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 walk on 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 that focus on leprechaun sightings
Continue your journey south to Carlingford 64 km north of Dublin. This coastal town is home to Ireland’s 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
113 km on and 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 magical creatures and a leprechaun museum. In this atypical museum, storytellers will enchant your family with local folk stories.
National Leprechaun Museum, Jervis Street, Dublin
Your daughter has swapped Snapchat for folk stories
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 168 m high 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 lost your lucky rabbit’s foot
Drive 14 km north to Blarney Castle in Cork, a 600-year-old castle. There, you can walk around the castle grounds and discover the famous Blarney Stone. Once kissed, this 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 cool
One hour and half west, the 9 ha Killarney National Park is home to the Ancient Emerald Forest Trail, the O’Sullivans Cascades and 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