Articles posted in Dingle Peninsula, Kerry, Ireland

25 articles


Fungie, The DIngle Dolphin

With the sun dancing off the blue water of the bay, we thought it was a perfect day to jump aboard one of the local boats and take a trip out to see the legendary, Dingle Dolphin, Fungie!

Fungie Facts!

Fungie is a fully grown, middle aged, male bottlenose dolphin.

He is about 13 feet in length and weighs around 250kgs

He is estimated be under 40 years old and could have a lifespan of 50 to 60 years.

Celebrities, including Pierce Brosnan, Mary Black and Jean Kennedy-Smith, have come to see Fungie.

According to locals he was first seen in the harbour in 1983.

He regularly escorts boats entering and leaving the harbour and loves to play with small boats/ribs and sailing dinghies.

 

 


Picnic in Dingle – The Essential Guide

Now that you’ve chosen your perfect Picnic Hotspot it’s time to focus on the food. From the freshest salads, to vegan treats, to a ripe cheeses these fabulous Dingle retailers stock everything you need to create a mouth-watering meal. Plus we're offering you the chance to win a picnic basket filled with goodies when you book one of our Dingle properties*
*Terms and conditions apply. See below for competition details.

Crinkle Stores

Sarah Dolan’s ‘Crinkle Stores' is a small but perfectly formed foodie heaven that stocks artisan products from around the Dingle Peninsula. Visit her deli counter where you’ll find a range of fresh and flavoursome salads or grab one of her freshly ground coffees to go.

Address: Green Street, Dingle.

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Grá Dingle Health Foods

Gra Dingle Health foods, run by Kate, is a small apothecary style shop selling an array nourishing tasty treats & delicious vegan or gluten free nibbles. They also stock a variety of raw chocolate, as well as Irish & artisan foods. All of which can be washed down with something sparkling & refreshing, such as elder flower cordial, rose lemonade, ginger beer or kefir & kombucha. On Friday mornings Kate takes delivery of locally baked spelt bread & scones.

Address: Main Street, Grove, Dingle.

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The Little Cheese Shop

Run by by Mark Murphy, who also runs the Dingle Cookery School, The Little Cheese shop sells a wonderful selection of cheeses and accompaniments. Since taking over the shop, Mark has reduced the number of cheeses stocked in order to focus on cheeses with a local connection. Don’t forget the crackers!

Address: Grey's Lane, Dingle

crinkle

Win a fabulous picnic to be delivered during your stay in Dingle!

We're offering the chance to win this fantastic prize to anyone who books a stay with us in Dingle before 21st June. After booking all you have to do to be entered into the prize draw is send an email to [email protected] with PICNIC as the subject line.  Entries must be received before 21st June. Picnic valid until October 31st 2018

Here’s the Stay YNA essential guide for planning the perfect picnic!

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Choose your spot - The whole idea behind a picnic is to enjoy the great outdoors so choose your spot wisely. If you need a inspiration you can see the hottest spots in Dingle in our last post. If you’re planning on taking your dog, you may want to consider checking if your chosen spot is pet friendly before you arrive.

Picnic packing - Forgetting the cutlery or a bottle opener can put a real downer on the day. Make a checklist that you can tick off as you pack your basket. We suggest:

Something comfortable to sit on - blankets, quilts, old table cloths or even large bath towels are great options.

Plates, cups, cutlery, napkins, glasses and a chopping board - If you prefer real  crockery over plastic wrap it all up in what you’ll be sitting on to prevent breakages.

Cooler Packs - take plenty of these to ensure your picnic stays fresh until you’re ready to eat it. If space in your basket is is limited you can freeze your drinks so that they double as a cooler pack but don’t forget they’ll need to defrost before you can drink them.

Sunscreen and insect repellent

Board games, magazines and newspapers

Bin bags and baby wipes

And last but definitely not least….

A bottle opener and corkscrew!

