Northern Ireland – Discover the Home of Titanic, Game of Thrones and more…

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Ready for wonderful views, great music, top-notch food and a land that can soothe the spirit? This is the place for you.

A quintet of cities

Despite their proximity, each of Northern Ireland’s five cities has its own distinct character. Belfast is the birthplace of Titanic, a foodie destination and musical hotspot. Derry-Londonderry has its fascinating history framed by 400-year-old stone walls, not to mention a lively culture scene; while Armagh’s two cathedrals illustrate its strong ties with St Patrick that stretch back more than 15 centuries. Two smaller cities make up our quintet – both raised in status during Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee celebrations: Lisburn, at almost touching distance from Belfast, boasts attractive 18th century streetscapes and a distinctive legacy in linen; and Newry, a modern urban hub laden with shops, Christian heritage and ancient castles.

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Causeway Coastal Route

Dramatic cliff-top castles, vast white-sand beaches, charming little villages – the Causeway Coastal Route delivers an incredible amount of beauty within just 195 miles. Frequently cited as one of the best touring routes in the world, it’s no surprise that the Causeway Coastal Route is a genuine joy to drive. Starting in the vibrant city of Belfast and finishing in Derry~Londonderry (or the other way around if you prefer), the route is all about taking your time and savouring the sights, sounds and flavours of this spellbinding coastline. The breathtakingly varied scenery includes the Gobbins Cliff Path, the Glens of Antrim, the exhilarating Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the magnificent Giant’s Causeway. On the way, you’ll pass Royal Portrush Golf Club (home of The Open 2019), and Portstewart Golf Club (venue for the Irish Open 2017). Both outstanding golf courses that draw players from all over the world, and are welcoming to non-members so you can follow the footsteps of the greats as you tread the fairways.

 

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Mythical mountains

Head for the hills. The Sperrin Mountains on the border of counties Tyrone and Londonderry form the largest mountain range in Ireland, and have beguiled people for millennia: here you’ll find the ancient Beaghmore Stone Circles, more than 90 of them, aligned with the heavens. The Mourne Mountains in County Down, meanwhile, are another must-see, full of oddities, such as the Mourne Wall that stretches across the summits, paths made by 18th century smugglers, plus Slieve Donard, the highest peak at 853 metres. It’s said such was the beauty of the Mournes that Belfast-native CS Lewis drew inspiration for his description of Narnia. Conquer the peaks alone or join the party…both the Sperrins and the Mournes have walking festivals.

Fermanagh Lakelands

Swaying reeds. Rippling waters. Fields blanketed in vivid green. The Fermanagh Lakelands are a place of profound tranquillity, offering a continuous stream of quiet moments and hidden gems, from ancient statues to forest trails. From its rugged peaks to its gentle valleys, this landscape has been shaped by water, and there’s fantastic coarse and game fishing to be had. Full of lakes, rivers and inlets scattered with mysterious islands (154 of them, to be precise), take a boat or, even better, paddle yourself by kayak over the silent waters of Lough Erne, where Fermanagh’s islands offer ruined churches and ancient carved statues. Devenish is one of the most famous. A monastery was established here in the 6th century, before being raided by Vikings and later burned. But the oratory of St Molaise and the 12th century round tower have survived, painting a vivid picture of the island’s monastic past. Keep an eye out, too, for Boa Island, with its 1,500-year-old statues; White Island, also boasting ancient stone figures; and Lusty Beg, a 30-hectare resort with self-catering and B&B accommodation, along with activities that range from clay-pigeon shooting to off-road driving.

Set in picturesque locations, Fermanagh’s magnificent mansions and gardens bask in beauty. There’s Crom Estate, an 810-hectare demesne on the shores of Upper Lough Erne; there’s Castle Coole, one of Ireland’s finest neo-classical mansions with sumptuous Regency interiors; and there’s Florence Court, the former home to the Earls of Enniskillen, with glorious walks through native woodland.

