When we think of family days out, we often think of theme parks or places which are explicitly aimed at children. However, there are plenty of attractions across the UK and Ireland which are equally as interesting for adults and children alike, and where you can still easily take your pushchairs and prams. We’ve created this guide to help you find attractions which are different from what you would typically describe as a ‘child friendly’ place to visit. Hopefully it gives you some ideas for where to take the kids!

  1. England

    – 1.1 Stourhead
    – 1.2 Hidcote
    – 1.3 Greenway
    – 1.4 Avebury
    – 1.4 Anglesey
    – 1.5 Lanhydrock
    – 1.6 Chartwell
    -1.7 Ham House
    1.8 Cragside



An 18th century garden might not sound like the ideal place to take the kids, but Stourhead is more than just a garden. In fact, it’s generally considered to be one of the most remarkable green spaces in the whole of the UK. Described as a ‘living work of art’ when it first opened in 1740, the garden has long been considered a fantastic place to visit for families. The garden itself surrounds a lake, and is home to wide open spaces, an incredible array of plantlife and even a pub and restaurant.

Rum Bucolic Ape, Flickr


Baby-changing and feeding facilities are on-site (so baby changing bags are welcome), and pushchairs are welcome to be used within the garden. There are a few free quizzes and trails which are ideal for children who like to be adventurous, and there are also activity packs which can be handed out to kids. The restaurant on site also has a great menu for kids. Dogs are welcome in the garden at select times during the day.





Hidcote is another English garden in the Cotswolds, and is described as an ‘Arts & Crafts’ garden. This mainly relates to the intricate design and layout of the garden, whereby the creator of the garden intended the layout to feel like a series of ‘rooms’.  Hidcote is full of secret gardens, a variety of plantlife and wildlife (such as green woodpeckers and hummingbird moths) and hidden treasures. If you wander long enough through the gardens then you’ll eventually reach the ‘Wilderness’,  a secluded area of Hidcote which is ideal for picnics.


Dave Catchpole, Flickr



Baby-changing facilities are available, and there are also hip-carrying infant seats available to loan. The garden has several children’s trails which can be great fun to follow, and there are also quizzes scattered throughout. Although access is limited for pushchairs and prams, it isn’t completely impossible and the seats which you can loan solve this issue. Or you could get a pushchair which can handle rougher terrains, like a Silver Cross pop stroller.





Most famously known as being the holiday home of the much-loved author Agatha Christie, Greenway stills feels like a step back in time into the 1950s. The house at Greenway is full of collectibles and archaeology, however it is the surrounding gardens which will likely appeal to visitors the most. Recognised as a ‘garden of excellence’, the garden is well known for being full of bluebells during the summer period. Wildlife is also abundant in the gardens and surrounding woodlands, with the elusive and endangered Cirl Bunting bird often spotted around the area. The Boathouse, which is s a small building situated near the River Dart, is also a good area to see wildlife from, including kingfishers and seals.


Megan Allen, Flickr


Baby-changing facilities are available on site, and baby carriers can be rented from the main building. There are games which can be played on the premises such as clock golf and croquet, and there are various trails which can be followed throughout the gardens. There are some steep slopes throughout the grounds however navigating a buggy is fairly easy, and the house itself is easily accessible.





Avebury is home to the largest megalithic stone circle in the world, and despite being a relatively small and quiet village, it is a huge tourist attraction in southwest England. The stone circle is believed to be over 4,000 years old, and is now a World Heritage Site. If the stone circle isn’t enough to entice you to visit Avebury, perhaps Avebury manor will – it’s a 16th century manor house with authentic interiors. And unlike most of these manor houses, you’re allowed to touch everything in the house. This includes lying on the bed!

Barry Skeates, Flickr


Because of the size of the stone circle, it makes for a great place to walk around. Rangers can offer a guided walk, or self guided walk guides can be downloaded if you want to go it alone. Avebury is a great place to take kids because there are so many activities available – at the manor house and gallery on site, there are activity areas where kids can dress up in Bronze Age style clothing. There are plenty of trails to follow throughout the site. Pushchairs are permitted and are fairly easy to get around, plus there are baby changing facilities on site and a cafe with a great range of kids meals. We’d recommend something from the iCandy range.



