The 19th Hole

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The 19th Hole

Latest News & Events from Fairways & Fundays

Ireland is famous for so much more than our amazing golf courses. Ireland offers visitors a unique and magical experience. The 19th Hole will keep you informed in relation to golf and Ireland and will also be home to some incredible giveaways and exciting competitions.

If you have a story that you would like to share with us about your experience in Ireland, please email us at 19thhole@fairwaysandfundays.com. The authors of all stories that feature on this page will receive a Deluxe Golf Gift Set.


  • 10th November 2017
    Posted in : Main
    Planning a Golf Vacation to Ireland

    Ireland is famous for many things, one of which is the vast number of Castles that can be found on our small Island.  There are over 350 castles in Ireland with some dating back almost 900 years!  It is believed that Trim Castle in County Meath (less than 1 hour from Dublin city) is one of the oldest castles in Ireland and was constructed over a 30 year period beginning in 1176AD.


    Irish castles are steeped in our nation’s history with many forming central parts of significant events in Irish history.  Some of our castles have been restored to their original glory while some are now in ruins to remind us of some of the more turbulent times in our history.  Legend has it that some are even haunted by their original owners!!  Regardless of their condition, all of the castles that can be found throughout the Emerald Isle are well worth visiting.


    Ashford Castle
    The magnificent five star Ashford Castle is set in 350 acres, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib. Dating back to 1228, the castle now enters a new chapter in its history, as part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection. With 83 spectacular rooms, suites and a Lakeside Cottage, a wealth of activities and plenty of thoughtful touches, guests will enjoy acclaimed Irish hospitality on a grand scale.
    Unrivalled service, warm Irish hospitality and five star luxury await at Ashford Castle which is now and a member of Leading Hotels of the World.  Discover sumptuous rooms and suites, splendid interiors brimming with antique furniture, fine fabrics and unique features at every turn. 
    From fine dining to a wealth of activities on the doorstep, a stay at Ashford Castle is perfect for romantic breaks, family escapes and elegant private events.


    Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
    Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is one of the finest 4 star luxury castle hotels in Ireland.
    Ballynahinch Castle has been intertwined in the history of Connemara and its people for centuries, from the recorded battle between the O’Flahertys and O’Malleys, in 1384, to the visit by all the Lord Mayors and Mayors of Ireland and some from overseas, to celebrate the Quinquennial year of Galway city receiving its charter.
    Ballynahinch i.e. Baile na hlnse, means ‘household of the Island’, and refers to the O’Flaherty Castle built on an Island in the lake.
    Voted number one in Ireland by Condé Nast readers, this magnificent property is set in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara County Galway. This authentic and unpretentious Castle Hotel stands proudly overlooking its famous salmon fishery, with a backdrop of the beautiful 12 Bens Mountain range. Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is the perfect base for a touring or activity break or simply relaxing. Expert guides are available to assist in every activity, on the sea, the mountains, rivers and trails or in the library exploring the rich culture of this spectacular region.


    Dromoland Castle
    Savour your first glimpse of this majestic castle and its enchanting lake, as you pass through the castle gates. This was the ancestral home of the O’Briens of Dromoland who were the Kings of Thomond and whose lineage goes back 1,000 years to Brian Boru, the only High King of Ireland.
    Under glittering antique chandeliers descend grand staircases and meander through elegant hallways and beautifully furnished rooms. Luxuriate in plush, sink-in sofas in front of large, ornate fireplaces with blazing log fires. Relax as our unsurpassed, experienced and friendly staff takes special care of you.  The Earl of Thomond’s Restaurant offers you a heavenly dining experience you’ll remember forever. And cocktails in Dromoland’s Library Bar are sublime, so go on treat yourself.
    Appreciate the natural beauty as you stroll through the peaceful Dromoland Estate (with more than 400 acres to explore). Feed the ducks or take a boat out on the lovely lake. Why not try an archery class or enjoy our falconry experience? Or what about a round of golf or a relaxing spa date?
    Dromoland Castle is within easy reach of the wonderful Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and all the delights that County Clare and County Limerick have to offer. Conveniently close to Shannon International Airport, Dromoland Castle is the perfect place for your perfectly idyllic vacation.


    Kilronan Castle
    One of Ireland’s most luxurious Castle Hotels, Kilronan Castle is the ancestral home of the Tenison family and the legendary Colonel King Tenison. It is one of a few Irish castle estates that can trace its history back to royal families. The castle and its surroundings were lovingly restored and rejuvenated into a luxury Hotel.
    This secluded, luxury castle hotel is majestically set on the shores of Lough Meelagh in Roscommon. The castle is surrounded by over forty acres of breath-taking Irish scenery, lush green pastures, ancient forests and historical points of interest. Approached by a meandering drive that passes acres of magnificent lawns, Kilronan Castle overlooks a glistening lake which commands the panoramic beauty of the surrounds.
    The team at Kilronan Castle provide the highest level of luxury, comfort and service. You will enjoy old world elegance with modern day comforts. One step inside Kilronan Castle and you are at home.
    Local activities include hiking, golf, sailing and biking. Lough Key Forest & Activity Park is a 20-minute drive away and boasts a variety of wildlife and historic building.  The Douglas Hyde Restaurant offers fine dining with a range of dishes made using locally sourced produce.


