Feeling the January Blues? Don’t Forget about Ireland’s Newest Bank Holiday!

Monday, January 15, 2024.

Did you know that St. Brigid’s Day is now annually celebrated as a Bank Holiday? The perfect time to get booking a refreshing long-weekend break to restore, rejuvenate and reignite your passions! 

In just a few weeks, Ireland will celebrate our newest bank holiday on Monday, February 5th, dedicated to honouring St. Brigid’s Day. The upcoming bank holiday is not just a day off; it’s a golden opportunity for everyone to shake off the January-blues and immerse themselves in the magic of Ireland on a memorable short break. Whether it’s family-friendly trips, budget-friendly excursions, or thrilling outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during this first long weekend of the new year. 

St. Brigid’s Day Bank Holiday

Reconnect with Nature 

Spending time outdoors in spring is linked to improved mood, increased energy levels, and a better sense of well-being. To put your stamp on the new year why not challenge yourself to climb some of Ireland’s hills or mountains. Sliabh Liag in Co Donegal is a brilliant way to become acquainted with nature in 2024. 

Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with outstanding views of the Wild Atlantic Way across Donegal Bay as far as Benbulben in Co. Sligo. Regarded as the highest and one of the finest marine cliffs in Europe. Why not base yourself in Donegal Town – less than an hour’s drive from the cliffs – where you’ll find accommodation and plenty of cosy spots to refuel.  

Feeling the January Blues? Don’t Forget about Ireland’s Newest Bank Holiday!

Sliabh Liag, Co. Donegal photo by Nomos Productions

 

On Yer Bike! 

Experience a vibrant and adventurous spring break by exploring some of Ireland’s breathtaking greenways. On the Wild Atlantic Way, The Kingdom of Kerry Greenways offer two wonderful greenway routes that are perfect for beginners and cycling pros alike! The Tralee to Fenit route is a 13.6km track through the countryside and along the shore of Tralee Bay with stunning views of Fenit Bay and Mount Brandon.  The Listowel to Limerick route is a 16km route along the northern slopes of the River Feale through lush countryside and fern-adorned tunnels to the Limerick border.  

For something a little different, the Velorail in Co Mayo is a novel way to enjoy a cycling excursion. It involves the running of pedal powered carriages on closed railway line through the rolling local countryside of Kiltimagh in north Co. Mayo. This route is encapsulated by Wild Atlantic Way woodlands, wildlife and flora.  

For adventure at your own pace the Royal Canal Greenway is the perfect route for cyclists of all abilities. Starting in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, the greenway meanders through towns such as Cloondara, Longford, Mullingar and finishes up in Maynooth in Ireland’s Ancient East – it’s the perfect route for the bank holiday for you to enjoy at your own pace while weaving in and out of towns for a bite to eat along the way. 

Feeling the January Blues? Don’t Forget about Ireland’s Newest Bank Holiday!

Listowel Abbeyfeale Greenway, Co. Kerry photo by Roamer

Indulge in Self-Care 

February is a great month to focus on self-care, the days are starting to get brighter, and our energy levels get stronger, so planning a revitalising short break to refresh mind, body, and soul is a must-do before your calendar starts to fill-up with activities. Reconnect with yourself in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands at Lough Allen’s Outdoor Spa and Wellness Centre where self-care takes centre stage. Here, you’ll enjoy hot-tubs, saunas and a cold plunge pool, as well as many rejuvenating experiences such as yoga, breathing and sound bath sessions.  

Or along the Wild Atlantic Way, nestled deep in marshy woodlands along the Shannon estuary, the Shannon Estuary Way Retreat is the perfect location for a TLC bank holiday break filled with wholesome relaxation. Offering a range of blissful experiences such as reflexology, sound baths and singing bowls, as well as a mixture of yoga sessions for all abilities.   

Feeling the January Blues? Don’t Forget about Ireland’s Newest Bank Holiday!

Shannon Estuary, Co, Clare photo by Air Swing Media

Discover our cultural landmarks 

St Brigid’s Bank Holiday is also the perfect time to explore some of the country’s most magnificent stately homes and grand estates without stretching the budget. Many of these historic houses are set against a backdrop of lush greenery and extensive gardens.  

Located in the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East lies Johnstown Castle, Estate and Gardens, located just outside Wexford town. With beautifully arched windows, stunning sculptures and winding towers, Johnstown Castle offers a truly magical experience and insight into the chequered and intriguing story of the history and families who lived here. Take a tour of the castle and explore the gardens with over 5kms of lake walks.  

Alternatively, venture west and incorporate a visit to Kylemore Abbey, nestled in the heart of Connemara, on the Wild Atlantic Way. Home to a Benedictine order of nuns for the past 100 years, Kylemore Abbey welcomes visitors from all over the world each year to embrace the magic of the magnificent 1,000-acre estate. As well as the fabulous abbey experience, there are also beautiful woodland and lakeshore walks, a cafe offering delicious food and a craft and design shop to browse. 

The National Famine Museum is a cultural landmark with a rich tapestry of Irish history, that is a must-visit destination. Located at Strokestown House, Co. Roscommon in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, the state-of-the-art exhibition has a variety of interactive displays that draw on local accounts and documents that shed light on the darkest chapter in Ireland’s past. 

Feeling the January Blues? Don’t Forget about Ireland’s Newest Bank Holiday!

Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway photo by Pedro Souza

 

Sea-ize the Long Weekend  

A bank holiday weekend in Ireland is incomplete without a visit to its shores to enjoy the fresh sea air and stunning scenery. A city by the sea, the Dublin Coastal trail has everything from stunning views, sandy beaches, ancient castles, delicious diners and cosy hotels. Running from Skerries north of the city, down to Killiney in the south, the route is connected by the DART and easily accessible by bus and bike.  

Skerries is home to a range of beautiful coastal walks with paths that loop around the headland of Red Island and connect its North and South beaches. Both beaches are perfect locations for a refreshing winter walk or to stop and admire the views with a hot cuppa in hand.  

For those that fancy the Amalfi coast in the wintertime, but prefer to stay closer to home, Dalkey is a perfect addition to any St Brigid’s Day bank holiday weekend itinerary. Renowned for great dining options including restaurants and cosy pubs enjoyed by locals and A-listers alike. Try The Grapevine or Thyme Out for a spot of lunch. Or 1909 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Ragazzi or The Coliemore for a sumptuous bite in the evening, perfect for the bank holiday weekend.

Feeling the January Blues? Don’t Forget about Ireland’s Newest Bank Holiday!

Howth Cliff Walk, Co. Dublin photo by Fion McCann

Wherever you choose to Keep Discovering this St. Brigid’s Day Bank Holiday weekend, 3 – 5 February. Don’t forget to book early and seize the chance for you to take some time for yourself, and those you love most. 

 To plan your February Bank Holiday adventure, visit https://www.discoverireland.ie/ 

 

Read more from the Hotel & Restaurant Times HERE

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