Looking for something to do with the kids during the Easter holidays? Then why not take a day trip on the Butler Trail and visit some of the most fascinating places Tipperary has to offer!
On the Butler Trail in Carrick-on-Suir you can take a tour inside Ireland’s only Tudor manor at Ormond Castle - reputedly built for the anticipated visit of Queen Elizabeth by her cousin ‘Black Tom’ Butler in the 1560’s (parents, if you liked the tv series ‘The Tudors’ you’ll love this building!) You can also visit the Heritage Centre in Carrick-on-Suir where you’ll be enthralled by exhibits and displays on the heritage of this fine river-side town.
In Clonmel the Butler Trail takes in the Main Guard, centre of Butler administration in Tipperary from the 17th century onwards. The building itself has a fantastic story to tell, with evidence of its re- modelling and varying uses across the years cleverly shown throughout. Close by the Main Guard is South Tipperary’s County Museum, where you can pick up your free ‘Landscapes of the River Suir’ education pack, a resource which includes plenty of activities to keep the children learning unbeknownst to themselves!
In Cahir the Butler Trail offers two main attractions within easy walking distance of each other. We suggest that you firstly take in a trip to Cahir Castle, one of Ireland’s best-preserved castles with exhibitions, displays and an audio-visual show to be enjoyed by all. From the castle you can stroll along the beautiful river-side ‘Coronation Walk’ (2km) to a real hidden gem - The Swiss Cottage. You can also drive direct to and park at the Swiss Cottage via the Ardfinnan road from Cahir. The guides at Swiss Cottage will entertain you with the fantastic history of the cottage and the lifestyle of the gentry in 18th century Ireland!
Ormond Castle, the Main Guard, Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage are visitor attractions operated by the OPW, and admission charges normally apply. However, the OPW run a fantastic ‘First Free Wednesday’ scheme; on the first Wednesday of each month admission is free to individuals visiting these sites. For information on opening hours, normal admission charges and contact details for these sites see www.heritageireland.ie ; and for downloadable Butler Trail brochures see www.discoverireland.com/thebutlertrail. So, we encourage you to get out and about on the Butler Trail this Easter and enjoy some of the finest attractions Tipperary has to offer!