By Jessica Gadd, MSc Management
The Croft // Jessica Gadd argues that Dublin is the perfect place for a reading week holiday. If you are in search of a city full of literature, cosy coffee shops and a pint of Guiness, Dublin may be the perfect city to spend reading week in!
It’s no secret that, for most of us, very little reading is actually done during reading week. After a busy and stressful start to term, it’s just too easy to retreat back home for a bit of R&R or spend a low-key week lazing about in Bristol, forgetting that ominous pile of coursework growing ever higher. This year, maybe it’s time to for a different approach by taking a trip to Ireland’s capital city. Dublin is the perfect autumnal escape and offers the best of both worlds. As a UNESCO City of Literature and home to writers such as Yeats, Heaney and Joyce, the city’s rich literary history is sure to inspire your creativity and boost your work ethic. And with a high pub-to-person ratio, you can also take some time off to enjoy the vibrant nightlife that the city has to offer. A few days in Dublin will undoubtedly help you to strike up the right work-life balance.
Where to Read
Dublin is more often associated with a pint of Guinness than a cup of coffee, yet the city’s cool café culture is flourishing and it boasts a range of cosy, independent coffee shops that are perfect for flicking through a good book or typing out an essay. Some top picks include Kaph, Vice Coffee Inc. and Network, all of which frequent tourist travel guides and top ten lists. Kaph is located in Dublin’s creative quarter and provides a light, airy working environment. Network, meanwhile, has a cool, minimalist vibe and is a popular library-substitute among students and young professionals. Vice Coffee Inc. offers a quirkier, colourful setting and award winning Irish Coffees to give you a bit of a buzz even on the chilliest of mornings.
Inevitably, you’ll hit a writer’s block at some point in your trip. When this happens, you may want to turn to the city for inspiration and its literary heritage is a great place to start. In Merrion Square, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture commemorates the Irish playwright’s lasting influence on the city. Alternatively, the James Joyce Centre, a museum based in an 18th century Georgian townhouse, celebrates the life and work of Dublin’s most iconic writer. Or if museums aren’t your thing and you’re willing to brace the cold autumnal weather, then Dublin’s city parks offer a beautiful setting for a study break. Whether its St Stephen’s Green, Herbert Square or the gardens surrounding Dublin Castle, a breath of fresh air and a brisk walk through the fallen leaves are sure to boost your productivity for the rest of the day.
Where to Relax
While the city’s coffee and cultural scene fosters a fresh working environment, the evening is the perfect opportunity to swap books for booze and let off some steam. The Guinness Storehouse is Dublin’s number one tourist attraction and for good reason. Each of its seven floors adds a new layer to the story of Ireland’s most famous drink, finishing in Gravity Bar which offers panoramic views of the city and a complimentary pint. For your next stop, traditional pubs such as Temple Bar, O’Niells and Mulligan’s all come highly recommended. If you’re looking for a truly memorable experience, I’d recommend The Cobblestone. This pub has been around for five generations; it’s heaped with character and advertises itself as ‘a drinking pub with a music problem’. With a buzzing atmosphere and Irish folk music performed live, this pub will transport you back in time so that you’ll soon leave your stress behind.
Whether you’re looking to read or relax, Dublin is a fantastic city that will leave you feeling energised and ready to tackle the rest of term head on.
Featured Image credit: Unsplash / Thought Catalog
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