Try something different for your New Year resolution
New year resolutions are great. They challenge us to try something out of the ordinary. They encourage us to discover something new about ourselves. Whether it's learning a new craft, running a marathon, going on a yoga retreat - getting out of our comfort zone can be open up all sorts of possibility. And best of all, they can give us the opportunity to explore different parts of our beautiful country.
Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what your new year resolutions will be for 2016. For more inspiration check out www.discoverireland.ie
Drive a stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way
The 2,500km expanse of the Wild Atlantic Way takes in some of the most spectacular sea-meets-land scenery in Ireland. Enjoy a driving holiday with a difference - and explore part of the route in daily chunks of 100km. The Galway coastline is especially stunning: start in Clarinbridge - home of the country's famous oyster festival - and point your car north or south. Your call.
Chill out with a yoga break
Yoga devotees rhapsodise about the calming properties of the discipline and with work and everyday stresses often taking their toll, there's something very appealing about reconnecting with your body and mind. Yoga mini-breaks take place throughout Ireland and Carlingford Yoga ensures that you can practice your moves in one of the most beautiful parts of Co Louth.
Learn to catch a wave
The western seaboard offers some of the finest surfing opportunities in Europe and it's little wonder that some of the world's best surfers make the pilgrimage to places like Lahinch in Clare and Easkey in Co Sligo. Join them at one of 10 Irish Surfing Association Schools dotted throughout the west and pick up the basics of riding a board.
Eat in a Michelin-starred restaurant
Savour the very best of Irish food at one of the eight Michelin-starred restaurants in the Republic. Those on a blow-out should consider Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, opposite Government Buildings in Dublin - it has two stars. Loam in Galway and The Greenhouse in Dublin were each awarded their first star this year.
Run a marathon
It's not known as 'the friendly marathon' for nothing: The Dublin Marathon has cheering crowds lining the streets for virtually all of its 26-mile route. Run it and you'll get to see our capital from a completely different perspective. The Race Series - held at the Phoenix Park and Swords - throughout the summer will help your preparations.
Walk the Wicklow Way
The 129km route from Marlay Park, Dublin, to the village of Clonegal in Carlow takes in some of the most glorious Wicklow landscape you will ever see. It's best tackled over three to four days and with someone you love. There is a choice of B&Bs along the route where you're sure to enjoy some of the soundest sleeps you've ever had.
See the Northern Lights
Social media was ablaze with photos of the aurora borealis this year - and there's no better place to watch this unforgettable natural phenomenon than north Donegal. Hit Gweedore and have your camera at the ready once the sun sets - autumn and spring are the times of year when you're most likely to see this phantasmargorical wonder.
Go on a craft-making retreat
Ever wanted to improve your painting technique or how about acquainting yourself with the finer points of embroidery? Irish Art Holidays run short breaks from their base in Mountcollins, rural Limerick, where you can do both. Nationally recognised tutors are on hand and the rolling pastureland and quiet surrounds of the river Feale should provide inspiration.
Climb a mountain
Ireland has an abundance of accessible mountains, but why not try the very highest peak - Carrauntoohil in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks in Kerry? Let an experienced mountaineer from Kerry Climbing be your tour guide for the day. All that exertion will be wroth it: at 1,039m, its summit delivers breathtaking vistas.
Try a horse-drawn holiday
There are many different ways to see Ireland, but surely the most memorable is via horse-drawn caravan. The Kilvahan Horse Drawn Caravan experience allows you to take in the understated beauty of Co Laois at a pace no faster than a stroll. The traditional caravans will evoke memories of Wanderly Wagon for many.
For many more New Year Resolution ideas visit www.discoverireland.ie
Story by entertainment.ie | 12:53 | Thursday 7th January 2016 | Escapes