Take a Walk with Your Wild Child!
School’s out for summer – and the kids are going wild! At least they will be during National Heritage Week, with an array of family friendly special events to enjoy. Running from this Saturday 14th August to Sunday 22nd August, National Heritage Week encourages people of all ages to explore their local area and learn more about its history, its landscape and all the many amenities it has to offer.
One of the highlights of the week-long event is Wild Child Day, which takes place on August 18th. It is a day dedicated to inspiring both the young and the young at heart to get outdoors and embrace the great outdoors.
County Kildare provides ample scope for just this, with a plethora of walkways, cycle trails, river routes and adventure experiences to explore. Inspired by Kildare’s beautiful scenery and many amenities, we’ve selected the best places to visit and the events to look out for – not just on Wild Child Day, but all week long!
Discover the bumblebees and butterflies of Lullymore
With Irish bumblebees in decline as a result of agriculture, forestry and frequent mowing of lawns, the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) have created ‘The Bumblebee Monitoring Project on Lullymore West‘ in Co. Kildare. One of the core purposes of the project is to gather as much information as possible about bumblebees to build on our existing species list. As part of National Heritage Week, the IPCC are inviting the public to learn more about this project while discovering the bumblebees and butterflies of Lullymore West. This informative walk-and-talk event kicks off at 11am on 14th August at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre.
Explore the Grand Canal – Locks 19-21
This special event, which takes place on Sunday 15th August at 6pm, allows participants to discover five centuries of Kildare history over a 2km distance. The walk begins on the highest point of the canal, taking in historical landmarks such as Hendy Castle and Master’s Acre, before reaching the final point of the trail at Lock 21. The walk is coordinated by Denis Dennehy and Allen Heritage and History Group, and will showcase a portion of Kildare’s deep heritage that many may not be familiar with. Click here for more information.
Take a walk along Arthur’s Way
Of the many scenic walking routes to be found around Kildare, Arthur’s Way is a particular highlight to embrace during National Heritage Week. The 16km trail can be walked or cycled and presents a number of fantastic photo opportunities for history buffs. The route showcases various sites that are linked to the world-famous Arthur Guinness, such as the town of Celbridge, where he grew up, and nearby Leixlip, which houses the site of his first brewery. Picturesque Leixlip Castle is also a must-visit landmark along the route, while Castletown House and the exclusive Cliff at Lyons provide the perfect stop-off point for those looking to refuel within the most spectacular surroundings.
Enjoy an immersive experience at Market Square
Market Square in Kildare Town will play host to an immersive audio-visual experience that allows visitors to explore their idea of heritage in unique and interesting ways. The event takes place from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday 17th, Wednesday 18th and Friday 20th August and encourages interaction and feedback from all the family. Following the event, why not take in the sights and stop-offs along St Brigid’s Trail? This specially curated walking trail shines a light on the story of Ireland’s female patron saint and one with strong links to County Kildare.
Discover the River Barrow with Athy Boat Tours
If your brood are water babies through and through, a day on the river might be the perfect way to celebrate National Heritage Week. Offering tailored tour options that take in breathtaking views along the Barrow Navigation, Athy Boat Tours may be just the ticket for your family on Wild Child Day in particular. Both group and private tours can be booked, with guests invited to enjoy a serene trip onboard the ‘Freedom of the Water’ as it glides from the centre of Athy into Ardreigh, taking in beautiful sights and historical landmarks on route. The boat is fully accessible, with ample seating and full kitchen facilities on board. Book now to avoid disappointment!