May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it – Irish Blessing
Just by looking at this Irish blessing, one can get a feeling for just how important fishing has always been to the Irish and what part it played in the Irish history. The first settlers that came to Ireland survived on fishing, hunting and gathering. In the 12th century a first industry evolved around catching, processing and exporting pilchards.
Nowadays, Ireland is recognized and known for being a great angling destination, making it a perfect destination for amateur and professional fishermen.
There are many reasons why Belfast should be on your bucket list for you next weekend getaway. The culture, the arts, the history, the scenery, the shops and much much more. Being Northern Ireland’s largest city and capital there is naturally much to see and explore in lively Belfast and you should not miss your chance to see it for yourself. With this in mind I have listed some of my favourite and tested attractions to help you plan your trip. Enjoy!
Titanic Experience – one of the city’s newest attractions the Titanic Experience opened in April 2011, the 100th anniversary of the demise of this famous ship. Situated in the heart of Belfast’s shipbuilding quarter, it offers an unique insight into the lives of those who built, worked and ultimately perished on the ship. With 9 galleries, interactive displays and a cable car all within this modern and sleek attraction – this is one to not be missed! And if you are there on a Sunday – why not pre-book Afternoon Tea in the Titanic suite which features the Grand Staircase made famous in the Titanic movie!
Ulster Museum – located in the Botanic Gardens, this museum is free to visit. Its collection is rich and varied and offers exhibits on art, natural sciences and history – spanning from Ireland to the South Pacific. It has 3 interactive discovery centers for kids of all ages, a coffee bar and restaurant and a wonderful shop with a great array of books offering further insights on things you have seen. Every visit has revealed something new to me and I love combining a visit here with a visit to the Botanic Gardens too!
Black Taxi Tour – one of the coolest ways in my opinion to see the city! Sit back and tour the city in a famous Black Taxi with the local driver/guide driving you around the city, where you learn the history of this troubled town and see the political murals as your guide shares their history and accounts of the city. Real and authentic, with humour and depth this was for me one of the best things to do in Belfast!
Dome at Victoria Square – Belfast is great city for shopping and really has something to suit all budgets and tastes! One of my favorite spots to hit is Victoria Square –not only for the great selection of shops but the view from its Dome! There is no charge to hop in a lift and ascend to the top of the complex for some of the best views of Belfast! No need to worry about the famous Irish weather as the Dome is covered in! Shopping and sightseeing in one! Brilliant!
Crumlin Road Gaol – dating to 1845, the jail closed its doors in 1996 – so ending a chapter in the political and social history of Belfast City. Take a guided tour and learn the history from when children and women were incarnated to more recent times and the political segregation of loyalist and republican prisoners. This tour offers a real insight into the history and politics of Belfast during the city’s darkest days.
Crumlin Road Gaol
St. George’s Market – this is one of Belfast’s oldest markets. A market has been on the site since 1604, with the present market built between 1890 – 1896 – a true Victorian gem. Vibrant and colourful, there are some 248 stalls selling everything from fish to fruit, antiques to candles. You will certainly not leave empty handed!
Crown Liquor Saloon –I just love this pub! Built in 1826 and refurbished in 1885 in an ornate Victorian décor, it is truly different and unique, just like stepping back in time to the Victorian era as you cross the threshold. With beautifully crafted stained glass and woodwork – thanks to the Italian craftsmen brought over especially for the job – this is the most authentic of Victorian era Gin Palaces and a real experience not to be missed!
Crown Liqour Saloon
City Hall – this is probably one of the city’s most famous landmarks – situated right in the heart of the city. There are free guided tours which take you around this gorgeous building and which explore both the history of the building and the city. There is an excellent coffee shop and exhibition area which further expands the story of this building which was completed in 1906. Make sure you take in a visit at night too as it is brilliantly lit up and looks even more splendid!
As you could see Belfast is a beautiful diverse city with much to see. I hope you find your way to it one day, because it’s really a great place to explore. And if you have a little bit of spare time at hand, you should not forget to visit the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge! Both are stunning and can be easily reached from Belfast.
If you want to go as soon as possible now you can find accommodation in Belfast here
Dingle in County Kerry is known for its vibrant character, lively pubs, great restaurants and craft shops and is situated in one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland. This small town is full of charm and character and all that is quintessentially Irish and traditional. People are warm and friendly and only too willing to help and advise and share a few friendly words.
We chatted to Ann Curran proud Kerry woman and tour-guide extraordinaire on her tips and recommendations on a visit to her home town of Dingle! Continue reading →
An exciting new walking tour of Medieval Galway is launching this summer!
The Galway Civic Trust is running the tour each Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm for free. The walk is a leisurely stroll through some of Galway’s key medieval sites and provides an informative history of Galway as well as chance for participants to familiarise themselves with the layout of the city. Locations visited include St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Lynch’s Castle, Eyre Square and the old city walls.
