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Ireland’s Best: New Activities and Cherished Favorites 

Ireland’s Best: New Activities and Cherished Favorites 

Ireland is seeing a surge in new sights alongside its famous traditional events. The Ireland’s Ancient East Maze at Skypark, now the biggest wooden maze in Ireland, is a hit, with paths that change every time you visit.

Older traditions aren’t forgotten either. Summer starts with the Bealtaine festival, full of fire and dance, and the Puck Fair still makes a goat a king for a day every August.

In 2022, around 13 million people enjoyed Irish attractions like these, and the maze alone has hundreds of great reviews, proving that Ireland’s mix of the new and the time-honored is a big success.

Kiss the Blarney Stone

One of the most iconic and popular things to do in Ireland is to kiss the Blarney Stone at the top of Blarney Castle in County Cork. According to legend, anyone who kisses the stone will be endowed with the gift of eloquence, or the ability to speak persuasively and charmingly. To kiss the stone, visitors have to lie down and lower themselves over the edge of the castle’s battlements, which can be a thrilling experience in itself.

The Blarney Stone is not the only attraction at Blarney Castle, however. Visitors can also explore the castle’s history and architecture, as well as the beautiful gardens and grounds that surround it.

There are several trails and walks that visitors can follow, such as the Rock Close, the Fern Garden, and the Poison Garden, where they can see plants that are used for medicinal or deadly purposes. Visitors can also visit the Blarney House, a Scottish baronial-style mansion that dates back to the 18th century and is still inhabited by the descendants of the original owners.

Learn to Pour the Perfect Pint of Guinness

Guinness is Ireland’s most famous export and the most popular beer on the Emerald Isle. The dark stout has a distinctive flavor and appearance, and there is a special technique for pouring it correctly.

Visitors can visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, where they can take a tour of the brewery and its history and then try their hand at the art of pulling a pint.

The Guinness Storehouse is not just a brewery but also a museum and an attraction that celebrates the culture and heritage of Ireland. Visitors can see exhibits and displays that showcase the history of Guinness, its advertising campaigns, its ingredients, and its impact on society.

Visitors can also enjoy interactive experiences, such as tasting different varieties of Guinness, learning how to pair it with food, and even creating their personalized bottles. The highlight of the visit is the Gravity Bar, where visitors can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness and a panoramic view of Dublin.

Drive the Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Atlantic Way, a 1,550-mile long route that stretches along the west coast of Ireland, from Kinsale in County Cork to the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, is loved by all visitors. The route passes by some of the most stunning landscapes and seascapes that Ireland has to offer, as well as charming villages, historic sites, and cultural attractions.

The Wild Atlantic Way is divided into six regions, each with its character and highlights. Visitors can explore the Southern Peninsulas, where they can see the Skellig Islands, the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula.

Visitors can visit the Cliff Coast, where they can marvel at the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and the Aran Islands. Visitors can discover the Bay Coast, where they can enjoy the beaches, islands, and mountains of Galway, Mayo, and Sligo. Visitors can experience the Surf Coast, where they can surf, kayak, and kiteboard in the Atlantic waves.

Visitors can admire the Northern Headlands, where they can see the Donegal Highlands, the Slieve League Cliffs, and the Glenveagh National Park. Visitors can reach the end of the route at the Inishowen Peninsula, where they can witness the Northern Lights and the Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland.

Play Online Casino Games

One of the newest and most exciting things to do in Ireland is to play online casino games, where visitors can have fun and win money from the comfort of their own homes or hotel rooms.

Online casinos are websites or apps that offer a variety of casino games, such as slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, and more, that visitors can play with real money or for free. Online casinos are legal and regulated in Ireland, and visitors can find many reputable and trustworthy sites that cater to Irish players.

Playing Ireland online casinos games can be a great way to relax and enjoy themselves, as well as to test their skills and luck.

