Imagine a quiet place to go on safari with your children, or slide down a zip-line while the little ones practice zorbing. This is not the beginning of a fairytale; it is Northern Ireland.
This is the land where some of the most memorable Game of Thrones scenes have been shot. Tucked among the nation's forests, mountains and moorlands are several trails where you can relive some of the intense experiences and meet key characters from the smash-hit series: follow the footsteps of Jon Snow, sail the same waters as Tyrion and Jorah, train with broadswords and behold where the Iron Throne sits.
There are endless options, such as coasteering (climbing, swimming and jumping rocks on the coast), bouldering (climbing without the use of ropes or harnesses), caving, high ropes (crossing a network of rope challenges between suspension bridges), blokarting (sliding along the beaches in sand yachts), and hovercrafting (driving an air-cushion vehicle over land and water). With so much to choose from, Northern Ireland is steadily becoming an ideal place for a family trip.
There are many adventure companies, but the leading one that offers these services is The Jungle, a huge amusement park amidst the Sperrin Mountains’ forests, in the heart of Northern Ireland. One of its main attractions, in addition to having the first paintball facility in the UK, is a huge network of ropes and obstacles hanging from trees more than 30 meters above ground.
Besides Lough Foyle and Binevenagh Mountain, there is another area designated to adventure sports like hovercrafting and driving an air-cushion vehicle that seems to float over any surface. You can also go climbing, horseback riding, and river climbing in the Mourne Mountains. County Fermanagh is excellent for practicing all kinds of water sports.
If you are looking for a more extreme experience, you can learn to surf the waves of the Atlantic Ocean or explore the stunning Causeway Coast (the Giant's Causeway) on a speedboat, where you can see thousands of basalt blocks that were formed millions of years ago after a volcanic eruption.
Glamping and family packages
In order to curate a family vacation, you just have to choose the most appealing plans. In addition to outdoor activities, most adventure companies have a glamping area: a camping site with all the amenities of a hotel. For instance, Todds Leap Adventure Centre offers accommodation in Snooze Boxes for four people, with a bathroom, kitchen and television. This centre’s activities include zorbing, 4x4 tours along the hills and rivers of the area, and the highest zip-line in Ireland, which is 50 meters high and 500 meters long.
Trannish Island may be the best option if you are looking for water activities. Located on the huge Lough Erne, it has areas for caravans and a typical stone house that can accommodate up to 12 people. Not far from the island, Share Discovery Village is a vast centre for numerous activities such as kayaking and canoeing. There are plenty of activities for children, such as movie-making, painting, makeup, and pottery workshops.
Family houses in The Jungle can accommodate eight people, with a picnic area for barbecues. On the high ropes, parents will feel like Tarzan and their children can jump like Mowgli. The Jungle also offers an adventure course specially designed for the little ones and a trekking route beside a llama.
In the Mourne Mountains, East Coast Adventure has houses that look like huge igloos made of wood. In addition to waking up to the view of the mountains, guests can rent bicycles to explore Castlewellan, the most varied and exciting bike trial circuit in Northern Ireland. Your family will never forget the holidays you spent exploring forests, castles and picturesque villages.
Come explore our perfect family destinations here.