You may have heard that Irish castles are like street signs – there’s one on every corner. While that’s not always true, Ireland is filled with both renovated castles and castle ruins. While you could certainly fill an entire vacation touring castles in Ireland, these are the top 10 kid-friendly castles we recommend for families.

BUNRATTY CASTLE | BUNRATTY, COUNTY CLARE

Surrounding Bunratty Castle is Bunratty Folk Park. Your family can explore and learn about the Irish and their history within traditional homes and a small village. Kids love the animals – don’t miss the Irish Wolfhounds and Connemara ponies – and a terrific playground with its own castle is a traveler favorite. If you visit, be sure to check the schedule for their Traditional Irish Night. Taking place in the Corn Barn, it’s a lively evening of music, dance, food and craic (Gaelic for fun and entertainment).

Tenon Tip: Be sure to climb to the battlements for terrific views of the Shannon Estuary!

BIRR CASTLE DEMESNE | BIRR, COUNTY OFFALY

While you can’t tour Birr Castle as it’s privately owned, it’s the demesne that people come to visit. The science center in the renovated stables is filled with contributions made by the family of the Earls of Rosse in the fields of astronomy, botany, engineering and photography. Across the grounds, you’ll discover gardens, an early suspension bridge and the Great Telescope &emdash; the largest in the world until the mid-20th century. Recently, Birr Castle built Ireland’s largest treehouse which, in addition to the already large play area, will occupy children for hours.

GLENVEAGH CASTLE | GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK, COUNTY DONEGAL

Situated in the center of Glenveagh National Park there is plenty of exploring to be done. The castle lies 4 kilometers from the visitor’s center, a good stretch of the legs though you may want to catch the shuttle on the way back. Surrounded by incredible gardens, pathways to explore and stunning views, there seems to be magic around every corner of Glenveagh Castle. Plan for a day to tour the castle and grounds. The castle has a lovely little cafe or you can bring along a picnic.

ENNISKILLEN CASTLE | ENNISKILLEN, COUNTY FERMANAGH

The original keep at Enniskillen Castle has been surrounded by a 17th-century garrison fort and 19th-century military barracks, making this Irish castle the perfect destination for military history buffs. The Curved Range, originally built as stables with rooms above for cavalrymen, now holds historical diorama and items from wars past. A fun scavenger hunt for the kids – with a prize at the end – makes history fun and interesting.

KILKENNY CASTLE | KILKENNY COUNTY KILKENNY

Completely restored to its original state, Kilkenny Castle is what your mind conjures when you imagine Irish castles. Since the castle is a self-tour, you can go at your own pace. Each room has staff on hand to answer questions. But what makes Kilkenny Castle so great for families is the grounds. Plenty of walking paths, a play area and natural spaces with trees perfect for climbing are perfect for an afternoon picnic or a morning outing.

Tenon Tip: Just across the street at the Kilkenny Design Centre is a lovely cafe with fresh pastries and sandwiches.

CAHIR CASTLE | CAHIR, COUNTY TIPPERARY

Just south of the magnificent Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle is often overlooked as travelers make their way through County Tipperary. A beautifully preserved medieval castle, travelers young and old will love looking through the arrow slits, walking along the tops of the castle walls, standing bravely beneath the sharp points of the portcullis and exploring the island on which the castle sits.

ARDGILLAN CASTLE | SKERRIES, COUNTY DUBLIN

Adults will love the beauty of Ardgillan Castle from the sweeping parkland and the sparkling ocean to the magnificent gardens. And while the kids will appreciate those sights as well, what they will love most is the absolutely amazing playground. With an ocean backdrop, it has play structures for young children and older children including a castle playset, a nice-sized zipline and dual rope climbing towers.

KYLEMORE ABBEY | CONNEMARA, COUNTY GALWAY

Originally known as Kylemore Castle, Kylemore Abbey was purchased in 1920 by an order of Benedictine Nuns fleeing persecution in Germany. Once used as a boarding school, nuns now occupy the entire house. Four rooms of the castle have been restored and are interesting to view. But the best part of this Irish castle lies outside, along the pathways and in the gardens. Fun surprises await children who choose to explore the grounds. A short stroll takes you to the stunning walled garden where gardeners are happy to answer questions.

Tenon Tip: Make a stop to the onsite tea shop for delicious pastries!

THE BISHOPS PALACE | WATERFORD, COUNTY WATERFORD

History is alive at The Bishop’s Palace in Waterford. Over 1000 years of Waterford history is shared in an entertaining way with a character-led tour. At the top floor of The Bishop’s Palace is a room filled with toys from the last century. It’s great fun for kids today to see what their parents and grandparents may have played with!

Tenon Tip: Ask about the ghost that is rumored to roam the halls!

FLORENCE COURT | FLORENCE COURT FOREST PARK, COUNTY FERMANAGH

Owned by the National Trust, there is always something happening at Florence Court. While the 18th-century house is definitely worth touring, it’s the myriad of activities that will charm your family. Costumed tours are available on the weekends, taking you through the sawmill, ice house and idyllic thatched summer house. A fun play area is right next to the pasture of cows and acres of land is open for exploring.

How We Travel

Learn More
  • Self Drive tour in Europe
    Self Drive

    Hit the road your way: itinerary, car, accommodations, sights, and tours. But let us do all the heavy lifting.

  • Chauffeur 1
    Chauffeur

    The freedom of your own private car, the luxury of your own personal guide. And the very best hidden secrets.

  • Train going over bridge next to waterfall
    Rail

    Convenient, comfortable, oozing with charm. With a front-row seat to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

  • Young people overlooking scenic area in Europe
    Private Group

    The trip of a lifetime, personalized just for your group of friends, family, or organization down to every last detail.

  • Honeymoon coupe drinking wine by ocean
    Honeymoon

    Every tour is different, perfectly matched for every couple. Crafted by a team who is as excited about your honeymoon as you are.

  • funny mural of school children in uniforms
    Scheduled Tour

    For travelers who prefer to join a small group tour, we offer scheduled tours.

The Island of Ireland

The Island of Ireland

15 Days | 14 Nights
Castles
Arts and Culture
City
Outdoor

From Northern Ireland to the south, great cities like Dublin and Belfast to the Wild Atlantic Way, this tour embraces the best that Ireland has to offer.

Starting From$3,587per person based on
double occupancy
Adare Manor Limerick Ireland

Enchanted South

8 Days | 7 Nights
Culinary
City
Outdoor

The south brings the bustling capital, the medieval city of Kilkenny, and one of the wildest, most enchanting coastal touring routes in the world.

Starting From$1,687per person based on
double occupancy
Ross Castle Killarney Co Kerry

Best of Ireland

11 Days | 10 Nights
Castles
Arts and Culture
City
Outdoor

The greenest highlights that Ireland has to offer. Guinness tour, driving the Ring of Kerry, standing atop the Cliffs of Moher, and the rugged Connemara.

Starting From$2,397per person based on
double occupancy
By-Your-Side

By-Your-Side Service℠

Our personal concierge service and mobile app

Europe Experts

Custom Europe Experts

Experts in planning truly customized trips

Without Compromise

Value without Compromise

High-touch inclusions and customized experiences

Consistency with Individuality

Consistency with Individuality

You’ll always be met with the highest standards

Let's Get Social

@tenontours