    Lough Eske Castle
    Lough Eske Castle Hotel & Spa in County Donegal sits within 43 acres of forest woodland, surrounded by the shores of Lough Eske on one side and the Blue Stack Mountains on the other.
    Open since December 2007, this lovingly restored castle-hotel blends its historic past with a dash of contemporary elegance. Beyond being the only five-star hotel in Donegal this magnificent property was named the World's Best Luxury Country Hotel for five consecutive years (2009-2013) at the World Luxury Hotel Awards.  
    Lough Eske Castle traces its roots all the way back to the late 1400s and the famous O’Donnell Clan that founded the nearby town of Donegal.
    The original castle was first built around 1474 and an old date stone of 1621 remains on the property to this day. The current Lough Eske Castle was constructed in the early 1860s on the site of an old Brooke mansion, but was partially destroyed by an accidental fire in 1939.
    Escape into a luxurious world of relaxed grandeur and extraordinary personal service. From the award-winning spa to the dining table to your beautifully appointed guestroom, you will be provided with a truly accommodating environment where the teams dedication to the guest is thoughtful, reliable, consistent and complete. Superb service and superior amenities make every day here a perfect day.
    Step into the Solis Lough Eske Castle, and you step into an imposing Tudor-baronial castle, lavishly refurbished and extended to create the modern comforts and graceful refinement of a world class boutique hotel. With stunning views amidst hundreds of acres of unspoiled woodlands, the landscape is as magnificent as this castle hotel in Ireland itself.

    There are so many other incredible Castle Hotels situated throughout Ireland.  While on vacation in Ireland it is a shame not to enjoy at least one night of where you can turn time back and relax in historical luxury.  Here are some other magnificent properties worthy of a mention:


    Waterford Castle
    Lough Rynn Castle
    Castle Leslie
    Abbeyglen Castle Hotel
    Barberstown Castle
    Markree Castle
    Kinnitty Castle
    Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel
    Clontarf Castle
    Gregan’s Castle
    Ballyseede Castle Hotel
    Dunloe Castle Hotel


    All Fairways and FunDays tours promise the very best of Ireland by day and by night – spectacular scenery, exhilarating entertainment, fantastic food, amazing activities, and magical memories are guaranteed!  If you dream of staying in any of these luxurious properties, our team can make your dream a reality. 


    Visit www.fairwaysandfundays.com today


    Fairways and FunDays – Your Ultimate Golf & Ireland Experience

  • 5th September 2017
    Posted in : Main
    Planning a Golf Vacation to Ireland

    Dublin, Ireland – the home of “The Black Stuff!”  And this magical city is also home to some of the friendliest and liveliest pubs in the world!


    Dublin is regarded as one of the most vibrant and friendliest cities in the world.  It is undoubtedly home to some of the best Pubs in the world.  Whether you like Live Music or a quiet Pint with friends, Dublin has a pub for all tastes.


    It’s been a difficult task, but our team have set out to name the Top 10 Pubs in this incredible city.  After some enjoyable nights out and plenty of sampling, here is our shortlist (in no particular order):


    1. Kehoe’s


    Kehoe's Bar was first licensed in 1803 when the winds of revolution permeated the Dublin air, this authentic, unpretentious Victorian shrine is one of last great heritage pubs of Dublin. The interior throughout Kehoe's is the product of a Victorian style renovation completed towards the end of the 19th century which has been preserved to the present day. Nowadays this old pub is the buzzing haunt of tourists, scholars, shoppers and business people alike.


    The premises that you see before you today, were completed towards the end of the 19th century in typical Victorian style. You can view stained glass mahogany doors, old Irish snugs, partitions and the entire homely feel throughout the pub.


    There is no better pub in the world to sit over a Pint of Guinness and watch the world go by!


    2. Mulligan’s


    Mulligan’s is more than a Dublin pub; it is an Irish cultural phenomenon. It has a unique and colourful history, spanning over two hundred years. Mulligan’s has hosted the famous Judy Garland, Seamus Heaney, Con Houlihan, James Joyce and John F. Kennedy.


    Quirkiness pervades its atmosphere. The ashes of a US tourist are interred in its clock. Barmen have seen ghosts on the premises. For decades, performers at the Theatre Royal thronged to Mulligan’s, mingling with journalists from ‘The Irish Press’ who smoked, fumed and interviewed celebrities in it.


    This fascinating pub encapsulates an atmosphere and essence loved by both natives and tourists alike


    3. O’Donoghue’s


    We like to think that an evening spent at O'Donoghue's is an experience that stays with you. A favourite haunt for Dubliners and tourists from every corner of the world, who come to share the authentic character of one of Dublin's oldest bars, and to admire the artistry of real Irish musicians.


    At O'Donoghue's the music is live seven nights a week, musicians from all over Ireland come together to share their love of Irish traditional music in one of Ireland's most famous bars.


    Because of O'Donoghue's special atmosphere and reputation the mixture of good Guinness and live music guarantee's your visit will always be remembered.


    O'Donoghue's has a rich heritage and stands on a very historical site in Dublin City. Yet it's more modern musical history is really the stuff of legends. Ask any Irish man to name the artists or bands that have shaped Irish traditional and contemporary music and the name of the Dubliners always comes up. Christy Moore and the Dubliners have spent many a memorable night entertaining Dublin's music lovers in this incredible bar. It is this spirit that is kept alive by today's musicians who play amongst an array of drawings and photos of Irish musicians that adorn the walls of O'Donoghue's.