 

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Food and Drink

Picnics should be relaxed and leisurely affairs so be sure to pack easy to eat food that you can graze on as you take in the stunning scenery around you. Sandwiches are a natural choice but choose your fillings with care, there are few things worse than a soggy sandwich! It’s best to wrap sandwiches in greaseproof paper rather that plastic as this prevents them from sweating.

Sausage rolls and scotch eggs are also traditional staples of a picnic being portable and easy to eat but why not try something different, Frittata, chicken skewers, falafel, cheese, tarts and quiche all taste extra special when al fresco.

On a hot day there’s nothing quite like a chilled glass of Rose to wash down your picnic but for the non drinkers we suggest something light and refreshing such as elder flower cordial, rose lemonade, ginger beer - all of which can be found at Grá Dingle Health Foods!

Book one of our properties in Dingle before 21st of June and be entered into our lucky prize draw to win a luxurious picnic basket to be delivered during your stay!

T&C’s apply


Dingle The Picnic Peninsula

Grab your blankets and baskets and join us in Dingle to celebrate National Picnic week 15th-24th June 2018!

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In our forthcoming blog series ‘Dingle - the Picnic Peninsula’ we’ll be showing you some stunning picnic locations, where to buy fabulous picnic food and sharing picnic recipes guaranteed to please friends and family! We’ll also be offering some fantastic discounts on our range of Dingle properties and offering one lucky reader the chance to win a luxurious picnic to enjoy on your stay in Dingle.

 

Dingle is Ireland’s west most peninsula. Its unique landscape is home to over 2,000 beautifully preserved monuments left over from the The Bronze ages, the Dark ages and even Hollywood films! Both its archaeological heritage and scenery are stunning. The main town, also called Dingle, is picturesque and well equipped with everything you need for a magical holiday. As one of Ireland’s largest Gaeltact towns it has a large number of pubs, some of which double as shops in the daytime!

 

Our 48 luxury and boutique homes are managed by Clodagh and Phil Edwards and their team. With their passion for Kerry, and as members of the local community, Clodagh and Phil are a treasure trove of knowledge when it comes to things to do, places to eat and, of course, where to find the best ‘craic’!

 

Bally David Sands

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Mountain View

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Killarney Haven

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Little Liss Cottage

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Picnic Hotspots, Dingle!

With the warm weather fast approaching it’s time to rediscover our passion for dining Al Fresco. In celebration of National Picnic Week, we’ve rounded up some of the hottest picnic spots in Dingle, Ireland.

Glanteenassig Forest Park

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Situated at the foot of the Slieve Mish Mountains and covering an area of 450 hectares, the Glanteenassig Forest Park consists of  woodland, mountain, lake peatland and is an outdoor enthusiasts dream to explore. There are three walking trails in Glanteenassig. The River Trail (1.1km, 30 mins, easy),The Lough Slat (0.3km, 5 mins, Access for all) and the Lough Caum Loop (2km, 1 hour, moderate). There are picnic tables around each of the lakes so when you’ve finished your walk you can eat and relax while taking in the breathtaking scenery. There’s fantastic fishing to be had here but you will need a permit, ask at the SPA in Castlegory tourist office by the SPA in Castlegory. Open 08.00 – 22.00 (Summer) 08.00 – 18.00 (Winter)

 

Built in 1896, Brandon Pier used to be heaving with up to 100 canoes all out fishing for Mackerel, which would be salted and then shipped off to North America. The trade has died out now but people still fish for mackerel off the high walls and it’s the perfect place for a picnic. Grab a pint of Guinness from Murphey’s bar and soak up the atmosphere as well as the stunning view of Brandon Bay and the mountains.

Brandon Pier

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Hussey’s Folly

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Named after the Local land Agent RM Hussey, Hussey’s folly was built during the Great famine in 1845 as a means of providing employment for the poor. On a fine day it’s a wonderful spot to picnic and watch all of the comings and goings of the harbour. If you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of local super star Fungie The Dolphin. There’s a little pebble beach, called the Sláidín which is great for swimming from and a car park just a five minute walk away.

