Our Weekend Away to Bunratty & Adare

We were really delighted to get away last weekend for two nights. The first night we stayed at Parkhouse B & B in Bunratty. The second night we stayed at the Woodlands Hotel in Adare. Our stay at the Woodlands Hotel was complementary, the rest of the trip was paid for by us.

Bunratty, Co. Clare

We started off our weekend away with lunch at Durty Nelly's, which is literally right next door to Bunratty Castle. They take reservations and have a nice covered outdoor eating area which was ideal since it was hammering rain outside.

After lunch, we walked over to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and enjoyed 2.5 hours there. Booking in advance is required and you get a set amount of time. Capacity is limited, we only waited in cues a handful of times. We really enjoyed walking around and seeing the different ways people have lived in Ireland over the years.

There is a one-way system in place at the folk park. The tea rooms are open, and there is a tent out back with picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy cake and tea. There were ducks and chickens hanging around which was really entertaining.

After our visit to Bunratty Castle, we had a very short drive down the road (1km to be exact) to Parkhouse B & B, where we had a lovely welcome from Sinead. She was a really wonderful host and we enjoyed our stay in a family room. It's not easy to get a family of five into a room so it's really lovely to find places that can accommodate. She made a delicious breakfast too!

The only tricky part about our Bunratty trip was dinner Saturday night. Places weren't taking bookings and some places didn't have a cover. Just to note for my international readers, here in Ireland it is outdoor dining only right now, and we get a lot of rain. So that's why I'm mentioning which places have tents and take reservations - it's critical now, lol.

We ended up getting takeaway from Jilly & Joe's which had a selection of burgers, including vegan burgers, pizzas and salad bowls, they are just around the corner from Bunratty Castle, and they have a tent with seating outback.

Adare, Co. Limerick

Sunday morning after breakfast at Parkhouse B & B, we loaded up and headed to Adare, which is only a 25min car ride. Yet again it was pouring rain so we didn't get to enjoy our usual stroll around the village. We ran into the visitor centre, got some delicious Adare Farm Ice Cream and then ran out again.

Regular readers and followers may remember our visits to the Woodlands Hotel in 2020 and 2019. It is a family-run hotel that we thoroughly enjoy visiting. They have so much for families to do. They are set in off the main road, and have plenty of space for kids to run around. They also make really gorgeous food and have the most comfortable beds to sleep in.

The Fitzgerald Family have been super busy during lockdowns and have used the time to do some major renovations. The lobby has been fully redone. They have also renovated some of the bedrooms. And they have added on a new outdoor dining area called The Treehouse. They stayed open for takeaways and have been a real inspiration in how a business can adapt and serve the community even through difficult times.

The Treehouse - Outdoor Dining

On arrival, we had lunch at the Woodlands new outdoor dining area, The Treehouse. The Treehouse menu has lots of choices, gives generous portions and is reasonably priced. There is seating under a stylish tent complete with stoves, TVs and a bar.

It's a really stylish area, like a little village! Plus, there is SCOOPS Ice Cream Parlour on site with gorgeous desserts.

There are also Tree Huts which are like little private cabins with their own stove, lights and stylish decor.

We had a Tree Hut reserved for our lunch, which comes with table service. Our poor server had to run through the rain a few times while we were very cosy and warm in the Tree Hut! Lunch was gorgeous and we had some yummy desserts from SCOOPS too. I had strawberries and vanilla soft serve which was divine.

There is a drink service at the Tree Hut as well. I had a "Nojito" which is a non-alcoholic Mojito and was quite tasty. Check out the photos below and this Instagram Reel to see our clip of our experience in the Tree Hut!

Things to do with Kids

There are so many wonderful things to do as a family at the Woodlands Hotel! The main point to mention is that the hotel happily caters to families. You will feel welcomed and looked after there. Happily, the rain cleared away and we had lots of fun during our stay!

Things to do with kids at the Woodlands Hotel:

  • Welcome pack with a colouring book, crayons, coupon, and treat

  • Woodlands Scavenger Hunt pack with fairy dust, map and magnifying glass

  • Fairy Trail & Scavenger Hunt Trail

  • Football Pitch

  • Pet Farm

  • Kids Club

  • Pool

  • Ice Cream

  • Kids Menu and kid-friendly food

  • Organic Garden to explore

  • Trails to explore and space to run and play

Check out this Instagram Reel for a little look at all of the things there are to do with kids at the Woodlands Hotel!

Family Rooms

The family rooms at the Woodlands Hotel are super comfy. I always have a good night sleep at the Woodlands and I can honestly say that's not the norm for me when I sleep away from home. Their bedding is just so comfy!

They have spacious family rooms with comfortable beds. When they have added an extra bed for us, it has been a full-size bed, not a roll away so all 3 kids have had wonderful sleeps.

For a family of five, it can be challenging to get us accommodated into a room rather than having to book two rooms, so it's a big plus that we can all fit into one room at the Woodlands Hotel. We had one king bed and three single beds in our room this year. The room was newly refurbished and was looking very stylish.

The Rest of Our Stay

We had all of our meals at the Woodlands Hotel which was really convenient under the current regulations, it saved having to try and book various places and wonder if we'd be sat outside in the rain. As a hotel guest you can eat indoors. They have the Fitzgerald Suite set up for dinner, lunch and breakfast service.

This year, the breakfast buffet is partially served at the table and partially walk up to a counter and be served. The hot food is table service. And the cerals, pastries, fruits, cheeses etc you walk up to the buffet, and a server takes what you ask for with tongs and places it on a plate. It is all very hygenic and it is nice to be able to walk up and pick what you'd like.

We also enjoyed Afternoon Tea at the hotel which was delicious as usual. The foods are all made on site, with delicious natural ingredients. They accommodated our dietary requirements and everything was top notch, inluding the kids personal tea trays and hot chocolates.

You can make reservations in advance for your meals and for the pool. The pet farm, fairy trail etc and all open to enjoy whenever you like!

More Information

If you have any questions for me feel free to ask in the comments! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Have a great summer! x

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