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  • Writer's pictureLeslie

Traveling to Boyne Valley, Ireland with Kids: Castles, Sheep, and Prehistoric Tombs

Updated: May 10

Trim Castle with Kids Ireland with children Boyne Valley
My son loved climbing up (and running down) all the little hills around Trim Castle

Have you been to Ireland with kids? We went to Ireland for our dear friends’ wedding (and took our children along, too), and turned it into a long weekend. But soon after we arrived, we realized that our four-night trip would not be nearly long enough… We were having too much fun to go home.

So, a much longer family Ireland trip is (hopefully) in our future. For one thing, our daughter is constantly asking when we can go back and feed the sheep… (more on that later), so I guess we need to start planning asap.

We stayed two nights in Dublin (loved the sightseeing and visiting some friends who live in town), then rented a car and drove to the Boyne Valley for the wedding. It’s only about an hour north of Dublin (with all that dreamy green countryside you’d expect), but has an impressive amount of historical sights to check out (that our littles were also into).

If you want to take a family trip to Ireland but only have four or five nights, then this could be an itinerary for you: three nights in Dublin, then rent a car, and drive to Boyne Valley for another two nights.

If you do decide that traveling to Boyne Valley, Ireland with kids is in the cards, here are some of our highlights (that we as adults, as well as our two small kids loved):

1. Visiting Trim Castle. Not only interesting from a medieval angle (it was built in 1172), but many scenes from the movie Braveheart were actually filmed there. We took a tour, and to be honest, our kids also really liked just running around the castle (aka battle) grounds.

Trim Castle with Kids Ireland with Children Boyne Valley with Kids
Before our tour of Trim Castle, we enjoyed exploring the grounds

2. Checking out some prehistoric tombs. Although we ran out of time to do a big day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Brú na Bóinne, we made a memorable stop at the more “off the beaten path” tombs called Loughcrew Cairns, which are actually 5,000 years old and set atop some strikingly beautiful rolling hills. It was awesome to see, but if you do have more time, I would do a day trip and visit Brú na Bóinne instead.

3. Doing a farm stay. We booked this cute little farmhouse because it was close to the wedding venue, but the place made our trip! The hosts were so kind, and gave us a tour of the farm, and let my daughter feed a lamb and collect eggs from the hen house. Also, they had the most beautiful cows. Definitely recommend staying at Johnsfort if you’re in the area!

Boyne Valley with Kids Ireland with Children
The highlight of the trip for our daughter was getting to feed a baby lamb named Edna

How did we get around? When we were in Dublin we didn't need a car (we either walked the entire time, or took a fun double-decker bus out to visit our friends). But when we left for the Boyne Valley, we did rent a car at a rental place near our Dublin hotel. We used the car for a few days, and then returned it at the airport (we didn't have to take it back to the city center, thankfully). 

Any plans to travel to Ireland with your family? Or have you done an Ireland road trip (would love to hear your tips)?


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