28 things to do all over Ireland this bank holiday weekend
Festivals like Beatyard and All Together Now, plus walks, tours and family activities
Dublin Bay 15k Coastal Hike
This coastal hike is not intended to be a sweat-filled workout but is the ideal way to experience the city and work off that Sunday fry. Take your time and stroll through the Dublin docks, the East Link Bridge, grab a coffee in Sandymount or Booterstown. Then push on towards Blackrock and Monkstown before finishing up in Dún Laoghaire. If the weather holds up to take a dip in the sea or reward yourself with ice cream from one of Dún Laoghaire’s famous haunts. Tickets €19.50 booking is advised.
General Post Office, O’Connell St, Dublin 1, Every Sunday, 10am, www.irishwalking.ie
Summer Public Tours National Museum Of Ireland
The National Museums Summer Public tours include highlights of the Collins Barracks and the Museum’s decorative arts and history collections. It will bring a touch of history to your bank holiday weekend and at €2.50 per person it is the perfect cost effective day out.
Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7, Every Wednesday and Saturday throughout August
This musical re-imagining of the tales of L. Frank Baum is the 14th longest-running show in West End theatre history. A story of female friendship and the wonders of Oz this record-breaking musical has returned to Dublin for a limited run of music and magic. The perfect bank holiday treat for music lovers of all ages. Ticket’s from €25.
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, Until September 1st, tickets here
Meave Binchy And Famous Irish Writer Walk
Dalkey’s guided walk celebrating Maeve Binchy and other famous Irish writers is back and runs until the end of September. It begins at the Writers’ Gallery at Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre. Those who participate can look forward to hearing snippets of work from Maeve, James Joyce, Flann O’Brien among others. The walk lasts just under an hour and is fully microphoned to the lead tour guide for ease of listening. Times for groups must be organised in advance. Tickets are €12.50. To book, telephone 012858366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre, Castle Street, Dalkey, Friday 1:15pm, Until September 7th, Dublin, email@example.com
Dublin Famine Tour
In a time where immigration issues are to the forefront of our minds, the Dublin Famine Tour makes for a poignant afternoon activity. Historian Fin Dwyer will guide participants through former slums, prisons and workhouses throughout the capital giving life to the forgotten tale of the Great Hunger. Tickets cost €17 and booking is essential.
Smithfield Square, Dublin 7, August 2nd–3pm, 3rd–6pm, 4th–3pm, www.dublinfaminetour.ie
Delicious Dublin Tour
A weekend stroll can build up an appetite so why not combine the two? A "Delicious Dublin Tour" is a 3.5-hour walking food tour featuring award-winning restaurants, cafes and food shops around the city centre. Across the tours, six stops participants can sample artisan ice-cream, award-winning cheese and traditional Irish dishes. Tickets must be purchased online and are priced at €60 per person.
Spire on O’Connell Street, Every Wednesday – Saturday 10:45am – Sunday 11am, www.deliciousdublintours.com
Whelan’s Trad & Folk Festival 2018
This free festival showcases the best Irish traditional music has to offer. A mixture of established and up and coming traditional/folk musicians and bands will come together across this four-day event. Performers include The Eskies, I Draw Slow, The Ocelots, Junior Brother and Grand. The event is strictly over 18’s and promises to carry on into the wee hours of the morning.
Whelan’s, 25 Wexford St, Dublin, August 2nd-5th, 7pm
Dún Laoghaire Harbour, August 3rd – 5th, www.the-beatyard.com
This festival is a summer staple for the location alone. Musical acts include The Jacksons, Little Dragon and Orbital. The EatYard will provide rumbling tummies with tasty street food across the bank holiday. To put a nautical twist on the weekend take to the sea with the festivals boat parties and for night-owls Wigwam on Middle Abbey St will host the festivals after parties.
Dún Laoghaire Harbour, August 3rd–5th, www.the-beatyard.com
Indiependence Music & Arts Festival
This summer the weather has been glorious. It is therefore unsurprising that weekend camping tickets to this three-day festival are nearly sold out. Headliners include Walking on Cars, Jake Bugg, Kate Nash, Le Galaxie and Primal Scream. There will be a host of comedy, and spoken word acts performing including Andrew Stanley, Kevin Gildea, Totally Wired, Jinx Lennon, Shakalak ft, John Cummins and Tony Clayton-Lea’s Culture Vultures. The event will have ATMs on site, and all bars will have VISA Contactless facilities so pack light and enjoy the long weekend.
Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, August 3rd - 5th, www.indiependencefestival.co
Atlantic Sea Kayaking
Whiz across the Atlantic ocean this weekend with Atlantic Sea Kayaking. They offer sit on top kayaks and stand up paddle boards as well as basic instruction and orientation. There are family kayaking tours, and if you’re an experienced kayaker, the caves and islands tour will allow you to explore sea arches, islands and caves while you take in the marine wildlife. Prices vary according to tour.
