head towards Ballycastle before taking the coast road to the (F) Carrick-aRede rope bridge, where walking across and back over an 80ft chasm will give you a pure adrenaline rush. Head towards (G) Bushmills, where you can take a tour of the distillery, and perhaps a dram of whiskey once you’ve parked your car for the night. JOURNEY: 133.6km

Take time out to walk Derry city’s cannon-lined walls, taking in the richness of the sights and attractions that hark back to another era, scattered around the city. Then head south on the B48 and A32 towards (J) Omagh, County Tyrone. There’s plenty to enrich your journey as you pass through the gloriously scenic Sperrin Mountains and you can take a small detour to visit the Ulster American Folk Park, just outside Omagh, which is one of the best open-air museums of its kind, detailing why two million people left Ulster for America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Nearby Gortin also has a magical forest where the flora and fauna can be viewed in all their glory. Continue on towards (K) Enniskillen, County Fermanagh and finish your day here by visiting its impressive castle. JOURNEY: 130.4km

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Day 2 In the morning, head back along the coast road to the (G) Giant’s Causeway – you’ll need time to appreciate this awesome feat of nature. Legend has it that the Irish giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart, Benandonner. Heading west, take in the ruins of medieval (G) Dunluce Castle, teetering out over the ocean, or breathe in the fresh air at the beaches of (H) Portrush or Portstewart. Look out for the glorious Mussenden Temple overlooking the nine mile long Benone Strand, before heading on to (I) Derry city for an overnight stay. JOURNEY: 74km

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Titanic Memorial at Belfast City Hall

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GAME OF THRONES Filming Locations in Northern Ireland

Downhill Beach. Co. Derry

For Game of Thrones enthusiasts, you can discover the television show’s fantastic and diverse locations in Ireland’s northern counties – where parts of the incredibly popular series are filmed. From Downhill Beach in Co. Derry (Dragonstone) to Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim (the Kingsroad), immerse yourself in the fantastical world of Westeros.

1Dragonstone

Downhill Beach, Co. Derry Downhill Beach is home to the tiny Mussenden Temple, which perches on top of a 120ft-high cliff with dramatic views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. From the show: Downhill is the spot where the old gods are burned on the beach in season two, where Stannis pulls the flaming sword from the fire and Melisandre chants “For the night is dark and full of terrors.”

2The Stormlands

Larrybane, Carrick-a-Rede, Co. Antrim Close to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Larrybane headland once stretched out towards Sheep Island. Its large caves used to serve as a safe haven from winter storms for boat builders. From the show: Larrybane is the spot chosen for Renly Baratheon’s camp in season two. Here, Catelyn Stark agrees on a treaty with Renly on behalf of her son Robb, the King in the North.

3Pyke, the Iron Islands

Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim Situated on the picturesque north coast of Antrim between the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, a narrow, winding road takes you from the village down to the harbour of Ballintoy. From the show: This stunning harbour location was used for exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands. This is where Theon Greyjoy arrives back on the Iron Islands and meets his sister Yara after a long hiatus.

4Storm’s End

Murlough Bay, Co. Antrim Located at the edge of the Mourne Mountains in a northeastern corner of Northern Ireland, Murlough Bay is best known for its outstanding beauty, remoteness and its views across the sea to Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. From the show: This is the setting for Theon’s awkward horseride with Yara and also the place where Davos Seaworth is rescued from the Fingers by a passing ship following the Battle of the Blackwater.

5The King’s Road

Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim One of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland, the Dark Hedges is a striking avenue of arched beech trees, which was planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century. From the show: In season two, these spectacular trees line the King’s Road as Arya Stark makes her escape from King’s Landing disguised as a boy to avoid capture.

6Winterfell

Castle Ward, Co. Down Overlooking the beautiful Strangford Lough, the lower part of the estate is where you’ll find Old Castle Ward, the 16th-century ruin that doubled as Winterfell. From the show: King Robert Baratheon and his entourage arrive here and are met by the Starks in season one.

7Riverrun

River Quoile, Co. Down The north bank of the Quoile River is a historic site and is the location of the Twins and the Riverlands. From the show: In season one, this is where Robb’s army needs to cross the Trident and Catelyn Stark bargains with Walder Frey for his permission to do so. It is also the place where Catelyn and Robb first learn of Ned’s beheading.

