HomeTagsPosts tagged with "travel"

travel

by

I took a trip to Edinburgh for the first time a couple of years ago, and was absolutely blown away by how amazing it was. 

(I've been back twice since). 

It is a city so rich in culture and beauty, combined with friendly people, good food and great fun at every turn. 

The city is buzzing with excitement, and countless things to see and do – from dungeons to castles and everything in between.

Here are the experiences in the Scottish capital that you cannot afford to miss: 

1. Dinner at The Witchery

This place is not exactly somewhere you would dine on a budget, because it is pretty fancy – but you seriously need to have an evening out for yourself and the gals here. The Witchery by the Castle has developed a world-wide reputation for its exceptional dining experience, showcasing the very best of Scotland's produce in the most magical of settings.

Now in its fourth decade, the Witchery is a Scottish dining landmark, much loved by loyal locals, its celebrity fans and visitors to the city alike. Alongside the Scottish seafood, beef, lamb and game you'd expect to find, you'll also see the Witchery's legendary Angus beef steak tartare, briny-fresh seafood platters, wild game and even some haggis featuring on the menu.

 

A post shared by The Witchery (@the.witchery) on

2. Take in the scenery at Linlithgow Palace

Explore the magnificent ruins of the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots with a trip to Linlithgow Palace! The royal retreat was built and added to over two centuries by the Stewart kings, resulting in a superb Renaissance residence. 

High towers look out over lush greenery and a loch brimming with wildfowl, which is today a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Several monarchs were born in this royal ‘pleasure palace’, surrounded by its peaceful gardens and grounds. 

Take a jaunt around the grounds of the Palace, enjoy the lovely gift shop and explore the quaint village of Linlithgow – which is filled with cosy pubs and fun little boutiques. 

3. Experience The Real Mary King's Close

Beneath the City Chambers on the Royal Mile lies Edinburgh's deepest secret, a warren of hidden streets where real people lived, worked and died between the 17th and the 19th centuries.

The Real Mary King’s Close is a warren of underground streets and spaces, where, back in the 1600’s, Mary King’s Close and neighbouring Closes were at the heart of Edinburgh’s busiest and most vibrant streets. Once open to the skies and bustling with traders selling their wares to the Old Town’s residents, discover why would this street find itself underground 400 years later?

For years, the hidden Closes of Old Town Edinburgh have been shrouded in myths and mysteries. With a costumed character tour guide based on a one time resident, your group will explore this underground site, hearing these fascinating stories

4. Have Afternoon Tea in The Signet Library

If you manage to find yourself in Edinburgh on a weekend away with the gals then head to The Signet Library for the most wonderful afternoon tea in Scotland. You’ll discover the finest seasonal ingredients in sandwiches, delectable savouries and decadent cakes – all served on bespoke silver tea stands – so fancy.

Surrounded by vintage books and beautiful artwork, you will find yourself in ambience like no other – prepare to sit back, relax, and indulge. 

 

A rainy day in Edinburgh meant high tea at the Signet Library….

A post shared by laura nelkin (@lauranelkin) on

5. Explore at Edinburgh Castle 

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe, and not even torrential rain can dampen the experience (my god, did it bucket down!)

Set in the heart of Scotland's dynamic capital city, this most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War.

The castle houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland.

 

Glorious sunshine at the castle tonight. Summer is that you? #sunshine #edinburgh #scotland #thisisedinburgh #sunshine #summer

A post shared by Edinburgh Castle (@edinburghcastle) on

6. Eat haggis (yes, really!) 

I know what you're thinking, but just hear me out for a second. When one of my lovely pals suggested that I try the Scottish delicacy of 'haggis, neeps and tatties,' I initially was disgusted, at the sheer idea of it.

However, I gave in, and decided to give the sheep stomach a whirl, and it was DELICIOUS. The meal was served like a small cottage pie of sorts, and was genuinely so tasty. Arcade Bar is the spot to try this famous dish – you won't regret it! 

 

Lunch with mam

A post shared by Hugh McAndrew (@hughmcandrew) on

 

Trending

There are few better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than a spontaneous cross-country day trip, and with so many fantastic destinations dotted around this little island of ours, there's no reason to ever be stuck for something to do on your day off. 

