Top Five Things to Do this August Bank Holiday Weekend
Monday 7th August is the last bank holiday of the summer season. That means the last long weekend to make the most of the relaxed days before kids go back to school. So what are you going to do this weekend? Here are five great suggestions which combine tourist appeal with great food!
1. Tour the Guinness Storehouse. Ireland’s number one visitor attraction tells the story of Arthur Guinness’s famous brew. Travel through the floors of this interactive exhibition space which charts the development of Guinness from its earliest days. At the top of this amazing building, which was the original brewery at St. James Gate in Dublin, you will find 1837 Bar & Brasserie at Guinness Storehouse.
Sample the signature dish of Beef & Guinness Stew with a glass of the famous original stout or its newer cousins. The Gravity Bar at Guinness Storehouse offers breathtaking panoramic views out over the city.
2. Visit the Cliffs of Moher. Ireland’s second biggest tourist attraction, bringing over a million visitors per year to see these magnificent cliffs with their sheer drop. A Signature Point on the Wild Atlantic Way, the cliffs take their name from old Gaelic word ‘Mothar’, meaning ‘ruin of a fort’. There is indeed the ruin of a fort on the cliffs. But O’Brien’s Tower is intact on the headland close to the highest point. Climb up into the battlements of the tower for a great view of the sheer faces of the cliffs stretching out in front of you.
Stats for the two thousand year old cliffs include their impressive length, covering of 8km (5 miles) of coastline, with a height of 214m (702ft) at their highest point. If the day is clear, from the top you could see Galway Bay and the Aran Islands and perhaps possibly the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Co. Kerry. After your visit, drop into the village of Lisdoonvarna to have a bite to eat at The Roadside Tavern or pick up some tasty nibbles from the deli at the Burren Smokehouse shop and Visitor Centre.
3. Go for a Walk in Co. Wicklow. Known as The Garden of Ireland, Co. Wicklow has some of the most beautiful countryside in Ireland. Glendalough in the Wicklow National Park is stunning. Its name means ‘Valley of the Two lakes’ taken from the upper and lower lake which make up this scenic spot. Views here are spectacular. Take a woodland trail through the Glendalough Wood Nature Reserve and you might be lucky enough to see the wildlife that inhabits this area. Take in the fresh air and enjoy nature at its best.
4. Drive the Ring of Kerry. One of Ireland’s most famous road drives, this circular route travels from Killarney around the magnificent countryside and coastline of Kerry, back to Killarney again. You can travel it in either direction but a point to note is that tour coaches always travel anti-clockwise on the Ring of Kerry, so it might be as well to go the opposite way to avoid getting stuck behind one this time of year!
Whichever way you go, the Wild Atlantic Way on the Ring of Kerry wanders through many coastal villages, hitting Daniel O’Connell country in Cahirciveen, and the seaside town of Waterville. You’ll also pass through the inland village of Sneem and get some fantastic photo ops on the road through Killarney National Park and the lakes of Killarney, taking in Lady’s View and the impressive Torc Waterfall. Check out QC’s Seafood Restaurant in Caherciveen. Just outside Waterville, which is a favourite haunt of Bill Clinton for the world class links golf course, you’ll find The Smuggler’s Inn where Henry Hunt cooks up a feast in the kitchen, served in the conservatory style restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
5. Walk in the footsteps of a movie star on Curracloe Beach in Co. Wexford. Actress Saoirse Ronan visited this beach in one of the scenes in the movie Brooklyn, about a young Irish woman’s emigration to New York in the 1950’s. Curracloe has remained a timeless attraction for locals in Wexford, a favourite of swimmers, dog walkers, runners and families with kids. A brisk walk along the soft sand is a great way to get your exercise this bank holiday weekend. And you will feel mighty hungry afterwards.