Posts tagged with "Ireland"

Nothing But Thieves Releases New Single – “Impossible”

Southend five-piece Nothing But Thieves have announced the release of new single Impossible, which is available now. The song follows recent singles Is Everybody Going Crazy? and Real Love Song and is taken from their forthcoming third album Moral Panic. They have also announced a huge UK, Ireland and European tour for Autumn 2021, including a headline show at London’s The O2.

THEIR NEW ALBUM, MORAL PANIC, WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 23RD.

LISTEN: IMPOSSIBLE

Nothing But Thieves are no strangers to powerful anthems, and with Impossible, they’ve written another vast soundscape. Produced by Mike Crossey (The 1975, Arctic Monkeys and Wolf Alice), Impossible is an exuberant track opening with raw emotion before launching into a huge chorus full of elated melody and affecting lyrics of hope and passion. The band says,

“In a way ‘Impossible’ is the complete antithesis of everything else on the album, which has a lot of anxiety and confusion about what’s happening on this planet. This became the opposite, zooming into one person’s head, just being lifted up and transported by a feeling of possibility and hope. It was a moment of relief that both we and the album needed.”

Recent single Real Love Song was included as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World before being added to the B List on Radio 1 and has already achieved 3.5 million streams worldwide. Richly anthemic and wildly grandiose, it builds triumphantly with a hymn-like euphoric melody alongside singer Conor’s poignant almost operatic vocals. Amidst mesmerising animations and a gritty performance from the band themselves, the Basak Erol directed video showcases the dreamlike story of three characters seeking love in the wrong places.

Remaining on the Radio 1 Playlist for 8 weeks, as one of the longest running tracks on their playlist, Is Everybody Going Crazy? was the band’s biggest Airplay hit to date, achieving almost 12 million streams worldwide and welcomed the exciting return of Nothing But Thieves. A gritty dark rock song, lyrically it discusses a fractured, barely recognisable civilisation and desire for escapism, which proved curiously relevant to the world right now.

Real Love Song, Is Everybody Going Crazy? and recent release Unperson is the band’s first new music since their 2018 EPWhat Did You Think When You Made Me This Way, their 2017 acclaimed album Broken Machine, which charted at #2 in the UK album chart, and their debut self-titled album Nothing But Thieves. Their third album Moral Panic will be released on 23rdOctober, with the pre-orders now live here and Unperson available as an instant grat.

The past few years have been quite a ride for Nothing But Thieves. Amassing over 700,000 album sales and 750 million streams so far, they have built up a loyal and wide following for their impactful alt rock sound, cementing themselves as one of the best current rock bands in the world. Selling 150,000 tickets on their last album campaign, which included a sold-out show at London’s Alexandra Palace and selling out their entire worldwide Broken Machine headline tour, their success has been global.

The band have performed on TV shows such as The Late Late Show With James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, after their debut became the bestselling debut from a UK rock band in the US in 2015 and played packed out international shows from Poland to Amsterdam, where they headlined an arena to 6,000 fans. After intimately debuting new songs at Tufnell Park Dome earlier recently for a BRITs/War Child gig, they were set to tour internationally earlier this year, including a show to 6,500 people at Moscow Adrenaline Stadium.

They have now announced a brand new UK, Ireland and European tour for Autumn 2021, including their biggest ever headline London show at O2 Arena. Tickets go on sale on Friday 18th September at 9am, with pre-sale tickets available from Wednesday 16thSeptember at 9am for all pre-orders of ‘Moral Panic’. Full dates are as follows:

September 2021

Thurs 30th         Dublin                Olympia

October 2021

Sat 2nd                Belfast               Ulster Hall

Wed 6th              Plymouth          Pavillions

Thurs 7th            Cardiff                Motorpoint Arena

Fri 8th                  London              O2 Arena

Sun 10th             Birmingham     O2 Academy

Mon 11th           Glasgow            Barrowland

Thurs 14th         Manchester     O2 Victoria Warehouse

Sat 16th              Nottingham     Motorpoint Arena

Mon 18th           Barcelona         Razzamataz 2

Wed 20th           Paris                   Casino de Paris

Sun 24th             Wiesbaden       Schlachtohof

Tues 26th           Leizig                 Täubchenthal

Thurs 28th Berlin Columbiahalle

November 2021

Tues 2nd             Munich              Tonhalle

Wed 3rd             Milan                 Fabrique

Fri 5th                  Zurich                 Halle 622

Sat 6th                 Luxembourg    Atelier

Mon 8th              Copenhagen    Amager Bio

Tues 9th              Stockholm        Fryhuset

Thurs 11th         Köln                    Palladium

Fri 12th               Amsterdam      Ziggo Dome

Nothing But Thieves are Conor Mason (vocals, guitars), Joe Langridge-Brown (guitars), Dominic Craik (guitars, keyboard), Philip Blake (bass guitar) and James Price (drums).