8The Haunted Forest

River Quoile, Co. Down

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Tollymore Forest Park, Co. Down

Covering an area of almost 630 hectares, Tollymore Forest Park is situated at the foot of the beautiful Mourne Mountains. This romantic forest is a landscape of trees, woodlands, streams, grottos and caves. From the show: Tollymore Forest Park is the haunting backdrop to the scene in which a member of the Night’s Watch rides through the snowy forest and stumbles across dismembered Wildling bodies in the first season.

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The Titanic Visitor Centre Building Belfast

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COUNTY

ANTRIM

Ireland’s most northeasterly county, Antrim is home to many interesting sites, including the Giant’s Causeway, whose origin story comes from ancient mythology.

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ounty Antrim is situated to the northeast of the province of Ulster, with Belfast – Ireland’s second largest city and the capital of Northern Ireland – as its principal settlement. Antrim’s coastal roads pass by the Glens of Antrim, an incredibly scenic region formed by nine valleys that stretch from the cliffs of Fair Head to Carrickfergus. To the north is a spread of coastal resorts, which includes Ballintoy, home of the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. It’s in this area that you’ll find the spectacular basalt formations of the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. Co. Antrim borders on Lough Neagh, the largest lake in northern Europe, and offshore to the north is tiny Rathlin Island, just 22km from the Mull of Kintyre in ScotAntrim land. For the ultimate shopping experience visit Belfast, Ballymena or Lisburn.

BELFAST As a city, Belfast grew from humble beginnings, from a small hamlet on the banks of the River Lagan to the vibrant cultural and historical urban location you can visit today.

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elfast and its outlying metropolitan areas of Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and North Down have plenty of variety for visitors wishing to expand their visit, encounter the beautiful coastal landscapes or discover more about Northern Ireland’s industrial heritage. Situated on the point where the lovely River Lagan empties into Belfast Lough, Belfast’s Irish name, Béal Feirste, means ‘mouth of the sandy ford’. It refers to an ancient crossing on the River Farset, the location of much of the city’s early history. First mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters in 665AD, Belfast’s development as a town dates back to 1177 when a castle was built on what is now the area between Donegall Place and Cornmarket. Belfast received its first charter from King James I in 1613 at a time when the city consisted of little more than 120 houses. Now a thriving city, Belfast has a wealth of cathedrals, historic buildings, museums and galleries. Belfast itself is an accessible place, described as a walkable city, built on a human scale. With many pedestrian zones, it holds wonderfully preserved examples of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, all of which are dominated by the domed City Hall.

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Accommodation Ten Square Hotel Skipper Street, Belfast Located just steps from the historic City Hall, Waterfront Hall, the business district and the Victoria Square shopping mecca, Ten Square Hotel offers a variety of award-winning luxury hotel rooms as well as The Grill Room Restaurant & Bar – one of Belfast’s most popular meeting and dining locations. A whirl of contemporary furniture, cool wallpapers, chic textiles and freshly cut flowers accompanied by personalised service add to the welcoming and relaxing accommodation in this trendy, boutique hotel. Location: Donegall Square South, Belfast Tel: +44 (0) 28 9024 1001

The Merchant Hotel Donegall Square South, Belfast The five-star Merchant Hotel is a harmonious blend of Victorian grandeur and sleek modernity. Situated in the heart of Belfast city centre’s historic Cathedral Quarter, the grandeur of the original grade A listed building is complemented by an elegant art deco-inspired wing with a multitude of exciting amenities. These include a stunning luxury spa and a rooftop gymnasium with panoramic city views. Location: 16 Skipper Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim BT1 2DZ Tel: +44 (0) 28 9023 4888

Galgorm Resort & Spa Ballymena Set on 163 acres of parkland, with the River Maine flowing through the estate, you won’t be disappointed here. The resort boasts 75 richly furnished bedrooms, relaxing spa facilities, fine dining and conferencing/ banqueting facilities – every need is catered for. The resort also offers countryside self-catering cottages on-site, and unique log cabins located along the banks of the River Maine. Location: 136 Fenaghy Road, Ballymena, Co. Antrim BT42 1EA Tel: +44 (0) 28 2588 1001

Shopping St George’s Market Donegall Square South, Belfast

Victoria Square Belfast

Café Couture Ballymena

There has been a Friday market taking place on the St George’s site since 1604. The present St George’s Market, built between 1890 and 1896, is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. As well as being home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday and Saturday markets, it has become one of the city’s most popular places to visit.

