Ireland Family Vacation Report : The Hogan Family

This site generates income via partnerships with carefully selected travel brands and/ or purchases made through links to them. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See why this is important.

As my family is in transit to Ireland, I wanted to share this short trip report and photos from Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan who traveled to Ireland with her husband and three young sons in 2011.

Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan
The author, Elizabeth, her husband Edward and their three boys at the Lough in Cork

When we took our three young children to Ireland for the first time, there were a few must-do items on our list. 

  1. Spend as much time with family as possible. 
  2. Visit the Lough. 
  3. See castles. 
Items 1 and 2 were easy! My husband is from Ireland but moved away at a young age. Much of his family still lives there and on visits back home, some of his fondest memories were of playing at the Lough in Cork city with his cousins. They’d feed the ducks and swans, walk down the street a bit to the shop and buy candy. He’d delight in the Irish money and the superior Irish chocolate. 
The Lough was a highlight for our family in 2011. Despite the rain, the playground was voted “very fun” and the birds were “amazing” according to our kids, then ages 6, 4 and 1. Having my husband’s wonderful aunt and uncle join us made the day even more special.
at Blarney castle
The author and her boys at Blarney castle
 To complete task 3, we visited Blarney and Cahir Castles. While Blarney has always been well-known, the amount of visitors at the castle far surpassed anything I’d seen since my first visit there in 1995. But the park surrounding Blarney offers a lovely garden, a cave and lots of room to roam, as well as ice cream. We enjoyed ourselves and the crowds didn’t bother us. But to really explore a castle in detail, we headed to Cahir Castle. There the boys (and Mom and Dad) were able to really crawl over, on, inside, and under everything from deep dark dungeons to tower tops, inside banquet halls and behind cannon barrels! 
Cannon at Cahir Castle
Checking out the cannons at Cahir Castle
 We kept plans simple, made family a priority and had an incredible visit. 
Badgers cave at Blarney Castle
Exploring Badger's Cave at the base of Blarney Castle
Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan is the author of My Food Notebook & The Bumpy, Grumpy Road.  Connect with Elizabeth on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. electrical wheelchair

    Accessible ,wheelchair,hotels, and so on so on
    Disable marine veteran

      Hi William. Thank you for your comment and your service to our country.
      I would be happy to help you personally to find accessible attractions, hotels, etc.
      I will say that many of the historic sites are somewhat accessible, but not 100%.
      If you are planning a trip to Ireland, please do email me and I will assist you in planning a trip that you will enjoy.
      If you have questions about specific sites, I am also happy to provide any answers I can.

Submit your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.