    4. The Brazen Head


    The Brazen Head is officially Ireland's oldest pub, dating back to 1198. While it is unclear how much of the original 11th century coach house is still intact, there is a palpable sense of history within these timeworn walls. If you are looking for the true Irish pub experience, then the Brazen Head Pub should be your first port of call.


    The pub has managed to retain the charm and characteristics of it's past and in particular it's patrons, who have included such writers as James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift as well as such revolutionaries as Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins. Today the patrons still include some famous faces, including some very famous musicians like Van Morrison, Hothouse Flowers, Mary Black and Garth Brooks.


    The Brazen Head is only a short walk from Christchurch Cathedral and The Guinness Brewery, and is well worth a visit for both its historical value and reputation as one of Dublin's best Irish music venues.


    5. The Dawson Lounge


    Officially Dublin city’s smallest pub, the Dawson Lounge is a Dublin institution and is well worth a visit for a pint or two!  You would be forgiven for passing this place by on the street considering its unassuming presence. However, serving the cheapest pint of Guinness and with its limited space, this place is always packed to the rafters and is likely to be an unforgettable experience.


    The Dawson Lounge is furnished in the style of a '70s pub with simple chairs and stools around tables creating a nice, unfussy ambience. The staff are very friendly and know how to pour a pint and they are never that far away because it’s such a small pub.


    A great pint with an incredible atmosphere - The Dawson Lounge is well worth a look during a visit to Dublin.


    6. The Long Hall


    One of the oldest pubs in Dublin, this pub was named after a chapel dedicated to Saint George in 1181. The Long Hall preserves a Victorian atmosphere evoking a by-gone age. The original pub which backs on to Dublin Castle opened in the 1860's and was much used by the Fenians. Today, The Long Hall retains much of its old charm; on the walls are engravings of the dealings of the Russian Emperor Paul I with the Polish patriot Kosiusko as well as prints of Gainsborough ladies. Over the entrance to the toilets are panels of art nouveau glass. The woodwork interior adds an air of authenticity to the premises.


    With so much history and serving some of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin, The Long Hall is definitely worth a visit!


    7. The Palace


    Untainted, unspoiled and unperturbed by the passage of time – that’s what makes The Palace Bar one of Dublin’s best-loved original Victorian pubs. This priceless jewel provides a very important bridge between the 19th century Victorian pub and Dublin’s great traditions of literary hostelries. During the 1940’s and 50’s this old pub became the home of international fame and intellectual refreshment under the patronage of R.M. (Bertie) Smyllie, then Editor of the Irish Times. It was the social home of the Fourth Estate playing host to newsmen, correspondents and compositors of Dublin’s three daily papers.


    The Palace was built in 1823 and soon after was bought by a family named Hall. In the early 1900’s The Ryan family from Tipperary took over the pub and “The Widow Ryan” sold the pub to Bill Aherne in 1946 for the sum of £27,000, which was a huge amount at the time. Many people thought he was crazy to pay such an amount but Bill always maintained he knew he had got a bargain.


    As ‘The Irish Times’ offices are situated less than three minutes away it was inevitable that both establishments would forge close links and that is what happened. Irish Times staffers in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s would come into the snug and back room to compose articles and meet “sources” and to this day it is a popular spot for some journalists to get their quota of liquid refreshments.


    Today the Palace is run by Bill’s son Liam and his grandson William. The decor of the Palace is the same as that which greeted the first customers 189 years ago. 


    Quite simply, The Palace is an iconic Dublin pub.


    8. The Stags Head


    The Stags Head is a historical Dublin pub featured in Dublin Pub tours renowned for it's hospitality and famous pint of Guinness!


    You truly capture a sense of the hidden Ireland when you accidentally stumble upon The Stag’s Head. Finding it is akin to discovering a rare treasure as it is concealed through a narrow passageway off Dame Street, although access can also be gained through Exchequer Street or Georges Street. When you enter inside this feeling of discovered booty is greatly intensified as a virtual paradise of culture and old world values confronts you. This is probably Dublin’s best preserved Victorian pub - and everything here is of authentic Victorian origin. Take time to look around and savour the sumptuously carved Victorian mahogany fittings, the mosaic marble tiled floors and granite table tops.


     Visiting the Stag’s Head is a wondrous experience whether you call when the premises is cosy, warm and glowing at night time, or in early morning when this is old repository of liquid culture is radiantly illuminated by wafts of sunlight filtering through the stained glass windows. The mahogany bar, capped with red Connemara marble, follows the classic Victorian architectural pattern, being long and punctuated by exquisite partitions that divide into private compartments or stalls.


    Though a tavern has existed on this site since the 1780’s, this premises first attained great fame in the 1830’s as ‘John Bull’s Albion Hotel and Tavern’. This was one of the most sought after premises of the age in close proximity to ‘Dublin’s Theatreland’ and the fashionable stores of Dame Street and College Green.


    Don’t miss the great craic of one of Dublin’s most renowned Traditional Music sessions that can be enjoyed downstairs in the Stag’s Tail.


