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#148 Explore the Best Irish Castles for Kids with Jody Halsted | Irish Fireside Podcast

Recorded: Monday, March 14, 2016

#148 Explore the Best Irish Castles for Kids with Jody Halsted | Irish Fireside Podcast
Irish Fireside

Jody Halsted is a guest on Irish Fireside with Corey Taratuta. She answers Max’s question about choosing the best castles for kids in Ireland.


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Jody Halsted of Ireland Family Vacations joins Corey Taratuta of Irish Fireside on his podcast. Jody has traveled through Ireland with her family annually for many years and is known for her extensive knowledge of traveling through Ireland with families. She and Corey discuss some of the best castles to visit with families.

What are the best Irish castles for kids?

Jody Halsted from www.IrelandFamilyVacations.com


What are the main benefits of visiting an Irish castle?

The history and the fantasy.

#148 Explore the Best Irish Castles for Kids with Jody Halsted | Irish Fireside Podcast
Photo courtesy of Irish Fireside

How did your daughters deal with the idea of a Disney castle with the reality of an Irish Castle?

Disney builds the anticipation of seeing a real castle.

Where should we start to find the ideal Irish castle?

Bunratty Castle.

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Co Clare

Includes a climb to the top of roof, animals, playground, pub – close to Shannon Airport – https://www.shannonheritage.com/BunrattyCastleAndFolkPark/

Malahide Castle, Co Dublin

Owned by the same family for 800 years – has a resident friendly ghost and beautiful, extensive grounds with playground and passenger train – https://www.shannonheritage.com/MalahideCastleAndGardens/

Blarney Castle, Co Cork

Home of the Blarney Stone – try the souvenir audio guide – a tour of the grounds is more interesting than the castle – poison garden/apothecary garden – Rock Close, Wishing Stairs, Seven Sisters and the standing stones, megalithic tomb – https://www.blarneycastle.ie/

Birr Castle Demense, Co Offaly

You don’t tour the castle – it’s home to a science museum and the one-time largest telescope in the world – beautiful gardens – carriage rides – Ireland’s Largest Treehouse – http://www.birrcastle.com/

Ashford Castle, Co Mayo

Five-star hotel property – becomes Hogwarts over Halloween full of wizardry – allows mom and dad to enjoy time on the lake or great meals – https://www.ashfordcastle.com/

Maximum age to be considered a kid:

Once kids reach 12 or 13 years old, they’re not necessarily put in the child category.

Falconry in Ireland

  • Amazing experiences to have in Ireland. Highly recommend.
  • Several places and castles in Ireland have FalconryHawk Walk at Mount Falcon Estate in County Mayo Ireland.

Other Activities that Ashford Castle Offers:

Ashford Castle also offers horseback riding, archery, clay pigeon shooting.

Knappogue Castle, Co Clare

near Shannon Airport and Bunratty Castle – no longer offer castle tours – they are open for medieval banquets and for guests who stay overnight in the castle state rooms – https://www.shannonheritage.com/DaytimeAttractions/KnappogueCastleWalledGarden

What tips do you have for experiences with kids and castles?

  • They are not ADA equipped.
  • Remember the limits of your children
  • Keep a close eye on your kids

Are ruined castles good places to visit with kids?

OPW/Office of Public Works/Heritage Ireland – http://www.heritageireland.ie/

Cahir Castle, Co Tipperary


Rock of Cashel, Co Tipperary


Ross Castle, Co Kerry


OPW Heritage Pass


Shannon Heritage


King Johns Castle, Co Limerick

Close to Shannon Airport, Lough Gur, and Bunratty – https://www.shannonheritage.com/KingJohnsCastle/

Enniskellin Castle, Co Fermanagh

Near Lough Erne – military history with a History Detective pamphlet for youth – http://www.enniskillencastle.co.uk/

Carrickfergus Castle

Glenveagh Castle and Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal

pathways, gardens, and lookouts – rent an electric bicycle – http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/

Ireland Family Vacations

Jody Halsted: www.IrelandFamilyVacations.com — Start Your Journey Here

Final Remarks

Mary Mulvihill – www.ingeniousireland.com


Jody Halsted
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