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A lovely day out with the kids in Kerry

March 26th, 2014
ewan_lamb

Chatting with the lambs (Photo credit: dreamireland)

 

It was a fine sunny morning last Thursday and it really felt like Spring was in the air so I bundled my two toddlers into the car and headed for Kennedy’s Pet Farm in Killarney as a treat.  As soon as we arrived there were squeals of delight from the back seat as they spotted new baby lambs in the field right beside where we parked the car.  We were warmly welcomed on arrival by a friendly girl who told us there was no time restriction and that we were free to wander around and enjoy ourselves.  The only things we were told “we don’t touch” were the baby chickens.

So off we headed on our adventure and we were spoilt for choice.  The first pets we came across were some adorable little puppies so they were a big hit.  Almost immediately the two friendly baby deer took a fancy to our buggy and changing bag and decided to trot around alongside us for the whole time we were there – much to the delight of my pair!  There were hens, pigeons, partridges and all sorts of birds and the duck pond was home not only to a lovely selection of ducks but also to the biggest turkey I have ever seen!!

There were lots of baby lambs leaping around us along with some baby goats and the two cutest little calves (one of whom proceeded to chomp on the end of my youngest’s scarf again to squeals of laughter!)

baby_calf

My eldest was thrilled with the old de-commissioned bus that he could clamber up into and “drive” using the massive old steering wheel.  There is also an outdoor playground with slides and swings and towers to climb that kept us busy for a good while and the animals come and go and play around you.

We spent a lovely few hours enjoying the fresh air and very tame animals.  I would highly recommend this for a lovely day out when staying in Killarney or Kenmare.  For full details go to Kennedy’s Pet Farm

 

Dream Ireland Holiday Homes along the Wild Atlantic Way

February 18th, 2014
wild_atlantic_way_sign

Signpost along the Wild Atlantic Way route just outside Kenmare in County Kerry (Photo credit: dreamireland)

Over the next few months we are going to be hearing a huge amount on television, online and in the newspapers about the Wild Atlantic Way.  It is a brand new signposted driving route all along the West coast of Ireland from Kinsale, County Cork in the South right up to Donegal in the North with detours and loops to explore some of the less visited areas.  In all, it will run for 2400kms (1500 miles).  Tourism Ireland are promoting it as the “longest defined coastal drive in the world” and will be marketing it all over the world in an effort to attract tourists to Ireland, and in particular, the West coast of Ireland.

Wild-Atlantic-logo

The Wild Atlantic Way

The promotional video really captures the elements of what is trying to be achieved and features some incredible imagery from the route.  To see the promotional video click on the following You Tube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNjsFzyKJOI - we think you will be impressed!

View along Slea Head Drive of Blasket Islands ...

View along Slea Head Drive of Blasket Islands and Counmeenole Beach, Co. Kerry (Photo credit: Failte Ireland Images)

To find out about all the Dream Ireland holiday homes located along (or very close to) the Wild Atlantic Way route simply click on the following link:

www.dreamireland.com/wildatlanticway

All the holiday homes along the route will have a  marker on them to help you on your way to deciding which of our wonderful properties you are going to stay at in 2014!

 

Fungi,Dingle Harbour

Fungi,Dingle Harbour (Photo credit: Failte Ireland Images)

We look forward to welcoming you and to helping you enjoy the experience that is Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thumbs up for the new Parknasilla Playground

October 17th, 2013
Parknasilla_swing

Parknasilla_swing (Photo credit: dreamireland)

We brought our chief playground testers (aged 4,3 and 1) to Parknasilla last week to check out their brand new playground.

The swings were the bucket seat ones so ideal and perfectly safe for the little ones.  The little playhouse is perfect for imaginary games and hide and seek and the see-saw, slide, springy animals and hopscotch were a big hit.  There is even one of those big basket swings for everyone to get on at the same time!

Parknasilla_playhouse_2

Parknasilla_playhouse_2 (Photo credit: dreamireland)

 

 

 

 

The playground is really well designed and reassuringly safe with a lovely squidgy soft play surface and a gate with a latch that is a little bit too high for small hands to reach up to – so great peace of mind for Mums and Dads that no-one will escape when their backs are turned!

All in all there was  a resounding thumbs up for the playground from our testers – we will be back!

 

PARKNASILLA RESORT & SPA, Sneem, Co. Kerry

Parknasilla really does have it all.  It is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway in one of the world’s most stunning locations.  It also manages to offer the ideal solution for a family holiday in Ireland combining just the right mix of indoor and outdoor activities and facilities.  While staying at the Woodland Villas at Parknasilla Resort and Spa guests have free use of the hotel swimming pool and spa areas and you are free to meander around the 500 acre estate with 7 planned walks and an incredible and unique Fairy Trail Walk perfectly suited to children. Watch their faces as they discover the delights along the way!  Add to this the onsite services of a world-class hotel and a golf course and you really do have something to suit everyone.

