How do you picture Ireland? Greenfields, narrow country roads, or St. Patrick? Well, there’s definitely a lot more to it than just that. A different kind of adventure awaits those who wander in this beautiful piece of paradise. An exciting mix of the old and new, quiet of the countryside and the exuberance of the city, glorious castles,and picturesque, Instagram-worthy landscape are all there waiting for your family to experience and explore.
Let me take you and your kids on a tour of Europe’s Emerald Isle. Welcome to Ireland!
There is no better way to start your Irish escapade than to start it in Dublin. You can kick off along the river looking for tours of the capital’s magnificent architectures. Then, head off to Trinity College and explore Ireland’s oldest university. Aside from the beautiful buildings that abound the campus, you can also visit its world-famous library that has vast collection of books, Irish and British documents, and other reading materials.
2. Patrick’s Cathedral
Still in Dublin, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is an important structure in all of Ireland. A religious building that has put Ireland on the map of best places to visit in the world. It is the very place where St. Patrick himself reputedly baptized the local Celtic chieftains.
For a real brush with history, travel with the entire family to Valley Meath to see Newgrange. It is a massive circular tube built by Ireland’s stone-aged inhabitants with similar purpose as the Pyramids of Giza – to house their revered dead. This ancient architecture will give the kids a great experience and a beautiful story that they can pass on to their own kin.
4. Blarney Castle
Ireland has a plethora of castles churches, monasteries, and towers spread out across the entire island. Among the most popular picks is the Blarney Castle. Built around 1200 A.D., this castle is a tour star and tourists flock there to see what remains of it. Perhaps the most famous site on the ground is the Blarney Stone, which tourists can kiss while hanging off a wall drop, upside down. The stone is believed to heighten the eloquence of those who can successfully kiss it. Go ahead and give it a try.
5. Cliffs of Moher
If your tastes appeal to sceneries and nature, then you’re in luck. Head to Galway, the entry point to Cliffs of Moher. It is a popular tourist spot for the family to enjoy the dramatic view of the vast Atlantic Ocean and to get that relaxing experience when you’re on top of the cliffs that stand roughly 700 feet from the sea. As if you need more reason to entice your kids, the cliffs have been featured in several films, including Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. A Potter head like me will definitely be extremely enthusiastic to be here.
6. The Burren
In close proximity to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher is the surreal landscapes of The Burren. It is Ireland’s smallest National Park. Kids who love photography, trekking, and nature will have endless options of photography subjects here – from cracked and karst limestones to amazing ruins. There is just too much to see in this place.
7. Dun Aonghasa
Another site that will give the family a taste of history is Dun Aonghasa. It is one of Ireland’s most famous prehistoric sites, located in Innishmore of the Aran Islands. Abounding in this area are superbly preserved stone fortresses situated in 330 feet tall cliffs that give anyone a stunning view of the coast.
8. Killarney National Park
This is Ireland’s first National Park that houses a number of animals and a variety of wildlife. Some man made structures such as ruins and castles can also be found in the park. Though people are allowed to visit, caution must be taken when visiting so not to disturb the diverse habitat and rare species in the area.
9. Skellig Islands
Great Skellig and Little Skellig make up the Skellig Islands. These are two islands found in the Atlantic Ocean that holds both natural and historical beauties. Arrange a tour to these islands for the family to witness the wonders of these UNESCO Heritage sites firsthand. The remains of a medieval monastery are accessible to the public through the Great Skellig, the larger island of the two. If these islands are unfamiliar to you, you will be acquainted once you see Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, since some scenes were filmed on Skellig. Share that fun fact with your little ones and they will be excited to visit.
10. The Giant’s Causeway
Located on Northern Island’s northeast coast, the Giant’s Causeway is a stunning place that nature formed millions of years ago. It is a collection of approximately 40 thousand interlocking basalt columns. Because of its peculiar and unique appearance, the site has since been designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and remains a popular pick for travelling families.
This article is part of our popular series, Place To Go With Kids!