Enjoy These Fun Family Days Out with Irish Heritage Trust


June 17, 2022

Fun family days out with Irish Heritage Trust

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Are you looking for fun family days out in Ireland? The Irish Heritage Trust manages several properties in Cork, Wexford and Roscommon. All offer truly family-friendly days out with both outdoor and indoor activities that the whole family will enjoy.

Read on to see what you can do when you visit Johnstown Castle, Fota House & Gardens, and Strokestown Park & House.

Family Days Out with Irish Heritage Trust

Johnstown Castle & The Irish Agricultural Museum, Wexford

johnstown castle

Johnstown Castle is a spectacular gothic Castle in Wexford and offers an amazing family day out. It was built in the 1170s and was first occupied by the Esmondes, a Norman family. In 1692, John Grogan acquired the castle and his descendants owned it up until 1945 when it was presented as a gift to the nation.

It is now run by the Irish Heritage Trust, Teagasc and the Irish Agricultural Museum who have worked together to open a visitor experience which includes castle tours.

The Castle is surrounded by beautiful ornamental gardens designed by Daniel Robertson, where you can walk by not one but three lakes and see gothic statues, exotic plants, peacocks and other wildlife. There is also a Victorian Walled Garden to discover and a beautiful woodland playground to enjoy.

The Irish Agricultural Museum is housed within the grounds of Johnstown Castle and showcases one of the most comprehensive collections of farming and rural life in Ireland, with everything from tractors to kitchens!

As with all venues that have an indoor element, do check opening hours and booking requirements before you travel.

Fun Things to Do at Johnstown Castle

family review of a visit Johnstown Castle

Johnstown Castle has so much to do on a family day out. Below is our pick of the top things to do, and you can read the full article for more information here.

  • Have a picnic in a sunken garden
  • Watch peacocks strut their suff
  • Identify who is who in the Apostles Hall
  • Find a bath in a tower
  • Have an upstairs-downstairs experience!
  • Investigate different beds people slept in
  • Explore castle ruins
  • Discover the hiding places for birds and bats
  • Go on a fairy trail and a tree hunt and enjoy the woodland playground
  • Take part in quizzes and trails

The Irish Agricultural Museum

Irish Agriculture Museum at Johnstown Castle St Patrick's Day events in Ireland

The Irish Agricultural Museum has been open for over 40 years and has more than 19 exhibits, with everything from tractors, beds and kitchens to recreated workshops for traditional trades such as a cooper, blacksmith and wheelwright.

In addition to the regular exhibits, visitors can enjoy special exhibits such as the miniature motors collection of Matchbox, Corgi and Dinky cars and other motoring memorabilia. And you can take quizzes and trails, specially designed for children to make their visit fun, interactive and educational.

No pre-booking is required to visit the museum, but do check opening hours on the website before you travel.

Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, Cork

Fota House

Fota House was designed by 19th-century architects Richard and William Morrison. Visitors to Fota House are entertained by stories of the people who lived and worked at Fota, from the gentry to the servants.

The arboretum and gardens are spectacular with plenty to see and do while reconnecting with nature. In addition there are regular events for families to enjoy including outdoor theatre shows, markets, workshops, trails and tours. Dogs are welcome too, so long as they are kept on a lead.

Fun Things to Do at Fota House

Digging for history at Fota House Fun eco friendly outdoor activities with the family

In addition to the events, workshops and other fun things for the family at Fota House, here is our pick of the top things to do when you visit. You can read the full article and get more information here.

  • Have a honey bee adventure
  • Find Mrs Kevin’s cat
  • Go digging for history
  • Take a nature trail
  • Check out what’s behind the Green Door
  • Become an art critic
  • Spot the ducks
  • Find rare species of plants and trees and a fern garden
  • See how the other half lived
  • Travel by train to visit for an eco day out

Fun Family Days Out

The Irish Heritage Trust brings special places to life for everyone to enjoy.

Irish Heritage Trust fun family days out

Strokestown Park, House & Gardens & The National Famine Museum, Roscommon

Strokestown Park fun family day out

Strokestown House is a stunning Georgian Palladian Mansion packed with original furnishing and fabrics. It was the family home of the Pakenham family for more than 300 years and has witnessed some of the best and worst times in Irish history. You can learn all about them and get a guided tour when you visit.

The house is set in stunning grounds, Strokestown Park, which encompasses an impressive walled garden, restored summer house and croquet lawn, a pleasure garden, vegetable garden, water features and acres of woodland to explore. You can pack a picnic to enjoy outdoors or visit the on-site café selling treats the whole family will enjoy.

Also set in the grounds is the National Famine Museum, which tells the story of this tragic time in Irish history, and the National Famine Way, which begins or ends here and follows in the footsteps of 1,490 people who walked from Strokestown Park Estate to Customs House Quay in Dublin. The National Famine Way is now open to the public to walk for themselves.

Fun Things to Do at Strokestown Park

Family days out at Strokestown

From family events to concerts, talks and workshops, Strokestown Park, House & Gardens has activities to suit all ages and interests. Here are some of the highlights for a family day out.

  • Take one of the new family trails
  • Check out the fairy trail and the outdoor xylophone
  • Unearth horrible histories
  • Step back in time
  • Discover exotic plants
  • See how food was prepared
  • Explore the magical woodland and the walled garden
  • Count the antlers!
  • Learn more about sleeping arrangements
  • Step into the school room

The National Famine Museum

The National Famine Museum

A visit to the National Famine Museum is a must. Here you will get an insight into the lives of those who lived and died through the great Irish famine of the 1840s. Their stories are brought to life though interactive displays in the new state-of-the-art museum which is also home to original documents and letters discovered in the house during the 1970s.

The National Famine Way

Cycle The National Famine Way

The National Famine Way is an outdoor, immersive trail that commemorates the journey which was made by 1,490 people from Roscommon to Dublin during the height of the Famine in 1847.

The trail can start or end in the grounds for Strokestown House and is accessible for families, casual walkers and cyclists. It runs from Roscommon to Dublin passing through counties Longford, Westmeath, Meath and Kildare. It would make a great family challenge to complete the whole route over time and along the way you can track your progress with The National Famine Passport.

Enjoy these fun family days out with Irish Heritage Trust

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