The Emerald Isle’s natural beauty comes into its own once spring arrives, making Easter an excellent time of year to take your family on an Irish getaway. Surrounded by ancient Irish countryside, Ashford Castle offers superlative accommodation for all the family, as well as plenty of activities to keep everyone happy. Expect picturesque walks, hearty food and drink and plenty of child friendly events. Here’s how to have an unforgettable family Easter in Ireland.
North Mayo Sculpture Trail
This coastal art installation, called Tír Sáile in Irish, comprises 14 sculptures designed by local artists to celebrate ‘Mayo 5000’, the five millennia that have passed since the oldest surviving human imprint in County Mayo was formed. Each work of art has been created according to the Irish concept of Meitheal, where a group of people work together in order to achieve a united goal, and, from start to finish, this has been a guiding principle in the project. Families can explore these unique works of stone and natural sculpture as well as enjoying a trail that passes through some of Mayo’s most idyllic coastal towns and villages.
Galway Food Festival (Easter Weekend)
Historically, Ireland has always been a land of emigration and immigration. This has led to a great deal of cultural crosspollination, the fruits of which can be sampled along with traditional Irish fare at Galway’s Food Festival. Closer to Ashford Castle, County Mayo has a great selection of weekly and monthly farmers’ markets, where locals go to buy the finest fresh produce.
Take a stroll through Ireland’s past at Cong
Cong, located in peaceful of County Mayo, is full of fascinating relics. Aside from the majestic Ashford Castle, the ruins at the Royal Abbey make for a very romantic ramble. Additionally, Monk’s Fishing House is a secluded spot for a picnic, and the eerie mossy beauty of the ancient Pigeon Hole Cave is the perfect place for a quiet moment of contemplation with your loved ones.
Feel the sea breeze at Achill Island
Achill Island perches between ruggedly beautiful cliffs on one side and towering green mountains on the other. If you come by car, the road to Keem crests the Croaghaun Mountain, offering a breathtaking view of the island. Your family and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks are your only companions, as you hike down to the white sand of Keem beach. For seafaring families, Keem is a popular site for all kinds of water sports.
Enjoy an Irish feast
Ireland is famed for its hospitality, and with good reason. Hearty home cooking – such as rustic beef stew or boiled cabbage and bacon – is the quickest and tastiest way to warm up after a bracing spring walk. Treat the family to a meal in Ashford Castle’s atmospheric Dungeon restaurant, which serves a bistro-style menu that incorporates plenty of national favourites. Accompany your meal with some freshly baked Irish soda bread and wash it down, of course, with a pint of Guinness or a smooth Irish coffee. An extensive kids menu and complimentary fun book is guaranteed to keep the younger members of the family happy too.
Enjoy an Easter break the whole family will enjoy at Ashford Castle.
Image Credits: Lead image © Alan Counihan/Mayo County Council. Walter Michael 'Caochain' © Mayo County Council. Cong riverside © iStock/meldayus. Irish Stew at Dungeon Bar, Ashford Castle © Red Carnation Hotels.