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How to appreciate Irish Autumn in ways you couldn't last year

This autumn, Ireland is fortunate enough to see an end to the majority of COVID restrictions. Vaccines have allowed hospitality and events to reopen, with no limits on meeting in groups or travelling within Ireland. While a year ago may seem like a chaotic blur away, it's important to remember the limitations we had, to appreciate the freedoms we can enjoy this year. Autumn in Ireland is a dynamic season rich with seasonal produce and nature. Here are five ways to appreciate Irish autumn in ways we couldn't in 2020.

Sample Ireland's seasonal produce. 

On October 19th in 2020, the Irish Government announced a six-week coronavirus lockdown due to a concerning rise in cases. Prime Minister Micheál Martin told the Republic of Ireland that residents must stay within a five-kilometre radius of their homes and stay out of each other's houses. The Government told shops, restaurants and bars once again to cease trade completely. 

Pushing through these challenging times, this year, the hospitality sector has reopened with a bang. Ireland is famous for its prosperous harvest season, with an abundance of mountain lamb, venison, rabbit, haddock, and root vegetables often featured centre stage in Irish restaurants. Apple's also blossom in Ireland in autumn, resulting in crisp ciders and vinegar boosting in Irish produce.

This autumn is the perfect time to sample Ireland's abundant seasonal produce in a traditional Irish restaurant. What better time to get a group of friends together, visit a cosy eatery and celebrate the ability to get stuffed and tipsy on pumpkin and cider until as late as you fancy! 


Take a scenic trip.


As part of Ireland's restrictions last year, the public was asked not to travel outside of their local area as part of an effort to stop the spread.

If you were lucky enough to live in a picturesque terrain, you might have been able to enjoy the blossoming nature provided by Ireland in autumn. Still, for those living in cities, a trip to the countryside was missed out. As the days get colder and the leaves turn from green to golden, Ireland's already beautiful landscapes turn into an enchantment, and this year is the perfect time to take an October break away. Ireland is known for offering a range of cosy lodge and cottage stays in the heart of rural environments, and autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the quieter and stunning season.

 Autumn also brings an abundance of Ireland's wildlife for visitors to witness. From wild red dear in forests to dolphins and whales along the coastline, autumn is a unique time in Ireland to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.


Have a Halloween party (or any party for that matter). 

 For over a year, we were taught the rule of meeting in 6 from 2 households, then three from 2, then ten from 3, so on and so forth. The times of digital dances, virtual events and zoom pub quizzes have ended. With restrictions on meeting in groups inside and outdoors finally scrapped, this year is the year to go all out on the Halloween celebrations.

If there's ever a year to go all out with friends and family, this is the one. Take part in traditional Irish Halloween celebrations, such as colcannon, dunking for apples or bonfires.


Visit a pumpkin patch. 


Ireland is blessed with an abundance of pumpkin farms and with travel restrictions within Ireland completely abolished; what better time for a family day out?

Alright Pumpkin, Meath, Nore Valley Park, Kilkenny, Ballycross Apple Farm, Wexford are just a few of the options that provide a day at the pumpkin patch along with beautiful sceneries cafes and farms. Most are ticketed, so book a slot before they sell out!


Outdoor Events 

 Although it may be chilly, restrictions on outdoor events have been altogether scrapped, and this is the year to bounce back into festivities.

Take part in the stunning Celtic Samhain festival, historically celebrated to mark the end of summer by setting bonfires and harvesting produce. Today, it is celebrated with festivities on Halloween night, with fire dancers, music, dancing and performances. Click here to look at where the Samhain festival is being celebrated this year.

Or, if that's not your thing, Ireland provides a variety of outdoor markets during autumn, with businesses showcasing unique and local produce. Autumn hosts the Guinness Jazz Festival, Franciscan Well Beer Festival and the Appetite for Life festival, so plenty of choices if you're looking for a boozy day out!