Ireland is bursting with pockets of cultural, scenery and heritage just begging to be explored, and seeing as most of them will only cost you the price of petrol money or bus fare, it'd be rude not to, really. 

Here's our top five picks:

1. Glencar Waterfall

Situated near the Leitrim-Sligo border, Ireland's most beautiful waterfall flows from a height of 50ft and once served as inspiration for the William Butler Yeats poem, The Stolen Child.

The relaxed atmosphere offers the perfect escape from urban life and is a popular day trip destination for families, couples and friends alike.

There are picnic and café facilities available on site, as well as ample parking and tranquillity for days.

2. Lough Derg

Easily accessible from all corners of the country, the Lakelands Lough Derg are absolutely bursting with scenery and heritage just waiting to be discovered.

Located between the counties of Clare, Tipperary and Galway, the lake offers a huge variety of water activities including stand up paddling, sailing, cruising canoeing and fishing.

And for those of you who don't fancy getting wet, there are plenty of scenic walking routes to explore and local food to be sampled.

 

A post shared by Miki Mihai (@mmihaelarom) on

3. Kinnagoe Bay – Donegal

One of Ireland's most beautiful 'hidden' beaches, this small stretch of golden sand is completely enclosed by a sloping hillside, making it the perfect spot for some serious rest and relaxation… well once you get down the hill, of course.

There are a handful of parking spaces available, however, if you're not lucky enough to nab one of these, you'll need to continue your journey on foot.

The steep descent does require some hard work, and you'll probably fall more than once, but hey, it'll all be worth it when you get a glimpse of that breathtaking ocean view.

 

A post shared by Joey DeCourcey (@decourj) on

4. Cobh – Cork

Popular among tourists and local alike, Cork's colourful waterfront town is one of the most charming Ireland has to offer.

Visitors can grab a bite at one of the many bars and restaurants, or soak up the history at the Titanic experience.

Or, if you fancy, you can even hire your very own self drive boat and take it for a spin around the world's second largest natural harbour.

 

A post shared by Turismo Irlanda (@turismoirlanda) on

5. The Japanese Gardens – Kildare

Created between the years of 1906 – 1910, the world famous Japanese Gardens were laid out by Japanese gardeber Tass Eida and his son Minoru.

Designed to symbolise the 'Life of Man', the gardens offer vistors a uniquely peaceful experience as they stroll through the seamless fusion of Eastern and Western cultures.

Oh, and if you fancy a bit of retail therapy to go along with all the soul searching, Kildare Village is just a 4 minute drive away – just saying.

 

A post shared by Jane Derrick (@janederrick11) on

Trending

Anyone getting ready to get married knows that picking where to go on the hen party is important.

It needs to be cheap, have a selection of bars and restaurants, good weather and a party buzz.

Can you guess where the top destinations are?

Mecca Bingo ranked them and the first is…the gorgeous city of Prague. 

1. Prague

The Czech capital is good for nights out and cheap food, with the average price of a meal around a fiver. 

It has an enormous 620 bars and clubs, making it an excellent night out. 

You could have a spa weekend and choose from one of Prague’s 161 establishments.

2. Barcelona 

The Spanish city is good for sunny weather, relaxing spas a there is also a beach nearby.

With 531 bars and clubs, and the average price of a bottle of wine is just five quid, so it’s also a great night out.

Image result for barcelona city

3. London

It is chock-a-block with bars, clubs, and restaurants as well as many spas.

However, meals, taxis, and bottles of wine could really chip into your bank balance. 

Related image

4. Madrid

This city is good for bars, clubs, and cheap taxi fares.

The city boasts 613 bars with cab prices starting at just three Euro and a good choice for sun-worshipping hens too.

Related image

5. Budapest

This Hungarian city is great for cheap food and alcohol, with the average cost of a bottle of wine just five quid and main meals around the same.

Image result for budapest

6. Sofia

This Bulgarian city is home to outrageously cheap taxis and eating out is affordable also.

Image result for sofia bulgaria

7. Berlin

The German city is good for cheap booze and nights out.

Berlin has 515 clubs – what more could you want?

