Wednesday 23 May 2018

Top 10 Halloween breaks in Ireland for 2015

Ghoulish getaways...

Naoimi Kerr at Castlecomer Discovery Park. Photo: Dylan Vaughan
Naoimi Kerr at Castlecomer Discovery Park. Photo: Dylan Vaughan
Caoimhe O'Donohue and Doireann Doyle on Gorey Main Street looking forward to Halloween. Picture: Patrick Browne.
Kids' check-in at Mulranny Park Hotel.
Salthill Hotel, Galway
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Fancy a spooky staycation? Pól Ó Conghaile picks the very best of this year’s Halloween breaks in Ireland.

Killer breaks in Kilkenny

Kids under 12 stay free at the four-star Hotel Kilkenny this mid-term, where a two-night family special is priced from €129 per adult. Kids Club activities include spooky mask-making, chalk ghosts and and a Halloween Sensory Hunt.

While you’re there, take a trip to Castlecomer Discovery Park (pictured above) where a hand-crafted Elf and Fairy Village and family Hansel and Gretel Trail (€10 per family) have been added to the attractions. The Visitor Centre is also hosting screenings of ‘Secret of Kells’ on October 24 and 25 at 2.30pm (€2pp).

Details: hotelkilkenny.ie; discoverypark.ie

Frightful fun at Faithlegg House

The October Midterm Break package at Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Resort in Co. Waterford is available from €139pps, and includes two nights’ B&B and a midweek evening meal. A pool, playground, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and bike hire are all available on site, and check out Jenny Flynn’s Scallops & Black Pudding, served with apple and locally brewed cider while you’re there – it was voted AA Ireland's 'Delicious Dish of the Year' for 2015.

Details: 051 382000; faithlegg.com

Wicked fun in Wexford

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Caoimhe O'Donohue and Doireann Doyle on Gorey Main Street looking forward to Halloween. Picture: Patrick Browne.

Wexford is piling on the Halloween hits this year, with highlights including a ‘Gorey Festival’, family-friendly tours at Loftus Hall (said to be Ireland’s most-haunted house), a ‘Horrifying Histories’ tour at the National Heritage Park, a half-term treasure hunt at Kilmokea Gardens and a spooky farm experience at Kia Ora Mini Farm.

The lovely Killiane Castle farmhouse has B&B in a family room with a slap-up breakfast from €150, or three nights in a two-bedroomed garden apartment from €360.

Details: visitwexford.ie; killianecastle.com

Boo at the Bridge House

Take your little monsters to Tullamore over the mid-term (midweek), and you can enjoy three nights B&B in a family room, a four-course dinner on one evening and free entry to the Busy Bees Kids’ Camp from €189 per adult (kids under 12 go free). The hotel has a pool, and provides a handy base for exploring nearby attractions like Lough Boora, Birr Castle, Tullamore Pet Farm, Clonmacnoise and Jumpin’ Jacks Play Zone.

Details: 057 932-5600; bridgehouse.com

Creepy Cork at Castlemartyr Resort

Who knows what ghost stories lurk in the dramatic ruins of an 800 year old castle? The five-star Castlemartyr Resort (with ruins on site) has two nights’ B&B in a family room, along with one dinner for two adults and one child from €240 per night, based on a two night minimum. There's also a Halloween Kids’ Club and a Castlemartyr ghost tour (€10/8) available for residents to book on October 30 and 31.

Details: 021 421 9000; castlemartyrresort.ie

Mummy’s the word at Mulranny Park

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Kids' check-in at Mulranny Park Hotel.

Any package that includes a ‘Make Daddy a Mummy’ night has to be worth a second look. West Mayo’s Mulranny Park Hotel, situated right on the Great Western Greenway, has two night packages including B&B and one dinner for two adults and two children from €499. Other activities include a Halloween Family Fun night and Oreo Cookie decorating.

Details: 098 3600; mulrannyparkhotel.ie

Scary fun at Limerick Strand Hotel

Limerick Strand Hotel’s October bank holiday offers have sold out, but midweek Halloween packages remain available – coinciding with the city’s “Spooktacular” Festival, taking place on nearby Arthur’s Quay.

Three nights’ B&B in a family room plus a family pass to King John’s Castle is priced from €165 per adult (kids go free). Access to the Energize Leisure Centre, with its 20m pool, as well as a 15c discount on food at The Terrace Bar is included.

Details: 061 421800; strandlimerick.ie

Halloween Howlers at the Salthill Hotel

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Salthill Hotel, Galway

Galway’s 4-star Salthill Hotel has a ‘Halloween Howlers’ escape bundling two nights’ B&B with dinner on one evening for up to two adults and two children from €379 this year. ‘Lots of treats with no tricks’ is the promise, with a kids’ club, pool and leisure facilities and, of course, Galway on your doorstep.

Details: 091 522711; salthillhotel.com

Haunting times at The Heritage

Fancy a five-star break this Halloween? The Heritage in Killenard, Co. Laois is offering two-night family breaks including B&B and dinner on one evening from €229 per night (i.e. €458 in total). Along with the golf and pool, kids can enjoy dedicated games and Wii rooms, bikes, a playground and a fairy garden, as well as special Halloween activities during school holidays.

Details:  057 8640-5700; theheritage.com

Ghoulishly good Glenlo Abbey

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Glenlo Abbey

Galway’s recently restored Glenlo Abbey has a two-night Halloween mid-term break package from €289 per adult, with up to two kids staying free. The package includes B&B, one dinner and a treasure hunt and falconry experience on the grounds. Don't miss the Macnas Halloween Parade planned as part of the Galway Abooo Festival for Sunday, October 25.

Details: 091 526666; glenloabbeyhotel.ie

NB: All prices subject to availability and change. T&Cs may apply. Family breaks typically refer to two adults and two kids aged under 12.

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