Kick Jet Lag In To Touch

Aer Lingus - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Kick jet lag in to touch with these tips before jetting off on the summer holiday of a lifetime which is one of the best feelings in the world. Spending the first few days battling jet lag not so much.

Also known as ‘desynchronosis’ and ‘flight fatigue’, jet lag is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia and sometimes other symptoms. This is due to air travel across different time zones.

It’s caused by a disruption to your circadian rhythm the internal body clock that governs your daily sleep-wake pattern.

Besides fatigue and insomnia, unlucky travellers may experience a number of physical and emotional effects. This includes anxiety, constipation, diarrhoea, confusion, dehydration and headaches.

But can you avoid this one-way ticket to exhaustion?

Here are a few pointers to assist you for a comfortable flight.

1. Stay Hydrated

Water - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Before a flight, it can be tempting to load up on wine and beer to calm your nerves or caffeinated drinks to keep you awake, but this could be doing more harm than good.

Hydration can be key. Your body recovers best when it isn’t depleted of fluids. Tea, coffee and alcohol can dehydrate you, depending on what type you have.

When it comes to choosing from the drinks trolley mid-flight, I would suggest sticking to plain water. This is due to the fact artificial stimulants will affect your ability to sleep and increase jet lag recovery time.

Drink enough water to make sure your urine is a pale straw colour. You might also find that you get more dehydrated when you’re flying and need to drink more than normally.

2. Turn Off Gadgets

Gadgets - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

When you arrive at your destination, it can be really tempting to start updating your social media channels and checking up on the day’s news. If you’re planning to get some shut-eye, this can really throw off your sleep schedule.

The blue light emitted by your device can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime even when it’s not.

If you find yourself awake late in the evening, choose a light evening meal and stretch your legs outdoors instead.

Switch off electronic gadgets and read a book to help you fall asleep.

3. Bring Your Own Pillow

Pillow Sleep - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Try to maintain your personal sleep routine while you’re away from home.

Make time to set out your bedtime stuff, such as your pyjamas and toilet bag, so that things will be ready when you return for the night.

Also, try to preserve your pre-sleep habits and routines. These are important behavioural cues for sleep, so make sure you pack any items which support these behaviours, like photos, books, blankets and consider taking your own pillow.

4. Adjust Your Watch

Irish Rugby Tours Blog

A simple but effective trick you can do during your flight is to change your watch, phone and laptop to match the time of your destination.

This will mentally prepare you for the new time zone you’re about to enter.

Imagine what you would be doing at your destination and try to mimic that as much as possible, especially meals and bedtime.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly shifting your mind’s perspective and small actions can help your body adjust to the changes.

5. Snack On Cherries

Cherries - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Struggling to sleep in your hotel? Instead of ordering room service, try and find a local fruit vendor.

Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin. This hormone is responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle.

Cherries can help improve sleep quality, including sleep efficiency, the number of awakenings at night, nocturnal activity and actual time spent sleeping.

To reap the benefits, have either a handful of cherries as a bedtime snack or swill down a small serving of tart juice.  Subsequently you might just find that it stops you from staring at the ceiling all night.

Tribal County Galway

River Corrib Cruise

Corrib River Cruise - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a cruise onboard the luxurious all-weather 157 passenger boat, the Corrib Princess.

The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, Ireland’s largest lake.

It provides visitors with unsurpassed views and natural amenities that make this the most spectacular waterway in Ireland.

The Corrib Princess takes you past castles and various sites of both historical and cultural interest.

If you fancy a drink, apparently the Irish coffee is amazing from the boat’s bar.

Trad On The Prom

Trad On The Prom - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

MAY 2018 – OCTOBER 2018.

Under one roof performers who have captivated audiences from productions such as Riverdance, The Chieftains and Lord of the Dance have gathered on one stage. Here they present an unforgettable entertainment experience in Galway the City of the Tribes.

The music will touch your soul and the dancing will take your breath away. It’s a truly remarkable experience suitable for all ages and nationalities.

Trad on the Prom showcases the amazing talents of legendary trad musicians. In addition they are joined on stage by an amazing selection of guest musicians and dancers.

The show also features an outstanding array of World Champion Irish dancers.

Now in its fourteenth consecutive season, Trad on the Prom retains its position as Ireland’s number one music, song and dance experience.

Horse Riding

Horse Riding - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Discover the natural wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way on this full-day horseback riding adventure from Galway.

Before heading off you will meet your guides and your horse for the day and the guides will make sure that you feel comfortable and safe.

Trek to Omey Island, where you can gallop across the beach and splash through the waves. You will also enjoy spectacular views of the Twelve Bens mountain range.

Suitable for all riding levels. hats and boots will be supplied by the riding centre. Make sure you bring appropriate rain and wind gear.

Pedal Power Pub Crawl

Pedal Power Pub Crawl - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Taking in all the sights and sounds of Galway this is a great way to see the city.

The tour goes through Spanish Arch, The Long Walk and Quay Street, ideal for visitors looking for something different.

Available is a 15-seater bike called Big Berta which is great fun. It is the perfect vehicle to tour around Galway in addition to stopping at careful selected pubs.

There’s no party like a Pedal Power Party. Travel around Galway, playing all your own music on your blue tooth speakers.

Paddle Board & Kayaking Adventure

Paddle Board And Kayaking - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To GalwayArrive 15 minutes before time this will give you time to change into wet suit and buoyancy aid for the trip. You will then set off under the leadership of an experienced guide.

