Ireland with kids!

Please help! We'll be landing in Dublin at 5:00 am with a 10 and 12 YO in tow, ultimately headed to Kinsale that night. However, I'm having trouble composing an itinerary for that 1st day. We'll be in Kinsale for a couple of days so don't feel the need to rush there. Hubbie would like to see Newgrange, then head South. What's best for a family on the way- I suspect the Rock won't hold kids' interest, though I know it's iconic. I see the lackluster reviews of Kilkenny. Thoughts??
Thank you!

Posted by Mark
Colorado Springs, CO, US
8 posts

Julia, Newgrange opens at 9 but everybody says to be then around 30 minutes early. We are doing the same early flight in Sept. You might look at driving to Skerries on the coast after getting the car. There is a Grocery Store that opens at 7am we plan to get picnic food are breakfast and check out the ocean. Several people have sugested Trim Castle for kids. If your kids like Horses the National Stud Farm is on the way to Kinsale. Rock of Cashel is too cool to miss just don't spend more time than the kids can bare. We did a trip to England with our kids at 17 and 13. They acted like they were burdened and bored at the time but still talk about that trip 7 years later. Let them help plan part of the sites to see that gets them invested. Have Fun

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

When you arrive, it will take a bit of time just to get off the plane, get your bags, hit the ATM, maybe grab some breakfast or a drink, and get to the rental counter to do your paperwork. Most of the car rental places are offsite, so you will wait for a shuttle to your car lot. Newgrange is a good 45 minute drive once you actually get on the road. It is best to get to Newgrange as early as possible (when are you traveling?) because you must take a shuttle from the visitor center to the actual site, and tours often book up a lot of the spots, particularly in the peak tourist season. On one of my trips to Ireland, I arrived in Dublin around 9 a.m., went directly to Newgrange, then drove over to Monasterboice to see the high crosses. But since you are intending to head south, you really should stop at Cashel (and perhaps the castle in Cahir) on the way to Kinsale. You will find Blarney in your path, too, so that is an option, depending on what time it is getting to be by the time you get down that way.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
218 posts

If you're looking for castles to help hold the kids interest there is the castle at Trim not far (30 minutes?) from Newgrange/Knowth. It has nice grounds and enough of the walkways reconstructed inside to allow for a good tour. (Ask for driving directions at the Newgrange center desk.) The castle at Cahir also gets high marks for completeness and accessibility and is very close to Cashel. The people we talked to said that after the tour they were allowed to simply wander the castle which might suit the kids. Cashel is a big church and graveyard and likely to be crowded with tourists. If you're going towards Dingle later there is the Muckross House in Killarney which is a fancy house (not castle) and while the house tour may not interest your kids the grounds are an extensive and very pretty park. There is also one of those 'traditional farms' attractions where people recreate life in the olden days that might interest the kids. The park is free as far as I recall - although the house tour and farms require tickets - and might make a good stopping point along the drive westward. There is a cafe there or you could picnic. Have a great trip,
=Tod