Head out for Heritage Week

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Make this the week you get in touch with your roots...

Part of the Europe-wide annual heritage festival, National Heritage Week runs from August 23-30 and celebrates the history and legacy of Ireland through cultural events that highlight local skills and traditions, architecture and works of art. The idea is to shine a spotlight on the great work being done in all communities in Ireland to preserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage.

The Heritage Council of Ireland have created a programme that contains over 1,600 events - most of them free - so there really will be something for everyone to enjoy. We're drawn to the architecture and interiors happenings that explore the beauty of Ireland's best country houses, castles, lighthouses, city gems and magical gardens, as well as cultural events that will transport you to the past through music, stories, sport and re-enactments of Victorian and Medieval life. History buffs will be able to enjoy countless tours of towns, villages and buildings, while lovers of art will be spoiled with art exhibitions and conservation projects to visit and explore in a variety of locations.

The theme for National Heritage Week 2014 is ?generations exploring heritage together?, also marking the UN 20th Anniversary of the ?International Year of the Family?, and it's a great week for family and kids? events, with lots happening up and down the island, from nature walks to museum open days.

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Take your camera along and don't forget to enter the Heritage Council competition for the best photo to encapsulate the spirit of Heritage Week.

Here's our selection of Heritage highlights around the country?

Dublin

Cabinteely House Open Day, August 24, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
Guided Tours of Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, August 25-28, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
63 Merrion Square Through the Generations, August 30, Merrion Square South, Dublin 2

Leinster

Guided Tour with the Butler of the House, August 25-27, Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny
Guided Tour of Mount Usher Gardens, August 27, Co Wicklow
Heritage Week and Vintage Fair, August 31, Huntington Castle, Clonegall, Co Carlow

Munster

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Guided Tours of Desmond Hall, August 23-31, Desmond Hall, Newcastle West, Co Limerick
Special Opening of Blarney Castle, August 24, Blarney Castle & Gardens, Blarney, Co Cork

Ulster

Traditional Homes in the County Donegal Landscape, August 25, Donegal County Museum, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
Some Irish Houses and Demesnes, August 26, Market House, Monaghan

Connacht

Craft Metal Forging Demonstration, August 23, Galway City Council Depot, Galway
Guided Tours of Enniscoe House, August 30, Enniscoe House, Castlehill, Ballina, Co Mayo

Find your local events guide here and tell us about your Heritage Week adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

For more voyages of discovery, head to Northern Ireland, where August is Craft Month.

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@Image_Interiors / @DianaNacu

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