- Your A to Z Guide of Le­in­ster

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - CONTENTS -

A - is for ... Art

With three ma­jor art col­leges in the cap­i­tal, it’s easy to see why Dublin bus­tles with cre­ativ­ity. The Dou­glas Hyde Gallery is nes­tled in the arts block of Trinity Col­lege, its mod­ern in­te­rior lend­ing a per­fect back­drop to the fab­u­lously cu­rated col­lec­tions, which don its walls.

On the other end of the spec­trum, Block T are artists who met in col­lege and show­case emerg­ing artists from their ware­house space in Smith­field. The Hugh Lane is as much a mu­seum as it is a space – it has to be seen to be be­lieved. www.dou­glashy­de­gallery.com www.blockt.ie www.hugh­lane.ie B - is for ... Brú na Bóinne

Brú na Bóinne refers to the area of land that is home to the three well-known large pas­sage tombs, Knowth, New­grange and Dowth, built some 5,000 years ago in the Ne­olithic or Late Stone Age.

The Brú na Bóinne Vis­i­tor Cen­tre is the only ac­cess point to New­grange and Knowth, which lie north of the river. All tours of New­grange start at the cen­tre, be­fore vis­i­tors cross the river via a foot­bridge and are brought by shut­tle bus to the mon­u­ments. www.her­itageire­land.ie C - is for ... Car­low Gar­den Trail

The Car­low Gar­den Trail cur­rently fea­tures twenty-one dif­fer­ent gar­den­ing at­trac­tions with an ad­di­tional three gar­dens in the sur­round­ing coun­ties of Kil­dare and Wex­ford.

The trail takes in great old gar­dens that have been lov­ingly re­stored and main­tained through­out the years, and smaller gar­dens, which are ma­tur­ing beau­ti­fully with time. www.car­low­tourism.com D - is for ... Dublin City

Spend a day wan­der­ing the streets of Dublin to soak up the at­mos­phere of a city that ex­udes cos­mopoli­tan vibes. Take break­fast at a street-side café just off Grafton Street and in­dulge in a spot of peo­ple watch­ing be­fore a bout of re­tail ther­apy.

Wan­der through Dublin Cas­tle and City Hall be­fore stop­ping for a slice of cake and a cof­fee to ready your­self for some thrift shop­ping in Tem­ple Bar. Stop for a pint in Gro­gans be­fore din­ner, and leave the city sat­is­fied that you’ve done it jus­tice. E - is for ... East­ern Drive

Drive east to west across the Wick­low moun­tains and ex­pe­ri­ence the Sally Gap in all her glory.

This drive pro­vides some of the best lake and moun­tain scenery that’s not too far from the coast­line. It’s really near Dublin so a great trip if you are bas­ing your­self there. F - is for ... Food Tour

Take a Fab Food Trail in Dublin where over 3 hours you’ll visit seven or eight dif­fer­ent restau­rants to sam­ple the food that is set­ting the culi­nary tone.

As you en­joy the food, you’ll also learn a lit­tle about the cul­ture and his­tory of this lively and charm­ing city from your lo­cal guide. www.fab­food­trails.ie G - is for ... Guin­ness Store­house

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, you don’t need to bring a non-Ir­ish per­son to en­joy the Guin­ness Store­house. This fan­tas­tic tour cul­mi­nates with pints of the black stuff in the top floor Grav­ity Bar, which has the best panoramic views of the city you can get. www.guin­ness-store­house.com

H - is for ... Howth

This sea­side town is a DART ride away from the city cen­tre and is a great way to brush off the ur­ban hus­tle and bus­tle.

Grab a fish and chips and take a walk on the pier, where if you’re lucky, you’ll catch the daily visit from Howth’s res­i­dent seal pop­u­la­tion.

H - is for ... Jame­son Dis­tillery

The new look Jame­son Dis­tillery is of­fer­ing three fully guided ex­pe­ri­ences at the mo­ment; Bow St. Ex­pe­ri­ence, The Whiskey Mak­ers and The Whiskey Shak­ers - all of which have a firm fo­cus on im­mer­sive sto­ry­telling. If you like whiskey, you’ll like this! www.jameson­whiskey.com

I - is for ... Is­lands

From Dalkey Is­land to Ire­land’s Eye, the East Coast is home to lots of lit­tle is­lands, most of which are ac­ces­si­ble via pri­vate boat trips dur­ing the sum­mer months.

Dalkey is­land is home to a colony of seals and a fam­ily of black rab­bits, which are in­creas­ing year on year.

K - is for ... Kil­dare Vil­lage Out­let

Re­tail mag­pies must make a pit stop at Kil­dare Vil­lage while on their Le­in­ster-bound stay­ca­tion.

With over ninety brands like Louise Kennedy, Mul­berry, Anya Hind­march and Diane Von Fursten­berg, all at heav­ily dis­counted prices, sure it would be rude not to!