 

Trending

Do you brace yourself every time you use your card in Dublin? Do you mumble excuses at the cashier when it’s declined?

I’ve taken to pre-emptively warning the staff at Zara that my card may not work. Dublin is one of the world's most expensive cities to live in, and we’re feeling it this summer.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips on how to make the most of your Irish summer on a tight  budget.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@jamesbaker_photography) on

1. Get familiar with the best-for-your-euro food options around the city centre

Looking for a burger? WOW Burger does a mini burger for €4.95 that ain’t so mini. Carluccio’s on Dawson Street does a half box of delicious pasta at lunchtime for less than 4 quid.

Mongolian BBQ in Temple Bar does an enormous Lunch Bowl for €7.90 that will do as your main meal for the day.

If you need to eat out, look around and see where a fiver lunch or a tenner dinner is available- be strict with yourself.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@mongolianbbqdub) on

2. Choose culture for dates

The National Museums of Ireland are all free to visit and are simply gorgeous. The Archaeology Museum is on Kildare Street and the Museum of Decorative Arts and History is just beside the Museum stop on the red Luas line.

The Natural History Museum (think weirdly interesting stuffed animals) is on Merrion Street and is a fab place for a date or a stroll at lunch. Spend your free afternoons this summer, learning about Dublin for free.  

The National Gallery of Ireland also has breathtaking art with collections from icons like Caravaggio, Jack B Yeats, Mantegna,Titian, Monet and Picasso.

Paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography, archival and bibliographical material all feature, as well as furniture. The inside of the building itself is worth a look for the beautiful design.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@nationalgalleryofireland) on

3. Buy a good raincoat NOW

It may sound expensive, but if you make an initial investment, it will stand to you. Dublin is WET during the summer.

If you don’t have a waterproof jacket that a) has a hood and b) fits into your bag, you WILL accumulate several sh*t umbrellas over the coming months.

Not only is this a financial drain but its also the most unsustainable way to keep yourself dry this summer. Buy yourself a raincoat that will last and both your pocket AND the environment will thank you come September.

4. Drink off-peak

We don’t mean drink on your lunch break or have a liquid breakfast. We mean slightly earlier in the day or midweek.

Many places around town will have a two-for-one deal on cocktails (Fade Street Social, Pygmalion, Capitol Bar, Xico) or cheap pints (Dicey’s Garden) during the week or early in the day.

Have a scout and plan your drinks based on the deals- it will be worth the extra bit of research when you have more cash leftover at the end of the week.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@pygmaliondublin) on

5.  Avoid the following high street stores like the plague:

  • Zara
  • Penney’s
  • H&M
  • Pull and Bear
  • River Island

Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t window shop or go in for a ‘quick look’. You WILL end up spending money. As usual, you will come across the most gorgeous clothes when you have the lowest funds available.

If your route home passes by these shops, choose another. An extra five minutes walk may save you money in the long-term. It's also beneficial for the environment to avoid these stores full stop…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@bestirelandpics) on

6. Look for half-price stickers

Once you get into the ‘reduced’ or ‘half price’ mindset, you'll be flying it. Food shops such as Marks & Spencer and Avoca have a system where they cut the price of many of their products (such as ready-made meals) at the end of the week.

Keep your eyes peeled for such stickers so you can eat well on a budget.

7. Shop Charity

If you take a turn up George’s Street, you will be met by an abundance of charity shop options.

St Vincent’s, Enable Ireland and Oxfam are all a stone’s throw from each other, so you are bound to find something.

The same can be said for the Aungier Street/ Camden Street area which is home to shops like Age Action, Gorta and the Dublin Simon Community Shop.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@vidanaak) on

Charity shopping is a great way to save money, not to mention a greener way to shop for clothes and shoes.

Keep an eye out for the vintage racks in these shops where you might find some real treasures.

An unforgettable Dublin summer isn't impossible to reach for. If you carry out the right research and plan your budget, you can make the most out of this fun city without going into massive debt.

Trending

by

No Christmas drinks, but plenty of Christmas-themed masks. No singing at midnight mass, but lots of empty places at tables. This is truly a Christmas like we have never seen before. In some ways, it’s more dialled back, a little more low-key. Christmas cards are making a comeback because we can’t see each other in person. There isn’t as much craziness in the streets, from either intrepid shoppers or ‘Friday before Christmas’ drinkers.

