The summer holidays are upon us. From health retreats to pilgrim walks, here are four great getaways you can enjoy in Ireland.
It sounds like a lifesaver – or, at the very least, a kick-start to feeling better. Pure Results, the online wellness community, has announced the return of its healthy mini breaks including good grub, nutritional consultations, wellness sessions, fitness classes, and a workout and meal plan to bring home with you when you go. The brainchild of broadcaster Kathryn Thomas, there will be a week-long retreat at the Seafield Hotel in Co Wexford from August 15th (from €1,099). A weekend option is available at Powerscourt Springs in Co Wicklow on August 28th-29th (from €375).
Walking up an appetite
How brilliant they are in Co Louth to combine two of Ireland's great pleasures: soaking up gorgeous scenery and eating fantastic food. The Sea Louth scenic seafood trail gives you a guide to viewpoints, restaurants, producers and a walking map. Pick up a passport at the tourist offices in Carlingford, Dundalk and Drogheda, or find the information you need online. Stay at Scholars Townhouse in Drogheda, with dinner and B&B from €198 for two, or try gorgeous Ghan House in Carlingford, with dinner and B&B for two from €270. While you're there, try one of the new Carlingford Lough Lighthouse, Sunset or Speciality cruises (including gin and oyster options), from €15 at carlingfordferry.com.
Sick of your own four walls? Got a wedding or just a large family? Sandbrook House and Gardens sits on 25 acres at the Carlow-Wicklow border. Refurbished by designer Bella Huddart, it's extremely gorgeous. It sleeps 27 across 10 bedrooms, so the whole-house hire cost of €3,800 divvies up pretty well, unless you're feeling generous and decide to treat everyone. They can sort the catering, or bring your own. It has that lovely country house vibe going on, so you can lord it up in style. Dogs are welcome and there's even a pretty barn for small celebrations.
One of the oldest pilgrim paths of Ireland, with a history stretching back 1,500 years, is set to reopen. In July, 300 modern-day pilgrims are scheduled to renew a centuries-old tradition by walking St Declan's Way from Cashel, Co Tipperary, to Ardmore, Co Waterford. Stretching 115km, the path follows the route taken by penitents past as they made their way to the monastery founded by St Declan. The route is now fully waymarked and can be completed at any time making it perfect for a one-week walking holiday.