Short breaks up north

THE Northern Ireland Tourist Board is keen to attract family groups for mid-term and other short breaks this year.

Self-catering accommodation is available through the board with prices from €135 for two nights for up to five people.

Belfast offers a world-class zoo overlooking Belfast Lough, child-orientated museums and the W5 Interactive Discovery Centre. In addition, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum presents Ireland’s most comprehensive transport collection including the Irish Railway Collection and Titanic exhibitions.

You can call the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on 1850-230 230, visit their web www.discovernorthernireland.com or call into 16 Nassau Street, Dublin 2.

*SHOPAHOLICS can pick up bargains in the next couple of months with Stena Line promotional weekend breaks to Chester. From €99 per adult, passengers can get a ferry/return coach travel package.

Included is dinner, bed and breakfast for a one-night stay at the three-star Holiday Inn in the Runcorn area. Prices are based on based on two adults sharing. To book, click on www.stenaline.ie/shopping or call Stena Line on 01-204 7733 quoting reference A138. There will be an opportunity to shop at the Trafford Centre on the Saturday and the following day shoppers can enjoy shopping at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet Village.

*CELEBRATING its first decade this year the deluxe 5-star hotel, Hayfield Manor has recently been awarded entry into The Blue Book, an exclusive listing of luxury Irish accommodation.

Categories include Irish country house hotels, manor houses, castles and gourmet restaurants renowned for their combination of charm, style, character and individuality. The members of Ireland’s Blue Book are known nationally and internationally for high standards of traditional hospitality, elegant accommodation and superb cuisine.

Hayfield Manor, Cork’s first 5-star hotel is a family run hotel and is located just one mile from Cork city centre and has the feel of a large period house with the quality and service of a modern hotel.

* AUSTRAVEL offer 10-day packages from Ireland to Melbourne from €1,433 per person sharing. The package includes return flights from Dublin with Cathay Pacific and 10 nights at the 3-star Alto Hotel on Bourke with a full-day Yarra Valley Wine Tour. Book by October 31, for travel until November 30, 2006.

For the more adventurous, the specialist long-haul company offers a similar length tour of New Zealand’s south island with prices starting at €1,615. Flights originate in Dublin heading to Christchurch through Emirates, and passengers will spend 10 days exploring the region in a motorhome. Book by November 15 for travel until November 30, 2006.

Call Austravel in Dublin on 01-642 7006. Find out about flights, hotels and Australian visas online at www.austravel.ie.

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