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Ireland West/Northwest with Kids of all ages!

Ireland West/Northwest with Kids of all ages!

Old Sep 8th, 2004, 10:53 PM
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Ireland West/Northwest with Kids of all ages!

Suggestions for itinerary desperately welcomed! Trip next July - immediate family of 29, ranging in age from infant to 75. Only eight days including day of arrival. Planning to fly into Dublin, out of Shannon, Hiring coach and driver/guide. Need to visit ancestral county,Leitrim, so thinking it best to concentrate on Northwest and West. We need to have a lot of free time for kids' outdoor activities- yet have things for the adults and teens. This can't be the usual trip/tour with all the kids- so can we manage to give everyone a brief taste of Ireland's beauty and history and hospitality, with a good dose of recreation?
How much can we plan for arrival day - would Trim , Newgrange, maybe the "Causey Experience" in Navan (sounds great for the kids - has anyone been there?), - be possible, then either stay in Meath or continue up to Leitrim?
Will really appreciate any and all ideas for itinerary! Thanks!!
GmaMcD is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2004, 02:03 AM
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Go to Leitrim over Meath. Navan has nothing special to offer kids over the countryside in the west. Carrick on Shannon is lovely in Leitrim. You could rent a boat or do some day trips from here. Also there is an old extate house outside this area that is great for kids ...anyone here in Ireland know what this place is called...I am having a blank. Meath would not have a huge amount to offer in my opinion over the west which is more scenic.
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Old Sep 10th, 2004, 07:42 PM
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With such a complicated trip ahead of you, have you ever thought of getting a proffessional travel planner to help? You can get so much great help here on Fodor's but in the end it is left up to you (or who ever is designated) to actually plan the trip. And sometimes too much info is just as bad as not enough. With such diverse ages, interests, and limited time it could be an excellent option to hire an expert. When you consider that if everyone chips in for the planning it will possibly only be $10 each for a pro to help it might be money well spent. There are those who will disagree but only you can decide.
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 08:50 AM
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Given the relative shortness of your holiday, you're wise to concentrate your time in Ireland''s west/northwest. (Come to think of it, this is a splendid region regardless of the length of your stay.)

I wouldn't dally for too long in and around Meath, although it might be fun, on your arrival day, to tour Trim Castle. It makes for a fun ramble, for kids and adults alike, although the town of Trim itself is hardly memorable. Still, the castle is the largest Anglo-Norman variety in the country. (Mel Gibson used it in his "Braveheart".) In addition, Trim is not out of your way as you head northwest to Leitrim.

Once you reach Leitrim, don't make the mistake of avoiding day-trips over the border and into N. Ireland. County Fermanagh is very appealing and is too often overlooked by Irish holidaymakers. There are great boat trips to be had on the lakes, big houses (Florence Court and Castle Coole) to tour, and cave-touring at Marble Arch (a very kid-friendly attraction). You can also check-out the monastic remains (including a terrific round tower) on Devenish Island. Your group might also enjoy a tour of Belleek Pottery, also located just over the border.

There is so very much on offer in Fermanagh, and we haven't even "visited" Co. Sligo, one of Ireland's very best places as regards holiday touring. Here kids of all ages will enjoy hiking Benbulben Mountain, exploring countless megalithic monuments, tramping about Parke's Castle, and taking leisurely boat rides on unspoiled lakes.

What a great eight-day trip it'll be!

Best of luck.
DavidD is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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Incase you're doing some family research, here's a good site for Leitrim genealogy:


I'd second David's advice to visit Sligo and its many wonderful sights: Carrowmore (a neolithic cemetery with great guided tours), Knocknarea (some of you could hike while others play on the beach below at Strandhill), Parke's Castle (or as we say in our family, O'Rourke's Castle).

For Yeats lovers, you can drive around Loch Gill (stop for a walk or a picnic--the scenery is breathtaking) or visit his grave just outside of Sligo Town. There's also great fishing and golf in this area:


Have a great time finalizing your itinerary.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 09:41 PM
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Thanks David, mvor, Siobhan, Irish Eyes. Your suggestions really appreciated! Wonderful ideas. Yes, Irish Eyes, we are sort of working with professionals but I want a better handle on what I'm looking for first! No one mentioned Newgrange when talking of Trim / Navan areas - should we go there? How does it compare with Carrowmore in Sligo? Is Newgrange far superior or just more well-known? One guide book mentions Loughcrew,too. Are they all passage graves? If we could take in only one of those, in your opinions, which would be the better experience with the kids? (Obviously, if similar, the least crowded & touristy will be desirable)
And DavidD & mvor, you seemed pretty familiar with Sligo - do you know anything about Gillighan's World ? I;m sure the little girls would love a Fairy Land but is it really worthwhile to go out of the way to visit? (and anything in the vicinity for older kids and adults to do/see while the families of little ones were at Gillighan's World?- we'll be on our own bus so breaking off into separate groups will take planning) And what do you know of Markree Castle? Seems to be the least expensive castle for a birthday splurge.
Thanks again. Sorry to be so slow answering - hope you see this to help with these questions!
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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You should be able to find activites like horseback riding, fishing, boating, etc all over Ireland. Are you planning on doing these activities as a large group? Or letting the "kids" take off for a half day and just doing their own thing? Plenty of farms with their own B&B (though I doubt you'll find one that sleeps 29) have such facilities.


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