Lead photo by Chris Hill of Dun Aengus, Inishmore, Aran Islands

Sustainable Shopping

Tired of feeling guilty about wheelie bins full of wrapping paper and drawers of unwanted gifts, many people are ditching frenzied shopping for more sustainable celebrations. Here are some top tips that will help you go green this Christmas.


Try alternatives to physical presents. Instead, give people experiences, how about a Heritage Card which provides for free admission to all fee-paying State managed OPW Heritage Sites located throughout the country for one year from the date of first use.

With exciting sites all along the west coast, this is the perfect gift idea for someone new to the area.

Lead photo by Chris Hill of Dun Aengus, Inishmore, Aran Islands

If you can, avoid shopping online, seek out ethical or sustainable shops and Christmas markets. Markets – large or small –  are a particularly good way to find local and handmade goods, meaning your money is going back into the local economy. Check out our post detailing Christmas Markets from Donegal to Clare.

It’s a Wrap

Think about gifts that will make people’s everyday lives more sustainable. Perhaps a relatively inexpensive beeswax wrap, which can make a big difference in the long-term. Check out Galway based It’s a Wrap who sell beeswax wraps which are handcrafted in the West of Ireland and are a perfect sustainable gift. They are reusable, contain antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and can be composted. What’s not to love?


Mrs Quinn's Charity Shop

Why not head to your local second-hand shop or charity store to find some pre-loved gifts? You can find absolute treasures in vintage shops at great prices. Be kind to the environment and support a local charity, now that’s the festive cheer we love.

Galway Christmas Market

Galway starts Christmas!

The Christmas Season has well and truly begun in the City of Tribes with the opening of the annual Galway Christmas Market.


Now in its 10th year, the Galway Christmas Market runs right through to December 22nd and once again features over 50 seasonal market stalls, the highly popular 32m ferris wheel, Santa’s Express Train and a traditional carousel. There’s a range of entertainment with carol singing and live music throughout the festive period.

Over 30,000 visitors flocked to Eyre Square in perfect weather conditions to watch the lights go on and enjoy the Christmas light gardens, Santa’s sleigh and postbox, the seasonal funfair games, helter skelter and chairoplanes and to try the range of delicious German Bratwursts, Traditional Crepes, Irish handmade fudge, Hungarian goulash and Czech Chimney cakes.

This year’s market features more lighting and decoration than ever before, and you’re bound to pick up some perfect Christmas gifts from the 30+ artisan producers and 10 local charities showcasing their work through the market.

The market is open on:

Monday – Wednesday 12pm to 8pm

Thursday – Saturday 10am to 10pm

Sunday – 10am to 8pm

Christmas Markets in Ireland

Christmas Markets in Ireland

It’s that time of year again – artisans, craft makers and all types of cottage industries are feeling the excitement in the run up to the most important business time of the year. This time of year brings the biggest opportunity to welcome both old and new customers. There’s something magical about Christmas Markets so we’ve come up with a guide to help you support these creative cottage industries across their many varied fields.



Top Tips For Christmas Market Visitors

  • Make sure you have cash, credit cards machines are few and far between
  • Bring your own bags for purchases, recycle, recycle, recycle
  • A pram for small children is advised
  • It’s getting chilly so wrap up warm.
  • If the market has a website or social media page, check it before you go so that you can plan what to look forward to.
  • There’ll most likely be food stalls so make them a highlight of your visit.


Here is a list of just some of the many markets in the west













Strandhill People’s Christmas Market

Sligo Christmas Market



Letterkenny Christmas Craft & Food Fair