Ireland is crammed with exceptional attractions-many of which are free, offering you the trip of a lifetime but at an affordable cost!!
Includes an exhibition which showcases a rare 17th century altar-piece, the newly located statue of Padraig Conaire, and the Galway City Hooker named ‘M¡irtan Oliver’ by the public.
The museum houses three floors of exhibits and information panels relating the story of Galway from medieval times to the modern day.
Home to the national folk life collection, the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, is a branch of the National Museum of Ireland. Experience the story of Irish country life between 1850 and 1950 through the innovative combination of artifacts and displays, archival video footage and interactive screens.
The National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, is located in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park amid magnificent gardens and an artificial lake, and located alongside the restored Turlough Park House and its adjoining courtyards.
Westport Music Festival is a family-orientated festival with free nightly entertainment. Some of the acts taking place are Sharon Shannon, Mundy, Dessie O Halloran, Philomena Begley and many more. Full details on www.westportmusicfestival.com
Croagh Patrick is one of Mayo’s most famous landmarks. The mountain overlooks Clew Bay and the entire Western coastline. In 441AD, Saint Patrick is said to have spent 40 days and nights praying and fasting on its slopes.
Throughout the year people of all ages and of all degrees of devotion, climb up the rock path to the summit.
Connemara National Park is situated in the heart of the West of Ireland near Letterfrack, and covers some 2,000 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths and grasslands. Some of the Park’s mountains are part of the famous Twelve Bens range. Attractions include exhibitions, nature trails, red deer, Connemara ponies, and an audio visual show.
The Derroura Mountain Bike Trail offers you some incredible mountain biking in some of the most spectacular scenery in Connemara. You will face long climbs and thrilling descents with great views overlooking the entire of Lough Corrib from the half-way point of the trails.
In Achill, Westport & Clifden. Details on the www.discoverireland.ie or from your local tourist office.
Ballintubber Abbey was founded in 1216 by Cathal Crovdearg O’Conor, King of Connacht, near the site of the church built by St Patrick in 441. Despite the Abbey’s turbulent history, which included repression and burning, the Abbey ‘refused to die’ and now has the unique status of being Ireland’s only royal Abbey which has been incontinuous use for over 780 years.
The Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails are the largest trail network of its kind in Ireland. Forest road climbs lead you into tight twisty single-tracks with loads of ups and downs, tight turns and technical rocky bits.
Bike riding in Shannon Own your own bike? A mulitude of roads a minimum of traffic, this is Shannon Region’s offering to the visitor with a bike. The variety of scenery is almost endless: lowlands with rural villages and towns, castles, historic sites and parks to visit; highlands with fantastic scenary; and the Atlantic coastline of Clare.
Take in the spectacular views and scenery. Ireland’s Shannon Region is dotted with lakes and criss-crossed with rivers, and it has over 400 kms of Atlantic coastline. Well worth a mention:
Walking – one of the best ways to experience the Shannon Region Walking is truly the best way to experience the beauty of the Shannon Region. For serious walkers, there are many well organised routes in the loveliest areas, which are clearly signposted at all junctions with standard way-markers. Eleven national, long-distance walking trails traverse the Region’s most interesting scenery. Explore the world renowned Burren National Park and take in the spectacular views as from the world renowned Cliffs of Moher.
Free Admission to Limerick’s Hunt Museum every Sunday (1400hrs – 1700hrs). The Museum runs a children’s treasure trails programme, making it the ideal family day out.
Well worth a visit and Sunday market in the City Centre.
Askeaton, Limerick Free guided walking tours of Askeaton, one of Irelands oldest towns. Discover the towns medieval heritage Tel: 0860 0850174
Admission is free.
Admission is free. Irelands first perfumery, founded over 40 years ago.
Nenagh Heritage Centre Admission to is free: Tel. 067-33850
Set in unique mid 19th century gaol and prison buildings. Many exhibitions relating to the past and present.
Admission is Free. Founded in 1180 by King Donal Mor O’Brien. The Abbey was restored and re-opened in 1975 and is a great example of a restored abbey and now operating as a church, The Abbey is home to a relic of the true cross. Many pilgrimages take place throughout the year. Admission to the Abbey is free, guided tours can be arranged during the season.
Knitwear and Porcelain area of Farney Castle , Holycross, Thurles Admission is free. Home to Irish designer, Cyril Cullem the Knitwear and Procelain area of Farney Castle is open to the public. Tel. 0504-43281 Open Mon-Sat
Fort del Oro, The Golden Fort – North of Ballyferriter is the broad inlet of Smerwick Harbour. Here on a rock promontory is the old fortress of Dun an Oir (Fort of Gold). The infamous massacre of Smerwick Harbour took place here in 1580, when over 600 Spanish and Irish soldiers, after three days siege, surrendered, only to be butchered by Lord Grey’s troops.
