Once upon a time there was a family who were in great need of magic. But that family didn’t want to empty their bank account for the sake of an enchanted trip. So, the wise family decided to drive across Ireland in search of leprechauns and other creatures. Check out our guide for your own mythical trip.
Your son is way too down to earth
Oh boy, do the woods of Slieve Gullion have some stories to tell! This magical land is a great introduction to the legends of the Emerald Island. Explore the Giant’s Lair and its upturned table and chairs, listen to spooky stories, admire the fairy houses and step onto the rope bridges in the Fairy Kingdom. How’s that for a first stop?
Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Newry, Co Down
You are obsessed with blogs dedicated to sightings of leprechauns
Continue your journey south to Carlingford 40 miles (64km) north of Dublin. The coastal town is home to Ireland last remaining leprechauns. You can explore the underground Leprechaun and Fairy cavern where a leprechaun whisperer will welcome you. And if you happen to be there during springtime, there’s a Leprechaun Hunt where families take their kids to Sliabh Foy in search of the little people.
Shalom Buildings Ghan Road Carlingford Co. Louth
You won’t admit it, but you like it when your wife is terrified
70 miles (113 km) later, you’ll reach lovely Dublin. In the centre of the Irish capital, your search for the little bearded man can start at the Otherworld, residence of magic creatures. In this atypical museum, storytellers will enchant your family with local folktales and storytelling.
National Leprechaun Museum, Jervis Street, Dublin
Your daughter has given up Snapchat for folktales
Just north of Galway heading towards Tuam, Knockma Woods is home of Finvarra King of the Connacht fairies in Irish fairy lore. From the car park and after the ruins of Castlehackett, the trail ascends to the 552 ft high (168 m) Knockma Hill. There, you can wander around a few of the estimated 60,000 fairy forts on the island.
Knockma Firgrove Gardens, Bishopstown, Co. Cork
You can’t sleep since you have lost your lucky rabbit’s foot
Drive 8 miles (14 km) north to Blarney Castle in Cork, the 600-year-old castle. There, you can walk around the castle grounds to find the Blarney Stone. Once kissed the stone bestows the gift of eloquence. If you dare, wander at your own risk in the Poison Garden, then make your wishes come true at the Wishing Steps.
Blarney Castle, Blarney, Cork
Your daughter’s best friend thinks ghosts are kinda sexy
One hour and half west, the 24,425 acres (9 ha) Killarney National Park is home of the Ancient Emerald Forest Trail, the O’Sullivans Cascades, and the Drumluska Cottage. Don’t forget the Park’s lower lake where the 15th century Ross Castle stands. Legend has it that on the first morning of May, every seven years, the ghost of Kerry chieftain O’Donoghue Mor rises from the lake on his white horse.
Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry