Spring marks the start of bank holiday season! Coming from a country where holidays originated from “an important person’s death” (as a colleague teased me) – it was weird for me to have a public holiday and call it just that – bank holiday. I remembered asking my husband what the event was all about and the only explanation he could give me was “the weather is nicer this time of the year, so we take a break”, cool eh? And until now, I am not even sure if that explanation is real or not.

Regardless of my husband’s explanation’s authenticity, having this once-a-month bank holiday during spring and summer is truly something to look forward to. Especially for families living in Ireland, it is a great way to spend some quality time with kids!

Ok, let's get packing! Photo via Flickr.
Ok, let’s get packing! Photo via Flickr.

Going on a short trip to neighbor countries such as the UK is a good way to spend the bank holiday weekend. But for those unable to take the flight, here are some suggestions where to go to make the most of the holiday and (hopefully) good weather!

Visit an Estate!

Adventure starts here! Photo via Grab a Ticket, Buy a Bite

I love the wonderful colors showcased in the vast acres of land in an Estate! And when we talk about Estates, Powerscourt Estate and Gardens immediately springs to mind!

Before our Christmas staycation at Powerscourt hotel last year, this famous tourist attraction was one of the first places I’ve been to after arriving in August 2012. And I was blessed enough that the weather was still nice and warm! That allowed me to view magnificent flowering plants on display, walk in luscious green grass-filled walkways, and just enjoy the warm weather against my skin!

For more information on the Estate and Gardens, visit Powerscourt official website: http://powerscourt.com/

Visit former fortresses of medieval kingdoms

ardcroney church
Ardcroney Church in Folk Park at Bunratty Castle. Photo via Flickr

One of the perks of living in Europe is the access to castles and former fortresses of ancient kingdoms. And in Ireland, there are a number of places where you can go to where you can see historical monuments like these!

The Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare is one of the top options to visit especially during the better weather of the Irish summer season. The medieval castle was originally built in 1425 and fully restored in 1954. Visiting the castle allows you to take a peek at tapestries, artworks, and furnishings of the 15th and 16th century.

For more information on attractions around the area, visit the official website: https://www.shannonheritage.com/BunrattyCastleAndFolkPark/

Hop on a tour bus – this is the best time to do the Vikings Splash Tour! Raa!

Viking splash tour
Tour around like a Viking! Photo via Flickr

One of the things I appreciate to do when visiting a new city is the existence of the Hop On, Hop Off tour bus. Especially if you are only staying for a few days, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the famous tourist attractions around the area without getting so tired from walking. Much so if the weather is nice, I love getting on the tour bus and hop on top of the deck to have a better view of the area, too!

Over the recent years, I have seen the increased variation of this “tour bus” in Dublin. Apart from the classic red bus, there is the Vintage Tea Tours where you can have a fancy afternoon tea onboard a vintage-style bus going around Dublin. Or, you can get quirky, rowdy, and fun ala-Vikings by hopping onboard the amphibian Viking Splash Tour!

You need not be a newbie in Ireland to appreciate a tour bus, too! Especially if you are riding “themed” buses like the Vintage Tea or Viking Splash Tours, the experience alone from the uniqueness these bus operators bring is enough to make your bank holiday weekend memorable!