Thursday 17 August 2017

Dublin, Derry and Wexford: 8 reasons to visit in 2017

Áine O Donnell

Extend the festive cheer this Christmas with the gift of wonderful hotel experiences in 2017.

With so many great events taking place around the country next year, there is plenty to look forward to in 2017. Check out what’s happening below and see how you can use a gift voucher from Maldron Hotels to give your loved ones an unforgettable experience next year.

Pre-empt those dreaded January blues and choose a gift voucher which can be used for a hotel stay, dinner, afternoon tea, spa treatments and much more. Ireland is a small place but there are so many amazing places to visit – to help you choose here’s a preview of three great destinations to help you decide on your next staycation:

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Dublin

The pull of our capital city has tourists coming in their droves so why not play tourist in our very own backyard? There are so many sights to choose from: the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol and a wealth of museums. If you have already checked Dublin’s most popular attractions off your list, you should do something a bit different like a visit to the Leprechaun Museum or take a tour of our national stadium, Croke Park. After all that sightseeing, you are bound to have worked up a thirst. Have a pint of the black stuff in one of Dublin’s oldest pubs, the Long Hall or taste the latest Irish brews at the Porterhouse. With all the amazing events taking place in the city in 2017, you might not fit it all in with just one trip to the capital!

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There are six Maldron Hotels in locations all over Dublin so you can pick a hotel to suit your plans. For shopping breaks, enjoy a stay in the city centre at Maldron Hotel Parnell Square or Maldron Hotel Smithfield. Going to a show or event in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre or the 3Arena? Maldron Hotel Pearse Street is perfectly located for theatre and event breaks. If you are flying in or out of Dublin Airport in the New Year, choose to stay at the closest hotel to the airport, Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport. For easy and convenient access to Dublin city from the M50 and main motorways, Maldron Hotel Newlands Cross and Maldron Hotel Tallaght are ideal for stays with family, friends or a loved one in 2017.

Audi Dublin International Film Festival (16- 26 February 2017)

This year, Star Wars put Ireland on the map as a top film destination with crews shooting in both Skellig Michael and Malin Head. The annual Audi Dublin Film festival celebrates not only the best upcoming international films but also the most exciting Irish new releases. Announced for this year is the premiere of 1970s crime caper Free Fire starring Irish actors Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor alongside Oscar winner Brie Larson. Also included in the programme is a selection of animated films from all over the world including Irish animation studio Brown Bag Films. For the full programme and to book tickets, click here.

Vermeer Exhibition (17 June- 17 September 2017)

The National Gallery hosts a landmark exhibition of the work of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer starting in June. In collaboration with the Louvre and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, it not only includes paintings from Vermeer but also works by his Dutch artistic peers at that time. The exhibition is framed through the shared influences and rivalries between Vermeer and his contemporaries. This is a unique opportunity to catch this special curation of Dutch art before it departs for its final leg in Washington. For more information, check out nationalgallery.ie.

International Literature Festival Dublin (20- 28 May 2017)

Ireland has long held the reputation for being the land of the saints and the scholars, this festival celebrates our affinity with all things lit. It has hosted some of the best national and international talent in previous years with writers like Lionel Shriver, Jeanette Winterson and Colm Tóibín in attendance. It includes readings from international authors, discussions and workshops. The programme also features plenty to keep your little bookworm entertained and specialist events focused on Irish language literature. Keep an eye on their website for the full programme and to book tickets.

Pro 12 Final (27 May 2017)

Irish players are currently the toast of world rugby after beating New Zealand in the autumn internationals and strong performances from all the provinces so far this season. Connacht lifted the trophy last year after beating Leinster in an all Irish Pro 12 Final. Considering this recent form in Irish rugby, we expect to see at least one of the home teams in the final in the Aviva Stadium come May. There is currently a tempting offer of up to 20% off for eager rugby fans wishing to book tickets in advance. Check out pro12rugby.com for all the details.

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Derry

Since it was named the first UK City of Culture in 2013, Derry has experienced a bit of a renaissance. The Maiden City has set itself apart as the capital of cool in Ireland. It is home to two craft breweries, Northbound Brewery in Campsie and Walled City Brewery located in the newly facelifted Ebrington Square. It has seen many new restaurants pop up in recent years and has long been a popular shopping destination for people hopping over the border. Considered to be the starting point for the Troubles, you can take a walking tour along the city’s surrounding walls to learn about its long and often turbulent history. If that hasn’t got you packing your suitcase, the city has loads of great events to tempt you up north.

