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6 Great Walks With The Family In Any Weather

With dark evenings and wintery weather approaching, I have struggled in the past to know what to do on the weekends to keep the family active, and get a nice bit of fresh air and a mental breather.

In my opinion, exercise and fresh air are imperative for aiding positive mental health, so this year I am making a promise to myself and my family to keep going for walks and hikes to places we’ve tried and tested through the summer. We went every weekend to a different place, rain or shine.

My children are 9 and 3 years old and there was some resistance on some hikes from the 3-year-old but he managed just fine with a piggyback every now and again.

For rainy days we have wellies at the ready, and decent waterproof coats. I hate the rain so I promise, this is no easy feat for me, but waterproofs on and a backpack full of food and water, and off we go.

Read Next: How To Instill Your Kids With A Love Of Nature

Trim Castle and grounds, Meath

Price: Family price is €4

This price is to explore the grounds but doesn’t include the Keep, which is a further expense with a guided tour. The grounds were enough for our kids and ourselves, we loved exploring all parts of the ruins and running around and playing games of Princesses and Princes and Knights.

The castle has a fascinating history but most will know it as one of the locations used in Braveheart, which starred Mel Gibson. Finishing this day trip with a bag of chips outside the curtain of Trim castle in the sun, was the icing on the cake.

Read Next: How To Slow Down And Have A Great Staycation

Hill of Tara, Meath

Price: Free

The Hill of Tara is an area that oozes history and character. While we were there we met groups, who were lying and kneeling in prayer in front of the Lia Fàil. Away from the silent groups so as not to disturb their prayer, we ran up and down the many hills and admired the stunning views. It’s smaller than it looks in images, but the children loved the walk and brief runs, and really embraced the stories we relayed as we read the history of the Hill of Tara and the High King of Ireland.

Read Next: 9 Fun Outdoor Activities For Kids To Enjoy

Avondale, Wicklow

Price: Free

Avondale is a stunning place, with beautiful grounds to walk through, and for the children to enjoy some imaginative games. Through the flowers, we talked about fairies who must live there and come out when the humans aren’t around, the path led onto the forest where there were trolls under bridges, and dragons chasing after us. These were our own stories, but Avondale is full of mystery and fun, so it was an easy way to make up games.

We finished our walk with a sit down in the grass looking out over the view beside the café.

Read Next: What Are The Benefits Of Mindful Parenting

Glendalough, Wicklow

Price: Small fee for the car park

I love Glendalough, it’s one of my favourite places to spend a day with the family. We’ve gone often, but for some reason every single time we go, it rains! I have never seen it properly in the sunshine. During the summer months it’s nearly always very busy with other families and tourists, but in Autumn and Winter it is very quiet and even more peaceful. Grab your waterproofs and backpack full of food, and trek through the trees and valleys surrounding the lakes. The Round Tower and Monastic site is a must see. 

Read Next: 5 Of Ireland's Most Beautiful Forest Parks

Carrickgollogan, Dublin

Price: Free

This, to me, was an unusual site, as I had never actually heard of it before, and being from Dublin it surprised me that I hadn’t! My husband found it on a ‘where to walk with family’ google search and we thought it could be interesting and different. With a huge area of forest damaged by fire in 2016, the area appeared to be a little ‘road less travelled’ when we arrived. There was one other car in the very small car park and I didn’t expect much.

We were very surprised, however, as we hiked up the long hill and turned left up another fun and rocky path. At the top of this path, completely unexpected to us as we had no idea which way to be walking we stumbled upon the Ballycorus Chimney. As you will see in the pictures it was very misty but according to multiple articles I’ve read and pictures I’ve gone through, Carrickgollogan is a stunning walk on a clear day. Despite the lack of cars in the car park, we met a number of people on our travels.  Even in the rain we had a lovely time with more storytelling and fun and would wholeheartedly recommend it.

Hell Fire Club and Massys Wood, Dublin

Price: Free

This is a great walk for children as it’s short enough they don’t get too tired, but long enough to tire them out. And the structure at the top is such a fun house. You may know the stories of the Hell Fire Club, but we chose not to tell our kids just yet, as the 3-year-old is a little too young. The views are absolutely spectacular, looking out over all angles of Dublin. On a clear day, this is a stunning prize after the tiring hike.

After the Hell Fire Club, we ambled across to Massys wood where we had a magical walk through the wood, coming across a tree that had a clearing around it, that we decided was a magical tree which housed fairies; and the little stream where we imagined seeing frogs and toads.

What family friendly walks have you embarked on? Let us know in the comments.


About the Author

Business Relationship Manager of eumom.ie, Ciara Morgan is passionate about writing, music, food and her family. She loves to write kids stories full of imagination to read to her two children. Hopefully others will read them one day! 
Ciara is currently in the throes of potty training... She hopes she will have some hair left by the end of it. 

Comments

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Jennifer Roche
We haven't done a family hike in a while but while we were on holiday in France, we took our torches and went exploring around the lake on the campsite late at night. We saw lots of wildlife. Otters, frogs, bats, hedgehogs, big fish, etc. Great fun.
28/08/2018 10:58:56

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