Ireland Family Vacation - Kilkenny

This Ireland Family Vacation Tour is one of the best ways to see the highlights of Ireland. This exciting tour stops at some of Irelands top tourist attractions including the Irish National Heritage Park, Hook Lighthouse, Kennedy Homestead, Lismore Castle & Gardens, the monastic Glendalough, The Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle. The tour will also bring you to our Capital, Dublin to explore Dublinia, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Christ Church Cathedral and the vibrant temple bar.

See below some of the Highlights you will visit in more details while on your Ireland Family Vacation.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin. The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy, the King of Munster. It is currently a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and the battlements. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned.The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney about 8 km from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the Stone and tour the castle and its gardens....read more

Burren

Burren

The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle comprised by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna, It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north respectively. Strictly speaking the territory of the Burren or barony of Burren only contains the villages of Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan, Fanore, Craggagh, New Quay/Burrin, Bealaclugga (Bellharbour) and Carron. The definite article (making it "the Burren") has only been added to the name in the last few decades, possibly by academics, as it had always been called Boireann in Irish and Burren i...read more

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher (Irish: Aillte an Mhothair, lit. cliffs of the ruin, also known as the Cliffs of Coher from the Irish: Mhothair) are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of The Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in 18...read more

Dublinia

Dublinia

Dublinia, located at the crossroads of the medieval city at Christchurch, is history brought to life in an exciting way for all to engage, learn and share. Go back to Viking times in Dublin –what was life really like onboard a Viking warship? See their weaponry and the skills of being a Viking warrior. Try on Viking clothes, become a slave and stroll down a noisy street. Visit a smokey and cramped Viking house. Learn of the myths and the mysteries surrounding the Vikings and their legacy....read more

Dunbrody Famine Ship

Dunbrody Famine Ship

The Dunbrody is a full-scale reconstruction of a 19th Century Famine ship, and authentic replica of the Three Masted Barque built in Quebec in 1845 for the Graves family of New Ross. Board the Dunbrody and walk in the footsteps of a group of Irish famine emigrants on their journey of hope across the Atlantic Ocean. Go below deck and enter the confined spaces, which would be home for passengers and crew for the 45-day voyage. Descend into the cargo hold where the exhibition describes the endurance, struggle and triumph over adversity of those 19th Century emigrants as epitomised by the story of the most famous emigrant sons of New Ross, President John F. Kennedy. These passengers were people desperate to escape the famine conditions in Ireland at the time and conditions for steer...read more

Glendalough

Glendalough

Glendalough (Irish: Gleann Dá Loch, meaning Glen of Two Lakes) is a glacial valley located in County Wicklow, Ireland, renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin, a hermit priest, and destroyed in 1398 by English troops. History of Glendalough Kevin, a descendant of one of the ruling families in Leinster, studied as a boy under the care of three holy men, Eoghan, Lochan, and Eanna. During this time, he went to Glendalough. He was to return later, with a small group of monks to found a monastery where the 'two rivers form a confluence'. His fame as a holy man spread and he attracted numerous followers. He died in about 618. For six centuries afterwards, Glendalough flourished and the Irish Annals contain references to the deat...read more

Hook Lighthouse Centre

Hook Lighthouse Centre

The Hook Lighthouse (also know as Hook Head Lighthouse) is situated at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, in Ireland, is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world. Operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Irish Lighthouse Authority, the Hook marks the eastern entrance to Waterford Harbour History The existing tower dates from the twelfth century, though tradition states that Dubhan, a missionary to the Wexford area, established some sort of beacon as early as the 5th century. The exact circumstance of the initial construction on the present structure are the subject of some controversy. It had been thought that the tower was constructed in 1172 by Raymond LeGros as part of his conquests in Ireland, both to establish the lighthouse and to serve as a fortre...read more

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle (Irish: Caisleán Chill Chainnigh) is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland. It was the seat of the Butler family. Formerly the family name was FitzWalter. The castle was sold to the local Castle Restoration Committee in the middle of the 20th century for £50. Shortly afterward it was handed over to the State, and has since been refurbished and is open to visitors. Part of the National Art Gallery is on display in the castle. There are ornamental gardens on the city side of the castle, and extensive land and gardens to the front. It has become one of the most visited tourist sites in Ireland. Kilkenny castle was the venue for the meeting of the General Assembly, or parliament, of the Confederate Ireland government in the 1640s. Awards and conferring ceremonies...read more