Contact: Address:Ballyferriter, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Tel: +353 (0)66 9151188
10th to 12th August
Killorglin, in the geographical heart of Kerry, is the venue for one of Ireland’s most unusual street festivals – Puck Fair. The fair is one of Ireland’s oldest and longest celebrated and is held without fail on 10th, 11th and 12th August every year with 12 hours of free family street entertainment
Torc Waterfall is 4 Miles from Killarney Town and be accessed from the main road of through the Killarney National Park.
South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 1000 metres. Here where the mountains sweep down to the lake shores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, lies the 10,236 hectare (26,000 acres), Killarney National Park . The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty.
The City Hall Anglesea Street Cork City is the headquarters of Cork Corporation and city administration. The fine concert hall in the building is the venue for concerts, festivals and functions.
Free admission. Cork Public Museum is housed in a two storey Georgian house commanding a central position in Fitzgerald Park, Cork. Flanked by U.C.C. on one side and the riverside gardens of Sunday’s Well on the other, the park bestows a sense of history that complements the ambience of the museum perfectly. The Riverview Café©, recently opened in the museum’s extension, fully exploits the commanding views of the river Lee and provides the visitor with a tranquil haven to enjoy a coffee and a snack.
The Cork Vision Centre offers visitors an opportunity to appreciate a fine example of conservation in action, and to explore Cork’s evolution from past, through present, and onwards to future development.
Crawford Art Gallery, the city art museum for Cork, is dedicated to informing a wide audience about the significant role that the visual arts play in contemporary life and culture. Located in the heart of the city, beside the Opera House, the Gallery is a critical part of Cork’s cultural and tourism infrastructure, welcoming over 200,000 visitors a year.
Red Abbey Tower, the only medieval building left in Cork, is all that remains of a 14th-century Augustinian priory.
Glucksman Gallery and the Honan Chapel, Cork Go and visit the Univesity of Cork City and walk around the grounds. Visit the Honan Chapel and the Glucksman Gallery as part of your visit to UCC.
A few minutes walk from the town centre lies the Knockreer section of the National Park. Access is via Deenagh Lodge gate which is opposite the Cathedral, and this leads to a pleasant pastoral landscape with fine views of the Lakes and mountains especially from the gardens of Knockreer House. The house, which was the home of the Grosvenor family, is now the field study centre for the National Park.
The cathedral in Killarney was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-52) and is considered to be one of the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture in Europe.
Gallarus Oratory was built between the seventh and eight century and is the best preserved early Christian church in Ireland. It represents the apogee of dry-stone corbelling, using techniques first developed by Neolithic tomb-makers. The stones were layed at a slight angle, lower on the outside then the inside to allow water to run off.
This is a fine 12th century Hiberno-Romanesque church with an Alphabet Stone (close to the Chancel door), Ogham stone, Sundial stone, and 7th or 8th century stone cross. Nearby is Saint Brendan’s house dating from the 14th or 15th century.
Address: Ballydavid, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Tel: +353 (0)66 9151188
James Fort holds a commanding position directly across the harbour mouth from Charles Fort. Together, these forts guarded the narrow harbour entrance. Work began on the construction of James Fort in 1602. It was completed in 1607 and was captured in 1690 by Williamite forces. It has undergone much alteration in the intervening centuries.
Every August the harbour becomes a focal point for a regatta where small local sailing and rowing craft gather for races and not to say the least some craic agus ceol. During the 3 day festival you’ll find live music in the island’s many pubs and clubs and maybe spot the odd fire-eater.
Caheragh Race Committee, Drimoleague, 23rd to the 24th Aug Ten races each day including sulky and saddle races and donkey derby. Children’s entertainment provided.
Among the many highlights of our community run festival is the “Rag” on the official opening evening, in which participants good humourdly re-enact recent events or new’s stories, or indeed the ‘local news’!! The Sandcastle Competition at the Warren Strand, with sandcastles as far as the eye can see. There are Donkeys, Ducks and Dog Races which are always highly entertaining and new to the line up this year we have the “Fastest Dog in Ross” Race!! There will be openair music in the square, beats on the street and a traditional Irish evening of music and dancing.
