Ireland’s August Bank Holiday is fast approaching, which potentially means a long weekend of relaxation, time with family and friends, and opportunities to create experiences and memories to last a lifetime. For many it is an ideal time to explore more of Ireland, be it travelling further afield or somewhere closer to home. To help you plan a great weekend, below is a list of 12 Bank Holiday breaks to consider.
12 Bank Holiday Breaks to Experience across Ireland
1. Fermanagh Lakelands, County Fermanagh
Fermanagh’s Lakelands are particularly popular with those who enjoy the outdoors: whether it is a water-skiing on Lough Erne, hiking through the stunning Cuilcagh Mountain range, or cycling around its many lakes. What’s more, Fermanagh has a good selection of great restaurants within its main town of Enniskillen or at several restaurants based not far from the lakes.
Find out the latest Fermanagh based hotel deals and experience this beautiful part of Ireland.
2. Belfast City, County Antrim
Image courtesy of Tourism Ireland
For such a small city, Belfast manages to pack in a lot, from its impressive shops, pubs and bars to its incredible sights such as the Titanic Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast Castle and St George’s Market. When visiting the city just make sure to discover more of its past by riding aboard a city sightseeing tour bus or as a passenger in one of Belfast’s famous Black Taxi Tours. What’s more, Belfast has a thriving food scene that would rival any European city, including its two-Michelin-starred restaurants and a great variety of other restaurants and cafes.
Check out the latest hotels deals in Belfast today and get your Bank Holiday weekend booked in Belfast.
3. Skibbereen Arts Festival, County Cork
For a good dose of culture and entertainment over the Bank Holiday, Skibbereen Arts Festival is a must. The festival runs from 28 July to 6 August and has a programme filled with the best of arts, music, spoken word and theatre. The festival is catered to audiences of all ages and so guaranteed to keep all members of the family entertained throughout the weekend.
4. Castlepalooza, County Offaly
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Set in the historic and picturesque location of Charleville Castle in County Offaly, Castlepalooza is a festival with a difference. The 17th-Century castle provides a stunning backdrop for festival goers as they enjoy a wealth of alternative music and get to camp in tents underneath the stars. If wellies and good beats get you excited then this is clearly the weekend to go for this Bank Holiday.
5. Ballyshannon, County Donegal
Sat along the gorgeous northwest coast of Ireland, Ballyshannon is an easy choice for travellers looking to get away from their busy lives and position themselves among the great outdoors. An added bonus to being in Ballyshannon over the Bank Holiday is the opportunity to experience Ballyshannon Folk Festival which runs from 3th – 6th August.
6. Wild Atlantic Way
If you haven’t yet discovered some of the Wild Atlantic Way then the Bank Holiday could be as good a time as any to start chipping away at it. With 2,500 kilometres worth of coastline lying waiting, there are lots of memories to be had on a trip along this wondrous route along the west and northwest of Ireland. Stop at many jaw-dropping sights along the way, and, of course, for some Irish grub and a drink to keep you going on your journey.
7. Rockin’ Food Festival, County Wexford
On 4th-6th August the town of Enniscorthy will once again host its Rockin’ Food Festival, a festival filled with free food, live music and family fun. Kids’ activities include a Punch & Judy Show, treasure hunt and Afternoon Tea Party. For grownups, there is a magnificent ‘taste trail’ to trial different artisan food and drink, as well as a ‘gig trail’ to soak up the best of 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Check out the latest hotels deals in County Wexford during Rockin’ Food Festival
8. Skellig Michael, County Kerry
For a unique and memorable Bank Holiday, take an adventure to Skellig Michael, one of only three UNESCO sites located in Ireland. The Skellig Islands are said to have been used a refuge for the monks and it is believed they built a monastery on Skellig Michael (the largest of the islands) in the 6th Century. Hop on a boat tour either taking you around the islands or directly onto Skellig Michael, where it is possible to view remains of the monastery and other signs of monastic life up close.
Find out the latest hotel deals close to Skellig Michael and take a trip to other attractions nearby.
9. Spraoi Festival, County Waterford
Another festival to take place during the Bank Holiday is Spraoi Festival in County Waterford. The festival will preview street performance acts and performances from Ireland and around the world in Waterford City. This includes anything from contemporary to alternative dance, acrobatic acts to musical theatre.
Interested in spending the weekend at Spraoi? Check out Waterford’s latest hotel deals.
10. Game of Thrones Experience
For Game of Thrones fans, the idea of exploring film locations in Northern Ireland might be an exciting prospect. From the eerie setting of the Dark Hedges used by Arya Stark as an escape route from King’s Landing to the intriguing Shane Castle, which was the setting for the dungeons at King’s Landing.
Check out our Guide to Game of the Thrones locations and plan out your adventurous Bank Holiday road trip.
11. Digital Detox
Does the idea of switching off your phone and laptop all Bank Holiday weekend sound appealing? Or, is your brain telling you it’s a must? Why not take yourself away to the countryside or by the sea for the weekend and give yourself a break from modern technology. For instance, along the west coast of Ireland there are plenty of great hotels offering sea views and natural distractions that are likely to do wonders for mind, body and soul.
View the latest hotel deals in the southwest of Ireland and book your digital detox today.
Pick up a useful guide to the Wild Atlantic Way as part of our Drive Ireland series.
12. Derry City
The only completed walled city in Ireland, Derry is a must-visit city and perfect for a bank holiday break. It is not difficult to see why Derry was once named the UK City of Culture, with its craft village, cathedral and other impressive sights. Not to mention the historical gems exhibited withing the city’s Guildhall and Tower Museum. A walk along the city’s wall is obviously a must do and there are also several great tours available so visitors can bring themselves up to speed on the history of the city and its surrounding areas.
Find out the latest hotel deals in Derry City today and start planning your visit to the city.