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weekend guide

Stuck for a weekend plan? Here are some of the best things to do around Ireland

A quick round-up of events happening around the country.

LOOKING FOR WEEKEND plans? Here are our county-by-county recommendations, from surfing in Donegal to chilling out at a Gothic castle in Offaly.

Cork: The annual Cork Midsummer Festival is back this weekend with a schedule packed full of music, dance, theatre and visual arts events. This year, you’ll find theatre from Emmet Kirwan and Charles Mee, an audio drama on the hidden stream and rivers of Cork city, and cabaret in the Crane Lane Theatre.  There are plenty of shows for kids as well as adults, with interactive workshops catering especially to the little ones.

Come_Dine_2 Take in the work of American playwright Charles Mee this weekend at Cork Midsummer Festival's dinner theatre. Conflicted Theatre / Cork Midsummer Festival Conflicted Theatre / Cork Midsummer Festival / Cork Midsummer Festival

Galway: Feast on the best of Connacht food and drink at Bia Lover in Athenry. There’ll be live music, demonstrations, cookery competition, talks and food tastings throughout the weekend as local artisan and craft producers show off their goods by the Clarin river.

Donegal: It’s straight up music, surfing and skating at Sea Sessions in Bundoran, Ireland’s biggest beach festival. This year’s lineup includes Seasick Steve, the Riptide Movement, Example & DJ Wire and Le Galaxie. A 20-foot skate ramp in the middle of the festival arena, meanwhile, will play host to top Irish and European skaters.

Sea Sessions / YouTube

Dublin: Christ Church Cathedral will be transformed into a floral oasis for the annual Dublin Garden Festival this weekend. Enjoy craft demonstrations, talks from horticultural experts and colourful displays put together by some of Ireland’s top gardeners.

Kerry: Get your hiking books out for the Killarney Walking Festival. All fitness levels are catered for in its programme of scenic mountain treks and lakeside walks.

unnamed Valerie O'Sullivan / Killarney Walking Festival Valerie O'Sullivan / Killarney Walking Festival / Killarney Walking Festival

Limerick: Explore the towns and villages at the foot of Galtymore mountain on the Tour of the Galtees Sportive this Sunday. Its 125km route stretches from Kilfinane to Cahir and Cashel, but families can go for an easier 15km route on the day.

Mayo: Set in the coastal Gaeltacht town of Belmullet, the Erris Beo Festival features family activities from golf and water sports, to a treasure hunt and boat trip to the deserted Iniskea islands. Hundreds are also expected to compete in the weekend pro-am taking place in the nearby Carne Golf Links.

Meath: Step back in time this Sunday at the Trim Haymaking Festival, a 47-year-old festival that promotes the cultural history of rural Ireland. Take part in an obstacle course through hay bales or try traditional crafts at thatched cottages in an old village built especially for the event. There’ll also be two Guinness record attempts, one for the longest hay rope twist and another for the longest sheaf tossing distance.

90264403 - Copy Photocall Ireland Photocall Ireland

Offaly: The grand old Charleville Castle is the setting for Facefest, a family-friendly music and arts festival in Tullamore. The Stoles, rock quartet Cramptown Spaces and folk singer Alannah Murray are among this year’s lineup. Camping is free, it’s BYOB and all funds raised go towards the restoration of the castle, which is over 200 years old.

Sligo: There’ll be shanty sessions around Rosses Point and Coney Island all weekend at the fifth annual Rosses Point Shanty Festival. A highlight is the ‘go as you please’ race, in which teams of two have to combine their rowing and running skills to get to Oyster Island and back.

Wexford: Hit the Wexford city quays for raft racing, kayaking, waterskiing, canoeing or power boating at the Wexford Maritime Festival. Maritime enthusiasts are well catered for with a model boat exhibition, search and rescue plane demonstration and one of the summer’s best air shows. Kids can also try their hand at sword making and brass rubbing in the nearby Viking tent.

wexford-maritime-festival-6-700x466 Wexford Maritime Festival Wexford Maritime Festival

Read: What’s it like letting people run a massive festival in your back garden? >

Read: It looks like it’s going to be a bumper year for Irish tourism >

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