Titanic Walk

Titanic Walk

The Titanic Trail is a guided tour around the streets and environs of Cobh, revealing locations and incidents directly connected to the Titanic and many other aspects of the port's history. The actual building in which the White Star Line Cobh Oark Office was is visited. The very pier where Titanic passengers departed is seen. St. Colmans Cathedral, the Holy Ground, and the site of the landing of Lusitania victims are all pointed out to the visitor and interspersed with a multitude of emigrant, military and maritime history. The trail brings the whole era of Sailing Ships, departing emigrants (almost 3 million left from Cobh) and great military fleets to life in a way that leaves a lasting impression on the visitor. ...read more

Trinity College & Book of Kells

Trinity College & Book of Kells

Trinity is located in the centre of Dublin, Ireland, on College Green opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament (now a branch of the Bank of Ireland). The campus occupies 190,000m² (47 acres), with many buildings, both old and new, ranged around large courts (known as "squares") and two playing fields. The Library of Trinity College is a copyright library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million books and significant quantities of maps, manuscripts and music. The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland. As a result of its historic standing, Trinity is a legal deposit library (as per Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003) for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and has a similar standing in Irish law....read more

Waterford Crystal Centre

Waterford Crystal Centre

The iconic House of Waterford Crystal in the heart of Waterford city, comprises of a brand new manufacturing facility, visitor centre and retail outlet. Visitors can enjoy all aspects of the manufacturing process through the factory tour and learn about both historical and contemporary production techniques through direct interaction with the craftsmen and the audiovisual materials. The manufacturing facility contains a brand new continuous melt tank furnace that has been tailor-made to Waterford Crystal’s specifications, and produces two tonnes of molten crystal every day, which produces 45,000 high-end crystal pieces per year. It uses leading edge technology to deliver molten crystal of the highest quality for skilled master blowers to hand-shape and hand-blow into Water...read more

Avoca Handweavers

Avoca Handweavers

The birthplace of the Avoca experience, and the origin of the company name, Avoca Handweavers, this is a famous tourist destination, as well as a long time favourite among the Dublin and Wicklow communities. Built on the banks of the Avoca River from where it used to draw it's power, you'll find a large Avoca store and cafe, and a working handweaving mill. The mill itself dates from 1723, and is said to be the oldest extant manufacturer in Ireland. Many of the throws, rugs and scarves you'll find in the Avoca stores are woven at this mill. Initially the mill took the raw wool from the sheep of the surrounding hills and valleys and through a process of carding, spinning, dyeing and weaving transformed it into clothing and blankets for barter and sale. Visitors are welcome to see ...read more

National Stud & Japanese Gardens

National Stud & Japanese Gardens

The Irish National Stud (official name: Colucht Groighe Naisiunta na hÉireann Teo (The Irish National Stud Co. Ltd)) is a horse breeding facility based at Tully, Kildare, County Kildare, Ireland. It was formally established by incorporation on 11 April 1946 under the National Stud Act, 1945 and is owned by the Irish Government. The lands around Tully have been associated with the breeding of horses since about 1300, when it is likely that war horses were bred here for the Knights of Malta. However, the first record of the setting up of a stud farm is in 1900, when the lands were purchased from a local farmer James Fay, by Colonel William Hall-Walker, who later became Lord Wavertree. As 'Willie' Walker approached middle age, he turned his attention to the owning and breeding...read more

Powerscourt House & Gardens

Powerscourt House & Gardens

Powerscourt Estate is located near Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens, today occupying 19 hectares (47 acres). The house, originally a 13th century castle, was extensively altered during the 18th century by German architect Richard Cassels, starting in 1731 and finishing in 1741. A fire in 1974 left the house lying as a shell until it was renovated in 1996. The estate is today owned and run by the Slazenger family. It is a popular tourist attraction, and includes a golf course, an Avoca Handweavers restaurant, and a Ritz-Carlton hotel. The original owner of the 13th century castle was a man by the name of la Poer, which was eventually anglicised to Power. The castle's position was of strategic militar...read more

Skellig Experience

Skellig Experience

The Skellig Islands (Irish: Na Scealaga) are two small, steep and rocky islands lying about 16 km west of Bolus Head on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. They are famous for their thriving gannet and puffin populations, and for an early Christian monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The smaller island is Little Skellig (Sceilig Bheag in Irish). It is closed to the public, and holds Ireland's largest and the world's second-largest Northern Gannet colony, with almost 30,000 pairs. It is about 1.5 km east of Great Skellig. Also known as Skellig Michael (Sceilig Mhichíl in Irish), Great Sceilig is the larger of the two islands, rising to over 230 m above sea level. With a sixth-century Christian monastery perched on a ledge close to the top, Great Skel...read more

