EXPLORE the National Botanic Gardens. If you still want to catch a last glimpses of the beautiful autumn colours before winter recedes, the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin won’t disappoint. Trees from all over the world throw an orange canopy over you as you walk along the many paths. Watch out for the many squirrels; most of them are not shy towards humans at all. The sound of the lake water running though the gardens will calm you, the birds in the tress will delight and being in this oasis feels as if you aren’t in Dublin at all.
CYCLE the Suir Blueway. Located in Tipperary, this trail is called a blueway because 32km of its 53km have to be canoed or kayaked on the River Suir. For all the cycling lovers, 21km between Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel have been dedicated to you. Carrick-on-Suir is considered to be Ireland’s spiritual cycling home and the Suir Blueway will lead you along hills, valleys and rivers that may prove the latter to be true. This cycling trail is suitable for all abilities, so bring your bike and your water. Grab a mate and have some outdoorsy fun!
HIKE Diamond Hill. This hiking trail starts and ends at the Connemara National Park visitor centre. For anyone who does not want the colder weather to stop them from being outdoors, this trail path is laid out well, preventing you from treading on mucky terrain. A spectacular view is promised as you walk through the beautiful Connemara landscape and once you make it to the top, you can even see Kylemore Abbey. Don’t forget to get a warm cuppa at The Hungry Hiker and a slice of cake – you will have built the appetite.
VISIT the Seamus Heaney HomePlace. Found in Heaney’s hometown, Bellaghy, Co Derry, this exhibition allows you to step into the life of the Irish literary genius. Early memorabilia such as his school satchel and original notes are displayed in the exhibition. Visitors will meet the people integral to Heaney’s life, as well as enjoy the audio-visual set-up of reflections by Bono and Bill Clinton. Visitors will feel as if they’ve stepped into Heaney’s attic and get to be part of the emotional experience of him receiving the Nobel Prize. This visit will have you in awe and respect for one of Ireland’s icons.