 

Possibly one of the most iconic sites on the peninsular, Coumeenole Beach is on the stunning Slea Head drive. By the road you’ll find picnic tables overlooking the cliffs where you can enjoy your lunch. If you fancy stretching your legs you can stroll down the track to the beach, which was one of the filming locations for Ryan’s Daughter. Please note that the strong currents in the water make the beach unsafe for swimming.

Coumeenole Beach

Coumeenole Beach

Great Blasket Island

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During the 1920’s and 1930’s the Blasket Island Authors produced some remarkable books. At the heart of their community lay an ancient tradition of Oral storytelling, but fearing that their way of like was coming to an end some of the Blasket Islanders wrote their stories down in the Irish language. These books are considered to be classics.The Island is uninhabited now but you can take a ferry from Dun Chaoin pier or hire a boat to this unique and beautiful place. Before your picnic you can take a stroll through the historic village or go swimming with the seals, before enjoying lunch on the white sandy beach or the grassy banks above.

Mind the gaps!!

We’re offering a fantastic €100 off when you book 5 nights or more in Dingle June 2018!

Take a look at our available properties and fill the gaps for our super hot offer!

Ballydavid Sands

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9th 19th/ 26th - 30th June

Ballywiheen Cottage

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16th - 30th June 

Captain’s Rest

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12th - 22nd/ 25th - 30th June 

Daisy

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12th - 16th June

Dingle Sands

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12th - 18th June 

Doras Dearg

Doras Deag

15th - 21st/ 25th - 28th June

Gilly May’s Loft

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12th - 20th/25th - 30th June

Killarney Haven

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12th - 22nd June 

Little Liss Cottage

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16th - 28th June 

Mountain View

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19th - 30th June 

Pebble Cottage

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12th - 16th/ 23rd - 30th June 

Salone House

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16th - 30th June

The Break

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12th - 29th June 

The Lookout

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12th - 17th June 

Wild Atlantic Rest

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12th - 17th / 25th - 30th June 

Wine Strand House

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12th - 27th June 

Woodland Lodge

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12th - 23rd June 

Poppy Lane

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12th - 28th June 

Dingle Welcomes Spring!

Book your May or September Dingle stay! 

We are offering €100 off your May and September Dingle booking! 

Don't miss out on Dingle's best weather! BOOK NOW! 

https://www.stayyna.com/specials/may-september-dingle-deal-19862/

Shake off the old darkness of Winter and welcome the light! It will soon be time to celebrate the official arrival of Summer with the rich and vibrant Feile Na Bealtaine 2018 in Dingle. Let’s take a look ahead to the much-anticipated festivities and banish those Winter blues once and for all!

Feile Na Bealtaine has evolved from a tentative one-day event in the nineties to a full-blown, five-day multi-disciplinary arts festival which takes place every May Bank Holiday weekend in Dingle.

Kicking off on Thursday 3rd May this year and running to Monday, 7th May, there is guaranteed to be events for all tastes and age groups. Street theatre, children’s events, music of all types, poetry recitals, art exhibitions, short films, long films, comedy acts, concerts, art exhibitions, storytelling and a poetry trail are just some of the exciting events we have to look forward to.

One of the highlights of Féile Na Bealtaine is the free Oíche Bealtaine event (pagan rave).  Attendees are given a deliberately vague location in the town at which to meet and are only taken to the secret ritual grounds once a crowd has gathered. This year, the meeting place will be outside the church on Green Street at 9pm on the Saturday.

We interviewed Billy Mag Fhiloinn, one of the men behind the mask…

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  1. Tell us a bit about the Feile - what is it, how did it start, what is so special about it. 

Feile na Bealtaine began in Dingle 24 years ago, rather modestly, primarily as a poetry festival. It has grown spectacularly over the years and is now one of the premiere arts festivals in Munster, if not Ireland. Its strength lies in its sense of community and locality, and its very broad appeal. People come from all over the world, and all elements of the arts are prominent in the festival, and this variety is vital to its success.

