Welcome to the Emerald Isle, a land steeped in myth, legend, and natural beauty. Ireland is not just a destination; it’s an adventure waiting to be explored. With its enchanting landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, it’s an ideal place for family travel. In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through three fantastic locations in Ireland: Clare, Kilkenny, and Killarney. From stunning cliffs to medieval castles and lush national parks, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy.
Family travel in County Clare, Ireland is a delightful experience filled with a wide range of activities and attractions that will captivate both kids and adults. This region, located on the rugged west coast of Ireland, offers a perfect mix of stunning natural landscapes, fascinating historical sites, and rich cultural experiences. Let’s explore what makes family travel in County Clare so special:
1. Cliffs of Moher: County Clare is home to one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher. These majestic cliffs, towering up to 702 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, offer breathtaking views that will leave your family in awe. For kids, the experience of standing on the edge of these dramatic cliffs and watching the waves crash below is nothing short of magical.
2. Aillwee Cave: Aillwee Cave, located in the Burren region, provides an underground adventure for the whole family. Guided tours take you through a labyrinth of chambers adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. It’s an educational and enchanting journey that sparks curiosity in young explorers.
3. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park: Bunratty Castle, a well-preserved medieval fortress, is an excellent destination for a family day out. Kids will enjoy exploring the castle’s rooms and climbing to the top for panoramic views. The adjacent Folk Park offers a living history experience with costumed guides, interactive exhibits, and traditional activities that transport you back in time.
4. Dolphin-Watching: In the charming village of Doolin, you can take a boat trip to see dolphins in their natural habitat. The opportunity to spot Fungie, the friendly bottlenose dolphin, will undoubtedly delight your children. The coastal scenery is an added bonus, providing a perfect backdrop for family photos.
5. Traditional Irish Music: Clare is renowned for its lively traditional Irish music sessions. Many pubs and restaurants in the area offer live music performances in the evenings. It’s a fantastic opportunity for your family to immerse themselves in the authentic culture of Ireland. Children can even join in the fun by trying out some traditional Irish dancing.
6. Wildlife and Nature: County Clare boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. Birdwatching enthusiasts will appreciate the chance to spot puffins, peregrine falcons, and other coastal birds along the cliffs. For nature-loving families, exploring the unique limestone landscape of the Burren is a fascinating adventure.
7. Adventure Activities: County Clare offers a variety of outdoor adventures for active families. Whether it’s horseback riding along the beach, surfing on the Atlantic waves, or embark on a guided kayaking tour in the many lakes and rivers in the region. These activities are not only exciting but also a great way to enjoy the county’s natural beauty.
8. Local Cuisine: Don’t forget to savor some traditional Irish dishes while in Clare. From fresh seafood to hearty stews, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly options in local restaurants and pubs.
9. Educational Opportunities: Many attractions in County Clare offer educational experiences for kids, helping them learn about history, geology, and marine life. It’s a chance for your family to bond while gaining knowledge about this fascinating region.
In County Clare, family travel is about creating lasting memories and experiencing the natural beauty and cultural richness of Ireland. The mix of awe-inspiring natural wonders, historical sites, and local traditions ensures that both kids and adults will have a memorable and enjoyable adventure in this enchanting part of the Emerald Isle.
Kerry (the kingdom), is located in the southwest coast of Ireland, it’s a captivating county that has a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and vibrant culture. It’s an ideal place for family travel, with its broad variety of attractions and activities that will engage visitors of all ages. Here, we’ll explore why County Kerry is the perfect location for a memorable family adventure.
1. Killarney National Park: One of the highlights of County Kerry is the breathtaking Killarney National Park. This expansive park is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Families can embark on hiking and biking adventures along well-marked trails that wind through ancient woodlands, around pristine lakes, and up to panoramic viewpoints. Kids will be enthralled by the opportunity to spot native wildlife, including red deer, while exploring the park.
2. Muckross House and Gardens: Nestled within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is a 19th-century Victorian mansion surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens. The house itself is a treasure trove of history, offering guided tours that transport visitors back in time. The kids will be fascinated by the grandeur of the house, while the gardens provide a perfect spot for a family picnic.
3. Dingle Peninsula: The Dingle Peninsula, with its rugged cliffs and pristine beaches, is an adventure waiting to happen. It’s an ideal location for a scenic drive along the Wild Atlantic Way, with ample opportunities for family walks and photo stops. Dingle town itself is a charming place with colorful houses, local shops, and a friendly atmosphere.
4. Slea Head Drive: Slea Head Drive, a stunning coastal route along the Dingle Peninsula, offers some of the most spectacular vistas in Ireland. You’ll pass by ancient stone forts, picturesque beaches, and the Blasket Islands. It’s a great family outing, and there are plenty of spots to take in the scenery and capture memorable family photos.
5. Fun-Filled Boat Trips: County Kerry boasts numerous boat trips that will leave the family with lasting memories. From dolphin and whale-watching tours in Dingle to boat trips to the Skellig Islands, these excursions provide both adventure and educational experiences for the children, as well as breathtaking views and the opportunity to observe marine life.
6. Kerry’s Traditional Music and Culture: County Kerry is a hub for traditional Irish music and culture. Many pubs and venues in towns like Killarney and Dingle host live music sessions that the whole family can enjoy. Kids can even participate in some Irish dancing, making it a fun and immersive experience in the local culture.