To Watch/Listen to “Impossible”:

https://nbthiev.es/impossible

To Pre-Order Moral Panic:

http://nbthiev.es/moralpanic

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Music Video for Robert Grace – Fake Fine

Irish-pop newcomer Robert Grace releases the video to his hit single “Fake Fine” via Sony Music Germany/RCA Records. Watch HERE. “Fake Fine” was released last month and marked Robert’s first release with Sony Music Germany/RCA Records.

In the video to “Fake Fine”, Robert Grace sarcastically talks about the inner and outer disguises we put on for self-protection. Including real life facemasks, a minimum distance, and the will to once again be yourself. Nathan Barlow directed this video.

Robert says, “The idea behind this music video was to shed some more light on mental health. To show in a slightly light hearted way that there really is no quick fix for depression or anxiety. Happiness isn’t easy for everyone (especially at the moment!) and I don’t think enough people realize that!“

ABOUT “FAKE FINE”

The songwriter, musician, and producer from Graignamanagh, Kilkenny covers a topic relevant to this day and age. “The song is about acting like you’re fine when really you’re not,” Robert says, explaining the story behind “Fake Fine”. “When it’s all just pretending, the situation itself might not even be that bad. But, for some reason, something just isn’t right and you try to find out why that is.” Grace discusses the somewhat hazy feeling of being beside oneself. It’s finding yourself in the wrong movie, which ends up being about yourself, and hiding behind a mask in order to not reveal your true feelings. The irony of course being that masks play an especially important role these days – a fact that marvelously aligns with Robert’s clip to “Fake Fine”, in which he moves somewhere between sheer sarcasm, black humor, and the bittersweet hope for a better life.

The track entered the Spotify viral charts at #2 in his home country Ireland, #14 on the Shazam charts, and conquered the top 40 Irish airplay charts. And also over here it’s only a matter of time until “Fake Fine” will find its way into the hearts and ears of listeners!

ACHEIVEMENTS

His previous single “Be Your Friend” made it into the New Music Friday playlist on Spotify UK, was on rotation on Irish radio, and became track of the week on 2FMs Breakfast Show. While still in the process of being written, “Fake Fine” already reached over 700,000 views on TikTok and within only seven weeks, over 160,000 followers subscribed to him. Robert Grace has developed into a highly sought-after songwriter who has written tracks with Dan McDougall (The Wanted, The Shires), Blair MacKichan (Paloma Faith/Sia/Lily Allen) and Josh Wilkinson (One Direction/5 Seconds of Summer). The track before that, “Moving Fast”, was track of the week on 2FM and his song “The Good Place” made it into the influential Easy-Playlist on Spotify. The singer/songwriter from Kilkenny has also performed at Ireland’s biggest festivals, including “Electric Picnic” and “Independence.” Also, he has written songs with some of UK’s most reputable songwriters. 

TO WATCH “FAKE FINE”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xlblW0F9ro

FOLLOW ROBERT GRACE

YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Sing Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Robert Grace – Fake Fine

Irish pop newcomer Robert Grace releases “Fake Fine,” marking Robert’s first release with Sony Music Germany/RCA Records. Robert has the ability to write slices of cool heartfelt pop readymade for radio and his current single “Fake Fine” is no exception. Showcasing Robert’s skills as a songwriter and a performer in his own right, “Fake Fine” sums up the trials and tribulations of living in the current climate.

“The song is about pretending to be ok when you’re really not,” says Robert. “When everything is all an act. You might not even be in a bad situation but still, for some reason somethings not right and you’re trying to figure out what that something is.”

Robert has developed into a hugely in-demand songwriter, having co-written tracks with Dan McDougall, Blair MacKichan, and Josh Wilkinson. His previous track “Moving Fast” was track of the week on 2fm and his song “The Good Place” was added to the influential “Easy” playlist on Spotify. The Kilkenny singer-songwriter has performed at Ireland’s biggest festivals Electric Picnic & Indiependence, as well as co-writing with some of the most prestigious songwriters in the UK.

