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Travelling with three kids (ages 8-12)

Travelling with three kids (ages 8-12)

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United States
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Group: Community Member Last Active: Mon 23 Apr 2018 9:52 PM Visits: 2
We would very much like to visit Ireland for a week during the summer --- it will be a party of five: two adults and three children whose ages range from 8-12.

We'd love to see some Castles and just the beauty of the Ireland countryside. We are not into big parties/festivals, but would love to see local culture, enjoy the food, and see and explore Ireland's amazing and rich history. 

Would love recommendations on B&Bs that are family friendly (or other family friendly accommodations). What's the best way to get around for 5? Car rental or train? 

What are 3-5 "MUST SEE" places/activities? We will have 7 days.

Thank you so much!!
Posted Mon 23 Apr 2018 4:28 PM
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Island of Ireland
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Hi Jennifer, 

That sounds like a wonderful plan for a family trip! The island is filled with culture, lovely food and history, and I'd love to provide you with some suggestions. 

Since you are interested in history, I think you might like Ireland's Ancient East. You'll find everything from Vikings to a tomb older than the pyramids here, plus some great places to eat. The easiest way to explore this area is either by car or bus, and you could combine it with one of our other recommended itineraries

The B&B Ireland page has a very handy B&B Locator which helps you find the best suited accommodation. Take a look at the Farm Stay B&B's, as they have a lot of activities for kids available. Also, take a look at the Family Fun page for activities for the whole family! 

A few of my personal favourites of not to miss places and activities which I think you might be interested in are The Giant's Causeway, Connemara and County Cork. I hope this helps, and I'm sure our other members would love to provide you with more suggestions and ideas. :) 
Posted Mon 23 Apr 2018 5:18 PM
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Northern Ireland
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Hi Jennifer,
Yes, do come and get a taste of what Ireland has to offer! 
May I warmly recommend Belfast and the Causeway Coastal Route - recently voted Best in Travel 2018 by Lonely Planet - as one of your ‘must-sees’.
Belfast – birthplace of the Titanic! – offers a vibrant visitor experience in the Titanic Quarter, but the City has much more to offer too. Check out C.S. Lewis Square, for Belfast’s links with the author of the Narnia Books. 
The Causeway Coastal Route, one of the world’s great road journeys, stretches between Belfast and Derry-Londonderry. About twelve miles out of Belfast along the coast is Carrickfergus with one of the best preserved and most imposing medieval castles in Ireland. That, together with the ruins of Dunluce Castle on its rocky promontory (near Portrush), would certainly satisfy a desire to get close and familiar with castles.  Derry-Londonderry has city walls, which would also be great to explore too.
The easiest way for you to explore this stunningly beautiful route as a family is to hire a car, say at your point of entry into Ireland. This gives you the flexibility to explore some of the coastal villages, and hills and glens along this route. Central in the route is the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its fascinating, hexagonal–shaped basalt stones and columns as well as legends about giants. Not far away is Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge for the brave! Check out the link for a summary of the route https://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/150666-CCG_NI-Map_Online-version-03.pdf and our website https://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/ for more information, including accommodation as well. You are wise to book accommodation in advance of your trip, as B&B’s are much in demand in July and August.
If we can be of further help to you regarding booking accommodation, do get in touch with Coleraine Visitor Information Centre. We will be only too happy to help.
I hope you have a great Irish adventure.
Mary.

Posted Wed 25 Apr 2018 12:32 PM
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Ireland
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Hi Jennifer,
It will be a fab family trip, they'll never forget it! I have 3 kids too between age 8 and 3 so a little younger than yours but here are our favourite spots : 
Slieve Gullion Forest Park in County Armagh - there is a fabulous fairy walk through the woods and it's truely magical. Also, there is a delicious coffee shop on site.
Narnia Trail at the Kilbroney Forest Park in County Down - you can walk in the footsteps of CS Lewis, this area is where he spent his childhood vacations and is said to have inspired the images of Narnia. The trail through Kilbroney takes you through the wardrobe door, by the lampost and past the tree people, carved wolves, the ice palace and of course the thrones.  
I would recommend the Wee Tram Tour of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, it will take you round the whole area and you'll stand where Titanic once stood while being built. The Titanic Belfast exhibition is great too and your family would be at a good age for it. You can walk across to the Titanic Hotel and have a coffee in the Drawing Rooms where the plans for the Titanic were drawn up.
Further on up the Causeway Coast, you have Carrickfergus Castle and on up to the Giants Causeway and Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge are all worth a stop.
Londonderry/Derry is steeped in history and you can walk along the top of the walls of the city. The Walled City Brewery has the most amazing food so I absolutely recommend you stop for a meal there. 
From Derry, you could head towards Omagh and do the Ulster American Folk Park, this attraction has two parts, the first, shows life in 19th Century Ireland, you walk through the countryside to the town where you 'board' a ship to cross the Atlantic, seeing conditions for those making the voyage. When you 'arrive' on the other side, you are in 19th Century America and life is depicted with living history actors, you can go in and meet them in the log cabins. 
You could try accommodation at Lusty Beg Island - there are log cabins on their own private island.
After that, you could head West towards Mayo, you could try a night or two in a Bell Tent at Westport House - it's so much fun. All you need is provided (just bring a sheet, a blanket and pillow), there is a lovely pizza restaurant on site so no need for camping equipment. The Adventure Park at Westport House is great too, you can get a day pass and do the ZipWire and Zorbing.

Depending on how much time you want to spend in the car each day ( I would definitely drive if I was you), that will dictate your itinerary. Remember, average speed is around 60 miles an hour and only a few roads are highways so you won't be going too fast. Driving on the opposite side of the road is fine, you get used to it pretty quickly. Just book a car with automatic transmission instead of a stick shift. 
My mail is : sandra@helloireland.com if you have any other questions,
Sandra

 
Posted Wed 25 Apr 2018 12:51 PM
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Ireland
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Hi Jennifer,

sounds like a great holiday for yourself and the kids!

I would definitely recommend you to get a rental car as transport is good between city centres, but it would be more challenging to get to more remote (and beautiful) areas and castles etc.

If you're looking for family friendly accommodation, I would suggest small places (farm type b&b's) or if you'd like some down time yourself, a hotel with a kids club may be nice? Clayton Hotels have quite a few family friendly hotels all over Ireland, but the main ones I would recommend for this are:
Galway: Clayton Hotel Galway
Cork: Clayton Hotel Silver Springs
Wexford: Clayton Whites Hotel (which also comes with a spa!)
Sligo: Clayton Hotel Sligo + Kids Club

They also all come with family rooms. 

Hope that's helpful!
Posted Fri 27 Apr 2018 9:57 AM
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I am going to share this with my wife. We are likely not going to take our 4-year-old son with us this trip but maybe when he is a bit older, we will go back and take him them. 
Posted Wed 9 May 2018 6:30 PM
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Island of Ireland
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Hello Jennifer, 

How was the family trip around Ireland? :) We'd love to hear all about where you went and what you saw and did along the way. 

Did you manage to see loads of castles and sights? Please feel free to share your experiences here, or on the Tell Your Story section of the Community. 

Hoping to hear from you soon. :) 

Melin
Posted Thu 27 Sep 2018 8:19 PM
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