1. Loughy Key Forest and Activity Park:

Lough Key has for many centuries drawn people to its spectacular views, abundant wildlife, historic buildings and evocative islands. It now has a multitude of facilties to make it the perfect trip for you and your family. The Visitors centre features a Lakeside Cafe with outdoor deck area for when you’re peckish overlooking an outdoor playground. The main facilities include:

Boda Borg –  This Swedish idea contains 47 adventure rooms! It contains fun-filled activities, imaginative puzzles and enjoyable tasks but no instructions. It’s up to your group to figure them out to progress onto the next room. This section of the park is indoors so you can take part no matter the weather! Entry Fee Required.

Adventure Play Kingdom – The outdoor Adventure Play Kingdom is an enclosed and stimulating play area with towers, slides, climbing frames, roundabouts, swings, puzzles and other innovative play equipment suitable for a variety of ages and abilities. Entry Fee Required.

Lough Key Experience with Treetop Canopy – Discover how this fascinating landscape has been shaped; from underground to up amongst the treetops, ‘Irelands only Tree Canopy Walk, a truly unique experience immersing you in the history, flora and fauna that make Lough Key so unique. Self guided tour or tour guide on request with groups. Entry Fee Required.

Free facilities inlcude: the wonderful expanse of Lough Key Park, check out the Bog Gardens, the Big Tree and the Fairy Bridge. The park also hosts cycle trails for you and your family to get out about on foot or on wheels! They also have a campsite for those of you who want to stay for longer. Find the park in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Find them here – http://loughkey.ie/

Hiking and camping ireland family fun

2. Marble Arch Caves:

At the foothills of Cuilcagh Mountain an incredible subterranean world awaits. Experience the beauty and brilliance of nature with a visit to the Marble Arch Caves. Want to do something a bit different with the kid’s as a family? Take a trip up to Florencecourt, Co. Fermanagh so they can see geography at work and learn some history.

A guided tour lasts approximately 75 minutes; although, the length of the tour is weather dependent and parts of the cave may be inaccessible after heavy rain. It involves a short boat journey and a guided walk of about 1.5km, with 160 steps to climb at the end. An Audio Visual presentation on the Marble Arch Caves and the wider Geopark is available to watch free of charge at the Visitor Centre. Contact before arrival for booking, suitable for all ages. Under 5’s go free!

Other attraction in surrounding area include: Shannon Pot, Whitefather’s Cave and others. You can go cycling, walking, fishing.  Perfect for a full day out with the family.  Visit the site – http://www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com/

Hiking and camping ireland family fun

3. Teapot Lane Glamping:

Do you want to go away with your family whilst have an equal mix between the outdoors and comfort? Campfires and an on-site spa helps to keep that balance! Teapot Lane is all about the experience of sleeping in a tree house, a luxury yurt or a cute thatched cottage, making new friends, enjoying a family vacation, swinging in a hammock, reading a book,…..taking the chance to relax and enjoy your holiday. The Fairie Garden (down by the children’s tree house) and Hen House are perfect for keeping your little one’s busy while you relax. Based in Tawley, Co.Leitrim. Find them here – http://www.glampingireland.ie/

Hiking and camping ireland family fun

4. Zip it Forest Adventures:

With it’s 3 Irish locations, Zip It is fun for all the family. It is based in Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Co. Roscommon (mentioned earlier), Tibradden Wood, Co. Dublin and Farren Park, Co. Cork. Zipit Forest Adventures offers up to 4 hours of tree-top, fun-filled, adventure challenge in a healthy, outdoor setting for adults and children from age 7. Climb poles and climbing walls, swing into cargo nets, balance on a rope bridge, hurtle down a zipwire, even ride a BMX across a treetop bridge! Check them out here – http://www.zipit.ie/welcome-to-zipit-forest-adventures/

Hiking and camping ireland family fun

5. Sliabh an Iarann Visitor Centre:

Now relocated to Drumshanbo, bring the kids in to the Sliabh an Iarann Visitor Centre, then let them play in the playground or use the outdoor swimming pool that’s open during the summer months! The centre provides audio-visual displays about the Arigna and the Sliabh an Iarainn mountains area in County Leitrim, with special emphasis on the railway, the canal, lakes, iron and coal mining.

Want to give Sliabh an Iarainn a go yourself? The Sliabh an Iarainn Hillwalking Club run regular walks in Aghacashel or tackle it yourselves as a family.

Hiking and camping ireland family fun

6. Cycle Adventures:

The beauty of Ireland is that it has a multitude of places with beautiful scenery to visit with the family. The best part about cycling is that you can bring your bikes all over the country. As mentioned in Part 1, the Blueways have a great cycle trails aswell as waterways. The Great Western Greenway route is currently based in Co. Mayo, stretching from Achille to Westport. As mentioned earlier, Lough Key Forest Park has great cycle trails.

Pack a picnic, grab the right essentials, remember the kids, and shoot off for the day with your bikes in tow. It’s sure to create some great memories. Want to travel around? Bring a tent and camp overnight in your favourite areas. Real adventures for you and your family!

Hiking and camping ireland family fun