Feeling the effects of silly season? Where better to indulge in something weird and wonderful than magical Irelandâ€¦.
1) Kayaking through biolumiscence at night in County Cork
In remote south-west Ireland lies a lake that offers an aquatic version of the glorious Northern Lights. Join international kayak champion Jim Kennedy out into the night waters of Lough Hyne, Co Cork, to experience the ultimate in watery phosphorescence. Thanks to a combination of no-light pollution and temperature, the loughâ€™s phyto-plankton light up like fireflies when agitated. The effect is most impressive on dark nights between May and October.
The nightly trip, offered by Atlantic Sea Kayaking, costs â‚¬45 per person and takes two and a half hours. It is suitable for all levels of adult kayakers, and scheduled trips for families are also available. For more information visit www.atlanticseakayaking.com
2) Walk the George Best Safari to mark two-year anniversary
Experience a ‘Belfast Safari’ â€“ a variety of walking tours of the city that focus on the themes of art, literature, politics, music, architecture and sports. The newest tour is the â€˜George Best Safariâ€™ where visitors follow in the footsteps of Belfast’s very own football icon and local hero to find out about the man that was revered by Pele as the greatest footballer of all time.
The tour takes in murals painted by local artists in tribute to the great athlete and see tributes to Bestâ€™s childhood, his time at Queen’s University and Stormont Parliament Buildings, plus his final resting place at Roselawn cemetery. 25 November 2007 will mark the second anniversary of his death. For more information visit www.belfastsafaris.com
3) Magic roads in Ireland
You may have heard the rumours or seen them on YouTube, so why not get out there and experience â€˜rolling uphillâ€™ yourself? On a number of â€˜magic roadsâ€™ across Ireland, those sitting in a stationary car can sit back and enjoy the sensation of rolling uphill. One such road is in the Comeragh Mountains in Waterford (park close to the Fairy Tree), whilst another is located off the R173 towards Carlingford, near Dundalk. An optical illusion it may be, but certainly one to impress the passengers! For more information and directions visit http://www.dochara.com/tips/odd-unusual.php.
4) Belfast Food & Drink Festival (1 Sept â€“ 12 Oct â€˜07)
What better excuse to head to Northern Ireland than a month plus long festival dedicated to fabulous food and drink? Meet regional producers, sample local cuisine, check out the Saturday cookery demonstrations in St Georgeâ€™s Market, and take advantage of great deals from participating bars and restaurants.
The festival will take place between 1 September & 12 October 2007 with events such as fashion shows, wine and whiskey tasting and theme night dinners in venues throughout the festival. Other highlights include:
* Hillsborough Oyster Festival 28 August-2 September 2007
* Garden Gourmet, Botanic Gardens, 15-16 September 2007
* Jenny Bristow Master Class, W5, 29 September 2007
* Chilli Fest â€“ part of the Open House Festival 26-30 September 2007
5) â€˜An Evening of Food, Folk and Fairiesâ€™
Myths, legends and storytelling are top of the agenda at the brand new and unique cultural evenings launching in Dublin this summer. â€˜An Evening of Food, Folk and Fairiesâ€™, is a new venture by Irish Folk Tours, hoping to bring to life the stories and myths surrounding Irelandâ€™s rich and mystical heritage.
Explore Irish beliefs and superstitions with regard to the otherworld of the fairies, and listen to magical stories they told around campfires at night. Those with Irish ancestry can delve into their descendentsâ€™ past and learn how Irish people lived off the land, while enjoying a traditional Irish meal in Dublinâ€™s oldest pub The Brazen Head.
The evening of Food Folk and Fairies takes place four times a week from 7-10pm until 30 October. The evening costs â‚¬40 per person and includes a four course traditional Irish meal and live music entertainment. For further information visit www.irishfolktours.com. To book phone 00 353 1 4922543 or e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.