Over 500,000 people are expected to attend this year’s National Heritage Week in Ireland from August 23 through 31.

With over 1,600 events taking place, the week focuses on getting people involved in the heritage of Ireland, and particularly, the heritage of the local community.

With an aim is to celebrate Irish history and heritage in every which way, there are events for everyone: medieval fairs, night-time bat walks, classical music and poetry recitals, traditional music sessions, historical reenactments and more. There’s even a butter-making event in Co. Kerry on August 25.

“2014 is shaping up to be the biggest National Heritage Week to date with over 500,000 people expected to attend events across Ireland,” CEO of the Heritage Council Michael Starrett said in a recent press release.

“The sheer diversity of events taking place during the week is what makes it so unique. For visitors to Ireland, the week is the ideal opportunity to experience first-hand the wealth of Ireland’s built, cultural and natural heritage.

“Whether your interest is tracing your ancestors, exploring our many walled towns, learning more about Ireland’s famous playwrights, visiting Ireland’s historic properties or learning some of our traditional skills, there is something for everyone during National Heritage Week.”

Among the array of events (the majority of which are free) include:

Game of Thrones Tours – As the setting for the epic HBO drama, Game of Thrones, Northern Ireland celebrates the show’s popularity with numerous tours of the film locations and sites used from Downhill Beach to Larrybane to Murlough Bay. 

Cong-Galway Sailing Race- The Annual Cong-Galway Sailing Race is Ireland's longest and Europe's oldest inland waterway sailing race. The Race is open to boats and sailors of various categories to compete. 

Bug Hotel Build and Bug Hunt- A family event where kids can build a bug hotel to give all the “locals” a permanent home at Emo Court. 

The Insider’s Limerick - A retrospective tour exploring over 800 years of local government in Limerick City, covering both the political and administrative structure. 

“Our heritage plays such an important role in celebrating our history, contributing to a sense of belonging and to the distinctiveness of our country,” Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said.

“It is our communities, indeed our families, big and small, that are the custodians of our local heritage and who will pass on traditions and knowledge to the next generation.”

Thank you to Dunloe Hotels for the National Heritage Week 2014 infographic. For more information see the Dunloe Hotels website.

All events are listed on the week’s website, and in the official National Heritage Week Event Guide which is available in Tourist Offices nationwide. Further information is also available on Twitter @heritageweek or the Heritage Week Facebook page.