With the May Bank Holiday weekend and the start of the summer festival season, there’s lots of reasons to get out by the coast this month.
Here’s some of our top picks:
1. May the Fourth festival – Wild Atlantic Way | 5th – 6th May
Grab your lightsaber and get ready for the May the Fourth festival. The 4th of May has become a particularly notable day for sci fi lovers around the globe and this year to celebrate Star Wars its spiritual home in the west will be holding a special festival. There will be three days of fun filled family events to unleash your inner Jedi and experience the best of the Wild Atlantic way. With film screening, scenic tours, guided walks, exhibitions and much much more this is definitely a weekend not to miss!
More info: May The Fourth Festival
2. Connemara Mussel Festival, Galway | 4th – 6th May
Next on to the beautiful West coast for the Connemara Mussel Festival which offers a veritable feast for the senses. Originally established to promote the excellence of the mussels from Killary Harbour, the festival has grown to become a celebration of local people, food, culture and heritage and is recognised as the premier food event for Connemara attracting visitors from near and far. Great people, great atmosphere, this is a really fantastic way to welcome the longer days!
Find out more: Connemara Mussel Festival
3. Shine a Light on Summer | 5th – 7th May
Shine a Light on Summer’ Festival takes place this May Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday 5th – Monday 7th) at five of Ireland’s great lighthouses. Visit Fanad Head in the wilds of Donegal, Hook the world’s oldest working lighthouse in Wexford, the majestic Loop Head in Clare and on the islands of Rathlin in the north and Valentia in the south west. Meet fascinating lighthouse Storykeepers. Enjoy their tales of maritime marvels and nature’s wonder, of heroic feats and the lightkeeping life. Discover crafts and traditions of times past and learn about modern coastal technology too.
More info: Shine a Light on Summer
4. National Biodiversity Week 2018 | 19th – 27th May
Explore the wonders of the Irish coast with National Biodiversity Week which starts on Friday 19th and runs until the 27th May. The event sees 50 free events taking place all around the country to explore, educate and motivate people to take an interest and protect the nature that surrounds us.
More info: National Biodiversity Week
5. Red Bull FlugTag @ Dun Laoghaire Harbour | 20th May
Red Bull Flugtag returns to Dun Laoghaire Harbour with a day of family fun and zany madness! The event involves a number of teams designing and building homemade flying machines that will attempt to fly off a 6-metre high flight deck and more than likely plummet into the waters below. Flugtag, which means “flying day” in German, pushes the envelope of human-powered flight but competitors need more than airtime to reach the podium. This will be a super fun event and best of all it’s free!
More info: Red Bull Flugtag
6. Battle for the Bay | 26th – 27th May Dollymount Strand
Head to Dollymount Strand for some fun in the sand with Battle For The Bay, a truly unique watersport event. The two-day event is a celebration of Irish watersports with the best riders from around the country and around the world coming together to compete at this kite surfing hot spot. Check out all the action on and off the water with watersports, kitesurfing, stand up paddle boarding, beach volley, live music, children’s entertainment, food stalls and so much more.
For more info: Battle for the Bay
7. Baltimore Seafood Festival / Wooden Boat Festival | 25th – 27th May Baltimore
Summer is truly here and where better to spend a few days that Baltimore, West Cork, truly one of the best places in Ireland, and a fantastic spot for a festival, or two! The Baltimore Seafood festival is held in conjunction with the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival, making this one of the most festive weekends of the year.
Visitors have the opportunity to sample some of the best of the fish and shellfish from the seas off Baltimore, while celebrating the traditional timber sailing boats of Ireland. This is not to be missed for all seafood and boat lovers out there!
More info: Baltimore Events
8. Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival | 25th May – 3rd June
Festival season is truly ramping up with another big maritime festival taking place the same weekend at the other end of the country. Located along the spectacular Causeway Coast and Glens, this festival is centred on Rathlin Sound, the body of water that lies between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle. There’s a Sailing Regatta and races as well as exciting have a go activities, craft markets, guided walks, exciting talks and tours, exhibitions and demonstrations, fun competitions, laid back lunches, friendly giants, curraghs and Viking ships.
More info: Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival
9. Rosslare Harbour Coastal Run/Walk | 26th May Rosslare Harbour
This event in aid of the Rosslare Lifeboat has two options to compete in a 5k and a 16k. Walk, jog or run this lovely coastal route with friends and family all for a fantastic cause. Register in the day – Adults €10, teenagers €5 and kids are free.
More info: Rosslare RNLI