Take time out, reconnect and relax with the family in a natural water world designed to keep the whole clan happy. When it comes to family holidays, the Shannon-Erne Blueway offers something special – a place where you can try a spot of canoeing with the kids, where you can enjoy a safe, off-road cycle trail, and where you can stop, take your time, slow down and enjoy one of the walking trails with a picnic along the way. It's a place to envelop yourself in nature by day, and enjoy relaxed dinners in family-friendly pubs by evening. And if ever there was a place designed for kids to put away those tablets and smartphones in favour of the great outdoors and more, this is it…
Once you've found yourself place to stay around the Blueway, head on over to Lough Scur. People often say it's hard to keep everyone happy all of the time –particularly families – well this may well be the place that succeeds where others failed. It's a jam-packed haven of watery fun, courtesy of Lakeside Activities' (lakesideactivities.com) range of family-friendly entertainment, including pedal boats, fishing boats, rowing boats and guided tours around the lake, why not journey along the many Blueway cycle trails, take it slow and pedal a little less with Electric Bike Trails (electricbiketrails.com)
Over in Bawnboy, the young at heart will get a real kick out of a visit to Bear Essentials and its Silver Bear Centre (bearessentials.ie). With workshops, events and crafts, as well as a showcase of old and new teddy bears – not to mention a teddy bear hospital – if you have a lovable fluffy bear who may be in need of some TLC, you know where to go...
Close by is the aptly named Out-doors and Dirty (odd.ie), where young ones can rev up the action with "Dominator Buggies", archery and combat laser games. Let off steam, take in that fresh air and head to a place that will never define itself as 'bog standard' entertainment. Space hoppers and hovercrafts, anyone?
And don't forget a visit to the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark (marblearchcavesgeopark.com). One of the finest show caves in Europe, creep down into this subterranean otherworld, and you'll enjoy a walk and boat tour through rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and vast chambers. A must-explore for those who don't mind a few steps – both ways!
Ballyconnell Loop Walk: This lovely 5km walk is a good one for kids as it covers different terrain and holds their attention along riverbank paths and through woodland tracks.
Motte and Bailey, Belturbet: Kids learn about motte and bailey in school, but actually seeing one for real can bring history to life. Turbet Island and the Motte and Bailey in Belturbet is a great place to thrill kids with tales of woolly mammoths – the first ever woolly mammoth remains in Europe were found right here.
Horseriding: Riversdale J Stables in Killeshandra (+353 (0)87 387 2222) offers great horse riding experiences where all ages and abilities can enjoy treks on quiet country roads around the Cavan countryside