You will be provided with all the necessary equipment depending which pursuit you choose.

Your guide will take you to see magnificent scenery from a sea level view. Depending on which location is chosen for the day, this could include sea caves and arches and pristine white sandy beaches.

You might even catch sight of wildlife such as dolphins, seals, and the occasional basking shark.

Whiskey Tour

Irish Whiskey Tour - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To GalwayMeet your local guide in the infamous An Pucan Whiskey Bar. An Pucan is a very friendly, traditional Irish venue and the perfect setting for an intro to the history of Irish whiskey.

Here you will start the proceedings with two local Irish whiskeys. After this the venues are kept a secret which is part of the excitement.

Bar number 2 is a short walk away, your next whiskey bar awaits you for two more beautiful Irish whiskeys.

To finish off proceedings  you will be taken on a stroll through the historic streets to your last venue. Now it’s time to enjoy two more tipples of Irish whiskey.

From here who knows where the night will take you, but you’ll be sure to go home with a smile on your face as well as some great stories.

Galway Races

Galway Races - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

One of the greatest weeks in Galway, crowds in their tens of thousands flock religiously each year in August to celebrate this festival of horse racing.

Ladies Day is saved for the Thursday and here you will see the best of the best in fashion being displayed by all the ladies. A lavish prize is bestowed upon the best dressed lady on the day.

The race course dates back to 1869. What is unique about this course is that the last two fences are the closest together than any other race course in the world.

As part of his visit to Ireland in 1979 Pope John Paul 11 celebrated mass at the racecourse for two hundred and eighty thousand people. Afterwards the mayor of Galway then conferred the Freedom of Galway upon the Pontiff.

Walking Tour

Galway Walking Tours - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

What a great way to discover the rich history and cultural heritage of Galway city. The good thing about Galway is that it’s fairly compact and easy enough to get around on foot.

Whether you choose to go with a tour company or make your own way around the cobblestone streets, it’s a great way of being part of the hustle and bustle.

The advantage of going on your own steam is you can stop and start as you please without feeling you are delaying the group.

However, a tour company would have the advantage of a guide to answer those burning questions and also to add their personal touch with in-depth local knowledge.

Whichever way you choose to go and explore the city, the following should feature highly on your must-see list.

Oh, and don’t forget a good Galway map if you’re opting for a self-guided tour of the city.

InishBofin

Inishbofin Harbour - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Come and discover Inishbofin or (Inis Bo Finne-Island of the White Cow in Irish), which lies seven miles  off Galway’s north-west coast.

The island is five by three miles long and the main activities on the island today are tourism, farming and fishing.

There are five villages: West Quarter, Fawnmore, Middle Quarter, Cloonamore and Knock.

Inishbofin has lots of interesting things to see and do, such as many species of birds, historical sites, white beaches, swimming, hill walks and shore angling. It is also a centre for traditional Irish music and song with its own Ceilí band.

With this tour you take a bus trip from Galway city to Cleggan Harbour, then a ferry trip over to the island to experience the unique life of this magical island.

Enjoy a delicious light lunch of local foods and craft beer, with a walk around the island before departing by ferry then bus back to Galway city.

Dunguaire Castle BanquetDunguaire Castle Banquet - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

An evening of superb food and wines along with renowned music, song and storytelling. Also there’s intimate bench seating, dim candlelight and long oak tables.

In the tradition of the medieval King Guaire you are welcomed to savour a delicious four course dinner at Dunguaire Castle on the majestic shores of Galway Bay.

Enjoy fine wines, stories and excerpts selected to lift the soul and lighten the heart. When you arrive on the Castle steps the Butler will welcome you and show you into the Castle.

Savour a goblet of mead in the inner quarter while mingling with the Ladies of the Castle.

After a brief history of the Castle and a musical introduction by the Castle Singers, guests climb the stairs to enter the Banquet Hall.

Let the castle’s superb artists inspire you with extracts chosen from the works of great literary writers such as Yeats, Shaw, O’Casey and Synge.

Lovely Derry On The Foyle

The Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge, Derry - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours to Derry

Finally built in 2011 the Peace Bridge opened on the 25th June.

The reason for the bridge was to bring the two communities closer and to live in peace.

Not your standard straight bridge but a bridge with several bends and seats to rest.

It is also the newest of the three bridges in the city.

Free Derry Wall

Free Derry Wall - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

The Free Derry Wall is a historical landmark in the Bogside neighbourhood of Derry.

In January 1969 a local activist, who might have been Liam Hillen. Allegedly painted graffiti on a gable wall at the end of a housing terrace stating, “You are now entering Free Derry”.

In August 1969, the “Free Derry” wall was painted white and the “You are now entering Free Derry” was painted instead.

The area in front of the wall became known as Free Derry Corner by the inhabitants.

Saint Columb’s CathedralSt. Columbs Cathedral - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

In the walled city of Derry is the mother church of the Church of Ireland, Diocese of Derry and Raphoe and the parish church of Templemore.

This Church is in memory to Saint Columba, an Irish monk who established a christian settlement in the area.

St. Columb’s has in its possession many documents dating back from the Siege of Derry.

The Cathedral has in its possession many portraits of William of Orange and the original keys of the city.

Londonderry Apprentice Boys Lodge

Apprentice Boys Lodge - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

The hall was opened in 1877, dedicated to the memory of the thirteen apprentice boys who closed the city gates in 1688 against Catholic forces.