Anglesey Abbey & Gardens

Once a run down and desolate place, Anglesey Abbey and Gardens is now one of the most beautiful locations in Cambridge thanks to the work of Lord Fairhaven during the early 20th century. The gardens are especially impressive, offering an array of colours and a variety of plants throughout the year. Daffodils, roses and dahlias can be found within the flower beds of the gardens. 46 hectares of green space can be explored at Anglesey, and bikes are welcome for under 5s.



Dave Catchpole, Flickr


This is a great place for families – the usual facilities are available, including a baby changing area and baby carrying equipment which can be hired from the main building. Equally useful is the pushchair park, where prams can be stored. Family adventure packs can also be rented, which are full of quizzes and trails.




A remarkable country house located in an even more impressive estate, Lanhydrock has the look and feel of a castle. Although it is clearly an expensive building, there is no feeling of pretentiousness in the air, and families are more than welcome to visit, explore and have fun at the estate. The building is obviously impressive, but like a lot of these grand country houses, it is the gardens which are the real draw. The gardens at Lanhydrock are well known for being colourful all year round and growing a variety of different flowers, including camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons.



Derek Winterburn, Flickr



There is a restaurant on site which serves a great variety of seasonal foods. If you fancy bringing your own foods, then there are also designated picnic areas at Lanhydrock. Baby-changing facilities and feeding facilities are available, and slings/seats can be loaned from the main building if needed. There is a children’s playground within the gardens which is really well made.





Chartwell is perhaps best known for being the home of Prime Minister of Winston Churchill, both during his childhood and then, following a brief move away from the area, the place he lived until he died. The house is still in a similar condition as it was when Churchill lived there – pictures, books and mementos are laid throughout the house and tell the story of the family who lived there. They all help to build the picture of what type of person Churchill was; not just a politician, but also a painter, writer and family man.


Mike Scott, Flickr



Like many of these great English country houses, it is the gardens which tend to be the main attraction. They are remarkably well kept, and reflect the passion that Churchill had for the outdoors. The gardens include the lakes which Churchill built himself, and the Marycot, which is a playhouse which was designed for his daughter Mary. Baby changing facilities are available on site, and although pushchairs are not permitted in the main house, there are slings and seats which can be loaned from the visitor centre. The garden also has a ‘natural play area’ in the woodland area, which is full of attractions and is great for kids of all ages.



Ham House & Garden

Perched on the bank of the River Thames, Ham House is a stunning building in the perfect location. Upon creation, the house was quickly regarded as one of the grandest Stuart houses in England. The house is internationally recognised for it’s collection of paintings and furniture, most of which dates from the 17th century. One of the more popular items on display in the house include a rare Chinese teapot said to have been used by the Duchess of Lauderdale. The house is also considered to be one of the most haunted in Britain, with some visitors reporting that they can smell whiffs of Virginia tobacco in certain areas of the house (a favourite of the Duke of Lauderdale).


Dun.can, Flickr


Ghosts and tobacco might not sound too child friendly, but there’s plenty of other reasons why Ham House is a great place to take kids. Firstly, it is is full of original furniture and many parts of the house have remained virtually untouched since it was built and then taken over by the NT. This includes a small bathroom in the downstairs area of the house, which is home to a small wooden bath and which gives a glimpse into the bathing habits of 17th century royalty. There is a family trail which provides a nice way to explore the house, and there are also trails throughout the surrounding gardens. Baby changing facilities are available, and are located by the shop, and there are also high chairs in the cafe. Baby slings/seats can be hired from the main building.




Cragside house was owned by Lord Armstrong, a Victorian inventor and someone who was widely regarded as being a genius, and whose house is one of the most impressive in the whole of England. The house was famous for being the first in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, and the house is still full of many of the strange and ingenious inventions which Lord Armstrong built – most of which are still working. If the interior doesn’t impress you, then the gardens surely will. Home to one of the largest rock gardens in Europe, and also to an impressive bridge known as the Iron Bridge, the garden is as much a reflection of the brains that Lord Armstrong possessed as his inventions in the house.


xlibber, Flickr



There is an adventure play area in the gardens, as well as a network of tunnels and paths known as Nelly’s Labyrinth. Baby changing and feeding facilities are available on site, and baby slings can be loaned from the main building if needed. The house and gardens are also home to a variety of events throughout the year, so check the calendar if you plan on heading there.