To book your stay at the family friendly Woodland Villas at Parknasilla Resort & Spa go to www.dreamireland.com/parknasilla or call us on 064 6641170.

Parknasilla_swings_2

Parknasilla_swings_2 (Photo credit: dreamireland)

Parknasilla_playhouse_1

Parknasilla_playhouse_1 (Photo credit: dreamireland)

 

Banna Music Fest

October 10th, 2013
october-musicfest

october-musicfest (Photo credit: dreamireland)

Banna Beach Resort just outside Tralee in County Kerry is going to be THE place to be over the October Bank Holiday weekend with lots of entertainment planned for guests:

On Saturday 26th October there will be a Children’s Disco followed by live music by Beautiful Noise and ending with a live performance by Bagatelle! On Sunday there will be Magic Show followed by more live music with All Rights Reserved followed by a Super Sunday Disco & Fancy Dress with lots of great prizes to be won!!  **

While staying at Banna Beach Resort you have free use of the Resort’s swimming pool with kiddies area and there is also a great outdoor adventure playground to keep the little ones entertained.

To book your fun-packed October Bank Holiday break at Banna Beach Resort simply click on the following link:

BANNA BEACH MUSIC-FEST

**Please note that as Bar Exemptions will be in place on both Saturday and Sunday nights, all children under the age of 18 must have left the premises by 11pm on each night.

Halloween Howl in Kenmare

October 10th, 2013

Halloween Howl in Kenmare 

This year will see the biggest and best Halloween Howl Festival take place in Kenmare over the October mid-term break and Bank Holiday Weekend. There are so many activities planned, just a taster of which include:

  • Scary Halloween Movie
  • Pumpkin Parlour
  • Witches Kitchen
  • Fancy Dress Disco for kids
  • Scrumptious Scullery
  • Haunted Forest Event
  • Humpty Dumpty Duathlon
  • Hazelwood Haunted House Experience
  • Ghost Trips on the Bay with Captain Ray on Seafari
  • Scary Story Telling for kids and adults
  • Face painting
  • Zombie Photo Booth

and the main event – the Halloween Howl Parade on the 31st October followed by games and hot chocolate in the Square!  Ghosts of years past, witches, warlocks and ghouls will be coming out to play and will make Kenmare the scariest town in Ireland this Halloween.

Kenmare_haunted_forest

Kenmare_haunted_forest (Photo credit: dreamireland)

Spooky_skyline_kenmare

Spooky_skyline_kenmare (Photo credit: dreamireland)

pumpkins_cropped

pumpkins_cropped (Photo credit: dreamireland)

To view all our Dream Ireland Holiday Homes in Kenmare simply click on the following link:

DREAM IRELAND HOLIDAY HOMES IN KENMARE

or to view all our special offers over the October Bank Holiday Weekend and Halloween, simply click on the link below:

DREAM IRELAND HALLOWEEN BREAKS

A great day out when staying at Wolseley Holiday Lodges this Easter

March 25th, 2013
Easter eggs // Ostereier

Easter eggs // Ostereier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are looking for something fun to do with your kids while staying at Wolseley Holiday Lodges at Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Country Club, then look no further!

Rathwood Centre, just a five minute drive from Mount Wolseley, has a family-friendly Easter train running from Saturday 23rd March right through till Sunday the 7th April. The train goes from the Rathwood Courtyard into the woods on a fun-filled adventure and egg hunt in Rathwood Forest! Expect to meet some interesting characters along the way!

 

Mount Wolseley-The Park

Mount Wolseley-The Park (Photo credit: dreamireland)

Children over 1 year will receive a chocolate Easter Egg and a hot chocolate drink for their help in the mission and will delight in the excitement of the adventure.

Adults €5
Children €10
Babies under 12 months are free but will not receive an egg or hot chocolate

Book now at http://tickets.rathwood.com/

Triathlon weekend away in Valentia

May 26th, 2011

The best place to stay when it rains….

