Our kids like to think they’re very clever, they enjoy puzzles and adventures, special missions and general espionage. There’s not much call for that in everyday life, sometimes you need a daytrip to meet the need. So, with that in mind we headed to Greenan Maze, near Rathdrum in Co. Wicklow for some sleuthing. (We’d been a few times before but I’ve never written about it on the blog.)
Greenan Maze is about 40 minutes’ drive from Gorey, or 55 minutes’ drive from South Dublin/the M50. Entry is expensive, a family of 2 adults plus 2 children costs €28 with an additional child costing €5. Children aged 2 and under are admitted free of charge.
On arrival we were given a map which contained a treasure hunt and a fairy trail, ways to keep the kids busy while you go on the nature walk.
The first clue is in the centre of the hedged maze which is a bit annoying as we didn’t want to go into the maze first as it can take some time. (We actually kept it til last which put the clues out of sync). The maze is fun, the boys really enjoyed racing around it and celebrated when we got to the centre. My four year old daughter found it scary and retreated out to play on the swings that are next to it. There’s an open maze called the Solstice Maze next to it too, that was declared too easy by the boys.
Walking from the carpark/craft shop area there are fairy doors with some part of the trail to tick off. We also met two donkeys on this part.
Next you arrive at the Teashop area, where you’ll also find an old farmhouse which is a museum and a barn which houses old farm machinery. The kids were very interested in both of these, especially the ass carts and the big saws.
The quaint teashop serves teas, coffees and an array of home baking, we had two HUGE cookies to share and they were delicious. We’d brought a picnic so didn’t try the hot food.
The Nature Trail starts beside the teashop and brings you to the river and along its bank, ticking off trees, fairy doors with elaborate fairy houses and clues as you go.
The Dragonfly Ponds are a real oasis of calm with walkways bringing you up close to view them.
Pass the dragonfly ponds and you’ll be brought back around to the small farm area with pigs, turkeys, geese, peacocks, hens and ducks. It’s not a petting zoo but we still enjoyed chatting to the geese.
We’d a lovely afternoon, finishing up in the small playground after our picnic in the picnic tent. On one of the hottest days of the year the location with lots of shade all around was perfect to retreat from the sun yet enjoy the good weather.
While entry is expensive, the kids got a lot out of the museum parts as well as the walks and maze, and this is our fourth time visiting, we go most summers, and we’ll be back, but this time we’ll probably get cake.
For more information including opening times check their website here.