You never have to look far to find the craic in Ireland. And in August every region is positively teeming with cultural treats for the visitor. So if you’re planning to spend a cottage holiday seeking out the spirit of the Emerald Isle, here’s our pick of the best from each region:
North West: Head to the O’Carolan Harp Festival in Roscommon, from August 1st-3rd, for a four day feast of Irish music, in honour of Trulough O’Carolan, the last of the Irish bards. There’s music, crafts and workshops; and a chance to take part in a traditional ceili, with plenty of friendly volunteers to teach you the moves!
South West: If you’re staying in a cottage in Kerry or the south west, then take a trip to Kilorgin from 10th–12th August for one of the oldest fairs in Europe, the Puck Fair. The 400-year old festivities have a decidedly pagan flavour, as a wild mountain goat is crowned king and elevated to a high perch to keep watch over three days of celebrations – music, dancing, street theatre and fireworks, plus a traditional horse fair and fun for the kids.
Cork: Throughout the summer in Cork, The Temple Bar in Meeting House Square plays host to a free outdoor cultural programme. By day or night you’ll find dance, film, music, visual arts and family events to enjoy. For something more spiritual, head to St Coleman’s Cathedral on Sundays at 4.30pm to hear the 49-bell carillon ring out for an hour as part of the Cobh Carillon Recital Season.
South East: In Waterford from August 1st-3rd, you’ll find a new spectacle to behold around every corner, when the Spraoi Festival takes place. The intoxicating four day event mixes live street performance and world music, to fill the quayside and city centre with a colourful array of sights and sounds – jugglers, puppets, locals and tourists come together for a huge street party!
Dublin: You’ll never be stuck for entertainment in Dublin, but from 22nd-24th August, the city raises its game and holds Dun Laoghaire, the Festival of World Cultures. This mammoth event features 800 artists, from 50 countries, performing 140 events, in 40 venues, over three days. It’s even got its own mela, an international food market and
Don’t forget – a cottage can provide the perfect base from which to enjoy any of these events. Search today for your holiday cottage in Ireland.