Summer getaways (and not just for the girls)

Travel News: Between lovely Leitrim and caring Clare, take time out for art in Limerick

Get the royal treatment with the Grace Kelly specials at the Imperial, Cork’s most historic hotel. Photograph: Miki Barlok

Get the royal treatment with the Grace Kelly specials at the Imperial, Cork’s most historic hotel. Photograph: Miki Barlok

 

Full of Grace

Sixty years ago on June 24th, Princess Grace of Monaco had a sleepover at Cork’s Imperial Hotel – with husband Prince Rainier in tow, but, to be honest, no one was really looking at him. To mark the anniversary, the Prince Grace Anniversary Special gives you a treat on arrival, bed and breakfast, champagne (if you book dinner) and a “complimentary Princess Grace turn down”, which we’re assuming doesn’t mean they diss you in a royal fashion. Available June 24th only, for €60pps. Look out for more Grace-related offerings and packages during the period at imperialhotelcork.com

Stop the lights

Explore the glens of lovely Leitrim, rediscovering the county that manages to be in the midlands and have a stretch of coastline. Also famed for having only two sets of traffic lights, and Ireland’s version of the Taj Mahal (the Costello Chapel in Carrick on Shannon), it’s a great place to revel in some of the more hidden parts of Ireland.

You can cruise the Shannon or paddleboard on the Blueway, but don’t forget to stop for much needed snacks at the new Fulacht Fiadh Café in the grounds of Manorhamilton Castle. It’s a delicious community spot, set up by Aoife Hammond, formerly of the Dublin Food Co-op, and chef and baker Vera Schliebitz, facebook.com/fulachtfiadhcafe. They also have a farm shop – ideal if you’re staying at nearby Tawnylust Lodge. The self-catering one-bedroom eco-lodge is based on a working farm. From €60 per night, minimum stay applies during July and August, irishecotourism.com.

Clare cares

Whether you are sick of the sight of your loved ones or ready to deepen the bonds, the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, Co Clare has come up with a grand plan to give you the family getaway you need to restore the harmony and love, revitalise the kids (or tire them out), and all those other good things.

Old Ground Hotel family room. Photograph: John Kelly
Old Ground Hotel family room. Photograph: John Kelly

Billing its list of things to do as Vitamin (C)lare, its suggestions include surfing at Lahinch, visiting Bunratty Castle and pet farm, sniffing scents at the Burren Perfumery and having a yummy dinner back at the hotel. Three nights from €749.99 for a family of four, including one dinner, surf lesson and Bunratty admission. Add a night, and a Cliffs of Moher Cruise from €1,070, oldgroundhotelennis.com

Pick your pronouns

I’m sure they don’t do a gender check on the door, so in fairness, anyone can opt for Wineport Lodge’s Girlie Getaway.

Wineport Lodge, Athlone, has a special girlie package on offer.
Wineport Lodge, Athlone, has a special girlie package on offer.

On the shores of Athlone’s Lough Ree, you’ll get truffles, bubbly, complimentary bikes and use of the outdoor hot tub (though presumably not all at once). Add a three-course dinner, breakfast in bed and an overnight for two for €390 per room. Or save €60 by opting for the afternoon tea package, which comes in at €330 and has all the same trimmings, except you don’t get dinner. But if you ate enough of those little sandwiches and cakes, you might come out ahead, wineport.ie

Watch out

Take the time, stop the clocks, and get your other horological puns at the ready to visit Waterford’s new Museum of Time. Featuring clocks and watches from around the world, it’s enough to inspire fascinating musings even if you’re not a time nerd already. Also just opened is the Waterford Museum of Silver, for those who have a passion for life’s more glittery things. Admission is €5 for each, or grab a €15 ticket that lets you into all five attractions within the Viking Triangle, waterfordtreasures.com. Stay at the four-star Granville on the riverfront, where the summer overnight special includes breakfast and dinner for €179 per room, granvillehotel.ie

Art about

Fans of tricky art will already be planning their Limerick trip when the city’s biennial exhibition, Eva, kicks off on July 2nd. Find details of venues and locations at eva.ie, and don’t miss the Hunt Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art while you’re at it (pro tip – both have fabulous cafes, and the Hunt has a new gorgeous garden). Stay at the Limerick Strand, where it’s been splashing the cash on its own River Bar and Restaurant, giving it a smooth new look. Room rates from €161 per night, with discounts for longer sleepovers, strandlimerick.ie

Eat up Dublin

Dublin’s Eat the Streets Festival ends on the 20th, though you’ll still be able to find all sorts of foodie things online, including growing tips for kids at eatthestreets.ie, but stylish grub is always on the menu at the Westbury. There’s a new champagne and oyster spot, with six oysters and a glass of bubbles for €40. Stay over, with dinner for two in Balfes, plus breakfast for €390 per room, add a night and afternoon tea for €570 for two, available until the end of August, doylecollection.com

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