Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Killarney Family Fun ~ The Perfect Staycation Spot!

Killarney is one of those places you’ll return to time and again, whether it’s for the stunning views out over the Killarney lakes, the sound of the water crashing over Torc waterfall after a downpour or the clean fresh air that embraces you at the Gap of Dunloe, there’s no end to the reasons you’ll return. Oh and the shopping, how could I ever forget the shopping?! 

If you're looking for a last minute staycation that won't break the bank, let me tell you why Killarney is the ideal spot!

Where to stay in Killarney:

We were invited down by Hotel Killarney for a two night stay in one of their family suites and we loved it! Located just 1 mile from Killarney town Hotel Killarney is right in the middle of things but far enough out to get a decent night’s sleep. I’ll admit that I was a bit thrown that they wanted the children’s names at check-in as I’ve never been asked for them before and I just didn’t feel comfortable giving them. 

As we’re a family of 7 we stayed in a large two bedroom suite complete with a self contained kitchen. We also had an adjoining triple room so we had plenty of beds for everyone.

We’ve stayed in many family friendly hotels and I’ve never come across a hotel with the sheer amount of entertainment and activities that were listed in Hotel Killarney’s kids club. Unfortunately the kids club wasn’t running during our stay as we stayed mid-week but we still had full use of the large playground and the swimming pool.

Breakfast is served in Lannigan’s restaurant; I really liked the hot creamy porridge and fresh fruit while the kids were delighted to stay in another hotel that had a pancake machine. They made themselves fresh pancakes at the push of a button which they promptly smothered in chocolate and inhaled.

What to see/do in Killarney:

If shopping is your thing then Killarney is the place for you as they’ve lots of old school family owned shops and boutiques so you’re sure to find something special & a little bit different that you wouldn’t find on any other high street. There’s a lot to do in the area such as taking a cruise of Killarney National Park, visiting Kennedy’s Pet Farm, Kate Kearney’s Cottage or a tour of the Gap of Dunloe.

We decided to take a tour on the Big Red Bus a hop-on hop-off shuttle bus of the best attractions in Killarney. The bus departs Mission Road and drives a loop of Killarney stopping off at Aghadoe viewing point for amazing views of the mountains and lakes of Killarney, Ross Castle dating back to the 1400’s, Torc Waterfall & Muckross House & Gardens. It takes an hour to do the full loop if you wish to jump off for a quick snap and back on again or you can take your time and get a later bus. 

Yes you could do this route yourself in your own car but you wouldn’t hear the live commentary full of fascinating stories about the history of Killarney and its people, even the kids enjoyed it and had a good laugh at the jokes. I loved that it‘s a local, Pat Moynihan that runs the bus as he has that extra bit of insider knowledge that you wouldn’t get anywhere else.

Our tour was complimentary. Tickets cost €12.50 for adults & €5 for children.

Where to eat/drink in Killarney:

We couldn’t pass The Shire, the only Lord of the Rings themed pub in Ireland! It’s a great spot to drop in for a glass of cold lemonade & a browse around afterwards we walked around the town and treated ourselves to a fish & chips dinner.

The following night we decided to head back to the hotel after a full day sightseeing to have dinner in the Lobby Lounge. I had supreme of chicken which was delicious, my husband chose stew and the children all went for either pasta or turkey & ham while our youngest devoured a baby bowl. Service was slow so I asked and we found out it was because a tour bus had arrived unannounced. We didn’t mind once we knew here would be a delay. 

The kids coloured in their activity pages while we had a drink and a chat. The food was superbly made using fresh local produce. The children’s menu offers fantastic value for money especially the desserts. Our meal and drinks came to just under €80 for 7 of us. I have to mention that each staff member we encountered throughout our stay was very friendly and helpful.

Hotel Killarney is the perfect spot for a relaxing family holiday; we found it had everything we could ask for in a family friendly hotel. Next time we’re making sure to book when the Kids Club is open!

Have you been to Killarney? Is there somewhere you can recommend?

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*** Disclaimer: As advised above 
we received a complimentary two night 
family stay at Hotel Killarney 
on a B&B basis and complimentary 
passes for the Big Red Bus. 
As usual all thoughts are my own. 
As ever neither free services nor 
payment would ever sway my opinion. ***

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