 

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Strange tales

This landscapes of Northern Ireland have stirred many imaginations, including that of Belfast-born author CS Lewis, creator of Narnia. But Narnia is only one imaginary world inspired by the views. HBO’s smash hit, Game of Thrones, has been filmed all over, earning Northern Ireland the deserved moniker: Game of Thrones Territory. Avid fans can grab their broadswords and take a tour of the filming locations, from Cushendun Caves to Castle Ward, Dark Hedges to the gothic follies of Tollymore Forest Park.

Food and drink

With a deep respect for local ingredients, boundary-pushing chefs and a convivial atmosphere in pubs and restaurants, Northern Ireland is one of Europe’s most exciting food and drink destinations. The rich land and waters provide the ingredients and you can even learn how to use them yourself at Belle Isle cookery school in Fermanagh.
Another booming industry to satisfy discerning tastes is that of craft beer. Small breweries have popped up all over the place, but Hilden and Whitewater are the most established – although even Hilden, the older, is only 35 years old. For something more historic, settle down with a wee dram of Bushmills after a visit to Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim. You deserve it after the adventures you’ve been on!

 

published with permission from www.ireland.com

Ireland’s best known film and television locations.

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Take a trip around the film and television locations that have made Ireland a star.
Harry Potter, Star Wars, Braveheart – iconic films are shot in iconic places. And in Ireland, we have iconic places by the bucketload. Our breathtaking peninsulas, charming villages and out-of-this-world heritage sites have all featured on celluloid over the years, but trust us – that’s just the beginning.

Northern Ireland on screen
Northern Ireland’s cinematic heritage is rich and diverse: get ready to visit lush green gardens, the pulsing city of Belfast and locations from a little show called Game of Thrones®…
Play the Game of Thrones® at Winterfell
Game of Thrones® is nothing short of a worldwide phenomenon. Since the very first series, some of Northern Ireland’s most stunning locations have doubled as the wild world of Westeros. But the most iconic stop off? It’s got to be Castle Ward, otherwise known as Winterfell, the ancestral home of the Stark family. Head there for the full Westerosi experience – just keep an eye out for direwolves!

Winterfell is just the start – take a tour through Game of Thrones® territory.
Feel the good vibrations in Belfast
Belfast has an epic music scene – and an almost mythical figure on that scene is record shop owner and godfather of Belfast punk Terri Hooley. Good Vibrations is the story of his quest to bring new music to the city in the early 1970s: it’s a feel-good classic with a fantastic soundtrack and was filmed right here in buzzing Belfast city. While Terri’s store has sadly closed down, you can take a trip to the city’s Oh Yeah Music Centre, where you can discover the very best of Belfast rock ‘n’ roll.
If you’re feeling peckish, the super-cool Coppi serves delicious Italian dishes, along with some excellent tapas.
Miss Julie-style elegance in County Fermanagh
If you like your period dramas with a dash of darkness, Miss Julie is for you. Set and shot at the opulent Castle Coole in County Fermanagh, this tale of love and power is a must for any Downton Abbey fans. Get the full 19th century experience by visiting Castle Coole. Here, you can delve into the estate’s elegant past on a National Trust guided tour – period costumes optional.

DON’T MISS
Head to the nearby Lough Erne Resort and experience some of Northern Ireland’s finest fare at Catalina Restaurant.
Wild Atlantic Way on Screen
Waves crashing violently against cliff faces, achingly beautiful skylines that stretch as far as the eye can see and some of the most iconic natural landscapes in the world – it’s no surprise that the Wild Atlantic Way has its name up in lights!
Discover a galaxy far, far away in County Donegal
The cast, crew and droids of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi made a pit-stop at the breathtaking Malin Head for filming, and they fell in love with the Wild Atlantic Way. Filming all around County Donegal, the cast even made time to stop off in Farren’s Bar for a pint. To explore this part of the Wild Atlantic Way is to take a walk on the wild side, so slow down and soak up the sights between Malin Head and Donegal Town. And if you can catch them, don’t miss the Northern Lights appearing over the ancient stone fort, Grianán of Aileach – spectacular.

