Get ready to be awed as you enter one of Europe’s most famous caves on the Cork-Tipperary border. Underground and in a world without sun, young and old will be captivated in the timeless Mitchelstown Caves where nature reigns supreme.
Explore three massive caverns filled with breathtaking dripstone formations, stalactites and stalagmites with the Cave’s expert guides. Here you’ll find graceful calcite curtains that drape from the ceiling, crystals that shimmer like diamonds and towering columns.
Pack a picnic to enjoy outside these beautiful caves, with views of the Galtee Mountains ahead. The caves are open seven days a week during summer and autumn months but at weekends only during winter and early spring.
Explore historic Cashel
Cashel Folk Village Museum
Journey north-east towards Cashel and get a whirlwind tour of Tipperary’s history at the Cashel Folk Village Museum. Featuring displays on the Great Famine, Penal Times and local nuggets, the museum tells Tipperary’s story in a unique way. Kids will be fascinated by the collection of historical memorabilia and the audiovisual show of the Great Hunger.
View a Penal Chapel built with 12th-century stones at the museum, which has an incredible collection of religious artefacts like the Stations of the Cross, which were brought back from Ypres in Belgium following the First World War.
Open from late March to mid-October, you can make an appointment to visit off-season.
Rock of Cashel
The iconic Rock of Cashel is just a two-minute drive up the road from the museum. Medieval ecclesiastical buildings dominate the landscape on this limestone outcrop in the Golden Vale.
The 12th century round tower is the oldest surviving building on the Rock which also includes the ruins of a Romanesque chapel and High Cross. Also known as St. Patrick’s Rock, it is the 13th century Gothic Cathedral which captivates people the most and visitors can spend time exploring the ins and outs of its architecture. The cathedral is a large cruciform church without aisles and was built between 1230 and 1270.
A 15th century castle and Hall of the Vicars are the entry points to this ecclesiastical enclosure and the site includes an audiovisual show and exhibitions that will bring the story to life for the kids.
Keeping in theme with fascinating religious sites, almost right next door is Hore Abbey. Young explorers can weave in and out of this former Benedictine monastery which was built in the 13th-century.
Now in ruins, only the church and sections of the east range remain as part of this picturesque Abbey found among the green fields of Tipperary. It’s quieter than its neighbour, which makes this idyllic spot a perfect place to snap a family photo.
Glen of Aherlow
With plenty of history under your belt, take a walk into the wilds at the Glen of Aherlow. Lace up your walking shoes and head on a looped trail or stroll through the nature park; the fresh air will do all the family good in this beautiful place.
There are eight looped walks on Slievenamuck each brimming with their own intrigue. All levels of fitness are catered to in this walkers’ paradise, and routes will take budding explorers through forest tracks and open moorland to corrie lakes and extraordinary mountain scenery.
Five of the eight looped walks begin at Christ the King Trail Head and three from Lisvarrinane Village Trail Head. Aside from the looped walks, there are also two linear walks in the Galtee Mountains.
The Glen of Aherlow Nature Park is perfect for families who want to take a peaceful woodland ramble and view the plants, flowers and the natural habitat of the animals that make up this wonderful ecosystem. Explore the ruins of a former labourer’s dwelling, Lenihan’s Cottage and see the restored bridge on the old Bianconi Road. If you are unsure of where to start, the local tourism office at the Glen will point you in the right direction. Open daily, nature is always at its best in the scenic Glen of Aherlow.
Enjoy Tipperary’s rich history while exploring its beautiful wilds on your next short break with the family. Have a look at our Tipperary destination page to find an endless amount of family friendly activities.