Ireland is so close to the UK it’s a weekend break, but so different it always feels like an adventure, especially for kids.
Visit Dublin for a city that’s easy to get about and filled with things to see and do. Travel to any one of the iconic counties and you’ll find coast and countryside, pretty market towns, lively cities and endless stories. You can visit islands where nothing’s changed for centuries, celebrate international festival in tiny villages and cycle for hours with only the biggest skies and wildest scenery for company. Ireland might be very close to home, but it will never cease to amaze.
Direct daily flights all year round from London to Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Knock and Kerry take less than two hours.
Ireland loves to throw a party and has events all year round including Dublin’s mammoth St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Galway Oyster Festival and spectacular New Year celebrations on St. Stephen’s Green.
World Heritage Brú na Bóinne in Newgrange is Europe’s largest concentration of megalithic art.
Ireland has over 1400km of coastline and 79 Blue Flag beaches along its entire length from north to south.
The Wicklow Mountains and Connemara are just two of Ireland’s six national parks.
It rains less in Dublin than Paris and average summer temperatures in the Irish capital are between 65 and 68˚C. From late June to mid August it doesn’t get dark until around 10pm.
Ireland’s capital has a reputation for friendliness and it’s well deserved. This is one of the most relaxed cities in Europe and making visitors feel right at home, right away is its greatest charm. Incredibly lovely and packed with history, Dublin’s easy to get to know and even easier to get around. Great for a family weekend away but worth taking longer and visit the stunning coast and countryside less than an hour from the city centre.
County Cork is the Ireland of everyone’s imagination: brightly painted fishing villages, rolling green fields, white beaches and jewel-like little islands off the long, ragged coast. It’s the county where they keep the Blarney Stone. Foodie capital Kinsale is here too. And the city of Cork itself is second only to Dublin for colourful history, fantastic festivals and activities to keep kids busy day and night.
County Clare’s rugged Atlantic coast is where you’ll find the Cliffs of Moher, the mysterious Aran Islands and enough pounding waves to tempt surfers, even in the depth of winter. The bleakly magnificent Burren brings even more drama to this wild, western county. But, in quieter moments, Clare’s also the heartland of Irish folk music, quaint villages and grand castles.
County Galway combines its world famous city with astonishing countryside and a breathtaking coast to make an almost perfect family holiday. Roam flawlessly lovely Connemara National Park, go snorkelling off the pristine beach at Carraroe, discover castles like Oranmore and Kinvara, cycle by the sea or deep in the heart of the country and spend more than a little time in Galway itself. The county capital is home to some of the world’s finest seafood and a great little city for kids to explore.
Ancient and fascinating County Wexford is under two hours drive from Dublin and where Ireland keeps its best beaches.
Touring around Ireland by car is an unforgettable way for kids to see the country. But, if you don’t want to drive, the countrywide train service is excellent. Cycling is very common in rural areas and every city has excellent public transport and there are bus services to most towns and villages.