There’s a reason they call it the Emerald Isle – hotfoot it to Ireland and follow our tips for a gloriously green getaway. While you’re there explore Kildare Village, another member of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, where this rich greenness seeps into the heart of the Village itself and floods it with Irish romance.
Eat: Strawberry Tree Restaurant, BrookLodge and Macreddin Village, Wicklow
Based in a country house hotel, this is Ireland’s only certified organic restaurant. The wheat for the bread is grown on-site, as is the rapeseed for the cold-pressed oil, and most of the ingredients are harvested from the garden, sourced from nearby organic farms, or foraged from the area.
Eat: Ely Bar & Grill, Dublin
Housed in a former wine and tobacco warehouse in Dublin’s financial district, this trendy spot is the place to come for organic Irish everything. The organic beef and pork come direct from the owners’ farm in County Clare and everything is grilled on a wood-burning stove run on Irish charcoal made from sustainable wood.
Walk: Wicklow Way
This 127-kilometre trail starts from Rathfarnham in Dublin and ends at Clonegal in County Carlow. The Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest way-marked trail, winding through hills and forests. There are hotels and B&Bs for weary hikers and a baggage transfer service lightens the load between stops. Don’t give up during the first half – the second is flatter!
Sleep: Inis Meáin, island of Inis Meáin, Aran islands
At Inis Meáin (‘Middle Island’ and the smallest of the Aran islands) is a spectacular, sustainable hotel. The suites are huge – lots of wood, stone and glass – and the restaurant menu includes vegetables from the garden and free-range chicken, beef and pork that is all bred on the island. The hotel is already fully booked for 2019. The launch date for 2020 reservations is yet to be announced, so keep on your toes!
Shop: Kildare Village
Set in the beating heart of historic racing country, Kildare Village is just an hour from Dublin with its literary heritage, rock star vibe and hot hotels. A bastion of Irish talent, the Village strikes a balance between its gentle, open-air Irish charm and an artful spread of international brands and home-grown fashion designers in 100 elegant boutiques – all with up to 60% off the recommended retail price.