Once the home of the unconventional Trevelyn family, Wallington is a Northumberland treasure which is full of paintings and artifacts that explore the history of the county. Every room in the house is full of quirky collections of furniture and other curiosities. The Trevelyns loved to be outside and connected to nature, and this is reflected in the layout of the house and the surrounding gardens – the house is surrounded by an eclectic mix of lawns, lakes, woodland and farmland.

Glen Bowman, Flickr



And the nature here isn’t all untamed – hidden within the woodland is a secret garden, full of activities and really pleasant to walk around. There is an Edwardian conservatory and a really stunning array of flowers to explore. Dogs are welcome at Wallington but encouraged to be left on a short lead, and baby changing facilities are also available. Baby slings and seats are available to borrow, and the cafe has a great menu for kids. You might want to bring along this silver cross simplicity car seat rain cover in case the weather gets bad!




Located a short distance from Bristol, Tyntesfield is quite unique as a country house as it wasn’t built to display any sort of wealth or status – it was built purely to be a comfortable family home. When the house was originally built, it was deliberately kept hidden and out of sight. However the house quickly established a reputation for being an impressive building both inside and out, and it became hard to keep it a secret for much longer. The design of the house is very much Gothic in style, which is reflected in the exterior of the building and the carvings within the rooms.



Stephen Colebourne, Flickr


The other aspect of this house which garnered so much attention was the standard of the gardens. Colourful flowers and woodland surround the house, as well as champion trees. The gardens are also home to empty lakes which are eerily beautiful. There is a farm-themed outdoor play area which is excellent for adventurous kids, and there are the usual children’s trails and things like that. Baby changing facilities are available in the house, and baby slings can be rented from the visitor centre.



Bowood House

Bowood House is a Grade I listed Georgian building based in Wiltshire, with the interiors of the house being designed by famed Scottish architect Robert Adam, and the gardens being designed by the equally famous ‘Capability’ Brown, perhaps the most famous English gardener to have ever lived. Bowood is regarded as being one of Capability’s finest gardens, stretching out over 2,000 acres, and featuring an impressive range of trees and shrubs, all of which have been conveniently labeled. The house is famous for a few reasons, one of which is for being the place where Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen.


Daderot, Wikimedia Commons


Bowood is also home to the Rhododendron Walks, which are open late April to mid-June, giving visitors the opportunity to walk alongside the impressive variety of flowers on show. If you’ve brought little ones with you, then the Adventure Playground is an absolute must visit. Featuring a life size replica of a pirate ship and a host of other attractions like the famous Space Dive, it’s awesome fun. There is a cafe on site with a nice selection for children, as well as a picnic area.




Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is well known for 2 main reasons – for being very large with lots of things to see and do, and for being completely free to visit! It holds the prestigious ‘designated museum’ status due to the rarity of the collections it houses. Both the museum and gallery have items from across the world, however the nice thing about them is that they’re also full of local information and history, as well as art from local artists.



Matt Brown, Flickr


There are plenty of family friendly areas within the museum to explore, including an area for under 7s. There are also trails which can be followed throughout the building, which could easily be navigated by baby walkers. There are baby changing and feeding facilities, as well as a buggy park. Lifts are also available if needed to be used.



Heaton Park

As the biggest park in the NorthWest, Heaton Park might not be what you would describe as a ‘hidden gem’. However, the park is so large and there is so much to discover, that we’d suggest checking the park out as often as you can. Covering more than 600 acres, it’s impressively jam packed with things to do for young and old. Some of the attractions include an 18 hole golf course (as well as a smaller pitch and putt course), a boating lake, a driving range, an animal farm and an observatory.



Rachel Docherty, Flickr


Heaton Park is also home to a lot of historic information and importance. The park was awarded a green flag in 2014, which recognises it as a safe, welcoming and clean space to visit. There are facilities at the park such as toilets and a cafe, and the park is open from 8am to dusk, so you could easily spend a whole day there!





Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey is the largest winter garden in Britain, nestled in the heart of Manchester. The parks at the garden have been described as the perfect place to enjoy the crisp winter weather. The park is famous for being home to a range of architectural oddities, as well as being home to a herd of fallow deer. If you’re quiet enough, you’ll also have the chance to spot some owls and woodpeckers. Easily one of the most impressive aspects of the garden is the collection of snowdrops – estimated to be over a quarter of a million. At over seven acres in size, the garden is home to roughly 700 different species of flowers and plants, and a further 1,600 different types of trees, shrubs and evergreens.


Stacey MacNaught, Flickr



Dogs are welcome at Dunham Massey, but it is asked that they are kept under control and away from wildlife. The garden trails and quizzes are great for kids who want to explore the gardens, and there are other family activities available during the summer holidays. Baby changing facilities are available on site, and baby slings and seats can be borrowed if needed.



Buckland Abbey

Dating back over 700 years, Buckland Abbey is part country house, and part museum, making it a great place to visit for a variety of reasons. It’s home to some truly fascinating artifacts – one of the most interesting would be Drake’s Drum, the snare drum which Sir Francis Drake took with him when he circumnavigated the world. Shortly before Drake passed away, he requested that the drum be taken to Buckland Abbey, and stated that if England was ever in danger and someone were to beat the drum, he would return to defend the country. We’re not sure how effective a ghost would be at defending the country!



Mark Coleman, Flickr


The ‘Great Barn’ is one of the more impressive areas of the Abbey – an expensive and large building which was built to demonstrate the wealth and power of the monks who once occupied the abbey, but which ultimately was used for storage and for winnowing cows. The area surrounding the abbey is excellent to explore, and the open orchards and meadows give insight into how agriculturally focused the abbey once was. In terms of facilities, there is a restaurant on site, with a nice selection of hot and cold meals. Dogs are also welcome on the estate, so it’s a great place to go for a family walk.




Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow (GOMA)

As the most visited art gallery in Scotland, the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Glasgow has earned a place in the heart of all Glaswegians, as well as the tourists who visit it. The gallery is located in the heart of the city, in Royal Exchange Square. There is also a library there, with a variety of books about art and other topics which can be borrowed. There is a great little cafe at the gallery, as well as a shop with lots of items which are great for kids.

Raymond McCrae, Flickr


GOMA is completely free to enter, which is a real treat considering the variety and quality of art on show. If you’re visiting GOMA, then you might as well take a look at the equally famous Duke of Wellington statue which sites outside. The statue is most famous for frequently being adorned by a traffic cone! Although many people think this is an art installation from the gallery, it is actually just the efforts of daring locals, who have been placing a cone on the statue for roughly 30 years.



Burrell Collection

The Burrell Collection is an art collection in the city of Glasgow. It is situated in Pollok Country Park on the south side of the city, and is well known for being full of a variety of incredible art from across the world. The collection was acquired by Sir William Burrell, who was a wealthy Glaswegian art collector who gradually gathered the collection throughout his life. The location of the collection is roughly 15 miles from the centre of the city, and this is quite deliberate as Burrell was determined not to have the collection affected by the pollution in the centre of the city.

Helen Simonsson, Flickr

The collection consists of more than 8,000 items, varying greatly in age. There are baby changing and feeding facilities available at the Burrell Collection, and there is also a small cafe which has a nice selection of food for kids. There is also a shop at the collection which has a nice mix of books too.



Calke Abbey

Unlike many of the stately houses we’ve included in this list, Calke Abbey has remained virtually completely unrestored since it was built in the 18th century. Despite it’s name, it is not an abbey, and was originally built as a Baroque mansion. However, it is the unrestored state of the house which makes it such a gem to visit – if you want to take a look at what life was really like in 18th century England, there are not many better places to head.


Chris Hoare, Flickr


If you’re visiting Calke Abbey, you’ll be treated to an array of treasures and areas to explore. One of the favourites is the ‘Old man of Calke’, a 1,200 year old tree sitting in the grounds. There is also a state silk bed in flawless condition, which was originally made in the 18th century. If you’re exploring the grounds, you’ll likely stumble across red and fallow deer in the deer enclosure. Baby changing facilities are on site, and there are also plenty of family activities to participate in.