    9. The Swan


    The Swan was established in 1723. The present bar dates from 1897 and is only one of twelve remaining intact original Victorian bars in Dublin. The bar has many distinguishing features like a cash desk, solid Scottish granite bar counter, original copper alloy pouring taps, ornate hand carved teak bar back, mounted barrels for pouring spirits and a mosaic floor. The building has played its part in Irish history and was used in the 1916 rebellion as a signally post, was centrally located in the middle of the Dublin Dardanelles during the War of Independence and was occupied during the Civil War by the Anti Treaty forces. The building housed a hotel until 1924. The Lynch Family bought the pub in 1937 and this year celebrate 75 years in business. Sean Lynch a son of the original owners, played rugby for Leinster, Ireland and The British and Irish Lions and has on display his collection of international Jerseys and rugby memorabilia. Including in the display are a Hall of Fame award, signed presented jerseys and a bust of Sean. This stunning pub is steeped in history and offers some of the warmest hospitality and best Guinness in Dublin.


    10. The Temple Bar


    A tradition of a genuinely warm welcome and first rate friendly service, is the hallmark of the friendliest watering hole in Dublin. Whether you are alone or with a group of friends, the craic is mighty and you will always feel at home at the Temple Bar. Overseas and out of town visitors will find our staff to be a valuable mine of information on Dublin's history and sights and can recommend others places to visit to make your stay a memorable time.


    As winner of the Irish Music Pub of the Year for 2002 to 2012, the owners pride themselves on their traditional Irish Music sessions daily.  There is no cover charge! So drop in and enjoy the “craic agus ceoil.”


    The Temple Bar has it all… The Whiskey Collection… The Beer Garden…. The Oysters… The Atmosphere… The Music Sessions… The Competent and Friendly Staff… The Best pint of Guinness and Oh, the craic is mighty!


     


    This is only a taste of the incredible Pubs that Dublin has to offer.  There are so many more extraordinary pubs in our capital city to enjoy a “Pint” or a “Small One” in. 


    All Fairways and FunDays tours promise the very best of Ireland by day and by night – spectacular scenery, exhilarating entertainment, fantastic food, amazing activities, and magical memories are guaranteed!  And we guarantee that you will have the opportunity to enjoy a drink in some of Ireland’s best pubs! 


    Visit www.fairwaysandfundays.com today


    Fairways and FunDays – Your Ultimate Golf & Ireland Experience

  • 5th September 2017
    Posted in : Main
    Planning a Golf Vacation to Ireland

    Ireland’s Best Tourist Attractions


    There really is something in Ireland for everyone!


    From Walking to Whiskey Tasting, History to Heritage, Music to Mountains, Surfing to Storytelling and of course Guinness to Golf, Ireland has it all!


    But what are the Top 10 “Must See” Tourist attractions in Ireland?  We’ve listed our favourite 10 below (in alphabetical order), and it was an extremely difficult task to choose these


    1. Aran Islands


    In Galway Bay lie three rocky limestone outcrops that make up the Aran Islands. They are a bastion of traditional language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology and unrivalled in their potent sense of history. 

    Each of the three islands, Inishmore (Árainn), Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) and Inisheer (Inis Oírr) have their own distinct atmosphere and character, but the dramatic landscapes and endless sea form a backdrop to a labyrinth of meandering stone walls and tiny, tightly packed fields. In between, a network of narrow winding roads and grassy lanes sweep from pristine beaches and craggy shores to the dizzying cliffs that mark the edge of Europe. 

    The islands have lured legions of writers, artists and visitors over the centuries, their enigmatic ancient monuments, early Christian remains, holy wells and historic lighthouses adding to their sense of timelessness and mystery. 

    The pace of life is slow here and a profound sense of peace accompanies any walk or cycle down the narrow grassy lanes. This serenity makes the islands a precious sanctuary from the rush of modern life and their isolation guarantees their place as a stronghold of traditional culture. The nightly music sessions, lively dances, traditional crafts, seagoing currachs and wonderfully warm and welcoming spirit are inimitable parts of the Aran Islands.


    2. Blarney Castle


    The historic Blarney Castle near Cork City is perhaps most famous for the Blarney Stone but it’s also a great destination for the whole family. According to legend, the stone has the power to give anyone who kisses it the ‘gift of the gab’ (or the ability to be a smooth talker), so for those who dare, a climb to the battlements to reach the famous stone could be well worth it.

    For a more relaxing experience, take a stroll through the Blarney Castle Gardens and Rock Close—an attractive destination in their own right. There are a range of themed gardens built into the estate, like Fern Garden, located deep in the woods and designed to feel like a tropical jungle. Poison Garden, beside the battlements, is home to a fascinating collection of deadly and dangerous plants from around the world, like the caged specimens of deadly nightshade, wolfsbane and poison ivy. 

    Get in touch with your Celtic past at the Rock Close, a mystical place where majestic yew and oak trees grow around an ancient druidic settlement. Follow the trail through giant gunnera leaves and bamboo and you’ll find a giant dolmen stone, a set of ‘wishing steps’ and a witch's kitchen. The water garden and waterfalls create the perfect backdrop to a magical experience for visitors.

