Discover the delights on Dublin's doorstep
If you’re thinking of visiting Ireland this summer, go beyond the typical tourist trail and discover the delights on Dublin’s doorstep.
Some of the country’s best festivals, events and fabulous hotels can be found outside the capital, yet within easy reach thanks to excellent access, ensuring a scenic drive is an enjoyable part of the trip. Fly to Dublin from a choice of 25 UK airports or hop on a ferry and take your own car to explore this breathtaking landscape.
Stay at Wineport Lodge; a boutique hotel just an hour from Dublin in the heart of the Irish lakelands, and you’ll discover a serene sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle, whilst still enjoying all the first class comfort that cosmopolitan travellers expect – from the L’Occitane toiletries and underfloor heating to the rooftop hot tub and the acclaimed cuisine. Wineport Lodge sits on the edge of County Westmeath, just outside the charming town of Athone, and offers the perfect base for discovering a different side of Ireland.
Book a blissful summer escape and if you’re looking to get a taste of authentic Irish culture, here are five fantastic events which are all within 90 minutes drive:
Galway Races Summer Festival - 24th to 31st July
Visit this popular racing festival which attracts 200,000 visitors over seven days with a mixture of flat and national hunt racing. Stay at Wineport Lodge just 40 minutes drive away and enjoy a glass of Champagne on arrival to get you into the spirit.
Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival - 5th to 12th August 2011
This annual week-long festival, just under an hour away, takes place throughout Birr village and offers a host of fun activities for all the family – from vintage car shows and flower festivals to children’s treasure hunts and dance classes.
Electric Picnic - 2nd to 4th September
Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury may not be as big but it’s certainly got some seriously huge performers with Pulp, the Chemical Brothers and Arcade Fire headlining this year. The festival takes place on the Stradbally Estate in County Laois, less than 90 minutes drive from Wineport, and you can still buy a day pass to visit on Sunday at just 99 Euro.
Galway International Oyster Festival - 22nd to 25th September
A gourmet festival which dates back to 1954, this promises a great day out, with a parade, oyster tasting and the World Oyster-Opening Championships, all under an hour away.
41st Irish Hot Air Balloon championships - 25th to 30th September
This event will take your breath away as you watch the sky fill with hot air balloons over Birr Castle, the regal estate of the Parsons family which is an easy 50 minute drive from Wineport Loge, taking in some charming towns along the way.
Enjoy two nights at Wineport Lodge this summer for £225 per person* including stylish accommodation in a deluxe lakeview room, full Irish breakfast each morning and one dinner in the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, valid until 30th September 2011. To book visit: wineport.ie
Fly to Dublin from as little as £19.99**.
*Based on rate of exchange at date of issue, subject to fluctuation.
**Based on travel with Aer Lingus from Gatwick, valid until 31st October 2011. Price includes taxes and charges. See aerlingus.com.