Are you becoming more conscious about your impact on the environment? Trying to reduce, reuse, and recycle more than ever? If you have children at school, they may be part of ‘Green Schools Ireland’ looking at ways to reduce their use of plastic, energy, and water.
With all this happening at home and school, it makes sense that your family want to support sustainable tourism when you are planning your holidays and weekends. We wanted to help you find some great options through The Green Irish Road Trip.
What is the Green Irish Road Trip?
The Green Irish Road Trip 2022 is a campaign we ran to find a lucky family and send them on a 10-day road trip of a lifetime to Clayton Hotels in Galway, Sligo, and Dublin.
We chose the Morrison family to join us on this amazing adventure. Gordon and Amy are both enthusiastic about the environment, Amy is an environmental artist and Gordon rescues seals in his spare time. They have two sons, Seth who loves the water and Lughaí who loves art and animals.
Over the holiday the Morrisons took part in great sustainable family activities around Ireland, from a bee farm to a fairy pig walk and loads of exciting activities in between!
Travelling the sustainable way in the Kia EV6
As part of the campaign, the Morrisons had the opportunity to borrow a brand new, Kia EV6. It is Kia’s flagship family all electric vehicle. The Morrison’s loved the sleek SUV from the start. The EV6 was a smooth, quiet drive-in luxurious comfort that everyone looked forward to returning to. It also had the boot space for all the luggage a family of four need on a 10-day holiday. The range was best of all, at over 500km, the Morrison’s only had to charge the car twice during their holiday, impressive considering they crossed the country!
What are Clayton Hotels doing to be more sustainable?
We are also working hard to reduce our impact on the environment. Clayton hotels are members of Green Tourism who specialise in helping hotels become more sustainable. Over 80% of Clayton hotels received a Gold Award following recent audits. So you can book your family break in Ireland with Clayton Hotels knowing we are striving to reduce our impact on the environment.
Sustainable tourism activities in Galway
The Morrisons began the Green Irish Road Trip in the beautiful county of Galway. Right in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, they took part in host of activities that brought them from its world famous bay to the nearby county of Clare. All easily accessible from their family friendly room in Clayton Hotel Galway.
Did you know there is a connection between a fountain on Salthill Prominade and the Camino? Neither did we. This was just one of the fascinating facts the Morrison’s learned on the Salthill Prominade Tour. Everyone was really impressed by Brian’s knowledge of Galway through the centuries. Seth and Lughaí loved the tales of Galway’s past when the city faced invasion on an number of occasions with bravery.
What is Galway Walks doing to be more sustainable?
Galway Walks made a commitment to limiting their impact on the environment by going paperless ten years ago.
Family Ticket: Bargain at €3 per person.
The National Aquarium
Conservation and education are at the heart of everything the Galway Atlantaquaria do. The sea life experts who work in the aquarium love to share their knowledge with visitors. The Morrisons loved how hard the aquarium work to replicate species natural environment, they particularly loved the replication of the ‘Corrib Weir, complete with net so the [salmon] don’t jump out!’. One of the most interesting things they learned is that octopus have blue blood! If you want to learn this and so much more, than the aquarium should not be missed.
What is the National Aquarium doing to be more sustainable?
Hosting monthly beach clean-up and activities by the sea to help promote the Clean Coasts programme. The aquarium also cares for and conserves hundreds of native marine species from Irish lakes, rivers, and seas.
Family Ticket: Family Ticket 2 Adults + 2 Children €40 [there are family tickets to suit all kinds of families – check out their website for options!]
On day two of the Green Irish Road trip, it was time to pick up the pace with a visit to Wildlands. Wildlands is an outdoor and indoor adventure centre, the perfect place to visit no matter what the Galway weather throws at you. The Morrison family didn’t let a rainy morning stop them from enjoying the Zip ‘n’ Trek and Zip ‘n’ Trek Junior. So much so, it was one of action man Seth’s favourite activities on the whole trip! If the weather does take a turn for the worse, there are indoor climbing walls, a Ninja course and challenge rooms so the adventure can continue.
What are Wildlands doing to be more sustainable?
Wildlands have limited their impact on the environment by choosing sustainable business practices across all areas of the business.
Family Ticket: varies by activity. Family Ticket 2 Adults + 2 Children for Zip ‘n’ Trek: €108
Turoe Pet Farm
Another great option if the weather is not on your side during your Galway break is Turoe pet farm. This fantastic family run farm has grown from modest beginnings to one of the best things for families to do in Galway. The Morrison’s, especially Lughaí, loved hand feeding ‘Larry the Llama,’ ‘Curly the Alpaca’ and ‘Macy’ one of the super friendly goats! As well as a huge indoor inflatable play area, Turoe have a covered playground so your little ones can enjoy it regardless of the weather.