Peace Gardens Sheffield

The Peace Gardens are an award winning inner city square in Sheffield, England, within walking distance of the Millennium Galleries. It was created as part of the Heart of the City project by Sheffield City Council. The Gardens were first laid out in 1938, following the demolition of St Paul’s Church. Originally named St Paul’s Gardens, they were immediately nicknamed the “Peace Gardens”, marking the contemporary signing of the Munich Agreement.


Monika, Flickr


The Gardens were originally intended to be replaced by an extension to the Town Hall, but due to World War II, this was never built. In 1985, the space was formally renamed the “Peace Gardens”.The Sheffield gardens are a fine example of the network of similar gardens created between the two world wars and presage later gardens and community spaces in London and other urban centres. It’s a great place to sit on a nice day in the city.




Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery

Officially opened in 1964 to display collections of natural history, archaeology, local history, fine and decorative art, Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery has been a firm favourite with locals and tourists since it opened more than 50 years ago. The museum is perhaps most famous for being the place where the holotype of the extinct species Ichthyosaurus anningae was identified in the museum’s collection in 2008 and formally named in 2015, the story of which made international news. The fossil was believed to be a replica, but a young paleontologist identified the fossil as being roughly 189 million years old.

Marasmusine, Wikimedia Commons


The museum also charts the history of Doncaster, from the Ice Age to the present day. It’s totally free to get into the museum and art gallery, for people of all ages. There is also some great car parking facilities which are also free. You can also borrow maps of the museum, magnifying glasses if you’d like a closer look at any of the exhibitions, and a nifty little pen gadget which, when pointed at certain paintings, will tell you all about the history of the art.




Packed your travel cot? Then take your child on a trip to Ireland! An Early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon, Clonmacnoise is steeped in Irish history. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th  -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe. The original high crosses and a selection of graveslabs are on display in the visitor centre. The long and varied history of Clonmacnoise is recounted in an audiovisual presentation shown in the visitor centre, which is definitely worth a visit as it is full of interesting information.



Travis Wise, Flickr


There is a tea room at Clonmacnoise which has a seating capacity of around 30-40 people, and there is also ample space for car parking and coach parking. Kids will enjoy having the freedom to walk around the whole area, and the centre is fully accessible for wheelchairs and prams. The site can get very busy during the summer however the site is very spacious.



Kilmainham Gaol

As a former prison in Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland, you might not think of Klimainham Gaol as being a typically child friendly attraction. However, the former jail has been rebuilt as an impressive (and totally safe) museum, which is a must for anyone looking to learn about the brutal history of Ireland and how it relates to the rest of Britain. Pat Cooke said that the opening and closing of the Gaol more or less coincided with the making and breaking of the Union between Great Britain and Ireland, which gives you an idea of what this museum represents.

Michelle, Flickr


Guided tours are available at the jail, and can be very educational. A tour of the museum could help provide insight into architecture, as well as history. There is a cafe at the museum which has a nice selection of meals for children (no prison food!), and the museum itself is only 3.5 km from the centre of Dublin, so could easily be walked to. If you’re staying at the four seasons (now Intercontinental), then you’re also within walking distance, however the closest hotel would be the Ashling.



St Stephen’s Green

St Stephen Green is a city centre public park in Dublin, Ireland. At 22 acres (89,000 m2), it is the largest of the parks in Dublin’s main Georgian garden squares, so there is plenty of room for a wide range of activities, which locals and tourists take full advantage of. However, you won’t just find people running around with footballs and kites at the park – the stunning and colourful flowers on show are worth the trip alone. If you visit the park between early Spring and late Autumn, this is generally when the park is looking most attractive. Equally impressive are the waterfall and the ornamental lake.


Sebastian Dooris, Flickr


It’s a great place to take kids – there is a playground in the middle of the park which is pretty massive, plus there are lunchtime concerts from local artists which are great for kids, which happen during the summer months. Aside from that, the usual facilities like public toilets etc. are also available.




Down House

Down House is the former home of the English naturalist Charles Darwin and his family, and is considered one of the major visitor attractions in the South East of England. It was in this house and garden that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection which he had conceived in London before moving to Down. The house has remained almost exactly as it was during the time when Charles Darwin lived there – the study where Darwin wrote ‘On the Origin of Species’ is still as it was when he worked here, and you can stroll through the gardens which inspired Darwin. There is also an interactive multimedia tour, narrated by David Attenborough, which gives you insight into how Darwin developed his ideas.


