50 of the best playgrounds in Ireland

Compiled by Jennifer O’Connell, Damian Cullen, Sylvia Thompson, Leonie Corcoran, Lorna Siggins, Noel O’Reilly and Malachy Clerkin


Carnfunnock Country Park
Coast Rd, Ballygalley, Larne, Co Antrim

Carnfunnock County Park. Photograph: carnfunnock.co.uk

See here for exact location
Good for: A day at an outdoor amusement park.
Carnfunnock Country Park is located on the coast road at Ballygally and it offers spectacular views, ample green spaces for children of all ages to run around and play as well as a range of activities for all age groups. The playground will entertain younger children but add in to the mix a miniature railway (£2 per person), mini-golf (£1-£3.50), wow balls (£3), remote control boats (£1/five minutes), bouncy castle (£1), bungee runs (£1-£2) and a maze and you have all the ingredients for a fun day out for all the family. LC


Oak Park Forest Park
Ballaghmoon, Carlow Town, Co Carlow
See here for exact location
Good for: Forest walks for all levels of ability.
Oak Park Forest Park – a favourite spot for walkers since it opened to the public in 2006 – now has an accessible playground with slides, swings and a wheelchair swing. There’s a green gym for adult fitness. The 120-acre park has colour-coded circular walkways of varying lengths with wheelchair-accessible surfaces – including a looped boardwalk. The lakes are a habitat for ducks and swans, and the park is also a recognised bat habitat. There are picnic tables too, so bring lunch.
Top tip: bring insect repellent. JO’C


Con Smith Memorial Park playground
Cathedral Road,…

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