L - is for ... Leprechaun and Fairy Cav­ern

Ex­plore the mag­nif­i­cent un­der­ground Leprechaun and Fairy Cav­ern in Car­ling­ford where vis­i­tors have the chance to hunt fairies and lep­rechauns with the help of ex­pe­ri­enced Leprechaun vis­i­tors. Do not miss this unique ex­pe­ri­ence! www.the­lastleprechauns ofire­land.com

M - is for ... Monas­tic City

Glen­dalough city con­sists of a num­ber of monas­tic re­mains in Glen­dalough, County Wick­low. The round tower and sur­round­ing ru­ins form early Chris­tian monas­tic set­tle­ment, which was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th cen­tury.

Once you have vis­ited the ru­ins, be sure to take a walk around the stun­ning lakes of Glen­dalough, all of which are ex­tremely buggy-friendly.

N - is for ... Na­tional Her­itage Park

The Ir­ish Na­tional Her­itage Park in Wex­ford is a fab­u­lous jour­ney through 9000 years of Ir­ish his­tory in an out­door mu­seum. Build a house of wat­tle, pan for gold or just chill out with a cof­fee be­side the lake while the kids play on one of two ad­ven­ture play­grounds. www.irish­her­itage.ie

O - is for ... Off the Beaten Track

Pack a pic­nic and head for Castle­comer Dis­cov­ery Park in Kilkenny where a huge amount of fam­ily friendly ac­tiv­i­ties are spread across an 80-acre wood­land.

Think pedal boats and for­est arts and craft ses­sions with a bril­liant zip line thrown in for good mea­sure. www.dis­cov­ery­park.ie

P - is for ... Per­for­mance

While in Dublin book in for a show at one of the city’s many the­atres. From the Abbey to Smock Al­ley, there is some­thing for ev­ery­one on, pretty much ev­ery day.

If your evenings are too pre­cious to cope with any­thing too artsy, then catch a lunchtime show at Bew­leys Café Theatre on Grafton Street. www.be­w­leyscafethe­atre.com

Q - is for ... Queen for a Day at Pow­er­scourt

Ex­pe­ri­ence what it must have been like to live like roy­alty with a visit to the splen­dif­er­ous Pow­er­scourt Es­tate in Wick­low.

The old house has been re­stored and is now home to some very fancy stores, the gar­dens are where the real lux­ury hap­pens.

Chan­nel your in­ner Jane Austen and per­am­bu­late around these sump­tu­ous gar­dens for an hour’s con­sti­tu­tional. www.pow­er­scourt.com

R - is for ... Rac­ing

Take a day off and head rac­ing in Kil­dare. With three ma­jor cour­ses in the county, this is the place to see and be seen. Don your frock and hat and get your bet­ting slips ready. www.goracinginkil­dare.ie

S - is for ... Sword

Take the Ex­cal­ibur Drive while in Wick­low. This drive is based around the north of the county, and is 42 miles round trip.

It passes through var­i­ous towns and vil­lages in which the film Ex­cal­ibur was filmed. This Drive starts and fin­ishes in the town of Round­wood.

T - is for ... Tee-Off

From Car­ton House to Druid’s Glen to the K Club, Le­in­ster is home to world-class golf cour­ses.

Bet­ter still, most of these golf cour­ses have an ad­join­ing ho­tel with an ad­join­ing spa.

U - is for ... Uis­neach

Visit the seat of the Kings of Ire­land at Uis­neach in West Meath. One of Ire­land’s most sa­cred sites, peo­ple travel from all over the world to come here, and it’s easy to see why – it’s his­tor­i­cal roots go all the way back to the iron age.

V - is for ... Vik­ing Splash

There is no bet­ter fun for small peo­ple vis­it­ing Dublin than a trip on the Vik­ing Splash tour. An hour and a half spent ca­reen­ing around the city scar­ing the be­jay­sus out of tourists be­fore a small

boat-ride on the Lif­fey – what more could you want? www.vikingsplash.com

W - is for ... Wells House & Gar­den

This Vic­to­rian house and gar­dens in Wex­ford is ex­tremely fam­ily friendly, with a great café and a won­der­ful play­ground on site. www.well­shouse.ie

X - is for ... Christ­mas

Jer­point Abbey in Kilkenny is meant to house the re­mains of Santa Claus him­self. The le­gend goes that an abbey needed to be con­structed to house St. Ni­cholas’ re­mains and that such abbey is the Cis­ter­cian one at Jer­point. Don’t be­lieve us – check it out for your­self!

Y - is for ... Yurt

Glamp in a yurt with a wood burn­ing stove dur­ing your stay­ca­tion this year. With glamp­ing sites across the prov­ince, there is a huge amount of choice. We rec­om­mend choos­ing the one with the fan­ci­est bed linen.

Z - is for ... Zoo

There is noth­ing like a visit to Dublin Zoo to warm the cock­les of your heart. Whether you love watch­ing the mon­keys swing from branch to branch or those el­e­gant gi­raffes am­bling about their en­clo­sure, never for­get that as a par­ent, you are likely to spend most of the day in one of the zoo’s amaz­ing play­grounds than any­where. www.dublin­zoo.ie

The Welling­ton Mon­u­ment, Phoenix Park, Dublin

O’Con­nell Bridge, Dublin city

A Vic­to­rian Gar­den, Co. Wex­ford

Glamp­ing in Co. Wick­low

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