Ireland in full colour – parades, poetry and a festival weekend
Travel Bag: We check out the deals so you don’t have to
A St Patrick’s Day parade making its way down O’Connell Street, Dublin
With more than 30 events taking place, this year’s St Patrick’s festivities have something for everyone. The “big” parade kicks off on the day at 12pm in the capital, while Merrion Square comes alive on Sunday, March 18th, for the Big Day Out, a vibrant day-long street carnival jam-packed with street theatre, music, aerial performances, workshops, Irish language activities and a lively festival céilí. Ireland in Full Colour will address the diversity of Irish identity through storytelling, discussion and performance at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, on March 19th. stpatricksfestival.ie.
Northern Ireland celebrates International Book Day, March 20th, with a host of literary-themed excursions and events. Stay in the Laurel Villa Guesthouse, near Bellaghy, Co Derry, which will host a unique Seamus Heaney exhibition. Explore Tollymore Forest Park and Kilbroney Park at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Co Down, the inspiration behind CS Lewis’s world of Narnia and visit CS Lewis Square in Belfast, featuring seven bronze sculptures from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Finally, step into Finn McCool’s giant boot as it sits fossilised in the bay at the Giant’s Causeway. discovernorthernireland.com
Glenlo and behold
Spend a very special Easter Sunday with the team at Galway’s five-star Glenlo Abbey, who will host an exclusive afternoon tea. The River Room Restaurant will welcome guests to a themed tea, with its resident pianist supplying entertainment while you enjoy a selection of sweet and savoury treats. Afterwards enjoy a falconry show on the grounds. From €26 per adult and 13.50 per child. glenloabbey.ie.
Killashee Hotel’s Easter package is perfect for young families in holiday mode. Stay in the Kildare four-star and enjoy accommodation for two adults and up to three children, breakfast, dinner in The Bistro, and an optional high tea for the children. The complimentary supervised kids camp for 4- to 11-year-olds will run throughout the Easter break, plus the Killashee enchanted Fairy Forest is a treat for little ones, complete with zipline and a magical trail. The Easter package starts from €180 per night. killasheehotel.com