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Ten ideas for families exploring Ireland's Ancient East
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Explore the eerie dungeons of Wicklow Gaol, zip-line though the forest in Meath or travel back in time and visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship in Wexford.

Plan an epic family outing and see some of the treasures of Ireland’s Ancient East, try out these unique experiences now.

1Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford
Immerse yourself in five thousand years of Irish history at the Irish National Heritage Park .

Immerse yourself in five thousand years of Irish history at the Irish National Heritage Park in Ferrycarrig, Wexford. With 16 separate sites dotted through 35 acres of woodland and wetland, have a family sleepover in a replica 1,500-year-old ring fort. A bucket list experience for both young and old, why not plan your visit now? 

2Wicklow Gaol, Dublin

Discover the history of Wicklow Gaol which operated between 1702 and 1922. Take the brilliant, interactive tour led by knowledgeable guides, visit the spooky dungeons and feel the chill as you listen to strange tales of haunted happenings in days gone by. 

4Emo Court, House Laois

Roam the gorgeous gardens and expansive parklands of Emo Court House, tire your children out with plenty of fresh air and outdoor games. Stroll around the picturesque estate with over 35 hectares of woodland walks, statues and a 20-acre lake. Find a pretty spot and break for a family picnic, making some special memories.  

5Birr Castle, Offaly
 There's lots to do and see for all the family at Birr Castle and Gardens.

The famous Leviathan telescope of Birr Castle Science and Gardens Centre is a must for  amateur astronomers and younger explorers aren’t forgotten either. Discover the country’s largest treehouse, play in the sand pits and take on the climbing frames, a treat for the little ones (and the big kids too).  

6Irish National Stud, Kildare

The Irish National Stud is one of the world’s leading thoroughbred breeding centres. Take a guided tour to see the magnificent creatures up close. Top your visit off with a wander through the Japanese Gardens – a true masterpiece designed by one of Japan’s great horticulturalists, Tassa Eida and his son Minoru. 

7Kilkenny Way Hurling Experience and Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny

Book in for the Kilkenny Way Hurling Experience  and get a hands-on introduction to the  ancient game. Learn about the finer points of blocking and free-taking, perfect for your mini sports fans. Go to nearby Castlecomer Discovery Park for more family fun, persuade everyone to give the epic zipline a go.  

8Hook Head Lighthouse and Dunbrody Famine Ship, Wexford

Head to Hook Head Lighthouse, recognised as the oldest operating lighthouse in the world. Its magnificent beacon has been guiding ships entering Wexford Harbour for 800 years. Journey on to the Dunbrody Famine Ship and stop off at the Irish Emigrant Experience. Travel back in time with the costumed characters and interactive tours capturing your children’s imaginations.  

 

9Shandon Bells, English Market and Ballycotton Lighthouse, Cork

For a unique experience, visit the legendary Shandon Bells in Cork City. Become a bell ringer for the afternoon, explore the inner workings of the famous clock and climb 132 steps to enjoy spectacular 360 degree views of the city. Afterwards, forage for a feast in the English Market and round off the day with a trip to the stunning Ballycotton Lighthouse.  

10Loughcrew Adventure Centre, Meath

Brave enough to tackle the longest zip-line in Ireland? Make time for Loughcrew Adventure Centre near Oldcastle, for zip-lining, archery, tree-climbing and a chance to explore the Forest Crystal Maze. Drop by Loughcrew Gardens for some tasty refreshments and well-deserved relaxation.