Spooky goings on in Croke Park and other seasonal trips

Check In: Mid-term is looming and there are plenty of family-friendly travel options

Samhain celebration

For families in need of an October outing, check out the new Samhain Tours & Tales at Croke Park’s GAA Museum in Dublin. The tours are a celebration of the Celtic festival, with a stadium treasure hunt, storytelling from Eddie Lenihan and interactive games and Halloween-themed treats. Tickets start from €16 for adults and €12 for children and the event runs from Saturday October 28th to Wednesday November 1st. For more see crokepark.ie/halloween.

Lyons tale

This month sees the opening of The Well in the Garden at Cliff at Lyons, Co Kildare, the hotel's new luxury two-storey spa. The property was acquired last year by the team behind the Cliff Townhouse and the Cliff House Hotel, and the new spa retreat will offer body treatments designed by award-winning therapist Laura Clarke and a custom range of Irish-made botanical skincare products. Treatments are paired with organic juices and smoothies developed by the Cliff's Michelin-starred executive chef Martijn Kajuiter and head chef Nathan Dimond. See cliffatlyons.ie for more.

Experience this 

Airbnb is upping its ante with the launch of its Experiences offering. Guests can now sign up for a selection of activities led by local experts. In Dublin, visitors can choose from over 20 experiences including art tours, an LGBT walking tour history of the city, cooking workshops, craft beer making and more. airbnb.ie.

Check In 

Private Pads


Sri Lanka

On the banks of Koggala Lake, Tri is a luxury sustainable hotel that you can rent all to yourself. Sleeping up to 22 guests in 11 suites and villas, this destination is the last word in secluded style. Stay from €3,228 per night; trilanka.com.

Kinsale, Co Cork  In the heart of Cork's gourmet heartland, surrounded by tall stone walls and security gates, Balinacurra House is the perfect private escape.The team here will ensure your every expectation is met. ballinacurra.com

Argyll, Scotland  Live like royalty for a weekend at Mingary Castle on the Argyll coast, an abandoned ruin which has been restored to a luxury stay for 10 adults across five bedrooms. This is a truly historic experience. celticcastles.com

Get Appy

Splashtop 2 This app allows you to access documents on your desktop from your phone, perfect for anyone on the go. Free on iPhone and Android; splashtop.com.


Tankardstown Triumph

Congratulations to the team at Tankardstown House in Slane, Co Meath who won “Business Destination of the Year” at this year’s Georgina Campbell Awards. It’s not all business though – the elegant 18th-century manor house has a very seasonal “No Trick, but a Tankardstown Treat” family package. Stay for two nights b&b, with a treasure hunt, admission to both Tayto Park and Brú Na Bóinne, from €540 based on two adults and two children (and your dog, if you wish) in a Courtyard Cottage Suite on November 1st-2nd; info@tankardstown.ie.

Travel deals with Joan Scales

Boston for Thanksgiving: Discover the city in November and some great shopping. Flights, four nights' hotel accommodation from €687pps, americanholidays.ie, tel: 01-960 9446.

Mid-term breaks: Morocco at the Tilila Studios, from €444pps; Kusadasi, Turkey Golden Day Wings hotel from €484 and Gran Canaria Monte Verde apartments, from Cork from €634pps, sunway.ie, tel: 01-2311800.

Italian Christmas shopping: A five night trip to Venice, Bolzano and Lake Garda from €499pps, staying in Riva del Garda with day trips, traveldepartment.ie, tel: 01-6371650.