A whiskey distillery tour with a focus on cocktails, a breathtaking Atlantic cruise and the best tourism attraction in Europe are just some of the cool Irish adventures to tick off this summer
Do you have family visiting Ireland this summer? Or perhaps you have ticked all the usual hot spots off your list and are looking for a new day out to inspire your next staycation. Thankfully there are lots of exciting developments happening around the country, whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover.
1. Master the art of cocktails at Roe & Coe Distillery
The Roe & Coe Urban Distillery and Visitor Experience will open on 21 June at the old Guinness power station. Located in the heart of the Liberties, this atmospheric location will house a working distillery and an elevated glass walkway from which visitors will be able to overlook the copper stills and production process. Room 106, named for the number of blends it took to create Roe & Co, will be a space for visitors to taste and learn about the whiskey. The Flavours Workshop will help demystify cocktail making for visitors by exploring the five pillars of flavour; sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. The Power House Bar has a 1920s art deco style and has views of the remains of the Guinness power station. The tour costs €25 per person which includes three whiskey tasters, a blending class, tasting workshop and complimentary cocktail.
2. Explore the history of Kylemore Abbey
A new €2.9 million visitor experience has just opened at this stunning destination in Connemara. Bringing to life some of the stories of past residents and visitors to Kylemore Abbey and Walled Gardens, the new multimedia presentation and suite of four authentically restored rooms is now officially open. It is called ‘From Generation to Generation — The Story of Kylemore Abbey. The Benedictine nuns have been resident at Kylemore since 1920, and the presentation celebrates their contribution to the survival of the Abbey. With historical footage, archive photographs and artefacts from early 20th century Ireland, this is an engaging experience with interesting characters such as a duke and Indian princesses. Entry to the abbey, the 1000 acre estate and walled gardens costs €14pp, with discounts available online if booked a week in advance, and kids under 10 go free.
3. Become a climate expert at the Cool Planet Experience
This immersive experience at the Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow will help adults and young one’s alike to become more familiar with climate change. A first of its kind in Ireland, this centre has a series of challenges that educate you about the science behind climate change and what you can do to help create a healthy future for the planet. This fun family-friendly activity is an hour long and costs €9.50 for adults and €5.50 for kids over seven.
4. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
Not new, this wonderful museum opened in 2016 but just this year has been named as Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards. Not just four international visitors, this fully digital experience has interactive displays about the far-reaching influence of the Irish diaspora. The self-guided museum is a series of rooms all taking you through Irish culture and history through the ages, and how emigration helped shape and disseminate that culture. Adult tickets cost €15 and for children aged 6-15 cost €7.50, with kids under five going free.
5. Cruise to the Aran Islands
Last year the Garrihy family from Doolin invested in a €3 million new vessel, the Star of Doolin, to bring visitors to the Aran Islands and the foot of the Cliffs of Moher in comfort. The ship can take 200 passengers, which is more than any other ship operating in the western seaboard and operates at twice the speed. It was located with low emissions in mind, with advanced energy efficient engines and high tech, on-board waste water treatment, which will help ease concerns for anyone worried about the environmental impacts of tourism and travel on our beautiful west coast.
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