Amanda Slater, Flickr


Considering how great Down House is to visit, it is surprisingly affordable to visit. There is a car park less than 50m from the front door of the house, which is completely free to park in. There is also a tearoom at the house which has a great selection of local produce on offer, and a good selection for kids too. Baby changing facilities are also available at the house.



Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Found at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh (at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle) Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century. Queen Elizabeth spends one week  at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, but the palace is open to the public throughout the rest of the year.


Kim Traynor, Wikimedia Commons

The surrounding gardens and the area at the foot of Arthur’s Seat are all open areas which can be explored. It’s a great place to kick a football about or to just sit on the grass (if the weather is nice). There is some gravel on the floor in the outside areas which might make it a bit tricky to navigate a pram, and some of the floors in the palace are a bit uneven, but overall the building is generally very accessible. Baby-care rooms are also available to use if needed, and the cafe at the palace has a varied menu with plenty of options for kids.



Hampton Court Ice Rink

Hampton Court Ice Rink is a great place to visit during the winter months. At over 11,000 square feet, the ice rink has plenty of room for skaters at any level. Overlooked by Hampton Court Palace itself, the ice rink is set in a picturesque location and has stunning views (which you can enjoy once you get the hang of the skating!). The great thing about the ice rink is that once you’re finished, you can go and visit the palace, the gardens or even the cafe on site.

Wikimedia Commons

If you visit the ice rink at night, you’ll find it lit up making it look even more magical, and like something from Disneyland. All of the facilities which are available at the palace are available to skaters, including baby changing facilities.




Bru Na Boinne Visitors Centre

The Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is the starting point for all visits to the monuments of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Brú na Bóinne, most notably the Neolithic passage graves of Newgrange and Knowth. The visitor centre is a great place to visit if you’re interested in finding out more about Neolithic society – there are exhibitions full of information about the tools, dress, weapons and food which shaped the Neolithic society. All access to the tombs is by guided tour only, however it is still very affordable and is well worth the small admission fee.


Wikimedia Commons, Aligatorek

Once you’ve learnt all about the Neolithic period, there are plenty of other facilities at the centre which you can enjoy. including a nice little tearoom and a picnic area. The visitor centre is open all year round, and is open for slightly longer hours during the summer months. The centre is fully accessible for prams too!



Charles Fort

Charles Fort is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort. As one of the largest military installations in the country, Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. The most significant of these are the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Civil War 1922-23. Some people view it as a war monument, but it’s best to think of it more as one of the most important historical places in the country, and somewhere you should definitely visit if you are near the area.

Peter Craine, Geograph


Visitors are advised to wear suitable footwear due to the uneven terrain and children must be accompanied at all times. It’s a really affordable visitor attraction, and a family can get in for under 20 euros. Prams and pushchairs could struggle to enter certain parts of the fort, however it isn’t impossible as there are quite a few areas which are accessible.



Glebe House & Gallery

Glebe House, the home for nearly thirty years of the renowned artist Derek Hill, is situated on rising ground, beside Lough Gartan, east of Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal. Originally known as St Columb’s, the 1828 Regency-style house is decorated with William Morris textiles, and collections of Islamic and Japanese art, as well as 300 works by leading twentieth-century artists such as Picasso and Kokoshka.


Joseph Mischyshyn, Geograph.ie


Access to the ground floor of the gallery is easy for people with disabilities and for prams/pushchairs. The gallery is open for a limited season each year – during Easter and between the months of June to September, so you’ll have to plan your trip in advance if you plan on visiting the gallery.



Swiss Cottage Cahir

The Swiss cottage in Cahir was built around 1810 and is a fine of ornamental cottage. It was originally part of the estate of Lord and Lady Cahir, and used for entertaining guests. The cottage was probably designed by the architect John Nash, famous for designing many Regency buildings. After some years of neglect, restoration of the cottage started in 1985.


