Impact of Bank Holiday?

We are on the 28 July Best of Ireland tour.

The itinerary for Monday, 1 August (Day 5) says:

"Kilkenny antiquities and a little country living

You’ll discover that Ireland’s antiquities tell the tales of days gone by... and today’s visit to the ruins of the Cistercian Jerpoint Abbey introduces some remarkable medieval architectural artifacts. Take a guided walking tour of Kilkenny, world-renowned as a center for craft and design, for insights into the Black Abbey, Rothe House and Kilkenny Castle. Mount Juliet is one of Ireland’s finest sporting estates, and you’ll have an opportunity to take advantage of some outstanding leisure activities today."

However, I just noticed that 1 August is a Bank Holiday. Does anyone have any experience with or know what impact that will have on our day? (I have the similar question about Italy, we're in Venice on Republic Day, but will post that in on the Italy forum).


  • Hi Alan, I can only speak for Bank Holidays in England when tourist sites are open for business and it gets busy, the traffic is usually extra bad though I doubt this will impact Ireland too much.
  • edited February 2016
    Hi Alan,

    Further to British's post (and because I'm naturally inquisitive) I looked this up. Ireland/public holidays/2016. I found this site:

    which the Irish government's official tourist site. I think if you take the information as generic, rather than year specific, you can get a feel for how the day might affect you as a visitor.

    I suspect (though cannot verify) the case for Italy might be a bit more like a Doris Day song ... "Que sera sera ........"


  • edited February 2016
    Thanks. I found a couple of references like that, but most lacked detail.

    My guess, is that industry, government offices, schools, and some rural retail businesses will be closed, but other establishments will be open, actively courting locals and tourists seeking to spend money. The one negative I can envision is that there will be more people at some attractions.

    I found one recent article about Bank Holidays which, in-part, said,

    "Ahead of the August Bank Holiday, the research found that some of the most popular tourist hubs this bank holiday weekend will be Galway City and Connemara, while Munster beaches Ballybunion and Lahinch also rated highly."

    I suppose the impact will depend on how the locals treat the entire 3 day weekend. We spend Saturday in and around Kilarney and the Ring of Kerry, on Sunday its Blarney Castle, Waterford and Mount Juliet Hotel, and on Monday we will be in Kilkenny. We aren't scheduled to arrive in Galway and Connemara until Tuesday.

    I guess time will tell.
  • alans
    We are also on the July 28 trip and will arrive in Shannon about 9 am July 26.
  • edited July 2016
    burtr wrote:
    We are also on the July 28 trip and will arrive in Shannon about 9 am July 26.

    We arrive at 10 am on the 27th. We are going to Bunratty Castle/Folk Park later in the afternoon and staying for their Medieval Banquet. We'll likely sleep in on the 28th, then walk around town a bit before lunch and the trip to the Cliffs of Moher.

    To answer my question above- Republic Day had no impact on our Classic Italy trip, so I suspect the Bank Holiday will be mostly transparent to us in Ireland.
  • AllanS Thanks for your reply. We might also go to the castle Wednesday but don't plan on going to the banquet. Looking forward to the trip... We met some people on another Tauck trip who thought this was the best of several tours....
  • edited July 2016
    burtr wrote:
    AllanS Thanks for your reply. We might also go to the castle Wednesday but don't plan on going to the banquet. Looking forward to the trip... We met some people on another Tauck trip who thought this was the best of several tours....

    Burt, we'll see you in Ennis!

    For anyone contemplating attending the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park I suggest you make your reservations VERY early. They have two seatings in the summer- one at 1730 and another at 2045. I figured we would be out of steam fairly early so attempted to make reservations for the 1730 seating on 27 July. I went online at the beginning of February - almost 6 months out! I was having trouble with their website so sent them an email. I learned from their quick response that the problem was the 1730 seating was already booked! Shortly thereafter, however, they sent me another email saying they were holding two seats for me. Either they had a cancellation or the very nice folks at Shannon Heritage added two extra spots- in any case, we lucked out! According to the website, the banquet events attract over 120,000 visitors each year and have become the highlight of many people’s visit to Ireland and the Shannon Region.

    The current castle, built in 1425, was fully restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendor and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. It was opened to the public in 1962 as a National Monument and is open to visitors year round. It is the most complete and authentically restored and furnished castle in Ireland. There is an adjacent Folk Park where you can see how everyone else lived in the day.

    The Castle is located in the little town of Bunratty which is about 30 min. south of Ennis and reachable by taxi or bus. See my link above for more info. I'll try to remember to post a review of the castle and banquet.
  • edited July 2016
    Alan. If the Irish Bank Days are like England (London), there wasn't much of an effect on tourist activities. The museums were open (public and private). Transportation was fine. Businesses and restaurants were open. Since schools were closed there were a few more kids around, but since government offices were closed, those workers stayed home and meant traffic was actually less.

    If I remember this tour, the hotel in Shannon was just ok. It was one of the worst, if not the worst, of all the hotels I've ever been in using Tauck. I forget the name and am too lazy to look it up. There were cats in, and outside of, the lobby and when I asked about it (complained actually...allergic) I was told there were no cats allowed in the hotel. As I walked away from the desk I almost tripped on one. Think cows in India, I guess. The room had a musty smell (along with the cat smell....maybe they were one in the same).

    The staff was nice and it may be the best hotel in Shannon and that is the only choice Tauck has. The town is small and nice to walk around in. There are several squares to sit and have a cup of tea/coffee, etc. Lots of pubs, as you would expect. There is a GREAT little bakery but I can't remember the name (Old Timer's Disease, I guess...all of my notes are home and, as you know, I am in London for a while longer.) As you walk out of the hotel, turn right and then almost immediately turn right again. It is a block or two down the road. Good scones (jam and clotted cream), croissants, buns, bread, other special bakery items.

    It's a great trip!!! As a photographer, you love the shots you can get. I thought it was one of the best for landscape photography. I enjoyed England, Scotland, and Wales for this as well, but I think TBOI is even better. If your wife is a shopper, cut up her credit card, especially if she likes crystal. We found a great little crystal shop in Dingle. It is outside of one of the churches or schools you will visit and down toward the road you will walk to meet the bus. It is on the left hand side of the road (Green Street) in Kerry, Dingle. The owners' name are Sean and Liz Daley. Sean was a master glass craftsman for Waterford before they sold out to a Chinese company (which my understanding is they have bought it back). He was made redundant (laid off) and opened his own place. We bought two large vases from them and had them shipped home. One was damaged during the shipping and Sean made a new one and sent it to us. He handled things well. (My wife also bought a couple more large pieces from Waterford....she collected crystal)

    I don't know if Sean will remember me, but you know my name and where I live, so tell him I said hello and sent you his way. When we were there (2012), he had an old Ohio State Football helmet on top of one of his cabinets. I asked him where got it and he said someone gave it to him. He had no idea it was an OSU helmet. He just thought was cool to have. I still have his pieces on display in my house along with the other crystal my collected from places we visited.

    Enjoy the trip, as I know you will.

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