It's fair to say that if you love ' the great outdoors', watching or playing sport or meeting people, few places on earth can compare with Ireland. Wherever you go, you will find a host of pleasures and pastimes, to exhilarate you. Here is an aperitif before the feast!
Golf: There are about 350 links and parkland courses throughout the country so, no matter where you are, you'll be close to one of them. Some of the most challenging hide their character behind astonishing scenic beauty; many are regarded as the finest courses in Europe. Green fees vary between IR£8 to £30 but championship courses can charge up to IR £70. Take your clubs with you; only a few places have them for hire.
The Beaches: There are 5,630km of coastline containing 59 beautiful beaches, some secluded and small, others stretching away to the haze. Three more are inland on lough shores.
Walking: Some of the walks are formally marked and some are trails where you might be the first to leave a footprint. Whichever you choose, the smells, sights and scenic pleasures are truly memorable. Never be without a camera.
Riding: Like walking, the trails lead you through magical terrain. There are a great many stables and your Green Book hotelier can tell you where to go. It's inexpensive, too: prices start from about IR £10.50 and, if a lesson is involved, around IR £15.
Sailing and Windsurfing: Ireland offers exceptional opportunities for sailing of all sorts whether it is on a placid lough, the lagoo-like inlets of the west coast that benefit from the Atlantic breezes or the challenge of the offshore waters of the south and east coasts.
Horse Racing: Who would argue that horse racing is the very heart and soul of Irish sporting life! There are 25 race courses which feature festivals, world famous classics and also many less familiar races and point-to-points that can be very jolly. This includes a truly Irish meeting at Laytown, north of Dublin, where the horses gallop across the strand.
Cycling: Possibly one of the most pleasant ways of touring Ireland. Hire rates start at about IR £7 per day, IR £35 a week there are places that allow you to pick up here and leave it there.
Angling: For any angler, Ireland is a dream come true! The lakes, streams, rivers and the sea itself are bright and clean unlike anything in Europe. And the scope is amazing: 9,000 miles of rivers, 600,000 acres of lakes and that inviting coast line. Coarse, fly, sea and big game fishing offers plenty of variety and shoals of opportunity. Landing an average size of fish in Ireland is newsworthy anywhere else. Coarse fishing is free year round and license for a day's game fishing on a prime stretch of water can cost only IR £15! Skippers all along the west and south coasts will help you land that shark!