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Holiday in Ireland with 3 kids and a newborn - WWYD?

(24 Posts)
Butterfliesprettybutterflies Wed 06-Jan-16 16:36:52

I'm due to have a baby (no 4!) in mid-July and I want to plan a super easy holiday for mid/late august for 4 adults (bringing my parents for help!) and 3 other kids from 2-6years old. We're in Northern Ireland so it will need to be on the island of Ireland somewhere so we can drive there with baby.

I know baby will be tiny but I can't imagine the doctors letting me go any longer than end of July and so far births have been easy so I figure that the worst case scenario would be that if I had any problems I'd had to stay at home with baby (and helpful MIL nearby if that did happen!) and DH could go on the holiday with my parents (they'd all be fine with this - they get on sickningly really well).

The kids didn't get a holiday last year for various reasons so I'd love to give them one this year despite my not great baby timing!..... but I'm stuck what to book! I want something with some fun for the kids (would love a kids club).... I looked at cottages but they'd be just like being at home work wise for me and DH! Was hoping to find something like center parks but I can't find anything. So I guess a hotel.... most seem to be posh castle type places which would not be suitable with 4 kids!

Budget is reasonable - would like it not to be extortionate but would consider going for shorter time to somewhere more expensive. Would be for between 4 days and 1 week I'd say.

Any ideas?

KanyesVest Wed 06-Jan-16 16:43:19

Kellys in Wexford? I've never been, but it's always highly recommended. I looked at trabolgan in Cork for us last year, but it didn't work out. It looks more butlins than centre parc, but might be worth a look if its not too far.

JE1234 Wed 06-Jan-16 16:45:39

Trabolgan is good fun. It's not Center Parcs but it has loads of good activities. Is that a bit too far though?

macnab Wed 06-Jan-16 16:48:10

Here are some suggestions:

Kellys is excellent but gets booked up very quickly and is quite expensive.

AmberSprings is popular with families and plenty to do around the area with children in tow

Quality gets great reviews for families and is also well placed for activities - Fota Island is nearby the kids would love that. You can also stay at Fota, its expensive but maybe check it out, the sterling rate might be to your advantage!

In Killarney TheMalton gets great reviews and tons to do around the area and have a self-catering option

In Galway, [[ TheConnaught] gets good reviews and has a self-catering option too

Good luck with the new arrival!

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Wed 06-Jan-16 16:48:22

thank you - I'll look up those. Cork is far but should be ok - could stop off somewhere along the way!

macnab Wed 06-Jan-16 16:48:48

sorry, link to The Connaught in Galway -

hippoherostandinghere Wed 06-Jan-16 16:53:07

Where ever you go don't go to Sligo, there's nothing to do. We went a couple of years ago and they weather wasn't great and it wasn't much fun. How about somewhere outside Dublin? Then you can do the zoo, tayto park and head into dublin too.

We stayed in a caravan park as kids in wicklow and I have good memories if it but I haven't been down that way as an adult.

Hope you find somewhere nice, there's not many places up north for a good holiday. We definitely need a centreparcs here.

hippoherostandinghere Wed 06-Jan-16 16:54:56

My boss went to amber springs last year and loved it. She had 2 kids with her.

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Wed 06-Jan-16 17:07:42

Wow that's fantastic - thank you! I thought I'd get be lucky to get one answer!

Macnab - that's a fab list and I'm slowly working through it - thank you! you're right about Kelly's though - looks like it's already fully booked for August!

Hippo - noted! will stay away from Sligo! Amber springs does look good

So many of the kids clubs are 4/5+ so I could only send our eldest..... he's the easiest one!

Am getting on their websites now - thank you all! (any more suggestions very gratefully received!!)

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Wed 06-Jan-16 17:08:51

oh and Trabolgan looks great for the kids but could be a bit much of a hard sell to my parents!

jollyjester Wed 06-Jan-16 17:14:47

We did Kilarney 2 years ago and as long as the weather is good theres loads to do outside. We camped but I know that the campsite had static caravans for hire also.

If the weather is bad there is stuff to do in the surrounding area indoors but it can get fairly pricey!

macnab Wed 06-Jan-16 18:43:00

I don't want to offend but family and friends have been to Trabolgan in recent years and said it was dire. We stayed there many years ago when I was young (25 years or more!) and it was nice but apparently is now run down, dirty and not very classy.

Samantha28 Wed 06-Jan-16 18:47:22

You know that you can get a car ferry from Belfast or Larne and be in Scotland in 2 hours ?

Just sayin..........

LeotardoDaVinci Wed 06-Jan-16 18:52:43

Oops, someone said not Sligo but I was going to recommend Enniscrone - quite popular with northerners as it's not too far. Great beach, golf (if that's your thing), water park, cinema and woods and indoor soft play in next town. Having said that I have not stayed in Enniscrone but friends did with 6 young children and had (they said) a great time.

