The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on in North Mayo. We’re all about shopping local here in Mayo North and helping local businesses. Irish shoppers are the biggest international online shoppers in the world with over €2.7 billion being spent annually on websites based overseas. That’s a lot of money leaving our local economies!
While it’s not always possible to get the gifts you want locally, we do have lots of options for great gifts right here in North Mayo, from the practical to the luxurious. We’re also loving the move towards gifting experiences, rather than things, and making memories. We’ve teamed up with a number of our members to put together a great Christmas gift guide with a difference and we hope you find some inspiration in our suggestions!
A voucher for a treatment in the Ice House, Ballina
What could be nicer at Christmas than the gift of relaxation? With five luxurious treatment rooms, a beauty room, steam room, experience shower, relaxation room and the Spa garden with outdoor hot tubs, seaweed baths and a barrel sauna, the Ice House Hotel Chill Spa is one of Mayo’s most perfectly formed spa destinations. What better present to pop into a loved one’s stocking than the gift of a perfect day of pampering by the River Moy?
Why not treat someone to a Swedish hot stone massage or an illuminating facial? Guests can relax before and after treatments in the beautifully atmospheric relaxation rooms. There are also monthly special treats available!
Buy your Ice House spa voucher today by calling 096-23511, or purchase online at www.icehouse.ie.
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Tickets for a show at the Great National Hotel, Ballina – or make a night of it with some great overnight rates!
There is always something happening in the Great National – it’s become a social hub with events for all ages.
This Christmas, why not treat your loved ones with tickets for Tommy Tiernan, Brendan Grace or The High Kings, just three great acts playing this venue in 2019? Click on the links below to buy tickets.
Brendan Grace – Thursday, January 3 2019 – Book an overnight package
The High Kings – Friday, January 11 2019 – Book an overnight package
Tommy Tiernan – Thursday, March 16 2019 – Book an overnight package
Or check out the Great National Hotel Ballina Events Guide for more great events.
A cosy dinner with drinks at Dillon’s Bar and Restaurant, Ballina
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the town, you’ll find the atmospheric Dillon’s courtyard an ideal place for food to chill out after a hectic year. This warm and welcoming spot will give you an opportunity to enjoy cosy drinks and delicious food on a crisp cold evening, with an open fire and a warm welcome.
You can also enjoy an extensive a la carte menu with many imaginative dishes, and their newly revamped restaurant is a real treat for the senses.
To buy a voucher or book a meal you can call 096-72230 or email Paul Regan (owner) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit www.dillonsbarandrestaurant.ie for more.
A surf lesson with 7th Wave Surf School
It’s certainly one for when the days get longer and the seas get warmer, but surfing is one of the most fun things you can do in this beautiful region.
If you’ve never tried it, a new year lies ahead and with it a chance to try new things!
Seventh Wave Surf School re-opens in March, and adult surf lessons start at €30 (children under 16 are €25). You can also hire a board, wetsuit, body board or stand up paddle board.
Check them out here or call +353 (0) 87 9716389.
A Mayo Countryside Walk with Sláinte Ireland Tours
Is there someone in your family who would love to learn more about their native county? Or are you buying a gift for someone who’s planning a visit to Mayo soon?
Sláinte Ireland Tours provides a Historical and Cultural countryside walk close to the Wild Atlantic Way. This full day walk takes place in the West Sligo – North Mayo region and walks can be tailored to cater for beginners to experienced walkers. There are also opportunities for walks along the bog terrain and the cliffs of the north Mayo coast. Shorter walks are available on re
A duo of local calendars – the perfect stocking fillers!
Something your loved one can gaze upon all year round is a calendar – we have two gorgeous offerings here.
The Country Houses of Mayo Calendar 2019 features colour photographs of twelve country houses from across the county of Mayo with a brief history of each. A number of houses from different parts of County Mayo feature which include; Belleek Manor & Mount Falcon in Ballina, Turlough House & Raheens House near Castlebar, Ballinafad House in Belcarra, Enniscoe House & Errew Grange near Crossmolina, Bartra House and Summerhill House outside Killala, Moore Hall in Carnacon, Cranmore House in Ballinrobe and Glenlossera Lodge found outside Ballycastle.
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Belleek Forest Park 2019 Calendar
Meanwhile the people behind the very active Belleek Forest Park Facebook page have also released their first calendar, featuring some of Robbie’s incredible wildlife photography.
These stunning shots which capture both the beauty of the woods and the diversity of wildlife that exists within this treasure of an urban forest make this calendar one of the most beautiful and educational calendars you could possibly buy this Christmas, unique to Ballina and North Mayo.
