From watercolour painting to whale watching, and history to hiking, here are some ideas for uplifting spring activity breaks …
Flower Painting, Cahernane House Hotel, Co Kerry
If you’ve wanted to try watercolour paintings then this three-night painting escape, from March 6 – 9, with renowned artist Mary Dillon will appeal. No painting experience is necessary and all materials will be provided including colours, brushes, palettes, watercolour paper and drawing boards. Dillon will demonstrate how to bring the beauty and colour of spring flowers to life on paper and will lead the painting workshops in the elegant Drawing Room at Cahernane House Hotel. The “Watercolour Painting Escape with Mary” costs from €470 per person sharing and includes three nights bed and breakfast and a farewell table d’hote dinner in the award-winning Herbert Restaurant on Tuesday evening; www.cahernane.com
Leave No Trace Adventure Getaway, Cliff House Hotel, Co Waterford
Cliff House Hotel’s adventure getaway invites participants to get active and immerse themselves in nature while also being kind, conscious and caring to the environment. The two-night “Leave no Trace” package, in partnership with MuddyBoots, is suitable for all levels. Guests will be given a “Hills Skills” course by an experienced guide who will demonstrate map reading, emergency procedures, and the important “Leave No Trace” principles. This course aligns with Cliff House Hotel’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and the two night getaway includes accommodation in a sea view room with breakfast each morning, a three course dinner in the Bar Restaurant on one evening and a packed lunch for the hillwalking course. The packages costs from €1,055 for two people sharing and is available Sundays through Thursdays; www.CliffHouseHotel.ie
The Wellness Retreat, The K Club, Co Kildare
This two-day reset and recharge break is led by Breda McHale, a Transpersonal Coach (transpersonal meaning beyond the person, with mind, body and spirit working together towards integration and wholeness) on March 6 and 7, in the luxurious surroundings of The K Club, Co Kildare. McHale will work with participants on basic relaxation techniques and effortless breath work. There will also be a guided walk with shamanic journeying by the River Liffey Weir, described as “a mindful walk into Celtic culture and consciousness, bringing awareness to the natural world, the relevance of trees and the concept of nature spirits”. There are also two yoga sessions during the retreat led by Gill Wall, the in-house yoga teacher at The K Club, who blends hatha, yin and restorative yoga sequences. A Suaimhneas massage is an optional extra, (€145) to further ease muscle tension and relieve anxiety. The K Club “Wellness Retreat” costs €260 per person sharing, which includes breakfast, lunch and all wellness activities; www.kclub.ie
The Irish History Series, Ashford Castle Hotel, Co Mayo
This year Ireland celebrates the 1922 Centenary of Irish Independence, and at Ashford Castle the occasion will be marked with an offer history buffs will love. Guests of the Irish Centenary package will enjoy three lectures by Irish historians David McCullagh, Myles Dungan and Turtle Bunbury. Spread out over the two days, the speakers will give talks on topics related to life in Ireland a century ago. From €1,775, based on two people sharing, the package includes a two-night stay in a Corrib Lake View room with breakfast each morning. Also included is a five-course table d’hôte dinner in the historic George V Dining Room, (built to accommodate a visit from the Prince of Wales, who subsequently became George V in 1905). Guests can also enjoy a complimentary round of golf on the estate’s nine-hole course, bike rides through the estate and access to the relaxation pool and fitness studio; www.ashfordcastle.com
Pilates at the Ice House Hotel, Co Mayo
Audrey O’Connor, the founder of Corestate HQ Pilates, is leading a special weekend at Ice House Hotel from Friday, April 8 – Sunday, April 10 which incorporates, mobility, flow, and mindful movement. Guests can expect energising and relaxing Pilates and yoga classes (in a gorgeous setting), breakfast and dinner (in the newly refurbished 54° 9° Restaurant) each day, lunch on Saturday and a variety of optional daily activities. These include paddle boarding (€25), outdoor bathing treatments (€50) and spa treatments (from €80) and sea swimming on Enniscrone Beach. This “Wellness Weekend” is from €515 per person sharing, with single supplements available; www.icehousehotel.ie.
Dolphin and Whale Watching, Eccles Hotel & Spa, Co Cork
The 200-year-old Eccles Hotel & Spa is nestled in Glengariff Bay where the gulf-stream has created a micro-climate that has led to a thriving and exotic environment. It’s the perfect place to kayak at dawn, or borrow a bike to explore the scenic Beara region or go on a hike in the nearby Caha mountains. Just an hour’s car journey from Eccles Hotel is the most southernly point of Ireland, Mizen Head, where those brave enough to cross the bridge might spot humpback whales and dolphins in the swell below. After spending the day exploring the surrounding countryside, relax and unwind in the Spa at Eccles. (A must-do is a soak in a hot tub overlooking Bantry Bay). A three-course dinner with locally foraged produce by head chef Eddie Attwell, followed by a peaceful night’s sleep is a treat for all the senses. One night’s accommodation, a three-course dinner and breakfast for two people starts from €290; www.eccleshotel.com
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