A Great Day Out For The Entire Family
The Arigna Mining experience is an excellent insight into what it was like to be an 18th Century Coal Miner in Ireland. This is a truly sobering experience as these mines were some of the narrowest coal-mines in Western Europe. The tour is also very educational outlining the extraction methods that were used through 200 years of mining in Arigna. The tour even explains the geographical reason why the coal deposits exist in the Arigna area. The tour moves on to new technologies in sourcing energy including wind-farms in the area.
This is a wonderful day-out for any family visiting Carrick-on-Shannon. Although even children know it was not an easy life down in the coal-mines this visit really gives people the perspective needed to full appreciate what life was like for these people. The guides are truly excellent and some have first-hand experience of working in these very mines with one of the guides having worked there for 40 years. The entrance fee for the Arigna Mines is quite reasonable at €10 per adult and €6 per child. The mines are quite damp and cold so please remember to bring along the winter woollies, even in the summer months.
Boda Borg is quite unusual it is like a marriage between Crystal Maze and LaZer Tag and the results are excellent. Boda Borg describe it as the real-world gaming environment with a variety of mental and physical tasks, or what they call “Quests”. Boda Borg began in Sweden but has spread through Europe and the U.S. It is hugely popular with families and groups. In Carrick-on-Shannon it has proven particularly popular with Stags and Hens as well as families.
Boda Borg is gaming, but in the real world where you are trying to physically survive the real life-like quests that those crazy Swedes have designed for you. There is no equipment necessary, no video game technology and none of that virtual reality, it is more like a big elaborate obstacle course. It will get the adrenaline pumping and it will rev up the competitive streak in people.
It has proven hugely popular with families in Carrick-on-Shannon as all family members enjoy it equally, maybe the dads most of all. It is a welcome alternative for stags visiting Carrick-on-Shannon from the booze fuelled mediocrity, a chance to be competitive, physical and work up an appetite. For the hen parties it is seen as a welcome respite from the endless sexual innuendos and is a chance to do something different and fun. The full Boda Borg activity takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes so there is plenty of time left to explore Lough Key and the surrounding Forrest Park.
Carrick Golf Club is a fantastic facility and the scenery is quite simply breath-taking. You will be in the front-row-seat for views of Arigna, the Boyle River and Curlieu Mountains. The eight-hole is surrounded by water, it really is a wonderful experience.
Carrick Golf Course is open to the public and the fees/prices vary based on the season. For the summer months from April until September the fee is €28-€20 and in the remaining winter months the fee is €25-€20. The course can get quite busy during the summer months and particularly on weekends.
The Glencar Waterfall has been described as “something from a Disney movie”, I think that is being too kind to Disney movies. If you are not moved by the Glencar Waterfall then you might need to re-evaluate yourself. This magnificent and romantic site moved the late great W.B. Yeats so much he out pen to paper and create the masterpiece The Stolen Child. Just after rainfall is the best time to see Glencar Waterfall, although logistically this is quite difficult to plan, remember you are in Ireland the chances of rain are unseasonably high.
There is a special viewing deck created to give you the best possible view so you don’t need to pack your abseiling gear. As you might expect the Glencar waterfall is FREE to enjoy, but it is still worth noting. There is a picnic area, so bringing packed lunch to be enjoyed with the family in stunning surroundings is encouraged. You can also explore the Glencar Lough (lake) which is beautiful in its own right.
The Glencar Waterfall is a 55-minute drive from Carrick Plaza Suites, but it is worth it.
The History of Lough Key Forest Park
Formerly part of Rockingham estate until it was taken over by the Irish state in the 1950s. The old house belonging to the Rockingham’s unfortunately burned down in 1957 but has subsequently been replaced by the Moylurg viewing tower. Today the park is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Leitrim, with people coming from all over the world to visit the lake, forests and picturesque islands. There is also a visitor centre and a restaurant located in the park. The attractions in the park include the 19th Century Servant Tunnels, Moylurg Tower, Lakeside Café, Gift Shop, Adventure Play Kingdom, Forest & Parkland Trails, Bog Gardens, Lakeside Walks, Zipit, Electric Bike Trails, Woodland Segways and 19th Century Bridges.
