The empty wallet


SIMON TIERNEYfinds ways to live well with less cash

This week’s activities are devoted to those who are older in body, but sprightly in mind. First up is something sporty, given the Olympics are currently taking place.

Only Outdoors has installed numerous sets of outdoor exercise equipment around the country. These are free to use and a funky alternative to walking the dog. The town park in Edgeworthstown (Co Longford), Oak Park (Co Carlow), the town park in Carrigaline (Co Cork) and Beech Park in Blanchardstown (Co Dublin) are just some examples of the many “outdoor gyms” in Ireland; an effective way to keep limber at your own pace.

Birds Ireland, run by Eric Dempsey, offers a variety of workshops, programmes and field trips for bird watching enthusiasts at the Lodge at Sycamore Hill (Newcastle, Co Wicklow). There is a free place (worth €60) available to the first four people to email with their choice of event from the autumn/winter 2012 Series (visit BirdsIreland.comfor details).

Hatha is a slower paced form of yoga which enables gentle stretching and relaxation. The Elbow Room (32 North Brunswick St, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, tel: 01-677 9859) offers a wide range of classes in yoga and pilates. They are offering a free Hatha yoga class to the first 10 people to email

As part of the celebrations of the tercentenary of Trinity’s Old Library (College St, Dublin 2), there will be free access for senior citizens (over 65) to view the Book of Kells and the library itself on September 11th, 9.30am-5pm. Simply bring along your ID or bus pass and enjoy one of Ireland’s most important historical manuscripts.

Last but not least

The Passport to Family Learning is a joint initiative between a number of Dublin’s best visitor attractions. It allows free or discounted entry (until September 1st) to eight places including St Patrick’s Cathedral and Marsh’s Library.

There are 1,000 passports to give away to the first people to send a stamped addressed envelope to Education Department, St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8 (or pick one up in the cathedral itself). There are limited passports available so don’t miss out.

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