Just a few days remain for members of the public to nominate towns, villages, cities and regions for The Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland competition. The accompanying map shows the spread of nominations so far, covering all 32 counties. With 161 nominations, Sligo is the county with most entries so far, followed by counties Kerry and Donegal, both of which also have more than 100. Cities and islands have also been nominated. Northern counties remain under-represented among the nominations so far.
Places nominated by the public will be put before our panel of judges over the coming weeks, to be considered for the final award. There will also be runners-up and smaller prizes. The purpose of the competition is not only to find a winner, but also to highlight lesser-known holiday destinations.
Reader nominations are the starting point of the competition. Only places nominated by readers will be eligible, and the closing date is this Saturday, April 20th.
Nominating requires only a short write-up and answers to some straightforward questions. The method is set out clearly at irishtimes.com/bestplace.
Below are some of the recent entries.
When I go to Sligo, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Kilkenny or other areas of beauty around the country, I feel several things. I feel the fresh air and the wonderful country calm of nature. Then I notice how much petrol I’ve used up to get out to this beach five miles outside the town centre (it’s a bit bad that there is no Dart down here).
Then, I start to feel left out. Everyone else knows the words of the songs in the pub in the hotel. Everyone knows where to go for chips after the nightclub. Everyone has plans for tomorrow to see the match. I’m just here for the weekend.
Lastly, I start wishing I could get a Donnybrook Fair salad for lunch down here, and wondering if McDonald’s is the only place I can get a latte. And, oh no, Ed Sheeran is playing the 02 tonight – I so wanted to see him play live.
The thing is, although not the most attractive county on an average cloudy day, Dublin is the best place to actually spend time and money, and nature takes a back seat. You don’t need empty beaches to focus on your problems; you need entertainment and action to have a good holiday.
Most people who come to Dublin love it so much they stay way past the end of their holiday. What other place in Ireland can say the same?
I first saw Portnablagh from under the hood of a pram and today my children love it almost as much as I do. Generations of Northerners have fled the 12th each July to find the waters of freedom flowing over the sands of time in this soft, wet cove.