Are you expecting family or friends to come down and visit you for Easter? If so, and you’re looking for ideas to plan out some great day trips, we’ve you sorted.
Fortunately, Ireland offers a great time at Easter, and there are plenty of activities and locations that cater to the entire family. These are our personal best Easter day trips ideas, but we are always looking to make your bucket-list more interesting and fun!
Johnstown Castle, Wexford
Johnstown Castle tops my day trip list, and for good reason. If it were a movie, it would be a total family entertainer. It has all of the following: a fairy-tale castle, gardens and lakes, the Irish agricultural museum, and a peacock café. If you are wondering about the latter, it lives up to its name – you will be pleasantly surprised and greeted by some very friendly peacocks on the property!
It makes for the perfect day out, Easter day trip or not. We went in August, and I had such a good time feeding the peacocks, taking in all the intriguing objects and stories that reflect the realities of life in rural Ireland over the centuries, and…taking some Instagram worthy shots! (Proof below)
You will be happy to know that there’s an Easter Trail at Johnstown Castle and you can find the link here.
Killruddery House and Gardens, Wicklow
This 800-acre estate in Wicklow is my second favourite when it comes to planning an Easter day trip. We visited the house and gardens on a Saturday – that’s when the Killruddery Farm Market is held, from 10 to 4. We had such a lovely time hopping from one stall to another, but there was even more to do after we had finished the farm market.
We visited the gardens, the grain shop, the farm yard coffee shop, the pizza shed, and also did some people watching – there was a wedding party at the property!
A house tour is also available (quite handy if the day isn’t glorious and turns out to be rainy!). Do note that the Brabazon family have been living at Killruddery since 1618 and their guided House Tour opens a door to their family history, a 400 year story that continues to unfold.
During the Garden Open Season, House tours take place Tuesday – Sunday, at 12.00, 13.30 and 15.00 and can be booked upon your arrival to the Entrance Shop at Killruddery, with larger groups advised to book in advance by emailing [email protected].
There’s an Easter Treasure Trail and Family Experience (in aid of the DSPCA) and bookings are still available. It promises to be fun and if you want this to be your Easter day trip, do make plans at the earliest.
Birr Castle and Gardens, County Offaly
The Birr Castle celebrated 400 years in 2021, and is totally worth a day trip. Think of rare flowers and trees, wildlife, walks, and some amazing feats of science and engineering. Do you know that the Birr Castle and Gardens, among other things, plays home to what was in the early 1840s the largest telescope in the world? This was a time when when Birr Castle was a hub of scientific discovery and innovation, the third Earl was building the great telescope and his wife Mary was practising her photography.
There’s lots on if you’re doing an Easter day-trip here. From Easter Egg Hunt to Wild Connections Easter Camp to Forest Bathing, find all the relevant information here.
Hook Lighthouse, Wexford
I am taking you back to Wexford again, this time for Hook Lighthouse. It is one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world, and has a lovely visitor centre and a café.
Plus it has plenty happening this Easter weekend. From the Easter egg hunt and games on the lawns with the Pirate Pat and his crew to Easter arts and crafts sessions with their resident artist Rose.
Parke’s Castle, County Leitrim
There’s no doubt that Parke’s castle has a most stunning setting. It sits on the northern shores of Lough Gill in County Leitrim.
The Castle has been carefully restored using Irish oak and traditional craftsmanship. A permanent exhibition of artefacts from the 17th century including replica period costumes and furniture, is on display inside the grounds. Plus, it has what is called the ‘defended stairway’ – custom-made to suit its left-handed owner! (The positioning of alcoves in the wall that the stair case was moving downwards in a clockwise motion. This means that captain Parke was more than likely left-handed as medieval castle stair ways were designed to be easily defended by sword.)
You could made a nice day trip to Parke’s Castle – take a scenic drive along the shores of Lough Gill to the village of Dromahair. The Rose of Innisfree Tourboat offers boat tours of Lough Gill, leaving from Parke’s Castle. Makes for a rather amazing day trip, isn’t it? Pack yourself a little picnic – muffins, sandwiches, some fruit and drink, and you are all set for the day!
We have plenty of more ideas and inspiration that are good for any time of the year, and should you want more, do check out the following: