A day out in Dingle is always a day well spent. No matter what the weather, Dingle always gives off an atmosphere of a “happening town”. Whether you just want to walk around the town, popping in and out of the various craft and souvenir shops, visit some of the attractions, or take a scenic boat trip around Dingle Bay, Dingle has all the ingredients for a great day out. And there’s no shortage of things for the kids to enjoy as well. Read on for more…
On your walk around Dingle make sure you stop by St Mary’s Church. This church overlooks Dingle and it’s quite a steep walk up to it, but it’s well worth it. Note the mini grotto outside the side entrance, and the plain and simple architecture of the church itself.
What else would you expect from a town right on the sea, but a bountiful supply of fresh fish, so there are quite a few fish restaurants in the town. But don’t be disheartened; if you don’t like fish there are a variety of eateries in the town which cater for all tastes.
Now what to do with the kids?
Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium…
Just up the road from the town centre, Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium has to be the first port of call. Be totally amazed with the various species on view including silver dollars, shellfish, crabs, starfish, as well as deadly piranha, clown fish (remember Finding Nemo!) and poisonous frogs.
Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium is home to 8 Black Tip and White Tip reef sharks – it’s quite exciting seeing these fish up close.
The “Touch Pool” is a lovely experience for the kids as they can hold a starfish or try to stroke a Ray. A definite highlight has to be the Ocean Tunnel. It’s pure magic walking through the tunnel, with fish overhead and each side of you. Look out for cod, mackerel, flat fish and spider crabs. On the way out there’s a nice little souvenir shop with a good range of “fishy objects” to take home with you.
Find out more about Dingle Oceanworld.
Dingle World of Leisure…
Situated just off John Street, Dingle World of Leisure is a few hours of good fun for all the family.
Go bowling with a difference with “Cosmic Glow in the Dark” bowling – what a novel idea! There are 8 bowling lanes available and you may have a little wait during busy times. You pay for your time on the lane, not per game, so for example the least amount of time you can buy is half an hour. Shoe hire is free of charge. The Bowling Alley snack bar serves light meals and refreshments and also wine, draught and bottle beer.
Downstairs there’s a “house of fun” and an amusement arcade. For parents there’s the Harmony Health Club on site. This health club has public swimming pool hours which could help in keeping the kids amused when the weather isn’t too good.
Find out more about Dingle World of Leisure.
A trip to the Blasket Islands…
Time for a small journey now and it’s off to Dunquin (Dun Chaoin), 15 minutes west of Dingle, to catch the Blasket Islands Ferry. Weather permitting of course, ferries depart daily on a regular basis from Easter to October.
Now what to do once you get on the island. Billed as a “walker’s paradise” re-trace the steps of the Islanders on grassy tracks. If the sun is shining it’s down to the White Strand for sandcastles and a swim in the Atlantic. For the artists among you why not bring along the old sketchpad and put your own slant on those stunning views. Keep an eye out for seals, minute whales, common and bottlenose dolphins, and basking sharks which are no strangers along the coast of the island.
Find out more about the Blasket Islands.
Louis Mulcahy Pottery and Free Workshop Open Room…
What a hoot! Can you imagine telling the children they can have a bash at making a piece of pottery. Well the whole family can have the experience of making their own invaluable piece at Louis Mulcahy Pottery and Free Workshop Open Room. The Visitor Centre is open from Easter to September and you’ll actually be able to see a professional “throw a pot” and then its up to you to “throw” that stunning creation! Your work of art is yours to keep or you can opt for that professional finish – you can have it “fired” and sent on to you for a fee.
All that creativity is thirsty work so enjoy well-deserved refreshments at Louis’ café.
Find out more about Louis Mulcahy Pottery.
Fungi the dolphin…
One of Dingle’s best known residents has to be Fungi the bottle nose dolphin. He’s been a permanent resident of Dingle Harbour since around 1984. Fungi was spotted first by Paddy Ferriter, (Dingle Harbour Lighthouse Keeper). He watched the dolphin as he escorted fishing vessels to and from the harbour.
Local fishermen gave Fungi his name. Fungi is a male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus), weighing about 500lbs and approximately 13 feet. During the summer months Fungi feeds in the harbour mouth and during the winter he will have to travel out further for his food.
Trips out into the harbour to try to get a glimpse of the dolphin can be arranged at The Pier, in Dingle.
A day at the beach…
Piece of mind is assured as regards quality and cleanliness, with 3 Blue Flag beaches within driving distance of Dingle. On the Dingle Peninsula, you have Inch, Ventry and Maherabeg. There’s always something to do on the beach, even when the day is dull and overcast. The kids will find their own amusement making sandcastles, collecting shells or searching out different shaped and coloured stones. The added bonus of course being the fantastic scenery and the wonderful photo opportunities!
Pass a leisurely few hours in an attempt to catch the “big one”. You won’t be short of places to fish as Dingle Harbour has several good spots. The keen fishermen among you will be looking out for mullet, bass, flounder, cod, etc. With stunning views as well, what more can you ask for!