3 weeks ago

Derval O’Rourke Week 6: Staying Active on Staycation


Yes it’s possible to stay Active While Still Having Fun on your Staycation. With summer upon us and people craving adventure after the lockdown period, this week Olympian Derval O’Rourke and creator of healthy lifestyle platform Derval.ie, shares her favourite activities across Ireland …

The rain may be drizzling but we are all looking at staycations for 2020 in Ireland. If we are going to be holidaying at home I’m excited to make the most of it. This week I’m sharing some ideas for active days out around Ireland this Summer.

Below are some of my top picks for a fun, yet active day out, that you can enjoy with your family or friends:

Phoenix Park, Dublin

There is so much to see and do once you arrive, from Áras an Uachtaráin to Dublin Zoo. At the start of my running career, I used to run hills in Phoenix Park every Sunday morning. It’s a wonderful place to get a few kilometres in or have a walk. There are lots of places for tea and coffee too including the Phoenix Park Tea Rooms and the Phoenix Café. You can check out their new opening times on their website: www.phoenixpark.ie

Kinsale, Cork

A walk along Garretstown beach would have to be my favourite. I love the sea air and find it’s great for clearing your head after a busy week. This walk is one I would consider suitable for everyone and there are stunning views along the way. Refuel after at Diva café, a funky little café in Ballinspittle. I love Diva café because not only do they make delicious cakes and serve amazing coffee, but they also try to use as much local and organic produce as possible. You can get coffee and treats to go from their takeaway window. www.kinsale.ie

Cliff walk in Kilkee, Co Clare

2020 has been the year of walking for me. Don’t underestimate the benefits for the body and mind of a good walk. This walk begins at the Diamond Rocks Café at the west end of the town of Kilkee and follows a cliff path along the outstanding coastline. This is not an overly challenging walk and is best enjoyed on a sunny day so you can take full advantage of the beautiful views. These views are Ireland at its best. www.kilkee.ie

Killarney National Park, Kerry

This place has something to appeal to everyone, from thrillseekers to nature enthusiasts (last herd of native red deer, deer ruts, white-tailed eagles) to history buffs (Ross Castle) to families with young kids (pony-and-trap rides, boat trips). It’s easily accessible for the most part and the parts that demand a little more effort to reach are simply breathtaking. Dinis Cottage Tea Rooms have just reopened with outdoor seating, which would be perfect to refuel after your day in the park. www.killarneynationalpark.ie

Fota wildlife park, Cork

This is one of my little girl’s favourite places to visit. It celebrated its 37th birthday this year. The park has put some new measures in place to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe trip there, and the cafe has reopened for takeaways, so you can grab a coffee for this adventure too! I’ve already tested it out with their Covid-19 measures in place and it was an absolute joy to be back there. Aim to walk the entire circuit, I bet your steps will be high after a day strolling around Fota. www.fotawildlife.ie

Spike Island, Cork

I first went there six years ago to film Ireland’s Fittest Family and I loved it. This is a great family day out. Visitors can explore the impressive 104-acre island with a guided tour which departs daily from Kennedy Pier, Cobh, Cork Harbour. This Irish island is packed with history, nature, wildlife, scenic walks, prison cells, museums, a huge fortress, galleries and so much more. Booking is essential due to limited capacity, this should definitely be on your list this summer. www.spikeislandcork.ie

It’s important to make the most of this summer and remember what a fabulous island Ireland is. Some of my fondest memories are from days out around our beautiful country with family and friends. It’s a win win situation if you can have fun while also staying active.

Recipe of the Week – Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce

This week I wanted to share a delicious recipe for my Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce. The veggies are hidden because firstly I’m a big fan of smooth sauces, and secondly I have a very fussy four year old! Whether you are four or 44 I promise this sauce is delicious.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: This makes a large jar of sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400g tin tomatoes
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add the carrot, celery, onion, pepper, oregano and garlic and cook for about 6 minute, add a dash of water if the pan becomes dry.

Add in the tomatoes and 300 mills of water.

Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the sauce until it is smooth.

As a special treat for you lovely Gloss readers I have five annual Derval.ie memberships up for grabs just head to @theglossmag’s Instagram page to enter.


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