Old and new sit comfortably side by side in Victoria Square, Northern Ireland’s biggest and brightest shopping centre. The dazzling glass dome is also a viewing gallery where you can look across the Belfast skyline. The Victorian Jaffe Fountain is a centrepiece at the front door, and has been returned to the same spot where it stood in 1870. Inside Victoria Square there are four levels, with over 50 stores, a cinema and 18 eateries. It is open seven days a week, with late night shopping until 9pm Wednesday-Friday.

Location: 12-20 East Bridge Street, Belfast Tel: +44 (0) 28 9043 5704

Location: 1 Victoria Square, Belfast Tel: +44 (0) 28 9032 2277

Located in the town of Ballymena, Café Couture is a mix of a coffee shop, clothes shop, ice cream parlour and a breakfast bar! There aren’t very many locations where you can browse for clothes while enjoying a coffee or ice-cream. The shop will also sell your clothes for you, online or in-store. Location: 60-64 Mill Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim BT43 5AF Tel: +353 (0) 28 2565 1120

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Queen’s University, Belfast

BELFAST: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Visit vibrant Belfast – home to a stirring cultural quarter, a famed university and, of course, the birthplace of the ill-fated Titanic. Belfast City Hall HISTORICAL ATTRACTION The iconic Belfast City Hall was officially reopened on October 12th 2009 following its £11m, two-year refurbishment programme. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton performed a ribbon cutting ceremony and unveilled a plaque to mark the reopening. The home of Belfast City Council, it was designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas and built in Portland stone. Completed in 1906, it is a magnificent Edwardian ‘wedding cake’ built to reflect Belfast’s city status, granted by Queen Victoria in 1888. Today, the grounds of City Hall are a favourite for those looking to take a break from the bustling city. People can be found relaxing in the grounds with friends, or simply a sandwich and a favourite book. The grounds are also used for many events, from continental markets to open air concerts.

Titanic Quarter HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Belfast’s Titanic Quarter is one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects, spanning 185 acres on the site where RMS Titanic was designed and built at the Harland & Wolff shipyard. Aside from a variety of Titanic-related heritage sites, visitors can avail of a range of attractions here including Titanic Belfast, T13 (Belfast’s very own urban sports park), the Odyssey Arena and Belfast Harbour Marina. Location: Titanic Quarter Ltd, Titanic House, Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9DT Tel: +44 (0) 28 9076 6300

Activities

Location: Donegall Square, Belfast Tel: +44 (0) 28 9032 0202

Queen’s University HISTORICAL ATTRACTION The fine facade of the Main Building,

designed by Charles Lanyon, conceals a quiet, restful quadrangle. This was the original Queen’s College, but the university has expanded throughout the immediate area including all the houses on University Square. The visitor centre hosts exhibitions as well as selling university memorabilia. It is wheelchair-accessible and guided tours are available. Location: University Road, Belfast Tel: +44 (0) 28 9024 5133

Antrim...Jewel of the Lough Market Square, Antrim The Borough of Antrim is set in rolling countryside located on the north-east shores of the largest fresh

water lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh. From leisurely cruises on Lough Neagh to retail therapy at Junction One International Outlet Centre and Castle Mall, Antrim Borough caters for everyone! The heartbeat of Antrim town

is the Old Courthouse, offering tourist information, a café and a theatre. Location: Old Courthouse Information Centre, Market Square, Antrim Tel: +44 (0) 28 9442 8331

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Derry city

COUNTY

DERRY

A coastal county, County Derry is home to several picturesque towns nestled on the coast, perfect for a family seaside holiday with the kids.

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ne of Northern Ireland’s most northerly counties, County Derry takes its name from the Irish word for ‘oak grove’; doire. In the distant past, the area was called Doire Colmcille, indicative of its importance in the life and work of St Colmcille. On lovely Lough Foyle, Derry is Ireland’s only walled city and is an excellent base for exploring the northwest. County towns include Limavady and Coleraine, while along the north coast, the picturesque seaside resort of Portstewart has an excellent beach and long promenade – perfect for exploring the famous Causeway coast to the east. To the north and west of Derry is Donegal and the Inishowen Peninsula. Must-see sights include Glenveagh National Park Letterkenny, The Grianan of Aileach Derry and Ireland’s most northerly point with its breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean, Malin Head, at the tip of Inishowen.

