Hot air balloons to take flight over Birr Castle for championships

Travel Bag: Westbury offering guests a special art experience as foodies in Ballina are in for a treat

Up, up and away 

Look to the skies this week as Birr Castle Gardens hosts the 48th Annual Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championships. About 30 balloon teams from Ireland, Europe, and the United States are expected to take part in the championships, which take place from Sunday, September 23rd to Friday 28th.

Flights are due to take place starting Sunday afternoon, and will then run through to Friday evening with two scheduled flights per day. Guests can access Birr Castle Gardens from 4.30pm to 7pm to see the balloon event at a cost of €5 per person or €15 for a family of four. Visit for more.

For foodies 

Ballina, Co Mayo's Food Fleadh returns for its fifth year this September 27th-30th and it's bigger and better than ever.

Indulge in Wild Atlantic Way Seafood Family Foraging, live outdoor cooking demonstrations, children’s cookery classes, food, and art-inspired workshops and more. Visit for event details.


City escaping 

Aer Lingus has added another leg to its London schedule offering with the announcement that, commencing October 2nd, the airline will operate six daily round trips from Dublin to London City Airport on weekdays, with a reduced service at the weekend. Prices for flights will start from €49.99, see

Art in review 

The Westbury, home to one of Ireland’s leading private art collections, has partnered with The Irish Arts Review this month to create a unique Art Trail experience which will allow guests to explore the capital’s finest works of art.

The walking tour will visit the city's sculptures, street-art and galleries as well as the hotel's extensive collection. Enjoy an overnight stay, a bespoke Art Trail booklet and the walking tour with breakfast the following morning from €690 per room. Visit for more.