We’ve Got Your Weekend Covered!

National Heritage Week kicks off tomorrow, Saturday 19 August and there’s lots for everyone to enjoy.  Here’s just a taster of what’s happening around Ireland this first weekend.

SATURDAY 19 August

Join the early birds at Newgrange in Co. Meath with a Ditch the Duvet Dawn Chorus at 7:30am.  Enjoy an outdoor singsong celebrating the sun, the monuments, the landscape and Heritage Week. No experience necessary. Songbooks supplied on the day.  To book contact heritage@meathcoco.ie   

Discover Our History in Nature Conservation at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre in Dublin from 10am - 4pm.  Talks, displays, workshops and nature walks will pay tribute to the naturalists of the past who contributed to our knowledge and understanding of biodiversity today.

Cork Heritage Open Day will take place from 10am - 6pm across Cork City and sees over 40 historic and heritage buildings open their doors to the public for free.  Enjoy exhibitions, guided walking tours, talks and children's events around the city.

Join an Urban Wildlife Walk with An Taisce beginning at the Hunt Museum at 11am.  This tour of Limerick city’s wildlife hotspots will allow participants to embark on a journey of discovery of nature, wildlife and biodiversity in the heart of the city.

Derrybeg Organic Farm in Kildare will host a Community Food and Farming tour from 11am – 12pm showing how we experience nature and the seasons in the vegetables we grow and eat. The farm is part of a global movement of Community Supported Agriculture.

Join Resurrecting Monuments at the Old Courthouse in Howth, Co. Dublin from 11am - 4pm for an Archaeology Day.  There will be a display of the results of recent excavations and surveys of four local monuments as well as living history and ancient crafts.

Laois Heritage Office are hosting a Pollinator Party in Portlaoise from 12pm - 3pm celebrating all that is great about our bees, with a family fun day, exploring the wildlife of Portlaoise's Green Flag Park.

In Clare, View Sea Eagles in the Wild from 12pm - 5pm on Saturday at Mountshannon Harbour.  This is a unique opportunity to see a breeding pair of White Tailed Sea Eagles and their two chicks using telescopes.  The breeding pair have been resident on an island on Lough Derg for the last six years. In 2013 they hatched and reared 2 chicks which were the first White Tailed Sea Eagle chicks to fledge a nest in the wild in Ireland in over 100 years.

In Cavan, visit Ballyhaise House for Scéalta Dár d'Talún from 2pm – 5pm.  This is a family afternoon where people are invited to join visual artists in celebrating the Heritage of the area. Entertainment includes guided tours of the house, re-enactment, performance by Lisa O'Neill, guided walks lead by wildlife experts and face painting.

In Donegal head along to Under The Sea for family fun on the Shorefront, Buncrana from 3pm - 5pm.  West Inishowen History & Heritage Society present a colourful pageant, beach treasure hunt, sandcastle competition, games and fun activities to celebrate and explore our natural shore front.

Sound & Light is a very special celebration of sound and music of the people and the places of Carlingford over the centuries set against one of its most iconic buildings.  It takes place at 7:30pm at the Carlingford Heritage Centre, Co. Louth. Carlingford residents and tourists alike are invited to take part.


SUNDAY 20 August

Go Onboard a Research Vessel at Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford on either Sunday during Heritage Week from 10am - 4pm.  Learn about Ireland’s ancient and submerged landscapes with.  Meet marine geologists and archaeologists from the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Discovery Programme. Learn how the INFOMAR team map Ireland's seabed and about the exciting new coastal heritage project CHERISH.

It’s Autism Day at the Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co. Galway and from 10:30am - 2:you’re your family can enjoy workhouse exhibits and tours in a relaxed (Lights Up - Sounds Down atmosphere). Hands-on demonstrations. SNA resources will be on-site.  To book contact 09097 59200

If your kids are mad about animals then why not head to the Kerry Bog Pony Society Annual Show in Glenbeigh from 10.30am – 3pm. These Kerry Bog Ponies are one of the oldest breeds of native pony.  

A River Barrow Wildlife Walk with the Carlow Branch of Birdwatch Ireland will begin at Graiguenamanagh - at the bridge at 10:30am. Knowledgable members of Birdwatch Ireland's Carlow Branch will point out the many trees, wild flowers, birds, butterflies and other insects that will hopefully be seen on the way. Gather at the car park on the Tinnahinch side of the River bridge.

Join a Heritage Walk on Brí Leith from 11am - 12pm starting at Ardagh GAA pitch in Co. Longford with guide Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Eco Gardens. Find out more about how people lived on the hill, flora and fauna, myths, legends, customs and traditions such as picking bilberries for the High King on the last Sunday of July each year.

Go on a Hillwalk to Brandon Hill Archeological Sites from 11am - 4pm with Tyndall Mountain Club.  Meet at Kilkenny Cinema.  A hill walk to visit some of the Brandon Hill suite of historical/archaeological field sites. Bring food/drink, suitable clothing/footwear for a day on the hills. Sites visited may include Bronze Age burial mound, hut site, field system, enclosures; medieval moated grange; forgotten settlement of Sally Bog.

In Cork, Youghal Medieval Festival takes place in St Mary's College Gardens, Emmet Place from 12pm - 6pm. See the White Horse Living History Society, with their enthralling battle re-enactments, Wool Spinning, Coin Striking, Medieval Foods, they even have a hairdresser to give you a Medieval hair do!

Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society are leading a Charleville Demesne Walk from 2:30pm - 4:30pm beginning at the Charleville Demesne gates.  This is a look at the natural and man-made landscape of Charleville Demesne from the 1500s to the 20th century.

Join A Bumblebee Ramble on Sunday 20 August, 3pm - 4:30pm at Parke's Castle in Co. Leitrim.  Did you know there are 20 bumblebee species in Ireland? Learn to identify common bumblebees on a nature ramble. There should be a good buzz about!


Heritage Week runs from Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 August. There’s lots more happening around Ireland this weekend and over the coming week so see what’s on near you!