April has arrived, the clocks have sprung forward and the days are getting longer and there is no better time to get out and about and sample of the great festival and events taking place all over Ireland
Here are some of the highlights…
Racing through the Great Outdoors
Glendalough, Co. Wicklow will host the first in a series of adventure based races with the WAR - WicklowAdventure Race on Saturday April 14th. The three part endurance race is sure to get your heart pumping. Starting in Glendalough, the adventure will take you through breath-taking scenery, combined with cycling, kayaking and running trails up the Sphinx and Djouce Mountains. Although it is classed as one of the toughest endurances races in Ireland, this year for the first time is WAR- Mini, which is the perfect opportunity for first time adventure racers.
The National Hunt season is finally here, and the Punchestown Festival in Co. Kildare promises the most exciting racing with top horses, jockeys and trainers competing from 24th- 28th April. Plus with the festivalshopping village, best dress ladies competition, live entertainment and the Junior Jockey Fun Club, it makes the perfect day out for all the family. Plus with admission free for children under14years, there really is no excuse!
Fancy a night out in Dublin with a difference then be sure to take part in The Samsung Dublin @ Night Run on April 29th, which will offer participants the rare opportunity to take in some of Dublin City’s most iconic attractions by night.
The Kilkenny Walking Festival taking place from 30th March – 30th April, offers something for every level of walker – from enthusiastic walkers to those looking to improve their fitness levels, the festival offers 5 weeks of glorious walks through the Kilkenny countryside.
Attention Literary Lovers
Why not take a leaf out of our book and take in the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway City from24th- 29th April, which celebrates the very best of contemporary writing in poetry, fiction and memoir. Also on display at this year’s event is an exhibition of recordings and images taken from the festival’s rich history. The programme also features a wide range of exhibitions, readings for younger people and special events in theatre and film, making a visit to Galway the place to be for arts this April.
Literary buffs will also love the Cork World Book Festival from April 19th-23rd.Immerse yourself in readings by world class writers, take a stroll through the cultural street fairs and root through the book stalls to find a classic keepsake.
Getting Back to our Roots
Get your dancing shoes and take a trip to the Shindig Festival in Tralee, Co. Kerry from April 20th - 22nd and sample some of the finest traditional music and dancing in the country. Immerse yourself in Irish culture with Sean-Nós dancing, traditional storytelling and performances by two of Ireland’s top céilí bands - the Johnny ReidyCéilí Band the Brian BoruCéilí Band.
Labhairtamach as Gaeilge with FéilenabPáistí , in Co.Mayo from the 11th- 13th April. This fun-filled event targeted at 5-12 year olds aims to promote and encourage kids to speak out in Irish! Breaking free of the classroom, kids can get to grips with their cúplafocail in the Teddy Bear workshop, dabble in art classes and practice film-making and music ‘as Gaeilge’.
Sampling Spring Delights
Journey to the sunny south-east to the Waterford Festival of Food in Dungarvanfrom 12th– 15th April for a long weekend featuring Michelin star chefs, local artisan food and a programme of activities suited for all the family. Visitors can partake in seaweed seminars, food foraging trails, baking classes and much more. The weekend culminates in a Farmers' Market Extravaganza, which celebrates the richness and diversity of Waterford’s food and culture in the heart of the picturesque coastal town.
The picturesque seaside village of Howth, in Co. Dublin will play host to the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival from 27th - 29th April. Meander through the hustle and bustle of the festival that will serve up a packed menu of events including food stalls, cookery demonstrations, prawn shelling competitions and live on-street entertainment. For those considering a dining experience with a difference, don’t miss the mystery dine around, where guests take a tour, course by course, of a selection of Howth’s finest restaurants finishing with a post dinner tipple in the festival club.
Log onto www.discoverireland.ie/whatson for the full list of festivals and events taking place in April.