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.
The Morrison family (L to R): Seth, Lughaí, Amy and Gordon
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.
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 a 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
If you and your family want to make amazing memories like this, why not book your family break in the Clayton Hotel Galway 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 specialises 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.