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME
Grab a bite to eat in the award-winning Harry’s Bar in Inishowen: their fish is caught at Greencastle Harbour a mere half-hour away.
Visit the home of The Quiet Man, County Mayo
Want to travel back in time? The lively village of Cong is where you want to be. Back in 1952, film legend John Wayne shot The Quiet Man here, and the rest, as they say, is history. The village retains so much of its charm, even sixty years later, and is home to The Quiet Man Cottage Museum, where you can experience Cong just as it was in the film.

Head to the cute village of Oughterard to spot the now-famous Quiet Man bridge: a perfect photo op!
Follow Harry Potter to the Cliffs of Moher
A million hearts broke when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came to our screens and we said goodbye to the beloved Albus Dumbledore. The location for the film’s dramatic climax in the Horcrux Cave? The legendary Cliffs of Moher. While we don’t recommend climbing down to one of the caves like Harry and Dumbledore did, the cliffs have plenty to keep you occupied on their own. The 120-metre (390ft) face is home to hundreds of seabirds and some of the best views on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Head into the charming town of Ennis for a slap-up meal at The Dining Room. We’d recommend the beef with celeriac, carrot, parsnips and mash.
Feel the Force on Skellig Michael
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens brought the Star Wars universe back with a bang. Its iconic final scene was filmed on Skellig Michael, a tiny island whose monastic settlement dates back to the sixth century. The monks lived austere lives on this wind-chilled island long before it became the home of everyone’s favourite Jedi knight. Known for its varied wildlife and the mysterious beehive huts the monks used for shelter, Skellig Michael is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here’s hoping it pops up again in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi!
Can’t get out to Skellig Michael? Take a boat ride around the islands from Portmagee
Ireland’s Ancient East on screen
Ireland’s Ancient East is the land of history and stories – they’ve been spinning tales here for thousands of years. So, when it came to finding that perfect filming location for some of the biggest blockbusters of recent times, it really was a no-brainer to head here.
A stroll along Brooklyn’s beach, County Wexford
Starring Irish actors Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson, Brooklyn tells a profoundly beautiful story about love and what it means to be home. The scenes set in Ireland were filmed in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, a picturesque town that’s rich in history – check out the gorgeous Enniscorthy Castle while you’re visiting, which dates back to 1190.

