Festive breaks around Ireland for Christmas and the New Year

Celebrate, count yourself lucky, plan ahead and then settle down for some nice resolutions


The New Year's Festival Dublin has plenty to celebrate from safe distances and toasting the arrival of a brand new start has its strong attractions. At the festival, such attractions include illuminated buildings, fireworks, music and more. Info at nyfdublin.com.

Find quieter family pleasures at The Ark on Eustace Street, where their Winter Light exhibition is all gently and snowily lovely. Including art by Aideen Barry, Gabhann Dunne, Cartoon Saloon, Martin Gale, Helen O'Connell (whose work is pictured) and more, it runs until January 30th. Admission is free, but look out for Christmas opening times at ark.ie.

Stay at the Maldron Kevin Street, room only from €289 on the 31st. Or get prosecco, dinner and b&b just a Luas ride away from the city centre at the Maldron Tallaght with their Ring In The Bells offer from €215 for two. maldronhotels.com

Feeling Lucky?

Christmas movies can be a little like Marmite. For every lover of Love Actually and Home Alone, there are others who would really rather play a marathon Monopoly session with a drunken uncle. Never mind, you don't have to be a fan to fancy the idea of Lough Erne Resort's Home Alone New York Giveaway. Buy a £100 hotel voucher before this Christmas Eve (that's another gift taken care of) and be entered into a draw to win three nights at the Lough Erne Resort, a limo ride to the airport, return flights, and three nights at New York's Plaza, where that misunderstood masterpiece, Home Alone 2 was shot. The trip happens in November 2022, and your Lough Erne vouchers are valid for three years, though you probably won't be able to wait that long, as it really is very nice there. lougherneresort.com


West World

Think you know Galway? Go west with the experts and find all manner of delightful surprises as Travel Department, those specialists in guided adventures, have the City of Tribes and Connemara in their sights. Book now for trips from March 6th on and you'll get to visit the Kilbeggan Distillery, cruise Lough Corrib, , take in Inis Mór and even sneak up to Cong (technically Mayo, we know), the village famous by John Wayne having a moment with Maureen O'Hara in the Quiet Man. While that film may be a little iffy to modern eyes, you can't deny the scenery is still a timeless classic. From €649pp b&b. Got itchy feet? There's also a TDactive option of a seven nighter, walking in Cork and Kerry, from €1,249 b&b. traveldepartment.com

Good Intentions

We don't want to wreck your festive buzz, but if you're planning a big delicious blowout of exceptional indulgence, you might want to book your post Christmas detox now. Westport's Cloona Health Retreat has weight loss and other desirably redeeming pursuits throughout the year. Find January dates online, where it's from €900 for a single en-suite room for five nights; liver flush extra. Dates available from January 9th. New year new you? We rather like the old one, but that doesn't mean there's not room for improvement. cloona.ie