    In springtime, the castle grounds are filled with thousands of flower bulbs and the ‘Belgian Beds’ are covered with hybrid azaleas in full flower. In autumn, the landscaped arboretum glows as the leaves of the trees turn red, amber and gold.


    3. Bru na Boinne


    The Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre in Donore, County Meath, is an information hub for the thousands of visitors eager to explore Ireland’s mysterious Neolithic monuments, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. An extensive exhibition includes a full scale replica of the chamber at Newgrange (a World Heritage site), as well as a model of one of the smaller tombs at Knowth.


    Located on the south side of the River Boyne, the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is the only access point to Newgrange and Knowth, which lie north of the river. All tours of Newgrange start at the centre, before visitors cross the river via a footbridge and are brought by shuttle bus to the monuments. Because space inside the monuments is limited, places are restricted to around 700 per day at high season, meaning the summer months are particularly busy.


    A seasonal bus service runs from the town of Drogheda to the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre through Donore village. Open all year round, the centre has longer opening hours in summer. As well as a full scale replica of the Newgrange Chamber, the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre features a large interactive exhibition on the Brú na Bóinne area, an audio-visual presentation, the Brú na Bóinne tourist office, gift shop and tea rooms. A large car park and a picnic area are available outside.


    The mysteriously beautiful Newgrange prehistoric monument offers glorious views of the Boyne Valley. Among the finest surviving examples of this type of monument in Europe, Newgrange attracts thousands of international visitors every year. Visit the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre to start your own tour of this treasured national landmark.


    4. Cliffs of Moher


    The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. They stretch for 8km (5miles), as the crow flies, along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland and reach 214m (702feet) at their highest point at Knockardakin just north of O’Brien’s Tower.


    At the southern end of the Cliffs of Moher stands Hags Head a natural rocky promontory that resembles a seated woman when viewed from the north. In the ancient Gaelic language, the word Mothar means “ruined fort” and a 1st century BC fort stood where Moher tower now stands. Therefore the Cliffs of Moher means the cliffs of the ruined fort and although there is no trace remaining of this two thousand year old fort it has given name to the cliffs which are visited annually by almost one million visitors.


    The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is located almost midway along these spectacular cliffs and is home to; an environmentally friendly visitor centre set into the hillside, O’Brien’s Tower – a 19th century viewing tower, and 800metres of protected cliff side pathways, viewing areas and steps.


    5. Giants Causeway


    Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it.Now it’s time to experience the Giant's Causeway for yourself! Visit the world-famous basalt columns with one of the knowledgeable tour guides, or pick up an audio guide and go at your own pace. Climb the Shepherd's Steps and hike along the cliff-top trail to get a bird's eye view of the beautiful causeway coast.


    Unlock the mystery and stories of the landscape in the exhibition area of the award-winning visitor centre, which also boasts a café serving a seasonal menu, and retail zone where you can pick up locally sourced souvenirs and handicrafts.  For centuries countless visitors have marvelled at the majesty and mystery of the Giants Causeway. At the heart of one of Europe's most magnificent coastlines its unique rock formations have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of Atlantic storms. The rugged symmetry of the columns never fails to intrigue and inspire our visitors. To stroll on the Giants Causeway is to voyage back in time.


    Your imagination will travel along stepping stones that lead to either the creative turbulence of a bygone volcanic age or into the mists and legends of the past.


    In 1986 the Giants Causeway Visitors centre opened, coinciding with the World Heritage Conventions addition of the Causeway to its coveted list of sites, which are of exceptional interest and universal value.


    The National Trust are the custodians of the Causeway and provide the National Trust Shop and Tea Rooms.  The centre caters for the interest and enjoyment of the half a million tourists that visit the Giants Causeway each year. The management, the staff and facilities are at your disposal during a visit that we hope will be the first of many.


    This is an iconic tourist attraction.


    6. Glendalough


    Glendalough Visitor Centre is dedicated to showcasing the Glendalough monastic site, one of Ireland's most famous tourist attractions. Positioned in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the Glendalough monastic site is a fascinating early Christian settlement in a spectacular natural location, founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century.


    The extensive ruins of Glendalough include several early churches, and an impressive 30-metre high round tower. The valley stretches for approximately 3km and contains several areas of great historical interest and beauty. The Upper Lake area was the original site of the monastic settlement and features Reefert Church, Temple-na-Skellig, Saint Kevin's Cell, Saint Kevin's Bed, the Caher and various high crosses.


    Glendalough Visitor Centre offers an exhibition, audio-visual shows, guided tours and is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities; access to the monastic site itself however is very limited.


    This beautiful area is ideal as a base for hikes and is suitable for all levels, ranging from a short stroll around the ruins to demanding mountain walks through the valley and around the lakes.


    7. Guinness Storehouse


    Guinness is synonymous with Ireland and no visit to Dublin is complete without a trip to the Guinness Storehouse – the Home of Guinness.


    Located in the heart of the legendary St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, this production site has been home to the Guinness Brewery since 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years. The Guinness Storehouse building dates back to 1904 and is built in the style of the Chicago School of Architecture. It was once the fermentation plant of the brewery and is now a seven-storey visitor experience dedicated to the history of the making of this world famous beer.


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


    Here, you can experience Guinness like nowhere else. As you make your way through the impressive storehouse, discover the age-old art of brewing that makes Guinness so distinctive; visit the Tasting rooms, a multisensory tasting experience designed to help you appreciate the distinctive taste of the iconic stout, from the very first velvet sip to the last lingering drop.