Follow Robert Grace: YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

“Sounding like a cross between Lauv, Twenty One Pilots and blackbear, “Fake Fine’s” fun melody and tone offers an upbeat feel to the track’s thought-provoking lyrics about the trials and tribulations of living in the current climate. It’s readymade for radio play.” Record of the Day UK

“Robert is the Irish version of Troye Sivian and Lauv writing and producing slick commercial pop songs readymade for daytime radio” Eoghan McDermott, Presenter 2fm Breakfast Show

Gavin James – Boxes

GAVIN JAMES’ NEW SINGLE, “BOXES,” IS OUT TODAY   

Dublin-Based Artist Has More Than One Billion Streams Across His Catalog Download / Stream “Boxes” HERE

Watch the Lyric Video HERE

Today, Gavin James shared his new moving single, “Boxes.” The track marks the Irish artist’s first new music since his 2018 album, Only Ticket Home. “The message of the song is to not listen to anybody. Just listen to yourself and follow your dream,” explains Gavin James. “I went to an all-boys school in Dublin where if you wore the wrong shoes, you had to walk around in slippers all day. I was a bit mad at school, I wouldn’t even try a little bit. For years I had people saying I couldn’t do anything, that it was too hard to make it in music, I shouldn’t try.” James went on to prove the naysayers wrong – racking up over one billion combined global streams, selling 250,000 tickets worldwide, playing shows with Niall Horan, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, and securing 22 Platinum records in eight different countries. “Boxes” was executive produced by Fred Gibson (George Ezra) and co-produced by Sam Tsang (Ed Sheeran) and Ollie Green (Freya Ridings). It was mixed by 16-time GRAMMY® winner Serban Ghenea (Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes). Simplicity is at the heart of James’ appeal, as hits like “Nervous (The Ooh Song),” “22,” “Hearts On Fire” and “Always” demonstrate. On his albums Live At Whelans (2015), Bitter Pill (2016) and Only Ticket Home (2018) he has displayed a way of penning melodies that sound like they have always existed and yet are entirely new; of writing lyrics that touch on familiar subjects in ways that make them fresh. Noisey.com hailed James as “a soulful singer-songwriter sure to make you feel less alone when you’re down in the dumps” and Clash praised him as “tender, emotional…no mean talent.”

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Nick Offerman x St. Patrick’s Day

Nick Offerman Wants You To Get Ready For St. Patrick’s Day Now – And Guinness Is Here To Help

Follow the Guinness Countdown to St. Patrick’s Day and Get Tips from Offerman and Others on What to Wear, Eat, Drink and More for the Best St. Patrick’s Day Ever

He can act. He can sing. He can make you laugh, and he can make you cry. He can even build you a bar – among other things – with his bare hands. What Nick Offerman apparently can’t do is bide his time, which is why he’s teaming up with Guinness to give you an entire month to get ready for his favorite day of the year – St. Patrick’s Day – with the official Guinness Countdown to St. Patrick’s Day. Spoiler alert: green beer will not be making an appearance.

“Look, St. Patrick’s Day is easily the best of the holidays, and I will brook no argument to that assertion,” said Offerman. “The charismatic folks at Guinness know a thing or two about how to celebrate my favorite day. You’ll be able to see it all on Instagram, but if I had to nutshell it, I’d say gather with your family and your friends, both old and new. Eat some delicious meats, like corned beef – straight up or in a hash – wash it down with a pint of Guinness, then wash the Guinness down with some more corned beef. A glass or two of water along the way never hurt either.”

Starting now, everyone over the age of 21 looking to celebrate the holiday like a pro can follow along with Offerman on Instagram at @GuinnessUS for daily reveals of tips, tricks, trivia and suggestions on everything from how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness to what foods pair best with that pint to how to give an authentic Irish toast and much, much more.

As St. Patrick’s Day should bring out the best in everyone, the countdown will also cover how to give back; now through March 31st, share your Guinness ‘stache using the hashtag #StacheForCharity and tag @GuinnessUS, and Guinness will donate $1 to the Guinness Gives Back Fund*.

