Ireland Family Vacation - Adare

The Woodlands House Hotel in Adare County Limerick will be your base for this vacation and on booking your tour with us, you will get a comprehensive tour pack which will include several day tours that you can chose to take from your base location.  This is just a summary of the day to day itinerary. You will be provided with a considerably more comprehensive daily itinerary upon booking your Ireland vacation package.  This tour is flexible, you can chose to do all of the day trips, some of them or you may choose to simply enjoy the surroundings of your hotel.  This tour is best accessed from Shannon airport but can be easily adapted to a Dublin airport arrival.


Day Trip 1: Enjoying Adare!

Situated in the south west of Ireland, Adare is one of Ireland's prettiest and most picturesque villages and is a haven for those wishing to escape and unwind taking in its medieval surroundings. Adare's streets are lined with original thatched cottages survived for hundreds of years. Some of the cottages are kept by local restaurants and Arts & Crafts shops, but many are still privately owned. Other famous attractions in this quaint town include; Desmond Castle, the Franciscan Friary and the Trinitarian and Augustinian Priories.  Not far from Adare you will find the Foynes Flying Boat Museum which preserves the aviation history of the Shannon region; its 1940's cinema, Radio and Weather Rooms and a full sized replica of a B314 flying boat make this museum a constant family favourite. Your overnight accommodation is the Woodlands House hotel, an ideal family hotel with plenty of activities to keep your kids amused and happy, from the on-site pet farm to the games room including arcade games and table football.

Day Trip 2: Exploring Cork

Cork contains some of Ireland's most beautiful scenery, historic sites and locations and it is easily accessible from Adare. Your day trip today will take in the famous Blarney Castle where you can take the kids to kiss the renowned Blarney Stone which is said to grant the ‘gift of the gab’! Your Irish Tourism detailed itinerary will help you explore the town of Cobh which was the last port of call for the ill-fated titanic in 1912 and is also the gateway to the prominent Spike Island which has hosted a monastery, a fortress and a prison within its 104 acres. A short distance from Cobh, the kids will love Fota Wildlife Park. Fota Wildlife Park is not like a conventional zoo. Wherever possible the park has chosen animals that thrive in an unrestricted environment, which allows them to roam free, while mixed with other species and of course human guests! You might decide to stop in Cork City en-route. Here there are a number of interesting places to visit including St.Finbarre’s Cathedral, The Church of St. Anne Shandon, The English Market, Cork Gaol or the Crawford Art Gallery to name but a few. Return to Adare this evening for another night of relaxation in your family centred hotel.

Day Trip 3: The Kingdom of Kerry!

Kerry is one of Ireland’s most visited locations and this is due to the many beautiful beaches, spectacular scenery and the fine array of family activities to enjoy. Nearby the town of Killarney you and your kids will find an expanse of rugged mountainous countryside, including the McGillycuddy Reeks which rise to a height of over 1000 metres and at the foot of these marvellous peaks you will find the world famous Lakes of Killarney and the Killarney National Park. Here you might enjoy a jaunt by traditional horse and cart or if you are feeling adventurous, hire some bicycles and enjoy cycling around the vast expanse. Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms is another family favourite. The location of the House is spectacular, close to the eastern shore of Muckross Lake and set beneath the impressive backdrop of Torc and Mangerton Mountains. Close to Muckross House you can enjoy a visit to three working farms, each complete with traditional animals, poultry and old-fashioned machinery. Should you choose to venture past Killarney, the Ring of Kerry is an unforgettable journey not to be missed and en-route you will appreciate stunning mountain and coastal scenery combined with colourful towns and villages. On your travels you will find Kissane’s Sheep Farm, a stop that kids always enjoy, this working sheep farm has more than one thousand sheep and lambs and the pleasant and helpful staff will be delighted to give you a sheep shearing or sheepdog demonstration, your kids can even adopt a sheep on site!

