The countdown is on to a great year ahead!
Count on a great escape in Ireland in 2015, a year promising to add up to a whole load of fun! Explore the spectacular coastline along the Wild Atlantic Way, experience hot heritage in the South East, feast on a fabulous food festivals, or immerse in inspiring art and design.
Ireland is ranked 5th in the Lonely Planet Top 10 countries to visit in 2015, and with good reason. Let www.discoverireland.ie help you figure it out.
1 Living Bay to Balm out on
Discover the charms of Dublin's vibrant living bay with the quaint coastal towns of Howth, Malahide, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey all a stone's throw from the city. The Irish Centre for Cycling offer a Dublin Bay by Bike and Boat tour, cruising from Dun Laoghaire to the city centre and biking it to Malahide. In Howth step out on a stunning cliff walk and wander afterwards down to the harbour to buy fish fresh off the boat. Enjoy a splendid meal or a pint in Dalkey, home to the rich and famous, or drop anchor in Dun Laoghaire where you can sign up for some mind blowing water adventure.
6 Lively Cities to Make a Break For
Gather the gang and hit the bright lights of one of Ireland's six bustling cities - each with a unique appeal. Enjoy a break in Dublin, shopping and soaking up culture by day and dining out in style by night. Meander around the medieval Kilkenny, or find Viking history in Waterford on the south east coast. Further south Cork is the food capital of Ireland - don't miss the famous English Market! Go west to artistic Galway, noted for its great festivals while lovely Limerick nestles on the majestic Shannon River, perfect for a peaceful escape!
300 Design Events & Exhibitions
Ireland will be celebrating Design throughout 2015 as well as showcasing the diversity of Irish talent creating unique, world class and often groundbreaking designs right here in Ireland.
Irish Design 2015 will host signature events throughout the year with over 300 events nationwide exhibiting design, architecture, traditional craft, jewellery, animation, textiles, furniture & lighting to name just a few. The Second Skin Exhibition continues in the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny in January, which is also the venue for Appetite for Design featuring the work of leading Irish designers, architects, cooks and restaurateurs in May. The flagship exhibition, Irish Design Here/Now opens in Dublin Castle in July.
25 Craft Breweries to Brew Up a Storm At!
Hop to it and join the tasty craft brewing revolution sweeping Ireland with 30 craft breweries now producing delicious artisan beers and stouts with passion as well as some super cider making experiences too. The Francisan Well Brewery and brew pub in Cork is fascinating, with stout piped straight from the brewery to the taps. Further north Kinnegar Brewing in Co. Donegal make a delicious range of finely crafted, all natural farmhouse beers. At Highbank Orchards near Cuffesgrange in Co. Kilkenny where owners Julie and Rod Calder Potts will guide you around their splendid farm and to bring you on a journey of divine cider tastings.
60 Fab Food Festivals to Feast On
Whet your appetite on a delicious break at one of the 60 fabulous food festivals on the menu in Ireland for 2015. Tickle the taste buds at Savour Kilkenny in the south east, the Kinsale Gourmet Festival in Cork or the Galway Food Festival in the West. As if that's not enough there are heaps of great food trails and experiences around the country including the Burren Food Trail in Co. Clare, the Gourmet Greenway in Co. Mayo, the Connemara Foodie Experience in Co. Galway and a full four months of foodie events in the Boyne Valley.
76 Stunning Blue Flag Beaches to Splash about On
There are 76 reasons to be a beach bum in 2015 - that's the number of stunning Blue Flag beaches around the spectacular Irish coastline, offering buckets of options for adventure junkies, fun-loving families and loved up couples seeking romance. You can party in Bundoran in Co. Donegal where the surf is always up. Or indulge your loved one with a glorious romantic break at idyllic Inchydoney Beach in West Cork. For some good old fashioned family fun head for the beautiful, sandy Clonea Beach in Dungarvan in Co. Waterford. Winter or summer a beach break is good for the soul!
110 Historic Houses and Castles to be King or Queen at in the South & East
Immerse yourself in Ireland's rich history and make a break for south and east of the country in 2015 with over 110 historic houses and castles to explore as well as heaps of heritage sites and experiences. Majestic Kilkenny Castle overlooks the River Nore, with luscious parkland to stroll through. Enniscorthy Castle in Co. Wexford is home to a new visitor experience with an exhibition on the role of the town in the 1916 Rising. And there are castles you can stay in! Waterford Castle Hotel & Resort is only minutes from Waterford city with luxury accommodation and a golf course all on its own private island.
150 Years of Yeats to Celebrate
Set your spirit free this year by celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ireland's most celebrated poet W.B Yeats in 2015. Follow in his footsteps and explore the stunning landscapes which feature in his world famous works including the Lake Isle of Inisfree, Glencar waterfall and Benbulben (which is worth a hike). A visit to Lissadell House and Gardens, where Yeats was mesmerised by the two Gore-Booth daughters, is also a must. There will also be plenty of events taking place across Ireland this year celebrate this epic anniversary.
160 Awesome Discovery Points to Explore along the Wild Atlantic Way
Think thundering surf, epic cliffs, cosy pubs, adrenaline-pumping adventure, and cracking coastal walks. Think Wild Atlantic Way. Make 2015 the year you blow off the cobwebs and dip into Ireland's awesome, 2,500 km coastal touring route, stretching from Donegal's Northern Lights to the sizzling kitchens of Kinsale in Cork. The Wild Atlantic Way features 160 breath taking Discovery Points so take your pick from Ballymastocker Strand on the western shore of Lough Swilly near Fanad Head in Co. Donegal; Mullaghmore Head in Co. Sligo; Spanish Point in Co Clare or Galley Head in Roscarbery, Co. Cork. That's only 5 - there are another 155 to go! Plan a break of mind-blowing discovery now!
1000 Kilometres of Waterways to Drift along in the Lakelands
Captain your own cruiser and discover a world of water, fun and relaxation in the Lakelands region stretching from the Lower Shannon to Lough Erne. Relax on sleepy stop offs at one of the many Shannon marinas. Dip into Lough Derg for watersports where you can go make a splash kayaking, power boating, wind surfing and pedal boating. Or Explore fascinating heritage in Lough Ree and the Mid Shannon, with buzzing waterside restaurants, bars and friendly villages. The Upper Lakelands boasts spectacular lakes, canals and rivers including beautiful Lough Allen and Lough Key while Lough Erne is rural and unspoilt with castles, historical islands.