Guinness is even helping those celebrating to dress for the occasion with the new Guinness x Carhartt collaboration. United by the spirit of hard work and master craftsmanship, this collection includes everything from tees to hoodies to hats and more. The entire line is available for a limited time now at Carhartt.com/Guinness – where fans over 21 can also enter for the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin until March 1st**.

“The countdown to March 17th is on, and we hope that our own countdown can add a little something to the St. Patrick’s Day experience,” said Guinness Brand Director, Nikhil Shah. “As long as you’re celebrating with a Guinness and the people you love, and having a good safe time, you can’t go wrong.”

Celebrations will also continue at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore. In honor of its second St. Patrick’s Day since officially opening in August 2018, the home of Guinness in the U.S. will kick off weekend celebrations on March 14th and 15th with an Irish Village experience, an Irish beer tap take-over, pop-up entertainment, limited-edition merchandise, a holiday-themed food menu and more. More details are available at www.guinnessbrewerybaltimore.com.

For all the Guinness Countdown to St. Patrick’s Day happenings, follow along at @GuinnessUS on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And remember, whether you’re planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the pub or at home with family and friends, the only way to raise a pint is responsibly.

*Up to $100,000. Visit stacheforcharity.com full details. The Guinness Gives Back Fund is a corporate donor advised fund administered by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. The Fund’s mission is to support local charitable organizations.

**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) AND CANADA (EXCL. QC) 21 YEARS AND OLDER. VOID IN QC AND WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion begins January 14, 2020 & ends March 1,2020. For Official Rules, how to enter, prize descriptions and odds of winning, visit www.carharttsweeps.com. If Canadian resident, mathematical skill-testing question must be correctly answered to win. Promotion consists of random drawing sweepstakes & instant win game. 3 sweepstakes prizes and 144 instant win game prizes (approximate retail values from $25 to $13,100 USD) available to be won. Trip prize winner’s guest must be 21, alcohol is not included & trip must be completed by 12/31/2020. Instant win game prize winners subject to verification. Sponsor: Carhartt, Inc., 5750 Mercury Dr., Dearborn, MI 48126 U.S.A.

About Guinness
The Guinness brand was established in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. Brewed using four main ingredients, water, barley (malted & roasted), hops and yeast, Guinness is the world’s most popular stout. The iconic beer is brewed in 49 countries worldwide and sold in over 150 with almost 9 million glasses of Guinness enjoyed every day around the world. The most GUINNESS is sold in Great Britain, Ireland, USA, Nigeria and Cameroon. More information can be found at www.guinness.com.

About Diageo
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

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Fine Line,Harry Styles,Nielsen Music,sony music,UK,Vaughn Lowery,360 MAGAZINE,celebrity,entertainment,lifestyle,music,Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Brazil, South East Asia

HARRY STYLES STARTS NEW YEAR AT #1

Harry Styles’ critically acclaimed new album Fine Line has once again topped the Billboard 200 chart for a 2nd week, closing the decade and starting the new year at #1 with over 89,000 equivalent album units sold this week.
 
Last week the album topped charts around the world and achieved an array of history-making records when it debuted at #1 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 with over 478,000 equivalent album units sold, making history as the biggest sales week for a solo U.K. male artist’s album since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales data in 1991. It also marked the sixth best-selling traditional album of the year in just under a week and the fourth-biggest vinyl sales week in Nielsen music history. Harry achieved the 3rd highest debut for any artist this year, and achieved the biggest week for a pop album by a male artist in four years.
 
The incredible U.S. success has continued internationally where the album entered the charts at #1 in over 20 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Brazil, and across South East Asia. Harry also became the first UK male artist to debut at #1 in the U.S. with his first two albums.
 
Harry will kick off his world tour ‘Love on Tour’ in April 2020, tickets and additional information are available here
 
The new album, Fine Lineis available everywhere today via Columbia Records/Erskine Records.
 

VAGABOND TOURS OF IRELAND

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Folds Galway into 2020 Itineraries

Honoring Europe’s Capital of Culture

Ireland’s Galway in February will become even more globally prominent. This city has been dubbed the 2020 European Capital of Culture.

An award-winning tour operator, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, is already preparing to fold Galway into as many of its 2020 tours as possible. This company will also offer opportunities for guests to sample a variety of world-class events that make travel to Ireland in 2020 a must.

The national event lineup for next year includes but is not limited to:

• April 2020: The 50th anniversary of the World Irish Dancing Championships in Dublin.

