With Easter quickly approaching, and a long weekend ahead for many of us, thoughts will soon be turning to things to do over the Easter break. From days out with the family to weekend breaks or even a night away, Easter presents the chance to get a well-deserved break. If you’re currently thinking of a mini break over the Easter period but are stuck for ideas, here are seven staycations that could see you hopping in your car and setting off to explore a little bit more of Ireland.
7 Irish Staycations to Consider This Easter
1. Knock, Co. Mayo
Top of the list for many over Easter is a trip to Mayo and the town of Knock to visit the Knock Shrine. With a busy Easter service scheduled from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday, a visit to Ireland’s national shrine will provide a great opportunity for personal reflection and prayer. A popular destination for over one million visitors from all over the world each year, Knock Shrine is a must see for anyone currently living in Ireland and needs to be on any Irish travel bucket list. If you make the trip to Knock this Easter, be sure to make the pilgrimage trek up Croagh Patrick, and if you’re feeling brave, join the masses of people who have trekked it barefoot over the years. A visit to Knock Museum is also a must, as here you will discover the wonderful story of the Knock sighting from 1879. For more information on Knock Shrine, and to find out about upcoming pilgrimages in April, visit www.knockshrine.ie.
2. Trim, Co. Meath
If you’re looking for something a little different this Easter, Trim in Co. Meath could be just what you are after. With plenty to see and do in the town including Trim Cathedral, Trim Castle and Yellow Tower and Steeple, a trip to this historic heritage town could be the perfect base for a couple of days of exploration along Ireland’s Ancient East. With Boyne Valley a short drive away, and Fairyhouse Racecourse under 30km away, staying in Trim town will have you perfectly placed to head off and explore more of Meath. For racing fans, a trip to the Irish National on Easter Monday at Fairyhouse is a must, while the prehistoric site at Newgrange is also only 30km away. Find out more about what is happening over the Easter period in Trim.
3. Sligo Town, Sligo
We recently provided a foodie guide to visiting Sligo, and the popular Sligo Food Trail is just one reason to get along to Ireland’s west coast this Easter. From the clear waters of Glencar Lake, Lough Gill, Lough Bo and Lough Arrow, to the impressive Dartry Mountains and Benbulbin, Sligo provides a staycation that will really awaken the senses. While the food trail will captivate your palette, it’s the variety of outdoor activities and walks that really deliver and make Sligo a must-visit Irish holiday destination. If long walks with amazing scenery and stunning backdrops isn’t your cup of tea (we’re not sure why this would be the case), you can always relax by the beach, with the blue flag beach at Rosses Point worth visiting. For the more adventurous among you, surfing at Strandhill or Mullaghmore needs to be high on your list of things to do. Whatever you choose to do, one thing’s for sure – a trip to Sligo this Easter will leave you wanting more. Find more information on Easter events in County Sligo.
4. Waterford City
Did you know that Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, having been founded by the Vikings in AD 914? For a mix of culture and heritage in equal measure, consider Waterford City for a short break this Easter. Home of the Viking Triangle, Waterford City has plenty to offer, with Reginald’s Tower, The Medieval Museum and The Bishop’s Palace all providing great insight into the city’s historic past and Viking ties. With the House of Waterford Crystal, quaint shops and a great selection of pubs, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in Ireland’s oldest city.
You can also escape from the city during the day and head along the coast to the popular towns of Tramore, Ardmore and Dungarvan, to try out something a little more adventurous like surfing or kayaking. The county also has a stunning range of gardens and stately homes to explore, so whether you visit Waterford City or want to consider one of the many popular towns in the region, you’re sure to have a great time. Check out what’s on in Waterford over the Easter break.
5. Cashel, Co. Tipperary
Escape from it all this Easter by heading to the historic town of Cashel in Tipperary, another popular spot on Ireland’s Ancient East. The town of Cashel will provide you with plenty of options to delve deep into Ireland’s history, with the Rock of Cashel, Cashel Folk Village, Cashel Heritage Centre and Hore Abbey transporting you back in time and telling the story of Ireland from days gone by. Continue this exploration into Ireland’s ancient past by visiting the town of Cahir and Cahir Castle, and Holy Cross Abbey near Thurles. For a real scenic trip this Easter set off in your car and drive around the picturesque Lough Derg. See what is on this Easter in Tipperary.
6. Killaloe, Co. Clare
Another heritage town, the picturesque town of Killaloe lies on the border between Tipperary and Clare and is a great base for exploring the sheer beauty that Clare has to offer. From exploring the stunning Lough Derg by boat to visiting the ancient seat of Ireland’s most famous High King, Brian Boru, Killaloe has plenty to offer. If the weather graces us this Easter break, relaxing in the tranquillity of Lough Derg with a drink at Flanagan’s on the Lake is hard to top. Take yourself out of Killaloe for the day and explore the natural beauty that Clare has to offer, with the Cliffs of Moher and The Burren attracting visitors throughout the year, although it’s easy to see why. For a trip to the coast, look no further than Listowel where you can try your hand at surfing if you’re feeling up to the challenge.
7. Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Our final suggestion is the town of Athlone, which lies in the heart of the country. Another town on Ireland’s Ancient East drive, Athlone will have you well placed to explore one of Ireland’s most famous monastic sites this Easter at Clonmacnoise. For a driving route to enjoy, set off and explore Lough Ree, home to the legendary Lough Ree Monster, and when it comes to entertainment look no further than Ireland’s oldest bar, Sean’s Pub, which is located in Athlone. Athlone also leaves you well placed to get out and explore the centre of Ireland with Offaly, Roscommon and Longford, while Athlone Castle and Luan Gallery will keep you occupied in Athlone town itself. Find out more about what’s on in Athlone this Easter.
Plan Your Easter Staycation Today
Images © Fáilte Ireland