Endless days spent splashing in the waves or building sandcastles. Wandering around winding fairy paths looking for magical creatures. Or, creating memorable adventures exploring ancient and mysterious caves: these are only some of the possibilities for an unforgettable holiday... which are closer than you think!
It can be a pretty daunting task – finding a holiday that provides a range of exciting activities that entices everyone to emerge from behind their screens to enjoy together.
But here in Ireland, there's plenty to do, and even more to see.
From gorgeous coastal towns to magical nature walks, rich historical monuments, and breathtaking cultural delights, Ireland has an abundance of stunning destinations that are perfect for family holidays. So if you're looking to spoil your loved ones with unforgettable experiences, here are a few places to consider.
Brooklodge Hotel – Explore the Garden County
The beautiful Brooklodge Hotel is situated in Wicklow Valley dubbed the "Garden of Ireland". A mere hour's train or car journey from the capital city of Dublin, it's ideal for a family who wants a spectacular outdoor experience.
The hotel boasts an Equestrian Centre suitable for the whole family, as well as Ireland’s first certified Wild and Organic Restaurant. All the buildings in sleepy Macreddin village have been developed by Brooklodge, including Acton's Pub, the organic smokehouse, and even its own historic chapel.
Things to do
With majestic mountains and gorgeous beaches as well as lush woodland, the area is renowned for its natural beauty. In fact, Powerscourt Gardens was recently voted as the third best garden in the world by National Geographic.
The Garden County's temperate climate nurtures an unparalleled variety of trees, plants, and shrubs. Aside from the county's patchwork of meticulously tended gardens, the natural landscape provides the potential for wild exploration.
If you prefer your nature a little tamer, the Greenan Farm & Maze offers a nature treasure hunt and other fun activities to keep kids occupied for an hour.
Image Above: Powerscourt House & Gardens
Parknasilla Resort – a Magical Coastal Getaway
Alternatively, perhaps you would rather pack your car with buckets and spades, snacks, and picnic blankets to take in some of Ireland's most beloved beaches. In that case, a coastal adventure will be right up your street.
Stay at Parknasilla Resort where the magical Fairy Trail and Treasure Trail promise to keep every child spellbound. With a range of self-catered as well as luxury accommodation, every family will feel at home here.
With packages to suit every budget and family, Parknasilla offers a unique place to return to after a fun-filled day by the sea.
Things to do
The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, in the southwest. This 179km-long, circular route will take you around rugged and impressive landscapes. Here, you can collect shells, spot sea birds and marine wildlife, and discover the mystery and majesty of nature.
Don't forget to stop in at Skellig Michael, a rocky island with an abandoned 7th-century Christian monastery. Its majestic twin pinnacles are accessible via several boats from Portmagee which make the 12km crossing during the warmer months.
The resort lies along Wild Atlantic Way, which offers scenic views of the Atlantic. Spanning 2,500 km of the Irish coastline, this trail covers nine counties and three provinces.
Image Above: Killarney Lakes, Ring of Kerry
The Manor House County Hotel, Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Mount Falcon – Discover the Lakelands
The Manor House Country Hotel is a stunning family-owned country house that combines modern luxury with country charm. Rich in fascinating history, it also offers a number of exciting cruise experiences on Lough Erne that the kids are sure to love.
With impressive scenery and rooms to suit every budget, it makes an excellent option whether you want to stay within the grounds or use it as a base for wider exploration.
Meanwhile, the four-star Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel has an outdoor play area for kids and pet-friendly accommodation, along with self-catering lakeside and woodland lodges.
Families can enjoy a scenic walk along the lakeside path and jetty, as long as they bring some treats to appease the ducks and swans! Plus, not only are there fabulous landscaped gardens to explore, but you can preserve your memories forever with a selfie in their fun lakeside selfie frame.
Things to do
No matter if you're in the mood for entertainment or shopping, luxury or rural charm, the Fermanagh Lakelands truly has everything to offer.
Offering you the chance to try outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and angling to name a few, active travelers and energetic kids alike will love the variety of choices they'll get here.
Enniskillen is the region's largest town, boasting retail and leisure as well as a popular castle museum and fascinating marble arch caves. For some history and culture, consider visiting the National Trust estate of Castle Coole. Built to impress in the 1790s by the first Earl of Belmore with no expense spared, it's sure to leave everyone absolutely captivated. If your family is the hiking type, the Stairway to Heaven, set in the picturesque Cuilcagh Mountain, is just a short journey (10 miles) from Enniskillen and is one of the most stunning trails in Northern Ireland. Meandering through one of the region's largest expanses of blanket bog, it will take you over tracks, boardwalk and staircase and leave you with memories of incredible views.
Image Above: Stairway to Heaven, Enniskillen
Mount Falcon Hotel – Revel in the Splendour of the Maritime County
If you fancy a journey through time, there's no better place to be than Mount Falcon. Cradled amidst a hundred acres of enchanting woodlands, this Gothic Victorian Manor retains the magnificence of a time gone by. In seamlessly uniting a romantic charm with an array of natural retreats, it's a spectacular spot for a family getaway.
Nestled in the heart of the Moy Valley, this 4-star deluxe hotel is full of exciting escapades that promise to surprise and delight the little ones.
The Burren Falcon may have escaped the falconer's arm – but the Little School of Owls and Raptors allows you to interact with the birds, and even hold them in your hands. Watch in awe as you wander through the meandering pathways, where hawks glide majestically from great heights in salute to their earth-bound admirers.
Soak in the sheer serenity of the sunlight glittering on the still waters of the lake, as you take your family fishing for salmon and trout. Embrace the natural beauty of the scented flower meadows at the Wildflower Forest School, where children can play games, build dens, climb trees, and have a marvellous time.
Things to do
If you're looking for an adventure-filled break, Mayo is sure to leave you more than satisfied.
Carpeted by vast tracts of bogland and set amidst some of the oldest stone-walled fields dating back 6000 years, the Ceide Fields witness the mingling of natural beauty and rich heritage.
Traverse the rugged terrain of the Croagh Patrick, which offers remarkable views of Clew Bay, with its expansive stretches of glittering waters.
No matter how much your family has to spend or what they like to do for fun, Ireland offers the very best in summer holiday getaways for one and all.
Image Above: Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo
ABOUT ORIGINAL IRISH HOTELS
Original Irish Hotels are a collection of unique, owner-run hotels, located in Ireland’s most outstanding destinations. Open the door to the magic of unmissable moments with Ireland’s leading collection of independent hotels.
Our 55 hotels are dotted around the entire island of Ireland in must-see locations, from the Wild Atlantic Way, to Ireland’s Ancient East, the Causeway Coast, Dublin and the treasured heartland of Ireland’s midlands and lakelands.
Irrespective of where our hotels are, Original Irish Hotels pride themselves in hosting a unique and truly memorable experience for our guests, and soon to be friends. The collection is made up of a range of traditional and boutique hotels, castles, manor and country houses, all run by locals, ensuring a unique experience every time.