Reen Pier, West Cork, Open Year Round, www.atlanticseakayaking.com/about-us/
Skibbereen Arts Festival
This multi-disciplinary festival is celebrating its 10th birthday. On Friday catch Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra (€25) or take to the theatre on Saturday and enjoy Mikel Murfi’s acclaimed play The Man in the Woman’s Shoes (€12). There is a Visual Arts Trail throughout the town – both indoors and outdoors – featuring as its centrepiece the Coming Home Art and The Great Hunger exhibition. There are workshops, pop up Gaeltacht, book launches, poetry readings, a screening of the Camino Voyage film (€6) and a special piece of music This Island on Saturday afternoon (€10).
Various venues, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, Until August 5th, www.skibbereenartsfestival.com
Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival
This year marks the 50th annual Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival. Highlights for the weekend include Sundays Festival Parade which will be launched by President Micheal D. Higgins. The Ormand Flying Club’s Annual Air Show & Family Fun Day on Monday and the visual arts trail featuring exhibitions, master-classes and workshops for all ages which will run throughout the festival.
Birr Co. Offaly, August 3rd – 12th, www.birrvintageweek.com
Castlepalooza Music and Arts Festival
Castlepalooza festival offers a refreshing mix of music, comedy and workshops. Acts include All Tvvins, Rubberbandits, Detroit Swindle, Ships, New Jackson, Boots & Kats, Seamus Fogarty & Fontaines DC. There will be workshops in breakdance, graffiti, yoga, and even DIY facepaint and beard glitter to add a touch of sparkle to the weekend. Tickets €49-€79.
Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, August 3rd - 5th www.castlepalooza.com
Tinahely Agricultural Show
Celebrate rural living at this festival of culture, competition, entertainment, fashion and food. This year’s highlights include the Craft village, Geese Herding by Donnie Anderson and his dog and the IFA Food Hall where festival-goers can sample local artisan products. There will be livestock and equestrian championships and music from Declan Nerney and his Band, Stuart Moyles, and Theresa & the Stars.
Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, August 6th, www.tinahelyshow.ie
Raku Firing with master potters Helena Brennan and Brian Keogh
This bank holiday become a student of master potters Helena Brennan and Brian Keogh. The ceramic workshop will involve Raku Oriental glazing and allow participants to experience all the joys of a finished piece in just one afternoon. Raku is a quick-fire method, in which Pots are put straight into a red-hot kiln and glaze is seen to melt, causing spectacular colours. There will be BBQ, picnics and walks. For €10 participants can take away a finished Raku fired piece.
Hazel Cottage, Ballyarthur, Avoca. Co. Wicklow, August 4th,10am – 5pm, firstname.lastname@example.org (040235225)
Rockin’ Food Festival
For gastronomic delights and Rock ‘n’ Roll check out the Rockin’ Food Festival. Kick off the bank holiday with an evening of food, drink, fire stories and songs at Fridays Harvest Banquet. Join drinks researcher and writer Susan Boyle on Saturday for a wine and Irish antipasti evening or learn how to make truffles at the Bean and Goose Truffle making experience. On Monday polish off the festival sipping bubbly at the Wilds lazy bank holiday brunch. The food marquee at the event is free as are the outdoor gigs.
Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, August 3rd–6th
Visit Irelands oldest city this weekend and experience over 250 live shows by Irish and international street performers, all of which are free. The festivals high point is estimated to be the Spraoi Parade titled Bugs, hundreds of performers, floats, lights, and music will fill the city’s narrow streets to the River Suir before concluding with a Pyrofantasia fireworks finale.
Various venues across Waterford City, August 3rd-5th, www.spraoi.com
All Together Now
For those craving a new festival experience All Together Now has 16 stages of music (Roisin Murphy, Fleet Foxes, Underworld Chaka Khan, First Aid Kit), comedy (Tommy Tiernan, Lords of Strut, Colm O’Regan, Lisa Casey) and spoken word events (Saul Williams, Reggie Watts). Culinary stars Paul Flynn and Kevin Thornton among others will be dropping in to host some delicious events and there will even be a wellness area entitled Lawns of Tranquillity with hot tubs, saunas, massage, and therapy pods to de-stress.
Curraghmore House, Co Waterford, August 3rd-5th, www.alltogethernow.ie
THE REST OF THE COUNTRY
Westport House Caravan and Camping Park
For a unique staycation bust out the camping gear and head west. Westport House caravan and camping park is situated on the historical grounds of Westport house. Sleep under the stars, rent an on-site bell tent or park your campervan for a weekend adventure. For a dash of history have afternoon tea served by a Victorian maid in the formal drawing room of Westport House or on Saturday try A Very Georgian Dining Experience with Chef Aine Maguire. The seven-course tasting menu served in the drawing room strives to capture what dinner may have looked like during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Westport House, Quay Rd, Cloonmonad, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland
The Carlow Garden Festival
For those with a green thumb, Carlow Garden Festival is the ideal activity. Listen to speakers like Chris Beardshaw, Fergus Garrett, and Assumpta Broomfield. Dermot O’ Neill will conduct a garden tour, and tree trail on Huntington Castle and Gardens and designer Elma Fenton will guide participants around the Delta Sensory Gardens in Carlow town. Visitors can also explore the Carlow Garden trail which includes landscapes great and small.
