How to make the most of the last-minute heatwave this week

From sandy strolls to inspiring barbecue recipes, here's how we plan to spend the next few sunny days
How to make the most of the last-minute heatwave this week

The weather for next few days could be the last decent sunshine we see this year.

FINALLY, some good news in 2020: temperatures are climbing this week and Met Éireann predicts we could be seeing highs of 22C tomorrow, with the fine weather stretching into the weekend.

There’ll be some warm hazy sunshine tomorrow and it’ll be brightest during the second half of the day - ideal for all those sun worshippers doing a nine-to-five. There’s a lot of dry weather expected until the end of the week, with Friday expected to see 21C and dry with sunny spells into the weekend. 

Although Monday should stay dry with some sunny spells, it looks like the weather will be more unsettled into mid-week, meaning this could be the last decent sunshine we see this year.

We’d better make the most of it so!

GET SOME SAND IN YOUR TOES 

 Inchydoney beach in West Cork is a great spot for swimming, sandcastle-building and strolling in the sun. Picture: Andy Gibson
Inchydoney beach in West Cork is a great spot for swimming, sandcastle-building and strolling in the sun. Picture: Andy Gibson

A post-work trip to the beach sounds like a great way to spend your Thursday evening. 

Cork is home to some of the best beaches in the country, including Inchydoney and Garrettstown in West Cork and Garryvoe and Youghal in East Cork, all boasting almost never-ending stretches of sand. Bring the whole family, dogs and all, for some socially-distant strolls, swims and sandcastle-building.

Looking for more ideas? Some Irish celebrities have revealed their favourite beaches.

No matter where you go, don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun. The Skin Nerd has highlighted some of the best sun creams for the whole family, from newborns all the way up to your elderly relatives.

FIRE UP THE BARBECUE 

We have recipes galore for a barbecue feast. Picture: Stock image
We have recipes galore for a barbecue feast. Picture: Stock image

Stock up on some fuel because Friday evening is calling for a smoky barbecue. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, Nevin Maguire, The Happy Pear twins and Colm O'Gorman recently shared some of their favourite barbecue recipes with us as well as some handy tips. You can check those out here.

Alternatively, why not pack a picnic? Caterer extraordinaire, Eunice Power has the perfect picnic checklist available here - she even provides recipes for some tasty treats guaranteed to impress all who sit around the blanket with you.

Whether you’re grilling or chilling, make sure you adhere to current gathering guidelines: no more than six people.

WALK IT OFF 

 Enjoy some breathtaking views from the cliffs at Ballycotton. Picture: Dan Linehan
Enjoy some breathtaking views from the cliffs at Ballycotton. Picture: Dan Linehan

For Saturday, dig out your walking shoes and take to some popular trails to burn off that third helping of barbecue food last night.

The Ballycotton Cliff Walk is a popular destination in the Rebel County, offering picturesque views out over the sea. Alternatively, enjoy a bracing climb on the Lough Hyne Loop, overcoming Knockomagh Hill to overlook Lough Hyne Marine Nature Reserve and take in of the most beautiful views in West Cork.

For more ideas and inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of the best coastal walks in Cork, Kerry, Clare and Waterford, which you can read here.

DIY SOS

Time to tend to those plants to make sure they last into the autumn.
Time to tend to those plants to make sure they last into the autumn.

After spending those glorious days walking and swimming and eating under the sun, Sunday calls for something a little more home-based. 

Remember all the paint and plants you bought when Woodies reopened? It’s time to finish off all the jobs you started in lockdown. The last coat of paint on a wall, one final tidy of the flowerbed and - best of all - the smell of freshly cut grass in the air as the Indian summer (and the weekend) draws to a close.

Gardening columnist Peter Dowdall recommends tending to hydrangeas, begonias and buddleias to extend their blooms into the autumn months. Here’s how he does it.

DIY sensation Laura de Barra from Cork will have you inspired to tackle any job around the house, no matter how daunting. Find her advice here.

AND RELAX...

Extend that summer vibe on Sunday evening with some picks from our expert, Leslie Williams
Extend that summer vibe on Sunday evening with some picks from our expert, Leslie Williams

By Sunday evening you’ll be happy to sit out and admire your handiwork. Why not indulge in a glass of wine, or share a bottle with a loved one? Our resident wine expert Leslie Williams has found the best bottles in the wine sales or you could try these Spanish wines if you want to extend that summer vibe.

If you'd rather scrap all plans and unwind with a book, here are the best new Irish and international books for autumn and beyond.

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