I have two sons, 11 and 14 and would like to get their heads out of computer games to see something of the country. I feel that they are missing out on what there is to do outdoors in Ireland. Can you give me any ideas of things we could do that would show them something beyond the addictive screens? SA.
Doing things together is a great way to see the country and have experiences together. It also provides something to talk about. Camping comes to mind as something that everyone can enjoy and there are plenty of places to try.
Pure Camping near the small village of Querrin in Co Clare is on the Loop Head peninsula. You can even rent tents that are already erected and furnished, just collect wood and light a fire and you are ready to go. The Loop Head peninsula is a great destination for exploring the outdoors. Whales and dolphin regularly swim by and you could try kayaking with the boys.
There are also places to see like the light house, take a trip on the West Clare Railway, do a farm tour at Carraig Nua. Nearby Kilkee is a lovely seaside town where you can enjoy swimming at Waterworld, do indoor climbing and eat chips walking along the pier.
If the lads like cycling you could give them a real adrenaline buzz by taking them mountain biking. Bike Park Ireland at Fairymount Farm near Roscrea is the real business. You can rent Kona bikes and use the six dedicated bike trails. There is also an army truck uplift service to get you back up the trails quicker. Half day bike hire is €35 for adults and €20 for children and use of the trails is €5 each. The half day package with bike hire, helmets, pads and uplift costs €55, see bikeparkireland.ie. You can also stay at Fairymount Farm in either a self-catering house or pitch a tent.
On Achill Island you could give the boys a taste of some water sports at Pure Magic Achill. The lodge and adventure sports centre is perfect for getting wet and wild. Here you can try kite-surfing and SUP - stand up paddle boarding. There's always good fun at Pure Magic and the enthusiasm of the staff is infectious. There is a pizza restaurant on site and often spontaneous music sessions at night. Achill Island is also beautiful and wild and if the weather is good, has amazing beaches, puremagic.ie.
My fiancé and I are trying to decide where to go for our honeymoon during the first week of November. We would like to go somewhere in Europe and know that we will not be guaranteed sunshine in many destinations but would ideally like to avoid rain! We would like somewhere relaxing, with options to go walking or cycling, and good choice of restaurants. SD.
Heading as far south as possible is probably the best way to find some warm weather and maybe sunshine. The islands of Malta and Cyprus will still be quite warm with some possibility of rain. Both are places where you can enjoy walking and cycling. Malta has the advantage over Cyprus in that there are direct flights there over the winter. There is also a very good selection of top quality hotels, though Cyprus has some very high end resort type hotels. A week in Malta staying at the five-star Westin Dragonara resort in St. Julian's will cost from €724 with flights, from clickandgo.com.
Further south the Canary Islands have better weather in November and a good variety of things to do. Tenerife has a good selection of high end resorts and boutique hotels. See holidays in Tenerife from sunway.ie and classic-collection.ie. There is also the opportunity to take a ferry from Tenerife to La Gomera or El Hierro to do some nice walking with gomerawalking.ie or shane-gray.com.
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