If your family needs a boost this summer, there is no better prescription than a healthy dose of Vitamin (C)lare.
The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis has developed a fun family break that will revitalise worn out parents and give kids a healthy dose of the great outdoors.
The beautifully restored 18th Century Manor House hotel, which is owned by the Flynn Family, is steeped in history, full of character, and it has a real ‘home away from home’ feel that families love. Points of interest include the extensive art collection hung on the walls, a private library to snuggle up with a book and the picturesque ‘Poet’s Garden’ where you dine al fresco in comfort with sustainably heated outdoor seating. They are also launching a new wellness space called ‘Le Petit Spa’ for those looking to indulge in some pampering self-care during their stay.
Located in the heart of Ennis town, it is the perfect base to explore the famous Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, the majestic Shannon, and the Wild West, which will be largely free from overseas visitors this year. The Old Ground is centrally located so that most major attractions are no more than a 20-to-30-minute trip from the hotel.
With its jaw-dropping coast, County Clare is full of legends and natural beauty. The medieval town of Ennis itself has lots to offer with walking tours, a sculpture trail, The Riches of Clare exhibition at the Clare Museum where you can see artifacts from the Spanish Armada and monastic sites, and you can visit the resting place of kings at the historic Ennis Friary.
Your family can then venture along the coast of Clare through buzzing seaside towns from Doolin to Kilkee, and hike hidden trails through a stunning lunar landscape, as you revitalise and make memories.
The Old Ground’s top 10 Vitamin (C)lare suggestions to revitalise your family are:
– Top up on vitamin D with a beach day at Kilkee, Fanore or Spanish Point, or set your pulse racing with surfing lessons at Ben’s Surf Clinic in the salty waves of Lahinch.
– Get your fix of minerals with a daytrip to the rockstrewn limestone landscape of the Burren, which combined with the striking Cliffs of Moher are designated a Unesco Global Geopark.
– There are plenty of healthy fish oils to be enjoyed at the coastal town of Doonbeg after you work up an appetite sea kayaking, swimming, fishing, or on a family boat trip.
– Vitamin A can only stand for the Aran Islands where you can rent a bike and cycle the island or see the Cliff top fort of Dun Aonghusa, which is a World Heritage Site.
– Check your iron levels on a trip to Bronze and Iron Age Celtic lake dwellings at Craggaunowen where you will see ancient features including a crannóg, fulacht fiadh, ring fort, souterrain, the Brendan boat and a restored medieval castle.
– Top up your Vitamin B(unratty) at the 15th century Castle and Folk Park. They even have a pet farm, an animal farm, and an interactive fairy trail through enchanting woods and a walled garden, perfect for kids of all ages.
– Get your calcium carbonate and a digital detox deep underground at Doolin Caves or Ailwee Caves, which also has a fantastic Birds of Prey attraction, which is a big hit with older kids.
– Boost serotonin levels at the Moher Hill Open Farm and Leisure Park, where your family will meet cute animal characters including ‘Leroy’ the llama, ‘Andy’ the alpaca and ‘Ozzie’ the ostrich along with traditional farm animals.
– Stimulate your senses with a trip to the Burren Perfumery, take in the audio-visual tour on the flora and fauna of the Burren, enjoy a talk on perfume, cream, soap-making, and skincare or tantalise your taste buds in the tea-rooms.
– Nutrition is key to fuelling a family break so make sure to enjoy some of the amazing food on offer in County Clare, where seafood is a specialty. Head Chef at The Old Ground Hotel Freddy Ryan sources many ingredients locally for their family friendly menus at the Town Hall Bistro and Poet’s Corner Bar. Or enjoy a foodie experience at the Burren Smoke House or Wilde Irish Chocolates.
A 3-night Family Staycation package at the Old Ground costs from €749.99 or a family of 4 and includes bed and breakfast, with dinner on an evening of choice for 2 adults 2 kids (under 12), a surf lesson for children in Lahinch with Ben’s Surf Clinic, a trip to Aillwee caves and the “Birds of Prey” for the entire family, and a day trip to Bunratty, which includes complimentary entry for all to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.
Or make it a 4-night break with an additional activity – a special boat trip to Inis Oir on the Aran Islands plus a Cliffs of Moher Cruise – from €1070 for a family of 4. Or upgrade to their Junior Suites for some extra space and comfort.