Why not make this Summer your most memorable yet…
With weeks left to go until it’s time to pull out our autumn wear, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy some summer activities. Here at Ireland’s Blue Book, we have created THE Summer Bucket list to go by. Making sure your lovely Blue Book memories stay with you, this list will ensure that this summer will be your most memorable yet!
1. Drive the Causeway Coastal Route
Experience the beauty of the coastal route ranging from Belfast to Derry/LondonDerry and stop off at iconic attractions like the Titanic Exhibition in Belfast, The Giants Causeway in Co. Antrim or the locations of the film sites for the HBO show Game of Thrones.
2. Cycle the Waterford Greenway
Cycle along the Waterford Greenway and take in some of the most picturesque spots along the way.
Stay at: The Tannery
3. Have a Seaweed Bath at No. 1 Pery Square
Spa No.1 Pery Square housed within the vaulted basement of No.1 is a real urban retreat. The basement vaults were restored to create the Spa, retaining their exposed brick and original stonework, and making a quiet, soothing backdrop to a holistic experience.
Pre-booking is advised. Enquiries can be made directly at (061) 402 402 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay at: No. 1 Pery Square
4. Stay in a Lighthouse
Clare Island stands guard at the entrance to Clew Bay, off Ireland’s western Atlantic coast. For almost two centuries, the island’s Lighthouse has been a nautical landmark perched high on the craggy cliffs, watching over Achill, Westport and beyond. Clare Island Lighthouse is a retreat like no other, a special place where guests are free to while away their time in solitude or to enjoy mingling and socialising in the welcoming warmth of the kitchen, drawing room or library.
Stay at: Clare Island Lighthouse
5. Go Horse Riding and feel that Beachy Breeze
With hundreds of kilometres of beach, woodland and designated tracks, there can be few better ways to view the beautiful landscape of Donegal than on horseback. A morning stroll on Rathmullan’s 2 mile beach in front of Rathmullan house will more often than not offer guests a glimpse of horses from a host of local stables on the gallop.
Stay at: Rathmullan House
6. Visit the World’s oldest Whiskey Distillery
Fancy discovering the craft of Irish Whiskey? Visit the small Northern Irish village of Bushmills and find the world’s oldest working distillery in Ireland. Learn how they have kept their philosophy of creating perfectly smooth tasting Irish Whiskey for over 400 years.
Stay at: Bushmills Inn
7. Visit the Burren
Ireland’s smallest national park, but the distinctive limestone pavements, majestic mountains and peaceful verdant valleys make it one of the most intriguing. The Burren’s ancient monuments including well-preserved ring forts and dramatic wedge tombs, entice those with their hearts in the life of yesteryear. Its abundant wildlife attracts those celebrating the life of today. While visiting, stay at Gregan’s Castle and enjoy breath-taking views across Galway Bay and idyllically situated overlooking the unique Burren landscape, this is the ultimate luxury and gourmet hideaway.
Stay at: Gregans Castle
8. Afternoon Tea in The Merrion
The gracious surroundings of The Merrion’s Drawing Rooms are the perfect place to relax for an afternoon with a selection of delectable treats, accompanied by teas and coffees selected by The Merrion’s in-house tea masters and barista.
Stay at: The Merrion Hotel
9. Enjoy Guinness and Seafood in Cork
The famous Seafood Bar and Restaurant at Aherne’s Townhouse in Youghal specialise in the freshest of the local landed Seafood (Lobster, Oysters, Crab Prawns, Mussels, Salmon, Squid, Sole, etc today's catch). The warmest of welcomes await you in this family run hotel in the Historic walled port of Youghal. The Bar is renowned for its friendliness; you will enjoy a chat with the locals along with your Guinness & Seafood.
Stay at: Aherne’s Townhouse
10. See a Medieval Great Hall
Built on an Abbey dating from Medieval Times, the 1820’s neo-gothic Belleek Castle is informal, cosy, warm and friendly. Enjoy a contemporary dinner, in their unique eclectic dining room and see their Medieval Great Hall promising an experience that is unique, intimate and magical.
Stay at: Belleek Castle
11. Treat yourself to a Two Michelin Star meal
Established in 1981, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is Ireland's top restaurant, holder of two Michelin stars as well as virtually all the top national and international awards. It is situated in an 18th century Georgian Townhouse adjoining the Merrion Hotel. It houses an impressive collection of Irish Art.