8th – 17th August 2008
Kilkenny City and County
Annual international multi-arts festival in the medieval city of Kilkenny. Includes an extensive programme for young people
Tel: + 353 (0) 56 775 2175
The home and headquarters of the powerful Butler Family since 1391 has long established rose garden, together with 50 acres of charming and extensive pleasure grounds. The grounds overlooking the Nore river features mature trees and shrubs with an ornamental lake numbered among the many items of interest. Very well maintained and presented. There is also a children’s playground located on the grounds. All areas of the castle gardens are free of charge.
Free 21st – 24th August 2008
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
Ireland’s largest free music festival with a line up of International and Irish Bluegrass acts.
Tel: + 353 (0) 51 850748
Why not visit some of the South East’s markets? There’s plenty to see and do at each and every one.
Carlow farmer market Potato Market
Sat 9am – 2pm
Kilkenny farmers Market
Thursdays 9.30am – 2pm
Cahir farmers Market
Beside the Craft Granary
Saturday 9.00am – 1pm
Dungarvan Famers Market
Thursday 9.30am – 2pm
Waterford Food and Craft Fair
Saturday 10am – 4pm
George Street, Waterford
Wexford Town Farmers Market
Friday 9am – 2pm
Explore the South East on foot Get to know some of the pristine landscape that the South East is known for. A few suggested walks in the region include:
o The South Leinster Way
o THE Coach Road Walk
o The East Munster Way
o Tipperary Heritage Way
o Carey’s Castle
o Ardmore Cliff Walk
o Helvick Head Walk
o Tramore Strand Walk
o The River Brickey Walk
o Famine Walk
o Faithlegg Forest Walk
o The Blackstairs Walks
o Courtown Woods
o Raven Point Loop
Sample some trad music in the South East T. H. Doolans.
Trad Music Every night
32 George Street
051 – 841504
Trad Music (Wed, Sat & SUN)
051 – 384895
Trad Music (Wed, Fri & Sat)
Knocknarea Mountain (Cnoc na Rá) is situated 4 miles west of Sligo Town, in the area of the Strandhill Peninsula, this breathtaking mountain dominates the skyline of Sligo town. It is 1078 feet high.
Take the neatly paved path from the car park. Once you reach the top there lies the cairn, of Queen Maeve of Connacht. There are spectacular views around County Sligo.
Freedom to explore……The Sliabh Liag (Mountain of the flagstones) cliffs, situated on the West coast of Donegal, are said to be the highest and one of the finest marine cliffs in Europe with a 600m drop straight down into the wild, Atlantic waves below. This creates a breathtaking and unique view. There is much more to see besides the cliffs. Leave the car behind and walk the few miles to the cliffs so as not to miss the exciting scenery of the area. A short walk will take you to the right of the amazing cliff face of Bunglas which rises over 600m above the raging ocean.
There are 5 signed cycle routes in the Sliabh Beagh region, varying in length from 18-37 miles. The Sliabh Beagh Tourism Centre, located in Knockatallon, provides information and maps on all the above trails in addition to accommodation, bar and restaurant.
Drive Inishowen 100 & visit Malin Head – Ireland’s most northerly point! It may sounds like a Formula 1 race, but it gets its name from the approximate distance in miles of the signposted drive, which officially starts in Bridgend on the Inishowen Peninsula. You will certainly not wish to break any speed records as you linger and savour the many scenic and historical gems which Inishowen, the biggest of the Donegal peninsulas, has to offer.
Glencar Waterfall is 50ft high and is situated in Glencar Lough. It is very impressive after rain. There are more waterfalls visible from the road although none is quite as romantic as this one. Situated just outside Manorhamilton W.B. Yeats made this enchanting waterfall famous in his poem, “The Stolen Child”.
The Burren Loops, Burren Forest, Blacklion, Co Cavan In the midst of the archaeological treasures of the Burren Forest just outside Blacklion, walkers can enjoy looped walks of the forest and visit one of the many megalithic tombs en route.
Swim & stroll a choice of 13 Blue Flag Beaches
Sligo Blue Flag Beaches
Donegal Blue Flag Beaches
Marble Hill, Dunfanaghy
This site is a monastic settlement, and also the burial place of the famous Irish poet W.B.Yeats. Its importance dates from 574 AD when St. Colmcille founded a monastery here. Teahouse and Craft shops on site.
Meander along the Tower Loop walk in Glencolmcille, Co Donegal From St. Columba’s Church, the route meanders towards a beach along a quiet lane, before heading north onto a steep mountain track. A short detour takes you to Glen Head, where the cliffs drop 200m into the Atlantic. The track continues over the southern shoulder of Beefan and Gaveross Mountain and then descends into a lane.
