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24th May 2022

9 of the best outdoor family experiences in Ireland’s Ancient East


Brought to you by Discover Ireland

From treetop walks to riverside cycles, woodland zips to waterpark fun, family adventure awaits in Ireland’s Ancient East.

Beyond the Trees Avondale, Co Wicklow

Beyond the Trees Avondale is the longest treetop walk in Ireland. Gently wind your way through the Yew and Giant Redwoods until you are 38 metres above the forest floor, where you’ll be rewarded with 360° panoramic views. Whizz back down on the giant spiral slide then wander the walking trails and relax in the walled garden and autism-friendly sensory garden.

Top tip: The boardwalk is fully accessible for wheelchairs and buggies.

Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre, Co Monaghan

For a wet and wild time head to Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre. Navigate beautiful Lough Muckno Park on stand up paddleboards, rafted canoes or kayaks, or get to grips with rock climbing and master the ancient skill of archery. With expert instructors on hand, this day out is high-energy, low stress, and full of fun.

Top tip: Recharge and fuel in the Trailer Café.

Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co Kilkenny

Spend the day challenging yourselves with climbing walls and treetop obstacle courses before zipping over the stunning woodland on Ireland’s longest zip line. If you prefer your activities more mild than wild, Castlecomer Discovery Park also has plenty of tranquil walking trails to enjoy.

Top tip: The Junior Woodland Adventure Course is suitable for children aged 3–8 years old.

Funky Town Adventure Centre, Co Cork

Explore some of Cork Harbour’s hidden gems with a unique cave exploration experience. Aboard a kayak, you and your little adventurers will embark on a two hour tour of Cork’s stunning coastline and get the opportunity to explore nearby caves and learn more about the wildlife that inhabit this area.

Top tip: Wetsuits and any safety equipment you’ll need can be rented on site – all you need to bring is a swimsuit and towel.

Suir Blueway, Co Tipperary

Get on your bikes and pedal the 21km cycle route along the towpath from Carrick-on-Suir to Clonmel. The track is suitable for all abilities and there are pretty places to stop en route for a picnic, making this route an idyllic way to explore the river trails and serene countryside of the East. Or, if you want to hit the water, this exciting trail also gives you the option of paddling along the Suir Blueway by kayak, ideal for a summer day out.

Top tip: There are four different stages, so you choose the distance with which the whole family is comfortable.

Irish National Stud, Co Kildare

Giddy up and ride over to the Irish National Stud to admire the frolicking foals, magnificent mares and spectacular stallions. Learn all about horse racing through the interactive exhibitions before crossing the finish line on a thoroughbred in the ‘race’ simulator — an immersive and exhilarating experience and the first of its kind in Ireland.

Top tip: After the race, lower your pulse with a stroll around the peaceful Japanese Gardens.

Quadventure, Co Wexford

Get your quad squad together and enjoy an action-packed day out surrounded by the scenic Blackstairs Mountains. At Quadventure, you ride over level fields, tackle dug out ditches, navigate dips and turns and splash through waterlogged gripes. It’s good, clean fun getting dirty in the mud.

Top tip: Helmets and protective gear are provided. A change of clothes is advisable.

Skypark Carlingford, Co Louth

A thrilling day out awaits at Skypark Carlingford, Ireland’s biggest Adventure Park. Enjoy an array of activities both in the air and on the ground, from ziplines to axe throwing, footgolf to aeroball. Got a daredevil in the family? They can tackle the longest aerial adventure course in Ireland.

Top tip: There are sandpits for toddlers to enjoy.

Wibit Aquapark at Dunmore Adventure, Co Waterford

If you are a family of aqua fanatics, then head on over to Wibit Aquapark at Dunmore Adventure for a splashing good time. This adventure playground on the water is filled with swings, slides, cliffs, spinners, and towers on which you slide, climb and jump.

Top tip: Spectators can watch from the beach where there is a cafe.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to Keep Discovering Ireland’s Ancient East.

The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this summer and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace.

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Brought to you by Discover Ireland