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Accommodation Everglades Hotel

Prehen Road, Derry

This premier, four-star hotel in the north west is situated on the banks of the Foyle and located just five minutes by car from the bustling, historic and dynamic city centre. The Everglades is ideally located for exploring and experiencing everything this city has to offer. Relax in one of their lavishly appointed bedrooms and enjoy superb cuisine. Location: 41-53 Prehen Road, Derry, Co. Derry BT47 2NH Tel: +44 (0) 28 7132 1066

Shopping Austins Department Store Austins department store is a treasured landmark in the centre of Derry. Austins predates Jenners of Edinburgh by five years, Harrods of London by 15 years and Macy’s of New York by 25 years! It is the world’s oldest independent department store, having grown remarkably from its humble beginnings almost two centuries ago. Location: The Diamond, Derry Tel: +44 (0)28 7126 1817

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COUNTY

DOWN

Amongst other historic locations and cultural activities, County Down is reputed to be the resting place of the patron saint of Ireland – St Patrick.

Clough Castle, Co. Down

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ounty Down in southeast Ulster marks the beginning and end of St Patrick’s mission in Ireland. The remains of Ireland’s patron saint are said to be buried in the grounds of Downpatrick’s cathedral, the principal county town, and there are museums and heritage centres dedicated to commemorating the fact. The county has some of the most varied landscapes in the North: the celebrated Mountains of Mourne, the Georgian splendour of Hillsborough, the spectacular coastline of Dundrum Bay and the beauty and unspoilt environment of Strangford Lough, enclosed by the long arm of Down the Ards Peninsula. There are Blue Flag beaches at Tyrella and Murlough and some of the most challenging golf courses in Ireland – Helen’s Bay, Bright and Ardglass.

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Murlough Nature Reserve, Co. Down

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COUNTY

ARMAGH

Known as the Orchard County, Armagh boasts a rich and colourful countryside, and a range of historic houses, attractions and beautiful parks.

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rmagh, the Orchard of Apples, is named after the pagan goddess Macha who, according to legend, built a fortress here. In the early Christian era, St Patrick chose the county as a base from which to spread his message. Armagh city is one of Ireland’s oldest settlements and by the eighth century was the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. Around the county you’ll find wonderful historic and prehistoric sites, from the magnificent Armagh gothic cathedral of St Patrick’s to the ancient Navan Fort, or Emain Macha – once the most important sites in Celtic Ulster.

Accommodation Armagh City Hotel

Newforge House

Friary Road

Magheralin

Guests can choose from 120 luxurious ensuite bedrooms, enjoy delicious modern Irish cuisine in the Friary Restaurant and avail of the stateof-the-art health and leisure club. Its elevated position, with panoramic views over the historic landscape of Armagh, makes it the ideal place to soak up the sights and sounds the city has to offer. Free car parking (350 spaces) is available, including ample coach spaces. The hotel is located just 45 minutes from Belfast and an hour and a half from Dublin by car.

Nestled amidst garden and fields in the pretty village of Magheralin, Newforge house was built in 1785, and has remained within the same family for six generations before being opened to guests in 2005 by the current owners, John and Louise Mathers. Inside you’ll discover six individually-designed bedrooms, period features and antiques alongside modern comforts. John is a trained chef, cooking local produce and meals prepared to order. Newforge is just two miles from the M1 motorway and 30 minutes from both Belfast airports.

Location: 2 Friary Road, Armagh, Co. Armagh BT60 4FR Tel: +44 (0) 28 3751 8888 Web: www.armaghcityhotel.com

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Location: Magheralin, Co Armagh BT67 0QL Tel: +44 (0) 28 9261 1255 Web: www.newforgehouse.com

Armagh city

Fairylands Country House Armagh city Fairylands Country House is a familyrun establishment located just outside Armagh city – providing visitors with easy access to the city, and a welcome return to quiet, country surroundings. It is also within walking distance of the historic Navan Fort, which was once the seat of the ancient kings of Ulster. Facilities include private parking and free Wi-Fi, while all rooms are en-suite and equipped with TVs and tea/coffee making facilities. Location: 25 Navan Fort Road, Armagh, Co Armagh BT60 4PN Tel: +44 (0) 29 3751 0315 Web: www. fairylands.net

