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Why a trip to Wild Ireland needs to be your next family day out

By Sarah Finnan

January 23, 2020 at 11:46am

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Tell everybody I'm on my way, new friends and new places to see.

We're almost there folks, February is nigh. Just make it through the next few days and you'll be laughing.

Top of my list come payday is booking a trip away and Donegal is definitely a strong contender on the 'where to' list.

One of the most beautiful parts of the country, it has a whole lot to offer. Particularly for animal lovers who, no doubt, have heard all about Wild Ireland by now.

A wildlife sanctuary in Burnfoot, Donegal, it's home to a wide range of furry friends including a beautiful lynx named Naoise, deer, wild boar, rare monkey breeds and wolves.

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Just a few centuries ago, Ireland was clothed in a thick blanket of Temperate Celtic Rainforest. Due to destruction and deforestation, this woodland has all but disappeared. The animals that called the forest home have gone forever. Now, for the first time in thousands of years, They’re Back! Step back in time into an ancient woodland, inhabited by Brown Bears, Wolves, Lynx and Wild Boar as you journey through the past. Learn about the majestic creatures that once called our island home. Wild Ireland is a sanctuary for abused, neglected and rescued animals to live out their lives in safety. The animals natural habitats have been recreated in the Forest. We look forward to welcoming you soon to Wild Ireland #theyreback www.wildireland.org www.instagram.com/visitwildireland

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Along with three brown bears - Ireland's first brown bears in over 2,000 years!

The first project to reintroduce bears back to Ireland, the mammals last roamed the country when our hunter-gatherer ancestors arrived - becoming extinct here during the Bronze Age.

Unsurprisingly, the sanctuary has proven to be extremely popular since opening, with visitors flocking to welcome Donegal's newest residents from all around the country.

Redcastle Hotel and Spa has teamed up with the sanctuary to offer visitors a new family-friendly package that is sure to keep the whole gang happy.

Located on the banks of Lough Foyle, the four-star hotel is only a 20-minute car journey away from Wild Ireland (and 20-minutes from Derry city).

Guests can book in midweek for €185 or €235 on weekends (prices based on a family of four) which includes a 'glamping themed experience' complete with torches, books, a colouring pack and of course entry into Wild Ireland.

Not to mention breakfast and hot chocolate and cookies on arrival. Do these guys know how to host a party or what?

Nothing like a full Irish to start your morning.

According to local Donegal man Killian McLaughlin, the face behind Wild Ireland:

"It's fantastic to have a local hotel such as Redcastle on board to support Wild Ireland.

Since opening, there has been a lot of enthusiasm with people coming from all across Ireland to see the animals here. We are looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors here over the coming months".

It looks like all roads lead to Donegal. That's my decision made.

(Header image courtesy of @visitwildireland)

READ NEXT: A weekend getaway to Dromoland Castle needs to be on your February bucket list

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