A new year and a new touring season for clubs thinking of embarking on their mid or end of season tour.  Here at Irish Rugby Tours we acknowledge that clubs, schools and college/universities will be all on hold until the present situation ceases.

Bearing that in mind we have put together a selection of five coastal rugby touring cities.  Could one of these cities turn into a tour of a lifetime?

1. CAPE TOWN – The Mother City

Irish Rugby Tours

Based on the Western Cape of South Africa lies Cape Town.  It is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg and also the legislative capital of South Africa.  Colloquially named the Mother City, it is the largest city of the Western Cape province.

You may ask yourself why is it named so?  The reason is, Cape Town is the original city of South Africa.  It was established in 1652 as a refuelling station for ships bounds for the East (the Spice Route).

Cape town offers you the chance to explore and lose yourself from Nelson Mandela‘s prison cell on Robben Island to the top of Lions Head where the views are stunning and the sunsets are phenomenal for both locals and visitors.

As Rugby is concerned there is no shortage of clubs and schools to accommodate you with post match afterwards.  Get to know your hosts around the Braai with the meat cooking enjoying a cold beer or just a soft drink.

2. AUCKLAND – City of Sails

Irish Rugby Tours

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and contains the country’s busiest international airport.  It’s not the capital city though (that’s Wellington). Located towards the top of the North Island, Auckland is a convenient jumping-off point for travels around the North Island.

More than this, however, Auckland is a lively and naturally beautiful city that offers plenty of attractions for any kind of traveler.  If you’re into good food and buzzing nightlife, you’ll find it here.  Alternatively, if you prefer the outdoors, you can swim in the sea, hike, sail, and more in Auckland.

Maori culture is very important to the country’s history and the people are very proud of it.  Cultural evenings are are great way of learning how the Maori’s have adapted to the new world and at the same time keeping their heritage alive for others to learn their history.

As New Zealand is the #1 Rugby playing country in the world there are plenty of challengers just waiting to show you why, from clubs and the high schools, no match will be soft.  Of course you have the opportunity just before kick off to accept a Haka as your opponents challenge you.

3. SYDNEY – The Harbour City

Irish Rugby Tours

Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, is best known for its harbour front Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design.

Massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby.   If you fancy climbing Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, this offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs.

With the world famous Bondi Beach on your doorstep offering golden sands, blue waters, surfing the scenery isn’t bad either.

Sydneysiders love their sport and with abundance of sport on offer you are spoilt for choice.  Firstly, Rugby in both codes, Aussie Rules, Soccer, Cricket, Basketball, Baseball and yes even Ice Hockey.  Surely you can’t miss out on this tour, what an experience.

4. LISBON – Lisboetas

Irish Rugby Tours

Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city.  From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge.

Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles.  Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.

The city and its metropolitan area has a hot dry subtropical or a typical Mediterranean climate with short and very mild winters and warm summers, so even in winter it’s going to be quite good.

Rugby in Lisbon is strongly represented with a large selection of clubs all waiting for the overseas challenge.  Most clubs would be made up of the local habitants and residents who have moved to the city from England or Ireland.

5. ROME – The Eternal City

Irish Rugby Tours

Why Rome you ask. The city is only a 50 minute commute to the coast and that is why we have included Rome into our list.

Rome’s history spans 28 centuries.  While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe.

The city’s early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans, and Sabines.  Eventually, the city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.

There is so much to see in Rome, the history just oozes everywhere you look.  Did you know that modern Rome is built upon the original city?

Now for the Rugby.  There are so many clubs in Rome and they all very good.  The club scene is very strong and all the clubs have age groups to cater any touring sides.  The post match hospitality is second to none as Italian clubs love to embrace the opportunity to welcome their guests to their club.

So why not contact us now to plan ahead to your Rugby Tour of a lifetime.

Once you’re done with your year-end reflection for the year that’s ending, it’s time to look forward to the year that’s about to start.  What will you write for the next chapter of your life?  Take the first step to make sure that it’s a good chapter by setting your New Year resolutions.

Fewer Calories

Well, let’s start with the one we say first.

There are many reasons why most of us should set a resolution of eating fewer calories. The most obvious reason is to lose weight. After all, carrying excess weight puts us at a greater risk of a whole range of serious health problems.