For more information: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
12. Get out and about around the Ring of Kerry
Explore the beauty surrounding the majestic Ring of Kerry. Drive around this picturesque route and stop off at a quiet country house, hidden away on the shores of Caragh Lake. Discover the enchantment of Carrig Country House & Restaurant where you will "escape from it all", relax and enjoy some of the most beautiful and unspoilt scenery in Ireland.
Stay at: Carrig Country House
13. Hike the Howth Head trail
Walk the picturesque coastal walk at Howth Head, Co. Dublin. Whether you wish to enjoy a gentle stroll on the Pier or a more energetic hike on the unspoilt Cliff Path, the trails of Howth Head have walks to suit all.
After working up an appetite, dine in the King Sitric restaurant and enjoy panoramic sea views, warm hospitality along with fresh local seafood accompanied by a well-deserved pre-dinner drink in their Wine Cellar.
Visit: The King Sitric
14. Visit a Sky Garden
Designed and constructed under the close observation of famed Artist, James Turrell, The Irish Sky Garden or Crater gives the viewer a totally unique opportunity to admire and enjoy the ‘celestial vault’. Turrell, considered the greatest American Land Art Artist, has turned the Crater into a massive naked – eye observatory. The sky is his studio. The ‘Vault Purchase’ (stone plinth) is designed for two lying toe to toe, their necks resting on the ‘Neck Roll’ allowing them to view this amazing framing of the Irish Sky.
Stay at: Liss Ard Estate
15. Attend Taste of Donegal Food Festival
23rd to 25th August
Ideally located on the pier in Donegal town, the Taste of Donegal festival will feature delectable food and drink from over 120 different exhibitors from Donegal and further afield in Ireland and the UK. Guests at the festival can enjoy food tasting, demonstrations, music, fireworks and much more.
Featuring demonstrations from celebrated chefs from several Blue Book properties.
More information and the full programme can be found on the Taste of Donegal
16. Trek & Trail at Mount Juliet
Whatever your level, Mount Juliet is a rider’s paradise, with a wide variety of pasture, park and woodland. Their highly-trained and experienced instructors, along with their excellent facilities, allow them to cater for groups and individuals of all abilities, with activities to satisfy their ambitions and expectations.
Stay at: Mount Juliet Estate
17. Catch some waves in Lahinch
Whether you are a natural in the water or need just that little bit of help, Lahinch caters for all levels, from beginner to expert surfers. Enjoy what is left of the sunshine and catch those beachy waves in Lahinch this summer. After having spent enough time in the Atlantic, make your way to Moy house where you will be guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome. From the aroma of home baking on arrival to the kitchen being open for all guests during their stay, Moy certainly reflects being a true "home from home" with splendid evenings spent overlooking the sun as it sets over Lahinch Bay.
Stay at: Moy House
18. Dip into Vitality at the Park Hotel Kenmare
The beautiful and rugged southwest of Ireland is a must-see region for visitors, as well as a popular getaway destination for people throughout the country. The Park Hotel Kenmare set in a heavenly location overlooking Kenmare Bay the hotel is in the heart of Ireland’s most scenic countryside. Home to the Deluxe Destination Spa SÁMAS; guests can experience the virtues of a true spa. Take a dip in their breath-taking Outdoor Heated Vitality Pool with its infinity edge and views over Kenmare Bay.
Stay at: The Park Hotel Kenmare
19. Cruise down the Shannon with The Shannon Princess
The Shannon Princess is a luxury boutique hotel barge cruising the river Shannon in Ireland. Family run and with a professional crew, the Shannon Princess is the perfect way to explore what the river and her loughs have to offer. Guests on board will enjoy all the indulgent comforts of their own private ﬂoating luxury hotel, an unforgettable experience that will create memories forever. Cruises are of a 6 night / 7 day duration, which can be booked by the cabin or as an exclusive Charter for up to 10 guests.
Stay at: The Shannon Princess
20. Dine Al Fresco at the Wineport Lodge
Wineport Lodge began life as a restaurant way back in 1993, and as their reputation for great food grew, the Lodge as it is today grew around it. Today the dining room is still the beating heart of the Lodge and attracts foodies from far and wide to visit. Rustic in style, unpretentious and always generous on the plate… at Wineport Lodge you’re in for a dining treat. The aromas from the kitchen and the bright hearty dishes draw you in. Then the uninterrupted lake views and natural styling beg you to stay a while. Whether for a relaxing break, a lunch to linger over or a dinner that brings the whole gang together, you’ll find food you’ll love.
Stay at: The Wineport Lodge