• June 15, 19, 26, 2020: European Soccer Championships 2020 Group Stage Matches at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.  The senior men’s soccer tournament games (UEFA European Championships) are being held for the first time in Dublin.

• July 2020: The Great Gathering at Cork 300, a maritime festival celebrating the oldest yacht club in the world

• July 23-27 2020: Clipper Round the World Race stops in Derry.

• August 29, 2020: College Football Classic in Dublin with Navy vs Notre Dame at Aviva Stadium.

In addition to this calendar of one-off crowd-pleasers, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland asked its guides to tally up past-guest surveys of what their alumni thought were the most outstanding experiences in Ireland. Following is the result of their research, a perfect mix of hidden gems, historical events, challenging hikes and stunning destinations that create the ultimate Ireland bucket list of amazing things to do on the Emerald Isle in 2020 and beyond.

• Visiting Skellig Michael, an island with puffins, 600 steep stone steps and a 6th century monastic settlement that was featured in Star Wars The Last Jedi (Episode VIII).

• Biking two brand-new greenways opening in 2020. One, a section of the Royal Canal Greenway, will be Ireland’s longest dedicated cycle path, leading from the outskirts of Dublin to Longford in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. When it launches in the second half of 2020, the Carlingford Lough Greenway will be Ireland’s first cross-border cycle trail, linking Newry in Northern Ireland to Louth in the Republic.

• Booking a Black Cab Tour to explore the history of Belfast that is contested by two tribes that are Catholic and Protestant, Republican and Unionist, Green and Orange.

• Downing a quaff in a hardware store.

• Watching a hurling match, the world’s fastest field sport.

• Soaking aching muscles in a kelp bath.

• Crawling inside Ireland’s myth-laden and highest passage tomb – in Armagh.

• Hiking from clifftop to waterline on Giant’s Causeway.

• Partaking of Listowel Writers Week in quiet north Kerry May 27-31, 2020.

Vagabond’s 12 Day Giant Irish Adventure and the 11 Day Driftwood Discover Ireland itineraries embrace most of these experiences. All of the company’s tours begin in and end in Dublin. Guests are encouraged to schedule in optional Dublin events as they arrive or depart the city.

The 12 Day Giant Irish Adventure Tour is a two-time winner of Best Adventure Experience at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards in 2017 and 2015. The per person double rate is €2,899 (single supplement €490). This is Ireland’s ultimate guided adventure tour, journeying over mountain passes, riding horses on deserted beaches and exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.

The slower-paced, less active 11 Day Driftwood Discover Ireland itinerary is €2,749 per person double (single supplement €469). Guests discover Ireland from coast to coast through immersion in history, culture, music and crafts.

On all of its tours, Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom Mercedes-Benz Drifter or 4×4 Vagatron that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019-2020 reservations, please visit http://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: info@vagabond.ie.

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards. In February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

Stay in Your Own Private Castle with Wilderness Scotland

The Emerald Isle and Scottish Highlands are brimming with iconic landmarks (a.k.a tourist traps). But what about those who want more than a pint of Guinness or a bite of haggis? Wilderness  Scotland  (Europe’s No. 1 Rated Adventure Travel Company) and sister company  Wilderness  Ireland  offer Tailor Made trips designed by locals and delivered by local legends—making them a great way to discover the essence of a place in a way that few visitors have access to. 

From enjoying a moonlight paddle in Yeats Country—home to unparalleled star gazing—to uncovering the secrets of the Loch Ness Monster to rappelling off sea stacks, Wilderness’ Tailor Made adventures unearth the true character of the destination. 

Forget everything you thought you knew about Ireland and Scotland with these one-of-a-kind experiences: 

Go Glamping in Yeats Country  

On a camping expedition in Sligo, Ireland, hike the breathtaking lakes, mountains, beaches and waterfalls that once inspired many of the great works of the Nobel Prize winning writer, W. B. Yeats. As the sun sets, hop in a kayak for a nighttime paddle on the “Lake Isle of Inisfree” to a private island. Leap onto the sand where a forested paradise awaits, along with a night of glamping in one of the world’s premier stargazing destinations. But first, enjoy wood-fired pizzas al fresco, while a local expert shares in the tales and legends of the area.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Hunt for Nessie with a Career Monster Tracker 