COME AT FESTIVAL TIME
Every October, Wexford Festival Opera lights up the town with an eclectic blend of music and theatre. Don’t miss it!
Saving Private Ryan in County Wexford
World War II drama Saving Private Ryan is simply captivating – it rightly won five Oscars upon its release, and has gone down in history as one of the great war movies of our times. But did you know that the iconic opening scenes of the Normandy landings were actually filmed on Curracloe Beach in County Wexford? Curracloe’s white sands and roaring waves are simply spectacular and as you stroll along the strand, you’ll see why director Steven Spielberg just couldn’t resist it.
Just outside the village of Duncannon, Aldridge Lodge is an award-winning restaurant serving delicious local and home-grown produce. A little gem.
Ride with Braveheart in County Meath
Mel Gibson’s film about Scottish rebel William Wallace may have been Oscar-worthy, but Ireland’s lush, green landscapes steal the spotlight. Braveheart was filmed in part at Trim Castle, an Anglo-Norman structure that is perhaps one of the most iconic castles on the island. Its grounds are open for the public to explore all year around, too. Our advice? Take a guided tour for the inside scoop on this amazing building.
If you’re in Meath, the passage tomb of Newgrange is a must-see – the site is even older than the pyramids of Egypt!
Run with Vikings in County Wicklow
Based on Norse legends, TV’s Vikings has been a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, thanks to the sumptuous filming locations of the show. Filmed primarily in the wilds of the Wicklow Mountains, Vikings makes use of Ireland’s raging waterfalls, winding rivers and impenetrable forests to bring 13th-century Scandinavia to life. Fun fact: Vikings has also starred numerous actors from Ireland, including the legendary Gabriel Byrne!
One of Vikings’ iconic raid scenes was shot at Powerscourt Demesne, a beautiful place to spend a day and stop in for coffee and cake.
Dublin on screen
Dublin is a city of two halves: it’s modern yet traditional, buzzing yet relaxed – and it’s one of the friendliest cities in the world, according to readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Maybe it’s this duality that has filmmakers returning again and again to Dublin…
Head to Sing Street
Sing Street has been a breakout star of Ireland’s film industry. Filmed and set entirely in Dublin, the city streets are taken back to the 1980s – but Sing Street’s pivotal scenes take place in the seaside village of Dalkey. This quintessentially Dublin village is home to friendly locals and traditional pubs – and it’s well worth a day trip to get away from the city crowds.
Dalkey welcomes a dazzling array of literary stars when the Dalkey Book Festival rolls into town in June.
Wander through Dublin, the star of Once
Once is a story of a man, a woman and an unusual situation in the heart of a modern city, Dublin. Set in the city centre, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s characters use Dublin as a stunning backdrop to their love story. Featuring famous places such as Grafton Street, Temple Bar and St Stephen’s Green, this Oscar-winner is, quite simply, a love letter to Dublin.
There’s more to Dublin than what you see in Once – and it’s so compact that you can explore the best of the city in 48 hours!
Discover the story of Michael Collins at Dublin Castle
Liam Neeson has had a long and varied career, but it’s hard to top his role as revolutionary leader Michael Collins. Much of the high-octane action of the film takes place in Dublin and the scenes filmed around Dublin Castle are particularly memorable. This ornate building has stood in the city centre for over 800 years and has served every purpose from defensive to ceremonial (the inauguration of Ireland’s president takes place here). Take the tour of the castle – it’s a fascinating slice of Dublin’s history.
The nearby café Queen of Tarts serves delicious, homemade pastries alongside cups of real Irish tea – perfection.

Published with permission from http://www.ireland.com

Download Maps from around Ireland

 

To download the following maps simply click on the download links below.

Ancient Ireland Map

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Map of Ireland

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Walking and Cycle Trails in Kilkenny County

Kilkenny Tourism 2016 Brochure

Kilkenny City Map

Kilkenny County Map

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Visit Belfast Map

Ireland city guides

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Extremities of Ireland

 

 

Trinity College – Dublin

Trinity College in Dublin is officially known as College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth.

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Trinity was founded in 1592 and is Ireland`s older university. Trinity College is located on College Green and occupies 47 acres.

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Trinity College is a very popular tourist attraction while still a thriving university.

One of the most popular places to visit on the campus is the Library of Trinity College which is known for the famous Book of Kells “Turning into Darkness”. You will also get to see the stunning long room which houses 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books in its oak bookcases.

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It is definitely a great place to visit while in Dublin.

Don`t forget to send in your snaps via FACEBOOK/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM at #wanderireland.

Smithwick’s Kilkenny Brewery Tour

Love a pint? When you are next in Kilkenny, you need to take the Smithwick’s Kilkenny Brewery Tour.

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Entry to Smithwick’s Brewery Kilkenny
The Smithwick’s tour starts with the history of the beer, and how the brand started and became the success story that it is today. The tour is run from the old Smithwicks brewing site in Patrick St, Kilkenny.

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Smithwick’s Brewery Tour

During the tour you go through all the different stages of the brewing process. The tour is very interactive and you enjoy the different aromas of brewing as you wander through the corridors of the updated brewery.

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Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny
The tour runs for 1 hour and is guided which is a great advantage. As you immerse yourself in history, the modern twist of digital recounts keeps you interested. Even if you are not a beer lover you will find the making of Smithwick’s beer very interesting.

 

Smithwicks Kilkenny

The last step of the tour is where you get to enjoy a pint of the liquid gold (this is included as part of your ticket). Tickets are cheaper if you purchase them direct from the Smithwicks Experience website.

