Bargain Breaks- Plan your Easter Getaway!
Friday, 26 March 2010
Pól Ó Conghaile
Pól O Conghaile is an award-winning journalist and author.
Based in Dublin, he has written for Conde Nast, Observer/Guardian, all major Irish broadsheets, Cara Magazine and The Globe and Mail, amongst other publications. Pól specialises in travel and features, contributes widely to national radio and TV, and was voted Irish Travel Journalist of the Year in 2003, 2004 and 2008.
Pól is the author of That's My Baby! (Poolbeg; €12.99) and Bar Secrets Dublin (Shopping Secrets; €7.99). In 2009, he was the updating writer on Concierge.com's Dublin guide, and worked on the 'Day in the Life' series with the Irish Independent. In 2005, he co-founded and edited the online travel magazine, explore.ie.
As well as his published work, Pól is a regular contributor to shows on RTE Radio One, Today FM, 2FM, Newstalk FM and TV3. With travel experience that has taken him from Emo to Ethiopia, he also works with several high-profile public and private clients, and is available as a commentator, consultant and copywriter.
In 2008, Pól travelled to Mozambique with photographer and filmaker Kim Haughton. Their short film, 'The Stolen Generation', documents the lives of a family who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, and won Best Documentary at the inaugral Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival.
A Family Break:Re-discover Dublin
The capitol is a hive of activity this Easter with loads to see and do and lots of free events!
There's lots to do in the capital - and you don't have to spend much doing it either. Did you know that the National museums are free? That Airfield House is running a young farmers' club, are there any other Easter events bar this at Airfield house? or that there's a free Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Dun Laoghaire on Easter Sunday? And that's not even getting started on Imaginosity.
Farmleigh also has a free Easter programme, which sees an egg hunt run alongside food markets, magic shows, animal nurseries and storytelling. Details: 01 815-5981; farmleigh.ie. Free.
Please note: Occasionally, due to Government business Farmleigh is closed to the public, and it is advised to check www.farmleigh.ie before visiting.
Jervis Street Centre has free family easter events, including bunny, storytelling, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Tribute Show.
Where to Stay:
Bewley's Hotels have one night's accommodation for two adults & two children and a family pass for Dublin Zoo for €99 www.bewleyshotels.com or LoCall (ROI) 1890 79 89 99
Crowne Plaza (Blanchardstown) has a deal with B&B for the family, plus a free pass for Dublin Zoo or the Aquatic Centre, from only €124 per room (per night).
Transport: Iarnród Éireann are also offering a special Kid Plus ticket - a discounted fare that will cover return rail travel for one or two adults and up to four children under sixteen years of age.
A Couples Getaway: Belfast, City Break
Belfast is booming these days. From late-night spins on the Big Wheel to shopping on the Lisburn Road, the Northern capital is one of Ireland's best city breaks - and the exchange rate is a BIG bonus.
Activities include a taxi tour of the peace line and murals of West Belfast, the Titanic Made in Belfast Festival (April 3-11), Art galleries in the Cathedral Quarter, great old pubs like the Crown Liquor Saloon and great restaurants (like the Michelin-starred Michael Deane's) at double-take prices.
Where to Stay:
The Culloden Estate & Spa (048 9042 106) has a spring B&B rate from £120/€133 for a superior double. Radisson Blu Hotel has a €94 per room rate, via Hotels.com
For more information on Belfast please visit: www.gotobelfast.com
Couples: Island Hopping in West Cork
The islands in Roaringwater Bay and elsewhere are a real escape from the rat race - getting offshore to some of the best scenery, walks, wildlife and craic in the country. I'd suggest picking a couple in the one location, such as:
Heir Island has a real hidden gem in the island's cookery school. Cape Clear is one of the best birdwatching, walking, storytelling and diving sites in the country. Dursey Island is home to Ireland's only cable car. Stashed away in Glengarriff harbour, Garinish hosts a series of gardens showcasing an incredible richness of plant form and colour.
Where to Stay:
Hostels, B&Bs, etc. best booked through discoverireland.ie
A Festive break: Trim Balloon Fiesta
You can expect bright skies no matter what the weather in Trim this Easter, as a motley collection of hot air balloons takes to the skies above the royal county.
Darth Vader, Thomas the Tank Engine, Sonic the Hedgehog and a giant Easter chick will be amongst the novelty balloons billowing about, with more grounded activities including egg hunts, carousels, market stalls and balloon modelling.
Details: 046 948-3436; trimballoonfiesta.com. Admission free; parking costs €5.
Where to stay:
Where to stay - Ashbourne Marriott has family rooms from €99 per night, Johnstown Estate in Enfield has apartments for €500 for two nights.
How many rooms/families can fit in the apartments? We want to make sure it is good value for money.
Clarion Hotel- Children go free at the Clarion in Sligo this Easter, so they can spring into action at a Kids Club featuring an Easter egg hunt, car-making, Splash Time in a dragon-sized inflatable pool and a disco. 071 911-9000; clarionhotelsligo. Two night Easter packages from €135pps.
Easter Eggstravaganza at the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly: 3 nights B&B including two four course evening meals on the nights of your choice for just €189 per adult sharing (midweek or weekend), with kids under 12 staying for free. including Easter Bunny visit. Stay for 5 nights with three evening meals for 2 adults and 2 kids (kids under 12 stay for free) for just €289 per adult sharing. Visit www.bridgehouse.com or Lo-call 1850 312 312 / +353 57 9325600
Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny: Midweek Enjoy three nights' bed and full Irish breakfast and one four course dinner from just €169 per person sharing. Kids share for free. 056 7760500 or log on to www.flynnhotels.com
Bargain Hunting Tips:
Irelandhotels.com (IHF booking website, with special offers)
Go for 2 B&B plus 1 dinner deals (i.e. as all-inclusive as possible)
Whether you're going up in hot air or romancing in the city we have a break to suit all styles and all wallets!!
Any Additional Information:
For more information on Pól: