You can’t beat eating outdoors when the sun is shining, and we are spoilt for choice for nice picnic places in Ireland for a family day out. Food always seems to taste nicer when eaten al fresco, doesn’t it?!
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There is something so fun about packing up lots of food and treats to be eaten in the sunshine, and kids absolutely love the fun of eating with their hands while throwing a frisbee or making a daisy chain.
Use our free picnic checklist to make sure you don’t forget any essentials, and check out the recommendations below from parents who have picked their favourite picnic places in Ireland for a family day out!
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Top Picnic Places in Ireland
Iveagh Gardens, Dublin
Stop by Iveagh Gardens and enjoy the peace and tranquility, right in the centre of Dublin!
Located just off Harcourt Street, this is one park that is never full or loud. With beautiful flora and green areas and an impressive waterfall that the kids love.
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Massy’s Estate, Dublin
Deborah, mum of 3 from Dublin, says that Massy’s Estate is a personal favourite picnic spot, right in the Dublin Mountains where you might well spot a deer or red squirrel!
And South Dublin County has many more pretty picnic spots to discover. Check them all out on Dublin’s Outdoors.
Fitzgeralds Park, Cork
If you’re looking for ideas for where to picnic in Cork, mum-of-three Noelle says their favourite is Fitzgerald’s Park where you can take a stroll around and find a nice spot for your picnic.
There are lovely views of the River Lee, a good playground, several interesting statues, a fountain and plenty of grassy spots.
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Monivea Forest, Galway
Monivea Forest is mum Etain’s favourite place to picnic in Galway, as she says the family can have a picnic as well as a walk.
Start with a walk in the woods with the kids to find the unusual Ffrench family mausoleum built like a mini castle, and be sure to see if you can find the Ice House hidden in the forest.
“Then it’s time for a picnic and when we are all refuelled we leave the woods and head over to the playground nearby to burn some more energy, before heading home! All we need is some dry weather, a picnic and we are set for the day!”
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Lough Gur, Limerick
Helen from Limerick has chosen Lough Gur as a fantastic place for a day out and a picnic. Steeped in history, visit the remains of an early farmstead and take a walk through the forest or for the more energetic climb Knockadoon Hill.
“Picnic on the maintained lawn beside the lake. Don’t forget to bring fishing nets, plastic bottles and towels as wading in the shallow section of the lake is a must. And bring binoculars for those wildlife enthusiastic kids, as there are plenty of water birds, birds of prey, waders, song birds and dragonflies to spot. In autumn time, it’s a great place to go blackberry picking.”
“Keep an eye out for Gearoid Iarla, 3rd Earl of Desmond. As a punishment for his involvement in magic, he did not die but lives beneath the waters of the lake. Every seven years he rides around the lake margin on his white horse, shod with silver shoes. When the shoes are finally worn, he will regain his mortal form and restore the glory of the Desmonds!”
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Have a Picnic in a Sunken Garden at Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford
The spectacular ornamental grounds at Johnstown Castle Estate were designed by Daniel Robertson. Have a fun family stroll through them taking in the walled garden, gothic towers, lakes, statues, wildlife, plants and trees. And afterwards go to the Italian Sunken Garden to enjoy a picnic.
Three Rocks Trail, Wexford
Carol, mum of 3, tells us that the Three Rocks Trail in Wexford is one of her favourite spots for a picnic.
Coillte Outdoors provide a 8km long trail across Fort Mountain and Shelmalier and there are plenty of shorter loops for smaller legs, picnic areas and great viewing points.
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Fota House and Gardens, Cork
Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens in Cork is operated by Irish Heritage Trust, an independent charity. The Arboretum is home to many rare species of trees, flowers and plants. Be sure to take a stroll around it and see if you can discover a tree, plant, flower or shrub you many not have known before. Don’t miss the fern garden!
Afterwards find a nice picnic spot and don’t forget to pack some bread for the ducks in the Arboretum pond!
Gleniff Horseshoe Millsite, Sligo
Katherine, mum of 2, has opted for Gleniff Horseshoe Millsite as her top spot for a picnic in Sligo.
Those with an interest in industrial archaeology and local heritage will be fascinated by this site, which also has a lovely woodland walk and nature trail to take you through native Irish trees and alongside rushing mountain streams and waterfalls before you stop at the picnic area to enjoy your food.
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Lisdoonvarna Playground, Clare
If you are in County Clare, mum-of-two Laura says that one of her favourite places to take the kids is Lisdoonvarna playground “simply for the variety of activities while we’re picnic-ing as we can picnic, play and take a short walk as well.”
Strokestown Park, Roscommon
There are plenty of spots to enjoy a family picnic at Strokestown Park. From the walled gardens to the woodlands. If you forget anything, you can always treat yourself at the Woodland Café who serve up coffee, snacks and delicious meals created using the best sustainably produced local ingredients and catering for a wide range of dietary requirements.
Powerscourt Waterfall, Wicklow
Sarah, mum of 3, says Powerscourt Waterfall is one of their top picnic spots. The waterfall is 6km from the main Estate so drive there, they have plenty of parking available.
“We park, walk up and enjoy the waterfall, then head back to have a picnic and enjoy the playground. Plenty of space for the kids to run around in.”
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Mornington Beach, Meath
Linda picked Mornington Beach as a great spot for a picnic.
“The kids love beach combing and hearing the gory story about the origin of the two towers, the Maiden and the Lady’s Finger!”
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Dun na Ri Forest Park, Cavan
“There’s even a Wishing Well and a children’s playground which the kids love to stop at.”
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