KILKENNY – IRELAND'S FINEST MEDIEVAL CITY
The past echoes in every footstep as you walk through the medieval city of Kilkenny. Explore its ancient laneways, wonder at the majestic halls of Kilkenny Castle or experience the glory of thirteenth-century St Canice's Cathedral. Once you have finished sightseeing, browse the famous craft gallery opposite the castle or enjoy lunch in one of Kilkenny’s many fine restaurants.
The Irish capital offers a wonderful selection of activities – whether it is visiting the Georgian centre, Dublin Castle, galleries and museums or the Guinness Storehouse and the old Jameson Distillery.
SACRED LANDSCAPES OF COUNTY OFFALY
Kevin O'Dwyer is an artist who creates in silver, whose work features in a number of important permanent collections, including The High Museum, Atlanta; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Ulster Museum, Belfast; The Stolichany Bank, Moscow; Celestial Seasonings, Colorado, The Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin, Espace Paul Ricard, Paris and Governor’s Palace of Liege, Belgium.
Kevin will create a personal tour that will take you “off the beaten track” to visit some of the hidden treasures of Co. Offaly. Tours are flexible and can explore monastic Offaly with visits to Clonmacnoise, St. Manchans Shrine, Seirkieran and Lemanaghan, which incorporate stunning views of the River Shannon and intimate glimpses into our cultural heritage. Or discover our rich environmental heritage with walks through the boglands and wetlands of West Offaly with an opportunity to visit the environmental sculpture park - Sculpture in the Parklands and the wetlands of Lough Boora Parklands
National Stud & Japanese Gardens
Nowhere better symbolizes all that is great about County Kildare, the beating heart of Ireland's thoroughbred industry, than the stud, a unique attraction of outstanding natural beauty that is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world. From horses to horticulture, the Irish National Stud & gardens offers you a unique experience
The Slieve Bloom Mountains
The gentle rolling hills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains rise from the central plains of Ireland, very near Ballyfin and are among the most unspoilt and least explored areas in Ireland. The area is made up of forests, blanket bog of a type unique to Ireland, interspersed with hidden valleys of great character, and interest to the nature lover. The natural colours of the landscape are remarkable in any season. Much of the higher reaches of the mountains have been designated as an Environmentally Protected Area for special preservation, as an amenity for generations to come The mountains are surrounded by a necklace of villages, each one a gem. The quiet country roads are also great for a leisurely drive across the mountains with unparalleled views across the midlands.
It is said that you can see half the counties in Ireland from the top of the Slieve Blooms. Alternatively wander around the foothills of the mountains, visiting the quaint villages, taking your time to stop along the way, where it is like stepping back in time to an era when life moved at a much slower pace. "..the area is "rarely explored" by those on their first visit to Ireland and therefore is "wonderfully free of tour buses and souvenir stalls" Lonely Planet Hill Walking 2012.
The Slieve Bloom mountains are a hill walkers paradise. The mountains are not so high as to be dangerous, yet are not so low that they can still provide a challenge to every grade of walker. There is a wide choice of looped walks, long distance way-marked walks or simply take to the hills with our guide who will tailor make the walk for you.
Quiet lanes, gentle and challenging slopes also make the mountains a cyclists haven. The quiet roads and forestry trails of the Slieve Blooms are ideal for leisurely and safe cycling either on or off the surfaced road.
Guides can be arranged for walks of a couple of hours to a full day with a picnic lunch or stop in a friendly pub, or visitors to Birr can enjoy a spectacular driver over the mountains.
Kildare & Newbridge
Nestled within landscaped grounds and presented in an authentic village environment, Kildare Outlet Shopping is label heaven. You will find it difficult to resist temptation with over 60 brands such as Louise Kennedy, DKNY, Juicy Couture, Anya Hindmarch and Hugo Boss.
Nearby visit the The Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre that showcases quality jewellery and lifestyle products and a museum of style icons
Brown Thomas in Dublin is Ireland’s most beautiful lifestyle store which offers an unparalleled retail experience. Established since 1849 Brown Thomas drives the vision of providing ultimate customer experience. Through internationally acclaimed and award winning window displays, renowned fashion shows, exclusive product launches and unique luxury boutiques – Brown Thomas is a destination for both Irish and International fashionistas – it proudly takes its place in the international stage of luxury retailing.