What is Turoe Pet Farm doing to be more sustainable?
Turoe have limited their impact on the environment by choosing sustainable business practices across all areas of the business.
Family Ticket: 2 Adults & 2 Children €45
Slieve Aughty Centre
The Morrison’s loved their visit to the Slieve Aughty centre. There’s so much to do, it’s definitely a place they would make a return visit to. They enjoyed the seamless experience was in such a beautiful setting. Although Slieve Aughty is a working farm, there is a huge amount for visitors to explore. The Morrisons loved the organic garden, craft room and enchanted forest. The whole family also loved hearing all about the local myths and legends in the area!
What is the Slieve Aughty Centre doing to be more sustainable?
Slieve Aughty provides opportunities for families to explore the natural landscape of Ireland, learn about the culture and history of its people and eat home grown, fresh food all with a minimal carbon footprint and maximum immersion in the community and outdoors.
Family Ticket: From €50 depending on activity
One of the fantastic things about a family break in Clayton Hotel Galway is you are very close to the natural wonders of the Burren. The Morrisons took advantage of this with a family visit to the Burren Sanctuary where they got to enjoy a Fairy Pig Walk. No, you did not read that wrong! The Morrisons had Flora, the pig, accompany them on their journey through the fairy forest. This unique experience was loved by everyone and was a highlight of their sustainable trip in Ireland.
What is the Burren Sanctuary doing to be more sustainable?
The Burren Sanctuary is committed to limiting their impact on the environment by managing their 15 acre wildflower meadow for seed collecting for the native Irish Seed Bank, planting 1000 trees this February and leaving half of the site, 25acres for wildlife. They are also partners with NUIG Plant Science department and The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin for ongoing research and conservation projects.
Family Ticket: Fairy Pig Walk €109
Next stop was Linnalla ice-cream. Located just off the Flaggy Shore on the Wild Atlantic Way, Linnalla ice-cream could not be more locally sourced. It is made using milk from their own dairy herd. The Morrison’s were delayed getting to the farm as the herd crossed the road to be milked. Gordon and Amy really got an understanding of the challenges facing Irish food producers. The Morrisons really enjoyed the farm tour, getting ‘up close and personal’ with the cows in the milking parlour, wasn’t something they had experienced before. Coming from Galway city, the area around Linnalla Ice-cream felt ‘other worldly.’ Amy thought it was easy to understand how ‘JRR Tolkien was likely inspired by the Burren.’
What is Linnalla Ice-Cream doing to be more sustainable?
Mary from Linnalla shared their approach to sustainability “we are limiting our impact on the environment by measuring waste, energy, and water. We are a member of the Burren ecotourism network, an organisation committed to a strong environmental ethos.”
Family Ticket: 2 Adults + 2 Children €100
What are Clayton Hotels doing to be more sustainable?
Finally, we wanted to let you know Clayton are also working hard to reduce our impact on the environment. Clayton hotels are members of Green Tourism who specialise in helping hotels become more sustainable. Over 80% of Clayton Hotels received a Gold Award following recent audits. So you can book your family break in Ireland with Clayton Hotels knowing we are striving to reduce our impact on the environment.
If you and your family want to make amazing memories like this, why not book your family break in the Clayton Hotel Galway today?
Sustainable tourism activities in Sligo
From the wonders of the west, the Morrisons headed north to the family friendly Clayton Hotel Sligo. After thoroughly enjoying the wonderful facilities in the hotel from the indoor swimming pool to crazy golf. Lughaí loved the play tent in their family room in Sligo so much, he slept in it!
A Sligo cycle with North West Adventure tours was their first activity.
North West Adventure Tours Cycling
Is there a more sustainable form of transport than pedal power? The Morrison’s paid a visit to the family friendly Doorly Park in Sligo. They were met by North West Adventure Tour guide Barry and four super light, comfortable bicycles! Everyone had a fantastic time exploring the lakes, woodland, and wetlands in Doorly Park. Along the way they had fabulous views back to Sligo town and across the mountains on the car free cycle paths.
What is North West Adventure Tours doing to be more sustainable?
Northwest Adventure Tours Cycling are committed to limiting their impact on the environment as much as they can through reduce, reuse, recycle practices.
Family Ticket: €90
Sligo Surf Experience
Let’s be honest, have you even been to Sligo if you don’t have a surf lesson? We don’t think so and neither did the Morrison’s so their next port of call was Sligo Surf Experience for a dip in the Atlantic. Heavy duty wetsuits kept the chill of the water away. Everyone had an amazing time having a go at surfing. Amy’s abiding memory was how they all ‘laughed and laughed and laughed, during the hour-long lesson!’ The whole family loved how patient the instructors were with everyone, especially Lughaí as he struggled a little in the beginning. But, by the end of the hour, it was seven-year-old Lughaí who was able to stand up on his board!
