101 places to go – The Gathering 2013


This week’s featured pick is a homecoming of sorts for thousands, if not millions, of people around the world…

The Gathering is a year-long event organized by Ireland’s tourist board with the intention of opening the gates of the Emerald Isle to a global community of former residents, friends and family. Essentially, this makes 2013 a year-long party for Ireland’s visitors and residents with sporting events, festivals and a host of events and activities falling under The Gathering’s umbrella.

But don’t worry if you don’t have Irish ancestry; all events are designed to be as inclusive as possible. Basically, the aim of The Gathering is to enhance the overall experience of a holiday to Ireland, so whether you’re one of the Irish diaspora, or just fancy a visit, 2013 is probably the best time to go. Besides, you don’t want to be late to the party. Just imagine all that cleaning up!

Ireland isn’t short of spectacular locations and fantastic events in 2013, but we’ve managed to narrow the selection down to a handful of highlights. Please feel free to share your own picks in the comments section.

• The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival eases you into a year of Irish festivities from 14 February. For ten days the streets and screens of Ireland’s capital will be playing host to a number of exclusive screenings and premieres alongside appearances from some of the film industry’s movers and shakers. Tickets and a full schedule are available on the festival website.

• If you’re after something a little more traditional then Cork is playing host to the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival on the weekend of 17 and 18 March this year. The city will come alive with a host of free events for all the family – including a huge parade and plenty of artisan food and delightful crafts. Find more info on the website.

• County Galway is renowned for its glorious vistas and open expanses so, needless to say, many of its own offerings to The Gathering comprise of active explorations of the region. Visit Inishbofin Island on 24 May to walk along the western coast of Europe at the Walking Festival. From 30 March you can walk, cycle, fish, run and much more at the Explore Clonbur Outdoor Activity Festival 2013. There’s also a host of other events to take your breath away – if the countryside doesn’t get there first! Find the full schedule on The Gathering website.

Fancy attending The Gathering? Take a look at our featured holiday cottages in Ireland.

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