Everyone who takes the time to visit Ireland is always guaranteed a warm welcome. Irish hospitality is famous the world over. That extends to the kids as well. Ireland is most definitely a family-friendly destination.
Admittedly, much of the publicity that is circulated about the Emerald Isle is aimed at an adult clientele. The delights of the pubs of Dublin or Galway, for example, is hardly the most inclusive proposition. But there is an awful lot more to Ireland than just the Guinness and the famous craic.
For sports fans there is a wealth of opportunities to enjoy in the peculiarly good humoured and sociable way that the locals go about enjoying their sport. Some of what you will see will be as ancient as the rolling green landscape. Indeed, it is a form of living history. The Irish are famous horsemen, and a day at the races at Leopardstown, Galway or Punchestown, can be truly spectacular.
by D Coetzee
If you get the chance, take in a game of hurling. It is an ancient and sometimes violent affair that is – as far as we can tell – one part hockey, one part lacrosse and one other part tribal warfare. There is, similarly, something about the Gaelic football - another mash up of (gridiron) football, basketball and soccer – that is equally unique in the sporting world. Taking the family to one of these or even having a bet on the Gaelic football or the other hugely popular and unique sporting events is a great way to get to the very heart of the Irish character. And having a little wager on the outcome is another step towards immersing yourself in the ancient and distinctive culture of this ancient Celtic land.
Complementing that sporting theme, there are also countless arts, literary and music festivals about the country. For those of a more creative or cultural sensitivity, there is an abundance of riches to savour. The land of Yeats, Beckett and Seamus Heaney is a destination like no other for those who like a good tale well told.
And all that cultural richness, whether in the sporting or the literary sense, is set against some of the most beautiful, unspoilt countryside anywhere on earth. There are lush green hills, amazing coastlines and ancient castles that will give anyone in your party with a romantic imagination more than enough to set their eyes dancing and their hearts racing.
And if your teenagers like eating, have no fear. That famous Irish hospitality never fails to make it to the table. Irish fare is as good as it gets. Ireland is an unheralded destination, often tagged onto a pan-European adventure. But, as they say, time spent in the Emerald Isle is never time wasted.