Travel News: Exploring Ireland this summer

From Galway to Mayo and on to Kerry, there’s something for everyone on this whistle-stop tour of eye-catching destinations

Gin up on Galway

Opening its doors this weekend, Salthill’s Tribe Gin School gives you all the skills you need to make masterful gins: an accomplishment that could come in handy come the apocalypse. You’ll learn how to distil and flavour from an array plucked from their very own botanical wall.

It Costs €95, including gin and nibbles; tribegin.ie. Stay in Galway’s Galmont where you can get two nights B&B, dinner on one night, cocktails in Cooper’s Bar and access to the leisure centre’s lovely swimming pool from €225 per room per night; thegalmont.com

Abbeylands

From the Torc Waterfall to the lakes themselves, you’re so spoiled for choice with the Killarney National Park, that it could be easy to miss some of the quieter highlights. Muckross Abbey is fabulous. Beautifully, and sensitively restored, you can climb winding stone stairs to stare out across the landscape from on high, or sit in the shaded cloister and marvel at the ancient yew tree. Stay at the Park Hotel, where you’re in the heart of things, yet still peacefully sequestered from the occasionally noisy nights that seem to erupt in town from time to time.

The Park’s new Peregrine Restaurant was designed by the thematically named Kim Partridge, and it’s absolutely delicious, both in terms of decor and fabulous grub. Live it up with the Peregrine Splendour Package, including overnight B&B, a cocktail and dinner at the Peregrine from €425 per room; killarneyparkhotel.ie

Explore more

Remaining in the Kingdom County, head on to Killorglin, where the new Grilse Gallery is bringing a dose of excellent art to the pretty village usually more famous for its way with goats (Puck Fair is August 10th to 12th this year, puckfair.ie).

Currently showing drawings by Allihies’s finest, Charles Tyrrell until July 17th, go and see why he has such a strong international reputation for yourself, grilse.ie. Stay at the nearby Kingstonstown House B&B, where room start from €139 B&B for two; kingstontownhouse.com

Two Wheels Good

Clew Bay, famed for its fabled 365 islands has been announced as Ireland’s first official cycle-friendly destination. I think that means nice roads and safe places to lock up, rather than the locals actively chatting up your bike. Explore from your base at Mayo’s Knockranny House Hotel, just on the outskirts of Westport, where you’re in prime position for the Greenway.

The Knockranny’s Wild Atlantic Cycle Package includes two nights B&B, dinner on one evening, one day bike hire for two adults and complimentary use of the vitality pool and thermal suites. From €275pps; knockrannyhousehotel.ie; cyclefriendlyclewbay.ie

Gemma Tipton

Gemma Tipton

Gemma Tipton contributes to The Irish Times on art, architecture and other aspects of culture