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Child Friendly Hidden Gems to visit in Northern Ireland

Updated: Jan 2

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track child friendly locations scattered around Northern Ireland.


Whether you're looking to hike along picturesque coastlines, or discover hidden gems perfect for picnics, this guide will lead you to some of Northern Ireland's best-kept secrets, ensuring a memorable and family-friendly experience for all!


Here are some of our favourite hidden gems in Northern Ireland which are child friendly, however we do recommend doing your own research, as each child is different.


So grab your walking boots, pack your picnic (or a change of nappies!), and get ready to explore the hidden gems that await you and your little ones in the captivating Northern Ireland!


Image of Castlewellan Forest Park in Northern Ireland


1) Castle Espie Wetland Centre


This little gem is an amazing place for young and old alike. It's so lovely to see the birds up close and get an opportunity to feed them. The views are amazing and so much thought has gone into little extras to keep the kids entertained!


The wetlands area, for viewing ducks, geese and wildfowl of many types is very large and provides a decent walk. There are also hides to birdwatch (and escape the weather if needed).


Image of Castle Espie Wetland Centre in Northern Ireland

2) Tollymore Forest Park


If you are on holiday in Northern Ireland and heading to Newcastle there is not a better place to visit than Tullymore Forest! Fans of Game of Thrones will sure recognise this location.


It's worth nothing that there is a parking fee of £5.00, however there are plenty of walks with various distances to suit all.


Image of Tollymore Forest Park in Northern Ireland

3) Silent Valley Mountain Park


If your kids are into walking/hiking, then this place is perfect for them! There are around 3-4 different trails here for hiking, with the smallest one being good for even the stroller for your little ones.


It's a great walk though if you take the longest route in our opinion; you get to see some nice mountains, water flowing on the side & the beautiful dam which looks great even from afar.


Image of Silent Valley Mountain Park in Northern Ireland


4) Ballycastle Beach


Ballygally Beach is a lovely place to visit away from the crowds with a beautiful scenic view. It's a real hidden gem, providing visitors with a beautiful serene beach with fabulous views out to sea and the rolling Glen.


The place also has the Ballygally Castle Hotel which is right across the road facing the sea.


Image of Ballycastle Beach in Northern Ireland

5) Castlewellan Forest Park


Castlewellan Forest Park is an mazing place for a family picnic, a forest walk or even kayaking! It even includes beautiful gardens where you can see even red giant trees from California!


It also features great nature trails with nice views, as well as the real maze which the kids will absolutely love.


Image of Castlewellan Forest Park in Northern Ireland

6) Marble Arch Caves


Most people should be able to complete this; everything in the cave is either paved or flat surfaces with hand railings most of the way. Bringing your little ones is totally fine, though they might get a little bored along the way!


Try to go when it has been dry for a few days so you get the full boat experience as well! Also, don't forget to bring a sweater, it gets chilly inside the caves.


Image of Marble Arch Caves in Northern Ireland

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the local finds and less known child friendly hidden gems which are scattered around Northern Ireland. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Northern Ireland trip even more memorable!


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