National Heritage Week 2013

National Heritage Week 2013

You can Watch whales, archive your attic, make a basket or live like a monk. National Heritage Week is packed with activities and here’s just 20 to get you started:


Ireland’s Heritage Council is encouraging everyone to “Discover the Past and Build the Future”, through over 1,500 events during this year’s National Heritage Week from August 17-25. Here we offer you some suggestions from their comprehensive guide on

Recommended Accommodation Dublin City Centre:


Huntington Castle and Gardens

1 Discover your household heritage: The mysterious Huntington Castle and Gardens in Clonegal, Co Carlow hosts a vintage summer fair with antiques, books, clothes and crockery on Sunday, August 25th from noon to 6pm. Admission adults/children €5/€2.50 (gardens and fair) €8/€4 (gardens, fair and castle tour). Tel: 086-0282266,

Shannon estuary

2 View Napoleonic batteries in Shannon estuary: Weather-permitting, take a ferry to Scattery Island from Kilrush, Co Clare on Wednesday, August 21st at 2pm to learn about the early 19th century towers built by the British war department in defence against potential French invasion. Tel: 065-6829100

Ross Beach

3 Explore our flora and fauna: Join beach researcher, Carmel T Madigan on her guided walk and talk about Ross Beach, starting from Ross Car Park, Loophead, Co Clare on Monday, August 19th at 11am. Or go on a walk, specifically designed for wheelchair access and those with limited mobility, along Flaggy Shore in Co Clare, starting from New Quay School on Wednesday, August 21st at 11am. See

History of Kilkee

4 Be by the seaside: Celebrate the history of Kilkee, Co Clare as a Victorian seaside resort with re-enactments, fancy dress, games and heritage walks on Wednesday, August 21st, from noon to 8pm. See

Burren National Park

5 Hunt for butterflies: Identify butterflies on one of several fun hunts, which take place in the following places: Burren National Park on Sunday, August 25th at 2pm (065-6827693,; in Ballycroy National Park in Co Mayo on Thursday, August 22nd at 1.30pm (; and in the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, Ardcavan Lane, North Slob, Wexford on Sunday, August 18th at 2.30pm (

Cork Heritage Open Day

6 Peek at Cork’s historic homes: Thirty buildings from medieval to military, civic to commercial and educational to ecclesiastical open their doors for the Cork City Heritage Open Day on Saturday, August 17th, 10am-5pm. Tel: 021-4924018,

Cork Vision Centre

7 Take a river walk: Learn about otters living in Cork city and take a walk with the Irish Wildlife Trust along the river Lee, starting from Cork Vision Centre, North Main Street, Cork on Saturday, August 24th at 4pm. See

Gate lodges

8 Visit gate lodges: Take self-guided tours of historic gate lodges around the country such as the restored 19th century gate lodge at Anne’s Grove, Castletownroche, Co Cork; the Salterbridge gate lodge in Cappoquin, Co Waterford or the Gate House and the Round House on Castletown Estate, Celbridge, Co Kildare on Sunday, August 25th, 10am-4pm. See

Tour lighthouses

9 Tour lighthouses: Take a self-guided tour of lightkeeper’s houses at the Galley Head, Clonakilty, Co Cork and Loop Head, Co Clare or the Wicklow Head Lighthouse on Dunbar Head, Wicklow on Sunday, August 25th, 10am-4pm. See

Drimoleague to Gougane Barra

10 Follow in pilgrim’s footsteps: Join a guided contemplative walk of 32km on August 17th and 18th from Drimoleague to Gougane Barra following the 6th century journey of St Finbarr. The walks start at 9am each day. Advanced booking essential. Tel: 086-1735134


11 Wander streets of Kinsale: Join award-winning tour guide, Dermot Ryan on heritage walks, starting from Kinsale tourist office, Pier Road daily from Saturday, August 17th to Sunday, August 25th at 10.30am and 3pm. See

Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

12 Watch whales: Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group for a guided land-based whale watch at the Galley Head Lighthouse in Clonakilty, Co Cork; Malin Head, Malin Signal Tower, Co Donegal; Hook Head Lighthouse, Co Wexford and Bloody Bridge, Co Down on Sunday, August 18th at 2pm. Bring binoculars and rain gear. See

Donegal County Archives

13 Archive your attic: Donegal County Archives at the Three Rivers Centre, Lifford, Co Donegal invite you to donate or loan photos, posters, letters and documents of significance to Donegal’s history and culture on Thursday, August 22nd, 10.30am-3.30pm. See

Glebe House and Gallery Fair Day

14 Frequent a fair: Check out the craft fair, country markets and children’s activities at the Glebe House and Gallery Fair Day in Churchhill, Co Donegal on Sunday, August 18th. Activities run from noon to 5pm. Tel: 074-9137071

Lady’s Chapel in St Patrick’s Cathedral

15 Listen to chamber music: Pop into the newly restored Lady’s Chapel in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin for free recitals from Monday to Friday at 1.15pm. There are also organ recitals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6.30pm and a talk on restoration of the 13th century chapel by architect John Beauchamp on Monday at 7.30pm. See

Phoenix Park

16 Take a walk in the park: Discover the hidden history of Phoenix Park on a free guided walk around its monuments, starting from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on Wednesday, August 21st at noon. See

Dublin Castle

17 Play in Dublin Castle: Join in some as yet unspecified contemporary games in an as yet unspecified meeting point in Dublin Castle on Monday at 6pm. Also free workshop for children on Tuesday at 6pm and talks on conservation, curators and contemporary art collections throughout the week. Advanced booking essential. Tel: 01-6458812

Merrion Square

18 Meet in Merrion Square: A rare chance to visit houses not usually open to the public on this Merrion Square Open Day on Saturday, August 24th from 10am-5pm. Tel: 01-6633040

An Taisce

19 Explore Tailor’s Hall: James Nix from An Taisce will give free tours and chats about the history of this early Georgian Guild Hall in Back Lane, Dublin 8 from Monday to Friday at 2.30pm each day. See

Experience science

20 Experience science: Find out how science works at these costumed re-enactment of Robert Boyle’s pioneering experiments at the magnificent Casino at Marino, Dublin on Thursday, August 22nd at 6.30pm (for adults) and on Saturday, August 24th at 1pm (for children aged 10 and over). Six to ten year olds can bring their picnics and costumes for the Mouse Master’s Tea party at the Casino on Saturday, August 24th at 2pm. Booking essential.

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