Irelands Best Fairy Trails
Searching for the Irish fairies is a must for any young family. No matter where you are in Ireland, you are sure to come across a fairy door or two and stir up the magic behind the twinkles and sparkles nearby. We can find fairy doors throughout our small villages, along our coasts, in our parks and scattered around some of our own gardens. But where can you go in Ireland to find the most spectacular fairy villages and spot a dancing fairy or two? We’ve explored some of what we think are the greatest fairy trails to help you on your way to unravelling the whereabouts of Irelands mystical creatures.
Erica’s Fairy Forest, Cootehill, County Cavan
The magic behind Erica’s Fairy Forest is very much real. The trail was established by Erica’s parents Natasha and Ciaran to honour her memory after she sadly passed away aged five. It is a wonderful adventure through the enchanted woodland at Cootehill in County Cavan. Surrounded by such natural beauty and intense belief, Erica’s Fairy Forest is filled with magic and fun and fairies flying from tree branch to tree branch. Erica’s love of fairies and princes and princesses travels throughout the forest as her magic colourfully lights up the enchantment of the forest and the wonderful fairy homes you will find along the way.
Open daily, sunrise to sunset. Admission free.
The Fairies of Malahide – Malahide Castle, Malahide, County Dublin
The Fairies of Malahide have taken over the West Lawn at the back of Malahide Castle in a most traditional but fun way! Along with trolls, the fairies have made this beautiful section of Malahide Demesne their home. There are many wonderful things to see along this trail with the fairies hiding but watching as you make their way around their home. They have left plenty of clues to help you find them with a few surprises along the way. Chasing these Irish fairies is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
Open daily from 9.30am, last entrance 4.30pm in summer, 3pm in winter. Admission €5 for kids, €7.50 for adults, or family (2+2) for €22. Under 4 go free.
Of Fairies and Fairy Folk, Turlough Park, Castlebar, County Mayo
Dotted along the grounds of the magical Turlough Park House in County Mayo lies a most interesting and mystical fairy trail. Here, the Irish fairies have taken full advantage of the incredible array of trees nestled among the woodlands, waterways, and restored gardens of the area. Discovering the folklore behind the fairies and their home among the trees and understanding the connection between their magic and the natural world is a treat for the keenest fairy adventurer.
The exhibition galleries are open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday to Monday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission free.
The Irish Fairies in Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Newry, County Down
The Giant’s Lair at Slieve Gullion is a most incredible must-see site for all things fae, elves, trolls, giants, and magic. It seems as though there is no part of the woods here which are not inhabited by these mystical creatures. From the dancing willows, the hidden houses, the oversized cups and turned over tables, and not forgetting the Fairy Kingdom itself, taking a stop off to explore Slieve Gullion is a must. In fact, they say Slieve Gullion is a mountain when really we all know it is a sleeping giant!
Open daily beginning April to beginning October 8am-9pm, beginning October to end March 8am-5pm. Admission free.
Slieve Aughty Eco Centre, Loughrea, County Galway
The Enchanted Forest at the Slieve Aughty Eco Centre is home to some of Ireland’s most spectacular fairies. Whether you see them or not depends on how eagle eyed you are. It’s not only the Irish fairies who have occupied the magical lands here but also the trolls and gnomes who have taken up residence and who all live in perfect harmony together with the animals who inhabit the woods also. When you go to the Enchanted Forest you are given some magical fairy dust to take home but keep your eyes open because you never know who you may meet along the way.
Open daily in the summer 12pm-6pm, Friday to Sunday winter 12pm-6pm. Admission from €5 per person. Under-2s go free.
You might also like to read our post on the best campsites in Ireland
Photo by Allison Archer on Unsplash