Pedal along some or all of the 326km of the North West Cycle Trail
The North West Trail is a 326km circular cycle route through counties Donegal, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo. Travelling through a wide variety of scenic landscapes, utilising quiet country roads with some traffic free sections, mostly in urban areas. The route enjoys dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean, with scenic cycling in remote uplands and through rural towns and villages passing through the main towns of Enniskillen, Sligo, Donegal, Lifford, Strabane and Omagh.
Location: Tullamore, Co. Offaly The 57th Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the biggest festival of traditional Irish musicians, singers and dancers, will take place from 17th till 24th August 2008 in Tullamore County Offaly. Over 100,000 peole are expected to attend the worlds largest session and it’s all free !
Location: Co. Wicklow The Michael Collins drive covers 45 miles through lush valleys and picturesque villages. The drive will take you to some of the locations where the film was shot.
Location: Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
The National Park, which covers much of upland Wicklow, contains an area of approximately 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres). This includes large areas of mountain blanket bogs, including the Lugnaquilla and Liffey Head Bog complexes and Glendalough Wood Nature Reserve. The National Park provides protection for the landscape and wildlife, from rare orchids to the wild and beautiful Pergrine Falcon. The information Point and Education Centre for the park are located nearby in Glendalough Valley.
Guided Tours Available : Scheduled guided walks
For times telephone 0404-45425
Leaflet/Guide Booklet: English
Location: Corlstown. Oldcastle, Co. Meath
The Loughcrew Cairns, also known as the Hills of the Witch, are a group of Neolithic passage tombs dating to 3000 BC. The tombs are located on three different hills and Cairn T, one of the largest tombs in the complex, is situated on Cairnbane East. Inside this tomb lies a cruciform chamber, a corbelled roof and some of the most beautiful examples of Neolithic art in Ireland.
Location: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
This great stone castle was founded in the early 13th century and became the principle residence of the Kildare branch of the Geraldines. The Kildare FitzGeralds emerged as one of the most power families in Ireland with Maynooth Castle being one of the largest and richest Earl’s houses. The original Keep, constructed c.1203, was one of the largest of its kind in Ireland. There is an exhibition on the history of the castle and the family in the Keep.
Location: Fore, Co. Westmeath
Seven Wonders of Fore : * The monastery in the bog
* The mill without a race
* The water that flows uphill
* The Tree that has three branches/ the tree that won’t burn
* The water that won’t boil
* The anchorite in a stone
* The stone/ lintel raised by St. Fechin’s prayers
The village of Fore is in a valley between two hills. Here you will see the ancient ruins of a Christian monastery. Fore is “the town of the springs” and was named after St. Fechin’s spring, which is beside the old church. It was St. Fechin who founded the ancient Fore Abbey around 630 A.D. By 665 A.D. (the time of the yellow plague) there were 300 monks living in the community
Location: Co. Louth
An utterly delightful small harbour village on the slopes of beautiful rugged mountains, Carlingford has everything: a medieval layout of narrow streets with ancient buildings, all that is best in food and lodging, antiques and craft shops as well as adventure sports. Carlingford is more than a town – it’s an experience.
Location: Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow
Kilmacurragh Arboretum is now managed by the National Botanic Gardens. It is the remnants of a large estate planted during the 19th century by Thomas Acton in conjunction with David Moore and his son Sir Frederick Moore, curators of the National Botanic Gardens at that time. Kilmacurragh is particularly famous for its conifers and rhododendron collections.
Location: Lough Boora, Ferbane, CO. Offaly Sculpture in the Parklands at Lough Boora, County Offaly. Artists to Celebrate the Industrial Heritage of Ferbane at Sculpture in the Parklands.
Artists Caroline Madden (USA) and David Kinane (Ireland) will work on site for three weeks creating artwork inspired by the rich industrial heritage of the peatlands.
Location: Co. Laois Capard Loop
Start and Finish Glenbarrow car park.
Terrain riverside paths, bog tracks and woodland trails
Steeped in history and folklore, the Slieve Blooms dominate the landscape as it straddles the border of counties Offaly and Laois. Its highest peak, 529m Arderin, translates from Irish as the height of Ireland. Connections with the past are everywhere as the area is littered with monuments dating back as far as 4,500 years.
Location: ‘Newbridge, Co. Kildare
For 70 years, ‘Newbridge Silverware has been designing and producing quality giftware and tableware.
On offer and display is the complete and extensive ‘Newbridge Silverware product range including cutlery, glassware, giftware, kitchenware, earthenware, homeware and jewellery. In addition, luxury collections of jewellery, gift and home products are stocked exclusively in the Newbridge based showrooms, and cannot be found anywhere else in Ireland.