While Scotland is known for its legends and fables, none are quite as famous as the Loch Ness Monster. While considered by some as folklore, the storied creature has been likened by scientists to a plesiosaur that dates back to the end of the last ice age. To unearth the history of the mystical creature, meet Adrian Shine, a naturalist and researcher, for a private boat ride as he shares his insider knowledge after years of studying Nessie. You’ll fly across the waters of Loch Ness, one of the largest and deepest expanses of water in the UK, as you search for this elusive creature.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Spend the Night in Your Own Private Castle 

Nestled in the countryside on 500-acres lies a palace straight out of a fairytale—Aldourie Castle—and it’s easily bookable for a private rental for you and your closest 20 friends with Wilderness Scotland. This rare experience is set on the shores of Loch Ness, where well-tended courtyards, 16th-century gardens and horseback riding can be found as you stroll vast woodland grounds. For a closer look at the garden’s soaring pergolas, meet with your private guide for a tour, while keeping eyes peeled for deer, sea eagles and even basking sharks—the world’s second-largest fish. Stop for a tour at a world-famous malt whisky distillery to sip the Scottish ‘Water of Life,’ or hop in a sea kayak to observe the ruins of nearby Urquhart Castle from the water.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Cast a Line with an Expert Ghillie 

Grab your waders and wellies for an unforgettable fishing experience with one of Scotland’s most knowledgeable fishing expeditioners. Take to the Highlands to uncover the locals’ best-kept fishing spots along the River Tay in Perthshire. Here, anglers can find the country’s most iconic species—Atlantic salmon—along with pike, rainbow trout and pollock. Cheers to the catch of the day with a glass of distilled whisky on the riverbank.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Forage for Juniper to Make Your Own Gin

While whisky may be the official drink of Ireland, gin is also a popular local tipple. In Ireland’s Ancient East, you can learn the complicated science behind every bottle of Irish-made gin. Head into the forest with a naturalist guide to forage for fresh ingredients, such as juniper and other herbs. Then, head to an exclusive gin school to distill a bottle with your own herbs—making for a memorable souvenir.  

Dates & prices available upon request. 

Climb a Sea Stack High Above the Atlantic  

Head to what Ireland’s Donegal County calls “the most climbable rocks in Ireland” to unearth a secret spot where you’ll be suspended above the Atlantic waves for an adrenaline-fueled climb. But first, visit one of the area’s most remote spots to meet the local Gaelic-speaking characters who call the area home. They’ll guide you through the history of the separation between Northern and Southern Ireland, the basic knowledge of the Gaelic language and their local traditions. Then, you’ll be whisked away to a tiny island, where you’ll climb to the top of a sea stack, then rappel down the steep cliffside high above ocean waves. 

Dates & prices available upon request.

Opera In The Garden

THE MERRION IN DUBLIN PRESENTS ‘OPERA IN THE GARDEN’ WITH THE WEXFORD FESTIVAL OPERA

This summer, the 5-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin will once again partner with the Wexford Festival Opera for two exclusive performances on June 5 and 6, 2019 to present “Opera in the Garden” in The Merrion’s own private gardens in the heart of Dublin.
During the event, guests will have a preview of one of the Wexford Festival Opera‘s 2019 ShortWork opera productions. Georges Bizet’s one-act comic operette, Le Docteur Miracle, centered around a young man’s attempt to win the hand of the mayor’s daughter, will be specially staged to complement the elegant backdrop of The Merrion’s gardens.

Peter MacCann, General Manager of The Merrion Hotel, said: “We are delighted to welcome the world-renowned Wexford Opera Company to perform one of their ShortWork operas against the backdrop of The Merrion’s tranquil terrace gardens. Last year’s event was a huge success and we were thrilled with how it was received by all those in attendance.”

The black-tie event begins with a Champagne reception on the terrace, followed by the performance, and concludes with a private dinner prepared by Executive Head Chef Ed Cooney and served in the Georgian salons of The Merrion.
Tickets for this event are limited to 100 per night, and are priced at €295 (approx. US$332) per person, including the Champagne reception, performance and dinner with wines.

For more information click here. For more information on Opera in the Garden click here.