7. Outdoor Adventures: For families seeking a dose of adventure, County Kerry has plenty to offer. Try your hand at rock climbing in the Gap of Dunloe, go horseback riding on the beaches, or rent kayaks for a paddle on the lakes. These activities not only provide thrills but also allow your family to experience the natural beauty of the region up close.
8. Ring of Kerry: The Ring of Kerry is a scenic driving route that encompasses some of the county’s most spectacular landscapes. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming villages, historic sites, and awe-inspiring natural wonders. It’s a fantastic way for the family to explore and appreciate the diversity of County Kerry.
9. Local Cuisine: Don’t forget to savor the local cuisine. County Kerry is known for its fresh seafood, traditional stews, and delicious Irish breakfasts. Many restaurants and pubs cater to families and offer kid-friendly menus.
County Kerry, with its incredible landscapes, rich culture, and family-friendly activities, is a destination that will leave your family with cherished memories. Whether you’re exploring the enchanting Killarney National Park, driving along the scenic Ring of Kerry, or experiencing the warmth of traditional Irish hospitality, your family adventure in County Kerry is bound to be an unforgettable experience. It’s a place where nature, history, and culture combine to offer a perfect destination for families seeking a unique and enriching travel experience.
Ireland’s Ancient East is a region steeped in history and culture, offering a unique and enriching experience for families. As you explore this remarkable part of the country, you’ll be transported back in time to a world of ancient legends, medieval castles, and lush landscapes. Here’s a glimpse of the fascinating family travel opportunities waiting for you in Ireland’s Ancient East.
1. The Magic of Castles: The region is home to a plethora of stunning castles that capture the imaginations of both young and old. Trim Castle, located in County Meath, is one of the largest Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland and offers guided tours through its medieval interiors. Meanwhile, Cahir Castle in County Tipperary boasts an impressive tower house, drawbridge, and riverside setting that children will find captivating.
2. Enchanting Gardens: Ireland’s Ancient East is renowned for its beautifully landscaped gardens. Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow is a family-friendly destination, featuring elaborate terraced gardens and a pet-friendly environment. While the grown-ups appreciate the stunning flora and fauna, the kids can explore the hidden pathways and discover the Palladian mansion.
3. Interactive Heritage Centers: The region offers several interactive heritage centers that make learning history an exciting adventure. In County Wexford, the Irish National Heritage Park lets families explore reconstructed ancient dwellings and experience life as it was lived by our ancestors. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare also provides an educational journey through time, complete with costumed guides and hands-on activities.
4. Ancient Megaliths: Ireland’s Ancient East is home to some of Europe’s most significant megalithic sites, including the famous Newgrange in County Meath. This ancient passage tomb, older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, is an excellent place for families to learn about prehistoric Ireland. The winter solstice illumination is a must-see event, but you must book well in advance.
5. Storytelling and Folklore: Irish folklore and storytelling are integral to the culture of the region. The Waterford Greenway in County Waterford, a 46-kilometer-long cycling and walking trail, offers periodic storytelling sessions where local historians regale visitors with tales of the area’s history and myths. It’s a fantastic way for kids to immerse themselves in the rich oral traditions of Ireland.
6. Family-Friendly Adventures: Ireland’s Ancient East is also an outdoor playground. The region boasts numerous family-friendly adventures, from cycling along historic trails to hiking in the mystical Slieve Bloom Mountains. For the more adventurous families, don’t miss the treetop walkways and ziplining at Castlecomer Discovery Park in County Kilkenny.
7. Kid-Centric Museums: Dublin’s impressive National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology is a treasure trove of history, archaeology, and culture. Its wide range of artifacts, including the famous Ardagh Chalice and Tara Brooch, will captivate the imaginations of young history enthusiasts.
8. Treasure Hunts: Several sites in Ireland’s Ancient East offer treasure hunts and interactive games for families. The Rock of Cashel, a medieval complex with breathtaking views, hosts family treasure hunts. Children can search for hidden clues and unlock the secrets of this historic site.
9. Family-Friendly Accommodations: The region offers a variety of family-friendly accommodations, including cozy cottages, charming bed and breakfasts, and larger hotels with family suites. Many establishments also provide family packages and special amenities for children.
Ireland’s Ancient East is an immersive journey through time that will leave your family with a profound appreciation of Ireland’s rich heritage. From castles that stir the imagination to interactive heritage centers that bring history to life, this region offers an abundance of experiences suitable for family travel. As you explore the ancient megaliths, wander through lush gardens, and engage in storytelling sessions, your family will create cherished memories and gain a deeper understanding of Ireland’s captivating history and culture.
Ireland’s charm lies in its diversity. From the rugged cliffs of Clare to the medieval streets of Kilkenny and the natural wonders of Killarney, it’s a destination that caters to the interests of every family member. The warm hospitality of the Irish people, the rich history, and the enchanting landscapes make Ireland a top choice for family travel. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable adventure through Clare, Kilkenny, and Killarney. Your family is in for a journey filled with laughter, exploration, and cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Sláinte!
If you’ve travelled Ireland before and found any gems you want to share please let us know below!