With the sun still shining, it’s safe to say that it’s getting us in the mood for a staycation. We’ve put together a few places tucked away in the Hidden Heartlands for you to check out. Any other suggestions? Let us know on our Social Media pages!
Located in Offaly, Birr Castle is seen to be believed. It has Ireland’s largest tree house with a play area, complete with bouncy pillows with picnic areas and sandpits. They also have an interactive science centre on site and the castle is also opened for guided tours for the adults to enjoy. When you arrive be sure to pick up your Family Quest sheet and follow the clues!
On gorgeous sunny days what better place to be than at a waterpark? The Baysports Inflatable Water Park in Hodson Bay near Athlone has a giant inflatable island with jungles, towers, trampolines and slides. It even has a water obstacle course and a castle for everyone to enjoy. Not up for that? They also offer kayaking and pedal boats if you want to relax
In the heart of Co. Clare sits a park which is rich in history and will satisfy all the family. Craggaunowen has a restored castle and you can visit a crannóg and ring fort to find out how people lived in the past and their traditions. You can also visit to the ‘Brendan Boat’ – a leather hulled boat built by Tim Severin who sailed across the Atlantic re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan. You might also see some sheep and boar wandering around if you keep an eye out!
Located in Boyle, Co. Roscommon and set in the grounds of the old King-Harman Estate the Lough Key Forest offers hours of entertainment for all the family! The Adventure Play Kingdom will occupy young children while the Boda Borg Challenge will test the mental and physical of anyone brave enough! Kids can also enjoy a first driving experience on the Kids Jeep Safari. There are miles of biking trails and orienteering courses as well as loads of picnic spots. Fancy spending the night? Campsite facilities are available.
The Beara Breifne Way is Ireland’s longest walking trail, stretching 500km from the Beara Peninsula in Co. Cork right through the heart of Ireland towards Blacklion in Co. Cavan. Along the way you can take in historical and archaeological sites, including the 12th century Cistercian Boyle Abbey in Co. Roscommon, the Carrowkeel Neolithic Cemetery in Co. Sligo. Not interested in history or want to make a pit stop? The trail goes through several little towns for you take a moment in.