With all of the contradictory information out there on what to eat, sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do when you want to lose weight.  Just try to keep things simple.  When you decide to lose weight, just eat less.  If you gained weight in 2020, resolve to eat smaller portions in 2021.

Exercise & Play

Play is an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults.  In addition, it can make you more creative and productive.  Bring more play into your life by making it a New Year’s resolution.

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do: join a sports team; get a pedometer and take at least 10,000 steps a day.  Rise a little earlier in the morning and get a little stretch going or join a dance class.  Living a sedentary life dumbs you down, it makes it more likely that you’ll be overweight.

Increase Your IQ

New studies show that, contrary to popular belief, you can make yourself smarter.  For 2021, why not set the resolution to raise your IQ?  Enhancing your brain’s capacity to plan, reason, and solve problems is always a good thing.

Being smart has been linked to longevity. Again, studies show that smart people live longer.

Be Kinder To Yourself

You may not be able to control how kind other people are to you, but you can always control how kind you are to yourself.

This upcoming year, set the resolution to believe in yourself, respect yourself, and treat yourself well.  Whether it is new clothes, a holiday or something very small, tell yourself I deserve this.

Learn A New Skill & Become More Confident

What have you always wanted to learn to do?  Do you want to learn to play an instrument, drive, ski, act?  The possibilities are endless.  Take advantage of all of the information that exists out there on how to learn new skills quickly and reach the end of 2021 with a couple of new skills under your belt.

Confidence can be defined as your belief in your own abilities and in your capacity to get what you want.  In turn, the importance of confidence cannot be overstated.  Confident people are happier, more relaxed, more likely to take chances, and more likely to succeed.  Fortunately, there are ways to become more confident.

These include giving yourself credit for what you do, cultivating your inner advocate, and taking consistent action toward the achievement of your goals. Make 2021 the year your confidence soars.

Create a Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude opens your mind to new possibilities, it makes you more resilient and it can even help you to live longer.  Greet the New Year with a smile and resolve to stay positive, no matter what happens.

That’s just a few ideas to be going on with,  have a happy fantastic New Year and hopefully when you look in the mirror the reflection you see will be the new you.

 

 

 

The Three Wise Men at Irish Rugby Tours do not have camels but they are following a star.

The constellation of rugby touring still burns bright even though every conceivable difficulty has been placed in the way of the coaches, players and volunteers in 2020.

The salvation of the game now rests with dedicated scientists around the globe working to produce a vaccine that will allow normal travel to return and with it the resumption of what has been a part of rugby for over one hundred years – the tour.

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They are following a star to a place where nobody has ever been before.  It is certain that rugby touring will not be the same but through their efforts the experience will be none the poorer.

 

Amazingly, every day they lament the lack of time to finish the allotted tasks.  “Lack of time”, you may ask, with no teams or clients to worry about? Things have never been busier for rugby tours 2021 at Irish Rugby Tours.

The preparation is intense for the resumption of the sport we love.  New possibilities must now be factored in to the planning.  How will the airlines react, what cancellation policies will hotels employ and above all what radical rule changes for the amateur or under-age groups are likely?

In 25 years, we have faced every conceivable challenge and now a new world awaits.  Rest assured we will be ready.

Why not contact us?  We would love to hear from you by phone or email even if just to chew the fat.

As Churchill or it may have been Roosevelt, said, “we are all in this together”.

 

There’s no greater comfort during a cold winter night than a warm mug of hot chocolate, so we have selected four Christmas hot chocolate recipes.  This delicious treat does more than soothe—it can transport you.  A pack of Swiss Miss, complete with those tiny little marshmallows, can take you back to your childhood in just one sip.

Each recipe shown offers its own take on this classic beverage and provides a little cultural insight to its country of origin.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot ChocolateWe’ll get things started where hot chocolate got its start. Historians believe that the Mayans began drinking their own chocolaty beverage as early as 500 B.C.  The first iteration included ground-up cocoa seeds, water, cornmeal, and chili peppers.  This more modern take ditches the cornmeal but keeps the pepper via a pinch of cayenne.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 ounces Mexican or bitter sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions:

  • Whisk ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
  • Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring often.
  • Vigorously whisk before serving to create foamy top layer.
  • Into two mugs pour and serve immediately.