Aillwee Cave and the Burren Birds of Prey Centre

Aillwee Cave and the Burren Birds of Prey Centre

The unique karst landscape of the Burren Region is home to Aillwee Cave and the Burren Birds of Prey, located in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. This stunning creation of nature was formed by the melt waters of a prehistoric ice age. The cave, carved out of limestone, cuts one third of a mile into the heart of the mountains. The story of Aillwee Cave began millions of years ago when streams sinking underground on Aillwee Mountain started dissolving channels through the lines of weakness in the limestone. About one million years ago the ice age began and from then until fifteen thousand years ago Ireland's climate alternated between arctic coldness and warmer periods, freezing and melting, freezing and melting over the centuries. This melting water roared and crashed its way through the Aillwee Cave greatly enlarging the passage and bringing with it large quantities of sand and silts which are still present in the inner cave. The earliest history of the cave is preserved in its roof. Aillwee is one of the most ancient caves in the Burren and perhaps in Ireland. ...read more

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory - the Space for Science is Cork’s fun and exciting location to learn about the Universe. Today the Castle is a science centre and is home to Cosmos at the Castle, an award winning interactive astronomy exhibition which highlights recent scientific discoveries and their implications for life in outer space....read more

Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre

Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre

Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre is a premier and unique tourist destination in Ireland. A fun day out for all the family. This interactive History tour takes the form of a Live Re-enactment. The actors play their parts and stay in character constantly. All the characters work in Goat Castle (as Dalkey Castle was called then) in the 1500s and 1600s....read more

Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park

At Fota Wildlife Park You can come face to face with the animals as they roam freely around the park and see them feeding and foraging for food. Our specially-constructed Cheetah Run is a popular hit as crowds can witness the speed and power that makes the Cheetah such an incredible predator in the wild while they try to catch their prey. The park hosts endangered and exotic species from around the world including giraffes, penguins, zebras, gibbons to name but a few. ...read more

Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum

Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum

Glasnevin Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Ireland and was first opened in 1832. It was established as a place where people of all religions and none could bury their dead with dignity; the cemetery has grown to become a national monument and is a vital part of the Irish Heritage story. Glasnevin Museum is a must see for anyone interested in Irish Heritage and Genealogy. The exhibitions over two floors, shows the social, historical, political and artistic development of modern Ireland through the lives of the generations buried in Ireland’s necropolis. The tour includes a visit the crypt of Daniel O Connell. Other Museum facilities include the Tower Cafe which offers a wide and varied menu and the Glasnevin Trust Shop which stocks exclusive gifts and souvenirs. Glasnevin...read more

Jerpoint Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey is a ruined Cistercian abbey, founded in the second half of the 12th century, near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. It was constructed in 1180, probably on the site of an earlier Benedictine monastery built in 1160 by Domnall Mac Gilla Patraic, King of Osraige. Jerpoint is notable for its stone carvings, including one at the tomb of Felix O'Dulany, Bishop of the Diocese of Ossory when the abbey was founded. The abbey passed into the possession of James, Earl of Ormand, in 1541 and has been a national monument and has been in the care of the Office of Public Works since 1880. Close to Jerpoint Abbey, at Newtown Jerpoint, are the ruins of a church where a local legend places the grave of Saint Nicholas! The most remarkable part is a reconstructed 15th Century sculptured c...read more

Lismore Castle & Gardens

Lismore Castle & Gardens

Henry II visited Lismore in 1171 and chose a site for a castle. Raymond le Gros and his Anglo-Normans ransacked the town two years later and Henry’s castle site was built upon by Prince John in 1185. These events marked a decline in influence for monastic years later and Henry’s castle site was built upon by Prince John in 1185. These events marked a decline in influence for monastic Lismore. In 1363, the diocese was united with that of Waterford, although it retained its cathedral until the Reformation. Lismore Castle is located in the town of Lismore, in County Waterford in Ireland. It was largely re-built in the Gothic style during the mid-nineteenth century by William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire. The castle site was originally occupied by Lismore Abbey, an i...read more

Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park

The Phoenix Park is one of the largest and most magnificent city parks in Europe. A lively and entertaining exhibition on the history and wildlife of the Phoenix Park is on display in the Visitor Centre. Here visitors can receive information and enjoy a historical interpretation of the park from 3500BC to the present day. There is a special section for children which allows them to explore the wonders of forest life. Temporary exhibitions are also regularly on display in the centre. Adjoining the Visitor Centre is the fully restored Ashtown Castle, a medieval tower house that probably dates before the 17th century. The castle had been incorporated into an 18th century mansion and was 'rediscovered' when this building was demolished due to dry rot. ...read more