- Ireland Family holidays
Despite being on the doorstep for residents of England, Scotland and Wales, many Britons have never taken family holidays to Ireland - either the Republic or Northern Ireland. This is something that can be resolved easily, with a great choice of different destinations and plenty of sightseeing opportunities and guided tours, allowing you to see the true tourist side of the Emerald Isle. There should be no cultural clash or language barrier - except perhaps for the accent in some areas - although your choice of destination might be swayed slightly by the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland and not need to change any currency.
The euro Republic
While Northern Ireland uses sterling - although it prints its own bank notes - the Republic of Ireland has adopted the European single currency of the euro. This leaves the problem of what currency to take if you are likely to be staying very close to the border during your cheap family package holiday in Ireland. In practice though, you should find you only need one currency if you don't go too far across the border, as businesses located very close to the neighbouring country will often accept both currencies as a courtesy, and to avoid losing trade.
The Titanic trail
In Northern Ireland, a visit to Belfast can include a tour of the Titanic Quarter, including the museum dedicated to the ship and its disastrous maiden voyage. It's a poignant way to spend a day during a family holiday in Ireland, but it's a useful way to teach your children about a piece of history they might not know the full details of. Several different bus tours depart from Belfast city centre, so there's a choice of trips if you fancy something else instead.
The Giant's Causeway
Also in Northern Ireland, but further along the coast from Belfast, you will eventually reach the Giant's Causeway. This natural rock formation consists of hundreds of stone columns, each of which is hexagonal in shape, and you can explore the cove in which they are found and climb up them - carefully, as there are attendants watching for anybody taking excessive risks on the slippery surface. It's arguably one of the wonders of the natural world, a great photo opportunity, and something you're not likely to see anywhere else in the world.
Why Ireland is so great for families
The Emerald Isle is a top family holiday destination for a number of reasons. The warmth of the welcome is definitely one of them, with the Irish people being some of the friendliest in Europe. The dramatic green countryside, rugged coastline and cities like Dublin also add to the broad appeal. Go on long family walks along the cliff tops, discover ancient woodland, and find out more about the heritage and history of the UK's nearest neighbour. Have fun, maybe some sun, but definitely a great experience on Ireland family-friendly holidays.