Day Trip 4: Clare & Galway

One of your longest but most dramatic days of your tour brings you from Adare along the west coast of Clare to Galway City, Ireland’s festival capital & City of the Tribes! Clare has it all, from beautiful beaches like the popular surfing beach in Lahinch and horseshoe shaped sandy beach of Kilkee to breath-taking scenery and charming, welcoming people.  One of your first stops should be Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, an essential visit for any family tour of Ireland. Built in 1425, the majestic castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour. The houses and cottages of the folk park spread out at the foot of its massive walls, much in the way that the cottages and crofts of olden times would have clustered around its base. Not too far away, kids old and young will enjoy Craggaunowen! Situated on 50 acres of woodland; the Park interprets Ireland’s pre-historic and early Christian periods through reconstructed dwellings and tools that existed in Ireland during these times. Before you leave Clare, The Cliffs of Moher are a must see!  The majestic Cliffs of Moher are without doubt one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights and overlook the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of West Clare. The Cliffs lay claim to one of the most astonishing views in Ireland and on a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the rustic valleys and hills of the Connemara region.  The ancient Aillwee Caves are close by. This stunning creation of nature was formed by the melt waters of a prehistoric ice age. Here, you and your kids will feel like explorers as you stroll through the prehistoric caverns or trainee Falconers as you learn how to release and call hawks in the adjacent Birds of Prey Centre! From here, Galway City is a short drive. Places of interest include Galway City Museum, Galway Cathedral, Galway Aquarium or the Nora Barnacle House to name but a few.

Day Trip 5: The Dingle Peninsula

Dingle peninsula is dominated by the range of mountains that form its spine, running from the Slieve Mish Mountains to Mount Brandon, Ireland's second highest peak. The coastline consists of striking cliffs, broken by sandy beaches, with two beautiful beaches at Inch in the south and the Maharees to the north. The Blasket Islands come into full view at Slea Head; great humps of old red sandstone sprawled in the Atlantic, two miles beyond the westernmost tip of the peninsula. You will pass through Annascaul which is the birthplace of the artic explorer Tom Crean, a local hero who accompanied Scott and Shackleton on three Antarctic expeditions, including Scott’s doomed attempt to reach the South Pole. Dingle Town is a harbour settlement, once fortified and seeped in history.  The town is the gateway to the Gaeltacht, where Gaelic is the spoken language. The town retains its impressive character, colourful shops, traditional pubs and its many craft shops and art galleries make the town an excellent cultural and arts centre. Ireland’s most friendly Dolphin, Funghi has been living in Dingle Bay since 1983, and your kids would certainly enjoy a boat trip to see him. These trips can be booked easily from Dingle Harbour.

Day Trip 6: Kilkenny, Cashel & Cahir

Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. The Rock, which rears above the plain, dominated the land routes southwards. Kings of Ireland as well as Munster came to this spot and St. Patrick is known to have preached on the rock and converted the local King, Aenghus, here in the 5th Century. Not far away Cahir Castle was once an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family and it retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. It is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles. Kilkenny City is long renowned as Ireland’s Medieval Capital, the city’s origins date back more than 1,500 years. Characterised by beautifully restored old buildings and covered slipways, Kilkenny City is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of fascinating, historical buildings, and contemporary shops, design galleries, cafés and restaurants. Your stop here is sure to include the grand and imposing Kilkenny Castle which stands dramatically on a strategic height and dominates the 'High Town' of Kilkenny City. You might also decide to pay a visit to St. Canice’s Cathedral where your kids will enjoy the descent up to the top of the round tower and you will enjoy the outstanding views across from the top across Kilkenny city!

Day Trip 7: Exploring the Capital!

The journey from Adare to Dublin is approximately three hours but there are places where you may wish to stop en-route. The National Stud for example comprises three separate attractions. The 1,000 acre Farm at Tully has been in use as a Stud Farm since 1900. There is a Horse Museum tracing the history of the horse in Ireland using artefacts, illustrations and text and the Japanese Gardens situated in the grounds were the first of their kind in Ireland and in Europe. On arrival in Dublin explore all that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Attractions include Christ Church Cathedral which was founded in the year 1030 and the adjacent Dublinia which is very popular with younger kids. You might choose to visit the National Wax Museum housed in the historic landmark Armoury Building or pay a visit to the Butlers Chocolate Experience where you and your family can become chocolatiers! Of course you may wish to take time out to shop in Grafton Street or any one of a number of narrow and quaint streets that the café strewn city centre has to offer. This afternoon, why not spend some time in the Temple Bar area. This small area boasts a dazzling choice of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops to suit all tastes and pockets, all within easy walking distance of Temple Bar's many cultural centres and galleries.