The calendar is now available in a number of local stockists around Ballina including Ballina Tourist Office on Pearse St, and you can make enquiries re postal orders via the Facebook page.
A Therepeutic Treatment at the Biodynamic Clinic, Killala
The Biodynamic Clinic says: “Biodynamic treatments are based on the recognition of the link between body and mind, and use specialised massage methods, bodywork and psychotherapy within an environment free from interruption or judgement where the expression of the impossible becomes possible. This approach can relieve pain or tension, and bring release and healing in a safe and gentle way”.
It offers the opportunity to be away from everyday concerns and have quality time and attention just for you. Treatments in this lovely cottage setting beside Killala Quay can be tailored to individual needs . Visit www.biodynamicclinic.com or call Mary on +353 (0) 96 32514 to find out more.
A Ballina Chamber Shop Local Voucher
Ballina Chamber Shop Local Vouchers can be exchanged in over 60 local businesses in Ballina for a variety of goods and services with restaurants, hotels, gift stores, gyms, hair and beauty salons, clothes shops and many more involved – you’ll be amazed with the selection! Available in denominations of €10, €25 and €50, they have no expiry date, nor is there a commission charged to either users or business owners.
Employers can save 56% on staff rewards by giving employees a Shop Local Gift Voucher instead of cash. Under the Small Benefits Exemption Scheme, company Directors and Employees can receive a non-cash bonus of up to €500 in value on a completely tax free basis each year, making Shop Local Gift Vouchers the perfect Christmas bonus.
Vouchers available to purchase in Ballina Chamber and Tourist Office, Pearse St, Ballina or call 096 72800. Visit www.ballina.ie.
A textile treat from the Foxford Woollen Mills
Foxford Woollen Mills produces some of the world’s finest weaves, using traditions passed down through generations. The iconic Foxford blankets, scarves and throws are produced by master craftsmen who work in a mill that has survived for over 100 years and is one of the last working mills in Ireland.
There is a wide variety of gorgeous gift products to choose from, catering for male and female, young and old. From classic throws to furniture, books to candles, jewellery to baby products, this shop is a feast for the senses.
You can also avail of a tour of the mills, or enjoy a delicious lunch in its airy cafe, which specialises in using locally-sourced, fresh and seasonal ingredients, or pick up a delicious food hamper with products made on-site.
Check out Foxford Woollen Mills’ gift selection on their beautiful new website, www.foxfordwoollenmills
Afternoon Tea in Mount Falcon Estate – or something more adventurous!
Afternoon tea in Mount Falcon Estate is such an indulgent treat that everyone should try, with its spectacular views over the River Moy. It is proudly prepared by the Mount Falcon team, using the freshest ingredients, including produce grown in their Kitchen Garden and served from 1pm – 4pm daily. Booking is essential!
Other activities you can enjoy at Mount Falcon include falconry, hawk walks or clay pigeon shooting, or a relaxing treatment in the Elemis Spa.
To book, call + 353 (0) 96 74472 0r email email@example.com or click on the link below to buy a voucher.
[button link=”https://bookings.mountfalcon.com/bookings/vouchers” (target=”_blank|_self|_parent|_top|framename”) (size=”medium|full”) (style=”outline|white|green”)]Buy a voucher[/button]
Give the gift of a book to your loved ones!
One of our very favourite local-themed books is one written by Gemma Henry McLoughlin, (disclaimer – Gemma also happens to be one of the team here in Mayo North!) Gemma has penned this beautiful book which tells the story of Little Red Head’s adventures in the Céide Fields in Ballycastle, Co. Mayo. It’s the perfect stocking filler for your little ones which will foster their interested in this fascinating chapter of our history and heritage. You can pick up a copy of this book in Eason’s, Ballina or by messaging Gemma on her Facebook page, Mammy Red Head.
Other great books you can use to fill your Christmas stockings are the Life Compass Diary and planner by local life coach, Tara Rafter, better known as The Navigation Coach, Thanks Penneys, by local author Valerie Loftus, a brilliantly witty love letter to an Irish institution, or for those interested in our history and heritage, both the current editor of the Western People, James Laffey and the former editor Terry Reilly, have some great local-themed tomes available, including some detailed works on the odyssey that is Mayo GAA. Local authors Kate Kerrigan and Faith Hogan have a range of books penned between them, the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine in front of the fire at Christmas.
We hope you enjoyed our local Christmas gift guide. And just like that, your holiday shopping is complete!
Photo of Ballina at Christmas: Mike Kinsella