Castlecomer Discovery Park

The Estate Yard, Castlecomer, Kilkenny


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Set in the grounds of the former Wandesforde Estate, Castlecomer Discovery Park is a multi-activity woodland park, just 25 minutes from Kilkenny city. 

Discover Adventure and fun at Castlecomer Discovery Park!
Castlecomer Discovery Park is an 80-acre activity park featuring a wide range of exhilarating activities for all ages, from the fun and challenging tree-top walk high amongst the sycamore trees to archery and zip lines.
Set on 80 acres of mixed woodland in the former gardens and stable yards of the Wandesforde Estate, it is located in the south-east of Ireland 20 km north of the city of Kilkenny and 24 km from Carlow town, and only 90 minutes from Dublin on the Motorway.

There are many attractions for all the family to enjoy. We have online booking, so make sure you to go to to book today!
Ireland’s longest Zip line (suitable 12 upwards)
Octagon High Ropes Course (suitable 12 upwards)
Tree Top Walk (suitable 7 upwards)
Climbing Wall (suitable 7 upwards)
Archery (suitable 8 upwards)
Axe throwing (suitable for 12 upwards)
Boating (suitable 4 upwards)
Junior Low Ropes Adventure Course (suitable 3 - 7)
Bouncing Nets ( 3- 7)
Elf Village (Free)
Canopy Café at the Elf Village (seasonal opening)
Team Building (groups 20 +)
3 permanent orienteering trails
The Coal Mining Exhibition
80 acres woodland
6kms walking trails
Animal sanctuary
Adventure Playground
Picnic Areas
Jarrow Café
Craft Yard

Easter Fun at Castlecomer Discovery Park is to Infinity & Beyond!
4th April – 19th April 2020
Castlecomer Discovery Park is open for Easter fun and adventure from April 4th to April 19th.
As well as our usual array of adventure activities there is the even more egg – citing “Toy Story” themed family trail running for the two weeks Easter school break.
The family favourite movie “Toy Story” provides the theme for our family trail which brings families around the park as they hunt for clues and markers. Each child will receive a toy on completion of the trail. This is a great way for families to connect in nature while having lots of fun. The price is €7.50 per child (adults free).
All activities will be opened for the school holiday period, from Ireland’s longest zipwire to our tree top walks and high ropes courses. Why not try some archery or canoeing? For younger kids we have the junior woodland adventure course, our bouncing nets all located at the enchanting elf village.
Building on the success of our summer camps held last year, we are delighted to be bringing back our “Wild Things Discovery Camp” for Easter 2020.
This week long camp is a journey of adventure, fun and learning running from the 6th April – 10th April.
“We are still receiving calls from Mum’s who have told us that our camp was the highlight of their kids summer vacation. This is very encouraging for our staff who love the opportunity to develop new and innovative ways to teach through active outdoor learning methodologies” Kathy Purcell, General Manager, Discovery Park.
Along with doing adventure activities such as the tree top walk, climbing wall, boating, archery and high ropes, campers will also be immersed in learning about our forest environment. We will be using forest school principles to teach children about the flowers and fauna, and bush craft such as building a shelter and making a fire.
“Our facilitators are passionate about teaching children about engaging with the natural world. Our camps encourage children to learn about nature through exploration, learning valuable life skills along the way. Our camps offer a very different experience for children, by virtue of group size and the range of activities and adventure infrastructure we have on site” Nichola Salmon, Education Officer at Castlecomer Discovery Park
Running from 6- 10 April, our camp is a mixture of adventure activities, forest fun and learning. It is aimed at 7 – 12 years olds, with the day running from 10.00 – 16.30 every day. The cost per child is €120.
We are also delighted to be taking part in “Tourism Day 2020”, this nationwide event takes place on April 17th and this year we are providing FREE entry to the coal mining museum on that day.
There can be no doubt that Easter at Castlecomer Discovery Park will provide a real opportunity for kids to go screen free, get exercise and for families to spend quality time together.
Bookings can be made on line or by calling 056 4440707 or email

Have you taken the Castlecomer Challenge?
Have you taken a ride down Ireland’s longest zip wire? This year why not put that on your “fun things to do list”
Castlecomer Discovery Park is home to the longest zipline in Ireland! It is 300 metres long and 35 metres over ground at its highest point. Visitors zip over our stunning woodland, two lakes and 17th century hand-restored bridge.
The exhilarating zipline is accompanied by the Octagon High Ropes Course. Set on an octagonal frame over two levels, this presents a series of challenges in the form of nets, ropes, wooden bridges etc. The Octagon is more challenging than the existing Tree-Top Adventure Walk Course.
It is particularly suited to groups and for team-building exercises. Contact us to make a large group booking (056-4440707).
Please note: Restrictions apply. Zipline and Octagon High Ropes Course participants must be age 12+, minimum height 1.3m and maximum 120kg weight. You should arrive in Visitor Centre at least 30 minutes before allocated time to register. The start of the course is approx. 15 min. walk from the Visitor Centre
Tree Top Walk
Try completing our Tree Top Adventure Walk. This activity is one of the most popular attractions kids and families. Walk high above the tree tops, ten metres above the ground, this 140 metre long course gives a birds eye view of the park to those brave enough to take the walk. It is perfect for a family adventure, team building, or school trip.
Minimum height and age restrictions apply. Age 7+
Climbing Wall
The outdoor climbing wall has various levels of difficulty for all to enjoy.
Minimum age, height and weight restrictions must apply: You must be 7+ years, 1.2 metres in height; maximum weight 120kg/19 stone
Boating Activities For All The Family
Visitors to Castlecomer Discovery Park can enjoy our boating activities on the larger of the 2 picturesque lakes, in stunning natural woodland setting. The lakes are surrounded by a variety of magnificent trees, and you can admire the backdrop of the beautiful recently restored 17th century stone bridge.
The introduction of boating activities gives you the chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Discovery Park woodland. So whether you’re after a faced paced or leisurely cruise around the lake you can still fit in some exercise while having fun on the pedal boats and Canadian canoes.
Things to note:
MAX 4 persons per paddle boat
MAX 3 persons per canoe
Change of clothes recommended, suitable footwear required (no flip-flops)

