We are planning atrip in June to Ireland,probably flying into Shannon. Where and what would be interesting things to do and see with a 12 year old girl?
We have taken kids from age 3 to age 18 and everyone had a good time. Flying into Shannon, you should visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, which is only a few miles from the airport. The Cliffs of Moher are nearby, too. Further north into the Burren, you could visit Aillwee Cave. We stayed at farmhouse B&Bs, and the kids loved seeing the animals. On one of the farms, the owners raised and trained jumping horses. On another, there were new lambs that the owners allowed the kids to hold. Off the highway to Cork from Limerick, there is a donkey sanctuary that you might enjoy seeing. It is to the west of a town called Buttevant. If you are interested, please message me and I can give you details about it.
You could go to Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo and go to the falconry school on their grounds which offers short or long walks with the falcons. My young nieces loved this and we've got some great photos of them with the birds. Check out www.falconry.ie for more information. If you want to see some of the buildings that were featured in the movie "The Quiet Man", there's a few around Cong.
If you go to the Aran Islands, a tour with one of the guides that drives a pony & trap could be way more fun for a 12 year old than the other guides that just drive mini-vans.
If you head to Dublin, a visit underneath St. Michan's Church to check out the "mummies"/bog bodies in the crypt is fun for a lot of kids who enjoy slightly spooky sites (they actually encourage you to touch the hand on one of the mummies as it is supposed to bring you luck).
The Saturday morning marketplace outside St. Nicholas Collegiate Church in Galway can be a fun way to spend an hour.
My daughters love riding horses and if your daughter is interested in riding, even if a beginner, there are many beautiful places to do that all over Ireland and many on the west side. A web site to check is discoverireland.ie which lists all the equestrian centers by location and gives links to each. My oldest daughter and I will be riding in Ireland in June. Have fun!
12 year old girl?
Horseback riding and shopping.
I've never been, but my kids have read the Artemis Fowl books ( 1 14yo girl, one 12yo boy) and I was REALLY surprised that when we were looking at travel books they got all pumped about Newgate and the prehistoric (fairy) sites. They have awfully fond memories involving castle ruins, and apparently prehistoric ruins seem even cooler. I reccommend the books for that age if you are planning a trip to Ireland and do not find fantasy literature offending. The audio book for the first one is read in a lovely, lilting Irish accent that my kids love.