Enniskillen, the place where Oscar Wilde spent his school years, marks the connection to Wildean events in the pipeline, and kicks off with the installation of 150 little golden swallows around town – see how many you can spot. Stay at the nearby Knockninny Country House and Marina, right by the lake, from € 81 per person sharing the room, or choose a shipyard lodge and have your own lakeside chalet from 185 € for two, minimum stay of two nights. knockninnycountryhouse.com
The mind can be mind boggling at the thought of ultimate wedding planning, but if extreme weddings are your idea of fun, Sara Kennedy, author of The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide Ireland, will join a small group of experts for the Farnham Estates virtual greeting session on June 10th. It’s a Zoom session, and places are limited but free. Email weddings @ farnhamestate.ie. Or go all out at Leitrim’s Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat, where you can book the whole place with a wedding package that includes accommodation for 16 people in their charming cabins, flowers, champagne and hot tub sessions. for € 2,650. Then it’s up to you to decide whether you want to lavish your loot at fancy caterers or settle down for pizzas around the fireplace. ardnahoo.com
Wonders of the summer solstice
The Cork Midsummer Festival runs from June 14-27, with a mix of online and live events including exhibitions, theater and music. Find your dose of art on corkmidsummer.com and stay above the city at Hotel Montenotte, where you can enjoy cocktails, snacks and watch the ships arrive at Panorama Bistro. With Victorian gardens, a private cinema, spa and swimming pool, there is plenty to do without leaving the grounds. A new rooftop bar and terrace is under construction and is expected to open in mid-July. Packages from € 219 per room – themontenottehotel.com.
While there are murmurs about the future of Grafton Street and its aspirations to be like every other major international shopping street in the world, the network of small streets and alleys behind it is a treasure trove of intriguing places. Immerse yourself in Om Diva, find vintage wonders at Jenny Vander and admire jewelry at The Collective. You can also stroll through the George’s Street Arcade and the Powerscourt Townhouse. Stay at the Brooks Hotel on Drury Street and enjoy discounts at many area stores. The local store package includes afternoon tea, prosecco before dinner, dinner for two and breakfast, plus concierge service for your luggage and late check out as well, for € 249 per bedroom. brookshotel.fr
Trip to Tipp
Enjoy the golden moments in the Golden Valley with a Tipperary adventure. Who needs the Camino when you can walk the old ice road, taking you to the highest of the five glacial lakes in the Galtee Mountains? Dive into Lough Derg with guided canoe tours via loughdergwatersports.com, or prepare your wetsuits for the Lough Derg Aquaspash from € 15 at aquasplash.fr. Discover more, including horseback riding adventures and other water activities on the Suir blueway 53km kayaking course from Cahir to Carrick-on-Suir. That’s all to exploretipperary.ie. Stay at the Parsons Green campsite, with tent pitches from € 14, or rent a mobile home from € 180 for two nights, sleeps 6 – but beware of a minimum stay of one week in July and August – parsonsgreen.fr.
You’ll want to whet your appetite before the Ashford Castle gourmet getaway. Mayo’s classic hotspot is beloved by movie stars, princes and presidents and was restored a few years ago to an inch from its luxurious life. Two- to four-night gourmet stays start at € 800 per person sharing and include a gourmet session in the George V Dining Room (where men are required to wear jackets, but they don’t specify what the dress options are for the ladies. ). Breakfast at Ashford Castle is a very special experience, they make their porridge with whiskey and even have a juice sommelier. Imagine. ashfordcastle.com
The renovated Carton House reopens its doors
Carpenters have swept away the shavings and gilders have packed their brushes, as the multi-million dollar renovation of Kildare’s Carton House is completed and dusted off. Now run by the posh Fairmont group, the 169-bed place on a 1,100-acre estate (including compulsory golf, of course) is a hotel of two halves. Choose a room in the main Palladian house from € 495 per person sharing, or stroll through the much newer garden wing and enjoy all amenities at half the price of € 250 per person sharing. The garden wing doesn’t quite have the same Bridgerton-style plaster, but you can still walk around the living rooms and pretend you’re Mrs. Elizabeth Bennet (or Mr. Darcy – it’s all up to you. ). cartonhouse.com