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Wed 06-Jan-16 19:59:34

I had heard trabolgan wasn't great which is a shame. sad

I would love to do Scotland but I'm just trying to make it super super easy considering we'll have a 2-4 week old and if we're all on the same land mass then I could come for part of the time if I didn't feel like I could go for the whole time. And to be honest I don't think DH would want to take our middle two on a ferry!! They can be a little unpredictable. I will keep Scotland in mind for next year though!

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Wed 06-Jan-16 20:00:08

Will look up enniscrone - thank you

zaphod Wed 06-Jan-16 20:12:17

Quality Hotel in Clonakilty, they have self catering houses as well, kids clubs, and onsite cinema and is in walking distance of the town, and close to a large playground though there is one on site.

BreakfastLunchPasta Wed 06-Jan-16 20:15:58

I'd say Amber Springs too, they have loads right there for the dcs - way way more than most family-friendly hotels. There's also lots to do in the area, and lovely beaches, ancient ruins etc. The bar and restaurant food in the hotel are decent, and there are a few good options for eating in Gorey and Enniscorthy too. You're not far from Wicklow either, so trips to Hidden Valley, Avoca, Clara Lara would be very doable.

Lickitysplit1 Thu 07-Jan-16 13:31:34

If you can afford it then Kellys really is as good as all the hype. It will always come up as fully booked on the website. You need to ring them. And keep ringing them for a week or two, at this time of year you should be able to get your days. They open again in Feb, as closed over the Winter.
We have been going every year for 11 years. The reason we love it is...
Super safe. If you take your eyes off the kids for a minute, someone else will be watching them for you.
Very friendly staff and visitors.
For small kids like yours there is a baby room, with formula, jars, steamers for bottles etc.Milk etc. Very handy.
Situated right on a beautiful sandy beach.
Your eldest Dc will be in heaven. My mum has a theory that 'optimum age' in Kellys is 5-12yo. This age group will have such freedom, friends,playing in the gardens,mini golf,games...
The girls who run the kids entertainment are lovely and friendly,so much on for kids-and adults! You, your DH and parents can join in with the adult stuff too. Its a great way to meet people and have a bit of craic-prizes done on a Friday.
Bring elasticated trousers and take it easy on the food for the first few days-trust me on this one. Food in The Beaches (main restaurant) is really, really good. Have the plaice!!
We have been getting the loveliest local lady in to babysit (through the hotel) for years. This means we get time to enjoy a grown up dinner in the evening. My kids adore her. PM if you would like her details.
It is expensive, without doubt-watch the 10% added on to your bill. Every year we think about all the other things we could do with £4000 for 1 week...but then within 10 mins of being there we remember why we can't do without it!
And relaxxxxxxx

Lickitysplit1 Thu 07-Jan-16 13:37:02

I also know two people that have taken family here and enjoyed it.

magicpuppy Thu 07-Jan-16 13:41:42

It would be a long trip but I've heard good reviews of Banna Beach in Kerry.

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Fri 08-Jan-16 08:54:42

Thank you all so much for taking the time to share - I've looked at everything suggested and I'm keeping the list for next year too!! I rang kellies and they've fitted us in - sounds amazing! It's going to be a bit of a change from our usual self catering type holiday but definitely worth it this year!
Thanks so much everyone.

Lickitysplit1 Fri 08-Jan-16 11:44:26

Yay! I really hope you enjoy it Butterflies.
As I mentioned, watch the 10%, if you charge anything to your room, drinks/spa treatment etc, they will add 10% to it. 10% will already be added to your bill at the end anyway, so you will just be adding more on. Pay as you go. You can pay for wine/drinks as you order them.
Kids not generally allowed into Beaches in the evening, you can have dinner in the Ivy room but must be out by 9pm. We have dinner alone and the older kids play tip the can in the garden, little one goes with our babysitter and plays games etc.
Bring swimming hats if you have them! They are now compulsory in the pools, and you'll have to buy their ones.
Hope the weather is fine for you.

dingalong Sun 10-Jan-16 01:34:24

I hope you enjoy it. I remember being disappointed when we went with dd (,6 months who was a late owl) as when dinner was finished we had to sit in our room as the only place (at the time) for kids was a corridor beside reception. All the rooms were dedicated to bridge etc so no children or babies allowed.

The spa was lovely.

You can't bring children into the nice restaurant too and the other restaurant is geared to getting you out quickly so not so nice)

We usually stay in holiday cottages (parknasilla, castlemartyr) so we have a lounge area whem the dc's are in bed or have a baby with us.

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