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2.How did you get involved in the festival? 

I have been attending for a long time, but for several years I ran an event with artists, archaeologists and designers. We used ancient technology to make cast bronze objects. I also had an expert traveller tinsmith who taught us how to make traditional sheet metal vessels. In recent years, I have shifted gears, and have introduced a folklore/music/performance event, which is in effect a large communal ritual involving fire, ceremony and costumes.

  1. The Pagan festival is part of the Feile - How did the Pagan tradition start in Dingle and how does the Pagan rave tie into the Feile festival? 

I was speaking to a friend on the committee, and we were remarking how the féile is named after one of the ancient pre-Christian festivals, but did not reflect this aspect of traditional culture, and how interesting it might be to introduce elements of that into the proceedings. Now it forms a fairly important part of the festival, and seems to draw a lot of performers, participants and spectators together in a great communal celebration.

  1. The costumes are crazy! Can you tell me about the meaning behind them?

Some are fun and frivolous, some are serious and scary, and others are something in between. I spend a lot of time making them, it has taken many years to bring them all together. I have about fifty now, and more on the way. I draw on many things for inspiration, nature, folklore, myths and legends, and aspects of film and pop culture. But all the time I try to make them organic, and a little disturbing to the senses. The material is the most important part, wood, leather, bone, shell, straw and so on. I hope that they come across as elemental, and resonate with people on some deep level of the subconscious. Familiar and strange at once.

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  1. What’s the atmosphere like when you are performing? 

We try to cultivate a feeling of otherworldliness, like one has been transported out of ordinary time and place, and to somewhere else. If we are successful, people should feel like they have stepped out of time, and into the in-between place, where ritual transformation takes place.

  1. Last year pagan rave you burned the Wicker Man, what does this symbolise? 

It’s largely based on the 1970’s film, which has been very influential on the project, but it also refers back to an account by the ancient Greeks and Romans of Celts burning massive effigies containing victims sacrificed to their gods. We are not so bloodthirsty though, we just like the spectacle. Everyone seems to enjoy a good effigy burning too, and there’s something cathartic about the whole process.

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  1. Describe the Pagan rave in 3 words...

Strange, Wild, Liberating

  1. How can a visitor to Dingle get involved in the festival? Is it spectator event or can they partake? 

It’s a bit of both. There’s a straw costume workshop on Friday the 4th in Currans, where people can make their own costumes for the next day’s event. We encourage people to dress appropriately, like otherworld beings from the deep past, and when the music is underway, it is important for us all, everyone present, to dance and shout and surrender to the communal joy.

  1. For you, describe Dingle in 3 words? 

It’s traditional, contemporary, and vibrant.

 

You can find out more information on the Feile here -

http://feilenabealtaine.ie/home/category/2018/6-may/

You can find out more about Billy here -

https://tradition.ie

Don't forget to book your Dingle stays!

We're offering €100 off your May and September 2018 booking! 

T&C's apply. 

https://www.stayyna.com/specials/may-september-dingle-deal-19862/

 


Weaving the Way in Dingle!

Book your May or September Dingle stay! 

We are offering €100 off your May and September booking! 

Don't miss out on Dingle's best weather! BOOK NOW! 

https://www.stayyna.com/specials/may-september-dingle-deal-19862/

Some people might think it would be hard for one craft business to stand out in a place like Dingle which is so vibrantly awash with creative talent, but Fiadh Handwoven Products has a quality that sets it apart from the rest.

Fiadh Durham, the person behind the business, has an extraordinary eye for fabric and tone. Fiadh is a real advocate for carving a successful career out of a natural talent and this is very evident in the beauty of her crafts.

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We caught up with Dingle’s local weaver…

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I think I'm really lucky that I live in such a beautiful part of the world. My inspiration for colour and pattern is just endless. All I have to do is go for a walk or a drive to a beach or up a hill. And it's not necessarily just landscape, there are indigenous colours and textures that are very diverse all year round. I use that all the time to influence my work and as the seasons change naturally so do my collections.

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Why did you choose a Fawn for your logo?

There are a few interesting things about the logo and the label and why I decided to go with the fawn image.

First of all "Fiadh", my name, is the Irish word for "deer" so I wanted to incorporate that into the design somehow. I feel that the simplicity of the fawn image helps people to easily associate it with my woven products. The other interesting thing is that the Irish word for weaver is "Fiodóir" so it's almost like it was meant to be!

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The loom looks difficult to operate, can you talk me through your crating process…

I love to demonstrate how set up my loom and how contrasting textures contribute to bringing out a pattern. Setting up the loom is time consuming, but I enjoy the mathematical element to the preparation. Everything has to be planned out really well beforehand to get the pattern right. Only when this stage is complete can the weaving begin.

I find the work process really satisfying. You start with just a colour combination or pattern that you're interested in and then you bring together the materials. You're starting with individual threads and making it into a finished piece. That alone is really satisfying but then someone wears it and loves it so that's doubling up again. That in itself is a huge driving force for me in the business.

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Where did your creative flair come from?

Both of my parents are musicians and my sister Sorcha is the instrumentalist in the well-known Dingle band Walking on Cars. I graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a degree in Textiles in 2007. After graduation I went on and worked at a weaving company in the town for five years before setting up my own business in 2013. Before I came across weaving I didn't really have a huge interest in it and she now want to show people how amazing the craft can be. 

I want to create products that are new, exciting, contemporary with a real focus on design.

 

When you’re not out getting inspired by Dingle’s beauty, where can we find you?

You can find me designing and creating my products in the shop/workshop in Dingle, with Oisín, my much-loved dog who is a hugely popular and playful character in the shop.

It is here that I enjoy engaging with my customers, showing them different ways to wear the products which include scarves, blankets and accessories and informing them about my crafts.

I'm privileged in that I love what I do. There are so many rewarding elements of the work. One is having my own business, so I decide what way I want things to go. It has its challenges as well obviously.

 

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Fiadh's shop is located on lower Main Street, Dingle and her products can be ordered online via her website. 

Visit Fiadh's website and Social Media sites here:

Website: www.fiadh.ie

Twitter: @fiadhwovendesign

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fiadhwovendesign

Don't forget to book your Dingle stays!

We're offering €100 off your May and September 2018 booking! 

T&C's apply. 

https://www.stayyna.com/specials/may-september-dingle-deal-19862/


Made in…Dingle!

Dick Mack’s Brewhouse

We are offering 30% off our Dingle homes this February! 
https://www.stayyna.com/specials/30-off-ireland-january-and-february-stays-2018-18409/
Win 2 tickets to Dick Mack's Brewery!

"What a great addition to an already legendary town. The IPA is to die for. Cool fit out, great tunes, and enthusiastic brewers." A quote from one of the many five star reviews the newly opened Dick Mack's Brewhouse has received since it's launch in September 2017.

Welcome to our latest Made in Dingle blog. This time we are featuring the newly launched Dick Mack's Brewhouse which has opened up behind the legendary Dick Mack's pub on Green Street. The Stay YNA Dingle team were treated to an amazing tour of the brewery as part of our Christmas night out and we were highly impressed by the history, ambition and values of this new start-up - and that was before we even got to taste any beer! 

I can't recommend the brewery tour highly enough. On arrival we received a warm welcome and the passion and excitement surrounding this new enterprise was instantly infectious. We were shown around by Finn MacDonnell, who is of the fourth generation of the MacDonnell family that has run Dick Macks pub in Dingle since 1855. Finn's telling of the Brewhouse story from it's inception all the way through to the thrill of their first brew was honest and captivating and demonstrated the true determination and clarity of vision it took to stick to their gut instincts, stay true to their goals and do things right at every step of the way. 
 