We were all excited with the prospect of a Sprint Triathlon in Valentia Island in deepest South Kerry on the Ring of Kerry last weekend. Previous years had been warm and sunny. This year was to prove different! As we heard the forecast we decided against a BBQ in the garden of our rented holiday home and opted for a “Four-Alarm” Chilli with the best of Rib-eye beef minced from Roger’s Butchers in Kenmare.
We rented three self-catering  houses. One house supplied main courses, another desserts and another wine and beer.
Inside we were warm and cosy but outside the winds were whipping in from Waterville direction so much so, that early on Saturday morning, the swim from the Mainland at Renard Point to Knightstown looked in doubt. Finally at 12 noon the location of the swim was changed and we returned back to the warm comfort of our houses to while away a few hours by watching TV and snacking. Despite the harsh weather we donned our gear and headed off to the safety briefing. The rest of the afternoon went by in a blur 250 swimmers followed by another 250 swimmers, then 500 cyclists speeding around Valentia in gale force winds and finally the third leg was a run of 5k in driving rain – 2.5k up and then a pleasant 2.5k down….it was over!  Despite the severe weather we had survived – drenched and cold but relieved!
It was then that the beauty of staying in the holiday homes came into its own.  The heating was on, a load of wet damp clothes were put onto wash and we all had piping hot showers – bliss. One of the gang was so shattered they had to lie down to recover while the rest of us drank tea and discussed the weather and settled in to watch Leinster give a stunning performance…in the second half!
Dinner that night in our kitchen cum dining area was electric and the “craic” was super. It was so relaxing not to be rushed and pushed around the place and was very easy on the pocket.
Next morning after cooking a hearty breakfast some cycled off to Killarney, others packed up the nicely washed and dried sports gear, we recycled our empties and agreed that self-catering accommodation is the only way to go….

Click here for details on all of the holiday homes that Dream Ireland has available to rent in Kerry.

Perfect for family staycations Wolseley Holiday Lodges

May 26th, 2011
Mount Wolseley-The Park

Image by dreamireland via Flickr

 Wolseley Holiday Lodges are the ideal location for your family staycation this year.  The houses are on the grounds of the fabulous 4* luxury Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa and Country Club and offer access to a host of family-friendly activities.  The Hotel has a leisure centre with swimming pool and kiddies pool and as guests of the Holiday Lodges you can use this free of charge.  

There is an outdoor children’s playground onsite  – ideal for tiring out young legs during the day!  The Hotel also has a children’s playroom area filled with toys and arts and crafts activities and for the youngest members of the family, there is a baby and toddler soft play area with rubber mats and soft, foamy toys to play with.  For the older kids, there is a games room with Wii consoles, pool tables and more.  

For the grown ups, the resort has a championship golf course and its own Spa so there really is something for everyone!  

During the summer months and usually over Easter and other holiday periods, the hotel runs it’s in-house children’s club – Woolie Bear’s Club.  There is a small daily charge per child.  This summer, the Woolie Bear’s Club is running from 27th June-27th August inclusive.  

For full details on all the facilities and activities that Mount Wolseley has to offer visit the Wolseley Holiday Lodges  information on our main website.  

 

and the Grandparents came along too

May 18th, 2011
The Inch at Mount Juliet Estate

The Inch at Mount Juliet Estate

We were invited to the wedding of one of my best friends this month in Carlow, close to the Kilkenny border.  I have two small children (22 months and just turned 7 months) so babysitting is always a challenge for weddings!  My parents agreed to mind for us but as we are based in Kenmare, Co. Kerry and my parents live in South County Dublin and the wedding was in Carlow, we needed to find somewhere to stay that would be convenient to all. 

Anyway, the first place I always look is on our own website dreamireland.com.  What I needed was a house with at least 4 bedrooms (we moved the baby out of our room months ago and there’s no chance he is getting back in there with us and I’m not yet confident enough to put the two boys in the same room for fear of one waking the other just when we are settling into peaceful nights of unbroken sleep!).  So the place that hopped out at me was The Inch at Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.  We have only had this fabulous property on our books at Dream Ireland for a few months and I had yet to go and visit it so it was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with the one stone (the fact that it is one of the nicest and most luxurious properties on our website helped sway my decision too!). 

So the arrangement was made – Mum and Dad were thrilled as they love Mount Juliet and are Golf fanatics and it co-incided with my Dad’s birthday so we were going to be able to celebrate over lunch the day after the wedding. 

As this is not one of our pet-friendly properties (click here for details on our pet friendly properties in Ireland) the dog had to be dropped into the kennels in Kenmare before we left.   We hit the road at about 12 noon – very early for us, be we were excited about the prospect of staying somewhere so nice for the weekend and these days we don’t get away much – and arrived at Mount Juliet at around 3.30pm after a few minor diversions along the way (we don’t follow instructions too well!).  We were greeted by Lorna at the house after texting her on our way to give her an eta.  She took the time to show us around the (massive) house which took a while as there just seemed to be rooms everywhere and then she showed us the operating instructions for all the appliances and TVs and stuff and left us as it. 