To celebrate the launch of this new walking tour, we have decided to reduce the summer rates in some of our Galway City Hotels
Yippee, it is the June Bank Holiday Weekend again! Another wonderful long weekend, with no work and no worries. Except maybe the one on how to spend this weekend to the fullest. As always there is so much to do in Ireland that it can be hard to choose. I certainly could not narrow it down to less than 5. But these events sounded amazing to me and can maybe give you some ideas what to do. Check them out!
Foynes Irish Coffee Festival, County Limerick, 30th May – 1st June
Try some Irish Coffee at the birthplace of this tasty combination of good Irish Whiskey and strong Coffee in Foynes, County Limerick. A three day event will celebrate the creation of it in 1943 featuring events such as the Irish Coffee Making Championship and Making Demonstrations. There are also a lot of other events waiting for you if you have enough of the spiked coffee. A float parade, boat races, a carnival, concerts, a Charity Marathon and Walk, an exhibition of birds of prey and many more will entertain young and old. The best thing about is that all major events are free of charge, which gives you the chance to maybe have another Irish Coffee.
Foynes Irish Coffee Festival
The Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, County Kilkenny, 29th May – 2nd June
Are you in dire need of a good laugh? Then head down to Kilkenny City this June Bank Holiday since The Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival is back in town! Kilkenny City is recognized as the cultural and heritage capital of Ireland and it is no surprise that this internationally acclaimed comedy festival has its roots here. Attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world with the unique combination of world-class comedy and a stunning historic location the Sky Cat Laugh Comedy Festival is nothing to be missed. A variety of shows will perform, ranging from the very best of Irish comedy and world-known comedy stars like Dara O’Brien or Adam Hills to newcomers and break-through acts.
The Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival
Bloom 2014, Dublin, 29th May - 2nd June
Bloom, an annual garden show, is now hosted for 8th time and has become a famous and well liked feature of Dublin’s lively event calendar. See the Phoenix Park being turned into a sea of flowers and marvel at the wonderful showcase gardens that were specifically created for this weekend. Use this chance to ask some leading experts for advice on your garden troubles at the Woodie’s Experts Stage. Fortunately you don’t necessarily need a green thumb to enjoy this spectacular festival. Live Music will be played, there is a whole food village, where you not only can taste many different dishes, but also learn more about the products, meet the farmers and purchase the fresh ingredients. In addition there is also a whole Kids’ Zone with magicians, story-telling and a miniature farm for kids, where the can try out farming machines like tractors.
Glen of Aherlow Walking Festival, County Tipperary, 30th May – 2nd June
Get your hiking boots on this long weekend and explore the wonderful scenery of Tiperray with the Glen of Aherlow Walking Festival. Experienced guides from the Galtee Walking Club will guide you through all the wonderful mountain and scenic lake trails at Ireland’s Walkers Paradise. All the trails are classified according to the lever of experience that is required ranging from A, B and C making this fun-filled festival perfect for beginners and experienced hikers alike. Bus transfers are provided as is evening entertainment for a memorable night.
Glen of Aherlow Walking Festival
Ocean to City, County Cork, 28th May - 1st June
Celebrating its 10th anniversary Cork’s Maritime festival will be more spectacular than ever this year. The Highlight of the Ocean to City is the long-distance rowing Race An Rás Mór, the big race, on Sunday where hundreds of participants are competing against each other. In this unique harbour marathon nearly every type of boat is allowed to participate which makes for a very unusual but highly interesting sight. But there are also many other events that will keep you entertained on this June Bank Holiday- Navy Tours, Street Performers, Food Market, Live Music just to name a few. There is also the chance to try out water-sports as sailing, windsurfing, coastering sessions etc. will be offered. All in all it sounds like a perfect place to be this weekend!
Ocean to City – Cork Maritime Festival
I hope that list was a little bit helpful for planning your long weekend. If you are looking for some accommodation for your long weekend you should look through our June Bank Holiday Breaks. There are still some very cool hotels available at an amazing price.
W.B. Yeats “Land of Heart’s Desire” County Sligo is famous for its stunning landscape and various attractions. Perfect for a getaway from you daily life. Of course you won’t see everything that County Sligo has to offer if you are only on a short trip, but for just a short break Sligo Town is the place to be. Being the biggest town in County Sligo this lively place is bustling with life and things to do. But before you go exploring you have to find a good place to sleep and rest. But fear not, there is one trusted and recommended accommodation for you: The Glasshouse Hotel.
Who is not excited about the new season of our favourite TV show? What misfortune will happen next in the realm and befall its inhabitants? Much of the filming takes place in beautiful and diverse Northern Ireland and seeing all these stunning spots, who can be really surprised? So far it has become nearly a sport in Ireland to try and recognize/name the area. But even with so many top locations there are a few which are more eye-catching than others. Time to check them out! Continue reading →
This year has passed so fast, that I can’t really believe that it is already the middle of April. But the signs are there, spring is finally upon us! Daffodils are blooming, the weather is…well still as changing as ever, but it feels a little bit warmer at least, and I can hear birds singing again. That also means that Easter is coming. Time to get together with your family and search for eggs. If you want to do something a little bit more special however, you should have a look at the following events that will all take place during the Easter Weekend.