M B Lonergan, Wikimedia Commons


Its interior contains a graceful spiral staircase and some elegantly decorated rooms. The wallpaper in the Salon manufactured by the Dufour factory is one of the first commercially produced Parisian wallpapers. Situated on an elevated site with access by stone steps. Guide books are available in 5 languages (including English), so it’s a great place for tourists to visit. Swiss Cottage is a surprisingly busy attraction considering the small size of the cottage, so it is best to plan ahead. The cottage is situated on an elevated site with access by stone steps, and the interior contains a graceful spiral staircase, so it’s not the easiest place to navigate with a pram. However, it’s a worthwhile place if you don’t mind carrying your child, and it’s a very affordable attraction to visit too.




Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

This is the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland and is also among the country’s oldest, with monuments ranging from five thousand to five thousand eight hundred years old. Archaeologists have recorded over 60 tombs of which 30 are visible. A restored cottage houses an exhibition relating to the site.


Joseph Mischyshyn, geograph.ie


Access to the tombs may be difficult for prams, however there are areas within the cemetery which are accessible, such as the visitor centre (which is located in a nice little cottage). All visitors are advised to wear shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain as much of the land has remained untouched and hasn’t been developed. It’s definitely a great day out for any families who want a nice outdoors trip, as there is a fair bit of walking to do to get round all of the attractions.



Pearse Museum St Endas Park

Set in nearly fifty acres of beautiful parkland, the museum tells the story of Patrick Pearse and his brother William – 2 important Irish figures, both of which were heavily involved in the 1916 rising. It’s an incredible museum full of interesting artefacts and a great exhibition. But the part that kids will really enjoy is the area around the building – the museum is situated in a beautiful forested area, which includes a picturesque wild river valley. There is also a small ‘nature study room’ which provides information about the wildlife in the grounds.

Dave Addey, Wikimedia Commons


At only 8km from the centre of Dublin, it makes for a great day out. There is a cafe on site which has a nice selection of food for all ages, and there are plenty of extras such as guided tours if you want to dig deeper into the history of the museum. The best thing is that admission is totally free!


The Blascaod Centre

Located right on the edge of the Dingle Peninsula, this fascinating centre/museum provides insight into the lives of the people who lived on the Great Blasket Island until their evacuation in 1953. The information that the centre offers is truly fascinating – seeing how attached the community on the Great Blasket Island were to their traditional and frankly old fashioned ways is really interesting. You’ll also begin to understand what a strong influence this community had on the state of Ireland today.


The Great Blasket Island is known as the island of writers, due to the incredible amount of literature it produced, which is also covered at the center. If you’re wanting to visit the center, it’s only a short drive from Dingle, and is open throughout most of the summer.



Rosetta Stone

If you ever have the chance to visit the Rosetta Stone, then it’s highly recommended. It might just be a broken part of a bigger stone slab, however it is an extremely important piece of stone which helped experts understand how to read Egyptian hieroglyphs. The writing on the stone is an official decree about king Ptolemy, and one of the most incredible things about the stone is that it was found completely unbroken, with 14 lines of hieroglyphic script completely legible. The stone was found in the 18th century by Napoleon’s soldiers, when they were campaigning in Egypt. After Napoleon was defeated, the stone became the property of the British and was shipped to England, where it was then taken to the British Museum.


Hans Hillewaert, Wikimedia Commons


It took scholars 20 years to decipher the meaning of the text on the stone, however the eventual translation of the stone led the way for scholars to understand and translate Egyptian hieroglyphics. Unfortunately the actual meaning of the writing on the stone isn’t too interesting – it is essentially Egyptian tax information! However the story behind the stone and the importance of the translation makes it a truly fascinating thing to see up close.



St Mungo Museum

The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is a museum of religion in Glasgow, and is often described as the only public museum in the world devoted solely to this subject (although other museums exist). The museum, which opened in 1993, is located in Cathedral Square, and is one of the most popular museums in the city. The exhibits within the museum are all devoted to religion from various time periods, and the museum is named after Glasgow’s patron saint who brought the Christian faith to the country in the 6th century.

MSeses, Wikimedia Commons

The museum does not only appeal to those who have an interest in religion – in fact, it is often described as a great place to take kids who are very new to religion, so they can learn about it and form their own conclusions.

About the author: Frances Bishop

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