But so many people are acutely aware of the absences felt this year, of family, friends, carol services and concerts, visits to homes and catching up with returned travellers from afar, back for the holidays.

One such returning traveller is Alice, who has spent the last two years living in Copenhagen.

A graduate of DIT’s culinary entrepreneurship course, Alice moved to Denmark after completing her degree and is now head baker in one of the busiest little artisan bakeries in Copenhagen.

Alice has not been home since last January, calling the year living abroad during a pandemic, ‘the longest year of [her] life. The longest year of everyone’s lives, really.’

Alice and I caught up to discuss why and how she planned to come home this year, what the airports are like and how to travel as safely as possible from a red country.

Last March, when everything really took off with the virus and you were living in Copenhagen without any real Irish connections there, how did you react? Did you want to come home? Do you regret not doing so?

‘I was glad that I wasn’t home because I felt like during the first lockdown, Denmark seemed a little bit freer in terms of restrictions. At the time, I was working in a very busy bakery and we didn’t close, so I was just going to work every day and it felt somewhat normal to me.

‘So, I was glad of that but at the same time I was worried about my family, and of course I missed them. It’s tough being apart during a global pandemic, for sure, but all in all I’m kind of glad I stayed put where I was.

‘ I didn’t think it would go on for this long, I don’t think anyone at the time thought it would go on for this long.’

And what does Denmark’s Covid situation look like now? They’re a red zone country now.

‘I think the whole mink situation was a bit of a mess. It was a very rash decision; I don’t know if it was the right or the wrong one. But that was certainly a little bit scary and then it just put another barrier up to me coming home. It’s all blown over a little bit now.

‘At the moment they’re kind of struggling…They’re in lockdown now but it probably should have happened a little bit earlier than it did. In a way I’m glad I’m not spending Christmas there because they’re under strict restrictions now so I’m glad I’m not in that situation on my own.

‘One thing I will say about it though, is that it is very efficient in terms of testing. You can book a test no matter what. If you want to book a test, you can book 5 tests, that’s no problem. I got a letter form the government saying everyone between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five would be tested before Christmas. It’s all just very easy there in terms of getting tested and getting your results.’

So about a month ago, there was a little bit of a bomb dropped on Irish people living abroad when they were told to reconsider coming home this Christmas. How did you feel about that advice?

‘Obviously, it was a little bit scary, but just between myself and my family we looked at two sides of the weighing scale; On one hand, of course, you want to be as safe as possible and you want to see your family but on the other hand there is risks involved.

‘So the way we decided to do it was to come home because we felt like we needed it and it’s been a year that all of us needed it. They needed to see me as much as I needed to see them.

‘So, we just decided to take every precaution possible. I got two negative tests before I flew, I’m getting another test five days after I land and my parents are separated from me. I’m wearing a mask in the house; I’m staying socially distanced. I’m extremely restricting my movements, so at the end of the day you’ve done as much as possible to be safe.’

What was the testing process like for travelling? Walk us through what you had to do.

‘So basically, at the moment because [Denmark’s] number are getting higher, they’ve opened up pop up testing centres, so you just show up and queue up. And you have a health card, so you just go in and scan that it’s just a throat swab so then it’s done.

‘There’s a health app that has all of your health documentation in it and so you just get your results on that after 24 hours. It was all very easy.’

And you’ll be getting another one now, that you are home?

‘I’m getting a private PCR test on Friday. And the unfortunate thing about this system is that it’s not free and luckily enough we had the means to get that, but there’s a lot of people who might not and if I was in that position it would probably be a barrier for me to come home.’

What was it like going through the airport? How had it changed to accommodate Covid restrictions? Can you walk us through the process?

‘So in Copenhagen airport there were segregated sides to walks on, hand sanitiser absolutely everywhere, everyone was wearing a mask. I took the extra precaution of wearing a mask and then a ski snood, like a scarf as well that I pulled up, so I had kind of double layers.

‘Unfortunately, my flight got cancelled last minute so they re-booked me on a later flight, but I just decided to get out of the airport and come back later, just to reduce my time there.