Opening Hours:

7 days a week

March – October: 10.00am – 6.00pm (last admission 5pm)

November – February: 11.00am – 5.00pm (last admission 4pm)

Not open: Good Friday, Christmas Eve Dec 24th, Christmas Day Dec 25th, St.Stephens Day Dec 26th (Boxing Day)

Address: 44 Parliament St, Kilkenny

Phone: (056) 778 6377

Leftbank Kilkenny

Whether you are looking for a drink or want somewhere to stop for lunch while in Kilkenny, the Leftbank on The Parade is the place for you.

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Inside the Leftbank Kilkenny
I have been here a few times now and each time the food and staff have been fantastic.

 

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Scallops served at Leftbank Kilkenny
The Leftbank Kilkenny has a great menu and food is served between 12:00 and 4:30pm – Check out the Menu here.

The interior of this place is amazing. The lighting, the pictures, the bar, you feel like you could be anywhere in the world. You definitely don’t feel like you are sitting in the middle of Kilkenny.

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Interior of the Leftbank Kilkenny

Leftbank is a recently renovated Bank Of Ireland Branch. You would never think it from the inside. Leftbank Kilkenny has a lively atmosphere and friendly staff and also has a large covered and heated smoking area with its own indoor and outdoor bar and an outdoor fire place. This impressive building has become one of Kilkenny’s most popular venues.

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The leftbank Kilkenny is at –

THE PARADE,

KILKENNY,

IRELAND

T:+353 56775 0016

E: info@leftbank.ie

National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History

Museum of Ireland

The Irish Silver collection is one of the largest in the world and this exhibition traces the development of the silversmith’s craft from the early 17th Century to the present day.

Museum of Ireland Silverware

The way we wore –  exhibition displays stylish clothing and jewellery worn in Ireland principally from the 1760’s to the 1960’s. This is an eye-opening look at Irish fashion through the ages, showing how new clothing technology and European influences affected.

Museum of Ireland Fashion

 

The Eileen Gray exhibition posthumously realised one of Gray’s last ambitions – to have her work brought back to Ireland. Regarded as one of the most influential 20th Century designers and architects, the exhibition includes such important items as the adjustable chrome table and the non-conformist chair.

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Eileen Gray Chair

The exhibition also values Gray on a personal level, including family photographs, her lacquering tools, and personal ephemera. It illustrates an account of her professional development from art student in London and Paris to mature, innovative architect.

The exhibition honours the memory of Eileen Gray, modern self-taught architect and designer.

Museum of Ireland Asian Art

’A Dubliner’s Collection of Asian Art: The Albert Bender Exhibition’ opened at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks in November 2008.

Since its opening it has helped bring to the public’s attention (both Irish and international) this highly important Asian art collection given to the National Museum during the 1930s by the great Irish-American Albert Bender.

On exhibition in the National Museum, Kildare Street up to the early 1970s, this is, however, the first significant modern display of objects from the collection in over three decades.

You can view a few of the outstanding examples of Asian art on display in the exhibition via the links below, but why stop there? Come and discover this beautiful collection for yourself.

1916 rising

The 1916 rising exhibition examines the decade of disturbance between 1913 and 1923, from the Dublin Lockout, through the Easter Rising to the end of the Civil War.

Broken down into three themes, the Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition looks at Irish soldiers at home, Irish soldiers abroad, and Irish soldiers in the 21st Century.

This exhibition traces Ireland’s military history from 1550 into the 21st Century and on display are over 1,000 objects from all over the world. It is on permanent display over eight galleries, covering 1,700sqm in Collins Barracks.

+ there is so much more to offer in this museum.

Info via http://www.museum.ie/Decorative-Arts-History

Collins Barracks
Benburb Street
Dublin 7

Opening times : Tuesday – Saturday : 10am – 5pm Sunday : 2pm – 5pm Closed Mondays , Christmas Day & Good Friday

 

 

 

Galway wins Culture Capital for 2020

And the winner is …. Galway.

