Because she’s worth it: short breaks to take with your mum
Looking for ideas for a Mother's Day present? Why not book one of these great getaways that you can enjoy with your mum?
Blow off the cobwebs (and any tension between you) at Achill Walks Festival from March 31st to April 2nd in Co Mayo
Have a fun-filled weekend in picturesque Kilkenny, at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, from June 1st to 5th
Whisk her off for a four-day mini-break at the VIK San Antonio Hotel in Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote for €514.
Every day is Mother’s Day to the woman who gave you life, you ingrate. And yes, you are too old to get away with a handmade card, so how about flexing a plastic one instead and whisking her off somewhere great. There’s no nicer way to give thanks.
Crack her up in Kilkenny
Studies have shown that mothers who laugh and lactate at the same time – don’t you just love researchers – actually boost their babies’ immune systems. Give your mum a tonic in return with a fun-filled weekend at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs Comedy Festival ( June 1-5). The granddaddy, or rather, grandmammy, of Irish comedy events, this year’s line-up features The Rubberbandits, Second Captains and Scottish comedian Limmy, with a Wild Cats platform for up-and-coming comics. The full line-up is due to be announced on March 24th but whoever’s on is guaranteed to give her a giggle. If you’re quick you can still – at the time of writing at least – book a two night weekend stay at the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, which has a pool and spa, from €460 B&B. thecatlaughs.com.
Swap Dad rock for Mum pop in Killarney
If you haven’t tried an events package at the INEC at the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney you’re both in for a treat. The concert venue has a year-round schedule of events and the atmosphere at the hotel on the night of an event is just magic. Even better, when it’s all over, you just fall into bed upstairs – no queuing for buses, taxis or crowded DARTs. It’s just so civilised. And on top of all that, you wake up in Killarney, with the National Park to see, the lake to boat and the Traditional Farms of Muckross House to wander. Upcoming events include everything from Nathan Carter and Chris de Burgh to the Ireland Bike Fest and Insomnia Gaming, any of which, depending on the kind of mum you’ve got, might be just the ticket. INEC.ie
Walk and talk in Mayo
Blow off the Winter cobwebs – and any tension between you - at an organised walking festival. It’s the perfect opportunity for a proper catch up but it’s social enough to take the pressure off when you’re getting on each other’s nerves - well come on, it’s your mum. There are loads of organised Spring walking events to choose from including the Achill Walks Festival (31st March to 2nd April) in Mayo. Run by the local GAA in association with Achill Tourism, it offers two guided walks, one along the island’s Atlantic Drive and the other along stunning Keem Bay, with lunch in the middle. There’s a promotional package on offer at Achill Sound Hotel including two nights B&B, lunch, dinner and transfers, from €139 per person sharing. If there really is only so much you can take of each other, the single supplement is only a tenner. achilltourism.com
Soak up a spa
Spa breaks are a regular feature of hotel promotional packages but too often end up being no more than a discount voucher and permission to sit in a “relaxation suite” in a hotel robe. Serious aficionados will head to Monart in Enniscorthy, where the spa experience isn’t the sideshow, it’s the main event. Check out the new Monart Life Mini, a three-day programme filled – but not stressfully so – with massage, sauna, aqua circuit classes, meditation, stretching and dry floatation, which only sounds like levitation. The package costs from €479 each, based on two sharing, and includes perfectly calibrated meals. Well it’s not a blow out, is it? monart.ie
Cook up some fun
If you’ve a serious grudge against her cookery skills, and indeed blame her for your own culinary deficiencies, why not entertain two birds with one stone on a cookery break. Head to Heir Island off Skibbereen, in West Cork where, from April to November, you can get one- and two-day cookery breaks at the Island Cottage Cookery School, staying overnight at the cottage which has a restaurant too. This tiny culinary gem of an island is home to the Bread School of the Firehouse Bakery too (thefirehouse.ie) so if you time it right you can opt to take a class there too. No more burnt offerings for you guys. A two-day cookery course including overnight in the cottage costs €300 per person between April and June. islandcottage.com
Let her get her spoke in
Riding a bike is like riding a bike, you never forget how. Even if neither of you have done it in years, you’re in for a treat and there’s no better place to enjoy it than along the Great Western Greenway, the purpose-built cycle track from Newport to Achill. The Newport Hotel has a Greenway Escape package including two nights B&B and one dinner, plus packed lunch and bike hire from just €119 per person, based on two sharing. The Greenway is the longest off-road cycle trail in the country, at 42km, passing through gorgeous scenery that you can actually look at because you don’t have to worry about cars waiting to pass you every two minutes. Hotelnewport.ie
Food of motherly love
19,710. That’s the number of meals your mother will have served up for you if she provided you with three square meals a day for 18 years. If there’s, say, a 10-year span between your oldest and youngest sibling then you can add another 11,000, the vast majority of which you didn’t eat because the beans were touching the fish fingers. Restore her faith in food as a source of pleasure with a trip to the Burren Slow Food Festival ( May 12-14) in Lisdoonvarna, which this year celebrates cheese and gin. Okay so it’s not cheese and wine but it’s better than the unfathomable rise of “cheese and tea”. And just so things don’t get too maudlin stay in the lap of luxury at Gregans Castle. It currently has a Spring in the Burren package, for two nights, from € 259 per night, including one dinner from chef David Hurley, who you can be pretty sure won’t give you fish fingers and beans, unless it’s a gourmet deconstruction thereof. gregans.ie
Be pampered at the Park
It only seems like he’s everywhere right now, peeping out at you in the linen section in Dunnes and organising the whole of India on TV, but if anyone can out-mammy your mammy, Francis Brennan is the man. For five-star hospitality in the lap of luxury – and beautiful surrounds – head to his Park Hotel in Kenmare for a mini-break combining fine dining and a full programme of hikes and bikes, plus classes in its SAMAS spa, including yoga, Tai Chi and meditation. At night catch a classic in the screening room – if you’re lucky watch a rerun of his very entertaining Grand Tour. Overnights from €175 per person in May, based on two sharing. parkkenmare.com
Finally, what better to give the only other person in the world who thinks the sun shines out of your nether regions than the gift of sunshine. Whisk her off to the Canaries for a four-day mini-break guaranteed to put some heat back in her bones. (A week’s too long, your father won’t be able to cope without her). Just such a break, staying at the VIK San Antonio Hotel in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, costs €514 with Click and Go, departing Monday, April 9th. The hotel has direct access to the beach at Los Pocillos, and the price includes Aer Lingus flights, transfers and half-board accommodation, staying in a double with a sea view. If you don’t come back the favourite child after that, she doesn’t deserve you. clickandgo.com.