So the good weather might not have lasted very long and the winter clothes are probably back out of the wardrobes. But we won't get too down about it, sure isn't this just a typical Irish summer? Weather aside, there are plenty of events taking place up and down the country to keep you entertained over the next month. Check out our ultimate guide for things to do this July, wherever you may be.
First up is Dublin, throughout July the PhotoIreland Festival 2014 will be taking place in various venues in the city. A great way to celebrate homegrown creative talent as the event honours Irish and international artists with a Book and Magazine Fair, The Library Project and a series of themed workshops. Also on this month is the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, a family festival with loads of free events to tickle your fancy. Head to Merrion Square on the 11th – 13th July for an amazing spectacle of jugglers, acrobats and spine tingling sword swallowers. There are laughs a plenty to be had at this years Vodafone Comedy Festival, which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Iveagh Gardens from July 24th – 27th. A whole host of comedians are descending to bring you plenty of laugh this July. Dara O’Briain, David O’Doherty, Jason Byrne, and Maeve Higgins are just a few of the names along with South African sensation Trevor Noah, New Zealand's Rhys Darby, and Denmark's Sofie Hagen.
If you are heading West for a break this July then why not head to the Galway Film Fleadh taking place from the 8th to the 13th. Where you will be in for a reel treat (get it), with a diverse range of filmmaking from around the world attracting directors, actors, cinematographers and artists of all generations and cultural backgrounds. It opens with Begin Again, directed by John Carney. One of the coolest festivals in the West takes place on July12th, Currafest in Loughrea, will see The Riptide Movement, X Factor's Matt Cardle, and The Frank & Walters taking to the stage. Also on offer will be a comedy tent, a mini food festival and a playzone for the kids in the family. It's a busy month this July in Galway with the Galway Arts Festival also taking taking place from the 14th to the 17th July. There are nearly 200 events taking place over the three days over 29 venues. Highlights include The Coronas and Imelda May and what promises to be a riveting performance by Irelands “High Queen” Pantie. And the ned of the month culminates at The Galway Racing Festival, (July 28th – August 3rd), the Irish equivalent of a mardi gras! Saddle up for great racing, high fashion, and some of the best craic of the year! an event not to be missed.
Our next stop is Cork, why not immerse yourself in some literature and head down to the West Cork Literary Festival (July 7th – 12th). Meet some of Ireland's top authors and take part in talks and workshops. Fun for all ages. Staying in West Cork why not check out the Sea Shepherds Ireland's Roaringwater Bay Weekend, (July 11th – 13th). Take to the ocean for a rib ride, do a guided walk on Sherkin Island and bring your binoculars on an island hop to Clear Island and check the horizon for whales, seals, and sea birds. For all of those wishing for a more active break why not get involved in the Cork Cycling Festival from the 18th to the 27th and celebrate bicycle culture in Ireland. The Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, will also head to Cork this month. The action packed family festival is free and takes place in Fitzgerald Park, Cork City (July 19th – 20th). All aboard for Volvo Cork Week, a long standing sailing regatta known for its high quality racing in some of the best sailing courses in Ireland. Enjoy an abundance of social activity with an electric atmosphere.
Staying in Munster there is plenty to do in the beautiful setting of Kerry this month. The Valentia Island King Scallop Festival takes place from July 12th to the 13th, with live music, scallop shell painting and bouncing castles. Don't miss the 'Scallop Cook-Off' with local fishermen swapping their boats for the frying pan to battle it out for the much sought after title Mr. King Scallop 2014! Fun for all the family can be had at the Sneem Family Festival in Co. Kerry, (July 16th – 20th). There is plenty to see and do with lake and crab fishing, laughter yoga, which is worth the trip alone, guided walks, motorised kayaking. Also in Kerry is The Ventry Regatta, (July 19th – 20th), practice your throwing skills at the International Open Horse Shoe throwing Competition.
Wicklow is also the place to be this summer with a great selection of events taking place. Scale new heights at the Bray Summerfest in Co. Wicklow, (July 5th – August 4th), featuring Ireland's largest free air show on July 20th. The show consists of thrilling extreme formation aerobatics in the skies, with special appearances by the Defence Forces, Aer Lingus, and former national aerobatic-champion, Eddie Goggins. Groove Music Festival also kicks off next weekend (July 5th- 6th). This festival has a impressive line up with Paloma Faith, David Gray, James, Paul Heaton & Jacque Abbot (Beautiful South), Cathy Davy, Booka Brass Band, Jerry Fish all set to grace the stage. In neighbouring Wexford you can learn the secrets of painting in oils, watercolour and other media in a range of styles at Art in the Open at various venues in Wexford, (July 28th – August 4th). More than 150 artists will participate, visiting a different venue each day and meeting the challenge of painting coastal scenes, pastoral landscape, villages, castles, gardens and towns.
Why not head to the sunny South East this month and enjoy the The Promenade Festival in Tramore, Co. Waterford, (July 4th – 6th), a family event celebrating seaside fun with street performances, sand art and regatta. Or how about take a trip to Tipp and immerse yourself in arts at the the Clonmel Junction Festival, (July 4th – 13th), The festival takes over disused spaces and events take place in the quirkiest of places, from old warehouses and mills to cafes and car parks with theatre, music, comedy, dance circus and loads more.
And if that wasnt enough why not check out some of these; Gather in the ancient town of Kells in Co. Meath for the Hay Festival, (July 3rd – 6th), bringing together authors from around the world to debate and share stories. Get your toes tapping at the Willie Clancy Summer School, (July 5th – 13th), and become expert in the art of uilleann piping and sean-nos dancing. Head to the salmon capital of Ireland, for The Ballina Salmon Festival, (July 8th -13th), celebrating its 50th anniversary with fun filled events and fishing in the famous River Moy. John Waters, Nuala O'Loan Don Baker, and Mick Hanly are among the enlightening lineup at The Percy French Festival in Castlecoote House, Castlecoote, Co. Roscommon, (July 9th – 11th). Loughcrew Garden Music Festival, (July 12th & 13th), promises a spectacular night of classical music for all the family at the historic Loughcrew Gardens in Co. Meath. Music and literature are the cornerstones of The Boyle Arts Festival in Roscommon, (July 24th- August 2nd), a gem of an event with an emphasis on small, intimate events in historically and architecturally interesting buildings. Yeats country in Co. Sligo will be alive for the Yeats International Summer School, (July 27th - August 8th), with its unique blend of learning, art and fun, in beautiful Yeats country.