Weekends in Dublin

everything you need for an eco weekend break in Dublin -transport, hotels and sightseeing
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Getting There:

You don't need to fly from Britain to get to Dublin. You can book the train/ferry from the mainland wth Virgin from London, and of course there is a direct route from Belfast. The rail and sail route crosses from Holyhead to Dublin with Irish Ferries (www.irishferries.ie) or Stena Line (www.stenaline.co.uk).
 
You can of course take your car on the ferry from Holyhead with Stena or Irish Ferries, or alternatively via Liverpool with P&O (www.poirishsea.com) or Norfolk Line (www.norfolkline.com).
 
If you must fly then there are numerous airlines that fly between Britain and Dublin, including Aer Lingus, Ryanair, BMI Baby , British Airways, Flybe as well as the continental airlines like Air France and Lufthansa. See the Dublin Airport site (www.dublin-airport.com) for details of flight information, arrivals and departures).
Eurolines
Stena Line

Getting Around:

For getting around the city, Eco-cab (www.ecocabs.ie) offers free (yes free) zero emission city center travel everyday between 10am and 7pm. There is also a good light rail system, Luas Light Rail (www.luas.ie). See also Dublin Bus (www.dublinbus.ie) for services for the city and and adjoining areas.
 
Pedal power is priveded by Dublin Bikes (www.dublinbikes.ie), a self service rental scheme with 40 stations set at roughly 300m intervals. The first half hour of each rental is free once you have bought a three day subscription at a nominal price.
 
If travelling further afield Bus Eireann cover routes throughout Ireland along with day tours from Dublin, and Irish Rail -Iarnród Éirean (http://www.irishrail.ie) is the official online guide to the railways of Ireland.
 
Environmentally friendly tours can be arranged with Ireland Eco Tours (www.irelandecotours.com) in Jerome O'Loughlin's bright-green minibus which runs on plant oil extracted from Irish-grown and processed rapeseed. Jerome is a trained guide and ecotourism expert, who can take you to places of interest in Leitrim, Fermanagh, Sligo, Cavan and Donegal, as well as activities ranging from Hill Walking in the hills of Sligo to surfing lessons on the coast of Donegal.
 

Sightseeing, events, tours and information:

Before setting off, give yourself a tune up at the Dublin Holistic Centre -(www.dublinholisticcentre.com), who offer alternative and complementary medical care, yoga, pilates and a range of treatments from homeopathy to hypnotherapy.
 
Just 25km north of Dublin in County Meath lies Soinarte (http://sonairte.ie) an interactive visitor centre promoting ecological awareness and sustainable living.
 
The Heritage Council of Ireland (www.heritagecouncil.ie) looks after everything from Architecture to wildlife and has a wealth of information -their Dublin page has a variety of events and information on places to visit including museums and waterways. See also Dublin's Botanic Spine (www.dublin.ie/botanicspine), combining the six existing city waterways, the Phoenix Park (Europe's largest city park) and the Botanic Gardens into an 18km organic corridor.
 
For the younger visitor, you simple must try Imaginosity (www.imaginosity.ie), Ireland's interactive Childrens museum, set in a unique eco building. The colourful exhibits include the opportunity to learn about Eco Building at The Construction Company.
  • Visit Dublin -the official tourist information.
  • Abbey Theatre -Ireland's National Theatre, founded in 1904. The artistic policy centres on the promotion of new Irish writing, the revitalisation and presentation of plays from the Irish repertoire, as well as classics of the European and world stages.
  • Dublin Zoo -founded in 1830, the zoo today is part of a worldwide network of zoos working together to breed endangered species.
  • Gaiety Theatre -built in 1837, the oldest Theatre in Dublin hosts a variety of theatrical productions including drama, musicals, comedy opera ballet and pantomime, and at weekend sthe theatre transforms into a late night club Salsa Palace on Fridays featuring latin beats and Soul Stage on Saturdays featurng world music and reggae.
  • Guinness Storehouse -A fermentation plant at St. James's Gate Brewery has been transformed into a place where you can experience one of the world's best known brands in a totally unexpected way. See also the Guinness website.
  • Writers Museum -established to promote interest in Irish literature through its collection, displays and activities, the museum is located five minutes walk from O'Connell Street.

Shopping and Restaurants

If you are looking for a good farmers' market, then the Dublin Food Coop (www.dublinfoodcoop.com) specialises in local produce from local producers, with fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, wholefoods, dairy, bakery and wines, and a wide selection of Fairtrade products.

Alternatively, the Temple Bar Cultural Trust (www.templebar.ie) has no fewer than three markets -Temple Bar Book Market, Temple Bar Food Market and the new Designer Mart at Cow's Lane. Under the banner of Dublin's Cultural Quarter, Temple Bar is located on the south bank of the River Liffey and is home to more than 50 cultural and contemporary arts organisations.

Fallon and Byrne (www.fallonandbyrne.com) food hall and wine emporium

Hotels, Bead & Breakfast:

For hotels. look for the Green Hospitality Award (www.ghaward.ie), a voluntary programme for accommodation owners who demonstrate leadership in environmental management within the hospitality sector. Successful members receive an award based on a set of strict criteria and are allowed to use the GHA Logo. (opposite).

Stillorgan Park Hotel (www.stillorganpark.com) offers four star accommodation in Dublin and has strong green credentials, having won Silver Green Hospitality Award in successive years.
 
Follow this link for our listing of other eco hotels in Ireland.

Hostels and budget accommodation:

Avalon House (www.avalon-house.ie) in Aungier Street is one of the main backpacker hostels in Central Dublin. The hostel is powered by wind turbines and has full recycling facilities It also offers free internet and wifi and is cclose to all the bars, restaurants and nightlife,
 
Jacobs Inn, (http://www.isaacs.ie/jacobs-inn-dublin) is also following suit with a strong environmental policy and plans to upgrade the energy performance of its building. The hostel is conveniently located by the central bus station.
 
More Hostels in Ireland.

Holiday cottages and Apartments

Solar House (www.thesolarhouse.com) -environmetally friendly solar heated, naturally ventilated house to rent in Dublin.
Decoy Cottages (www.decoycountrycottages.ie)
 
More eco cottages and holiday homes in Ireland.
 


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Mr and Mrs Smith
Featured books:
 
Ecoescape: Ireland: Slow Travel, Green Places to Stay, Local Food and Drink, Eco Days Out
Catherine Mack and Laura Burgess
Paperback
May 2008
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

Ireland Special Places to Stay
Alastair Sawday
Paperback -Feb 2009
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

Dublin (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide)
Claire Folkard, Stephen Conlin, Gary Cross, and Claire Littlejohn
Hardcover -Jan 2010
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

more guide books on Dublin


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