14 Jul

Warner Brothers Studio Tour Review

This family of muggles travelled to London and decided we’d like to visit the studios where the Harry Potter films were made. It’s not a theme park, it’s a genuine interesting, thrilling, and exciting studio tour. We thought it was well worth it; here’s a flavour of how we got on.

Harry Potter Experience ReviewIf you travel to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour by public transport, please, please take the bus from the train station. It’s inexpensive enough (costs about €3 per person), and it’s mocked up to look like the night bus. If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, this is probably going to be the most boring thing you’ve ever read. Sorry! If you are a fan, then you’ll certainly be interested in this family visit review. Read More

07 Jul

Legoland Windsor Review

Both hands up, we love Lego, all ages play with it in our house, and the idea of heading to an entire theme park dedicated to Lego had us all excited. Legoland Windsor is located in a scenic location in, yes, Windsor. There are a couple of hotels nearby, but we had based ourselves in London City Centre so we used the rail network to get there instead. This was a bit of a kerfuffle as it involved taking a tube from our hotel, 2 trains and a shuttle bus. It took about 90 minutes excluding the tube journey on a rainy Summer’s day. Read More

30 Jul

Inis Mór

Just 24 hours. That’s all we had on Inis Mór. It’s not enough time to do all the things we wanted to do. The last thing we wanted to do was to climb on board a tour bus. Hubby spends enough of his time driving buses so even if it meant we missed out on some of the landmarks, for the most part we walked.

Journey

It takes about 3 hours from Dublin to Rossaveal Harbour, where you can park  your car to get aboard the ferry. You can also travel to the Aran Islands via Clare but this was the best option for us.

It’s a further 40-odd minutes to get to Inis Mór on the boat. However do bear in mind that it may take longer if the weather is bad! No matter how sunny it is, a raincoat or wind-cheater is a must for the boat if you intend to stand outside. I always stand out on deck if I can, if you suffer from motion sickness, make sure you’re in the fresh air, even if it’s raining.Aran Islands FerryAccommodation

We stayed in the Mainistir Hostel which is about 2km outside of Kilronan in the townland of Mainistir. They have a dedicated family area where you can book adjacent family rooms, and it’s private to the rest of the accommodation. For the 5 of us, including breakfast, it only set us back €100 for the night.  It’s about a 20 minute walk up a hill, 30 minutes if you’re pushing a buggy with bags and cranky toddlers/teens.

This kind of room was not the kind of lodgings I expected to get from a hostel:Bedroom at Mainistir Hostel

Joel (proprietor) will also cook an evening meal for the very reasonable price of €15 per person for a mainly vegetarian buffet cooked from local ingredients. It has been highly recommended to me, but we didn’t get a chance to try it out as dinnertime was a bit too late for the small ones. I do trust the recommendations I got from more than 1 learned person so it’s certainly something to bear in mind if you want excellent food cooked for you on a budget.  Otherwise there are ample cooking facilities in hostel.

The breakfast by the way was all homemade. Some freshly boiled eggs, homemade blackberry preserves, muffins still warm in the cases, lashings of toast, fruit compote and yoghurt. There was also a selection of cereals, all eaten in front of a massive window overlooking the sea and washed down with a giant pot of strong tea. I could have stayed there for hours.

Here’s a short video of what we got up and there’s more information our stay below:

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23 Jul

Camping In Mountshannon

The day we packed up our things from carvanning in Kerry, we headed up the road, past Limerick to Mountshannon in County Clare for a 2 night stay. Before I start this blogpost I have to confess, as we didn’t have space for camping gear, thanks to the Irish Caravan And Camping Council, we stayed in a caravan on site. We had as close to a camping experience as we could get! You’ll need to play the video to see more.
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15 Jul

Caravanning In Kerry

For the past 4 years we have organised one of the local Summer Projects instead of going on holiday. This year we knew that we needed to take a break, and decided to staycation around Ireland and in particular in the West. When the opportunity arose to go caravanning in Kerry, we decided to take the Irish Caravan and Camping Council up on their offer, packed the car, and travelled down the country.

The plan was to spend 3 nights in the Glenross Caravan & Camping Park in Glenbeigh, on the Ring of Kerry, then a further 2 nights at another location in the midlands. I’ll be back next week with our account of how we got on when we left Kerry but in the meantime, here’s what you need to know. Read More

03 Jun

Bloom In The Park 2013

If you’re into gardening and the UK is just a little bit too far for you to travel to see the big flower shows then Bloom In The Park is for you. While it might be the Irish version of the more popular events like Chelsea Flower Show, it is in fact far more as Bloom also hosts a vibrant food festival. Read More

24 May

Northern Lights in Dublin

This is a super quick post, I literally just took this shot only 10 minutes ago and I want to go to bed! Read More

14 May

Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park Review

Yesterday I told you all about how we got on when we travelled with Stena Line to Wales and today I’m going to give Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park a review.

Confession time. Before this trip, I’d never actually stayed overnight in a holiday park.  Hands up. Who remembers Butlins? While I was a regular visitor in my childhood, with a family member who lived close by we never got to stay over so I really didn’t know what to expect at Hafan Y Mor. Read More

13 May

Stena Line With A Family

Last weekend (the May Bank Holiday) I was offered the chance to travel to Holyhead with Stena Line. Would you believe that I had never had the pleasure of taking any decent sized ferry to the UK before? Nevermind travelling Stena Line with a family! Read More

03 Aug

Bloom 2012

A compilation of a few of my best photographs from Bloom 2012 along with a little commentary.

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