Five Ways to Spend the New Bank Holiday on March 18 - The Gloss Magazine
new bank holiday march 18

Five Ways to Spend the New Bank Holiday on March 18

An extra bank holiday has been announced for Friday March 18, making it a four-day weekend for many …

The Irish government has formally signed off on declaring Friday March 18 as a bank holiday this year. The March 18 bank holiday is a one-off; from 2023 a new holiday will fall in early February around St Brigid’s Day. It is understood that the additional public holiday is to mark the efforts made by those who worked throughout the pandemic, particularly frontline workers, and as a national commemorative event in remembrance of people who lost their lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given that Thursday March 17 is also a bank holiday to mark St Patrick’s Day, this move means a four-day weekend for many, which is certainly cause for celebration, particularly after such a challenging two years. But how should we spend it? We’ve got five ideas to make the most of the new bank holiday on March 18.

Plan a city break

For many, it’s been a long time since we’ve travelled abroad. The past couple of years have seen lots of Irish families swap holidays abroad for staycations at home. But with the announcement of a new bank holiday, a quick jaunt away seems suddenly very tempting – and you won’t have to use any annual leave up. Opt for somewhere that requires a two to three hour plane journey and no more. With four days away you want to maximise your time on the ground. Venice, Paris, Rome, London, the list of city breaks is endless. THE GLOSS Travel editor Tim Magee recommends trying the new “Ca’ Di Dio hotel, unusual for Venice with its contemporary style. The 13th-century building which has welcomed guests for more than eight centuries has been given a lavish update by queen of the eclectic, Patricia Urquiola, the architect behind the brilliant Il Sereno in Como and half a dozen handsome hotels in Italy and Asia.” For more of the best hotel openings of 2022 consult this list

Plan a beach break

If you’re dreaming of some winter sun, a long weekend on the continent could be just what you need. You’d be surprised how rejuvenating even four days on the beach can feel – and if you’re worried about timing, you could always add on an extra day of annual leave and plan to travel home on Monday instead of Sunday. According to travel editor Tim Magee, if you’re looking for a beach break, “The Canary islands’ three little sisters of El Hierro, La Gomera and La Palma have cute two and three-star hotels that haven’t changed in a century but if that isn’t your thing and you want something shiny, polished and luxe, then head to the other Spanish islands. The much-anticipated sustainable glamour of Six Senses has just opened in Ibiza or the gorgeous Can Ferrereta, a renovated 17th–century mansion on acres of green in the historic heart of Santanyí in Mallorca, is close to some of the island’s best beaches.”

Plan a wine tasting weekend

A weekend of wine? Say no more. As recommended by Tim Magee, “I was slow to pick a spot in the Douro, the traditional destination for Portuguese wine tasting, as everywhere in Portugal now has some of the best pound-for-pound wines in Europe, but the country’s featherweight sunny day-drinking wine, Vinho Verde, lives just next door to the big reds and port of Douro and Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo is some spot. This is a year for breathing in different scenery and Quinta Nova, perched on the steppes of the upper Douro, surrounded by centuries-old cypresses, between terraces full of vines and fruit trees, will do nicely. If you’re coming from Porto, take advantage of a cheap and sleepy designated driver with one of the most gorgeous train journeys in Europe that tracks along the river to nearby Pinhão.”

Plan a staycation

If you’d rather stay closer to home, plan a staycation in Ireland. From fabulous four-star staycations to the best group staycations to staycations with unforgettable dining experiences and even the best pet friendly hotels, you’ll find something to suit all interests without having to worry about the hassle of a flight – or locating your ‘tucked away somewhere safe’ passport that hasn’t been touched in two years!

Plan a special meal with friends

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to gather safely with a group of family or friends. Hopefully by March we will be in a different situation and group dinners (without a curfew) will be a reality once again. Use the extra long bank holiday weekend as an excuse to plan a special meal with friends. These five bucket list restaurants to visit in Ireland this year would be our top choice, but we’re spoiled for choice with the wide range of restaurants around the country, and really, after such a long time, it’s the all important company that will make this night extra special.

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