The hall is an architecturally important building within the walled city.

It now houses the headquarters of the association, with its office and debating chamber it also houses a social club and a museum.

The Tower Museum

The Tower Museum - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

The Tower Museum is a museum on local history in Derry.

The museum is located in Union Hall Place, within a historic tower just inside the city walls, near the Guildhall.

It presents the history of Derry and also has an exhibit on a local shipwreck from the Spanish Armada.

The museum opened in 1992 and has won a number of awards. It also covers the political conflict that has affected the history of the city.

Derry City Walls

Derry City Walls - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

Enjoy a fascinating guided tour along the walls of the city and listen to the old and the new history of Derry.

Derry has become a cosmopolitan and vibrant city. You will hear some of the most interesting stories regarding the troubles and the political struggles.

The guides tell their stories of the city with such pride and passion because as they say this is my home, my city and I love her.

Siege Museum

Siege Museum - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

The Siege of Londonderry in 1689 is one of the landmark events in British and Irish history.

An event of such importance that its outcome has shaped and continues to shape the history of both Britain and Ireland.

105 days 30,000 Protestant people held the walled city of Londonderry in the face of the Catholic King James II. They held it until the relief fleet broke across the River Foyle and the Jacobite forces commenced their retreat on August 1st, 1689.

Inside the museum is a fascinating history of those days. Well worth a visit to get a feel of what it was like for both sides of the community at that period of time.

Londonderry Guildhall

Londonderry Guildhall - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

Derry’s original 17th-century Guildhall was located in the Diamond area of the Walled City. Its name reflected the status of Londonderry as being founded by the City & Guilds of London.

The Building has been subjected to fire and terror attacks over the years but still remains a focal point in the city.

Originally named Victoria Hall this was discovered due to the fact it was engraved on some foundation stones found during restoration works.

It was badly damaged by fire in Easter 1908 with only the clock tower surviving the fire intact.

The whole building was re-built and renovated after the fire and re-opened in 1912.

Furthermore during the troubles, the building was subjected to terror attacks.

Creggan Country Park

Creggan Country Park - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Derry

Enjoy a day out at Creggan Country Park for a wide range of outdoor activities, from orienteering to kayaking.

The instructors will be able to go through all the basics with you if you are a beginner or novice, you’re in safe hands.

For those who would like a bit more action, paint balling is available, all the boys will love that.

Bring an old-fashioned picnic with you and enjoy the delightful countryside around you.

 

 

Limerick – The Treaty County

Adare Manor – Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea At Adare Manor - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

This is a magical setting for an indulgent and unforgettable dining experience, afternoon tea at Adare Manor an absolute delight.

The Gallery at Adare Manor is the perfect marriage of grand scale and exquisite detail. As a result people are flocking to the manor.

Surrounded by magnificent stained glass and ancient wood-carvings and delighted by exceptional tastes and flavours what more would you want.

Aran Islands

Aran Islands -Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

The Aran Islands are 3 rocky isles guarding the mouth of Galway Bay and only 75 minutes from Limerick to Doolin Harbour.

The largest island, Inishmore, is home to the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa, perched on top of a high cliff.

A true Irish experience awaits, locals speak Irish as well as English in a setting of Celtic churches of historical significance.

Easiest way around the Islands is by mini bus where a drop and pick up service is available or on bike at your own leisure.

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle -Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

This is the fourth castle, the present structure, was built by the MacNamara family after around 1425.

The castle was opened to the public in 1960, sporting furniture, tapestries and works of art dating to around 1600.

Today, the castle is a major tourist attraction, along with Bunratty Folk Park. Both the castle and Bunratty House are open to the public.

The castle is famous for its medieval banquets. Bunratty Folk Park is an open-air museum featuring around 30 buildings, including the Ardcroney Church of Ireland church, which moved here and reopened in 1998.

Cliffs Of Moher

Cliffs of Mother -Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

Only 90 minutes from Limerick the Cliffs Of Moher are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland.

It also topped a list of attractions in 2006 by drawing almost one million visitors the total visit number is now around 1.5 million per annum.

Furthermore the cliffs are also a signature point on the official Wild Atlantic Way tourist trail.

While the cliffs can be accessed at multiple points there is also an 18km Cliff Walk. Consequently the majority of visitors come to the official visitor centre.

Greyhound Racing

Greyhound Racing -Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

A night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium provides, live, adrenaline pumped entertainment.

Top class facilities ensure it is comfortable to watch the action from inside and out. A lot of people like to make an evening by going greyhound racing as what they require is at their fingertips.

Available at the Stadium is a restaurant and bar.

Racing takes place on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Gates open at 6:30pm and the first race is at 7:45pm. So, get your friends together and head off for a night at the dogs.

The Hunt Museum

Hunt Museum -Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

The Hunt Museum exhibits one of Ireland’s greatest private collections of art and antiquities.

Dating from the Neolithic to the 20th Century, works included are by Renoir, Picasso and Yeats.

The Hunt Museum started up in 1978 in one room, not as old as you think it would be.

John and Gertrude Hunt were collectors and advisors to other collectors of fine art. As John got older he found he had amassed a considerable amount of art.

He asked the Irish Government if they would like the collection but declined.

Two members from what is now University Limerick took the collection and stored in that one room in 1978. The Museum officially opened in 1997.

King John’s Castle

King John's Castle -Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

King John’s Castle is situated in the heart of medieval Limerick City.

