Last year I started a note in my phone called “places to go” because friends were always telling me about different places I hadn’t heard of that sounded fun and interesting. One of said places was Russborough House in County Wicklow.
We realized, when we were planning out our last family day, that it wasn’t too far from us, so we thought we’d go for a visit. My kids are always wanting to have a picnic, so we decided to pack a lunch to bring with us. There is a great playground onsite with some tables and chairs, which we weren’t expecting, but were very grateful for.
Adjacent the playground is a fabulous maze, costing €3 per person or €10 for a family.
Our limousine of a double buggy wouldn’t fit in the gates entering the maze, so the twins and I decided we’d go inside for tea and pavlova (poor us!) while Ben and the three olders went through the maze.
At some point recently Brambles has taken over the running of the tea rooms-and they are doing a fantastic job. Locals say it is a great improvement, as before that would not have been a main attraction. The food looked delicious, but as said previously, I went for the pavlova 🙂
After the kids and Ben finished the maze they were ready for ice cream, and there happens to be a darling tiny ice cream parlour just outside the tea rooms. They had four flavours: strawberry, honeycomb, vanilla and bubble gum for €2 for a single (large) scoop. Plus there was an ice chest full of various other ice cream or frozen lolly treats.
We parked on the far side of the property, apparently where the coaches park (unbeknownst to us.) There is a parking fee of €2, which I think is reasonable. As we walked from our car toward the house and playground, we passed a courtyard with a working blacksmith and a marble/stone worker. They were both very friendly, showing the processes of their trade. I loved watching my eldest son as I was telling him that the blacksmith does this to make things to sell. He was processing that piece of information and I could tell he wanted to show him that he thought he did good work and that he liked what he was making. So he tried to offer the blacksmith a fiver for one of his candlestick holders. He was flattered, as you can imagine. Good heart, Titus.
This was the extent of what we did on our visit to Russborough House, but there is much more available. You can take a tour of the house, go to the fairy village, walks on the property, horse and carriage rides and sheepdog demonstrations…all at varying prices.
There is also a small gift shop in the main house. It was well worth the trip and would be an excellent place to add to the “take visitors here” list…a list I’m always trying to keep updated!