 

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The idea to start a micro brewery in the old cattle shed building behind the pub first took root in Finn's mind a couple of years ago. With the recent addition of an outdoor seating area and artisan food trucks in the Dick Mack's courtyard he felt that the small craft beer operation would be a good addition to the overall Dick Mack's experience for locals and visitors alike. Over a drink at the bar with his friends Aussie Barrett and Seamus Lynch the idea came out in discussion and the two friends absolutely loved it. The dream had been born.
 
Dick Mack's Brewhouse is currently producing three distinctive beers - Amber Ale, Session IPA and Coffee Stout. All three are receiving excellent reviews so far - with good reason. Everyone in our tour group was given half a pint of each of the beers in the Taproom. The coffee stout is sensational. It has just the right balance of flavour with none of the bitterness you might expect. It is the result of a finely tuned collaboration with the extremely popular Bean In Dingle coffee shop next door. 
 
I had a few questions for Finn:
 
1) With the rising popularity of craft beer in Ireland and new breweries setting up around the country, what to you hope will set Dick Mack's Brewery apart from the rest?
 
We already have the Dick Mack's brand name and a channel to market through the pub. The brewhouse has an interesting history from it's uses over the years as a cowhouse and milking parlour, a storage loft for sheep's wool and the site where Tom Mack bottled the pub's beer in the early 1900's. We have invested in the best equipment in order to keep the process airtight, eliminate any contamination and keep the quality of the product consistently high. The water we use comes from our own well which we know is very pure from our regular testing and we use the highest quality hops and grain.
 
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2) What are your plans for the future of the brewery?
 
Our focus is on quality not quantity. We are always going to be a micro brewery and therefore there is no pressure to grow too big and risk losing our unique identity. Our original plan was to just produce enough beer to supply our own pub. We hadn't anticipated the level of interest we have received from the other pubs in Dingle and we are delighted to have such support from them. We are working towards supplying these Dingle pubs but we do not intend to expand our market outside of Dingle. Supporting local business is important to us and if we can help create employment in our town we will be very proud of that. We hope that our brewery tours will help bring more visitors and create spin-off benefits for the community.  
We will soon be introducing our "Rotational tap" in Dick Mack's bar which we aim to stock with a new beer every month for customers to try. This exciting project will allow us to get creative and experiment with new types of beer and different flavours and see what we can come up with. Some may work and some may not and we are looking forward to receiving customer feedback on our efforts!
 
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Where can we get more information?

On our Facebook page Dick Mack’s Brewhouse, Twitter @dickmacksbrewhouse and website www.dickmackspub/brewhouse. We will soon be adding new links and a map showing which pubs and restaurants have our beer in stock to the website!

dick-macks-brewhouse-taproom

Don’t forget to book with STAY YNA! 30% off your stay in February 2018!

https://www.stayyna.com/specials/30-off-ireland-january-and-february-stays-2018-18409/

And enter our DICK MACK'S BREWERY COMPETITION! Win 2 tickets for a tour of Dick Mack's Brewery!

TO ENTER –

Email DICK MACK'S to [email protected]

Winner will be announced will be announced 16/02/18

Terms and conditions apply. GOOD LUCK!


Most Instagrammable…Dingle!

Dick Mack's Pub and Brewhouse

The words "Where's Dick Macks? Opposite the Church. Where's the Church? Opposite Dick Macks" are stenciled on the pub gates and it generally sums up the quaint, quirky, iconic character of the pub. Dick Mack's has been operating as a pub and leather shop on Green Street since 1899. Steeped in history, stepping into Dick Macks is like going back in time and it remains to this day as traditional as you can get. Still making leather belts and serving great Guinness, in recent years Dick Macks has also gained an amazing reputation as a whiskey pub and was voted Overall Irish Whiskey Bar of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