    You can learn how to pour the perfect pint in the Guinness Academy or upgrade to enjoy samples of the four most popular variants, with an intimate tasting experience with the Connoisseur Experience. Step into the wonderful world of Guinness Advertising at the new Advertising Exhibit. Enjoy the best in Irish cuisine at the Guinness & Food Experience on level five.


    The highlight for many visitors is the Gravity Bar, symbolically the ‘Head of the Pint”, where visitors can enjoy unparalleled panoramic views of Dublin city – views that are all the better with a complimentary pint in hand.


    8. The Rock of Cashel


    The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most visited sites, and is a spectacular and archaeological site. A collection of medieval ecclesiastical buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. The 12th-century round tower is of the oldest surviving building on the Rock, also include a high cross, and the ruins Romanesque chapel - Cormac's Chapel is one of the earliest,and finest churches built in the Romanesque style. The 13th-century Gothic cathedral is a large cruciform Gothic church without aisles built between 1230 and 1270. Also a 15th-century castle and the Hall of the Vicars is the entry point to the ecclesiastical enclosure. The Hall houses the museum where the original Cross of St. Patrick can be found.


    The site includes an audio-visual show and exhibitions. The Rock of Cashel, also known as St Patrick’s Rock, is located just 500 metres from the centre of Cashel Town, County Tipperary.


    The Rock of Cashel is an ancient royal site of the kings of Munster and first attained importance as a fortress. Its origins as a centre of power go back to the 4th or 5th centuries. Two of the most famous people of Irish legend and history are associated with the Rock of Cashel. They are St. Patrick whom according to legend, arrived in Cashel in AD 432 and baptized King Aengus who became Ireland’s first Christian ruler. The second was Brian Boru, he was crowned High King here in 990. He is the only king who was able to unite all of Ireland under one ruler for any significant period of time.


    9. Titanic Belfast


    Since opening its doors in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage, Titanic Belfast has rocketed to the top of Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions, drawing over a million visitors in its first year. It seems fitting that the city should host the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience; after all, this was the city where the world’s most luxurious ship was built and first launched.


    Today, the area of Belfast Harbour that once housed the RMS Titanic has been renamed the Titanic Quarter and is dominated by the towering silver façade of the Titanic Belfast, a remarkable building fashioned from four ship-hull-shaped wings. The futuristic building is home to the state-of-the-art Titanic Belfast exhibition, which spreads over 6 floors and includes interactive discovery zones, full-scale reconstructions, real-life accounts and mind-blowing special effects.


    The RMS Titanic was built in Harland and Wolff shipyard, Belfast, between 1909 and 1912 and the estimated cost to build was $7,500,000.00. The RMS Titanic left Southampton, UK and set sail to New York, USA on 10th April 1912.   It’s last stop was in Cobh (then called Queenstown), County Cork.  The ship passenger’s manifest on 10th April 1912 was 2,223 and could accommodate a maximum 3,547 passengers. Although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship carried lifeboats for only 1,178 passengers.


    The ships length was 269.10 meters and to operate its three engines at an average of 21 knots would have easily taken 825 tons of coal per day.


    When the Titanic embarked on her maiden voyage the world was filled with hope. In just a few short days those emotions turned to horror and grief as it hit an iceberg 4 days into the voyage, at 11:40pm on 14th April 1912. The ship sank after 160 minutes upon hitting the iceberg.


    Housed in an iconic, 6-floor building, this state-of-the-art visitor experience tells the story of the Titanic. The visitor begins in turn of the century Belfast, to learn why this city which was once the third largest in the Empire, was so industrialised. From there, the story of Titanic’s conception is told followed by its early construction, launch, fit out and tragic maiden voyage. The story is brought up to the present with the discovery of the wreck and into the future with live links to contemporary undersea exploration. Across ten galleries, with an equal number of interactive exhibits, Titanic Belfast will convey the sights, sounds, smells and stories of the shipyard and its most famous creation.  Titanic Belfast extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way. Explore the shipyard, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of Titanic, in the city where it all began.


    A visit to Titanic Belfast is a must during your time in the magnificent city of Belfast.


    10. Wild Atlantic Way


    The Wild Atlantic Way is a world-famous coastal route that spans seven of Ireland's counties, taking in some breathtaking scenery along the way. From Donegal to Galway, Kerry to Cork, the Wild Atlantic Way is a journey of discovery.


    From Malin Head to Fanad Head and Inishowen to Slieve League, Donegal's section of the Wild Atlantic Way route is full of stunning surprises.  Over millions of years the Atlantic has carved dramatic crevices into the rugged headland that are stunning to behold.  The dramatic Slieve League cliffs are said to be some of the best and highest examples of marine cliffs in the world.


    On the second stage of the Wild Atlantic Way, take in the majesty of Mullaghmore Head, Downpatrick Head and Keem Strand as you travel from Donegal to Mayo.  Mullaghmore Head, off the coast of Sligo, is a paradise for surfers with a reputation for gigantic 'prowler' waves. Surfing schools abound in this neck of the woods, so if you want to get in on the action, take a lesson or two.  Then it's onwards to Downpatrick Head in Mayo, a spectacular headland rising 38 metres from the sea. Prepare to be charmed and beguiled by the sights and sounds of the Donegal to Mayo section of the Wild Atlantic Way.


