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Best Things to do in Ireland and Scotland with Grandparents

Best Things to do in Ireland and Scotland with Grandparents

Recently updated on May 23rd, 2024 at 02:08 pm

The best way to connect with your heritage on a Celtic family vacation

We’ve all got a legacy, a story, or a family legend (sometimes they’re sitting next to you at dinner) and family travel in Ireland and Scotland is often where many discover the roots of their tale. While every trip with family is bound to make memories, sometimes taking a step back to consider what are the best things to do with grandparents as well can change the schedule.

But – when it comes to multigenerational travel, well, diving into your Irish and Scottish heritage in the Celtic Isles is a great way to get closer to your grandparents, your family and most of all – yourself.

Family travel and ancestry tracing on vacation can become a treasured shared memory with private research appointments, visits to ancestral lands and moments in between to connect with the culture, history and people that make our shared heritage special. These are the best things to do in Ireland and Scotland for a family vacation that keep everyone, young and old and maybe just young at heart, happy and connected.

Discover your Irish Heritage

A group of people standing in front of a display

One of the greatest ways to connect to each other is to find out where you’re from with your Irish ancestry. Kids of all ages, parents and grandparents alike can roam the interactive EPIC Museum in Dublin, where you’ll learn hands-on about Ireland’s greatest export – its people – before looking into your own past. We highly recommend planning in advance a trip to the Irish Family History Centre for a personal genealogy deep dive family tracing – start your trip off right, together.

Uncover your Scottish Story

A large rock sitting in the middle of a grass covered field

The battlefield of Culloden in Scotland marks the last stand of the Jacobite Uprising, but also a point of separation for many families from their ancestral lands and a link to their Scottish heritage. Visitors and their families often come to the hallowed grounds and museum to pay their respects, explore the collection and find out the fate of their predecessors or their connections to this part of history.

Irish Heritage Through Food

Cooking class at Tracey's House

When you enter Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen in Northern Ireland, you’re going to get a warm welcome into her classic thatched-roof Irish cottage home, make traditional baked goods and have a delicious afternoon tea made with ingredients from local purveyors. Sharing Irish heritage and baked goods go together like scones and tea, freshly baked bread and golden Irish butter – with gluten-free options if you need them to be!

Quiet Time in Killarney

A group of people riding horses over a bridge

Are we there yet? Let someone else take the wheel, err, reins for a bit and pile the whole family into a jaunting cart for a ride through parts of Killarney National Park. Here, you can connect with your Celtic heritage in a place where the actual roots run deep. As you gently roll along, you’re going to get up-close views of the forests, lakes and glens, wildlife and perhaps even a castle.

Your jarvey, the classic term for carriage driver, knows the history of the area and the vast botanical knowledge of the forest, and your trusty stead knows the way with the navigation. It’s a gentle way to spend your afternoon in Killarney, where your only screen time will be taking photos together.

The Soaring Cliffs of Moher on a Cruise

A scenic view of the ocean and cliffs

All aboard for this activity that is perfect for multigenerational family travel. Get a different perspective, collectively, on something everyone can agree on: The Cliffs of Moher Experience is an absolutely breathtaking sight to behold. These towering icons of Irish heritage in natural phenomena play a significant role in the background in many family photos. On this cruise, you’ll get wildlife sightings like dolphins, seals, puffins and perhaps basking sharks, before circling back to see Ireland’s largest seabird colony at the Great Sea Stack.

Connect with your County or Castle

A large castle like building surrounded by trees

If you’re taking a self-drive trip or have a private chauffeur and know the county or region of where your Irish or Scottish ancestry hails from, you can customize your trip to connect with significant destinations there. Whether it’s a family castle that may be available to the public or a place of importance from a family story passed down through generations, it never hurts to ask if the place can be part of your family vacation.

Wilson Family Farm

A group of people standing around a plant in a greenhouse

When you’re traveling with family and looking to connect with your Scottish ancestry or learn something more about Scottish heritage, it helps to bring a Scottish appetite. Take a tour of Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen at Cowbog Farm, the home of the Wilson family since 1938. Forthree generations, they have managed land set against the historic and beautiful hills and valleys of the Scottish BordersCowbog is a busy working family farm that works the land, resulting in delicious produce and meat for excellent meals. Whether you rent a Wee Bothy for a sit-down or have a tasting feast, we love the family connections and history that are a part of this place. 

Brittany Hanson

Brittany Hanson

Brittany Hanson has been professionally writing for news, academia public relations and institutional outreach since 2007. Now, she's dedicated to bringing readers interesting, fun and helpful information to help them on their journeys. Loves: running, reading, California's central coast, London's mass transit systems and any moderate to very-good animal.

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