A huge congratulations and a well deserved win. There is so much to do and see in Galway city and the buzz you get walking through the city centre is amazing and gives you a real Irish welcome.


The other cities competing for the cultural capital of 2020 were, Limerick, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford which are all beautiful cities to visit.

Galway will now receive European and Government funding to host cultural events throughout the year which is great news for Galway.

It is estimated to be worth €170m to the winning city in terms of funding and tourism.

RDS Irish craft Awards – July 2016

The annual RDS National Craft Awards showcase and reward excellence in Irish craft. The awards which were Established in 1968 follow an RDS tradition of promoting Irish craft which dates back to the nineteenth century.

RDS Craft awards

The RDS National Craft Awards is an open platform for Irish craftspeople to have their work assessed by an independent judging panel of Irish and international craft experts.

Each year, the winning and commended entries are showcased at the RDS National Craft Awards Exhibition during the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show.

Check out what is up for grabs for those who enter –

The overall prize fund for the 2016 RDS Craft Awards is in excess of €30,000.

ESTABLISHED MAKER AWARD STRAND

€5,000 Award of Excellence
Awarded to the most outstanding entry by an established maker. Only category winners are eligible to be considered for this award.

12 RDS Craft Awards Category Prizes sponsored by the Design & Craft Council of Ireland

€500 awarded to each category winner sponsored by the Design & Craft Council of Ireland
RDS medal and certificate awarded to each category winner.

EMERGING MAKER AWARD STRAND

€5,000 Award of Excellence
Awarded to the most outstanding entry by an emerging maker. Only category winners are eligible to be considered for this award.

€2,000 IACI RDS Muriel Gahan Award
Awarded to an emerging craftsperson to assist with career /business development. This award is co-sponsored by the Irish American Cultural Instuitue and the RDS.

€2,000 RDS Graduate Award
Awarded to an outstanding entry by a graduate student

National Crafts & Design Fair Award
A free stand for an emerging maker (worth €2,000) in the Serpentine Hall, at the National Crafts & Design Fair in the RDS in early December 2016. Entrants must be prepare to display, staff and fully stock a 3 x 2m stand for the full five days of the Fair.

12 RDS Craft Awards Category Prizes sponsored by the Design & Craft of Ireland

€500 awarded to each category winner sponsored by the Design & Craft Council of Ireland
RDS medal and certificate awarded to each category winner

Such a great incentive for Irish makers so make sure you go an support the event.

The RDS Craft Awards Exhibition will be open to the public free of charge:

July 13 – 15 (10am-5pm, late opening on Thursday – 7pm)

It will also open during the Dublin Horse Show: July 20 – 24

For more information check out Craft Awards 2016

Click here for more information on the Dublin Horse Show

 

Jameson Dublin Distillery Smithfield

Old Jameson Distillery – Dublin

Whiskey lovers unite, this is a definitely one for the bucketlist. The Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield is a great place to visit when in Dublin.

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It has a casual atmosphere and is only a short walk from Dublin city centre.

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The Old Jameson Distillery serve a great lunch and they also have some great tours.

Jameson Distillery have a Guided tour where you see, taste and smell Jameson as well as receive a great rundown on how the brand started and how it is made.

For the true whiskey lover they have a Jameson Whiskey Masterclass. This is strictly 18+ and runs for 1 hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For those who prefer to do things at their own pace the Jameson Taste Experience in the JJ`s bar is the one for you.  You will try Jameson Distillery Reserve 12 years old, Jameson select reserve, Jameson Gold reserve and Jameson 18yo reserve.  You get a taste of the some of the best reserves.

bar-inside-the-distillery

If you are someone who likes to keep a memory of the places you have been or want to give a gift, then the Jameson select reserve – Bottle your own is definitely a bottle of whiskey you will remember. You get to hand fill your own bottle and it also comes with a personalised label.

If you don`t fancy doing any of the above you can always go in and enjoy a drink at JJ`s Bar and soak up the atmosphere.

For more information about pricing and opening hours visit click here

Check out some of the other great activities in Dublin.