The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland’s most beautiful and most iconic landscapes and has a host of family attractions to keep the kids smiling whatever the weather. While no-one can deny it can sometimes be wet in the wonderful south west of Ireland, the moderating influence of the Atlantic Gulf Stream means it’s one of the warmest spots in Ireland boasting its own sub-tropical species, the Killarney Strawberry Tree.
The Dunloe is the perfect base for exploring the most visited part of Ireland outside Dublin. While Mum and Dad revel in the luxurious comforts and first-rate cuisine of one of Ireland’s top five star hotels, there’s a host of activities designed with families in mind. The fact that youngsters have their own Kids Club shows the hotel values them as much as their older guests.
For families at The Dunloe.
You could spend your entire family break on site at The Dunloe, with 65 acres to explore and enjoy, its own river, and the magic of a genuine ruined 12th century castle in the estate, young imaginations can really run wild here.
There’s an adventure playground on the estate too, so while parents can enjoy the tranquillity of this wonderful setting with the Kerry Mountains rising behind it, they can know the children are playing safely on the slides, swings and monkey bars. Under the grass is a grow-through rubber mat so no-one can get more than a bump if they fall. And the Kids Club means parents can enjoy some quality time together while the little ones are safe, sound and having the time of their lives.
The River Laune is one of Ireland’s top salmon streams and it’s right on the doorstep at the Dunloe. Fishing rods are provided free of charge, and imagine your youngsters pride if they manage to hook something tasty which the Dunloe’s chefs are happy to prepare for your dinner.
A kayaking trip on the Laune is a perfect way to spend some family time together, just ask the hotel to arrange boat hire and an experienced guide to get you off to a safe start.
Guests love the beautiful Dunloe’s horses. These Haflinger Ponies are as sweet natured as they are beautiful, perfect for youngsters and new riders, and a trek around the estate is complimentary and a must for all our visitors.
Indoors there’s just as much fun to be had. There’s a 25m heated pool with a 1.09m shallow end. While the kids might be too young to want to work up a sweat in the gym, the indoor tennis court will have the family playing and laughing together.
The children’s playroom is fully stocked with toys and games, including a big screen Wii with all the latest games. If you visit during the summer, the movie nights are a wonderful way to spend an evening, with two family hits each night with the popcorn and pop that completes the proper cinema experience. Better still, there’s no charge.
Jaunting through the Gap
No visit to this part of Ireland would be complete without passing through the Gap of Dunloe. This natural wonder – a dramatic pass between Macgillycuddy's Reeks and the Purple Mountain – is best appreciated the traditional way, on the unique Kerry horse-drawn traps known as Jaunting Cars.
Discover Kerry by bike
With some of Ireland’s most beautiful places to explore, getting out into the open air is a must and there’s nothing kids love more than a pedalling adventure. And there are enough off-road trails to make worrying about traffic something you can forget.
The Killarney National Park is packed with wildlife (look out for the red deer); beautiful lakes with magical islands; tumbling streams, including the fairytale Torc Waterfall, and ancient woodlands and it’s easy to hire bikes and get close to nature.
Sit back and ride.
This country is made for horse riding and there are numerous trekking outfits. Whether you choose to explore the jaw-dropping scenery of the Ring of Kerry or take a seashore gallop, riding one of Ireland’s native breeds in one of Ireland’s most iconic landscapes is a magical experience for young and old alike.
Kids love water and in Kerry there are opportunities to enjoy some of Ireland’s – perhaps the worlds – most beautiful aquatic outings. The Lakes of Killarney have been attracting visitors for centuries and there’s no better way to enjoy them than by boat. If the kayaking at The Dunloe whets your appetite then there are plenty more chances to get paddling on some of Kerry’s beautiful lakes or even on the open sea.go back