A new addition to the Visitor Centre is the splendid Museum of Style Icons. The Museum features signature pieces from Irelands most notable designers and showcases artefacts associated with some of the most legendary Stars of the Silver screen including Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson, Barbara Streisand, Julie Andrews, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Gloria Swanson, Jean Simmons, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Stewart, Ingrid Bergman and Barbara Stanwyck.
Bring the history of the capital to life with Dublin Tourism’s iWalks series! These FREE podcast audio guides tell the many stories of Dublin as spoken by their author, historian and artist, Pat Liddy
There are twelve themes covering many fascinating aspects of the region. Each iWalk comes with a FREE full-colour brochure featuring maps and illustrations by historian and author Pat Liddy. Download the FREE guides and use them as walking tour guides to the city, or just listen to them to discover the fascinating story of Dublin.
NEW: Follow in the footsteps of Gaelic Greats with the NEW Croke Park iWalk
The Croke Park iWalk, narrated by legendary Irish Gaelic games commentator Miche¡l Muircheartaigh, leads from the Dublin Tourism Centre through the historic central northside of the city, to the magnificent Croke Park Stadium, the home of Gaelic Games and one of the largest stadiums in Europe. Explore the history of Dublin and the connection between the city, Croke Park Stadium and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Dublin Tourism’s iWalk podcast audio guides are available free to download at www.visitdublin.com
Pick up a copy of ‘What’s On’, an events listing for the Dublin region. The majority of the events listed are free and the guide is available free of charge from all of Dublin Tourism’s Tourist Information Offices; Dublin Tourism Visitor Attractions, Temple Bar Information Centre and the Docklands Information Centre.
Dublin Bay is one of the most scenic in the world. Take a walk out on Poolbeg pier and blow the cobwebs away. When you get to the end, you will see Dublin as you’ve never seen it before, mountains on one side, Howth head on the other and straight ahead: Dublin’s fair city!
Other seaside towns such as Skerries, Howth and Malahide on the Northside and Dun Loaghaire, Sandycove and Dalkey on the Southside are worth the day trip with great walks and views – and easily accessible with the DART!
Movies on the Square Every Saturday from July 5th until August 30th Dubliners and visitors to the city can watch movies under the stars in the best open air venue in the City – Meeting House Square, Temple Bar. Tickets for all movies are free but require collection. www.templebar.ie
Sited in the heart of the walled city, St. Audoen’s is the only remaining medieval parish church in Dublin. It is dedicated to St. Ouen, the 7th century bishop of Rouen and patron saint of Normandy. The guild chapel of St. Anne houses an exhibition on the importance of St. Audoen’s in the life of the medieval city. Visitors can also view the 17th century memorials to the Sparke and Duff families and the 15th century effigial tomb to Baron Portlester and his wife.
Deeply Relaxing Parks and Gardens
St. Stephen’s Green: an oasis in the heart of the City
Following a busy day taking in Dublin’s many sights, treat yourself to an ice cream or a healthy smoothie and have a stroll in the shade in St.
Stephen’s Green, a sanctuary from the bustle of the city streets in the heart of the city.
Dedicated to the memory of all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom, the Garden of Remembrance is a lace of quiet remembrance and reflection in the heart of the city.
The War Memorial Gardens cover an area of c8ha on the southern slopes of the Liffey opposite the Magazine Fort in the Phoenix Park. The War Memorial was designed by famous architect Sir Edward Lutyens as a garden of simple dignity commemorating the 49,000 Irish soliders who died in the First World War.
Overlooking Dublin city from the south west, at an altitude of 383m (1264ft), is a foreboding ruined hunting lodge, marked on Ordnance Survey maps as the ‘Hell-Fire Club’. Urban lore insists that this was a site commonly used for the practice of ‘Satanism’ and other occult activities, and that the Devil himself made a brief appearance there at some unspecified time in the past. See for yourself if you dare!
Tempt yourself with some Dublin ‘Window’Shopping! World Class Shopping Centres
Dublin is the unrivalled shopping capital of Ireland and home to world class shopping centres such as Dundrum Town Centre – great for rainy days – you will find all you need under one roof!
Temple Bar transforms into a colourful market place every Saturday with three great outdoor markets. The Temple Bar Food Market takes place in Meeting House Square; Designer Mart happens on Cow’s Lane and the Book Market is.
Dublin’s farmers markets are well worth a visit – even if you just want to feel the buzz of the crowds and see the wonderfully colourful and fresh produce on offer.
Farmers’ Markets take place throughout the Dublin region at various times during the week. Howth Fishermans and Farmers Market every Sunday has a huge array of produce and the seaside location makes it a great place to be on a Sunday!
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