Source: Favourite Family Recipes

Columbian Hot Chocolate with Cheese

Columbian Hot Chocolate with CheeseTraveling south to Colombia, we get a recipe that includes an ingredient unlike anything you’ve had in your hot chocolate—cheese!  We promise that it’s worth it and that you will find this sweet and salty combination both surprising and satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 6 squares of Colombian bitter hot chocolate bar, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 4 ounces of white cheese. Quesito Colombiano if you can find it. Otherwise, fresh mozzarella will work.

Instructions:

  • Take a small saucepan, whisk all the ingredients minus the cheese together over high heat until it comes to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring often.
  • Cut cheese into quarter inch cubes.
  • Divide cheese evenly into a mug, fill with hot chocolate, and stir until cheese is melted.

Source: Kiku Corner

Brazilian Hot Cocoa

Brazilian Hot Cocoa

Just a little further south in Brazil, we trade the quesito for a Brazilian favourite ingredient for all things sweet: sweetened condensed milk.  The condensed milk takes this luscious drink to a whole new level.  If you’re known for your sweet tooth, you will love this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions:

  • In a small saucepan, whisk all ingredients except for whipped cream together over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
  • Simmer until the cocoa reaches your ideal thickness. Be sure to stir often and don’t let it boil.
  • If too thick, add a little milk to reach desired consistency.
  • Transfer into mugs and serve immediately. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.

Source: Olivia’s Cuisine

French Hot Chocolate

French Hot ChocolateWe end  in France with a recipe that is sure to be a favourite of dark chocolate lovers.  This recipe is rich, robust and it will have you running to the nearest bistro to grab a croissant to enjoy it with.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Whipped cream

Instructions:

  • Add to a small saucepan, whisk milk, cream, and powdered sugar over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate.
  • Return to the heat and stir until chocolate is fully melted.
  • Pour into mugs and serve with whipped cream.

Source: Well Plated By Erin

Our sincere thanks to WorldStrides Educational Travel and Experiences for sharing.

 

Fado Fado, which is the Gaelic for “ long long ago“ and a rugby tour bus in Galway stopped and asked a farmer how to get to Dublin.

After a few minutes of rapt concentration, the farmer removed his pipe and said, “well I wouldn’t start from here.”

Irish Rugby Tours, does intend to start from here, as our great game goes through its greatest paroxysm since World War 2. It survived that as it did the First War.

We intend to be here for our current clients and hopefully our new ones when touring recommences. There are already green shoots of progress. The professional game is up and running. In even more rude good health in the Southern Hemisphere games are played in front of large enthusiastic crowds. Playing and touring will return, even if we must patiently wait for a date for resumption.

Wilmington Charter Force School - Irish Rugby Tours

When this pandemic broke the staff at Irish Rugby Tours, felt like putting their heads under a pillow and crying. That depression did not last very long and we have used the current period of inactivity to make plans. Included are new innovative tours; revised arrangements with airlines and hotels.  Finally above all entering in to arrangements that will guarantee the safety and integrity of every booking made with us.

One thing is certain, there will be a renewed burst of enthusiasm for touring once it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, tours are not put together overnight so all of us involved in this great experiment will have to plan for an uncertain future. Solution, by putting together embryonic strategies that have the capacity for change without cost that is the way ahead.

South Jersey RFC - Irish Rugby Tours

For twenty five years we have organised tours, many of whom returned year after year and became trusted friends.

We will not let old and new clients down. We are here for the long haul and unlike the old farmer we know the best way to go, the way ahead is clear.

New Trier RFC - Irish Rugby Tours

 

Life in today’s world is fast-paced and hectic.  We are so caught up in the race of trying to be the best, to be at the top of our games, that we overlook the monotony in life that comes consequently.  This does not mean that our souls do not yearn for some change, some excitement, some thrill.  Our hidden adventurous selves remain restless and demand that we succumb to them and step beyond our routines, into the arms of adventure.  All of this is justified and very beneficial, for an adventure rejuvenates our spirits and freshens up our perspectives.  This allows us to bounce back to our work life with heightened energy, which ultimately helps our careers.  If you are feeling convinced and motivated to try this out, find attached a list of 12 accessible outdoor adventures around the world.

