The Dingle Peninsula has a huge choice of activities for all ages. Explore the dramatic landscape where ocean meets land. Cycle, walk, climb, ride a horse along the shore. Experience the history, nature, music, culture, and language of this most westerly part of Europe. At SHU in Dingle, we aim to immerse and engage you in all that the area has to offer. Each program has built-in excursions, engaging activities and cultural events. Below is a list of just some of the cultural and sporting activities we have to offer, along with overnight stays and weekend trips.
Students get an opportunity to go horseback riding along the shoreline of some of the most spectacular beaches on the Dingle Peninsula. The Irish cob horses ay O’Connors Trekking have an excellent temperament, so students who have no experience should not be nervous. Whether you’re a complete novice or a member of the SHU equestrian team, you’ll find this an unforgettable and exhilarating experience.
Yes, you can go surfing in Dingle! You will be given a wetsuit to stay nice and warm and Ben, from the Dingle Surf, will give instructions, which should have you standing on the surfboard in no time. No prior surfing experience is required. Trained instructors are provided to ensure your safety at all times. This is the perfect opportunity to learn to ride the waves in a safe and quiet location.
Take a 2-hour kayaking tour of beautiful Dingle harbor with Irish Adventures. You will be given all the equipment, kayak, wetsuit and paddles. You will be taken around Dingle harbor, where you can explore a number of sea caves and maybe get up close and personal with the wildlife. No prior kayaking experience is required. Students need a certain level of fitness to enjoy this activity.
The Dingle Peninsula boasts some of the most spectacular mountain and coastal walks in Ireland. There is a variety of walks available in the area, from more strenuous ridge walking to more gentle slopes, cliff and beach walks and many waymarked routes. You may have an opportunity to do a number of hill walks from the relatively easy Eask Tower walk to the more strenuous Mount Eagle walk. You may also get an opportunity to climb Mount Brandon, which is the second highest mountain range in Ireland. All walks are optional. Good walking shoes are recommended. Only students with proper hill walking shoes (with ankle support) are allowed to do the Mount Brandon walk. Students should be aware that hill walking can be dangerous and should only do the walk if they are fit and healthy.
The Blasket Islands
Just off the Dingle Peninsula, the Blasket Islands are at the very edge of Europe. You will take a 40-minute boat trip from Dingle and arrive at the Great Blasket Island. Then, you will transfer onto the island in a dingy where for the next three hours, you can explore the island, learning about its environment, its history, and its people. Rich in both history and folklore, these now deserted islands were home to legendary Irish storytellers like Peig Sayers and Tomás Ó Criomhthain. The island was abandoned in 1953 as most of the inhabitants had immigrated to the USA. Lunch on the beach, which could be shared with hundreds of seals, might just be the highlight of the trip.
If you choose to do a short-term program, you will be given a blank pottery mug/cup and some paint brushes and stencils. You can let your imagination run wild with your design. It will then be fired in the kiln and can be collected later. Whatever the finished product looks like, it’s guaranteed to be a treasured possession for parents or grandparents if given as a gift or you can keep as a reminder of your time in Dingle.
If you choose to do a semester program, you will get to try your skill on the potter’s wheel at Louis Mulcahy’s Pottery Workshop. A professional thrower will guide you through the skill of making a basic piece. Your piece will then be glazed and fired for you to take home as a souvenir.
Irish set dancing
Ireland is famous for its Irish dancing, and Dingle is a hot bed of Irish dancing champions, including David Geaney, who is a five times world dancing champion. In Dingle, you will receive a fun introduction to Irish dancing. Over the course of one hour, you will go from a novice dancer to an accomplished beginner, all in the name of fun. No prior dancing experience is required, just bring some comfortable shoes and lots of enthusiasm.
Learn how to cook traditional Irish dishes up to modern day Irish cuisine. Dingle Cookery school provides you with a unique, tasty, and unforgettable time. You can forage for local ingredients such as seaweeds and wildflowers and incorporate these into amazing dishes, experiencing the ‘tide to table’ ethos first-hand. Lasting over three hours, the instructors combine theory with a very hands-on workshop. Using local ingredients, you will create a delicious meal from the land and sea.
Harbor boat tours
Enjoy an hour-long boat trip in the picturesque harbor with Dingle boat tours, where you can spot the local landmarks, sea birds, dolphins, and seals and see incredible views of the mountains and coastlines of the region.
Dingle has a famous reputation for its pub culture and in the last few years there has been a boom in the production of beers and spirits in the area. To learn more about the process of making Irish whiskey you can visit to Dingle Distillery. The first purpose-built distillery for a new whiskey in Ireland in over 200 years. It produces not only world-class whiskey but also vodka and gin. If you’d like to learn more about brewing beer, you can visit the newly established but very popular Dick Mack’s Brewery, where they make a selection of beers and stouts.
Irish language lessons
Dingle is Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht town where many speak Irish, called Gaeilge, as their first language. SHU in Dingle will offer you the opportunity to learn the ‘cúpla focal’ (a couple of words) at specially organized classes and to practice the language in the local community.
Enjoy the wildlife of Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium where you can come face-to-face with sharks, penguins, turtles and exotic fish. At the Touch Tank, you can stroke friendly rays and even hold a starfish. You’ll receive a guided tour where you can learn all about the amazing marine world and how the behind the scenes at an aquarium works.
Overnight stay in Killarney
You can spend two days and one night in Killarney town, famous for its national park and lakes. While there, you will get to visit Killarney National Park and cycle on dedicated paths of the ‘Muckross-Dinis Loop’ on a route through forests and fields, passing around Muckross Lake. The route passes by Muckross Abbey (founded in 1448 as a Franciscan friary) and Muckross House (a 65-room Tudor style mansion built in 1843 with extensive gardens). You will also get to see some other highlights such as Torc Waterfall and experience the lively night life of the town.
Weekend in Galway City
Galway is one of the largest cities on the west coast of Ireland and is hugely popular for culture, artistry, exceptional food, and music. As well as being a popular seaside destination with long sandy beaches, Galway also has a thriving, cosmopolitan city center. Alongside spending a weekend in Galway city, you will also get to visit the infamous cliffs of Moher, and the Burren national park while travelling to Galway.
Weekend in London
A highlight in every SHU in Dingle students experience. You will fly to London on Thursday and stay in the beautiful and centrally located Kensington. On Friday, you’ll take an open top bus tour of the city and experience an authentic English lunch while on Saturday you’ll have the whole day free to experience all the city has to offer, from West end shows, to shopping at Harrods, to visiting the London eye.