In 2017 Dick Macks opened their very own brewhouse onsite. The brewhouse building has a fascinating history and has survived many uses through several generations of the Mac Donnell family. A tour of the brewery is the perfect way to spend an afternoon and what better way to sample the latest beers than in the old taproom itself.

dick-macks

Dunquin Pier

A charming little feat of architectural madness, the access road to Dunquin pier is perhaps the steepest, narrowest and bendiest track in the whole of Co. Kerry. Built into the dramatic, rocky cliffs at the most westerly tip of Ireland's coast, the stunning views out to the vast Atlantic and the Blasket islands are breathtaking. Just don't get too distracted by them as you negotiate the challenging terrain on foot. 

The pier is the departure point for the ferry to The Great Blasket island during the summer months. A word of warning though, do not attempt to drive down this road as you will get very, very stuck - as embarrassingly discovered by unsuspecting tourists on more than one occasion in recent years!

dunquin-pier

 

Clogher beach

This rugged, spectacular beach is the best place on the Dingle Peninsula to storm watch during the wild winter season. As you drive down the narrow road towards the beach it feels as if you are about to roll straight down into the rough, angry seas as you approach the "Dangerous cliffs and Strong Current signs". It is with a sense of relief and an adrenaline rush that the left turn into the safety of the small carpark above the beach comes into view. From here you can park up and face the full force of the uninterrupted Wild Atlantic Waves as they churn up seas of white foam and unnervingly huge waves and high sea sprays. 

clogher-beach1

 

Mount Brandon

Stay away from that mountain! There is still a small number of locals on the Dingle Peninsula who remember giving cups of tea to survivors of World War 2 plane wrecks and recall farmers falling to their tragic deaths tending to sheep on steep ridges. These folk consider climbing Mount Brandon for pleasure and exercise a crazy thing to want to do. Religion and pilgrimage, maybe, but just for fun, no.

Thankfully, there are now many, many visitors and locals who seek to satisfy their sense of adventure, who relish a challenge and who are inspired by the sensational views that reaching the summit of Mount Brandon provides. At 952m high, Mt Brandon is one of the country's highest mountains and requires a reasonable level of fitness and experience including proper hiking boots, equipment and clothing. Climbers should allow 4hrs to complete the challenge and bring sufficient food and water. The rewarding views and sense of achievement are totally worth the effort.

mount-brandon-1

By Yasmin


Made in Dingle

Holden Leather Goods

Dingle is home to an exceptionally wide variety of locally produced food, crafts and artworks which have been gaining a reputation for quality, innovation and style. In order to showcase this creativity and quality we have decided to focus on a local business each month in our new “Made in Dingle” blog series. We hope you enjoy it! First to feature in the series is Holden Leathergoods

 

Holden Leathergoods was founded almost 30 years ago after Conor Holden returned to Ireland from London with the mission to create a new luxury brand of leather goods. Today Holden are the longest established leather goods brand both designed and made in Ireland. Since 1989 they have built an international reputation for beautifully designed pieces from the highest quality Italian leather.

I caught up with Conor Holden to put a few questions to him about what it takes to run a successful business in Dingle.

holden

Q) Describe a typical day at the helm of Holden Leathergoods

Conor: In at lunchtime, lunch break, rest then home! (laughs)

But really . . . I head into the office in our workshop which is situated in the Old Schoolhouse by Dingle harbour early before anyone arrives so I can catch up on emails and orders. As we ship internationally, many online orders come in overnight from different times zones and these need to be processed by our team, so I like to have a good overview of what’s happening, and what’s selling globally.

 I also personally manage the workshop team of highly trained artisans and produce special orders. On certain days, I liaise with our carefully selected tanneries and work with my wife Claire on new designs. Our workshop is also a shop - so often customers pop in and I like to have the opportunity to meet and talk to them personally and get feedback on our designs. Over the years this has led to many friendships with visitors from all over the world. After this… it’s breakfast!

handcrafted

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Q) What is your most popular product at the moment and how varied is your customer profile?