Visitors of all ages will find something to inspire and excite them at the brand-new visitor experience at King John’s Castle.

The stunning new exhibition at King John’s Castle brings to life over 800 years of dramatic local history.

John was of course brother to Richard, also known as Richard The Lionheart. There was never any real love between these two brothers.

John was a bad king hated by his people, where Richard was loved but was never home for the people.

Lough Gur Heritage Centre

Lough Gur Visitor Centre -Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

The exhibition provides an overview of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites.

Lough Gur is at the heart of a remarkable archaeological landscape. In Addition it features sites that represent every major period of human history in Ireland.

The exhibition is suitable for all ages and brings the visitor on a journey through the history of Lough Gur.

Starting during the Mesolithic Era, and progressing until the 19th century.

Visitors to the Centre have an opportunity to actively engage with the exhibition. For Instance they can play a role in forming their individual experience at the centre by choosing which interactive elements to investigate.

Thomond Park

Thomond Park - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Limerick

Follow in the footsteps of the Munster heroes by taking a look behind the scenes at the historic Thomond Park Stadium.

The stadium tour takes you to places usually only accessible to players and officials.

When you walk through the tunnel and up to the pitch you can imagine the crowd shouting Munster Munster from the stands.

Before or afterwards you can enjoy a look round the Museum which shows Munster’s history including that famous win over the All Blacks in 1978.

Wexford-The Sunny South East’s 10 Attractions

Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

Explore the oldest operational lighthouse in the world.

Voted one of Ireland’s favourite attractions, Hook Lighthouse in Wexford is truly one of a kind.

Purpose built 800 years ago by the Knight William Marshal. Take a step back in time for a guided tour hearing tales of medieval times and life as a light keeper.

If you are feeling fit climb to the top for a spectacular view of Ireland’s coast line.

Irish National Heritage Park

Irish National Heritage Park - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

Welcome to a journey which will take you through Ireland’s past over 35 acres.

You will see full scale reconstructions of ancient houses, forts and tombs.

A fully reconstructed early Christian monastery, mill, cooking place, Viking boatyard and boats. Ancient bread animals at the Ringfort woodland trails and wildlife.

There’s a defensive ditch built by first Norman invaders to Ireland and a Round Tower memorial to the Crimean War.

Dunbrody Famine Ship

Dunbrody Famine Ship - Irish Rugby Tours , Rugby Tours To Wexford

The Dunbrody Famine Ship is a spectacular feature of the New Ross quayside.

This is one attraction that can’t be missed the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience is a reminder of our history.

Your guide will tell you the history of the boat and what it was like to sail across to America. Life on board was not a pretty one.

Our American guests enjoy this tour. For many of them this is where their ancestors probably sailed from and is a humble experience for them.

Loftus HallLoftus Hall - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

Loftus Hall is one spooky house.

Originally built in 1170 by a Norman knight called Raymond Le Gros.  Gros then changed his name to Redmond because he wanted an Irish identity.

Loftus Hall is Ireland’s most haunted house. You will learn all about the dark side of this house.

For those feeling really brave there is a lockdown at night.

Enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand.

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

A Cistercian abbey, founded in 1200 by William, the Earl Marshall, and named after Tintern in Wales.

The remains consist of nave, chancel, tower, chapel and cloister.

The Colclough family occupied this house from the 16th century until 1960s.

Wells HouseWells House - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

Discover the 400 year old history of Wells House & Gardens.

Uncover the everyday lives of the families who lived in the estate and their famed architect Daniel Robertson.

Giving you a unique insight into the life of previous generations. You can watch falconry shows on the house lawns.

Enniscorty Castle

Enniscorthy Castle - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

Enniscorthy Castle, in the heart of Enniscorthy town.

Originally built in the 13th century, and has been home to Norman knights, English armies, Irish rebels and prisoners.

Visit the dungeon to see the rare medieval wall art The Swordsman.

Pop up to the battlements to marvel at the amazing views of Vinegar Hill Battlefield and Enniscorthy town.

National 1798 Rebellion Centre

National 1798 Rebellion Centre - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

Fanned by flames of Revolution in America and France, the events of 1798 in Ireland are etched forever on Irish history.

On your visit you will meet the key figures of the Rebellion, participate in their state of the art 4D battle of Vinegar Hill.

Discover how weapons from the period worked. Learn in gruesome detail how some 20,000 insurgents faced the might of 10,000 well-trained and well-armed Crown Forces.

The Kennedy Homestead

Kennedy Homestead - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To WexfordThe Kennedy Homestead, birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy.

In the house you will find the story of five generations of the Kennedy dynasty.

The curators, using the Kennedy Library archival collection in Boston, have created a state of the art interpretative exhibit. It explores the circumstances of Patrick Kennedy’s departure from Ireland in 1848.

Piecing together the story of the most famous Irish–American family through the 20th century to the present day.

Duncannon Fort

The Ros Tapestries - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Wexford

Duncannon Fort is an important sixteenth century coastal bastioned fort.

The fort is one of only three bastioned forts built in County Wexford and the only one which is accessible to the public.

A tapestry telling the story of the Normans arriving in Ireland in the 1100’s can be seen with several others.

 

Dublin – Ireland’s Capital

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

The Guinness Storehouse is the Home of Guinness, where you will discover what goes into the making of each and every pint.

Learn about the incredible brand history stretching over 250 years. Ireland’s number one International Visitor Attraction unfolds its tale across seven floors. Shaped around a giant pint, which, if filled would contain 14.3 million pints of Guinness.