Visitors can choose from hundreds of games that suit their preferences and budget, and they can also benefit from bonuses, promotions, and rewards that online casinos offer their customers. Visitors can also play online casino games on their mobile devices, which means they

Eat Like a King in a Castle

Ireland is home to many castles that date back to medieval times and reflect the rich and turbulent history of the country. Some of these castles have been converted into hotels, restaurants, or museums, where visitors can experience a taste of the past and enjoy royal treatment.

The best place to enjoy a medieval banquet is Bunratty Castle in County Clare, a 15th-century fortress restored to its former glory. Here, visitors can join the Earl of Thomond and his guests for a four-course meal accompanied by wine, mead, and entertainment by the castle’s musicians, singers, and dancers.

Visitors can also explore the castle’s rooms and halls, as well as the folk park that surrounds it, where they can see replicas of rural cottages, farmhouses, and shops from the 19th century.

Learn about Ireland’s Emigration at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Ireland has a long and complex history of emigration, as millions of Irish people left their homeland over the centuries for various reasons, such as famine, war, oppression, or opportunity. The Irish diaspora has spread worldwide and has contributed to the culture, society, and history of many countries.

Visitors can visit EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin, a state-of-the-art interactive museum that showcases the impact of the Irish people on the world.

EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, is located in the vaults of the CHQ building, a former warehouse used to store goods and ship passengers during the 19th century. One of Ireland’s best museums consists of 20 themed galleries that cover different aspects of the Irish emigration, such as the causes, the journeys, the destinations, the challenges, and the legacies.

Visitors can see exhibits and displays that feature personal stories, historical facts, artifacts, documents, and multimedia presentations. Visitors can also participate in interactive activities, such as tracing their Irish ancestry, creating their passport, and sending a digital postcard.

EPIC Ireland - Ireland's Best: New Activities and Cherished Favorites

Summary

Ireland is a country that will surprise and delight visitors with its variety and charm. It is a country that has a rich and fascinating history, a vibrant and diverse culture, and a stunning and scenic landscape.

It is a country that offers many activities and attractions that will appeal to different tastes and preferences and create lasting memories. Ireland is a country worth visiting, and that will make visitors want to return again and again.

Bellinter House Hotel & Spa – Hotel Review

Bellinter House Hotel & Spa – Hotel Review

I had some business in County Meath and having looked at all the options Bellinter House Hotel was perfect for what I needed. I prefer quieter hotels and because Bellinter House sits on the south bank of the River Boyne this was perfect as a location. This beautiful Georgian mansion was built about 1750, about 7 years before Mount Juliet where I once worked. Richard Castle designed the house for John Preston, grandfather of the first Lord Tara. This 18th-century Georgian house is located in the heart of the Boyne Valley, about 30 minutes from Dublin, and for me, it is just over 2 hours from Waterford.

I have stayed here 5 times now and every time I have had a wonderful stay. The staff are wonderful and the house is set on beautiful grounds it looks wonderful in the mornings when you are heading to breakfast.

The Rooms at Bellinter House Hotel

Bellinter House Hotel has 41 bedrooms and there are several different room types in Bellinter House each with a different style. I have stayed in the Deluxe Rooms which are located in The Ruins beside The Bathhouse Spa. The room has lovely touches like wood floorboards, vintage furniture, and some extra touches that add character. The rooms have everything which I need and on my second visit to the hotel, there were chocolates in my room with a nice hand-written message. My only criticism is that the lighting in the room is a little dimmer than I would prefer. The rooms have nice showers and on one occasion I had a very nice deep bath, however, I was so busy on that evening I never had a chance to try it.

 

Dining

I ate a few times in The Library, The Study, or the Drawing Rooms. I have had the Burger which is served with chips and it was amazing. I also had the fish and chips which was very good also. 
Breakfast is served in Preston’s from 8am and it is one of the best breakfasts I have had. The only thing I would personally like is a slightly earlier breakfast service.  

 

Hotel Location

Bellinter House is located approximately 7kms south of Navan town in Co. Meath and about 40/45 minutes from Dublin airport. For me, it was only 23 minutes from The hotel has plenty of parking on the grounds.

