People visiting Dublin for the May Bank Holiday will be very aware of the main Dublin attractions such as Dublin Zoo, Aquazone at the National Aquatic Centre, Guinness Storehouse and the recently reopened Jameson Distillery.
So with Castleknock Hotel currently promoting a ridiculously good package for May Bank Holiday from just €99 including a bottle of wine in your room, we've decided to put together a list of amazing alternative experiences that we think will prove to very enjoyable for this May Bank Holiday weekend.
A May Bank Holiday weekend in Dublin and the surrounding area offers a fantastic opportunity to get out and enjoy new experiences and destinations as a couple, family or group of friends.
As the Easter holidays draw to a close, it's easy to get depressed at the thoughts of returning to the doldrums of normality after some time off. However, as Summer approaches, there is always a bank holiday weekend around the corner to get excited about once again.
We’ve compiled a list of five alternative daytime ideas to enjoy your bank holiday weekend and they’re all within 30 minutes’ drive of Castleknock Hotel. There is always the option to enjoy our traditional favourites tourist spots such as Dublin Zoo, Aquazone at the National Aquatic Centre, Guinness Storehouse or Kilmainham Gaol but this is our 5 alternative picks for your May Bank Holiday Weekend.
Segway Tour of Phoenix Park, Dublin
If you’re thinking, meh a Segway tour of the Phoenix Park doesn’t sound like something you’d be bothered about, we’re willing to bet that you will leave claiming this was one of the highlights of your trip. We recently went on the Phoenix Park guided tour with some journalists and every single one of us came back raving about it.
In fact, it’s so popular, we’ve started selling a hotel package which includes the Segway tour. It lasts about an hour and they do give you some time at the beginning to get used to them. You learn some interesting facts about the park along the way, but the star of the show is the Segway. It certainly brings your inner child out and by the end your body feels at one with machine in an almost ‘zen’ sort of way. If they didn’t cost about €7,000, you will probably be trying desperately to justify the merits of buying one.
Unfortunately, this is not one of the kids as you must be over 14 to use them. However, the company do also offer a series of bikes to rent which although sounds like a complete anti-climax to the description of the Segway tour does bring its own enjoyment as you enjoy the sheer majesty that is The Phoenix Park. We couldn’t fit it in to our list of 5 attractions but a third option to view The Phoenix Park is to go on a horse riding trek with Ashtown Stables which is located beside the park itself and is an option for children aged 8 and over although they do offer junior lessons at their own facility for children 5 and over.
Butlers Chocolate Factory, Coolock, Dublin
An absolute must for any chocolate lovers and wonderful way to pass an afternoon for adults and children alike, Butlers Chocolates is a well-known Irish luxury maker of chocolates and chocolate products sold in over 40 countries worldwide. All its produce is made at its factory located in the Coolock area of Dublin, about 25 minutes from Castleknock Hotel. Visitors can watch a short film about its history, visit their small museum before a guided tour of the factory floor from a high vantage point before ending with a fun chocolate challenge that’s a feast for the senses, well certainly the taste buds anyway. You might feel that this is not an ideal option so soon after Easter but you’ll quickly get over that pretty soon after you’ve arrived. There is also the small matter of their glorious French style café located onsite to send you over the edge.
Clonfert Pet Farm, Kildare
This place is just bonkers but brilliant! The best way to describe it is how you might imagine the back garden of your school friend whose parents just won the lottery. It’s a petting farm mixed with a mishmash of children’s delights. The petting farm itself is filled with a mixture of domestic animals along with some of your more exotic variety such as a wallaby, llamas and other animals whose names you may never have even encountered. There are set feeding times and periods where you can hold and pet very cute little rabbits and over the Easter period they had an easter egg hunt trail that would have challenged Anneka Rice for at least an hour. This alone would have you covering the entire farm several times.
However, that’s not all. Clonfert also includes an indoor and outdoor playground, a picnic area and separate bbq zone, bouncy castle, 9 hole crazy golf (additional €2 charge per person), a small pedal kart track, stables, a football pitch and of course the on trend ‘fairy fort’. It also has a café serving hot food and drinks. It’s located about 10 minutes past the beautiful town of Maynooth, and it’s less than 30 minutes from Castleknock Hotel. Now it’s beside a country lane of a country road past another country road but that all adds to the magic of this quirky attraction and Maynooth is an ideal stop off point on the way. It’s excellent value at €15 per family and the staff are extremely friendly and accommodating which is all the more exceptional because this place can get busy around weekends and school holidays and this will include the May bank holiday weekend. Perfect for kids and adults who are fun loving and like animals.
Viking Splash Tour, Dublin City
Similar to Clonfert Petting Farm in that it’s the people and spirit of it that makes this tour so special. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time visitor to Dublin City or if you’ve been a thousand times before, so long as you’re up for a bit of laugh and get in to the bank- holiday vibe, this tour will not fail to disappoint. The Viking Splash Tour is similar to the alternative ‘duck tours’ you might have seen or experienced in other cities such as London and Seattle and the amphibious vehicles can run on road or waterway. What separates it is the unique Dublin wit of the drivers. They will inform and entertain you in equal measure as you are taken around the major and minor landmarks around Dublin City. This tour is perfect for all types of groups, big, small, young and old. Be sure to check the departure times and book in advance.
Rathbeggan Lakes, Dunshaughlin
This is another enjoyable day for families or adult groups and is located just 20 minutes’ drive from Castleknock Hotel. It does have more of an adult factor compared to Clonfert with options such as fishing, ziplining, abseiling and nature walks in addition to children’s amenities of which there are plenty. During the peak season such as the May Bank Holiday, all the facilities are available daily and admission to the park is just €2 per person and then you can purchase tokens to be used against some of the more ‘elaborate’ amenities. The swan paddle boats are simply a must for those who wish to be seen and exercise at the same time and the 1km and 2km walking trails are sure to provide you with the opportunity to have a guilt free gourmet dinner when you arrive back at Castleknock Hotel.
For more information or to book call (01) 640 6300 today!
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