‘On the plane itself, there was a middle seat left between myself and the person on the same row as me. We were put on the plane row by row and taken off row by row. We were given little packets with hand sanitiser, and a disinfectant wipe.

‘I wouldn’t say it was the most pleasant experience ever, because I was nervous, but at the same time all you can do is take all the precautions that you can and try to be as safe as possible. The only thing I was a little disappointed with was that they handed out snacks, on the plane, free snacks. So I felt like it was just an invitation for everyone to take off their masks at once, so I just decided not to take it and just keep to myself.

‘Arriving in Dublin airport, I had gotten a text form the airline saying that I needed to fill out the passenger locator form. There were so many signs and so many opportunities to fill it out, that because it’s a legal requirement, there was no way they were not going to let you do it. Overall, I mean, it was fine, I got here in one piece.’

And do you think anyone would have been able to avoid doing this?

‘No. When you go to passport control you have to show them either a hard copy of it or an email receipt and they won’t let you through without it.’

So now that you’re home and isolating, what is the game plan? What does your roadmap out of isolation look like?

‘So now I’m basically self-isolating in my house for the next five days. My dad who is still working at the moment is moved to another house to stay away from me while he’s still working. My mam has taken time off work, she’s staying here in the house with me, but we’re using separate bathrooms, face masks when we’re together and we’re just constantly sanitising and washing our hands, staying as separated as possible.

‘I arrived on Monday night and on Friday I have the private PCR test. And then I should get the results back in twenty-four hours. But we still have decided as a family that even if, hopefully the test comes back negative, we’re still going to sanitise, wear face masks, you know, still take precautions, because you can never be too careful. I think once you’re careful and you’re playing it safe, that’s all you can do.’

How long will you wear the masks and distance for? Have you plans to meet up with people this Christmas?

‘We’ll be doing all that until I’m here for fourteen days which will be the 28th. But I’m hoping to meet up with my friends once I get the negative PCR test.

‘So hopefully I’ll meet my friends for a socially distanced walk or something, once I get my negative results. I’m not planning on going to anyone’s house or having anyone over. But at the same time, I feel that at the moment, I’m the risk, so I want to leave it up to other people for them to decide whether they want to take the risk to see me or not. I won’t take any offence if they don’t. It just is what it is. My family’s safety and their families’ safety are the priority.’

So not heading to the pub anytime soon?

‘No unfortunately not, that’s the one thing I will miss this Christmas, is meeting up with the girls in our local pub, but if that’s the sacrifice I have to make, it’s only a very small price, so I’m happy to do it just to be with my family.’

What was the hardest part of all of this?

‘The hardest part about travelling home was not being able to hug my mum when I met her in the airport carpark, after being away for a year. Or not even being able to see my dad for the next few days. It’s the toughest thing about the whole situation, but it’s for the greater good.’

Trending

by

We are all itching to get away after this lockdown. We need a break from our homes, but who knows when we’ll be able to safely travel abroad.

One option many people are considering is heading away on a staycation when restrictions on travel around Ireland are lifted. We are incredibly lucky to live on such a beautiful island with stunning sites just a short drive away.

One location we’re eager to visit is the beautiful Hotel Westport, located on the stunning Westport Estate. It is the perfect place for your post-pandemic staycation this summer. With the easing of the toughest restrictions just around the corner, Hotel Westport has put together the ultimate socially distant staycation packages for those chomping at the bit to get beyond their 20k and reset the rest of their summer in style. Those coping with cabin-fever or simply ready for some new experiences – remember those – need to pack up for picturesque Westport and head for the wild and wonderful west!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hotel Westport (@hotelwestport) on

Hotel Westport is a peaceful haven set on the idyllic surrounds of Westport House, and the Hotel Westport team has spent the past month preparing the highest safety standards and guidelines in anticipation of welcoming guests back to enjoy a unique staycation experience this summer. But safety aside, the team has focussed on the ultimate in innovation and collaboration to wake up your restricted senses and enjoy a ‘second-half of summer’ to remember. Adventure lovers, zen seekers and fun-loving families will all find something to fulfil their travel needs at this west coast wonder.

