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6 night time activities in Ireland’s Ancient East
Welcome the night in Ireland's Ancient East.
Ireland's Ancient East colour logo
As the light fades and the stars appear in the clear night sky, the landscape begins to look and feel different. At night the stories and legends of Ireland's Ancient East come to life through tours, reenactments and moonlit walks.

Discover unique and wonderful experiences as night falls in this ancient part of Ireland.

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1Irish National Heritage Park

Walk in the shoes of Norsemen with a Viking House stay at the Irish National Heritage Park, on the banks of Wexford's River Slaney. Step back in time in a replica Viking dwelling with its wattle walls, thatched roof and cosy central hearth. The house sleeps four to eight people comfortably, making it ideal for larger groups. For those exploring in smaller groups of two to six people, check out the park's Ringfort accommodation and cosy up by the hearth in the reconstructed walled battlement that would rival those from the 5th century. 

The park closes at 6.30pm, when you’ll be left in complete freedom to explore the woods, watch the wildlife and enjoy the views across the Slaney Estuary.

People sitting around a fire watching a renactment in the Irish National Heritage Park
Gather around a campfire at the Irish National Heritage Park.
2Spike Island

The beauty of Spike Island in the middle of Cork Harbour has not spared it from a sinister and dangerous history. Enjoy one of the chilling After Dark Tours of the abandoned former fortress, monastery and prison to discover the island's eerie secrets and stories for yourself.

Step inside the four walls of a solitary jail cell, walk through the place once called "Ireland's Hell" and experience an atmosphere unlike that of any daytime visit.

A couple in Spike Island prison in Cobh, County Cork
Explore "Ireland's Hell" on Spike Island.
3The Storytelling Houses of Wexford

Go off the beaten path to gather by the fireside at one of the houses in Wexford’s Storytelling Houses. From the House of Stories in Clonegal to Kyle Forge in Crossabeg, there's tales ready to unfold up and down the county.

The Bean an Tí or Fear an Tí (woman or man of the house) who's hosting will pass the Talking Stick. There's no obligation to join in, but if you're in the mood you can spin your own yarn. Taking place on various nights on a rotating basis, a warm welcome and hot cuppa tea set the scene for an evening in good company. 

4Wicklow Gaol Night Tour

Immerse yourself in chilling history with a nighttime tour of the dungeon corridors of Wicklow Gaol. Built in 1702, the gaol was locally known as “The Gates of Hell” and held thousands of prisoners during the Great Famine, the 1798 Rebellion and the War of Independence.

Only the brave sign up for the adults only Wicklow Gaol Night Tour. Uncover the chilling tales of this historic site in the company of a troupe of local actors in the dark of night.

Exterior image of Wicklow Gaol in County Wicklow
Get goosebumps on a night tour of Wicklow Gaol.
5The Full Moon Walk

Follow in the footsteps of St Kevin and experience the stillness and beauty of the Wicklow landscape by the light of the moon. The Full Moon Walk in Enniskerry is organised by Hilltop Treks and takes in some of the most scenic parts of Wicklow and County Dublin, like Glendalough, Luggala and Djouce.

Each two- to three-hour-long tour takes place close to Enniskerry village and includes many of the great wooded trails in the area. Expect fantastic panoramic views from the top of a hill across the eastern coastline of Dublin and Wicklow.

6Kilkenny Haunted Dark Tours and Kilkenny Ghost Tour

With narrow cobbled lanes and mysterious charm, it should come as no surprise that medieval Kilkenny city is bursting with strange tales. A series of historic tragedies have left its mark on the city and Kilkenny Haunted Dark Tours and Kilkenny Ghost Tour explores their legacy with a walking tour by night. Hear of the curse of Sir Richard Shee, the famous witch trials, what happened in Kilkenny Prison and the grisly demise of a young of a young woman whose death would later make history.

Kilkenny Castle at night.
Wander medieval Kilkenny by night.
Explore Ireland's Ancient East

Now that you've had a glimpse into some of the must-see spots in this part of the country, discover even more incredible locations in Ireland’s Ancient East.

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