Hi Everyone. I hope I find you all well as the festive season fast approaches. It goes without saying that this will be a Christmas like no other after a long hard year. I hope wherever you are, that you are keeping safe and well and managing to stay in touch with your loved ones near and far. Christmas is a time for gatherings, for traditions, many of which are sadly curtailed or cancelled this year but here’s hoping there’s better times ahead. With that mind, I thought it would be fun to take yuletide trip around Ireland in all its usual festive glory and hope we can all look forward to enjoying our towns and cities to the full in the not so distant future.
Christmas In Ireland
First up we’re heading up north to the city of Belfast. I think Belfast probably hosts one of the best Christmas markets in the country. This is due to the fact that it is located right bang in the middle of the city center. It also has the magnificent City Hall as its backdrop. This iconic Belfast building which first opened it’s doors in 1906 looks amazing at this time of year. Apart from all the great shopping at the market, you can also enjoy foods from around the world, sip a mulled wine or hot cider and take a slide down the vintage helter-skelter!
Time to head west to the vibrant City of Tribes. With it’s winding streets festooned with festive lights, Galway is brimming with festive cheer. There’s nothing like a warming hot port or Irish Coffee in one of the many cozy pubs after a day of Christmas shopping. Galway also boasts its very own atmospheric Christmas market on Eyre Square.
It wouldn’t be Christmas in Ireland without a visit to the Kingdom of Kerry. In Killarney, they kick off the Christmas season in style with their Big Magical Christmas Parade. Of course Santa Claus is the guest of honor! Mini-parades continue each week throughout December to keep that festive spirit going.
Heading cross country to the south east now. Waterford boasts Ireland’s largest Christmas festival. Winterval runs for the month leading up to Christmas. The wealth of festive fun on offer includes the Santa Experience, the Winterval Express Train, the Horse Drawn Sleigh and Winterval on Ice.
So we simply have to end our Christmas In Ireland trip in the capital. Of course I am biased as it’s my hometown and The Irish Store headquarters is directly facing the iconic GPO (pictured) But really, for me there’s nothing quite like the festive atmosphere in Dublin. I just love the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street and Henry Street thronged with shoppers. Other highlights include Carols by Candlelight at Christchurch and the Moving Crib which takes me back to my childhood.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!