A day out for the whole family at Johnstown Castle

Now here is a day out for all the family. Open all year, as you walk around the lush grounds, you will see lucky locals out for their daily walk.

For history enthusiasts, you will be in historical heaven. There are daily guided castle tours, which will bring you back to the 1100s, the agricultural museum will capture the attention of every generation and for a touch of nostalgia, pay a visit to the ag science classroom, which could very well bring you back to your own classroom days.

There is a playground to while away some time and dogs are welcome around the grounds, café and well-stocked gift shop. Check out www.johnstowncastle.ie for further details.


Silk painting workshop, Ramelton, 15-16 April

Join textile artist Karen O’Kane in her studio at picturesque Ramelton in Donegal to learn the art of silk painting.

Beginning with an introduction to Serti silk painting, there is an opportunity to do a follow-on workshop to pursue your knowledge of this technique.

With a maximum four students per workshop, there will be plenty of time to interact, learn and enjoy this creative workshop.

All artistic materials are supplied and over the course of the four-hour workshop, you will have the opportunity to create your own sun catcher, lantern or piece of wall art.

For further information on dates and booking fees, please visit www.kokodesigns.ie.


West Waterford Festival of Food, Dungarvan, 14-16 April

One of the longest-running community festivals, West Waterford Festival of Food takes place next weekend from 14-16 April.

Based in Dungarvan, otherwise known as fungarvan, there are excursions to Lismore and the scenic west Waterford hinterland.

With plenty of events taking place to suit all budgets, one highlight is Bia not Bluster: thought-provoking talks about the future of the food industry on Saturday. Free to attend, bring along an opinion and settle in for some engaging conversation on the future of our food.

A mobile sensory unit will be available at the festival in partnership with Autism Ireland and we also hear there will be a Lámh signed cookery demonstration taking place over the weekend too.

Full programme details can be found at www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com.


Devenish Island Easter tours, Lough Erne

Take a visit to historic Devenish Island and walk around buildings that date back to the 12th, 13th and 15th centuries.

Visit the special island that became known as a safe place for powerful chieftains to meet. Cruises depart at 12.15pm and 2.15pm in the afternoon over the Easter weekend (Friday to Monday inclusive).

You may be visiting for the history and scenery, but enjoy the peace and look out for wildlife such as the kingfisher.

Further information can be found at www.fermanaghlakelands.com.


Slieve Aughty Centre, Spring Family Festival

Open every day for the Easter break, the Slieve Aughty Centre has put on a family extravaganza to welcome spring to the countryside.

Open from noon until 6pm, children are €7.50 to enter and all adults go free.

Look out for fairies in the enchanted forest, visit Winnie the pot belly pig, get crafty at the make and do room, pet the ponies and farm animals. You can even hire a donkey and have a picnic by the river.

The café will be serving its famous pancakes, so you can sit in the garden and soak up the atmosphere.

For booking details, please log on to www.slieveaughtycentre.com.

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What’s on: hill-walking, dog show, literature and laughs

Sharing a taste of home for Peter McVerry Trust