Wednesday 23 January 2019

Where to staycation this summer

Itching for a summer escape, but don’t want to travel too far? Well, the good news is, you don’t have to.

With white sandy beaches, incredible natural landscapes, lively summer festivals and mouth-watering local cuisine, Ireland has so much to offer for the staycationer. These are our top picks for places to escape to as the weather warms up on the Emerald Isle.

Culture, craic and ceol in Wexford

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Kilmore Quay

With abundant sunshine and picturesque white beaches Wexford is a perennial favourite with Irish holidaymakers. But beyond the sun, sea and surf is a vibrant arts scene that really takes off in the summer months.

The Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival is a celebration of food and music over the August bank holiday weekend. You can browse the 80+ stalls in the artisan food market and pick up some beautiful local produce, or take part in the cookery demos, tastings and workshops that will take place over the three days, and music buffs will love the free rock n’ roll gigs in venues throughout the town.

Budding artists shouldn’t miss Wexford’s Art In the Open, from July 29th – August 6th, a world-class outdoor exhibition that attracts more than 200 artists. Culture vultures should make a beeline for both the National Opera House and Wexford Arts Centre. Both venues have a full summer schedule, showcasing brilliant performances across opera, ballet, orchestra, cabaret and theatre. 

South Dublin by the sea

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St Stephens Green Pond

When dreaming of summer holiday destinations, Dublin might not be at the top of your list. But just a short train ride south of the city centre and you’ll discover a clutch of beautiful beaches, bays and inlets in south Dublin. There are secluded swimming spots, sandy stretches and seaside walking routes galore- not to mention top-notch dining spots where the seafood doesn’t get much fresher.

The area is spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. Sandycove beach is a popular spot for those looking to lay back and soak up the sun, while keen swimmers gravitate towards Killiney beach or Greystones, which has two beaches and Ladies Cove, a secluded nook perfect for a dip. Half an hour further south and you’ll discover the pristine stretch of sand that is Brittas Bay in Wicklow.

Keen walkers will adore the Bray to Greystones route with views that stretch over the sea, and if you are looking for something a little less strenuous but no less enjoyable, then a stroll around Dun Laoghaire’s harbour, with ice-cream in hand, can’t be beaten.

Destination Derry

Panorama of Derry, Northern Ireland

Old world meets new in Derry, a buzzy city with a thriving food scene, lively arts community and majestic ancient relics. Immerse yourself in Derry’s history by walking the 1.5km route around its city walls and pop into the impressive Guildhall, with a clock tower modelled on London’s Big Ben.

Music lovers will be flocking to the city centre this July for the highly anticipated We Are Together festival in Ebrington Square. Headlined by internationally lauded DJ Sasha, this dance and techno festival promises to be a highlight of the summer.

There’s no better place to unwind the day after the night before than on one of Derry’s beautiful beaches. Head east and you’ll discover incredible white sandy beaches that rival any Mediterranean stretch of sand. Malgilligan Strand is an impressive 10km stretch of beach, while the nearby Downhill Strand offers some of the region’s most picturesque views.

Island life in Cork

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The English Market in Cork

If you can’t decide between sun, sea or city for your staycation then a road trip though County Cork could be just the ticket. Cork is continually ranked as one of Europe’s leading cultural and creative cities, and there’s no season this is more apparent than in summer. The Cork Midsummer Festival (15th – 24th June) boasts an incredible line up of some of our most renowned thinkers and doers, including Camille O’Sullivan, Louise O’Neill, Blindboy and Little Green Cars.

After your city break, head south and visit some of the county’s quaint fishing villages, like Cobh, Clontakilty and Kinsale. Further south again and you’ll discover the scenery that makes west Cork and the Burren famous. In the summertime, the landscape is technicolour wonderland of blooming fuchsias, brilliant yellow gorse and blushing native orchards. From there you’re close to the southern-most tip of the county. Sherkin Island is a sliver of land with a population of just 100 and exquisite sandy beaches. Take a day trip down here to experience a true island oasis, with ferries leaving regularly from Baltimore on the mainland.

Ready to get packing? Book your summer getaway directly with Maldron and save €10 per room per night when you sign up to Make it Maldron.

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