The picturesque estate with its 400 acres of fresh air is set in the heart of the town at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way and overlooked by Ireland’s most famous mountain, Croagh Patrick. Visitors can enjoy some quality time with loved ones at the hotel’s Family Bush Camp, a unique outdoor experience which allows guests to reconnect with nature through fun bush crafting and survival activities, while maintaining social distance from other guests. It’s the perfect way to kick-start your freedom with an unrivalled experience that won’t compromise on safety. Packages start at €79 pps for Bed & Breakfast  and bookings can be secured at www.hotelwestport.ie 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hotel Westport (@hotelwestport) on

Community spirit is at the heart of Westport, as local businesses come together during these unprecedented times. The owner and head chef of Cian’s on Bridge Street, Cian Hayes, will be opening a pop-up restaurant experience in Hotel Westport this summer: Cian’s at Hotel Westport. Bringing a unique take on the menu ordinarily served at his award-winning restaurant to Hotel Westport, the pop-up will take advantage of the large space available in the hotel so guests and locals alike can enjoy a remarkable dining experience in comfortable and socially distant surroundings. 

Another great collaboration is with Clew Bay Bike Hire. Guests at Hotel Westport can truly experience the wild Atlantic west by hiring bikes on site and cycling an exclusive and accessible 10km loop through the estate, the harbour, and the town. If you’re feeling ambitious, why not take on the breath-taking Great Western Greenway, a cycle you could only but dream of these past few months!

Westport House, an 18th century manor house also on Westport Estate, is just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. Visitors can stroll through the beautiful grounds to enjoy the blooming gardens and take in the 3.5k looped Lakeland and woodland walk. The house itself is open to day-visitors to discover the fascinating stories of this privately-owned historic house while they immerse themselves in 300 years of Irish heritage in its stunning formal rooms and original antiques, architecture, and artwork.

Newly appointed Chief Executive at Westport Estate, Barry O’Connor, said; “Unity in Westport is something that’s important to all of us and local businesses are joining forces to help each other during these different times. Things have changed for Irish people so much over recent months, so at Hotel Westport we have created a unique staycation experience while ensuring the safety of our guests, to offer people a chance to make some amazing memories this summer.”

Discover Westport like never before this summer. For more information or to make a booking enquiry please visit www.hotelwestport.ie

Trending

by

I recently went on my first ever mother-daughter trip and according to science, it was good for my health.

It was nothing glamorous or expensive, but it was really eye-opening. We didn’t fly off to New York or explore a sunny Greek island, we got the 9am train down to Mallow for one night but it has made me appreciate my Mam so much more than before.

We wandered around the town, popping into dinky shops and bookstores, we ate hearty cheese toasties and drank gallons of tea. We acted like giddy schoolkids when we saw the size of our beautiful room at The Hibernian Hotel, we listened to Sunshine 106.8 and argued about what time we should have dinner.

We ate like kings, drank pints and nattered about things we rarely got the chance to talk about. 

We went for a walk around Mallow Castle grounds, met up with some of our Cork family for a well overdue catch up and read our books in a peaceful silence as the train rolled out of the station.

It was a short break, nothing crazy, pricey or lavish, but it has strengthened our relationship. It helped me see my Mam in a completely different light, we laughed so much and spent quality time together that is far too rare these days.

Harvard Medical School recently found that going on a trip with your mum has a positive impact on both your mental and general health.

A mother-daughter trip has the power to lower your stress levels, boost your immune responses and lowers your risk of heart disease, according to the study.

If anyone needs us we’ll be planning our next getaway with mother dearest.

Trending

We have been dreaming of hopping on a plane ever since the temperatures dropped. We’re so tired of these miserable, dark evenings. 

We find ourselves swooning over snaps of Bali and Hawaii on Instagram and scrolling through the Ryanair sight to see what flights we can afford with the €16 in our bank accounts.

If you too are hoping to jet away with the gals in the coming months then we’ve got wonderful news for you.

Going away with the girlies is actually good for your health.

That’s right, booking a girls trip will boost your happiness and improve your health, according to researchers and who are we to argue with science?

Psychologist William Chopik discovered that our friendships have the biggest impact on our wellbeing. His study, which was published in Personal Relationships, found that spending quality time with your friends improves your mood.