1.  Hike through the Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland

Photo credit: C-N-Do Scotland

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

The Cape Wrath Trail is a famous trekking route that is situated along the west coast of Scotland.  Approximately 200 miles, it offers one of the most challenging and exciting walks in all the United Kingdom.  Navigate through Scottish Highlands on unmarked trails, rugged mountains, salmon rivers, and gorgeous beaches and find yourself lost in the world of nature’s beauty.  The course starts at Fort William and ends at the lighthouse at the north-western tip of the Kingdom.

2.  Ski down the snow-covered peaks in Park City, Utah

Photo credit: Park City Mountain

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

If you are someone who rarely gets to see enough snow and would love to build some memorable moments playing in this soft-white blessing from the heavens, Park City in Utah is your destination.  Its Park City Mountain Resort is an excellent spot for skiing, thanks to its adaptive ski program.  You get access to not only adaptive equipment but also instructors who can reliably teach you the basics.  Get your friends and family to come and have the time of your life here!

3.  Get soaked in the Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina

Photo credit: The Earth

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

The Iguazu Falls are a chain of waterfalls spread along the shared border of Argentina and Brazil.  People looking for real adventure should not miss the opportunity to travel here.  Nature here is at its finest, with gorgeous scenery, lush cliffs, and loud and clear water.  Walkthrough the entire length of the falls or get into a boat to tour till the end.  Perhaps one of the best things about this place is that it is inclusive of those with movement limitations, allowing everyone with a chance to enjoy here.

4.  Swim with the fish in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Photo credit: Reef Experience

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

What could be more exciting than swimming with exotic fish in the world’s largest coral reef system? With over 1,500 fish species and close to 5000 species of mollusk and billions of other tiny organisms making up the reef, this is one breathtaking place to visit.  Owing to its dynamic beauty, the Great Barrier Reef has been a favourite with divers for decades.  However, sadly over the last century, due to rapid climate change and global warming, the reef is dying out at an alarming rate.  So, visit it while you can, or you’ll have to regret not having witnessed this wonder in your later life.

5.  Ride through New Mexico, USA

Photo credit: PikiPiki Overland

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

Take in the gorgeous scenery of New Mexico while biking through the state.  This is a popular sport amongst tourists who visit the land and it is so for all the right reasons.  There are various route options that you can choose from depending on the kind of places you want to see and how long you want your journey to last.  You can choose between lengths as short as two miles to as long as seventy miles.  Plus, there are several options available for those with mobility issues, making the entire activity very inclusive.

6.  Sleep under the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway

Photo credit: Virtual Tourist

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

Halfway through our 12 accessible outdoor adventures around the world next is Tromso, which is situated in the heart of the northern lights zone in the Norwegian Arctic.  Therefore, it is rightfully regarded as one of the world’s best destinations to witness nature at its play.  You can play a romantic getaway with your significant other to this destination and lie in ‘cabins’ and ‘hunting lodges,’ and enjoy the sky view.

7.  Go on a Kayaking Adventure in Al Thakhira, Qatar

Photo credit: 365 Adventures – Qatar

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

It might sound strange but the Middle East is not all about deserts, camels and expensive cars.  For example, you can jump into a kayak and drift between the Al Thakhira nature reserve mangroves in Qatar.  While you paddle your way through, observe the beautiful mangrove, the local wildlife and the fish.  This is another inclusive program, well-suited for those with movement disabilities.

8.  Cycle along the Sweden Coastal Cycle, Sweden

Photo credit: Magnetic North Travel

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

Yet another biking adventure makes it to the list due to its accessibility, enjoyability, and affordability.  You can bike through Sweden’s remarkable coastal cycle path.  Cycles are available on rental, and there are several Airbnbs located along the route at cheap rates.  The experience is rewarding, for one can enjoy Sweden’s lush scenery with one’s friends while cycling casually.

