TRAVEL FACTS

Vacations & Travel - - Armchair Travel -

GET­TING THERE

There’s now a clear choice for the eas­i­est route to Ire­land from Aus­tralia. Eti­had Air­ways of­fers services from across Aus­tralia into Abu Dhabi from where there are twice-daily di­rect flights into Dublin. eti­had.com

GET­TING AROUND

Much of the joy of Ire­land is in small, out-of-the-way places. You’ll need a car to reach them. All the reg­u­lar rental op­er­a­tors are in Ire­land, in­clud­ing Dublin Air­port so shop around. When de­vis­ing an itin­er­ary ex­pect to av­er­age a much slower speed on nar­row Ir­ish lanes than you would at home.

WHEN TO GO

Ire­land can be de­light­ful out­side the peak sum­mer sea­son. It’s also har­vest time. In 2017, the Fes­ti­val Lough Erne, a cel­e­bra­tion of the best of lo­cal Fer­managh county food, was held in Septem­ber on the grounds of 600-year-old En­niskillen Cas­tle. fes­ti­val­lough­erne.com

WHERE TO STAY

• Belle Isle Cas­tle is a 190-ha es­tate spread over eight is­lands that dates back to the 12th cen­tury. There’s a range of overnight op­tions — from stay­ing in the cas­tle it­self to self-cater­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion in cot­tages. There’s also an ex­cel­lent on-site cook­ing school. belle-isle.com

• Crom Cas­tle is a grand cas­tle that you may recog­nise as Bland­ings in the 2013 se­ries of the same name based on the P. G. Wode­house book and star­ring Jen­nifer Saun­ders. You can rent the West Wing for a self-cater­ing stay or call on the Earl of Erne to stay in his pri­vate halls and be shown the lo­cal sights by the Earl him­self. It’s not cheap but it comes with but­ler ser­vice. crom­cas­tle.com

GAME OF THRONES

If you are one of the many fas­ci­nated by Game of Thrones you may wish to down­load the Game of Thrones lo­ca­tions app onto your phone and visit some of the many sites in North­ern Ire­land seen in the se­ries. The se­ries head­quar­ters is down in the Ti­tanic Quar­ter in Belfast City Cen­tre.

FUR­THER INFORMATION

• Tourism Ire­land: ire­land.com

• CIE Tours: ci­e­tours.com

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