We are just back from our favourite place in Ireland…Westport. It is such a great stay-cation destination, especially for families. There is just so much to do – beaches? Check. Cinema? Check. Selection of interesting shops and restaurants? Check. Swimming pool? It’s there. Playgrounds, indoor soft play, scenic drives, cycle routes, yoga classes, magic shows, toy shops…sorry I could go on and on about the wonders of this small but perfectly formed tow
But the cherry on this cake? Its our home from home, Westport House.
You might remember from some earlier posts that we have been lucky enough to visit this gorgeous historic home several times. We’ve enjoyed summer outings in the grounds and even got to visit Santa at Christmas! But this year, with our little man not so little any longer, and raring to go on the Pirate Adventure Park rides, it was time to visit again and enjoy even more of the delights on offer.
At the moment, Westport House are offering a second day free with a family ticket, and
the kids were beyond excited when they realised we had two days of fun ahead of us. Our visit began with a casual tour around the beautiful interior of the house. We grabbed a coffee (for the grown ups, of course) in the cellar cafe and ambled around the various exhibits and room displays. The kids particularly enjoyed Grace O’Malley’s spooky dungeon and the nostalgic child’s nursery, while my husband and I marvelled at the amazing marble staircase and elegant, original furnishings of this stunning historic home.
We were absolutely blessed with good weather, which made our time even more enjoyable – so we headed off to the Westport House Express train for a jaunt around the grounds. The driver even allowed our little man to sound the horn and bell – this was probably the most exciting moment of his life! This delightful little train incorporates sneaky glimpses of the Pirate Adventure Park as it traces its track alongside the beautiful lake, with an absolutely majestic view of Croagh Patrick in the distance.
Then of course we raced (well the kids did) round to the Adventure Park, where there was fun to be had for all ages, from those who prefer the gentle bounce of the bouncy castle, to the thrilling fun of the Log Flume and the Pirate Queen Swinging Ship. We never had to queue for long and the staff were so helpful, so the kids had several visits to each ride and spent almost 45 minutes on the Inflatable Obstacle Course. After that it was some exercise for Mum and Dad, while we ventured out on the Swan Pedalos, enjoying the lake and the views of the house – cue a minor but rather hilarious tantrum when my son realised his legs weren’t long enough to reach the pedals!
Our next destination was lunch and the Go Karts. The picnic area makes use of the old stable buildings, we enjoyed our picnic lunch (egg and onion ‘sarnies’ courtesy of Nana) and the kids squealed with delight while they raced around in their little Go Karts (thankfully the pedals were close enough for my son this time!) Then it was time for the Cannonball Run. OMG. I think I might save up and install one of these in my back garden. It kept them entertained for AGES and we had lots of promises to come back tomorrow – sometimes old fashioned fun really is the best.
From 4pm Westport House offers Pony Rides (for an extra fee) and of course we had to give it a try. I have to say, it was one of the highlights of the day for all of us. The sunshine, the laughter and the excitement at meeting the two ponies, Dori and Molly, all combined to make it a perfect end to the day – topped off by ANOTHER pony ride, on the Vintage Carousel this time. Finally, we spent some time playing footdarts and enjoying the outdoor play area. Safe to say we were all gloriously exhausted.
Day two of course, offered just as many treats. Again, we enjoyed the Pirate Adventure Park, the Westport Express and the Pedalos, with the addition of some fun in the sand pit and also revisiting the Bouncy Castle Assault Course, Cannonball Run and the Go Karts. One part that I really enjoyed was the Fairy Walk, just around past the house along the river. The glorious weather really added to the experience, but what I liked about it was that it was pram friendly and not too long, so the kids enjoyed spotting the little fairy doors but didn’t get too tired before the end. Daddy even managed to sneak ahead and hide some ‘Leprechaun Gold’ at the fairy doors for our two to find.
Our two days at Westport House were absolutely magical as always and the kids are still raving about it – I’m sure that we will be back again to visit this unique and unforgettable place.
Complimentary Tickets were provided by Westport House for our visit. All opinions are my own.