Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Get Inspired to Visit Ireland with James Nesbitt

Friday, March 29th, 2013
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Have you ever dreamed about visiting Ireland but just not known where to start with the planning? Though the island may be relatively small as countries go, each Irish county has such unique attributes and interests it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by what area to visit and what to see and do while you’re there. Well, a new ITV television programme presented by actor James Nesbitt may be just the thing to get the planning ball rolling and finally get you on the shores of the Emerald Isle.

The Irish Coast near Dingle, Ireland - Via. Flickr

The Irish Coast near Dingle, Ireland – Via. Flickr

James Nesbitt’s Ireland

“You come to Ireland for the scenery, you come for the culture, you come for the food and the drink, but the biggest draw of all has to be the craic. It’s a struggle to define, but it’s so good for the soul.” — James Nesbitt

Dingle Harbour

Dingle Harbour – Via. Flickr

In this eight part series James Nesbitt takes viewers on a tour of his native land, showing off all the best things that the country has to offer. From the staggering beauty of the landscape, the fascinating ancient history, delicious local food and drink, and culture that’s hard to rival, Ireland has something for everyone and Nesbitt is keen to show off all that he believes makes Ireland truly special.

Castle by the cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Castle by the cliffs of Moher in Ireland – Via. Flickr

This isn’t a show which simply revisits all of the tourist hot-spots of Ireland, Nesbitt takes us on a tour that only a local could, showing off the hidden nooks and crannies that are normally overlooked by guidebooks.

So, where does James Nesbitt, award winning actor of stage and screen, think are some of the best places in Ireland? Read on to learn more about some places that may have already been on your ‘must-see’ list, and maybe also discover some new ones to add.

Dolphins, Ice Cream and Beaches in the South West of Ireland

Dingle, Ireland

Colourful shop fronts in Dingle, Ireland – Via. Flickr

In the first few episodes of the series Nesbitt explores the South West of Ireland, from the natural beauty of the coast of the Dingle Peninsula, to the iconic Blarney Castle. The South West of Ireland  may be one of the best known areas of the country, with the magnificent Ring of Kerry attracting millions of tourists every year, and it’s easy to see why. This area of Ireland is absolutely beautiful, with sweeping vistas across the sea, delightful towns to explore, and some of the tasty food that the earth can produce, there really is little to not love about the South West of Ireland.

The best of South West Ireland includes:

  • Meeting Funghi the dolphin in Dingle
  • Being blessed with the gift of the gab at Blarney Castle
  • Learning to surf in the chilly waters of Cork
  • Sample locally made ice cream in Dingle
  • Touring the Ring of Kerry
  • Going fly fishing in the Blackwater River in County Cork

Find the perfect holiday cottage from which to explore the South West of Ireland in either County Cork or County Kerry.

Later in the series James Nesbitt will head north up the coast of Ireland to learn more about delicious oysters in Galway, view the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher, meet an old-fashioned match maker in County Clare, and discover the magic of traditional music with professional Irish musicians.

This coming Monday, April 1st, sees the third episode of the series air, but worry not if you’ve missed the first two, you can catch up on Nesbitt’s Irish adventures on the ITV website. Tune in to ITV on Monday from 8-8:30pm GMT to follow James on his journey through the land of his childhood and be inspired to start planning your own trip to enchanting Ireland.

Book a St Patrick’s Day break in Ireland

Monday, February 25th, 2013
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It’s only three weeks until everything will be turned green in the name of Ireland’s patron saint, St Patrick. You name it; it can be green from faces to pints of Guinness to some of the world’s most iconic buildings like the Pyramids in Egypt and the Sydney Opera House. There’s nowhere better to celebrate St Paddy than on the Emerald Isle so why not celebrate with a short cottage break to Ireland?