9.  Climb an Active Volcano, Italy

Photo credit: A travel companion

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

Italy makes it back on the list with yet another exciting adventure.  Active volcanoes, while dangerous, always fascinate people.  Every once in a while, one thinks about them and wishes to look upon them from close.  Italy provides you with an excellent opportunity to do so by letting you climb Stromboli, an active volcano.  You can trek up the peak with a guide and sit beside the crater’s edge, and witness nature in one of its most violent forms.

10.  See the world from a squirrel’s view, Nebraska

Photo credit: Family Fun in Omaha

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

Located in Nebraska is a Treetop village, with three acres of bridges and lookouts in the treetops.  You can plan a trip to this destination with your family and enjoy some time off the ground and in the lap of the trees.  You can explore gazebos, various bridges and most importantly, the WonderNet, a net that lets you hop safely across branches.

11.  Canoe through the Herault River, France

Photo credit: Drone Vision

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

Canoeing for eight miles continuously for four hours might sound very straining but it isn’t when one canoes through the famous descent down the Herault river in France.  Owing to the picturesque landscape surrounding the river, one remains conveniently distracted from aching arms, for the view is so absorbing that one can only think about it.  Some of the key features of descent include wooded pathways and thrilling waterfalls.

12.  Run through the mountains across the Dinaric Alps, Bosnia

Photo credit: Endi Poskovic

The gorgeous Dinaric Alps of Bosnia-Herzegovina present a breathtaking sight to witness.  There are approximately thirty-nine trail runs waiting for you to discover.  Run through the pristine and untouched landscapes and absorb the sight of stunning forests, highlands, ancient villages and medieval archaeological spots.

12 Best Accessible Adventures Around the World

So, that was the list of twelve best accessible outdoor adventures around the world.  Each of these activities is packed with fun and guarantees adrenaline rushes as you have never had before.  So, book a trip, step out, and build excellent memories to look back on with Irish Rugby Tours.

Ireland has some beautiful unspoilt scenery and places to visit.  Take your time as you browse through what you can see when you visit Ireland on your next Irish Rugby Tours tour.

CAVE EXPLORING

DOOLIN CAVE

It’s all quiet above ground but did you know that there are some astonishing stories just below the surface?  Under the ground near picturesque Doolin, County Clare, is a cave that’s home to The Great Stalactite.  At 7.3 metres it is the longest free-hanging stalactite in Europe.

Doolin Cave

AILLWEE CAVE

Aillwee Cave is a cave system in the karst landscape of the Burren in County Clare, Ireland.  The name Aillwee is derived from the Irish Aill Bhuí which means “yellow cliff”.  Privately owned, it forms part of the Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre attraction.

Ailwee Cave

KESHCORRAN MOUNTAIN CAVES

Keshcorran Mountain in County Sligo has 17 caves.  With lots of legendary tales which includes the birth of Cormac Mac Art.  Cormac was one of Ireland’s most famous kings, who was apparently born in a well beneath the caves.

Caves of Keash, Co. Sligo

NATIONAL PARKS

Wildlife is treasured all over Ireland, with six national parks designated as areas of protection.  We are a country of immense beauty and natural landscapes, while the somewhat unpredictable climate lends itself well to many unique plants and flowers.  Our national parks are places of unspoiled ecosystems protected by law and open to the public.  They are designated areas of safety for flora and fauna, making them very special places of interest to anyone visiting the Emerald Isle.

CONNEMARA NATIONAL PARK

Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School, the remainder by private individuals.  Southern part of the Park was at one time owned by Richard Martin.  Richard helped to form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century.  The Park lands are now wholly owned by the State and managed solely for National Park purposes.

Connemara National Park, Co Galway

WICKLOW MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Wicklow Mountains National Park was established in 1991.  At first glance, the influence of Man does not appear great in its 20,000 hectares of wild habitat.  In fact, there are layers of history all around.  The Wicklow Mountains were originally covered with forests.  Neolithic farmers cleared the trees using stone axes.  In doing so, they facilitated the development of the blanket bog that covers the hills today.  Many years later, in the late 6th century, St. Kevin established a monastic settlement in Glendalough.  It flourished for 600 years. The remains of several churches and crosses are still there today and are easily explored.

