40 things to do in Heritage Week
Watch whales, archive your attic, make a basket or live like a monk. National Heritage Week is packed with activities and here’s just a taster. . .
Galway Hookers. Photograph: Getty
Kinsale, Co Cork. Photograph: Getty
Dublin Castle. Photograph: Getty
The Heritage Council is encouraging everyone to “Discover the Past and Build the Future”, through over 1,500 events during this year’s National Heritage Week from August 17-25. Here we offer you some suggestions from their comprehensive guide on heritageweek.ie.
1 Discover your household heritage: The mysterious Huntington Castle and Gardens in Clonegal, Co Carlow hosts a vintage summer fair with antiques, books, clothes and crockery on Sunday, August 25th from noon to 6pm. Admission adults/children €5/€2.50 (gardens and fair) €8/€4 (gardens, fair and castle tour). Tel: 086-0282266, huntingtoncastle.com
2 View Napoleonic batteries in Shannon estuary: Weather-permitting, take a ferry to Scattery Island from Kilrush, Co Clare on Wednesday, August 21st at 2pm to learn about the early 19th century towers built by the British war department in defence against potential French invasion. Tel: 065-6829100
3 Explore our flora and fauna: Join beach researcher, Carmel T Madigan on her guided walk and talk about Ross Beach, starting from Ross Car Park, Loophead, Co Clare on Monday, August 19th at 11am. Or go on a walk, specifically designed for wheelchair access and those with limited mobility, along Flaggy Shore in Co Clare, starting from New Quay School on Wednesday, August 21st at 11am. See burrenbeo.com
4 Be by the seaside: Celebrate the history of Kilkee, Co Clare as a Victorian seaside resort with re-enactments, fancy dress, games and heritage walks on Wednesday, August 21st, from noon to 8pm. See thelongwayround.ie
5 Hunt for butterflies: Identify butterflies on one of several fun hunts, which take place in the following places: Burren National Park on Sunday, August 25th at 2pm (065-6827693, burrennationalpark.ie); in Ballycroy National Park in Co Mayo on Thursday, August 22nd at 1.30pm (ballycroynationalpark.ie); and in the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Ardcavan Lane, North Slob, Wexford on Sunday, August 18th at 2.30pm (wexfordwildfowlreserve.ie).
6 Peek at Cork’s historic homes: Thirty buildings from medieval to military, civic to commercial and educational to ecclesiastical open their doors for the Cork City Heritage Open Day on Saturday, August 17th, 10am-5pm. Tel: 021-4924018, corkheritageopenday.ie
7 Take a river walk: Learn about otters living in Cork city and take a walk with the Irish Wildlife Trust along the river Lee, starting from Cork Vision Centre, North Main Street, Cork on Saturday, August 24th at 4pm. See iwt.ie
8 Visit gate lodges: Take self-guided tours of historic gate lodges around the country such as the restored 19th century gate lodge at Anne’s Grove, Castletownroche, Co Cork; the Salterbridge gate lodge in Cappoquin, Co Waterford or the Gate House and the Round House on Castletown Estate, Celbridge, Co Kildare on Sunday, August 25th, 10am-4pm. See irishlandmark.com
9 Tour lighthouses: Take a self-guided tour of lightkeeper’s houses at the Galley Head, Clonakilty, Co Cork and Loop Head, Co Clare or the Wicklow Head Lighthouse on Dunbar Head, Wicklow on Sunday, August 25th, 10am-4pm. See irishlandmark.com
10 Follow in pilgrim’s footsteps: Join a guided contemplative walk of 32km on August 17th and 18th from Drimoleague to Gougane Barra following the 6th century journey of St Finbarr. The walks start at 9am each day. Advanced booking essential. Tel: 086-1735134 westcorkwalking.com
11 Wander streets of Kinsale: Join award-winning tour guide, Dermot Ryan on heritage walks, starting from Kinsale tourist office, Pier Road daily from Saturday, August 17th to Sunday, August 25th at 10.30am and 3pm. See kinsaleheritage.com
12 Watch whales: Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group for a guided land-based whale watch at the Galley Head Lighthouse in Clonakilty, Co Cork; Malin Head, Malin Signal Tower, Co Donegal; Hook Head Lighthouse, Co Wexford and Bloody Bridge, Co Down on Sunday, August 18th at 2pm. Bring binoculars and rain gear. See iwdg.ie
13 Archive your attic: Donegal County Archives at the Three Rivers Centre, Lifford, Co Donegal invite you to donate or loan photos, posters, letters and documents of significance to Donegal’s history and culture on Thursday, August 22nd, 10.30am-3.30pm. See donegalcoco.ie/archives