Heading North from Galway you will reach County Mayo. The town of Westport is defined by its pleasing Georgian streetscapes and lies close to Clew Bay and the Croagh Patrick mountain range which offer some terrific photo opportunities. There’s something for everyone in the family at Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park. Set on the 480 acre estate, explore the House and Gardens, or have some fun in the Pirate Adventure Park – a treasure trove of family fun with its Grace O’Malley-themed amusement park with rides and activities.
There are plenty of fantastic family friendly beaches on this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way. Enniscrone Beach in Mayo is a blue flag beach and is is one of the safest and tidiest beaches along the west coast of Ireland, which stretches for an amazing 5km. The waters are safe for swimming and very popular for surfing. Its an ideal beach for kids to run around and enjoy the sunshine.
In County Sligo you will find a number of family friendly activities Gillighan’s World is a unique experience, a real Irish Fairyland for all the family to enjoy. Eagles flying is another great option in North West Sligo. Eagles Flying, Ireland’s largest sanctuary for birds of prey and owls and has some great shows featuring these magnificent birds of prey. You can visit the donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary adjacent to the Carrowkeel Megalithic Site (the megalithic site is also worth a look!) or visit Waterpoint Aqua Park in Enniscrone. This is particularly good on rainy days as the park is indoors.
County Sligo has some amazing beaches and if the weather is good, the whole family will enjoy them. Strandhill Beach in County Sligo is an area of great natural beauty located 5 miles west of Sligo town with panoramic views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. Achill Island is connected by bridge from the mainland. It has a wealth of Blue Flag beaches including the stunning Keem Beach. The south-facing Trawmore is a favourite for watersports enthusiasts; Dooega, a lovely little stone and sand bay; and the north-facing Dugort is also worth a visit.
County Donegal is located at the Northern tip of the country and is a country of immense beauty. the Slieve League Cliffs in Co. Donegal are almost 3 times the size of the Cliffs of Moher reaching a height of almost 2,000 feet. Donegal Castle is worth a visit and is located in Donegal Town, beside the River Eske. Glenveagh National Park is one of six national parks in Ireland. Situated in the Northwest of Co. Donegal, Glenveagh encompasses some 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. The award-winning Visitor Centre incorporates a living heather roof which blends seemlessly into the surrounding landscape.
Bundoran Waterworld is an indoor aqua adventure playground, located on the seafront in the town of Bundoran. It currently has the fastest slide in Ireland along with a Twister slide for the younger kids. There are two 24 metre swimming pools, one is a slide pool and the other is a wave pool. You will also find a multi slide, a toddlers’ pool, a pirate ship, a speed slide and good changing facilities, snacks and drinks, and picnic tables in the adjacent playground.
Tropical World is Donegal’s very own family friendly mini zoo. Opening seasonally, you can see beautiful butterflies in full flight, lemurs, owls, meerkats, parrots and many more tropical birds and reptiles.
Family Friendly Hotels in Sligo, Mayo & Donegal
The Ocean Sands Hotel is a modern, family owned and operated hotel located along the beachfront in the beautiful seaside town of Enniscrone. The hotel offers family rooms and self catering accommodation. Pebbles play area with a toddler section, play frame and more is located within the hotel and you will find Waterpoint Aqua Park within walking distance of the hotel. Waterpoint has an indoor heated Pool, a waterslide, children’s pool, a health suite and outdoor playground.
Yeats Country Hotel is a fantastic family friendly option right on the Wild Atlantic Way. The hotel offers large family rooms, a pool and the GoKids entertainment programme. There is also a play area for kids under 4yrs. GoKids offers a range of activities from swimming, sport, family events, Arts and Crafts, music and singing, treasure hunts to face painting, picnics, cinema trips and much, much more.There is also a spa for parents to enjoy.The hotel is a 5 minute walk from a blue flag beach and 7 km from Sligo town.
Located in the heart of Westport Town, the award winning Hotel Westport is adjacent to Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park and within easy reach of blue flag beaches, a skate park, horse riding, water sports, fishing, zorbing. The hotel Westport has a kids club – the Panda Club, where activities are supervised at all times. Children under the age of 4 must attend accompanied by a parent/guardian. There is also a kids menu and family rooms.
The four star Mulranny Park Hotel perched on a unique site overlooking Clew Bay & Croagh Patrick and is close to Westport & Achill island. The hotel is very family friendly offering rooms, suites and apartments and kids have individual check-in at reception along and kid’s tea offers a great opportunity for youngsters to make new friends. There are plenty of activities for kids including movie nights, discos and the Wild Woolies Kid’s Club runs daily during mid term breaks and holidays and caters for kids aged 3 – 12. The Kids Club leaders entertain the children in a safe and supervised environment. The kids club is free of charge, however extra activities such as kayaking, surfing, etc, have a charge attached. There is also a fairy trail on the hotel grounds.
This 4 star hotel lies on the stunning Inishowen Peninsula and offers spacious family rooms, a healthy kids menu and a kids club every afternoon and evening Sunday to Thursday during the holiday periods. There is also a leisure centre with a pool. Next to the hotel is Redcastle Leisureland for unrivaled play and amusements. The hotel offers in-room entertainment options like DVDs and the Wii and there is even a cinema night with real cinema tickets and proper cinema treats! For Mums and Dads there is a 9 hole parkland golf course, fully equipped gym and spa.There’s also a babysitting service.
Family Camping in Sligo, Mayo & Donegal
This campsite is great for an active family. There’s lots of grass and mature trees and some excellent facilities such as tennis, table tennis, pitch ‘n’ putt, fishing and a soft play area. These are all free to residents during certain hours, and you can pay as you go in the Pirate Adventure Park, summer camps and laser combat, paddle surfing and zip lines at the Adventure Activity Centre too. There are Blue Flag beaches close by and you can also try your hand at deep-sea fishing and pony trekking. Pitches cost €34 for a unit with two adults and two children. Family specials are also available.
The Wild Atlantic Camp lies in Northwest Donegal right at the tip of the Country. With its stunning views and outdoor space, it’s an ideal spot for families. There are a number of accommodation options including wooden pods, bell tents and mobile homes. You can also pitch your own tent. The site is located in a small village and offers free hot showers, a camper’s kitchen with fridge, freezer, microwave, washer and dryer, the Camper’s Den with TV, games and dining area, free wifi, a children’s playground, pitch and putt golf course and an onsite café.
Family Restaurants in Sligo, Mayo & Donegal
Shells is rights on the seafront in Strandhill and does breakfast, lunch and dinner at a reasonable price. Breads are baked in house, produce is sourced locally and coffee is organic and fair trade.
Bistro Bianconi, Sligo Town, County Sligo
Bistro Bianconi in Tobergal Lane in Sligo Town is a very family-friendly place to eat offering fantastic pizzas and pastas at a reasonable price.
You will find this family friendly restaurant tucked away in a lovely courtyard. The menu is child friendly and there are crayons for the kids and plenty of space to run around outside in the courtyard.
There are plenty of options for family dining at Westport House. The tea-rooms have home-made cakes and scones. Gracy’s Gastro Bar is situated at the old farmyard, and offers food throughout the day, including pizzas from their wood-fired oven. Baby bowls also available. Pirates Den and Galley at Pirates Haven both serve tea/coffee and snacks.