Wicklow Hills National Park

NORTHERN IRELAND’S CASTLES

Northern Ireland’s rich and detailed history spans over 2000 years and they have some impressive castles to show for it.  With over 40 dotted around, there are plenty to choose from, and they open a window into the past.  Many of these castles are open to the public, and with their stunning scenery and history, they are well worth a look around.

CARRICKFERGUS CASTLE

This castle is possibly the largest and most famous in Northern Ireland.  It’s definitely one of the most visually striking.  Still intact, Carrickfergus town is far older than Belfast, and the castle was built in 1177 by the Anglo-Norman knight John de Courcy, after he invaded Ulster.  The castle itself has changed hands multiple times, from the Normans to the Scots and then the English, it is a reflection of the changing times.  It has also been the stage of some defining moments in history.  As it happens the last witchcraft trial was held there in 1711 and the American navy attempted to capture a warship in Carrickfergus harbour during the American War of Independence.

Carrickfergus Castle

Enniskillen Castle

Enniskillen Castle was originally built in the 16th century and now houses the Fermanagh County Museum. It is also home to the regimental museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.  The first Enniskillen castle was built on this site by Hugh Maguire in 1428.  It featured greatly in Irish rebellions against English rule in the 16th century. It was besieged by Captain John Dowdall’s troops at the start of 1594 and fell on 2 February after a short siege, when the occupants were massacred after they surrendered.

Enniskillen Castle

MUSIC & DANCE

Ireland has a long tradition of folk dancing.  Solo dancing is characterised by its lightning footwork and high kicks, all executed while the upper body is kept rigidly straight; jigs and reels have always been popular.  Irish traditional musical forms date from preliterate times.  The Irish harp long had been the only instrument played, but many other instruments—such as the uilleann pipes, the fiddle, and the accordion—were added later.

TRADITIONAL SET DANCING

Set dances are based on quadrilles, which were court dances. These were transformed by the Irish into a unique folk dance of the Irish rural communities.  When the Gaelic League was formed in 1897, it sought to discourage set dance, because it was perceived as being of foreign origins, and consequently at odds with the League’s nationalist agenda.  In its place, the League promoted ceili dance, a process which continued during the 1930s and 1940s with the support of the Catholic Church in the form of the Public Dance Halls Act 1935.  The rise of rock and roll in the 1950s caused the popularity of set dancing to fade.  However, in the 1980s a revival started and many sets that have not been done for forty years or more are being recovered and danced again.

Traditional Set Dancing

MUSIC

Irish music is music that has been created in various genres on the island of Ireland.  The indigenous music of the island is termed Irish traditional music. It has remained vibrant through the 20th and into the 21st century, despite globalising cultural forces.  In spite of emigration and a well-developed connection to music influences from Britain and the United States, Irish traditional music has kept many of its elements and has itself influenced many forms of music, such as country and roots music in the United States, which in turn have had some influence on modern rock music.  It has occasionally been fused with rock and roll, punk rock, and other genres.  Some of these fusion artists have attained mainstream success, at home and abroad.

Irish Music

FOOD & DRINK

As you are well aware when it comes to food & drink Ireland leads the way.  Ireland produces some of the finest whiskey produced and our food is out of this world.

WHISKEY

The word ‘whiskey’ comes from the Irish uisce beatha, meaning water of life.  Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit in the world, though a long period of decline from the late 19th century onwards greatly damaged the industry but now back where it belongs.

Irish Whiskey

GUINNESS

Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 at the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. On 31 December 1759, he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. Ten years later, on 19 May 1769, Guinness first exported his ale, he shipped six-and-a-half barrels to Great Britain.

Pint of Porter

OYSTERS

Oyster cultivation in Ireland dates back to the 13th century but consumption of oysters in Ireland has been a tradition for over 4,000 years.  Today, Irish oyster growers still use traditional methods to provide ideal conditions for their Irish rock oysters and native flat oysters to grow.

Irish Oysters

London is one of the most popular and vibrant cities in the world. If you visit the United Kingdom, it’s impossible not to visit this amazing city full of beautiful landmarks, shopping malls, restaurants and, most importantly, people from all over the world. One of the most common problems when starting to organize a trip to a new city is not knowing where to start, and this becomes even more difficult when you have only a few hours or days. Do you want to see the best of London in three days or 72 hours and don’t know how? Do not miss this article by Irish Rugby Tours!

