Kilruddery House in Bray has been on my list of places to visit for a while now, several friends have recommended it over the years and we finally got out to it today. It’s just on the outskirts of Bray, couple of minutes from the motorway. Entry fee was €19 for two adults and three children, the baby was free.
The sun was shining so we headed to the picnic area which has a large sand pit, for coffees. The husband took the kids off to the sand pit and I sat down with my average coffee. The place was full of families with babies. I sat and watched them with all the luggage. Huge bags and baskets, blankets, double buggies laden down with bags and bags of stuff. I was kind of thinking to myself what the fock do they need all this stuff for. I have gone on two-week holidays with less crap. I walked over to the sandpit with my small handbag which contained two nappies and my wallet and God looked down from the heavens and laughed at me for laughing at the over prepared parents with their suitcases of accessories for their babies. The husband had freed the baby from the confines of the buggy and she was in the middle of the sandpit happy as a pig in shit, covered in sand.
The kids played, we drank our average coffees, we washed some of the sand off the baby and stripped off some of her clothes and went to explore. There where a couple of chickens and a few pigs which the baby woofed excitedly at, I need to up My Old McDonald had a Farm game.
We then walked over to the house, the grounds where pleasant enough, we didn’t do the house tour, we wandered around for a bit, there was a small play area in the trees and the kids enjoyed climbing the rock walk. The grounds are very lovely and the backdrop of the Sugarloaf made for some pleasant scenery. After an hour, we where ready to leave. It was fine. €19 euro for an hour fine? Maybe, maybe not. If you plan on visiting, bring a picnic and a ball, there are loads of nice places to sit and watch the world go by.
On the way in we saw some signs and a queue for Squirrels Scramble, the kids looked up with us pleading eyes as we walked past on the way out so we said we would have a look.
Squirrels Scramble is a tree adventure park or basically the stuff of dreams for a five, seven and nine-year old. The queues was tiny so we had a look, we found out the five-year old would be able to do it and we went back up to Kilruddery to buy some overpriced lemonade to get cash back ( cash only to pay in) so the husband and the kids could go and adventure. A family ticket for four people costs €50/ €12.50 per head which is very reasonable for what you get.
The kids and husband got their harnesses and helmets on, I made a ridiculous joke about how the harness was like the one the husband has in the dungeon because I can’t stop myself from making people uncomfortable and after a brief but thorough safety demo, they were ready to go.
I watched from below with the buggy as they zipped, crawled, climbed across ropes in the trees. They shouted down excited commentary to me. The five-year old really gave it her best shot and was very brave but she probably was a bit too young for it. She hung on for close to an hour though and the husband was able to help clip and unclip her to the lines. She loved the ziplining but some of the the other activities where just a bit too much for her, she eventually had to be helped down from a height of 15ft or so when a rope bridge was just that bridge too far for her. She came and joined her sister and I while the other three continued on.
There are over 40 different challenges over four levels and we where there for about two hours in total. The boy declared it the “best day ever” Himself and the big girl just loved it. The staff where great too, very helpful and there to help out when they got stuck. We will definitely go back and would highly recommend if you are looking for something to do this month. Its open daily from 10am to 6pm from March to November, we will definitely be back, probably this month as they loved it so much. The five year old did get a rope burn but she wasn’t dressed appropriately as it was an impromptu visit, do wear a long sleeve top if you plan on visiting, there are some great photos and more info on the Squirrel Scramble website.
It really rescued what would have been an average day out and I would imagine one of the kids favourite days of the Summer holidays, so far.