The Castlecomer Discovery Park is a multi-activity family friendly Park in Kilkenny and offers a great day out for all the family.
What is it?
Castlecomer Discovery Park is a stunning 80 acre woodland recreational & educational activity park, with café/museum and craft shops. Set in the former grounds of the Wandesforde Estate, Castlecomer Discovery Park is located just under 20km north of Kilkenny City, just 80mins from Dublin City, with close proximity to the M7, M8, M9 motorways and was opened to the public in 2007 and has already twice been awarded ‘One of the Top Three Best Family Attractions in Leinster’ (Primary Times 2012; 2013). Castlecomer Discovery Park is a Social Community Enterprise operating on a not-for-profit basis.
They provide 3 woodland trails suitable for all ages which circle in and around 80 acres of stunning natural woodland and lakes. The trails vary from 1.5km, 2km, and 5km, where you can cycle, run, jog, walk at your own pace. There’s scenic picnic areas dotted around the park along with 3 permanent orienteering trails in the woods, 1km, 2km, and 3km in distance.
The Castlecomer Discovery Park has an interactive museum and café
The Coal Mining exhibition comprises a 45 minute tour through Castlecomer’s coal mining past. It’s an interactive multi-media display that takes the visitor on a journey through time. Starting with the formation of the coal 300 million years ago, it brings the visitor through more than 300 years of coal mining history to the closure of the mines in 1969 with the ex-miners’ recordings of their amazing underground experiences. Visitors can savour some fantastic local, seasonal foods at the award winning Jarrow Café, with their kid-friendly menu (catering for parties available).
The Castlecomer Discovery Park is a multi-activity family friendly Park
It offers great value activities for all ages, varying from the Tree Top Walk Activities, with its 10 metre high walkway through the Sycamore trees to the 8 metre high Leap of Faith and the Climbing Wall so there’s excitement and challenge for all the family (from 7 years). There’s a charming (free) Timber Tumbles playground with a mini zip wire and climbing wall for smaller children. Family members from 4 years upward can enjoy a spot of boating, with Canadian canoes and pedal boats for hire, or try your hand at catching a Rainbow trout on the picturesque lakes within the woodland (rods for hire). You can even relax and unwind further in the estate yard with some Yoga, healing and meditation.
The Castlecomer Discovery Park is a DPSM accredited Education Centre (Discovery primary Maths & Science centre)
It offers a range of educational and recreational programmes suitable for Primary, Secondary and VEC schools. All are designed to cover topics within Geography, Science/Ecology, Maths, History, CSPE, LCVP and Transition Year. Learning takes place in our 80 acre woodland, education rooms and coal mining museum.
The Castlecomer Discovery Park is home to Kilkenny’s finest Craft Makers
Many of the makers are graduates from the Crafts Council of Ireland training courses and range from, from potters, jewellers, stone masons, painters, and interior designers. Visit their beautiful stone workshops based in the former stable yard to see how they design and craft their beautiful work. Chances are you’ll find a novel and beautiful gift or you may leave inspired to return for a ceramics or mosaic workshop!
Who is it For?
Absolutely everyone, from grandchildren to their grandparents!
Why is it different from other Parks?
Castlecomer Discovery Park is continually being restored to its former glory. The Estate Yard was once the farmyard, stables and kitchen gardens providing the fresh produce for the Wandesforde family and many who lived and worked on the estate during the 1700’s. Restoration has included 17th century stone walls and bridges, the stables and Estate yard, while also reinstating the old lakes, and installing a museum to tell the heart-warming story of the coal miners who worked the local mines for 300 years.
The Park is ‘Yours to Enjoy’ – and this is not just a slogan! It continues to evolve and is actively developing a range of exciting recreational, cultural and educational activities for visitors of all ages. So whether you’re keen on taking on the challenge of the Tree Top Walk or you fancy soaking up our coal mining history in the museum, there’s something here for everyone from all walks of life. On Offer at the Park:
- Outdoor adventure activities – Tree Top Walk Activities, 3 Orienteering trails, 6km Woodland Trails.
- Water based activities – Bait & Fly fishing, and Canadian canoe & pedal boat hire.
- Educational & Recreational programmes and tours
- Interactive Multimedia Coal Mining Museum
- Award winning Jarrow Café & Craft Makers in the Estate Yard
Tell us in five words why we should visit?
Educational, Outdoor Family Day Out.
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