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Ireland's Ancient East

Take it all in this Summer with Só Hotels

Explore Ireland’s Ancient East and enjoy a break at the four star Charleville Park Hotel. It’s the perfect starting point nearby to lots of Ireland’s leading family attractions such as Ballyhoura, Cork City and Fota Wildlife Park.

Ballyhass Lakes Adventure

Day 1 - Ballyhoura, Ballyhass Lakes

30 minutes from Charleville Park Hotel

 

While you’re staying at Charleville Park Hotel, you have to take advantage of being at the heart of Ballyhoura country. The picturesque mountains provide an impressive backdrop to exciting outdoor activities, all available within a short drive of the hotel. There’s something to suit everyone. Try one of the bike trails along the Ballyhoura mountains or take in the scenery with a relaxing walk along one of the sixteen marked routes along rivers, woodland and rugged mountain trails. If you’re looking for some exciting family fun on the water, look no further than Ballyhass Lakes, Mallow. Try some water activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or try the sport of wakeboarding with a beginners class in this thrilling sport. A mix of surfing and water-skiing, this is a great option if you’re looking for something a little different! Ballyhass Mallow is also home to Munster’s largest AquaPark, suitable for kids of all ages. There’s plenty to keep you entertained on the land too with archery, axe-throwing, high ropes and a zipline that takes you right over the lake. You can prebook your activities in advance online so you can create your perfect fun family day out! When you return to the hotel in the evening, relax and unwind in our Leisure Club and enjoy a restful night’s sleep in our spacious and comfortable rooms.

Day 2 - Blarney Castle & Cork City

50 minutes from Charleville Park Hotel

 

After a delicious breakfast in the Greenfinch Restaurant, continue your Ancient East adventures with a trip to the world famous Blarney Castle. Set on over 60 acres of gardens and woodlands, explore the different walkways and gardens. Visit the variety of themed gardens such as the Fern gardens, Himalayan Walk, the Jungle full of tropical plants and the Poison Garden containing deadly and toxic plants such as wolfsbane and nightshade. Take a stroll by the riverside or lake and discover the caves by the riverbanks. Nearby you’ll find the Rock Close, an ancient druid settlement. Find the amazing historical features such as a dolmen, wishing steps and a witch’s kitchen. Of course, while you’re there, you have to kiss the Blarney Stone and see if the legends are true! It’s said that those who kiss it receive the gift of eloquence. Learn about the folklore surrounding this famous stone. During the summer months, Blarney House is open for guided tours to learn more about this Scottish Baronial mansion dating back to 1874. While you’re in the area, why not visit the Blarney Woolen Mills for some unique souvenir ideas and authentic Irish knitwear. To finish off your Ireland’s Ancient East adventures, take the 15-minute drive into Cork city and take in the sights and sounds of the city streets. Visit the English Market to sample some local food, enjoy delicious food & cocktails in the Victorian quarter, and if you have time, we highly recommend seeing Cork City Gaol. Journey back in time to the 19th century and explore the hallways of cells. Learn about what life was like for the inmates during their imprisonment. The Gaol is also home to the Radio Museum where you can learn about the early years of Irish broadcasting. Radio Eireann began to broadcast Corks’ first radio station, 6CK, in 1927 from the centre of the main building.

Day 3 - Fota House & Wildlife Park

1 hr 15 minutes from Charleville Park Hotel

 

A break to Cork wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Fota. While you may be familiar with the Wildlife Park already, we highly recommend a visit to the beautiful 19th century Fota House to learn a little about the history of the place. Take a guided tour and take in the exquisite interiors such as the boudoir, Victorian nursery, drawing room, kitchen and servants quarters. Learn what life was like for those working in the gentry’s homes during this time. The house is set on a rolling estate featuring a Victorian working garden, glasshouses, walled garden and arboretum. From there, you’re only around the corner from the famous Fota Wildlife Park, a guaranteed fun family day out in Ireland’s Ancient East. Explore the park and see amazing animals roaming free in their spacious enclosures. Follow the trail around the park and visit the Asian Plains where you’ll find the rhinos, tigers, lions and lots more. As you go on, you’ll find the family of giraffes roaming their enclosure and go by the cheetah run and see if you can spot the cheetah cubs, Roy, Sonia, Arlo, Mia, and Cora! As one of Ireland’s leading family attractions, you’re sure to make some magical memories on your day out. Why not extend your stay and explore some more of Ireland’s Ancient East with a stay at our sister hotel, The Killeshin Hotel & Leisure Club, Portlaoise?