We went to Ireland in July 2016 when Sutton was 15 months (and I was 10 wks pregnant with Quint!), which was our first international trip with kids. I had always admired those I saw traveling with little ones and hoped that one day that could be a reality for our family, too.
** I was asked about tips for traveling internationally with kids and I have to say, I think the most important thing to consider is your own child and their personality. Sutton was such an easy baby that I felt very confident we could make the international flight and deal with the 5 hour time change with little trouble. If this has been Quint, I don’t think we would have brought him on this trip. In fact, we are going to Scotland in July and will not be bringing the kids with us. It was a hard choice as I would love to make those memories with them, but I really want a vacation. If the kids came with us, it would be a lot more work than I would be up for at this point. We are hopeful to take them on more trips with us when they are a bit older.
Ok, back to this trip…
As I expected, Sutton really was such a delight the entire time. We accommodated naps as best we could but because she was so young and a new walker, we pretty much just kept her in the stroller for the most part and just had her tag along with us wherever we went.
We started the trip in Paris with 2 days there and then took the Eurostar to London for 2 days. Both places were a bit of a crash course but we made sure to see the major spots and just enjoyed exploring around at our own pace. We spent almost an entire week in Ireland which was the perfect length. The purpose of the trip was golf for my husband so some of our days were pretty relaxed and slow paced while he was playing. Since this was almost 3 years ago, I don’t remember everything but I will try and give you the major points of each place we visited including where we stayed, what we saw and any noteworthy restaurants to visit.
What to Wear
Layers! Rain is very common so a good rain jacket with a hood is a must and I packed my rainboots. I don’t know if the boots were entirely necessary, but they were cute and comfortable. I wore sneakers on the days I wasn’t in rainboots if it was dry. You will likely be doing a lot of walking so be sure you are comfortable.
Doonbeg/The Cliffs of Moher
Hotel- Trump Doonbeg. This is my favorite hotel I have ever stayed at. Ever. The view of the ocean is incredible and the accommodations are unreal.
Favorite Site visited: Cliffs of Moher. It was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel and LaHinch was a cute little coastal town to stop and get lunch on the way.
Hotel- Carton House. Nice hotel but was 30 min outside of Dublin so not the most centrally located.
We only spent 1 day in Dublin and we visited Trinity College and explored around Grafton St. Favorite place we ate was this little store/restaurant called Avoca. Its like a Anthropologie with a restaurant.
Hotel- Killarney Park Hotel. Located walking distance to Main Street and very nice.
Killarney is such a quintessential Irish town and consequently, can feel a little touristy at times but I would still recommend going. Its a nice central location for SO many sites that are close by including the Ring of Kerry, and Muckross House. Muckross House is perfect if you are traveling with little ones as there is a working farm on property there you can tour with so many animals. You can also take a horse drawn carriage ride around the property that will take you to a beautiful waterfall to explore before taking you back to the house. We didn’t see the Blarney Stone but it’s about an hour drive from Killarney if you want to cross that off your bucket list 😉
Notable places to eat:
I honestly don’t remember any specific place we ate (besides the hotel, which was delicious) but this is probably because Irish food wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t bad….just not memorable (obviously, ha!)
Murphy’s Ice Cream – the dairy in Ireland is incredible (if you use Kerrygold butter, you know what I mean) so the ice cream is next level. Murphy’s has such interesting and unusual flavors and they make their sorbets with rain water! Don’t miss it.
We had a tour guide give us the quick historical tour of the city (which was fascinating and I learned so much!) and then spent the remainder of the day at the Titanic Museum. I loved the museum and it actually sits on the same location as where the ship was built. We didn’t stay in Belfast so I don’t have any hotel recommendations there. I sadly have very few photos of our time in Belfast!
A small town with the highlight being these thatched roof cottages along with the Adare Manor. Would be worth spending a few hours in this town and possibly staying the night at the Manor (or in one of the cottages if you want a real Irish experience!)
The lush green hills/pastures accompanied with the ocean views are incredible and a must see. We stayed in Killarney the day we explored this area. One of the more recent Star Wars film was filmed in Dingle with its other-wordly type feeling providing the perfect backdrop.
One of my favorite little towns we visited. Such a fun place to walk around and shop. Must visit the Lorge chocolate shop for hot chocolate and treats!
And just in case you are needing any reccs for Paris or London, here is that info as well:
Hotel- Hotel Britannique. A small boutique style hotel that feels authentically Parisian. It’s located right along the Seine very close to Notre Dame, the Louvre and other major attractions.
Favorite restaurant-Le Relais de l’Entrecote – Best steak frites of your life. I could drink the sauce they pour on the meat.
Hotel- The Nadler Victoria. This was such a great hotel at a reasonable price. Its about a 5 minute walk to Buckingham Palace
Favorite restaurant- The Phoenix. A cool gastopub with a unique menu. Loved everything about this place.
Feel free to reach out with questions!