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Maldron Hotel Derry couldn’t be more ideally located in the heart of the city centre. Situated within the historic city walls and with so much to see and do literally on the doorstep, it is the perfect base to stay and explore this wonderful city. Park up the car - the hotel is just two minutes from the main shopping area and all the best pubs and restaurants are within walking distance.

Imbolc Irish Music Festival (29 January- 5 February 2017)

Derry has produced some of Ireland’s greatest musicians like Phil Coulter, The Undertones and Nadine Coyle. Remember her? Joking aside, Derry has established itself as a top Irish music destination and this festival celebrates the best of Irish music accompanied by some international names. The highlights of the programme this year include performances from Sharon Shannon and Declan O’Rourke as well as a list of up and coming artists. As if that wasn’t enough, grab yourself a partner and drop into the céilí hosted by the Kilfenora Céilí Band. For tickets and more information, search imbolcfestival.com.

Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival (27- 31 October)

No one does a Halloween party quite like Derry! It prides itself on being known as the biggest and best Halloween festival in Europe and maybe even the planet – last year it topped the USA Today public poll as the best Halloween destination in the world. The festival is now in its 31st year and the city hosts a full programme of events culminating in the Halloween carnival parade and the annual fireworks finale. Most of the events are free meaning you won’t get a fright when your bank statement comes in. Check derrystrabane.com for updates on the full schedule of events.

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Wexford

From one walled city to another, Wexford has cemented itself as the cultural centre for the east. The Viking town holds many exciting arts festivals including the country’s leading opera festival every October. Once you’ve had your cultural fill, you can sample some of Wexford’s famous native strawberries and bask in the glorious weather in Ireland’s sunniest county! Fantastic pubs and restaurants are dotted along the town’s narrow medieval streets. It is only a short car journey from Rosslare Strand, a popular seaside getaway for the capital’s urbanites. Sun, sea and opera: what’s not to love! Count yourself as an honorary Yellow Belly and check out all the great events Wexford has to offer.

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Maldron Hotel Wexford is just five minutes from the town centre allowing you to have a peaceful and relaxing break with the excitement of Wexford within driving distance. Families can enjoy the facilities in Club Vitae Health & Fitness Club as well as spacious family rooms and Crafty Kids club during the school holidays. The hotel is also an ideal base to visit the famous beaches of the sunny South-East and Ireland’s oldest lighthouse at Hook Head.

Art in the Open Festival (30 July- 7 August 2017)

Whether you are a serious artist or a part-time painter, this is the event for you. Registered painters spend the week travelling around County Wexford painting outdoor scenes as part of the open air festival. Starting and finishing in Wexford town, artists can then sell their paintings at the two-day exhibition which closes the programme. It also includes workshops and lectures from experts on watercolours, oils and pastels. Exhibited works will compete for prizes sponsored by local businesses. Get ready to make your masterpiece! To register and for more information, log onto artintheopen.org.

Wexford Opera Festival (19 October- 5 November 2017)

The town is home to the National Opera House which plays host to the annual Wexford Opera Festival. The first festival was held in 1951 and the programme centres on breathing new life into previously neglected works and showcasing the best of international opera. Performances of Medea, Foroni’s Margherita and Risurrezione by Franco Alfano have already been slated for 2017. As well as enjoying works of world class opera, the town is abuzz with opera lovers so book your stay early to avoid disappointment. Follow wexfordopera.com to book priority tickets and for full schedule of events as they are announced.

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This Christmas, give your loved ones the choice of every kind of getaway with a gift card from Maldron Hotels. Whether it’s a night away to see a show, a shopping trip to their favourite location or just some relaxing time out somewhere new, there is something for everyone.

Gift vouchers are available here and can be used in all 14 Maldron Hotels, in sister brand, Clayton Hotels and partner brand, The Gibson Hotel meaning a choice of over 30 hotels in Ireland and the UK.

 

Sponsored by: Maldron Hotels

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