Conor: Our Holden backpack which we launched earlier this season has become iconic and the ‘must have’ backpack’ for both men and women. It has been our best seller all Summer and looks set to remain our number one product going into the winter season. It’s success is its beauty, functionality and durability. Once purchased, it will last a lifetime and actually look better with age. It is then followed at the moment by wallets for men and belts for everyone. Our Siobhan Tote, which is part of our classical collection, also remains a strong favourite.

Our customers are all ages, from all walks of life - and from all over the world! They appreciate quality and know they are investing in a bag or accessory that is ethically created right here in our Dingle workshop using only the finest leathers and materials. They know that a Holden is for life, and our designs are timeless, so cannot be dated to a particular trend or fashion fad.

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Q) What are the advantages/challenges of running a business in Dingle?

Conor: Dingle’s magic is its remoteness and magnificent scenery however this means that it is also very seasonal and we have had to develop our business online so that it is viable all year around. We continue to invest in promoting our brand values and also to attract visitors to our workshop - as it is truly a unique experience.

 

The Kilkenny Design Centre has recently claimed to be "obsessed" with the Holden backpack in particular. Actress Victoria Smurfit is a big fan too and describes the Holden pieces as “modern classics”. Having visited both the workshop in the Old Schoolhouse just outside Dingle and the retail shop in Dingle town I have to agree that the Holden Leathergoods experience is fabulous. Just being in such close proximity to all those immaculately crafted bags gives your spirits a lift. The quality is all around, even the leather-scented air appeals to the senses and tempts you to invest!

So if it's a stunning gift for someone special you're after or maybe an indulgent treat for yourself because you're worth it, look no further than Holden Leathergoods. An investment in style and sophistication, your unique piece will invoke admiration from your peers and serve as an everyday reminder of Dingle's unique creativity that will stand the test of time.

Holden ship worldwide and the collection can be viewed and purchased on www.holdenleathergoods.com.

Follow Holden on Social Media for updates and exclusive previews on:

Facebook: Holden Leathergoods

Twitter: Holden Leathergoods

Instagram: Holdenleathergoods

Hashtag : #loveholden


Dingle Food Festival

The countdown is on to the annual Dingle Food Festival and there the excitement is building throughout the town.

 

 

Taking place from Friday, 29th September to Sunday, 1st October Dingle comes alive with locals and tourists alike who come out to experience the wide-ranging culinary delights the festival provides. Many locals consider it “the best weekend of the year” as they relish the opportunity to treat themselves and unwind a little after the busy Summer season.

It’s an affordable way for people to be a little adventurous and have fun sampling many new and exciting tastes and flavours. The festival continues to go from strength to strength each year all thanks to a dedicated group of local people who make it all happen on a non profit making basis. It certainly has become one of the liveliest and fun-filled weekends of the year for both adults and children!

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Highlights of the festival include cookery demonstrations in St. James’ Church, over 50 market stalls, workshops, street entertainment, children’s events, wine tasting and much more.

The most popular feature of the festival is “The Taste Trail” which provides a unique experience to taste the best food and drink the Peninsula has to offer in over 70 venues around the town. What better way to visit the many pubs, restaurants and galleries in town? Books of taste trail tickets can be purchased at several locations in Dingle at a very reasonable price.

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Also incorporated into the festival is Blas na hEireann, the Irish Food Awards. The 2017 overall winners will be announced during the festival. An exciting line up of events for finalists from the whole of Ireland is planned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the awards.

Dingle has been cited as “the most beautiful place on earth” by the National Geographic – the food festival is the perfect opportunity to visitors to come and experience the food, fun and beauty of the Dingle Peninsula.

Stay YNA Dingle are offering ups to €100 off 2 nights or more and €150 off 5 nights or more in October & November 2017 for selected homes!

For more information please contact Lauren on [email protected] or call 0203 397 7903 (UK).

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Sonas

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Cornerstone Cottage

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