On the fifth floor you can rest and order a pint with some food while being entertained by musicians and traditional dancers.

For those who would like to try and pour a pint for themselves the option is there to see how good they are.

Temple Bar

Temple Bar - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

Temple Bar is a busy riverside neighbourhood, spread over cobbled pedestrian lanes.

Crowded pubs host live folk music and DJ sets, and diners pack restaurants serving Asian, American and Irish cuisine.

Quirky boutiques stock clothes and crafts by local designers. Dublin’s number one drinking location is packed with visitors daily, morning noon and night it’s never empty.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

Dublin Castle was first founded as a major defensive work Meiler Fitzhenry on the orders of King John in 1204.

Sometime after the Normans had invaded in 1169, it was ordered that a castle be built with strong walls and good ditches for the defence of the city.

In 1922 Dublin Castle was eventually given to its people and the new Irish Republic government under Michael Collins.

A guided tour is recommended, you will get to see some exhibits that you would not see just walking around on your own.

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours

Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history.

They Robert Emmet, Charles Stewart Parnell, the 1916 Rising leaders and Eamon de Valera.

The Gaol was built in 1796 replacing the one which was more of a hovel than a gaol. From that date to 1820, hangings took place outside the front gate once a week.

Men, women and children were not segregated and 5 to a cell was the norm. All they had was the one candle for light and heat.

Most of the time the prisoners were in the dark and cold as they only got one candle every fortnight.

A fascinating tour about the prison and Irish history.

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours

Christ Church Cathedral is one visitor’s attraction that has to be seen.

History walks out from everywhere is this amazing cathedral. The cathedral was probably founded around 1028 and just after 1066 the Norman invasion, it became the property of the French.

Henry 11 is reported to have attended the cathedral for communion after he had Thomas Beckett murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.

The cathedral was originally built in wood, but the Normans rebuilt it in stone.

It’s one place of worship that really is a must when you come to Dublin.

Jameson Distillery

Jameson Distillery - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

Originally one of six main whiskey distilleries in Dublin Jameson was founded by John Jameson in 1780.

By 1805 the distillery had become the number one producer in the world.

A visit to the distillery is a must it is an exciting and engaging experience as the staff will tell you.

You will discover how three simple ingredients, water, barley and yeast are transformed into the drink that is known as Jameson Irish Whiskey.

There’s a little sampling to be done too, which can’t be missed.

Dublinia

Dublina - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

Dublinia tells the story of Dublin from the Vikings through the Norman Invasion and through the ages.

You will definitely come away from here knowing so much more of Dublin and the people who lived here and built this city. It is located at Christ Church the crossroads of medieval Dublin.

There are a couple of more exhibitions on show too which would be of interest.

One being the artefacts that have been unearthed over the years such as the skeleton remains of a Viking warrior.

Viking Splash Tours

Viking Splash Tours - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

Viking Splash Tours is a truly unique experience on land and water. Here you will take in the sights of Dublin during a fun-filled and engaging guided city tour.

Enjoy the sights of Dublin by land and water amphibious vehicles that take you from land to water and back again.

You will experience an unanticipated, enjoyable and informative experience that appeals to young and old alike.

The tour lasts for about 70 mins and the guides are very good. If you’re lucky enough to be chosen you might get the chance to do a bit of steering down the River Liffey.

Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium Tours - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

Visit the Aviva Stadium for a tour. You will see the press conference room, home dressing rooms, players’ tunnel, dugouts and more.

The Aviva tour guides will bring you around the stadium and entertain you for an hour.

One of the guides is Patrick O’Reilly AKA Ralla. Ralla was kit man to the Irish Rugby team for 15 years and also kit man for two British and Irish Lions tours.

During the tour the team management are usually asked to sit at the media table so that the players can ask a few questions for a bit of craic.

Croke Park

Croke Park - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Dublin

Croke Park is the home of Ireland’s national game Gaelic Football and Hurling.

Every child in the country is brought up to play both sports just like children in New Zealand are brought up with a rugby ball.

Visit Croke Park on a stadium tour and you will learn all you need to know about this Irish sport.

There’s a chance to do the roof top tour which takes you all round the top of the stadium. This also allows you to walk out onto a podium which overlooks the pitch.

Hurling is the world’s fastest ball game and the ball can travel at speeds, the ball when hit has been clocked at a 100mph.

 

 

Rebel County Cork

Cork English Food Market

Cork English Food Market - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

The English Market has been serving the population of Cork City since 1788.

During its life it has survived revolution, war, depression, famine and the boom period. But it has always remained as the hub of the city for its inhabitants to meet and gather.

In recent years the market has even been visited by royalty. Queen Elizabeth 11 of England and just recently her son Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.

So, when in Cork, the market is a must visit, even just to look around.

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is a Gothic three spiral cathedral in the city of Cork.

It belongs to the Church of Ireland and was completed in on ground that has been a place of worship since the seventh century. Christian use of the site dates back to a seventh-century monastery and was, according to tradition, founded by Finbarr of Cork.

During the medieval period, the site underwent successive wars, waves of church building and damage.

Around 1536, during the Protestant Reformation the cathedral became part of the established church later known as the Church of Ireland.

Blackrock Castle

Blackrock Castle And Observatory Dome - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Blackrock Castle is a castellated fortification located on the banks of the River Lee.