He explained, “These are relationships of choice. You choose to hang out together because you enjoy each other’s company.”

He added:  “You can sit down, look them in the eye, have a true back-and-forth, and read each other’s body language. They can see you and your facial expressions. You’re emotionally responding to things, and you can pick up on their emotions. You don’t always get that through a phone call.”

Going away with your friends will help you spend pure quality time together. We don't get a chance to have heart-to-hearts during coffee dates or cinema trips so it is the perfect way to bond with your best pals. 

If anyone needs us we’ll be looking up Air BnBs with our besties. A holiday is well-needed!

Trending

by

About Time is one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time and you can’t tell us any different.

The heartwarming movie starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy never fails to make us smile, melt our hearts and leave us bawling like a newborn baby at the end (that beach scene).

Set in both London and Cornwall, About Time always leaves us lusting to jet away to where Tim and Mary’s love story takes place.

Country House charm by the sea

You can even go a step further now and stay in Tim’s gorgeous family home in Cornwall.

That’s right, the actual house where the famous New Years party took place, where many a table tennis tournament occurred and plenty packets of biscuits were opened.

The family home, which is located on Cornwall’s south coast is the perfect place to getaway from the dull realities of everyday life.

Related image

The decor hasn’t changed much since the movie was filmed in 2013 so now our dream of being in a rom-com can finally come true.

All we need now is to bump into Domhnall Gleeson.

You can check out the Porthpean House on Airbnb here.

Trending

by

There are so many places in the world that I’d love to visit. Canada, New York, Denmark, South Africa… the list is never-ending.

However, at the end of the day, there really is no place like home. No matter where I go I always look forward to coming home to the Emerald Isle. Ireland has a certain charm that, in my eyes, is simply unbeatable.

We may be a tiny island but there are just so many incredibly beautiful places to visit across the country, including Kerry.

I was lucky enough to visit Tralee to stay at the Ballygarry House Hotel recently and have fallen head over heels in love with the charming country house hotel.

The staff welcome you with the warmth that you feel when reuniting with a childhood friend. They were so kind and accommodating and couldn’t have made me feel more welcome.

From the moment we stepped inside the hotel felt like a home away from home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ballygarry House Hotel and Spa (@ballygarryhousehotel) on

The Ballygarry House Hotel caters for everyone. If you’re a bookworm you can cosy up by the fire and get lost in a story.

For those adventurers out there, you can take one of the bikes available at the hotel down to the Ballyseedy Woods.

If you’re in need of a little bit of chill time then look no further than the tranquil Nádúr Spa where you will be treated like royalty by the lovely Gina and her team.

Enjoy a soothing stroll through the hotel’s gardens and take in the stunning view of the Sliabh Mish Mountains on a crisp winter morning.

You certainly won’t be short of things to do during your time at the Ballygarry House Hotel. And you certainly won’t go hungry either.

I was lucky enough to dine at both The Brasserie and the lavish Restaurant 58. Trust me, the food is simply divine. Restaurant 58 is a soothing spot that has a menu to die for and the sweetest staff who will ensure you have everything you need.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ballygarry House Hotel and Spa (@ballygarryhousehotel) on

If you’re in the mood to splash out then try the Char Grilled Prime Irish Steak and thank me later. My stomach has never been as happy or full as it was after our visit.

Be sure to roll into Owen Mac's bar after your dinner to wash it all down with a beverage of choice. The recently renovated and revamped bar has everything from wine to whiskey and pink gin to craft beers.

You’ll be wowed by the talents of a live pianist at the weekends which adds even more charm to the hotel.

After a night of sheer luxury, you can doze off in the comfiest bed ever or tune into one of your favourite movies on Netflix on the hotel TV.

I truly didn’t want to leave the Ballygarry House Hotel. I was so close to asking if I could move into The Lodge, which is a little nugget of history right on the hotel’s doorstep.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ballygarry House Hotel and Spa (@ballygarryhousehotel) on

The mid – 18th Century Lodge was formerly the gate lodge of the O'Connor farmhouse and is now being used as a private event room for celebrations with a personalised Butler Service for Afternoon Tea.

