From pet packages to gambolling giraffes: Holiday ideas in Ireland

Travel News: Enjoy fine dining in Dublin or head for a cycle on the Limerick Greenway

Bring your pup to the Lodge at Ashford Castle with its special Summer, Sun and Sheepdog offer

Bring your pup to the Lodge at Ashford Castle with its special Summer, Sun and Sheepdog offer

 

On safari

Missing exotic climes? Itching for some wildlife spotting? If keeping an eye out for the neighbour’s cat in the foliage doesn’t quite cut it any more, think about Fota in Co Cork. The wildlife park puts the long-distance vibe back into your staycation. Advance booking only, tickets from €11.50 for children and €16.90 for adults, available online.

Stay at the Fota Island Resort to add kids’ activities including archery, survival and bushcraft (and lord knows they might come in handy), or a spot of spa, tennis and golf for the grown-ups. The cost comes in at €245 B&B per room, with discounts for longer stays.

Fota Wildlife Park. Photograph: Neil Danton
Fota Wildlife Park. Photograph: Neil Danton

Chef chats

The fine dining room at Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Hotel has played host to a pantheon of top chefs. Now the room with a view overlooking St Stephen’s Green is the domain of Andy McFadden who shot to fame as the youngest chef in London to hold a Michelin Star. With a Gatsby-style make-over in some of the rooms, enjoy a tasty special including bubbles on arrival, dinner for two at McFadden’s Glovers Alley plus an opportunity to check out the kitchens on a chef’s tour. Add overnight stay, breakfast and parking from €299 per room midweek.

Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Hotel
Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Hotel

Green all the way

The remarkable thing about greenways is that no one thought of them before. Of course, way back we had an amazing rail network, but never mind that . . . The Limerick Greenway is the latest lovely walk/cycle way, and with 40km on the old Limerick to Tralee route, there is a lot of spots and stops to enjoy, taking you from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale via Newcastlewest. Try the Devon Inn at Templeglantine, with rooms from only €60 per night and family packages from €140.

The Limerick Greenway in Tullig Woods. Photograph: Sean Curtin/True Media
The Limerick Greenway in Tullig Woods. Photograph: Sean Curtin/True Media

Woof woof

Got a Lockdown Dog, or a more established and equally beloved mutt? All that time spent together has brought a whole new meaning to separation anxiety when it comes to booking your holidays. Head to Mayo, where the Lodge at Ashford Castle (named four-star hotel of the year 2021 at the Irish Hotel Awards last week) has a Summer, Sun and Sheepdog offer, with a three-night stay in a Quay Suite from €1,140, based on a family of four. Dogs are €25 extra a night, with fluffy towels and treats (for the dog) promised as part of the package. Also included is a trip to Joyce’s farm, featured in the film Marley & Me.

The Lodge at Ashford Castle
The Lodge at Ashford Castle
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