ARMAGH: PLACES OF

INTEREST

A historic county, Armagh is known for its rich Christian heritage, with Armagh city the spiritual capital of Ireland since around 445AD. The Navan Centre HISTORICAL ATTRACTION The Navan Centre interprets one of Ireland’s most important ancient monuments, Navan Fort, the ancient capital and seat of the kings of Ulster. The Navan Centre offers visitors a unique appreciation of the history of the area through a stimulating exhibition packed full of information, artefacts and hands on activities for all the family. Enjoy the myths and legends of the Ulster Cycle in the vibrant audiovisual show and witness Celtic characters bring history to life in the Iron Age/Early Christian period dwelling with demonstrations of cooking, weaving, farming and much more. Finally, take a guided walk to the Navan Fort and be transported along the path of history. Location: 81 Killylea Road, Armagh, Co. Armagh BT60 4LD Tel: +44 (0) 28 3752 9644

Armagh Observatory MONASTIC SITE Armagh Observatory is a modern astronomical research institute with a rich heritage, adjacent to the Armagh Planetarium. Founded in 1790 by Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Robinson as part of an ambitious plan to found a university in the city, the observatory is one of the UK and Ireland’s leading scientific research establishments. Around 25 astronomers are actively studying stellar astrophysics, the sun, solar system astronomy, and the Earth’s climate here. The Astropark is a scale model of the universe, where you can stroll around and discover some of the amazing phenomena in our solar system and beyond. Location: College Hill, Armagh, Co. Armagh BT61 9DF Tel: +44 (0) 28 3752 2928

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Enniskillen Castle

COUNTY

FERMANAGH

An excellent cycling county featuring routes of every length, visitors can also take advantage of Fermanagh’s fantastic waterways.

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ith its wonderfully relaxed lakelands, the beautiful county of Fermanagh is a visitor’s paradise with wide stretches of island-dotted waterways and secluded bays surrounded by a patchwork of green fields, soft undulating hillsides and fresh forests. Ireland’s two major river systems, the Erne and the Shannon, are linked by the ShannonErne Waterway, giving 500 miles of navigable waters stretching from Limerick to the tiny village of Belleek. Together, they are regarded as the most attractive and unspoiled inland waterways in Europe. County Fermanagh also offers a wide range of accommodation, from camping and caravanning to cosy farmhouse guesthouses and four-star hotels. Cycling, golf, walking, horse-riding and watersFermanagh ports are all readily available and offer an exciting way to explore the county’s scenic countryside.

PLACES OF

INTEREST

From museums to cycling trails and hiking, Fermanagh is a great destination for those in search of a more active holiday in Ireland. Crom Estate HISTORICAL SITE Set on the shores of Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Crom is one of Ireland’s most important nature conservation areas. Wild deer, pine marten and many other rare species can all be found on the estate. Also inhabiting the surrounding area are all eight species of native bats and an outstanding array of rare lichens. The 2,000-acre demesne contains ancient woodland, tran-

Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh

quil islands, estate cottages and Old Crom Castle, all linked by the breathtakingly beautiful landscape that was designed by W.S. Gilpin in the 19th century. Enjoy an inspirational walk through the woodland and along nature trails where you can also enjoy spectacular views along the Kingfisher cycle trail. Crom Castle West Wing offers luxurious accommodation in beautiful surroundings. The remaining areas of the castle are still occupied by Lord and Lady Erne and remain closed to the public. For more information on Crom Castle West Wing visit www.cromcastle.com. Location: Upper Lough Erne, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh BT92 8AP Tel: +44 (0) 28 6773 8118

Enniskillen Castle Museums HISTORICAL SITE This historic site houses two museums: Fermanagh county museum and the Inniskillings museum. Built almost 600 years ago, the castle’s history is traced from its beginnings as a Maguire castle until its use as a barracks in the 1700s and 1800s. Hugh ‘The Hospitable’ Maguire, the man responsible for building the castle, was the younger brother of the leading chieftain at the time, King Thomas Maguire (Thomas the Great). Neighbouring clans – including the O’Rourkes and O’Donnells – posed particular threats to the Maguires. In its original form, the castle was a small, square tower-house that guarded one of the few passes into Ulster and defended Fermanagh from attack. In the 17th century it became an English garrison fort and later served as part of a military barracks. Location: Castle Barracks, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh BT74 7HL Tel: +44 (0) 28 6632 5000

