Family trips are something you always remember. They create the memories from our childhood that we look back fondly. During our recent road trip exploring the beautiful Munster Vales region with Europcar, we saw so many fabulous ideas for family outings so in this blog post we are going to share with you some of our favourites.
We started our road trip from Europcar in Clonmel. The Clonmel Europcar branch is one of two locations recently opened by Europcar in the Munster area, with the other in Limerick city. It is also currently the only rental car company in Clonmel town. Nothing beats picking up your rental car and the excitement of a road trip. The Munster Vales stretches over 1100km of trails, over five mountain ranges and onto the Irish sea. The Munster Vales crosses the counties of Limerick, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford and is bursting beauty around every corner.
Below are a list of some amazing family adventures along the Munster Vales region:
The Donkey Sanctuary
The picturesque Donkey sanctuary is nestled in the historic village of Liscarroll, just a fifteen minute drive from Mallow and a 40 minute drive from Cork city. When you arrive, you are greeted by inquisitive donkey faces peering through railings and roaming through fields. The donkey sanctuary in Liscarrol is home to over 1800 donkeys, many of which have been abandoned and rescued. It is opened all year round, Monday to Friday from 9:30am – 4:30am and Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays between 10am – 5pm. It’s free admission and free parking. You can also make a donation if you wish or even better adopt a donkey which makes for the perfect unique present for someone, especially this time of the year coming up to the Christmas season.
The Mitchelstown Cave is situated in County Tipperary. It is approximately a 40 minute drive from Cork City and 20 minutes from the Rock of Cashel. The Mitchelstown Caves was discovered accidentally in 1833 by Michael Condon who was quarrying limestone when he discovered lots of underground chambers, passages and caverns. You can take a guided tour to visit the caverns and cave formations where the guide will fill you in on the history and geology of the caves. Admission is €9 for an adult, €3.50 for a child and a family ticket is €20(2 adults and 2 children. For opening times check out their website here.
Doneraile Park is approximately 166 hectares of outstanding beauty, full of mature trees, wildlife and nature. The park has lots of fun walks and trails and is a perfect place to go with family and friends to enjoy a picnic and some time together. There is also a fabulous playground for kids to explore. After a long walk in the fresh air, be sure to check out a stylish café on the main street in Doneraile called Café Townhouse. The charming and stylish café is a beautifully restored three-story Georgian building. As you enter the doors you are greeting with a charming and warm decor, along with subtle classical music in the background to add to the delightful atmosphere. It is the perfect place to go for either breakfast, brunch or lunch after a walk in Doneraile park, and while you are there you have to try some of their luscious cakes.
The Butler Trail
The Butler Trail is fabulous trail to take you around Cahir, Carrick on Suir, Clonmel and Roscrea. It reveals the influence the Butler family’s empire had on these towns and the traditions they left behind. There are a few stops to make along the trail. Cahir, a charming town, built around Cahir Castle became a stronghold of the Butler family. Cahir Castle is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles and open all year round. Swiss Cottage is also a stop along the way. In 1770s, this cottage was the finest eco building of its time. It is now a hotel but at the time was the town house of the Butlers. This is open from April to October. Ormond Castle in Carrick on Suir is another to add to the list. Open from April to October. Carrick on Suir is where the Butler Family grew to power. Black Tom built a fine manor house as part of Ormond Castle in the 1560s. You can take a tour of the Ormond Castle and learn more about the history. Another location is The Rock of Cashel, a spectacular and archaeological site which is located in Cashel at the heart of Tipperary and is one of Ireland’s most visited site. It is open all year round.
Walk, cycle or kayak along the Suir Blueway from Cahir to Carrick on Suir. This gem is officially launching in 2019 and is one to add to your bucket list for the Munster Vales region. We are looking forward to checking it out in 2019.
Lismore Heritage Centre – family adventure packs
This is a great way to spend the day. Collect your family Adventure Pack at Lismore Heritage Centre. The pack includes a 20 page booklet, trails, packet of pencils, orienteering maps and you get a certificate when it is complete. Designed to keep all the family entertained with games and jokes throughout the adventure. You discover the Millennium park, explore Lady Louisa’s walk, learn the history of St Carthages Cathedral, try Dinosaur Hunter Science Trail and much more. It’s available in English, French, German and Italian and a great fun way to explore.
The Waterford Greenway
The Waterford Greenway is one of our favourite things to do in County Waterford. This amenity consists of a world class 46km path along the route of an old railway line from Waterford to Dungarvan. It is designed for cycling, walking and running. I did the cycle from Durrow to Dungarvan and this section is perfect if you are looking to do a very scenic part of the Waterford Greenway. It is the section of the greenway which runs along the coast. If you are cycling with kids, this is a great section to cycle. You could also stop off in Dungarvan for a coffee or ice-cream before the cycle back. The other half of the Greenway runs inland which is also very picturesque if you are feeling adventurous and want to complete the full 46km.
The Copper Coast visitor centre
The Copper Coast is located just west of Tramore is one of the most spectacular coastal stretches in Ireland. It captures panoramic views of cliffs, bays, beaches and coves between Dungarvan and the seaside town of Tramore. The Copper Coast visitor centre is located in a restored 19th century church. You can explore a local mining and environmental heritage exhibition, explore the walking trail guides for your next adventure and grab a cup of tea in their cosy café.
Lough Gur is located in the South East of Ireland within the Ballyhoura region in Co. Limerick. It aims to promote, preserve and protect the history, archaeology, folklore and environment of the surrounding area. The Heritage Centre is located near the lakefront in Lough Gur and it is home to an exhibition that provides an overview of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites. It is the only area in the country where you can see visible evidence of every age since Neolithic times. Opened all year to explore.
Fethard Horse Country Museum (open all year round)
Fethard Horse Country Museum is located in the breath taking Golden Vale. It is an interactive exhibition which aims to showcase the relationship between the people, the land and the horse and how it’s all linked. You can discover the culture, heritage and the history of the region. It is open all year round and the perfect way to get a glimpse of the world class equine world.
Thank you to Munster Vales and Europcar for sponsoring this video and content