Adventure awaits in the woodlands and hills of Ballyhoura, rich with lush green landscapes, wildlife, ancient heritage sites and thrilling outdoor activities all within an hour’s drive of Limerick City.
First stop is Lough Gur, a 6,000 year old megalithic site and Ireland’s largest stone circle. Mystical Lough Gur is home to Fer Fí, King of the Fairies. Take a seat on his throne at the entrance to the Heritage Centre and look out for the Fairy Queen’s castle where the fairies are reputed to live.
Old Irish Ways Museum, a short drive from Lough Gur, is a treasure trove of memorabilia from the last 200 years of country life in Ireland. Host Denis will share stories of his vast collections in the old style classroom, blacksmith’s forge, cobblers, kitchen and the Irish pub!
Neighbouring village Bruff, in the heart of the Golden Vale, is the ancestral home of one of America’s most famous dynasties – the Fitzgerald Kennedys. The Thomas Fitzgerald Centre, a museum dedicated to the great grandparents of President John F. Kennedy, is a fitting tribute to the world-famous family.
Terra Nova Fairy Garden is a must for families! Your magical fairy experience begins as soon as you cross over Penny Bridge where a Hoblin named Finn stands in the pool, playing a mystical tune from a shell that only the fairies can hear! Sit in the Hobbit house, make a wish on the mystical golden wishing ball, and at the end of your visit, find treasures in the enchanting fairy gift shop full to the brim with whimsical gifts!
After lunch, visit Animal Magic in Kilmallock where you can get up close with wildlife, small mammals and majestic birds of prey.
Time to embrace the great outdoors at Ballyhoura with lots of family fun activities to choose from:
- Ballyhoura Walking Trails: Download the Ballyhoura Trails Guide App and choose from 16 waymarked ways. The Attychran Loop (5k) is a scenic, low difficulty walk making it an excellent choice for families. Starting at Kilbehenny, follow a forestry road along the bank of the AttychraanRiver and enjoy spectacular views across the Galtee Mountains. What better backdrop for your family pic?!
- Ballyhoura Nature Trail: Keep your eyes peeled to discover 20 hidden creatures nestled amongst the trees. Download the nature trail guide to see what animals may be hidden, and as you find them, tick them off your list! A 40 minute 5km trail.
- Mountain Biking: Ballyhoura Beo offers beginner friendly mountain bike introduction sessions along the bike trails with mountain bikes available for all family members.
- Horse Riding: Explore the surrounding countryside on a scenic horse trek with a local guide
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