If you are looking to head out for the day and have exhausted all Mayo’s attractions, how about venturing slightly further afield. Here are some suggestions for interesting day trips and places to visit, all within distance of Mayo.
Day Trips to Roscommon
Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Lough Key has lots to see and do for all of the family. Learn the history of the park with an audio tour which brings you through the underground servant’s tunnels, up the 5-storey Moylurg Viewing Tower and along Ireland’s first Tree Canopy Walk – a 300m long creation of timber and steel over 9ft high offering a ‘birds eye’ view of the landscape. The Boda Borg is a unique and challenging Swedish Adventure House for adults and children. Once you enter the challenging two storey Boda Borg only teamwork using countless different skills, ingenuity, trial and error will allow you to progress from room to room. The outdoor Adventure Play Kingdom provides stimulating and entertaining activities and equipment for children of all ages. The 350-Hectare estate also contains many walks and trails through the woodlands and forests, bog garden and 19th century parkland with its majestic trees, follies, bridges and canals.
Arigna Mining Experience, Arigna, Co Roscommon.
Come and take this unique underground tour in what was Irelands last working coal mine which closed in 1990… and see how the coal was mined. A truly unforgettable experience. Stroll through the exhibition area which traces 400 years of mining history and working way of life of the area. With an ex-miner as your tour guide, you will have the opportunity to walk through an underground coal mine and learn about the incredible life of the miners. Situated in an area of breathtaking scenery, the centre is just 11 miles from Carrick-on-Shannon. Full coffee shop and picnic area, the centre is open all year. Fully accessible and suitable for all ages. A truly unforgettable experience
Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre, Tulsk, Co.Roscommon
The pre-historic capital of Connacht Tulsk is reputedly the largest and best preserved Celtic Royal Site in Europe. It was a centre of ritual ceremony, inauguration of Kings and legendary home of Queen Medb, earth goddess and Warrior Queen. The mythical entrance into the “otherworld” is through the Cave of Cruachan otherwise known as Oweynagat (Cave of the Cats). Archaeologists have excavated the site of Tulsk Fort and visitors are welcome to visit the site which is adjacent to the Heritage centre.
Tullyboy Farm, Boyle, Co.Roscommon
Experience the atmosphere of a real working farm in a beautiful setting. There are lots of animals to see, cuddle and hand feed, such as Ilamas, emus, rheas, pigs and puppies. Children can have a free horse ride on Bob, play in the playground and jump into the straw.
Day Trips to Sligo & Donegal
Gilligans World, Tubbercurry, Co.Sligo
A fairyland themed botanical gardens with miniature model villages and “enchanted” glades. Streams and secluded seating areas create a magical atmosphere, whilst a visit to the “faerie fort” offers spectacular panoramic views. See the wild-life pond and aquatic cave and have an informal guided tour round the “Pet Village”
Eagles Flying, Ballymote, Co.Sligo
The largest Centre for Birds of Prey and Owls in the country. Experience some of the biggest birds of prey in the world flying right over your head or landing next to you. Watch different species of eagles hunting on prey-dummies in their natural environment. Be astonished about the arrowlike flight of the falcons and the amazing intelligence of the vultures. There is also a pet zoo.
Bundoran, Co. Donegal
Bundoran is a great day out for all the family. On the seafront, Waterworld has lots of slides and a wave pool while the Adventure Park has a huge selection of theme rides and attractions. Theres also Dizzys Den Playcentre, Old McDonalds Farm, a bowling alley and a Cineplex.
Day Trips to Galway
Galway Atlantaquaria, Salthill, Co.Galway
Ireland’s largest aquarium, it is home to 170 species of marine and freshwater life including Seahorses, Stingrays, and their gentle giant, the Angel Stark. Visitors can take part in the daily feeding frenzy or explore ‘the deep’ in a model submarine.
Connemara National Park
Families can experience the wild beauty of the Connemara National Park where they can walk or cycle and may spot red deer or wild ponies. One of Ireland’s six national parks, it covers two thousand hectares of the stunning Connemara landscape. There are self-guided trails including two short trails which may be suitable for younger children. In the visitor centre children can look at interactive exhibits, see 3-D models and plans of the park and watch an audiovisual show.
Dartfield Horse Museum, Kilrickle, Loughrea, Co.Galway
Visit the Dartfield Horse Museum and Irish Heritage Centre which is dedicated to Irish horses, dogs and Connemara ponies.
Killary Cruises, Nancys Point, Leenane, Co.Galway
Get onboard the purpose built cruise ship which has been designed to offer the maximum of comfort and safety to families and offer them uninterrupted views of the spectacular scenery which makes the Killary Fiord such a unique place to visit. For older children, the nearby Killary Adventure Company has lots of family friendly activities including waterskiing, kayaking and sea kayaking.