Originally developed as a coastal defence fortification in the 16th century to protect upper Cork Harbour and port, the site now houses an observatory and visitor centre.

In the late 16th century, the citizens of Cork appealed to Queen Elizabeth I to construct a fort at Blackrock to fight back pirates and other invaders.

Around 1582 a fortification was built on the site and later around 1600, a round tower was constructed to safeguard against pirates carrying away vessels entering the harbour.

The earliest elements of this structure remaining today are a circular tower on the water’s edge.

Mitchelstown Cave

Mitchelstown Cave - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Mitchelstown Cave was discovered by Michael Condon in 1833.

He came by it while he was out quarrying limestone. He dropped his crowbar into a crevasse and while he moved some rocks to pick it up he looked down into what was a large underground passageway.

Now people from far and near travel to Mitchelstown to see this world famous cave.

Walking in Michael’s footsteps you will come across massive caverns which are covered in fascinating dripstone formations. you will also come across one of Europe’s finest columns called the Tower of Babel.

Concerts are performed underground as the acoustics are incredible.

Spike Island

Spike Island Fort - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Spike Island is an island of 103 acres in Cork Harbour. Originally the site of a monastic settlement, the island is dominated by an 18th-century star fort named Fort Mitchel.

The island’s strategic location within the harbour meant it was used at times for defence and as a prison.

Cork Harbour’s defences faced two threats. Firstly, an attack by war-ships forcing an entry in to the harbour – either in a raid to destroy shipping or to affect a landing of troops.

Secondly, they faced the threat of attack from the land by forces which had been landed at an undefended point along the coast.

Spike Island is now a tourist attraction which attracts thousands, in August 2016 it alone attracted over 10,000 visitors. On show there are prison cells, gun emplacements, and key points of interest.

Cork City Gaol

Cork City Gaol - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Visit this old castle like gaol and imagine what it was like for the inmates to live here during their incarceration for such petty crimes.

The gaol was built in 1824 and took 8 years to finish as the years passed by different wings were added to accommodate extra prisoners.

The warders themselves actually lived inside the prison with their families in rooms just a little bigger than the cells the prisoners were housed in.

When the gaol opened it was home to both male and female but of course in different wings.

In 1927 the gaol became a radio station for what is now the nation’s chief broadcaster.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone, everyone wants to kiss the legendary stone. When lying on your back and head back don’t look down, it’s a long way down but don’t worry you’re in safe hands.

The castle that visitors see today is the 3rd castle to be built on the site.

The first castle was built around the 10th century and was a wooden fort. In 1210 the second castle was built this time of stone and then the present castle was built in 1446.

Blarney means persuasive elegance, being able to flatter or charm someone. It comes from the Irish word Bhlarna which means little field, but we all like the first meaning.

Zip Lining

Zip Lining - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Who wants to play Tarzan? Zip Lining will give you that chance.

Deep in the Cork countryside you will find zip lining for all levels.

A place where children can be children and adults can be children too. You can climb high into the treetops if you have the nerve, swing into the cargo nets and then zip line. For those scared of heights there are the lower levels where you will feel a little safer.

This is a unique experience for everyone to enjoy, no matter what age you are.

Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Opened in July 1983 by the President of Ireland, has the primary aim of conservation of global wildlife. It is a joint project of the Zoological Society of Ireland and University College, Cork.

Fota Wildlife Park has more than 70 species of exotic wildlife in open surroundings. Animals include ostriches, giraffes, kangaroos, zebras and antelope.

Most of the animals who inhabit the island are allowed to roam throughout with the exception of the cheetahs and other predators, which have fenced enclosures. Ring-tailed lemurs, wallabies and other animals freely roam the park.

Many of the animals at Fota are under threat of extinction. Fota Wildlife Park is involved in breeding programs for these endangered species, as well as being a breeding source for other zoos around the world.

An Asian sanctuary opened between in 2015 and includes enclosures for tigers and other animals. In 2015 the park was the ninth most popular paid attraction in Ireland, with 436,000 visitors that year.

Cobh Titanic Experience

Cobh Titanic Experience - Irish rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Cork

Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic before it set sail for America.

Here you will read about and learn about the last passengers to board the ocean liner.

Upon entry you will be given a boarding ticket with a name of one of those passengers. At the end of the tour you will find out what happened to that person.

It’s a very enjoyable guided tour, not on the same par as the one you probably have seen in Belfast but still worth visiting.

 

 

10 Things To Do In Belfast

Titanic Experience

Titanic Belfast - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience, exploring the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way.

Make your way through the 9 interactive galleries of the Titanic Experience, explore the symbolism of this iconic building with the Discovery Tour.

Walk the decks of the last remaining White Star vessel SS Nomadic or immerse yourself in the historic slipways as you uncover the true legend of Titanic, in the city where it all began.

Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

Come to one of Ireland’s biggest landmarks The Giant’s Causeway.

Located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles northeast  of Bushmills village.

Here you will read all about Irish mythology and its legends.

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

Bushmills Whiskey

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

In the small village of Bushmills, settled on the banks of the river you’ll find the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

A place where family and friends have worked for generations is a small Northern Irish village. Here for over 400 years it has kept to its own philosophy. By hand crafting small batches is the way to produce beautifully smooth tasting Irish whiskey.

Experience a guided tour around the distillery and listen to how this famous Irish Whiskey is made from the very beginning to the bottling stage. There’s also the opportunity to purchase some of its products.