A visit at The Ballygarry House Hotel is an essential trip for all you travel bugs out there. You just need to add to your bucket list. The charm, warmth and kindness of the staff alone will make your visit one you’ll never forget. There’s no doubt it’ll become a home away from home for you, right in the heart of Kerry.

Do yourself a favour and book a stay at The Ballygarry House Hotel. Check out their website for more information.

Trending

Each year millions of backpackers and holidaymakers touch down on European soil to sample the culinary and cultural delights.

With 48% of holidaymakers now preferring city breaks, choosing a destination can be a difficult decision to make.

The January blues have hit and we are itching to get away so we can escape reality. There are dozens of places we want to visit this year and that list just got a hell of a lot longer.

Wren Kitchens has revealed the top food capitals of Europe and we’re practically salivating at the thought of trying all of the food in the top spots.

From Polish Perogi to Italian pizzas all the way to German bratwurst, Europe hosts some of the most iconic (and delicious) dishes worldwide.

Lille, France has been crowned Europe’s food capital, followed by Lyon, Toulouse, Montpellier and Paris. Germany also boasts 4 top 10 spots with Aachen, Leipzig, Berlin, Dresden.

The cheapest city to eat in Europe is Zaporizhya, and although not your stereotypical tourist destination, the city is a hidden gem, with restaurants serving many local delicacies such as Borscht, a type of hot beetroot soup.

Norway has the most expensive restaurants across the entirety of Europe so we won’t be visiting any time soon.

The top European cuisine has been revealed as Italian and we’re not one bit surprised. We’ll have all the pizza and pasta, please!

Full details on the report can be seen here.

Trending

by

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

And we must admit we really want to jet away.

To help with our wanderlust we've composed the ultimate list on where to find the sun- based on your stars. 

Aquarius (January 20- February 19)

The open-minded Aquarius loves being pushed out of their comfort zone and experience life different to their own. Pick somewhere off the beaten track for your next big adventure like Japan. Immersing yourself in a unique culture and history is ideal for Aquarius! 

Pisces (February 19- March 20)

Pieces are all about experiencing multiple things at once- they want it all and they want it now! South America is calling for you Pieces, embrace the landscapes and friendly locals of Peru. 

Aries (March 20- April 19)

A creature of habit, Aries find one spot they love and stick to it- try something different and head to USA this year. With so many different climates and cultures in the one country, America has tons to offer the Aries looking to expand their travels. 

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Lovers of aesthetic beauty and great food, Thailand is the destination of choice for Taurus. a tactile sign, they'll love the stunning scenery, smells and sounds of this bustling destination. 

Gemini (May 21-June 19)

Ever the adventurer, Gemini's love pushing the boundaries and uncovering the hidden gems of new countries. Try somewhere completely mad like Singapore and embrace the intelligence of the East. 

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Creative, emotional and artistic, Italy is the holiday of choice for Cancer. They'll love the art and architecture of Italy's museums and churches… also did someone say pizza? 

Leo (July 23- August 22)

The confident and easy-going Leo's are as perfect fit for a trip down under! Take a chance and head to Oz this summer, from golden sunny beaches to the endless deserts, Australia has more than enough room for a Leo to prowl. 

Virgo (August 23- September 22)

The logical and curious Virgo is bound for Germany this year. Get lost in the hustle and bustle of Berlin or embrace the nature of the Black Forest, Germany is the ultimate place for our hyper-organised Virgo to chillax. 

Libra (September 23- October 22)

A lover of balance, a Lira needs a little bit of everything to be fully refreshed after a get-away. Treat yourself with a trip to the Maldives. Libra's will just love the laid-back vibes and sunny beaches of the islands! 

Scorpio (October 23- November 21)

The complicated and enigmatic Scorpios love finding somewhere that's as complicated as themselves. Try somewhere away from the crowds for the ultimate get away. Try Romania and be the first of your friends to talk about it! 

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)

The adventurous Sagittarian will absolutely love India. A combination of physical beauty and deeply enriching philosophies will both challenge and excite a Sagittarius. 

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

The disciplined and self-contained Capricorn is destined for China. The restrained nature and complex history of China is right up a Capricorn's ally! 

Trending