If you're looking for a place to while away the day and keep the whole family entertained, then we can thoroughly recommend Lough Key Forest and Activity Park. Tucked away off the road to Boyle in County Roscommon, Ireland. it is a magical place packed with activities and enough space simply to walk and enjoy the peace, quiet and fabulous views across the water.
We spent a day there, chilling, chatting and walking around, finding lots of places to explore. There are wide open spaces for children to run wild, wooded areas that are great for climbing and other places where imaginations can take flight. This proved very popular with our little niece. as she often likes to tell us stories. In one place she thought she had found marks on a tree that the fairies had left. There is also a little fairy garden on the way into the centre, which inspired her to go home to create her own afterwards.
Lough Key also accommodates other types of use by incorporating a mixture of rough terrain areas and smoother paths for those that might like to run or cycle. Gym type equipment has also been installed along the path. We all had a go and enjoyed testing it, some with greater success than others. However, they were a real hit with the whole family including our sixty something year old grandma.
As this is definitely a whole day adventure, you need to plan a meal and/or snacks. We did have a snack stop mid-morning, as well as stopping for lunch (our family likes its food!). When the weather permits, there is an outdoor decking area for outdoor dining as well as a space for people who bring their own picnic. On this occasion we decided to have lunch in the cafe which manages to cater for a broad range of tastes and I must say, we all enjoyed the food that we ordered. The whole experience was greatly enhanced by the views across the water.
Although we only made use of the park and cafe, there is so much more to do at Lough Key but we never seem to allow ourselves enough time when we are there. There is the Adventure Play Kingdom, the Lough Key Experience with its canopy walk through the trees, the tunnels to explore and the boat trip around the lough itself. They are all on our wish list for future visits. Check out the park's website for a full list of activities.