The Burren is a truly unique Irish landmark, designated a Special Area of Conservation by the EU for its wild ecosystem. With many interesting attractions, flora and fauna to discover, a day trip to the Burren is a great day out.
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We had family visiting us from Scotland recently, so we took everyone for a day trip to the Burren visiting four unique places – The Burren Perfumery, Hazel Mountain Burren Chocolates, Kinvara, and The Burren Nature Sanctuary.
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Exploring the Burren
The Burren Perfumery
Start by watching a short audiovisual presentation, explaining about the flora and fauna found in the Burren, then head off to see some of the perfumes and soaps being made. During the summer months there are impromptu talks by staff in the Perfumery (check the noticeboard on arrival to see what’s on).
Head to the garden next to enjoy the herbs, plants and flowers. The kids enjoyed zooming in and out of sections of the garden while the adults enjoyed touches like the old bath turned into a planter and the tile decorations on gates. Finish up with home baking and drinks in the rose-covered Tea Rooms, and maybe a bit of a treat in the shop.
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Hazel Mountain Burren Chocolates
On the road back to Kinvara, be sure to stop at this boutique chocolate factory, where the ‘bean to bar’ process is completely carried out onsite. With an open floorplan for the whole factory and shop, the entire process is on view for visitors – including the chocolate kitchen!
If you are chocoholics and want to find out more, there is a 45-minute tour with the chocolate experts (best suited to over 12s). The tour will show you all the stages of chocolate making, from roasting and cracking to stone-grinding and tempering – there’s also plenty of opportunity for taste-testing at each of the various stages.
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Picnic in Kinvara
The sun was shining by the time we reached Kinvara, so we stopped off and bought some picnic supplies.
There are benches at the Harbour which are a perfect picnic spot with views of the boats and out to sea.
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The Burren Nature Sanctuary
With the kids all fed, our last stop was to the Burren Nature Sanctuary. This was an excellent choice of an afternoon activity, and we spent a few hours there.
First stop was the Adventure Playground which, although not huge, had excellent equipment and a fantastic sand pit which the kids spent a good half an hour in. On rainy days you can head indoors for some refreshments and enjoy indoor soft play.
The other activity is a 1km nature trail. It’s a loop that you walk around feeding the sheep and enjoying the llamas on the way.
The kids can also do a nature trail activity where they can make rubbings of leaves and other nature items on the way around and return their sheet for a “reward”.
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