    As you continue through the Wild Atlantic Way, the Mayo to Clare section of the route will offer up its own unique landscape for your pleasure.  The picturesque fjord of Killary Harbour nestles in the heart of Connemara, providing the perfect holiday hideaway. Sample some delicious and world-renowned local mussels before moving on with your journey.  The patchwork of tiny lakes in the Derrigimlagh Bog are ideally explored by bike, while the magnificent Cliffs of Moher in nearby Clare need no introduction. Take your time travelling this section - the wealth of scenic attractions is worth savouring.


    Before you say goodbye to Clare, visit the Loop Head peninsula, a region renowned for its breathtaking beauty. A visit to Loop Head Lighthouse offers panoramic views of Kerry and the Cliffs of Moher and is well worth the climb.  Onwards to Kerry, where the Blasket Islands - just a boat ride from the Dingle Peninsula - await, rich in Irish heritage. UNESCO World Heritage Site Skellig Michael is next on your journey, an attraction steeped in tranquillity and mystique.  Let the road take you on an exciting journey through the Clare and Kerry section of the Wild Atlantic Way.


    The dramatic Kerry to Cork section of the Wild Atlantic Way provides the perfect backdrop to the end of your Atlantic odyssey.  The rugged, remote Beara Peninsula of Co Cork is a stunning sight, with views of mussel rafts and seal colonies of Kenmare offering the perfect excuse for a pit stop.  From Dursey Island to Mizen Head - Ireland's most southern point - and then on to the Old Head of Kinsale, this stretch of the road should be enjoyed at leisure.


     


    This is only a taste of what Ireland has to offer.  There really is so much to see and do in the Emerald Isle.  All Fairways and FunDays promise the very best of Ireland by day and by night – spectacular scenery, exhilarating entertainment, fantastic food, amazing activities, and magical memories are guaranteed!


    Visit www.fairwaysandfundays.com today


    Fairways and FunDays – Your Ultimate Golf & Ireland Experience

  • 17th July 2017
    Posted in : Main

    So you’ve decided to go on a Golf Vacation to Ireland.  You’re in for a real treat as long as you follow our step by step “Do’s and Don’ts”


     


    1. Plan in advance:


    It is really important to plan your golf vacation to Ireland well in advance.  Famous Championship courses including Royal County Down, Portmarnock, Royal Portrush and Ballybunion have a high demand for tee times so it’s vital to book well in advance.


     


    2. Contact a reputable Golf Tour Operator:


    Speak with a reputable Golf Tour Operator like Fairways and FunDays. You can contact us Toll Free from US and Canada on 1800-7799810, by telephone +353 45 871110 or through our website www.fairwaysandfundays.com.


    A premier golf tour operator like Fairways and FunDays will take all of the stress away from planning your dream vacation and will ensure that you get the highly sought after Tee times at Ireland’s famous golf courses.


     


    3. Seek Free Professional Advice:


    What golf courses should you play?


    What hotels should you stay at?


    What areas of Ireland should you experience?


    What attractions should you visit?


    What restaurants are a must visit?


    What can Non Golfers do?


    There are so many questions that you will have when planning your dream vacation.  Our experienced team will be delighted to assist you and answer any queries that you have.  Our company are delighted to offer a “Free no obligation Golf Vacation Consultation” to anyone who contacts our firm.  You can arrange this consultation by contacting our firm Toll Free from US and Canada on 1800-7799810, by telephone +353 45 871110 or through our website www.fairwaysandfundays.com


     


    4. Identify your Budget:


    With over 400 golf courses and a wide range of accommodation and entertainment options, there are endless varieties of golf vacations in Ireland to suit all budgets.  We strongly recommend having a realistic budget at the outset of your vacation planning process and discussing your budget with us.  The team at Fairways and FunDays can design dream golf and Ireland vacations to suit all budgets.


     


    5. Non Golfers and Families:


    What do you do if there are members of your group who don’t play golf?  The answer is – don’t worry, Fairways and FunDays have got this covered.  We are the only Golf Tour Operator who organise customised itineraries for Non Golfers who travel as part of a group.  Regardless of your interests, we can organise a dream vacation to Ireland for all Non Golfers. 


    PLUS, Golfers and Non Golfers will collectively get to enjoy iconic tourist attractions and exhilarating evening entertainment on our tours.


     


    6. Vacation Insurance:


    It is essential to obtain Vacation Insurance that will fully cover you and your group in the unlikely event of being unable to travel due to medical reasons, OR having an accident while on your vacation.  All clients of Fairways and FunDays have 24/7 access to a Tour Director while on their vacation.  Our Tour Director will offer advice and assistance in the unlikely event of an unfortunate incident happening to a member of your group while in Ireland.


     


    7. European Health Insurance Cards:


    European clients should ensure to bring their European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) while on vacation.  In the unlikely event that you will require medical assistance while in Ireland, you will be required to present this card.


     


    8. Currency:


    Ireland uses the Euro (€) currency.  It will prove far less expensive to purchase Euro’s at a bank than doing so at a Currency Exchange Bureau.  The vast majority of outlets in Ireland (restaurants, bars, shops, hotels etc.) accept all internationally recognised Credit and Debit cards.  Using your Credit/Debit card while on vacation is an excellent option as opposed to carrying large sums of cash.


