Monday 24 October 2016

Heritage Week: 10 free events for your family's last summer hurrah!

Free days out in Ireland

Online Editors

Published 20/08/2016 | 01:00

Biodiversity in Ballymun: National Heritage Week.
Biodiversity in Ballymun: National Heritage Week.
Digging History at Swords Castle.
Nathusius pipistrelle, one of serveral bat species found in Ireland. Photo: Deposit
Galway heritage bike trail
Archaeology in Inishowen.
Wexford Quays. Photo: Fáilte Ireland
Limerick's King John's Castle

National Heritage Week is up and running (August 20-28). Here's our pick of the top free events.

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Discover Dragonflies in Phoenix Park

There's more than deer in Dublin's Phoenix Park - and no, we're not talking about the zoo. Join this presentation and walk to one of the many ponds within the park and discover the secret lives of the capital's dragonflies...

When: 24th August (11am-12.30pm)

Where: Phoenix Park Visitor Centre

Parking: Yes

Is booking required? No

Details: 01 677-0095;

Archaeology in Inishowen

Inishowen Archaeology for Kids.jpg  

Join the West Inishowen History & Heritage Society and friends for this award-winning Family Fun Day/Archaeology for Kids. Events begin at the Exchange at 1.30 pm. There will be games, painting, dressing up and of course a trip to the beach!

When: August 20, 1.30-4.30pm;

Where: The Exchange, Castle Ave, Ardaravan, Buncrana,

Parking: Yes

Is booking required? No

Details: 074 936-2572;

Be a bat detector in Sligo


Wanna take a walk on the wild side? You can be a Bat Detector (and see an actual one in action) on this walk with a Wildlife Ranger at Lissadell. Hearing bats echo-locate is an amazing experience... be sure to wear hi-viz jackets and bring your own torch.

When: August 26, 9-10pm

Where: Lissadell Beach Slip, Ballygilgan

Parking: Limited (turn left at the entrance to first Lissadell gate lodge and park where you see the sea; further parking is possible at the beach).

Is booking required? Yes

Details: 085 853-5823

The Big Dig at Glendalough


What's it like to be an archaeologist? Find out at this Glendalough dig, where children can explore the Viking world through a simulated and controlled archaeology dig taking place next to the main monastic complex.

When: August 27; 11am-5pm

Where: Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

Parking: Yes

Is booking required? Yes

Details: 087 755-6808;

Pedal Power in Limerick


Here's a family-friendly tour with a difference - during which guests follow an historic trail of churches and organs around Limerick on two wheels. Bring your own bike or use the City Bikes - listening to music, stories and seeing the city from a whole different angle.

When: August 24, 27, 28 (2pm-5pm); August 25 (5.45pm-8pm)

Where: St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick (24th & 25th); Christ Church/Central Buildings, Limerick (27th & 28th)

Parking: No

Is booking required? Yes

Details: 061 407501;

Swords Castle: Digging History

Digging History at Swords Castle.jpg  

Swords Castle is seeking volunteers over the age of 18 to dig, wash pottery and bag artefacts as part of Season 2 of its community dig. All are welcome to come to explore and enjoy, it says (just double-check with kids under the age of 18).

When: August 20-21 & August 23-28 (10-4.30pm)

Where: Swords Castle, Swords, Co. Dublin

Car parking: No

Is booking required? No

Details: 01 890-5691;

Seven Galway Castles Heritage Bike Trail

Galway heritage bike trail.jpg  

Slí na gCaisleán (‘The Way of the Castles’) is a heritage cycle trail along a picturesque route of lakes, bogs, farmland, meadows, botharíns, castles and woods. Bring your own bike, suitable clothing and packed lunch for the 25-mile loop.

When: August 21, 10-4.30pm

Venue Name: Terryland Castle, Dyke Road, Galway

Parking: No

Is booking required? Yes

Details: 091 564946;

Maritime Heritage of Cork 

Maritime Heritage in Cork.jpg  

Watch a Master Shipwright working on a traditional wooden boat. See a local fisherman demonstrate traditional netmaking. Enjoy the timeless sight of traditional boats tied up to the Pier, and join classes in traditional sculling in Baltimore Harbour.

When: August 21-28 (10am-6pm)

Where: Cuas Office on the Pier, Baltimore, Co. Cork

Parking: Yes

Is booking required? No

Details: 086 173-5560;

Tipperary Walled Towns Tour

Tipperary Walled Towns Tour.jpg  

Join Michael Moylan from Irish History Live as your guide for a tour of the four walled towns in Tipperary of Clonmel, Carrick on Suir, Fethard and Cashel. Bus and lunch are provided, but booking is essential. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

When: August 22 (9.30am-4.30pm)

Where: Old St Mary's Church, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

Parking: No

Is booking required? Yes

Details: 076 106-5254;

Biodiversity in Ballymun

Biodiversity in Ballymun.png  

Get ready to explore and unearth the natural environment in this community garden, discovering all the wonderful living things that call it home, through games, planting activities and a bug hunt!

When: August 25; 1-3pm

Where: Virgin Mary Community Garden, Shangan Rd.

Parking: Yes

Is booking required? Yes

Details: 01 883-2185;

Wexford Walled Town Medieval Day


This free family fun day features falconry displays, children's digging pits, viking shield making, medieval pottery making, medieval archaeology exhibition and guided walking tours of town wall.

When: August 27, 11am-5pm.

Where: Westgate Tower, Ferrybank South, Wexford

Parking: No

Is booking required? No

Details: 053 9166910;

For more information on Heritage Week, visit

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