Ireland Destination Guide – St Patrick’s Day Special

If heading to the Emerald Isle is on your bucket list, you’d be a fool not to plan your visit around St Patrick’s Day. This is when the very best of festival fun and traditional music can be found everywhere you go, but that’s not all you’ll find in Ireland – here’s what’s not to be missed…

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The Irish have a reputation for enjoying a tipple, as such it’d be awfully rude not to explore the many taverns and bars in the cities and the towns to get a real feel for the frivolities. It’d be equally rude not to go on a couple of brewery tours. The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin offers 7 floors of storytelling, stunning architecture, and of course a great tasting beverage. The must-go factor has to be down to the roof top bar, where you can enjoy a 360° view of the city. While you are in Dublin, head to Old Jameson’s Distillery – which is reopening in time for 2017 St Patrick’s Day celebrations after some gorgeous renovation work! Tours are still available at The Old Midelton Distillery in Cork.

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Festivals and Folk Music

To truly experience the craic, you need to get involved with some Irish celebrations – and guess what – St Patrick’s Day is just the ticket! The celebrations in Dublin will be taking place from 16th to the 19th March in 2017. During this time it’ll be a no-holds-barred party, punctuated by the famed St Patrick’s Day Parade. It is also the time to enjoy traditional Irish ensembles in all the pubs in town!

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Walks and Riding

Whether you head to Killarney National Park, Croagh Patrick, Skellig Michael, or The Dingle Peninsula you can while away a lifetime of pure joy on two legs or four, or on two wheels if you prefer. The landscapes in Ireland are spectacular, and best enjoyed without an engine. There are dedicated horse riding tours that take you along beaches and through mountains, mountain biking is another great way to take in the sights. However, we’d recommend a slow wander in the wilderness to really get close to this beautiful island.

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There are some crazy things happening in Ireland, and we’re not talking about leprechaun sightings (we’ll get on to that later). The Giants Causeway is a geological delight, and a natural phenomenon not to be missed. There are over 40,000 basalt columns that make up the causeway, the remnants of volcanic activity. The coastal walks here have inspired many artists and poets, and led to a few fanciful tales over the years too.


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Folklore and Legends

Aside from seeking out faeries and leprechauns, excessive mention of which may cause irritation to residents, we’d recommend that you head to Blarney Castle to soak up a bit of folklore. It is at Blarney that you’ll find the blarney stone, which bestows the gift of the gab upon anyone who kisses it. If you intend to kiss the Blarney Stone, you better have a head for heights, because you have to hang upside down from the battlements to reach it. Thankfully modern health and safety has an iron railing installed and a kindly assistant to keep hold of you. If that doesn’t sate your hunger for Irish legends, you’d do well to book an Irish Folk Tour, full to the brim of storytelling and atmosphere.

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