By bike, like
On the edge of Cork city, The Kingsley is a gentle stroll into town through the Mardyke, passing through the lovely Lee-side Fitzgerald's Park. But if strolling's not your speed, they also have the option of a bicycle tour, which promises to take you over bridges, past churches and through colourful streets – though hopefully not up the precipitous St Patrick's Hill. Also including tickets to the award-winning Nano Nagle Museum, the Explore Cork break covers two nights' B&B, dinner on one night and the bikes, like. From €465 for two.
They must be missing their normal volumes of incoming diaspora, but (or maybe because of that?) the National Leprechaun Museum are going all out to get down with the dead for their Waking the Dead Samhain evening experience. Adults only, from October 28th to 31st. Tickets are €20 at leprechaunmuseum.ie and promise to bring you on a lively journey through the world of the wake. Stay at the nearby Jurys Inn on Parnell Street, with rooms from €95.
Far from cheesy, Gabriel Faherty conjures truly angelic tastes from his Aran Island goats. Now you can take a tour of Inis Mór in his company, discovering loads about food, with plenty of stories thrown in. Meet the goats, taste the cheese, hand-harvest seaweed, and you also get a goo of Dún Aonghasa and the island's seal colony. How lovely is that? From €35 for a half-day visit (€30 for children). arangoatcheeseandfoodtours.com
Get there by Aran Island Ferries from €30 return for adults/€15 for children via Rossaveal (add a shuttle bus from Galway at €9 return). Sleep over on Inis Mór with irelandglamping.ie, who have pods from €125 per night, or find a full range of accommodation options on the island at aranislands.ie.
Marble city marvels
If you thought cooler days and darker evenings meant hibernation was in the offing, Hotel Kilkenny has news for you. They have teamed up with 11 different activity and cultural partners to come up with Adventure Escapes, an easy way to get the best value and the best craic, with eco-safaris, bike rides and riverboat adventures. Add the Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kiltorcan Raceway and don't forget the National Reptile Zoo – yes, we have one!
Stay at Hotel Kilkenny from €113 B&B for two, or bring the whole family for two nights with one dinner thrown in from €420.
November is Thanksgiving time for those with American connections, and you should be seriously giving thanks if Dromoland Castle's Thanksgiving getaway is within your budget. It includes a five-night stay, airport transfers (if you're flying in, obviously), falconry, calligraphy classes (vital skills), a spa treatment, a family portrait at the castle, a nine-hole golf tournament, deluxe B&B, plus Thanksgiving dinner with champagne on November 25th, and sundry other treats too numerous to mention, including antigen testing. The falconry is really lovely actually. From, deep breath, €5,500 for two.
Spooky action from a distance
Hotels and hostelries around Ireland are gearing up for scary craic as Halloween comes closer. At The K Club, they're throwing themselves into it with adventures from tarot readings to egg-and-spoon races (a Halloween stalwart – who knew?). From €745 per night for two adults and two children in interconnecting rooms, with dinner for the adults on one night – presumably the children can eat the eggs. Two-night minimum stay.
Or find pumpkin carving and what are described as "supervised spooky activities" at the Glenroyal in Maynooth, again for two adults and two children, with dinner on one night and a minimum two-night stay from €409 per room. I'm sure you can also do some unsupervised spooky activities if any come to mind. Plus Tayto Park is nearby, so you won't be short of adventures.
It may have an unpronounceable name, but the Velvære Spa at Dublin's Radisson Blu Royal aims to leave you speechless with the utter relaxation of it all. Promising to detoxify your face with fine rice and other stuff, their Day in Dublin experience costs from €240 per person, and includes B&B, lunch or afternoon tea, parking and the aforementioned facial. If your more usual experience of Dublin days (and nights) is a little grittier than that, this might be just up your street.