Monday, 30 November -0001

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a trip to beautiful, welcoming Ireland

Written by Wendy Gomersall
Situated next to Heathfield Farm House B&B in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Ardagh Cottage provides a good base from which to visit Northern Ireland’s north coast, including the Giant’s Causeway, and County Donegal. A 300-year-old stone barn converted into a cosy holiday home, it features a fully fitted kitchen and diner, a lounge with a log fire and two en-suite bedrooms, one with a kingsize bed and one with three single beds, plus a play area, patio and barbecue. Prices start at £300 per week (accommodation only).


Irish Ferries Holidays’ breaks in Ireland include a threenight stay in the seaside town of Bray, only 25km south of Dublin port, at the Royal Hotel & Merrill Leisure Club, starting from £166 per person until the end of April. The three-star hotel has an indoor pool and other leisure facilities, and is well placed for Powerscourt House and Gardens and the Wicklow Mountains. The price is based on two adults sharing and travelling by ferry from Holyhead or Pembroke, and includes full Irish breakfast.

0871-730 0400,

Discover •flora and fauna on The Travelling Naturalist’s seven-night Western Ireland: The Burren and Aran Islands holiday, starting from £1,295 per person and departing on 6 June. Experience the Burren, a natural rock garden that’s home to 80 per cent of Ireland’s butter•fly species, then head south to the Cli›ffs of Moher to see colonies of sea birds, including puœffins, and nearby megalithic tombs. On the remote Aran Islands, look out for cuckoos and the rare marsh fritillary butter•fly, and visit Dun Aengus, a prehistoric stone fort. Price includes accommodation, meals, guiding, minibus transport and a return ferry crossing to Inisheer. Flights are extra. 


As well as beautifully furnished public rooms featuring handsome furniture and fine art, the elegant, five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin has an excellent spa and offers a great choice of restaurants: The Cellar Bar gastropub, The Cellar Restaurant, serving modern Irish cuisine, and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, which has two Michelin stars. The hotel’s Dine & Dream package, including an overnight stay with full Irish breakfast and a three-course dinner for two in The Cellar Restaurant, starts from £255 per couple. Travel to Ireland is not included.

00353-1603 0600,

Finally, forget Route 66 – the Irish equivalent is the Wild Atlantic Way, running from the tip of Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork. McKinlay Kidd offers a 10-night self-drive holiday taking in the stretch from Cork to Connemara in the south, featuring pretty coastal villages, dramatic seas and brightly painted shops and bars. Prices from £895 per person, with accommodation in guest houses and hotels.

0844-873 6110, 

Contact Wendy at 
Prices are correct at the time of going to press.

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