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours to Belfast

The site now occupied by Belfast City Hall was once the home of the White Linen Hall. This was an important international Linen Exchange.

The street that runs from the back door of Belfast City Hall through the middle of the linen quarter is Linen Hall Street.

Construction of the building started in 1898 and was completed in 1906.

There are 15 amazing rooms to look through on this tour with amazing history for you to read and take in.

The people of the city and its visitors are welcomed to sit on the lawns and watch Belfast City at work.

Botanic Gardens

Palm House Botanic Gardens - Irish Rugby Tours, rugby Tours To Belfast

The gardens opened in 1828 as the private Royal Belfast Botanical Gardens.

Continued as a private park for many years, only opening to members of the public on Sundays prior to 1895.

It then became a public park in 1895 when the Belfast Corporation bought the gardens from the Belfast Botanical and Horticultural Society.

The gardens are now owned by Belfast City Council. It has two main exhibits the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine House. Here you will find many species of flower and trees from around the world.

Concerts have been performed in the gardens notably U2 who played here in 1997 their first concert in Belfast since 1987.

Ulster Museum

Ulster Museum - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

You could spend hours browsing this state-of-the-art museum, but if you’re pressed for time don’t miss the Armada Room.

The museum is filled with artefacts retrieved from the 1588 wreck of the Spanish galleon Giron. It also holds the Egyptian Room, with Takabuti, a 2500-year-old Egyptian mummy unwrapped in Belfast in 1835.

Everyone is interested in history and a visit to this museum will give you an idea of what life was like in each ancient world.

Crumlin Road Gaol

Crumlin Road Gaol - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

This Prison was partly based on another prison in London, it was one of the most advanced prisons of  it’s day.

The prison was designed to hold between 500 to 550, one prisoner per cell but in the early 1970s that rose to 3 prisoners per cell.

During its 150 year history the prison has had many prisoners pass through its doors. Some of the more well known prisoners included Eamon De Valera, Martin McGuinness, Michael Stone and Bobby Sands.

The prison closed its doors in 1996 and was left empty for many years. In 2012 the prison reopened as a tourist attraction and recreates the history this prison once held.

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

This castle was built by the Normans. Owned by the Scots, Irish, English, French and remains as one of the best preserved medieval castles in Northern Ireland.

Built by John de Courcy in 1177 as his headquarters, after he conquered eastern Ulster in 1177 and ruled as a petty king until 1204. He was ousted by another Norman adventurer, Hugh de Lacy.

It has had many uses over the years, first to house prisoners of war then became a prison. For a hundred years it served as an armoury. During WW1 it was a garrison and ordnance store then during WW11 it became an air raid shelter.

Ulster Folk And Transport Museum

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

The Ulster folk and transport Museum is situated about 11 kilometres east of the city. It comprises of two separate museums, the Folk Museum and the Transport Museum.

The Folk Museum endeavours to illustrate the way of life and traditions of the people in Northern Ireland, past and present. While the Transport Museum explores and exhibits methods of transport by land, sea and air, past and present.

In 1958, the Folk Museum was created to preserve a rural way of life in danger of disappearing in Northern Ireland.

The present site was acquired in 1961. With the museum opening to the public for the first time three years later in 1964. In 1967, the Folk Museum merged with the Belfast Transport Museum, to form the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

Stormont Castle

Stormont Castle - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Belfast

Stormont Castle is a mansion on the Stormont Estate. It is used as the main meeting place of the Northern Ireland Executive it’s not classed as a castle in real terms.

Between 1921 and 1972, it served as the official residence of the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

It also served as the location of the Cabinet Room of the Government of Northern Ireland from 1921 to 1972.

Before devolution it served as the Belfast headquarters of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, during the Troubles.

 

Irish Rugby Tours A Feast Of Touring

What A Year

It has been an incredible season for our groups touring to Ireland and Europe.

The experiences they have experienced and enjoyed are always the best memories from touring.

My own sides that I have coached even now a decade afterwards always chat about the tours and remember the fun and enjoyment of it. The tour of course starts with the fun raising which is always prepared in advance to get the ball rolling, from car washing to pub quizzes.

Once you have the momentum everything just falls into place and then you are nearly there.

Our groups have been far and near this season, travelling to New Zealand, United States of America, South Africa, Italy, Britain and of course here at home in Ireland.

The groups enjoyed plenty of sightseeing in Dublin such as Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Whiskey,  Aviva Stadium, the Book of Kells and the Old Library at Trinity College. Galway is always on the to do list with groups, especially Bill O’Brien’s ferry crossing in Doolin for the Arran Islands and then onto the Cliffs of Moher to see them from the water before heading back to shore then making your way to the cliffs and just take in the amazing views from the cliff’s top.

On the island you can enjoy a ramble on foot or if your lazy like me a horse and trap will take you around escorted by one of the locals. For those of you who are young and fit, there’s the bike tour definitely one way of getting around the island and at your own pace.

Limerick, a hotbed of Irish Rugby and home to Munster Rugby. In Limerick groups have the opportunity to be coached by Munster coaches at the University of Limerick rugby pitches, and we know that this is highly loved by our visiting coaches.

King John's Castle - Rugby Tours To Limerick, Rugby Tours To Ireland

After training there’s the opportunity to visit Thomond Park, home of Munster Rugby where they see what goes on behind the scenes and of course the museum afterwards. Limerick offers a great night life to our older groups with the bars and clubs on offer. King Johns Castle stands out as a major draw factor as groups want to hear and see the history of Limerick and what the English brought to Ireland.

