Travel News: What's on, where to stay and events to enjoy this September

Prosecco corks fly in Belfast as Dublin becomes a stage for arty adventures

Merchant Hotel, Belfast

Merchant Hotel, Belfast

 

Doing it the Kerry Way

Kerry Way
Kerry Way

With 210km of spectacular landscapes, starting and finishing in Killarney, the Kerry Way is one of Ireland’s wonders. A new guidebook by this paper’s walking experts, John G O’Dwyer and Sandra Bardwell, gives you the lowdown on the high points, with maps and more. The Kerry Way is €14.99 in bookshops and at rucsacs.com. While Killarney is bursting with hotels to suit all budgets, there are plenty of hostels along the way too. Try the Climbers Inn at Glencar, with beds from €25, and private rooms from €40 per person. climbersinn.com

The Lobster

Rathmullan House, Donegal
Rathmullan House, Donegal

With seven acres of grounds at the top of the Wild Atlantic Way, Donegal’s Rathmullan House is a great spot. On the shores of Lough Swilly, close to long sandy beaches, and handy for the Glenveagh National Park, you’ve plenty to be doing to work up an appetite, which will come in handy as they also do a damn good lobster salad, and make their own ice cream. Full of lovely touches, some of the rooms are pet friendly as well. From €160 per room, add dinner for €50 per person. There’s also a new outdoor eating spot, the Pavilion, and dining pods throughout the grounds. rathmullanhouse.com

Fizzing Fun

Merchant Hotel, Belfast
Merchant Hotel, Belfast

Okay, so it’s the go-to treat when hotels are offering welcome drinks, but Belfast’s swanky Merchant Hotel up the ante with the return of their annual Festival of Prosecco. Running throughout September, enjoy prosecco cocktails, tasting flights and, if you want to kick-start the fun early, prosecco afternoon tea. They also promise Battle of the Bubbles evenings, pitting champagne against Italy’s favourite fizz, and I’m sure they do good strong coffee for morning-after medication. From €258 B&B per room. themerchanthotel.com

On Stage

Trinity Townhouse Hotel, Dublin
Trinity Townhouse Hotel, Dublin

September sees the Fringe Festival going wild around the capital (fringefest.com), then sliding smoothly into the Dublin Theatre Festival at the end of the month (dublintheatrefestival.ie). With the city becoming a lovely stage for arty adventures, stay in the charming heart of it all at the Trinity Townhouse Hotel, a gorgeous conversion of a clutch of Georgian buildings on Frederick Street South. The Autumn Experience package includes B&B, a box of chocolates, late check out and tickets to the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. From €150 B&B per room. trinitytownhousehotel.com

Suite Yourself

Zanzibar Locke, Dublin
Zanzibar Locke, Dublin

For all who have had the experience of getting up earlier than you wanted to so as not to miss hotel breakfast – only to find you didn’t really fancy a bain marie of gently stewing sausages after all, the Locke Studios on Dublin’s quays could be the answer. Each mini suite includes a fully fitted kitchen, so you can stagger out of bed any time and help yourself to whatever you’ve popped in the fridge. Just like home – except there probably won’t be nameless things in cling film lurking at the back. Zanzibar Locke opened earlier this year, and is also great for longer stays. You can also get breakfast (and dinner) at Baraza in the building, plus there’s a gym onsite too. From €125 per night. lockeliving.com

Autumn Colours

The Heritage, Laois
The Heritage, Laois

A child of the Boom (remember that?) the Heritage in Killenard Co Laois is large and luxurious, and wrapped around with a golf course, plus tennis courts, a leisure centre, walking trails, and there’s an onsite cinema. Why not? Stay with their Fall into Autumn package, offering afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast, plus complimentary bikes if you want to nip over to nearby Kildare Village. Available Sunday to Thursday until November, from €99 per person. Or take the All the Frills package, including a driver to bring you to the shops, plus a 10 per cent discount card for Kildare Village, from €199 per room. theheritage.com

On the Hunt

Hunter’s Yard, Mount Juliet, Kilkenny
Hunter’s Yard, Mount Juliet, Kilkenny

Kilkenny’s Mount Juliet is a special spot. There’s the super fancy Manor House with its Michelin star restaurant, the Lady Helen; or pick Hunter’s Yard, with newer rooms and all the estate amenities. As these include a swimming pool, spa and treatment suites, horse riding, falconry, golf and fishing, the Autumn of Dreams at Hunter’s Yard offer looks pretty good. Including dinner at the Hound restaurant, bed and breakfast, it comes in at €285 per room, and is available until November. mountjuliet.ie

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