Animals, Golf and Heritage this Travel Tuesday on Elaine

The country reopens zoos, golf and heritage on April 26th. This Travel Tuesday I’ve picked out some great places to visit over the coming weeks. I’ve got some great family friendly things to do and places to visit for animal lovers. Starting with the zoo…

Dublin Zoo

The zoo is a great day out for all the family and a ticket for a family of four is €50.50 but you must book online and as capacity is down to 20% it’s important to book early. Tickets are released every two weeks but demand is high.


Fota Wildlife Cork

Fota Wildlife Park is a delight and going to be hugely popular this summer. A similar online booking scheme is in place and you can book here

A family ticket is €49.50 and to help make booking easier Fota use this link .

Time slots/prebooking -all visitors must book a time slot in advance, this is to minimise queues at the gates and also inside the Park at any one time. Prebooking is currently only available max seven days in advance of visiting. 


Fitzgerald Woodlands House Hotel

Animal Friendly Stay at Fitzgerald Woodlands House Hotel Adare is a great way for families to enjoy animals as this hotel has its own petting farm.

Enjoy a Summer Family Break at Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa. The resort style facilities include Woodlands Health & Leisure Club with 20m pool, kids pool, feature pools, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, 1,500 sq ft gym, and fitness classes, as well as Woody’s Kids Club seasonally, Fairy Trail, Walking Trail, and state of the art Revas Spa.

Price from €200 per family.

  • Summer Family Breaks with FREE KIDS CLUB includes:
  • Full Irish Breakfast
  • FREE kids club for children aged 4-12 and must be prebooked
  • Access to Leisure Club with 20m pool and kids pools
  • Outdoor Pitch and Goalposts
  • Fairy Trail
  • Mini Pet Farm Kids
  • Complimentary 15% discount at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle for Summer 2021

Woodys Kids club will run daily during summer school holidays.

Prebooking will be essential for these times as limited numbers apply and we advise this is done well in advance of arrival. To make a booking go to

The National Stud, Kildare

There are lots of great attractions opening up in Kildare and to find out more check out the website.

The Irish National Stud & Gardens is a haven of natural beauty that is home to the most magnificent horses and gardens. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the stud farm and meet Living Legends such as Hurricane Fly and Beef or Salmon. A self-guided tour of the Japanese Gardens traces the journey of life, while St Fiachra’s Gardens captures the essence of monastic life in Ireland. The Irish National Stud & Gardens will reopen from 26 April, tickets must be booked on line in advance (

Admission for Irish National Stud is €13 per adult, €7.50 child (age 3-16), children under 3 are free. Family ticket for 2 + 2 €31.50.

Lullymore Heritage Park

Discover Lullymore Heritage Park, over 60 acres of woodland and peatland trails, a pet farm, large outdoor play area and train trips. Located in Ireland’s most famous peatland, the Bog of Allen, and less than an hour from Dublin there’s something for everyone. The park will reopen on Wednesday 28 April and will open Wednesdays to Sundays throughout May. Online booking is required (

Lullymore family ticket 2 + 2 (children under two go free) €30

Castlecomer Discovery Park

Kilkenny has lots of gorgeous places to visit set in beautiful natural settings. If you live in Kilkenny or would like to visit this summer check out the official website

For families who love an adrenalin filled day followed by a picnic, then Castlecomer Discovery Park is the ideal place. The 80-acre activity park features a wide range of exhilarating activities for all ages, for now you can enjoy the woodland walks, Canopy Café and the Elf & Fairy Village. Further facilities will reopen in due course. Entry to park is free with car park charge €5


Nore Valley Park

At Nore Valley Park, you will find everything from pet farms, archery, mini golf, go karts and tractor rides across the lush green lands of the farm! There is a packed timetable of events which includes interactions with animals like lambs, baby kids, chickens, ostriches and rabbits, some of which children get the opportunity to bottle feed!!

Set against the beautiful backdrop of this scenic valley, with acres of parkland and woodlands to explore, Nore Valley Park provides hours of amusement for the family. Walk the 3km nature trail or test your skills on their giant chess board! If the sun is shining don’t forget to pack a picnic or if the Irish weather fails you, there is an on-site café offering tea and coffee and home baked treats!

Family day pass €29 two adults and two children – under 2s are free. Only twenty people on the farm per hour.


Golf Stays in Wicklow

Rathsallagh is a large country house with 35 rooms which was converted from Queen Anne stables in 1798. Although it is located just one hour south of Dublin airport, Rathsallagh is set in a peaceful oasis of 260 acres of parkland. With a Golf course next door at Rathsallagh Country Club, Rathsallagh House is a lovely stay this summer for golf lovers. Prices start from €95 pp on a Bed and Breakfast basis.


Golf Stays in Donegal

Bed and Breakfast from €155 per room (based on two people sharing)
Castle Grove is close to over 20 golf courses, however one to note would be Royal Portrush Golf Club, the only club in Ireland to have hosted The Open Championship is also within comfortable driving distance of Castle Grove.
Guests of Castle Grove can book in to play there, the golf course is reopening today.

Heritage Sites Opening

From Monday 26th April many of the countries heritage sites are reopening. The OPW website has a list of several wonderful  places to be enjoyed all around the country. The website has all the information you need.

Trim Castle Access to outside spaces only
Ardfert Cathedral Open outside spaces only using reception
Askeaton Castle Access to outside spaces only
Athenry Castle Access to outside spaces only
  Castle Closed
Aughnanure Castle Access to outside spaces only
  Castle closed
Portumna Castle Access to outside spaces only
  Castle closed
Dún Aonghasa Access to outside spaces only
  Visitor Centre Closed


It should be noted that a significant number of OPW’s ‘outdoor’ heritage attractions have remained open and accessible to the public (within the 5km restrictions) during Level 5 e.g. Kilkenny Castle Parklands, Oldbridge Estate, Emo Court, St. Stephen’s Green, Castletown Estate, Doneraile Estate. They provided important amenities for citizens for health & wellbeing.


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