     


    9. What to Bring:


    This very much depends on the time of the year that you are travelling.  Due to the temperate climate in Ireland, we are fortunate that our golf courses are open 12 months of the year.  Naturally weather from October to March is a little colder so if you are travelling to Ireland during this period it is essential to bring appropriate clothing. 


    It is very important to bring a camera to capture all of the magical moments that you will experience on a Fairways and FunDays tour.  We promise magical memories that will last a lifetime.


    If the thought of bringing your golf clubs half way around the world does not appeal, fear not – we can organise private rental of top quality modern golf clubs for the duration of your tour.


    If you are opting for a “Self Drive” Tour, it is essential that you bring a valid, up to date Driving Licence with you.


     


    10. Sit back, relax and enjoy your dream Tour!


    This is your dream Golf and Ireland vacation so this is your time to enjoy every second of your time in the Emerald Isle.  The team at Fairways and FunDays carefully and passionately plan all aspects of your golf vacation – airport meet and greet, welcome gifts, transport, accommodation, golf reservations, sightseeing and evening entertainment.  This means that all of the members of your group can relax, concentrate on their golf and concentrate on enjoying Ireland!

  • 17th July 2017
    Posted in : Main
    Planning a Golf Vacation to Ireland

    Scotland may very well be the traditional home of golf, but Ireland certainly challenges closely for this title.   Records show that golf has been played in Ireland for over 150 years.  Golf now forms an integral part of Irish culture.


    So what are Ireland’s oldest Golf Courses?  We’ve compiled a list of some of the oldest courses in Ireland



    1. The Royal Curragh Golf Club, is Ireland's oldest golf course. The course has been completely revamped and is now a challenging heathland course of 6,585 yards. Detailed research has proven that golf was first played on the plains of the Curragh in County Kildare (located approximately 30 miles from Dublin) in 1852.

    2. Royal Belfast Golf Club was founded in 1881. This stunning parkland course was designed by Harry Colt.  Visitors are assured of a very warm welcome, a wonderful golfing experience and first class service in the splendid Victorian clubhouse.

    3. The Royal Dublin Golf Club was founded in 1885 and is Ireland's third oldest golf club. The Royal Dublin is an 18-hole links course on Bull Island, Dublin, Ireland, and was originally designed by Harry Colt.  This magnificent links was later extended under the guidance of golf architect Martin Hawtree.  The Royal Dublin has hosted The Irish Open Professional Championship on a number of occasions with the great Seve Ballesteros winning this event at The Royal Dublin in 1983 and 1985.

    4. Dooks Golf Club is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in Ireland and is located in exquisite surroundings. Dooks is located in County Kerry and golf was first played at this magnificent course in 1886. This stunning course recently undertook a makeover by R&A architect, Martin Hawtree. Dooks has become a challenging, exciting and enjoyable test that stands comparison with nearby Waterville and Ballybunion.

    5. Royal Portrush Golf Club is home to one of the best and most challenging links golf courses in the world, the Dunluce Links, and the hidden gem, the Valley Links. Royal Portrush is only club in Ireland to have hosted The Open Championship and is scheduled to host golf’s most famous event again in 2019. Golf was first played at Royal Portrush in 1888.

    6. The Royal County Down Golf Club, located in Newcastle, County Down opened on 23rd March 1889 and is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland. The championship course was designed by Old Tom Morris, and has hosted many of golf’s leading Amateur and Professional Tournaments.  Royal County Down was recently named as the World’s best golf course by Golf Digest.

    7. Waterville Golf Links is one of Ireland's top ranked golf courses, and is amongst the Top 100 Golf Courses in the world.The earliest structured golf at Waterville has been traced back to 1889, when it came under the umbrella of the extremely active Waterville Athletic Club. It was a formalised part of the life of the village by 1900, when becoming one of the first clubs to be affiliated with the Golfing Union of Ireland.

    8. Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare, first opened in 1892. Designed by the world renowned Alister MacKenzie, Lahinch Golf Club is a world-renowned links golf course in the village of Lahinch on the northwest coast of County Clare, in northern Munster, Ireland. This magnificent links course has played host to all of golf’s famous names, with Phil Mickelson describing this gem as one of his favourite golf courses in the world.

    9. County Louth Golf Club or Baltray as it is more affectionately known, is rated in Golf Digest's top 100 courses in the world as a hidden gem. It is one of the top links courses in Europe. Golf was first played at this magnificent facility on the East coast of Ireland in 1892.

    10. Ballybunion Golf Club, in County Kerry was founded in 1893 and is considered as one of the finest links courses in the world. Ballybunion's reputation continues to grow and this majestic links course has hosted several international tournaments. Ballybunion was ranked by Golf Digest in 2005 as the seventh best course in the world outside the United States.


    With over 400 golf courses on our small little Island – Ireland is the perfect place for your next golf vacation.  Whether you like old courses or new courses, great links courses or incredible parkland courses – Ireland has it all!


    Contact a member of our Team today for your FREE Golf Vacation Consultation


    Fairways and FunDays – Your Ultimate Golf & Ireland Experience.