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AUTUMN BREAKS - 10 OF THE BEST
Autumn is perhaps the loveliest time of the year to enjoy gentle outdoor pursuits like woodland walks and foraging, and there are plenty of tempting places to stay that are surrounded by wonderful forested grounds or with parkland or gardens to visit nearby - and, perhaps, more challenging routes for dedicated walkers. Here are just ten of our favourites to think about...
FOR LOCAL FLOWERS IN SEASON - TEN OF THE BEST
'Seasonal and local' have become bywords for good food in Ireland - but what about our flowers? Most hotels and restaurants depend on imports for their floral decorations, yet simpler home grown and local flowers used in season have so much more charm - and can save a lot of money. There must be business opportunities for growers (like many in the UK) to tune in to the public demand for locally grown produce of all kinds, edible and otherwise, and offer alternatives to imported shop flowers. These are a few of the examples we've been enjoying on our travels - some are country houses making the most of their large gardens, but in smaller places beauty can come in a couple of blooms in a jam jar, or a bunch of wild flowers picked on a woodland walk.
FOOD TRAILS & FESTIVALS - TEN OF THE BEST
Ireland's food events are currently so many and various that the following selection is just a sample of the best ones that will please visitors with a serious interest in food, its landscape and sustainability - and, in most cases, also offer fun and education for all age groups.
FOR FOOD TOURISTS - TEN OF THE BEST
There’s a growing feeling that Ireland is now ready to focus on the needs of the ‘food tourist’, as opposed to the visitor who simply enjoys good food as part of the overall experience. The true food tourist (international and domestic) will choose their holiday destination specifically to explore it through its food.
FARM STAYS & RURAL RETREATS - TEN OF THE BEST
Recognising that farm stays and country houses offer a unique insight into our history, culture and food production, discerning visitors who can well afford the five star treatment are beginning to seek out more modest rural destinations, to experience the ‘real Ireland’ - and it’s there for all of us to enjoy