Ireland is a fascinating and diverse country that offers an exciting array of activities to keep even the most adventurous happy on their family holidays.
Ireland is a magical country, renowned for its imaginative tales of folklore, from the four-leafed clover to the leprechaun and his elusive pot of gold. But regardless of its tales of fancy, this is one country that offers plenty of activities and attractions to make family holidays exciting and enjoyable.
Divided into Northern Ireland, and Ireland itself, the country benefits from having two capital cities. Northern Ireland is famous for its salt flats, as well as the Giant’s Causeway, a stunning rock formation created from an ancient volcanic eruption. It is home to a vast collection of superb restaurants, as well as the more natural national treasures of the granite Mourne Mountains. Families visiting here can try a variety of sports, from galloping horseback across the beaches, to enjoying some motocross or off road driving just north of its capital city of Belfast.
In the south, Dublin bears the title of Capital City, and is also home to the national drink of Guinness, with the factory opening its doors on a daily basis for tours through its hallowed halls. Considered to be one of the friendliest cities in the world, Dublin is rich with history, and a museum, stately home or other notable attraction can be found in every district.
Ireland has a number of National Parks across the land, and each one is remarkably different from the next. The barren and stern wastelands of the Burren National Park, where few trees and plants thrive in the rough soil, encourages intrepid hikers on a day’s escape from the big cities. Lovers of the country’s heritage will be delighted by a visit to the Muckroos National Park, which comes complete with a stately home and perfecty manicured gardens to enjoy.
Younger children especially will enjoy visits to some of the various amusement and theme parks that Ireland has to offer, including a visit to a working Viking Village and a trip on a model railway line. The Millenium Maze, created to mark the turn of the century, is always a favourite with adventurous kids, and there are lots of other outdoor locations that allow families to enjoy everything Ireland has to offer its visitors.
And if all this entertainment still isn’t enough, then make sure you visit during one of the many festivals that going on throughout the year. The Irish are well known for throwing a good party, and kids are always welcome to join in too. So, with everything on offer from Jazz and Dance Festivals, to the crazy ideas of Sheep Shearing competitions and Disney Music Festivals, your whole family will be having too much fun to be bored.
Ireland enjoys average weather throughout the year, with relatively good summers, but cold, and often very wet or snowy winters. The best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is at its best, and some of the many festivals will be well underway.
Dooley’s is a family run Hotel situated in the heart of the historic City of Waterford in the South East of Ireland. This hotel can cater for the larger families, with rooms for up to 5 people. Each room provides a TV and Tea and coffee making facilities. There is an early bird menu, and families are well catered for with both land and water based activities within easy distance of the hotel. More details...
Fancy staying in a castle? The luxurious Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort is located on its own private island. Larger families are also catered for in their contemporary Castle garden lodges which comfortably accommodate 6. There are plenty of activities, and a playground, babysitting services and children under 12 stay free. More details...
The award winning Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort, in the South West of Ireland is a perfect family resort. The rooms are spacious and can accommodate up to 5. Their kids club is run and managed by qualified child minders, for ages 5-12, where they can enjoy arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor games or join in the Aqua fun sessions in the pool. The restaurant has a Kids menu and a kids corner, with games & DVD's to keep your little ones occupied whilst you get to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. More details...
ImagineIreland have a fabulous selection of family friendly self-catering cottages in Ireland. You can be assured that ImagineIreland will let you know at a click of your mouse whether the property is suitable for your family. Its always good to know before you book if the if accommodation has a stairgate or an enclosed garden when travelling with little ones. The baby and child-friendly Cottages are also equipped with cots, highchairs, books and games. Whilst teenage friendly cottages are equipped with Wii or a playstation. More details...
Whether you would enjoy a walking holiday, horse riding or perhaps a farm retreat, Responsible Travel has a selection of family friendly places to stay in some of the most stunning parts of Ireland.
Dublin’s Fair City is a lively venue for a family holiday, with plenty of choice and attractions available to keep the whole family entertained.
Kilkenny located perfectly in the creative heart of Ireland. Its famous for its lively festivals, events, history and culture including its very own castle.
Carlow one of Ireland’s smallest counties, is bordered by the scenic Blackstairs Mountains to the east. Located on the banks of the River Barrow, Carlow town is a bustling market centre serving a large rural area.
Laois has a range of activities are as varied as the landscape - golf, horse riding, walking, bowling and much more.