Things to do in Ireland – Part 2

In the last blog, we looked at some of the things you can do around the country. In this blog, we’ll look at some more great things this country has to offer.

Take a seaweed bath in Sligo

Seaweed baths used to be a hugely popular in Sligo, with 300 seaweed bath houses in Sligo alone at the turn of the 20th century. As the population moved from the Atlantic coast the demand for seaweed baths declined. Since opening in 1996, the Voya seaweed baths in Strandhill have attracted 4000 visitors a year. Now, why would you bathe in seaweed you ask? Well, seaweed is full of beauty and giving properties.  Remember that life originally came from the sea, so seaweed will replenish you and help to make your skin look and feel younger. With its mixture of vitamins, algal polyphenols and carotenoids, seaweed is full of strong anti-oxidants to help promote suppleness of the skin as well as showing anti-ageing properties.

See the Winter Solstice at Newgrange, Co Meath

Newgrange is a tomb over 500 years old made by Stone age farmers. The mound is 85m in diameter, 13.5m high and has an area of about 1 acre. A passage measuring 19m lead to three alcoves. The passage and chamber align with the rising sun at the winter solstice. The structure is older than the Great Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge and is classified as an ancient temple. The site is also one of the best examples of megalithic stone art anywhere in the world. The temple is accessed via the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre on the south side of the river Boyne. During the Winter Solstice on the 21st December, the passage called the roof box allows the sunlight to pass through, illuminating the chamber. It is believed this was used as a fertility ritual in Stone Age times. The Solstice event is hugely popular and tickets are distributed by a free annual lottery. A word of warning though, only 50 people get tickets every year and over 30000 people applied for tickets last year. Even if you don’t get a ticket for the solstice, the site is still an awesome Neolithic site and should definitely be on your list of things to do in Ireland.

Ride a horse on a beach

Ireland’s coastline is full of stunning beaches and it’s a hugely exhilarating experience to gallop along one of them with the sea air in your hair. With so many places to take horses a trek, you’ll be able to find exactly the right place for your experience, from an experienced horse rider to the beginner. At Murrisk Bay, in Co Mayo, in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, where it’s said Saint Patrick prayed and fasted for 40 days and nights in 441 AD, you’ll find the perfect beach to take a ride. Contact Croagh Patrick’s stables and they can organise beach trekking or a water gallop if you’re feeling more adventurous.

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