How to Spend 72 Hours in London | 3 Day London Itinerary with Irish Rugby Tours

There are a plethora of things to do and see in London. Here is a guide to how you can enjoy most of London in only 72 hours:

DAY 1 – Travel to London

On your first day in London, we recommend you get into a sightseeing bus or book a walking tour and explore the city’s famous sites. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a hop on hop off bus tour. The bus covers most of the top attractions in London. If you want to explore the city by yourself, here is a list of attractions you can visit on day 1:

London Tower & Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge in London - Tour with Irish Rugby Tours

Start your day by visiting the London Tower. From palace to prison to a private zoo, the Tower of London has played many different roles since its inception. The tower is one of the most iconic landmarks of London and visited by millions of people every year. Don’t miss to visit Tower Bridge next to it. Keep walking towards the famous Borough Market for the best food market in London and have a light snack or early lunch there.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral - London Travel

Undoubtedly, the most famous church in London is St. Paul’s Cathedral. The spectacular 365-foot dome and the twin Baroque towers of the church are indeed a masterpiece of English architecture. Walk the stairs of the church and witness the beautiful interior of the dome and the Whispering Gallery.

Westminster Abbey     

Westminster Abbey - London Tour with Irish Rugby Tours
Another location that you can visit on the first day in London is Westminster Abbey that stands on a site dating back to the early 7th century. Westminster Abbey was founded in 1065, and since then, it has been gaining the attention of people. It’s also a preferred site for Royal Weddings.

Check out: Top 10 Free Things to Do in London

DAY 2 – Travel to London

There are unlimited things to do in London, including the Rugby matches held across the city every year. If you are a sports travel fan, you can spend your second day watching a rugby match or alternatively, check out other landmarks as below:

British Museum

British Museum - London in 72 hours

Start your second day at the famous British Museum, where you can see the most beautiful buildings and unique collection. The museum is huge, and will take a few hours to explore all sections. Make sure to get their early as the line is huge.

Camden Market

Camden Market - Rugby Tours Irish

After exhausting yourself at the British Museum, head off to the Camden Market and eat delicious food from many stalls there at lunchtime. You can find the famous Cheese Wheel serving their scrumptious pasta with extra cheese. There are many other food dishes you can choose from.

Buckingham Palace & Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace - London Itinerary

Built in 1837, Buckingham Palace has been the residence of the Royal Family since the accession of Queen Victoria. You can see the Queen on the central balcony on special occasions. When the Queen is away at her palace in Scotland, visitors can tour the State Rooms, the Royal Mews, and the Queen’s Gallery. Don’t miss out watching Changing of the Guard.

Looking for unique things to do in London, read our blog: TEN THINGS FOR UNDER A TENNER IN… LONDON RUGBY TOURS

DAY 3 – Travel to London

Notting Hill

Notting Hill - travel Londin in 3 days Irish Rugby Tours

On your third and last day in London, catch a tube in the early morning to the Notting Hill. Here you can enjoy strolling around the beautiful streets featuring colorful houses and cafes. Walk to the Portobello Market and buy some unique souvenirs from many antique shops there. Before moving to the next place, have lunch at one of the many restaurants or pubs at Notting Hill.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park - sports travel

Hyde Park is arguably the largest open space of London that has been attracting people since 1635. There are many things to do and see in Hyde Park, including the Serpentine – a human-made lake for swimming and boating. Don’t forget to visit the Apsley Houses to see the incredible collections of paintings.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square - what to see in London with Irish Rugby Tours

Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate the victory of Lord Horatio Nelson over the Spanish and French in 1805. Today, it has become an important tourist destination located just near the Piccadilly Circus. After exploring the Square, end your day with a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants here, including Rosetta, Prezzo Italian Restaurant, and Thai Square.

Travel to London and explore rugby tours with Irish Rugby Tours. Looking forward to more trips in 2021? See our blog on places to visit in 2021 with Irish Rugby Tours.