With so much to explore, here’s some of the best child-friendly experiences in lovely Leitrim.
Carrick on Shannon
Start your family visit to Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon, the cruising capital of Ireland, where you can explore the buzzing streets, have a picnic by the River Shannon or set out on a cruising adventure. Hire a boat yourself and set off on a short cruise from Carrick-on-Shannon or hop on board the Moon River Cruise for a one hour trip to enjoy the best views of the river.
Food lover’s haven
At the cobbled market square in the centre of Carrick-on-Shannon, one of the most charming spots in all of Leitrim, you’ll find quirky independently owned shops and a regular farmer’s market. Visit family-friendly restaurant Vittos for its great selection of freshly produced crowd-pleasers, served up in the beautiful, cut-stone building.
For afters, take a short stroll through the town for a famous chocolate covered bun in Coffee’s Pastry Case on Bridge Street - a much-loved Leitrim treat. Order it to go and enjoy it looking out on the river.
All-weather family fun
Among the many family-friendly activities you’ll find in Carrick-on-Shannon, there’s great swimming, aqua aerobics and spa facilities at Aura Leisure Centre. The extensive class and summer camp schedule at the pool and wellness complex is a good alternative if you need a break from the great outdoors.
Glamping in Leitrim
Just ten minutes outside Carrick-on-Shannon you can make some great memories on a family camping trip. Take the hassle out of pitching your own tent and head to glamping campsite Beirnes of Battlebridge, near Leitrim Village. Enjoy all the charm of sleeping outdoors, but none of the backache, in the range of cute, comfortable caravans and boho yurts.
Cavan and Leitrim Railway
Fifteen minutes’ drive south of Carrick-on-Shannon in the pretty fishing village of Dromod, the kids love hopping on board the steam train at Cavan and Leitrim Railway. Feed their imaginations further with the impressive collection of old aircraft, vehicles and historical artefacts from the two World Wars, perfect for little history fans.
Glenview Folk Museum
From Dromod it’s a 30 minute drive to Ballinamore where the whole family can take a fascinating look at the history of Leitrim and beyond at Glenview Folk Museum. Filled with war memorabilia and tradesmen’s tools from an Ireland gone by, kids are fascinated by a world before Wi-Fi and technology.
North Leitrim and the Leitrim Coast
Start your visit to North Leitrim in Mahorhamilton, exploring the lovely countryside before making your way to the coast.
Manorhamilton Castle and Heritage Centre
Like many plantation era buildings, Manorhamilton Castle offers an insight into the turbulent history of Ireland. Today, a permanent exhibition runs in the castle’s ruins, which includes 17th century artefacts, replica period costumes and beautiful furniture from the castle, giving you a peek through the centuries of what life was like in this grand pile long ago. Booking is essential and, while you’re in the area, why not take in a night of theatre or music at The Glens Arts Centre?
Visit Parkes Castle
From Manorhamilton it’s just a 15 minute drive to Parkes Castle, the plantation era fortified manor house overlooking the beautiful banks of Lough Gill which was originally the stronghold of the O'Rourke Clan. Little ones enjoy exploring the impressive turrets and round towers. In the cobbled courtyard, you’ll find the remnants of a traditional 17th century blacksmith forge and learn all about the rulers of the kingdom of Breffni at the audio-visual exhibition.
Surfing in Leitrim
Leitrim has just 4km of coastline but, it certainly makes the most of it. Head north to Tullaghan for surfing lessons at The Leitrim Surf Company who’ll provide equipment and guidance for families of all ages and levels.
While you’re in Leitrim
Learn bushcraft, paddle on open waterways or forage in the glens of Leitrim – the perfect zen experiences to ease the whole family into nature and escape from the modern world.
With so much family fun to be had in Leitrim, the kids will be asking when they can return, all the way home.