 

Bedrooms at Bellinter House Hotel
Sunrise at Bellinter House Hotel
Food at Bellinter House Hotel

Conclusion

It is my defacto hotel to stay in County Meath and I hope to continue to come here for all my future stays in the Meath area. The staff are wonderful, the sleep is peaceful, the rooms are comfortable, the breakfasts are fantastic, the food is delicious and the area is just so quiet and peaceful. Just perfect.

 

Website: https://www.bellinterhouse.com/

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More Hotel Reviews will be added soon.

Ireland’s Storytelling Legacy is Fueling the World of Film, TV, & Games

Ireland’s Storytelling Legacy is Fueling the World of Film, TV, & Games

Ireland has a rich storytelling tradition and a history of creative excellence, which has helped to cultivate it as a major influence in modern media, punching well above its weight in multiple categories. For decades, Ireland has been a popular choice for film and television productions, and in recent times, the same has proven true for both video and casino games. From the silver screen to the latest in cutting-edge slots, the cultural influence of the Emerald Isle can be felt.

Film

There’s no shortage of Ireland on the silver screen, including some all-time great movies. One that could have easily been a disaster due to the extensive stereotyping (but turned out rather well) was 1959’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Although live-action Disney films are ten a penny these days, back then, this was something of a novelty. The genuinely frightening banshee villain offsets leprechauns and Celtic undertones. Another great highlight is the sharp-witted chemistry between Darby O’Gill and the king of the leprechauns. The film also features Sean Connery, before he hit the big time as James Bond.

The 1950s also saw The Quiet Man (1952), with John Wayne as the lead in an unusual non-Western appearance. Wayne starred as a retired Irish American boxer returning to his roots only to fall for a fiery redhead played by Maureen O’Hara. The problem is her brother is less than enthused at the prospective romantic pairing, leading to a lengthy fistfight.

Into The West (1992) is a more recent entry with Irish travelers as the cultural backdrop. The grim premise, a pair of brothers living with an alcoholic father, is contrasted by the magical appearance of their grandfather on a white horse. When the horse is stolen, the boys head after it into the west, followed by their father, who was previously King of the Travellers. Redemption and magical realism make this a unique story.

Casino Games

The Irish storytelling tradition and culture have underpinned numerous efforts in entertainment genres, and casino games are no exception. Celtic Witches, leprechauns, the luck of the Irish, and pots of gold are common themes for slots in online casinos, up there with other dominant themes such as ancient Egypt and Norse mythology. From sound design to graphical choices, musical backdrops, and sound effects, Irish slots have a captivating narrative that transports players to the Emerald Isle for betting entertainment. The smartest way to play Irish slots is to take advantage of no deposit bonuses. It’s easy to learn how to play without depositing by consulting a reputable casino review site while making use of the best no deposit bonuses for Ireland. Free spins and free cash are the most common promo types, with free spins normally being tied to a single online casino slot and free cash usable on almost every game in a casino.

Video Games

The Viking influence in Ireland is something that should not be overlooked as numerous Irish settlements such as the oldest city of Waterford were founded by the Norse warriors. This led to an Irish flavor in the 2020 smash hit video game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. While primarily concerned with the axe-laden Viking visits to England, the Wrath of the Druids chapter features clan dynamics and Dublin-based action during the city’s earliest years.

Back in 2007, Folklore blended Irish mythology with the action RPG genre and featured a pair of protagonists. The small village of Doolin is hiding a secret that the player must seek to uncover by wandering the Netherworld in a story brimming with little nuggets of Irish cultural history and folklore. In the same way, many Irish slots are imbued with the culture of the Emerald Isle and can be played with no deposit bonus codes.

Point and click is a little old hat, but in 1996, Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars added an Irish element to this old-school genre. The setting includes Lochmarne, a fictional Irish village, and plenty of stereotypes with clever dialogue (such as dispelling the inaccuracy of the expression ‘top ‘o the morning’).

