Bunratty Folk Park
All of Ireland condensed to a pleasant stroll through the park.
I heartily recommend Bunratty Folk Park for an early visit in your Ireland tour. It literally has something for the whole family from animals to see and pet for the youngest to recent history displays for grandparents to remember their youth.
It is Ireland in a microcosm so that as you travel around the rest of the country you may recognize the local architecture and place in history of the sites you are seeing.
Very nearby sites include
Craggaunowen – the Living Past Experience
Perhaps your children will appreciate their modern school more after seeing this old school complete with a master and his switch.
The park is full of other educational places as well, such as working mills and farms.
Also scattered throughout are various animals to enjoy seeing and touching as well as mini-activity areas for all ages--including the young at heart of any age.
In many of the buildings in the park you will find demonstrations of old fashioned methods. Including the chance to sample bisquits baked using eggs from the chickens you just walked by.
Thatching and other old building methods are shown among countless examples of home furnishing and decorating through the centuries.
Browse with your feet
Nearly all of the houses, barns and other buildings can be entered to enjoy the historical furnishings.
They range from the hovel shared by people and their farm animals to the elegantly furnished manor house.
This house was built by the Hughes brothers who founded HB ice cream, Ireland's most popular brand since 1926. Taste some here and where ever you go in Ireland.
The park includes a whole village street with active shops selling both the old fashioned and the new. There is also a selection of eating and drinking establishments including a traditional pub. As I said, experience all of Ireland in one place.
The folk park grounds also include access to Bunratty Castle, probably the best preserved medieval castle in Ireland.
This hub would have to be 10 times larger to show all areas of the park. As I said in the beginning there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.
P.S. I also recommend the nightly medieval banquet held in the castle. It is not cheap but is a good value for the great entertainment and good food presented. Fun and educational even for the adults.
- Ireland For You - Travel itinerary advice from local guides
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- Bunratty Castle & Folk Park Official Site