Leprechaun Cake Closeup

Plenty to see and do

What started as a celebration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland is now a cultural celebration of all things Irish with the whole country coming alive on March 17th.  Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty to keep visitors young and old entertained so you’ll soon feel in the party mood.  Start in the capital city of Dublin where a four day festival takes over from March 14th and promises street parades, traditional music, children’s activities and, of course, a craft beer festival.  For a full schedule of events, visit the St Patricks Festival website.  Make sure you visit the Guinness Storehouse which is a must for anyone on holiday in Dublin.  Limerick is another great place to join the celebrations as the city is hosting the largest regional parade with hundreds of street artists and musicians and is expected to welcome 70,000 spectators.  The 43rd Limerick International Band Festival takes place over the weekend and is sure to be a great success.  Early risers might like to find a cottage in County Kerry as celebrations in Dingle begin at 6am when the Fife and Drum Band take to the streets.  The Dingle Film Festival also starts on St Patrick’s Day so rain or shine you certainly won’t be bored!



Finding the perfect Irish cottage

Spending a few days in Ireland to coincide with St Patrick’s Day is the best way of getting a real taste of Irish culture not to mention the country as a whole.  Look forward to miles of gorgeous, unspoilt countryside, stunning seaside villages and thriving towns and villages across the Republic.  We have a great selection of large properties in Ireland if a group of you want to travel to the Emerald Isle to celebrate.  We also have cottages which are perfect for a family holiday to celebrate St Patrick’s Day all the way from County Donegal in the north to pretty County Cork in the south.  Why not browse our website to find the perfect cottage for your next holiday in Ireland?



Getting there

So now you’ve set your hearts on Ireland, the only question remaining is how to get there!  Sykes Cottages offer great value holiday cottage and ferry packages to those travelling to Ireland from the UK and fantastic deals on car rental if you’re arriving by air.  For more information about how to get to Ireland, click here or call us today on 01244 356666 and speak to one of our friendly holiday cottage advisors until 9.30pm, seven days a week.

Southern Ireland

The Gathering 2013 – the Year to Visit Ireland

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
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If Ireland has ever been on your list of places to visit, 2013 is the year to take the plunge and finally step foot on the Emerald Isle. Why? Well, because 2013 is the year of The Gathering, a 365 day party, and everyone is invited!

So what exactly is The Gathering?

From a minute after midnight on 1 January 2013, and for an entire year, The Gathering is taking over Ireland. The whole country is the venue, and the entire population is the host. Via.

Great 2013 Gathering Events:

Throughout the year, individuals and communities across the country will be holding events that celebrate Ireland and their community pride. There really will be something for everyone over the course of the year, with everything from sporting events, theatre and arts installations, to family and clan gatherings with invitations to people from around the globe.

Discover Something New at the Galway Arts Festival, 2013

The Galway Arts Festival is nothing new; it’s actually Ireland’s largest international arts festival. It was founded in 1978 and has since grown to be an arts festival with a global reputation. In 2012 the 14 day festival hosted 160 performances, talks and exhibitions in 27 venues, and the 2013 edition is going to be even bigger and better! Stay up to date about the event, which is to be held from 15-28 July, by visiting their website –

National Heritage Week – Be Part of It. It’s Part of You

The aim of National Heritage Week is to build awareness and education about Irish heritage and encourage its conservation and preservation. This year’s National Heritage Week takes place from the 17-25 August and will be marked by events around the country, such as heritage walks, traditional music recitals, tours of some of Ireland’s most ancient monuments. Find out about all of the events, or register your own, at

All-Ireland Football Championship – One of Ireland’s Premier Sporting Events

If you really want to get a taste of Irish culture then head to the All-Ireland Football Championships, the premier competition in Gaelic football. Championship games will take place from June 2013 onwards, with the All-Ireland final taking place on 22 September 2013. Even if you can’t manage to nab yourself a ticket, the atmosphere outside of the venues, especially Dublin’s Páirc an Chrócaigh will be absolutely electric.

So, Get Yourself to Ireland!

With so much going on throughout 2013 this really is the year to visit Ireland. We have a great selection of holiday cottages located throughout Ireland, and we can even help to organize your ferry over or a rental car once you arrive. If you’re planning to fly and leave your car at the airport visit Essential Travel to get the best deal.