Television

One of the most entertaining instances of a television series set in Ireland is the classic comedy Father Ted, created by Graham Linehan. Although only 25 episodes, the show soon established (and maintains) a cult following thanks to its charming cast of priests and their housekeepers. Perfectly mingling comedy with nuance placed deeper meanings alongside amusing silliness. And, as a cherry on top of this televisual cake, the show had music by The Divine Comedy, including the classic My Lovely Horse.

Derry Girls started in 2018 and ran for three seasons. The story follows a quintet of teenagers living in mid-1990s Derry. This comedy put together a fictional storyline for the characters while referring to real events during the Troubles and the start of the Peace Process (another instance of putting together the profound and the daft).

From classic comedy to video games old and new, online slots to fantastic films, Irish culture has seeped into media across the board to excellent effect.

Loko Waterford – Dog Friendly​ Restaurant Waterford

Loko Waterford – Dog Friendly​ Restaurant Waterford

Loko Waterford, Restaurant Review: Dog-Friendly Restaurant, Waterford

Loko Waterford is located on the Dunmore Road about 10 minutes from Waterford city centre in Ireland. The restaurant is located on the same retail park as Ardkeen Quality Food Stores. Loko is quite a large restaurant which spans over three floors. The decor is very trendy indeed with lots of quirky and interesting items decorating everything from the ceiling to the lampshades. You will also find some great pieces of art hanging on the walls.

I had been to Loko a few times before but I recently heard that they allowed dogs. With the recent change of legislation in Ireland, more and more restaurants are allowing dogs inside. As a dog owner, this is great as there is no more having to leave the dog at home, eat in the freezing cold in the outside area of a restaurant or just having to eat a take away in the car (all because a restaurant won’t take a dog … well done to Loko on that stroke of genius). Some restaurants treat you as if you wanted to bring your pet rat inside … those restaurants need to change with the times! Some restaurants say ‘we are dog friendly’ and then put you in a covered outdoor area but Loko actually bring you inside.

 

Booking a Dog-Friendly Table at Loko

So we booked a table for 2 humans and one dog. On arrival, we were greeted and shown to the doggy friendly area downstairs. We were given a water bowl for the dog and menus. You will find lots on the menu for you to enjoy. I do like seafood, and there is normally quite a selection on their menu. On this occasion, we had the monkfish scampi and the roast chicken. The Roast Chicken was superb as it came on a bed of mash, with onion gravy and large dumpling style balls of delicious stuffing. The scampi was light and perfectly cooked with a really crunchy panko style coating. 

During the meal, the owner came down to see if our dog would like to try some doggy beer. “Bottom Sniffer” is an alcohol-free, non-carbonated doggy beer. Apparently, the label says that it is the ultimate doggy refreshment which will help make your dog the leader of the pack and will have other dogs sniffing their bottoms with jealousy! (a marketing text which would work for this beer but probably would not work for Budweiser)

Of course, we enjoyed dessert afterwards, Bread and Butter Pudding and a brownie as far as I recall.

Loko is a very trendy and very enjoyable place to eat, with a menu which will suit almost every diner and welcomes everyone, including the canine members of the family. We really enjoyed our meal and we will certainly be back again soon.

The only thing is that the portions are on the larger side and for me, I would need to be hungry, even for some of the brunch items. (but hey, that’s just me)

On other occasions I have also enjoyed the PoBoy Seafood Baguette, the Sting Onion Rings and also the most amazing cinnamon rolls with icing that you have ever tried in your life. The staff are very friendly and there is a lot to enjoy and savour at Loko Restaurant Waterford.

 

Loko – Photo Gallery 

Contact Loko Unit 1 Ardkeen Shopping Centre Dunmore Road Waterford Phone: 051 841 040 Twitter: @loko_ie Facebook: facebook.com/LokoWaterford Instagram: @lokowaterford

Loko, Ardkeen, Waterford

Loko, Ardkeen, Waterford

Exploring Dublin: Travel Tips and the Best Time to Visit for an Unforgettable Experience

Exploring Dublin: Travel Tips and the Best Time to Visit for an Unforgettable Experience

Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is a vibrant and historic destination that offers a blend of rich culture, fascinating history, and warm hospitality. From its charming streets lined with colorful Georgian houses to its lively pubs echoing traditional Irish music, Dublin promises an unforgettable experience for every traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, a literary enthusiast, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, here are some travel tips and the best time to visit Dublin to make the most of your trip.