People from Cork claim the city as the real capital of Ireland and really are always inviting visitors to stand and talk to them about their visit to the city. Jameson Distillery in Midleton is always asked for and our guests always enjoy the tour around the old distillery.

David Corkery - Irish Rugby Tours To Ireland, Rugby Tours To Cork

Training sessions are always looked forward to as our good friend former Munster, Ireland and British Lions Legend David Corkery as they know they are getting the best tuition from one of the best.

Several American sides ventured to Italy this year wanting a different tour. Rome, Florence, Milan, Parma and Venice were all visited this season visiting such places as the Colosseum, DuomoMilano which is Milan Cathedral, the Accademia Gallery where Michelangelo’s David is showcased, the Venice Canal and in Parma where everyone was looking forward to the famous Parma Ham barbecue and everyone got to feed from the pig on the spit, what a sight that is.

The Rugby was tough and local club teams do love their rugby and take it all very seriously, but I must say the hospitality that you receive afterwards is second to none just outstanding.

Blackrock College School - Irish Rugby Tours To New Zealand, Rugby Tours To New Zealand

New Zealand was a faraway adventure for one group from Ireland and what an adventure that was for them.

Three weeks of rugby with some extensive training sessions All Blacks style with fixtures, sightseeing and activities such as white water rafting and visiting Maori Cultural sites to learn what it means to be Maori.

Because of that experience we have had another couple of groups take the plunge and are now looking forward to experiencing the same adventure.

Wesley College - Irish Rugby Tours To USA, Rugby Tours To USA

America, everyone wants to go to America. This was the case for another group from Ireland who spent 11 days in New York and Boston. From the Empire State Building, dining at Planet Hollywood sitting down at the steps in Time Square to watching the Boston Red Sox play baseball, BostonUniversity and yes, a Duck Tour through the streets of Boston and along the Hudson River what more could you ask for, the rugby wasn’t bad either.

Newcastle West RFC - Irish Rugby Tours To England, Rugby Tours To Manchester

Britain will always remain a favourite with Irish clubs, our closest neighbour is always at the top of the list when it comes to touring. Across the sea by ferry in a matter of hours and you are there. Wales provides Swansea and Cardiff as the most popular destinations for our groups, while Manchester and Liverpool in England. The rugby is very competitive as you can imagine with all the top colt sides jostling for top position but as I know from touring with the Irish sides our teams do very well.

Cheetahs Rugby - Irish Rugby Tours

At the top end of the table our groups from the professional level have always had us busy from the Pro14, Champions Cup, The Challenge Cup and the Six Nations a mixed bag of results, but that’s rugby.

So, by now you must be thinking to yourself have to go on tour, have to do it, so just go to our website follow the link provided http://www.irishrugbytours.com choose your country and destination it’s that simple, see you soon and soon enough you too will be on your way to experience what thousands of others have done before you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forty Eight Hours In Budapest And Bratislava

Budapest

Budapest - Irish Rugby Tours To Budapest, Rugby Tours To Hungary, Women's Rugby Tours To budapest

It was decided that Irish Rugby Tours would add some new destinations for its list of countries to explore. So Hungary and Slovakia were chosen and off we went to Budapest our first port of call.

When we arrived we found how handy it was to collect our rented car as it was only located across the road from the airport arrivals entrance. Once in the car it was a forty minute drive into the city centre to our first appointment. Soon after it was down to the Gellert Spa to relax for an hour or two after a very early start. This one hundred year old spa houses fifteen pools with two outside including a wave pool.

Gellert Spa - Irish Rugby Tours To Hungary, Irish Rugby Tours To Budapest, Women's Rugby Tours To Budapest,

After our relaxing, it was down to the banks of the Danube for our trip along this famous river where we caught our cruise boat for the our one hour and fifteen minute ride listening and looking at the history of Budapest.

River Danube Boat Cruise - Irish Rugby Tours To Hungary, Irish Rugby Tours To Budapest, Women's Rugby Tours To Budapest

As the afternoon closed in it was off to another couple of appointments and then a nice little walk around the city.

Bratislava

After a good nights rest it was off to Bratislava in Slovakia with an early start. One thing we noticed was how green both these two countries were, it reminded us of how green Ireland is, must be all the rain that we all get. First location on the agenda was the mighty impressive Bratislava Castle such a beautiful sight as it stood tall above the city.

Bratislava Castle - Irish Rugby Tours To Slovakia, Rugby Tours To Bratislava, Irish Rugby Tours To Bratislava, Women's Rugby Tours To Bratislava

Lunch had soon come around and we found somewhere to rest our weary legs. A local delicacy was beef tenders and dumplings in a sauce which was nice and filling followed by gelato ( ice cream ).

Local Cuisine - Irish Rugby Tours To Slovakia, Irish Rugby Tours To Bratislava, Rugby Tours to Bratislava, Women's RugbyTours To Bratislava

With a few more appointments and a quick look round the city it was back on the road to Budapest. On the way home we were stunned by the amount of HGV trucks on the road we must have counted at least five hundred in one single traffic jam as they all tried to cross the Hungarian / Slovakian border. Must be said both cities are beautiful with such a lot to do. We found the people very helpful and English is not a problem.

Bratislava Old Town - Irish Rugby Tours To Slovakia, Irish Rugby Tours To Bratislava, Rugby Tours to Bratislava, Women's Rugby Tours To Bratislava