Visiting Lough Key Forest Park
If you are an adventurer that loves to be active then Lough Key Forest Park will be your idea of heaven. The Lough Key Experience is truly unique and very educational. You will be up near the top of the trees looking down and learning how man and Mother Nature have formed, changed and damaged the land around you.
Many of the key historical sites are from the 19th century including the bridges, canals and walking trails. The vast majority of this estate is covered by forest and woodland with almost every tree type native to Ireland, heavily represented. As you might expect the forest is home to many animals including rabbits, deer, foxes, squirrels, badgers and stoats. On the lake or at the lakeside you are likely to see some swans, herons, mallards and duck, with pheasant being more common in the forested areas.
The Moon River Cruise is a short tour of the River Shannon on a pleasure cruiser. The pace is very leisurely and you get to take in views of the Shannon that you would not otherwise see. The Moon River Cruise is very family-friendly. They do welcome Hens or Stags but these are separate from the families. The staff is extremely friendly and quite informative. They also often have live traditional Irish music and even singers. It really is just a nice, relaxing meander down the river.
Hens & Stags
The Hen & Stag Cruises are generally later in the evening. Make sure you call ahead to book your cruise on the number give above as spaces are either limited or they do not have enough numbers to go ahead with the cruise. The cruise lasts approximately one hour and is a great way to start off your hen party or stag party. There is a bar on the boat and the staff is well capable of creating a fantastic party atmosphere.
At Tullyboy Farm you will be met by Farmer Matt and this will be the beginning of a very unforgettable experience. You will be walking on to a 90-acre real-life working farm. You can pet the animals, hand-feeds them or even bottle feeds them. The farm contains a beautifully restored 18th-century farmhouse but Matt and the staff are what truly make this an unforgettable experience. This is a fantastic family day out if you are in Carrick-on-Shannon with lots of memorable photos and a few stories to tell.
Hen & Stag Parties At Tullyboy Farm
Tullyboy Farm offers a hen party package, brilliantly entitled “Culchie Craic”. Hens are invited to release their inner culchie and have some real craic. Matt is a fantastic, funny and energetic host and the day is fun for those who do want to participate in the tasks and for those who like to watch. Activities include meeting old Ned in one of the farm beds, milking a cow and catching a piglet. You will also transform the bride to be from a city girl into the perfect Farmer’s wife. You will reverse a 4X4 and a trailer and ride around on Tullyboy’s home made rollercoaster. Depending on what time of year you visit you might also get to shear a sheep! This is a great alternative to the cocktail making classes, get out in the elements do something unusual and get to know everyone in the group. It is a brave choice but a great choice.
For the stags it is much of the same, but Matt throws a few extras in to really challenge the lads and it is not for the faint-hearted.
Hen and Stag parties will cost €25 per person at Tullyboy Farm. Also, make sure you don’t show up in heels! Think, festival attire and your moving in the right direction.
Zipit is just one of many things that you can do in Carrick-on-Shannon. It is just one of the many activities in Lough Key Forest Park, but it is certainly one of the best for those who like adrenaline. Lough Key Forest Park is an 8km² park on the Southern Shore of the stunning Lough Key. The park is located 14 minutes outside of Carrick-on-Shannon near the town of Boyle. Zipit is hugely popular with families, hen parties and stag parties. For families it is a great day out and they can explore the park as well. Children must be above the age of 7 and can be accompanied by adults or supervised from ground-level. For stag parties it as fun as it will get the adrenaline flowing and the competitive edge going within the group dynamic. Hen parties love it, as it is a bit of an alternative to the bog-standard hen party. It is important to book Zipit in advance as it is very popular. Zipit can be booked on their website or by clicking here. Groups booking via Carrick Plaza Suites can enjoy a discounted rate, the bigger the group, the bigger the discount.
People are encouraged to dress in clothes that they do not mind getting a bit dirty. Gloves are supplied by Zipit, so you do not need to bring your own. For those that can’t go one hour without taking a selfie, you can bring your camera/phone along with you. The entire course should take no longer than 4 hours so there is plenty of time to return to Carrick-on-Shannon to enjoy all that the town has to offer.
Zipit’s opening hours are 7-days a week from June to August and during the winter months they are open every weekend. They normally open from 10am to 6pm.