Best Time to Visit Dublin

Dublin has a temperate maritime climate, meaning it experiences mild winters and cool summers. The best time to visit Dublin is during the summer months, from June to August when the weather is relatively warm and the city comes alive with festivals and outdoor events. However, keep in mind that summer is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. Properties around this time get snapped up quickly so being on the ball and booking early on a website like Rent Hero is a good way to go. The earlier the better as you will have a larger pick of apartments, houses, and rentals. If you prefer fewer tourists and lower rates, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) or autumn (September to October), when the weather is still pleasant.

Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is a vibrant and historic destination that offers a blend of rich culture, fascinating history, and warm hospitality.

Photo of Dublin Docklands, Luciann Photography, Canva.com 

Wander through Vibrant Neighborhoods

Dublin is a fascinating destination that boasts a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct charm and character, and is easily accessible. Exploring these vibrant districts allows you to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of Dublin’s cultural heritage. From the renowned cultural hub of Temple Bar to the bustling shopping district of Grafton Street and the bohemian quarter of Stoneybatter, there are countless neighborhoods waiting to be discovered. Here, we invite you to embark on a virtual tour of some of Dublin’s most captivating neighborhoods, unveiling their unique offerings and hidden gems.

Located in the heart of Dublin, Temple Bar is synonymous with the city’s vibrant nightlife and cultural scene. Its narrow cobbled streets are lined with traditional pubs, lively bars, and restaurants serving up hearty Irish fare. The district is famous for its lively atmosphere, particularly in the evenings when musicians fill the air with traditional Irish tunes. Explore the Temple Bar Cultural Quarter to immerse yourself in the city’s artistic and creative energy, with galleries, theaters, and street performances showcasing local talent.

As Dublin’s premier shopping district, Grafton Street attracts both locals and visitors alike with its bustling atmosphere and diverse retail offerings. This pedestrianized street is home to a myriad of shops, ranging from high-end boutiques to popular international brands. Take a leisurely stroll, pausing to appreciate the skilled street musicians who serenade passersby. Grafton Street is also dotted with charming cafes, perfect for a coffee break or indulging in a delicious treat while people-watching.

Experience Dublin’s Pub Culture

Immersing yourself in Dublin’s famous pub culture is an essential part of any visit to the city, as it offers a unique insight into the local way of life and provides an authentic Irish experience. No trip to Dublin is truly complete without stepping into one of the city’s traditional Irish pubs, where history, camaraderie, and the smooth pour of a perfectly crafted pint of Guinness come together to create an atmosphere that is both welcoming and unforgettable.

As you embark on your pub-hopping adventure, be sure to include iconic establishments such as The Brazen Head and The Palace Bar in your itinerary. The Brazen Head, renowned as one of Dublin’s oldest pubs, exudes an undeniable charm with its low ceilings, cozy nooks, and dimly lit interior. This historic venue has witnessed centuries of revelry and has played host to numerous notable figures throughout Irish history. Take a seat at the bar or find a spot at one of the wooden tables, and savor the rich flavors of Ireland’s most famous stout while engaging in conversation with the locals, who are always eager to share stories and legends.

Engaging with the locals is an essential part of the pub experience. Strike up a conversation with the friendly Dubliners sitting beside you, and you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in lively discussions ranging from Irish history and literature to sports and current events. The Irish are known for their storytelling prowess, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself captivated by their colorful anecdotes and witty banter. These encounters often provide a deeper understanding of Irish culture and traditions, allowing you to forge connections and create lasting memories.

To sum up, Dublin beckons travelers with its captivating blend of history, culture, and warm hospitality. By following the travel tips provided and choosing the best time to visit, you can ensure an unforgettable experience in this vibrant city.