After their lesson, everyone took part in a 2min beach clean with Seamus, just one of the ways Sligo Surf Experience are more sustainable.
On the way back to the hotel the Morrison’s detoured to Streedagh Beach, overlooked by the iconic Benbulbin, where dinosaur fanatic, Lughaí found loads of fossils!
What is Sligo Surf Experience doing to be more sustainable?
Sligo Surf Experience organise regular beach clean ups, promote Clean Coasts and the principles of Take Three for the Sea and Leave No Trace.
Family Surf Lesson: €150
Want to make amazing memories like these? Book your family break in the Clayton Hotel Sligo today?
Sustainable tourism activities in Dublin
From the northwest it was time for the Morrison’s to head east on the last stop of their Green Irish Road Trip, the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown. Located only 30min Luas trip from the Centre of Dublin City, Leopardstown is a wonderful location for your family to explore the capital and the stunning scenery of nearby county Wicklow.
The Morrisons kept up the active pace with a visit to CP Adventures. There were so many activities on offer it was difficult to choose! The whole family loved the zip line and Amy in particular, loved trying her hand at archery. They are just some of the activities on offer. If you bring your family, you could also try their climbing tower, bungee trampoline abseiling or kayaking to name a few. No matter what you enjoy doing, you are sure to find something everyone will enjoy!
What is CP Adventure doing to be more sustainable?
CP Adventures limit their impact on the environment by adapting Reduce, Re-use & Recycle wherever possible.
Family Ticket: €108
Olly’s Farm Experience
Next stop was Olly’s Bee Farm in the beautiful Dublin Mountains, the Morrisons had a unique opportunity to see how a bee farm is operated. They also learned that Olly got involved in beekeeping almost by accident. Asked to help out someone having trouble with their hives, he ended up with more and more. To the point, he now has over 200 hives located all over Dublin. Most are in the Dublin mountains, but some are much closer to the city centre, like the hives on the roof of the Powerscourt Centre just off Grafton Street and Teelings Whiskey in the Liberties. The Morrisons learned lots about bees, how essential they are in maintaining our environment and how the Queen dictates where the bees collect pollen.
What is Olly’s Farm Experience doing to be more sustainable?
Olly’s Farm plant hundreds of native trees and shrubs. Running our farm organically, introducing lots of bird and bat boxes as well as placing beehives all over South Dublin and North Wicklow that all help with pollinating our crops and flowers.
Family Ticket: €120
The penultimate activity on the Morrison’s sustainable Irish road trip was a scenic kayak down the river Liffey in the heart of Dublin’s city centre. Our lucky family jumped on the Luas right outside the Clayton Hotel and were slap bang in the centre of the city in 30minutes. Seth and Gordon loved how sturdy the Kayak felt. Lughaí, seated between them in a three birth kayak loved relaxing and enjoying the wonderful views! It truly was a unique way to see Dublin and her famous bridges from a very different angle.
What City Kayaking do to be more sustainable?
City Kayaking limit their impact on the environment by adapting Reduce, Re-use & Recycle wherever possible.
Family Ticket: €146
The Morrison’s final stop on the Green Irish Road trip took them across the Dublin mountains to the Greenan Maze in north Wicklow. The journey was no problem for their Kia EV6. The Greenan Maze is so much more than the maze, there’s a nature walk, fairy walk and a host of farm animals to meet. But the maze is the highlight for most visitors including the Morrisons. Seth and Lughaí loved racing each other to the centre. When it comes to sustainability the Greenman’s are on top of it. Sadly, the original maze was damaged by a virus a number of years ago but the Greenan’s took the opportunity to replant it with 1,500 native broadleaf beech trees.
What Greenanmaze do to be more sustainable?
Greenan Maze believe in encouraging visitors to find a love of nature. In an ideal world if we all love nature and our (local and global) environment maybe then we would all try to limit our impact on our place and our planet. At the farm, the Greenan’s try to limit their impact with a number of specific measures and by following certain over-arching principles. We are part of Leave No Trace and we participate in The All Ireland Pollinator Plan and We are the Ark.
Family Ticket: €30
Want to make amazing memories like these in the Capital? Book your family break in the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown today?
What are Clayton Hotels doing to be more sustainable?
Finally we wanted to let you know Clayton are also working hard to reduce our impact on the environment. Clayton hotels are members of Green Tourism who specialise in helping hotels become more sustainable. Over 80% of Clayton Hotels received a Gold Award following recent audits. So you can book your family break in Ireland with Clayton Hotels knowing we are striving to reduce our impact on the environment.