The best autumn travel deals around the country - whatever your budget

From whale-spotting in West Cork to cosy nights in Connemara there’s plenty on offer

The five-star Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare

The five-star Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare

 

Cosy up in Connemara

€299pps

Cosy up in Connemara this autumn beside an open fire and wrapped in a cashmere and lambs’ wool pashmina. You’ll find the fireplace – five of them actually – and the Magee limited edition pashmina at Ballynahinch Castle on the Ballyconneely Peninsula. The hotel is surrounded by 700 acres of woodlands and a two-night autumn package includes B&B, dinner on one night in the Owenmore Restaurant overlooking the river, a guided walk of the estate, a hot whiskey by the fire and your souvenir pashmina. It costs €299 per person sharing. ballynahinch-castle.com

Ballynahinch Castle on the Ballyconneely Peninsula in Connemara
Ballynahinch Castle on the Ballyconneely Peninsula in Connemara
The huntsroom at Ballynahinch Castle
The huntsroom at Ballynahinch Castle

Trump this

€110pps

If you are happy to ignore global politics for a few days, head for the cliffs at Doonbeg, Co Clare. Trump is offering one night B&B in a “luxury room”, with late check-out (1pm), €10 green fee credit, €10 spa credit and a glass of champagne before dinner in the Ocean View Restaurant. The dinner is not included. Prices start at €225 per night. trumphotels.com/Ireland

Bring on the magic

€1,080 for family of four

Who doesn’t want to go to wizard school in an 800-year-old castle? Over the spooky season (October 28th to November 4th), five-star Ashford Castle is offering a range of magical activities for aspiring witches and wizards. They include: Forbidden Forest Family Treasure Hunt, visiting the hiding place of Dingle the owl; a chamber of witchcraft and wizardry, house elves cookery school, kids’ dinners and Harry Potter movie evenings. Here’s hoping you can wave a wand to find the funds – the two-night package is from €1,080 for two adults and two children (aged 4-12) in a deluxe room with two queen-sized beds. It includes breakfast and George V Table d’Hote dinner for the adults on both days, as well as access to the spa and other estate activities. ashfordcastle.ie

Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle
The cinema at the five-star Ashford Castle
The cinema at the five-star Ashford Castle

Killarney escape

€145pps

As the madness of summer crowds in Killarney settles down, the five-star Killarney Park Hotel is offering “winter escapes” that include two nights B&B and an evening meal from €500 for two people. A one-night “midweek treat” offers breakfast, a room upgrade and afternoon tea. It costs €290 for two people. Explore the National Park by foot or bike to enjoy intense autumn hues. killarneyparkhotel.ie

The drawing room at the five-star Killarney Park hotel
The drawing room at the five-star Killarney Park hotel

Champagne dinner at the Falls

€205pps

French wine lovers take note. The five-star Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare is offering a French-inspired tasting dinner with wine pairing on the weekend of September 29th. There are one and two-night offers for the dinners that will be designed by new chef Tony Schwarz. Wines on Friday night include Pouilly Fuisse, Bouchard Pere & Fils 2016 and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chante Cigale 2015, among others. Saturday night brings extra bubbles to the table with menu paired with four champagnes from Duval Roy, a family-run champagne house that was set up in 1859. The two-night package in a classic bedroom with breakfast and both dinners is €750 for two people sharing. One night is €410. Non-residents can attend either dinner for €80 per person. sheenfallslodge.ie

The bar in the Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare
The bar in the Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare

Warm up with a whiskey

€60pps

If whiskey is more to your taste, the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel has a one-night, midweek B&B offer that begins with a Whiskey Tasting Flight in the Hibernian Bar. The bar has over 60 Irish whiskeys on offer but if you are still seeking more, the package also includes discounted tickets for the Walsh Whiskey Distillery Tour and Experience at Royal Oak. It also includes tickets for the Kilkenny City Tours road train. Prices are from €120 for two people sharing. kilkennyhibernianhotel.com

Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel has a one-night, midweek B&B offer that begins with a Whiskey Tasting Flight
Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel has a one-night, midweek B&B offer that begins with a Whiskey Tasting Flight

Harvest fare

€160pps

October 6th sees the Ice House in Ballina host their first Harvest Dinner. They promise a five-course dinner designed by head chef Anthony Holland and based on the bounty of vegetables and fruit harvested from nearby Enniscoe Organic Gardens and locally-sourced, seasonal meat and fish. The dinner starts with a drinks reception and each course has matching wines. An overnight stay in a Riverview room including the Harvest Dinner is €320 for two people sharing. icehouse.ie

Ice House Hotel, Ballina
Ice House Hotel, Ballina
Head chef Anthony Holland will prepare harvest dinner at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina
Head chef Anthony Holland will prepare harvest dinner at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina

Spa offering

€199pps

The Heritage Killenard is aiming to beat any autumn blues with a “hero” package that includes overnight in a deluxe room, breakfast, afternoon tea with bubbles in the hotel lounge and access to the spa. The clincher is the inclusion of an 80-minute Espa treatment that includes a back exfoliation and massage, facial and scalp massage. Book your treatment in advance to make sure you get the most out of this deal and arrive to the Laois hotel early to fit it all in. The Hero package costs €199 per person sharing. theheritage.com

Enjoying a spa treatment at the Heritage in Killenard
Enjoying a spa treatment at the Heritage in Killenard

Have a whale of a time

€240pps

Do you know that the coming months are the best time of the year to spot whales in Irish waters? Now you do. So, if you want to couple whale watching with a splash of luxury, head for Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa in West Cork. Their two-night whale-watching package includes a half-day whale-watching trip with Dr Nic Slocum, where you’ll look for fin, minke and humpback whales, as well as dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks. To warm up after exploring the wild seas, enjoy the heated seawater pool, hammam and relaxation areas back at the lodge. The package also includes breakfast on each morning and your deluxe room will have ocean views. Prices are €240 per person sharing. inchydoneyisland.com

You can combine whale-watching with a splash of luxury at Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa in West Cork
You can combine whale-watching with a splash of luxury at Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa in West Cork

Art trails

€195pps

If the great outdoors isn’t calling you, explore the ocean from inside at the Glucksman Gallery in Cork. It is exploring the sea with its “Now wakes the sea” exhibition, which features an installation by UK artist Lucy Skaer, towering sculptures by Maria McKinney and other contemporary seascapes. The four-star River Lee Hotel, a short walk away, has a two-night deal that includes breakfast, dinner on one night and tickets to the exhibition and refreshments. While you are in the city, check out the reopened Oyster Tavern, beside the English Market. Price: €195pps. doylecollection.com/hotels/the-river-lee-hotel

The four-star River Lee Hotel in Cork
The four-star River Lee Hotel in Cork
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