10 most unusual adventures in Ireland – from bog challenges to axe-throwing
Looking for more days out with a difference? Here are10 weird and wonderful experiences to tempt you off the couch this summer…
1. Throw an axe
"Once you hear the first thunk, you're hooked," they say. Axe-throwing is a new (and supervised, thank God) activity at Kilkenny's Castlecomer Discovery Park and Ballyhass Lakes in Ballyhoura. From €10pp; discoverypark.ie; ballyhass.ie.
2. Ride a fat bike
Yes, it's a thing. Fat Bikes have monster tyres suited to soft terrain like sand, bog and snow… and they're fun. Fat Bike Adventures does outings from Dublin to breathtaking locations including Bray Head (above). They do both regular and electric fat bikes. From €65pp; fatbikeadventures.ie.
3. Go on a Gruffalo trail
Got a toddler? Belfast's Colin Glen Forest Park is home to a sculpture trail based on Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson's books. The walk takes just 20 minutes. Free; colinglen.org.
4. Try coasteering
Squeeze on a wetsuit. Scramble up rocks. Jump. Swim. Squeal. Shout. It's makey-uppy madness of the highest order. Clare Island Adventures and Kerry's Mór Active are just two operators doing it. From €50pp; clareislandadventures.ie; moractivetours.com.
5. Take a turf challenge
Killary Adventure Company has an obstacle course "like no other" in the Connemara bog. You can also get down and dirty at nearby Delphi Adventure Centre's bog obstacle course. From €49pp; killaryadventure.com; delphiadventureresort.com.
6. A stargazing safari
Venture into Mayo's Dark Sky Park, with a laser-pointer tour of the night skies, an introduction to nocturnal wildlife and hot chocolate with a storytelling seanchaí. From €35pp; terrafirmaireland.com.
7. Sleep in a ringfort
Well, a replica ringfort. Wexford's Irish National Heritage Park offers stayovers in a thatched building within the oak-walled fort. There's an open fire and period costumes, too. From €400 for six to eight people; irishheritage.ie.