As soon as she walked out the door, we both grinned at eachother and flopped down onto the fabulous waterbed in what we had decided was “our” bedroom!   The next hour was spent chasing our 22 month old around the house and picking up all potential missiles, breakables, battering rams etc and “safeguarding” the house as best as possible.  What’s great about The Inch though is that it is clearly a well-loved and lived-in family home so you wouldn’t be terrified of letting your kids loose (not like if you were staying in a luxury hotel).  The sitting room had a great big TV with all the Sky channels so we put on Mickey Mouse and it was like being at home with the kids!  Mum and Dad arrived about an hour later and my husband delighted in showing them around “our” house!  I’m not sure how thrilled they were when we showed them their bedroom for the weekend -  beautiful double bedroom with ensuite bathroom and doors opening out onto the patio at the back of the house overlooking the River – as it was sandwiched between the bedrooms on either side assigned to the kids! As they had agreed to mind, we had decided to take full advantage of the situation and take the master bedroom on the third floor and put them on the first floor!!! 

The house has it’s own lift – much to my toddler’s delight – and was great for hauling the bags up to our room and down to Mum and Dad’s and the kids rooms.  We had brought along our own travel cots as the kids are used to sleeping in them when we go to stay in Dublin, but there was a highchair there for us to use. 

We brought most of our own food and wine but my husband and I headed into Thomastown, the closest town, once Mum and Dad got settled in, and picked up some essentials in town (there is a big Supervalu just outside the town and a Day Break shop in the centre of town) along with a Chinese take away for us all.  There are other take-aways in town and Lorna had left us contact details for a lady who will make home cooked meals and drop them out to the house to you (sure why not?  You’re on your holidays!) 

When the kids were in bed, we all settled in to eat our dinner and watch a movie in the cinema downstairs – yes, I did say cinema!!  There is a lovely homely lounge area downstairs with a big screen and projector – we were just delighted with ourselves! 

We all had a relatively early night and next morning got up, washed and sterilised the bottles, cooked up lunch and dinner for my eldest (these jobs still have to be done even if you are on holidays but it is great to be able to do them in a proper, fully equipped kitchen).  My husband insisted on cooking up a full breakfast (it’s just his “thing” he likes to do as man of the house).  Again, it was great to all be sitting around in our pyjamas eating our breakfast and to be able to let the kids loose rather than having to all get dressed and try and restrain them in a hotel restaurant for breakfast. 

After the clean up, we got showered (in the biggest shower I have ever been in with the most ginormous shower head ever) and dressed in our dressing room off our bedroom (we were starting to get used to this by now!) and at 12.30 we headed off for the day to the wedding, secure in the knowledge that my parents and our kids were going to be perfectly happy and had everything they could possibly need for the day. 

While we were gone, the rest of them went out walking around the estate – perfect for pushing a buggy and safe enough to let toddlers run around.  There were horses and foals to admire down at the Stud which forms part of the Estate.  Mum went over for a swim in the leisure centre while the kids (and Grandad I suspect) took their early afternoon nap. 

We got a taxi back to The Inch that night and snuck in the door and up to the sanctum of our bedroom upstairs – not a peep from the floor below.  We all slept soundly and next morning we headed over to the Club House for some early lunch before hitting the road for Kerry and Dublin. 

All in all it was a lovely weekend away with the whole family which we all thoroughly enjoyed.  I would highly recommend staying here if you have a few bob you are willing to spend on your family holiday this year and want to stay in Ireland but don’t want to scrimp on luxury (the prices are not cheap for The Inch but it really is worth every penny).  It would also be a great alternative to staying in the Hotel if you were going to a wedding with other friends at Mount Juliet or were going golfing down there for a few days as there are 5 bedrooms, loads of bathrooms and a study that converts into another bedroom so between 12 of you it might be a nice treat.  What’s really great about it is that is so much more sociable than being stuck in separate hotel rooms and having to meet up in the Hotel bar.  Instead you could just do what we did, bring your own food and drink with you along with a few DVD’s to watch in the cinema! 

For full details on this amazing property visit our website listing The Inch at Mount Juliet Estate and click her for details of all our luxury properties around Ireland.

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Top ten things to do in Kerry and Ireland by tony on September 1st, 2010
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The Highest Mountain in Ireland

September 1st, 2010

Carrauntoohill is Ireland‘s highest mountain standing at over 1,000metres which by international standards is low but on scenery and beauty it is among the best. My walk with my 14 year old son Cormac took place at the end of August a beautiful sunny day with no clouds. We opted for the well known Brother O Shea’s gully offering dramatic views with a few steep scrambling bits and then a simple walk to the top where a photo with the Iron Cross is the norm. Lunch never tastes as good anywhere else with sweeping views to Inch Beach and far reaching Kenmare Bay down to Allihies. Our route down was via the Heavenly Gates which I generally miss the entry and then have to retrace my steps. Again the views are inspiring and incredibly beautiful. A mandatory visit to Kate Kearneys Pub in The Gap of Dunloe finished a great walking day in Kerry and Ireland! There are  terrific options self-catering houses in Killarney area such as recently refurbished Muckross Lakeside Holiday Village.