Ask Joan: 1916 commemorations and London with children

What’s happening for 1916 uprising centenary, gentle tours of Bruges and Ghent, dining for children in London

 

I have a long-standing interest in Irish history and would like to visit for the 1916 commemorations but have been confused by different information online – regarding timetables and events. I’d like to find a tour company or even going independently, know where to stay and what is the best way to know what is going on? AW, England.

There is a very extensive programme of events, commemorations, activities and reflections planned for next year. The major events will take place over the Easter period with a parade on Easter Sunday.

The official website site is Ireland. ie, and there you will find details of events and commemorations planned. Most everything will happen in and around Dublin city so probably best to base yourself there. While in the city, you may like to take a walking tour with the authors of the Easter Rising – a guide to Dublin in 1916. It takes place most days from March, 1916rising. com.

There is a new tour by Freedom Tours that specifically concentrates on 1916. It is an unbiased trip in an old-style Army truck with the guides dressed in period uniforms, 1916tour.ie. It would also be worth while taking the Glasnevin Cemetery and museum tour, glasnevintrust.ie. There is a micro-site in this newspaper called Century dedicated to a decade of centenaries. It will be continually updated as the commemorations come closer. See irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/ century.

We are looking to make a three-day trip to London with our two girls in October. We are finding it difficult to find affordable accommodation options close to the main sights. We would also appreciate any suggestions for family friendly dining that doesn’t just offer chips and chicken nuggets. RA, Dublin.

London is already filling up for October particularly over the bank holiday weekend. The Travel Lodge hotels family rooms are good value, travellodge.co.uk. Premier Inns are also a good choice, premierinn.com. Holiday Inn Express also has family rooms, hiexpress.com. Booking. com has some apartments to rent in the €100-€150 per night range in and around the city. Try not to book too far out as the cost of transport will eat into money and time.

You can find private rental accommodation on Airbnb. com or housetrip.com. Use the map facility and read the reviews to help you choose a place to stay. There is accommodation available from around €110 - €250 per night. Here is a list of family friendly restaurants that provide more than chicken nuggets and chips, http://bit.ly/1KpdiQA.

I am travelling to Brussels with my elderly parents this autumn. We would like information on guided tours to Bruges and Ghent. Ideally we are looking to be picked up at our hotel and not too much walking involved. AR, Dublin.

Bruges and Ghent are popular day tours from Brussels. You have the option of doing both cities in one day or two separate tours. Prices are about €43 for the two or €34-€37 individually. There will be walking involved but if you opt to do them as two separate days you will have more time to enjoy the cities at your own pace. The tour companies are brusselsnicetours.com, viator.com and isango.com. Isango tours will pick you up from your hotel but it depends on which hotel you are staying in. Send your queries to jscales@irishtimes.com