Various locations across Carlow, Until August 6th, www.carlowgardentrail.com
Carlingford Adventure Centre And Skypark
To get your blood pumping head down to Carlingford adventure centre. Activities include zip lining, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and rock climbing. If you want to (literally) raise the bar the centre’s aerial adventure course Skypark is just a short drive away. Skypark also offers footgolf, frisbee golf, aero ball, archery and has a kiddie zone for under 4’s. Prices vary book online at www.carlingfordadventure.com or www.skypark.ie.
Tholsel St, Liberties of Carlingford, Carlingford, Co. Louth, Open year round
Art in the Open - Plein air painting festival
This festival is the ideal weekend trip for art enthusiasts. This international outdoor painting festival is the largest of its kind in Europe. It attracts 200 artists from 14 countries who come to paint for a week across various locations in the South East. On Friday, the festival moves to the village of Bunclody, on Saturday Wexford Town, culminating in a frantic two hour "Quick Draw". On Sunday there is a seminar, "Vlogging for Artists" and from 3pm, 250 of the best paintings will go on display in Greenacres Gallery Wexford. The exhibition runs all day on Monday, where visitors can meet the artists and if they wish purchase a piece.
Various South East locations, Until August 7th, www.artintheopen.org
AND A FEW ACTIVITIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY . . .
Live on the Pier at Dromquinna Manor
Another place that knows all about posh camping is Dromquinna Manor in Co Kerry but you don’t need to do glamping to go there. A few years ago we brought the kids and their grandmothers to this idyllic setting to watch Jack L do his brilliant thing and if you are in the area this is a lovely way to spend a lazy bank holiday Monday. Jack L returns this year to what is a truly stunning outdoor concert venue where you can enjoy great food, jaw-dropping scenery and music while the children (who get in free) dance, run around and enjoy a go on the bouncy castle.
Live on the Pier with Jack L, Dromquinna Manor, Kenmare, Co Kerry, Monday August 6th. Gates open 1pm, music from 2pm-6pm, Tickets €15 per adult, Under 16s free. Pay at gate. dromquinnamanor.com
The Ladybird Loop, Tayto Park
If you’ve ever gone to Tayto Park and balked at the sight of the giant wooden rollercoaster that appears to be made out of giant ice lolly sticks, this new addition to the park might be more up your alley. It’s a little rollercoaster for small children with rotating carriages which sounds delightful and not at all scary. The only problem is that they only allow children on it. Bah.
The Ladybird Loop, Tayto Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath, the ladybird loop opens this weekend, tickets start from €17.50 for a day at the park, €35 with wristbands, taytopark.ie
Ireland A Survivor’s Guide
If you fancy a laugh this weekend, this comedy gig offers a rollercoaster ride through Irish culture and customs. People rave about this sketch show which is high on audience interaction and physical comedy. Guaranteed Irish slapstick humour at its finest for anyone aged 5 and up while the teenagers and adults will enjoy the biting satire - laughs for everyone in other words.
Ireland A Survivor’s Guide, International Bar, Wicklow Street 087 1385165 , Friday and Saturday, August 3rd and 4th. 1pm. Adults €12.50 and €6.50. children For other dates visit irelandasurvivorsguide.com
Fun Size Jazz!
Mini jazz enthusiasts and any budding musicians should head to The Ark in Dublin this Monday where they can try out instruments and enjoy short performances specifically created for younger audiences in partnership with the Improvised Music Company. Acts include Playing the Blues with Ben, Space Voyagers and The Smashing Red Kite’s Blues.
Fun Size Jazz!, The Ark, Eustace Street, Dublin, Shows at 2pm and 4pm, Tickets €6 per person. Suitable for ages 4 and up. ark.ie
The Little Prince
The Little Prince, first published in 1943, was the creation of French aristocrat, writer, poet, and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Morgan Creative have used multiple art forms to bring a contemporary reimagining of this magical story to life. It’s been translated and adapted by Oisín Robbins.
The Little Prince, Mill Theatre Dundrum, Saturday 4th August, 2pm. Tickets €10/€12. milltheatre.ie
SprÓg Childrens Festival
This year’s Spraoi International Street International Street Arts Festival in Waterford city has an exciting programme of street performances including theatre, parade and music. And specially for kids, Garter Lane Arts Centre presents SprÓg Childrens Festival, during Spraoi Weekend, with workshops all week and over the Spraoi festival weekend.
SprÓg Childrens Festival is part of the Spraoi Arts Festival which runs from Friday 3rd to 5th of August. Many events are free, so pre-booking is essential. For more visit spraoi.com