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beth4kids Jan 2nd, 2005 07:16 PM

Ireland with kids
Anyone have a great itinerary and hotels or castles that would be approriate with children (twin four year olds, 9 & 11)? We will be in Ireland for 12 nights.

IrishEyes Jan 3rd, 2005 03:25 PM

More info would be needed for people to comment on your questions. For instance, what are your arrival and departure cities? What time of year will you be there? Are you traveling around by car? Are you on a budget? If so many castle hotels might be too expensive. What are your interests and what in particular do you want to see and do? Do you mostly want to do kid friendly things or mix it up with things the adults are interested in too? Someone might just have a great itinerary that they did but it might not suit someone traveling with kids. Had you thought of self-catering? It might save you money.

beth4kids Jan 6th, 2005 02:51 PM

We will be arriving from london so, we could probably fly into sevearl locations (have not booked that part yet). Our dates are August 24 through September 4th. We usually try to do all the big important tourist attractions with our kids and then try to stay somewhere where they can swim or play in the afternoon. We want to drive ourselves (probably in a minivan??)and givne that I do all the packing and un-packing and that we are coming from London, I am not sure we could stay in more than four places. Also not sure a B&B would work. We usually figure out a way to self cater (dry cereal and other non-perishables) and like to have one nice restaurant meal a day. This is a big trip for us and I would rather spring for the really important accomodations. I would love to hear from someone with any ideas. Thanks, Beth

Ann41 Jan 7th, 2005 08:47 AM

You'll be hard-pressed to find self-catering accommodation that time of year for stays of less than one week. That's not to say you definitely won't, but it will be difficult.

Hotels are becoming a better option in the Republic as B&B prices having been getting out of hand, particularly for 6 people, unless you can get a family rate. Hotels are doing more deals these days, too.

I'm not that familiar with castles in the south. But Carrickfergus Castle in Northern Ireland is great for kids. They show a short movie on the history of the castle, and also have period costumes for kids to dress-up in. There's a pub across and down the street (can't remember the name, but it's yellow) that does a great children's menu. Further up the Antrim Coast is Dunluce Castle. It's mainly ruins, but you can still walk through it and as it's perched on cliffs above the Atlantic, the views are spectacular. And plenty of places for kids to explore. Not far from there is the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, which is a rope and wooden bridge about 80 feet above the water, which any kids I have taken there have loved. They also loved the Giant's Causeway, also along the Antrim Coast.

You could fly into Dublin and drive up north, stopping at Newgrange on the way up. There's a small town in County Down called Killyleagh. Killyleagh Castle is the oldest privately owned castle on the island of Ireland, and you can rent rooms there. It's probably the cheapest castle accommodation you can find. I've never been in one of the rooms, however.

There's a great park--Delamount--about a mile away with a wonderful playground. You're also on the Strangford Lough.

beth4kids Jan 7th, 2005 02:30 PM

Dear Anna41; Thanks for the info my kids would love your ideas. Beth

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