You know the saying, there’s no place like Ireland when the sun is shining? -It’s true! More and more families are packing up their car and hitting the road for a holiday on our gorgeous island during the summer and surrounding months. Ireland is home to some of the world’s loveliest beaches, friendliest people and impressive natural wonders. Whales and dolphins swim off our coast, mountains can be seen in the distance and there is no shortage of greenery.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your family and get ready for an incredible trip in Ireland. Here’s some of our favourite locations for weekend breaks for families in Ireland:
The charismatic and colourful town of Westport lies on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Packed with activities for all ages, Westport is the perfect spot for a family break.
Accessible by train, bus and car, bring your bikes to Westport and enjoy the Great Western Greenway cycle route that runs from Westport to Achill Island. Westport House is a must-visit with many activities to enjoy such as Pirate Adventure Park, pedal boats, bouncy castles, playgrounds and more. Beautiful sights can be seen around Westport from the colourful shop fronts on the main street to the natural wonder of Clew Bay. Trad music sessions take place most nights in the town’s bars for the adults to enjoy.
Home to Ireland’s most loved celebrity Fungi the dolphin, Dingle town is also situated along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry. Dingle has been a top destination for family breaks for many years due to the large amount of activities nearby. Surfing, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, swimming, hiking and walking are all easily accessible.
Visit the local open farm where children can enjoy a hands-on experience with the animals or see fish, sharks, penguins, reptiles, otters and jellyfish at Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium. Dingle has lots of traditional pubs that host live music sessions for parents and older family members. There’s no shortage of family fun in Dingle.
Next, we’re over to Ireland’s Ancient East to the seaside town of Rosslare in County Wexford. The blue flag beach at Rosslare stretches over 4.5 kilometres of stone and sand. The beach is manned by a lifeguard in the summer months making it safer for families. Rosslare is also home to the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world. Hook Lighthouse has been voted as one of Ireland’s favourite attractions and is well worth a visit to catch a glimpse of life on sea hundreds of years ago.
Other activities in Rosslare and the surrounding area include the Heritage Park, Secret Valley Wildlife Park and Pirates Cove Adventure Park.
Tip: Check out our tips for driving long distances with children and how to keep your children safe while travelling in the car here.
Thought to be Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford is a great place to take your family especially in the summer months when the sun shines along Ireland’s Sunny South East coast. If your family enjoys physical activity you can take surf lessons or rent bikes to cycle along the scenic Waterford Greenway. If history and hearing stories is more your thing, the Treasures of Medieval Museum Waterford cannot be missed. They run tours of the Viking areas of Waterford that are led by costumed actors that will transport you and your family back to medieval times.
There’s lots more to explore and enjoy at Waterford such as a cruise along the River Suir, a visit to Ardmore Open Farm and Mini Zoo and Run Amuck indoor activity play centre.
West Cork spans from the west side of Cork City down to Ireland’s most southerly point Mizen Head. Renowned for its beauty and friendliness, Kinsale, Bandon Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Macroom, Bantry, Sheep’s Head Peninsula, and Beara Peninsula all lie in the realms of West Cork. The area is a prime location for weekend breaks for families and there is so much to do. You can visit the beach in Barleycove, go kayaking at night on Lough Hyne or complete a sea safari in Clonakilty where you could see dolphins, whales and even puffins.
West Cork has lots to offer parents too. Think cosy traditional pubs, incredible local food, famer’s markets and craft shops.
Tip: Discover 10 family-friendly walks in Cork.
Galway has been chosen as the European Capital of Culture 2020 and is an exciting location for a short break with your family. Special events for all age groups will be taking place throughout the year to showcase the best of Galway. Galway city is also home to Ireland’s National Aquarium which contains the country’s largest display of sea and freshwater life. Leisure Land is another popular spot for families in the city with 3 pools, a water slide, pirates cove and outdoor activities in summer.
There’s lots more to see and do around Galway. Just outside the city is Loughwell Farm Park where pigs, ponies, cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens, donkeys, rabbits and reindeer live. Children can pet the animals and enjoy the park’s activity centre with bouncy castles, obstacle courses and lots more.
Discover 10 family-friendly walks in Galway.
Wherever you decide to visit with your family make sure that you are protected with a comprehensive or third party fire and theft car insurance policy. Get an online car insurance quote in just minutes with AIG.