ABOUT THE MERRION

The union of four restored Georgian townhouses, joined with a contemporary Garden Wing, The Merrion’s 123 guestrooms and 19 suites include a two-floor Penthouse Suite and private rooftop terrace. The Tethra Spa offers a range of treatments and an in-house pool. In addition to the Garden Room restaurant the Merrion is home to Ireland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant, Patrick Guilbaud. The Merrion houses the largest collection of private art in Ireland outside of the National Gallery. The Merrion is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

Six Day Ancient Ireland Tour

 The cinematic journey back in time is nearly over. The History channel’s blockbuster hit, “Vikings” is scheduled to conclude its sixth – and final season in 2020.
But in Ireland the Vikings and their lasting influence still remain. An award-winning tour operator, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, recreates for visitors Ireland’s own Viking history in some of the places where the Vikings pillaged and plundered in their quest for precious baubles and arable lands.
 
The company’s Driftwood: 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour travels south from the gateway city, Dublin, through County Wicklow (old Norse for “Vikings Meadow”) where many episodes of “Vikings” were shot. (This fully guided small group tour won a “best” award at the 2019 Irish Tourism Industry Awards.)
 
Guests may envision Vikings landing longboats off the Irish Sea and the flags of Norman invaders from England who, with help, eventually did them in. The artifacts they’ve left behind signal bloodshed one moment and repentance the next. More than any other region of Ireland, this coastline separated by mountains from inland valleys defines how the Irish came to be in the 5000 years since Stone Age settlements.
“A common view is the Vikings were raiders who didn’t stick around. But some did. As early as 800 AD they set up winter camps (longphorts) here, plotting how to loot the wealth of monasteries, intermarrying with indigenous Celtic Gael, putting down roots and founding our first capital at Waterford,” notes Rob Rankin, co-owner of Vagabond Tours. “The Vikings had a settlement in 841 AD in what is now Dublin. Then in the late 12th century, another predator, the Normans, thrust and parried the assorted kingdoms of Gaelic Ireland.”
 
The tour’s first major stop explores the site of a Viking attack on Christmas night in 835 AD on Glendalough, a 6th century monastic center. Farther south comes the Viking Triangle, the virtual museum cities of Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny. The Vikings founded Ireland’s first city, Waterford (Norse for “windy fjord”), in 914. Here one can visit museums and buildings rife with Viking lore. Participants on this trip have the option to:

  • Tour the Viking Museum in Ireland’s oldest civic building, the 800-year- old Reginald’s Tower;
  • Watch history come to life at the 3D King of the Vikings virtual reality experience. 
  • Step into a real 13th century chamber at the Medieval Museum,
  • Behold the elegance of 18th century Georgian Waterford at the Bishop’s Palace Museum. 

While in Waterford, now famous worldwide for its crystal stemware, guests revel in two nights of luxury – hardly Viking style — at Waterford Castle Hotel. (The castle became a hotel in the 1980s and underwent a major refurbishment in 2015.) Little Island, on which the castle stands, is strategically encircled by Kings Channel and River Suir. From the 6th century it housed a monastic center. From the 9th to 11th centuries the Vikings built fortifications on what was then called Island Vra (Dane’s Island). The early 12th century stone castle remained in the hands of its original owners, the Fitzgeralds (later kings of Ireland) for over 800 years. The island was a reward for the family’s role in the 1170 Norman invasion. (In Woodstown, just upstream from the castle, is relatively new evidence of a significant Viking settlement unearthed in the 21st century.)
 
At the mouth of another river the Vikings established in the 9th century a settlement they called Ueigsfjord or Waesfjord (“ford of the waterlogged island”), today’s Wexford. The Norse controlled this region until challenged, in part, by the Normans early in the 12th century. (In nearby New Ross guests may opt to visit the Ros Tapestry where 150 stitchers since 1998 have created 15 dramatic tapestries depicting Norman history in Ireland.)
 
In Kilkenny, the stronghold of a Norse clan since the 6th century, artifacts are buried deep. But in the 1990s a tour guide discovered silver and bronze treasures including buttons from a Viking coat.
 
In addition to Waterford Castle, other aristocratic homes and their gardens are players on this itinerary. Visitors will:

  • Behold the splendor of 12th century Kilkenny Castle,
  • Ramble the Robinsonian gardens of Altamount House,
  • Dress for battle at the medieval Ballyhack Castle,
  • Walk in awe around 13th century Tintern Abbey,
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone and explore Blarney Castle and Gardens. 

Departures (14 total in 2019) from Dublin are from mid-April through mid-October. The per person double rate is €1,819 (€315 single supplement).
 
On all of its tours, Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4×4 Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.