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TYRONE: PLACES OF

INTEREST

Immerse yourself in a land full of less-travelled roads, where you could go for many miles and not meet a single person. Ulster American Folk Park HISTORICAL ATTRACTION Immerse yourself in the story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Experience an adventure that takes you from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full-scale emigrant sailing ship, to the log cabins of the American frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share. A full programme of special events is organised throughout the year including the award-winning annual Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival and the ever-popular Halloween Festival. For more information log on to www.nmni.com/uafp. Location: 2 Mellon Road, Castletown, Omagh, Co. Tyrone BT78 5QU Tel: +44 (0) 28 8224 3292

Sperrin Mountains

Stone circle, Beaghmore, Co. Tyrone

COUNTY

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Sperrins are the perfect destination for a wide range of outdoor activities. Add a little adventure to your day and choose from activities ranging from off-road driving and skydiving to paintballing and horse-riding. You can explore the mountains and wilderness, or just enjoy a walk. They are also an ideal location to undertake a driving tour if you wish to explore them at your leisure. The Sperrins Walking Festival is taking place over one weekend in July each year. Located in the picturesque village of Plumbridge, County Tyrone, activities and events will take place throughout the weekend. Location: Along the border of counties Tyrone and Derry. For more information on how to book your place for the Sperrins Walking Festival contact Aiden Lynch at Strabane District Council +44 (0) 28 7138 2204

TYRONE

Renowned as the homeland of the O’Neill clan, the rural county of Tyrone is dominated by the heather-clad slopes of the Sperrin Mountains and a slower pace of life.

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ntil the beginning of the 17th century, Tyrone was the ancient homeland and power-base of the powerful Gaelic dynasty of O’Neill. The Plantation of Ulster, which brought their power to an end, also marked the demise of Gaelic Ireland. The unspoiled Tyrone countryside is the ideal place to get away from it all and there’s plenty to see, from the lonely Sperrin Mountains, with their moorlands and wooded valleys, to forest parks and heritage centres, including the famous Ulster American Folk Park to the south of Omagh. While in Northern Ireland’s largest county, Tyrone visitors will also enjoy the Gortin Glen Forest Park and the Beaghmore stone circles.

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Ulster American Folk Park

Accommodation Corick House Hotel & Spa Clogher, Co. Tyrone Corick House Hotel & Spa is nestled in the heart of the Clogher Valley, a welcome combination of style, elegance and country hospitality. A 17th century house, you’re sure to find some respite from the world here. Location: 20 Corick Road, Clogher, Co. Tyrone BT76 0BZ Tel: +44 (0) 28 8554 8216

IRELAND AT YOUR LEISURE 2017/2018

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See Exquisite Pieces of Crystal manufactured before your eyes

“It’s crystal clear” A factory tour where you can almost rub shoulders with the artisans as they produce beautiful objects. Why not visit the factory located in the centre of Waterford city which welcomes over 180,000 visitors a year, and take the opportunity to witness the manufacture of these and many other Waterford crystal products. The factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that enthrals visitors of all ages, both national and international. The guided factory tour – which takes approximately one hour – allows visitors to understand each stage of production.

“Great Tour of Waterford Crystal” Great history, very close to the process and really beautiful items.

They witness how Waterford Crystal pieces are crafted from initial design right up to the final engraving of the piece. Every year the House of Waterford Crystal melts more than 750 tonnes of crystal, using traditional and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. On completion of the tour, visitors can experience over 12,000 sq. ft. of crystal heaven in the largest retail and brand showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world. For further details on the tours visit www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

No.1 of 53 attractions in Waterford Untitled-2 1 241649_1C_Waterford Crystal_JM_IAYL.indd 1 RRD02103-14 HoWC Ad resize - IAYL - A4 Ad.indd 1

+353 (0) 51 317000 houseofwaterfordcrystal@fiskars.com www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

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Ireland at your leisure  

2017-2018 edition

Ireland at your leisure  

2017-2018 edition