Visitors to Castlecomer Discovery Park can enjoy our latest attraction located just beyond the elf and fairy village.
Our trained instructors will give you a crash course in how to unleash your inner Robin Hood. Feel at one with nature in our woodland archery range.
Things to note:
Book in advance online to avoid disappointment.
Suitable for age 8 years upwards

Junior Woodland Adventure Course
The Junior Woodland Adventure Course was specifically designed to encourage small children to become more active and adventurous in a woodland environment.
Made of natural materials, traditional rope and Larch wood, it is a series of low-risk challenges where children balance and steer their way through the course. It is situated 2 feet from the mulch covered surface.
Things to note:
Suitable for 3-8 year-olds, and helmets are provided.
First come first served basis, tickets at reception or at the course
Bouncing Nets
The Bouncing Net is the newest addition to our Junior Play Zone located in the Elf & Fairy Village. This fun activity is suitable for 3 – 8 year olds and like the Junior Woodland is designed to encourage small children to become more active and adventurous in a woodland environment. Get bouncing!
Why not do the Junior Woodland Adventure Course and the Bouncing Net together as part of our Junior Play Area Combo.
Suitable for 3-8 year-olds
First come first served basis, tickets at reception or at the Elf & Fairy Village
Check for open periods
Elf Village
FREE to enjoy everyday..this enchanting woodland area is a magical experience for all the family!
The Elf & Fairy village has a small yellow sweet shop, cute café, an underground bunker, and an amazing Head Quarters for the fairy folk!
It’s full of colourful hand-carved toadstool mushrooms where children can meander through the woodland paths. Visitors, of all ages, can enjoy the woodland village which is FREE and is a short 7-10 minute walk from reception.
Canopy Café
As you wander through the enchanting fairy village, why not stop for coffee in the Canopy Café! Open during our high season and holidays, our woodland café has light lunch, gorgeous freshly ground coffee, tea, ice cream all served in a covered picnic area nestled in the woodlands.

The Beautiful Woodland of Castlecomer Discovery Park
Outdoors soak up the beautiful nature and wildlife of the 80 acres of mature woodland, which has over 6 km of walking pathways which are accredited national looped walks.
Children can enjoy viewing the rare animals that reside in the former walled garden as well as having great fun in the charming Timber Tumbles playground which includes a mini zip-wire and climbing wall, designed especially to reflect the natural beauty of the park.
Relax in the beautifully restored stable yard which boasts a wealth of local craftspeople who produce, display and sell their inspiring crafts or enjoy some refreshments in the wonderful family friendly Jarrow Café.
Picnic tables are located in the parkland by the river’s edge close to the car park and children’s playground and there are also a number of more secluded picnic spots located along the woodland walks
The Park Orienteering Trails
They have three permanent courses vary in distance; 1km short, 2km medium and 3km long, each course has a number of codes secured to wooden posts throughout the 80 acres of natural woodland.
Team Building Activities
Your team are required to make a water worthy vessel, but using only limited supplies and no instructions! Teamwork, communication, and a positive attitude are key to staying afloat.
What is Raft Building?
You are given the raw materials to make a water worthy vessel, can you work as a team to use those materials to stay afloat? Our instructors are on hand to assist, but your goal is to work as a team and harness the groups problem solving abilities. Your team will feel invigorated once your challenge is completed and you set sail!
What is Catapult Building?
You might remember the little version of these you created as a child; our catapults are larger versions worked by a lever and ropes for hurling large stones or other missiles. Once more you are given the basic materials and its your teams combined know how that will get you firing on all cylinders!
Groups 20+
Team Challenge

Complementing the zipline, high ropes, boating and orienteering activities we also offer a range of exciting and fun team-building games. These include a peg-pole traverse course, giant skis, Tower of Hanoi and other games requiring problem-solving, communication and coordination.
With so many activities to choose from Castlecomer Discovery Park is the perfect location for a team-building day out. We cater for groups of all sizes with discounts available for groups with 30+ participants.
Groups must be pre-booked in advance.

Call us to create the perfect package: 056-4440707 or email

Things to note:

The Team Challenges activity is available to groups only (20+ participants)
Must be pre-booked in advance

The Coal Mining Museum
Visit the Coal Mining Museum and discover a world where prehistoric amphibians swim and walk through enormous swamp forests, where giant insects fly through the treetops and giant millipedes crawl through ferns and mosses. Discover the coal formed from those forests and the skeletons of those early amphibians preserved for 300 million years. Discover the men who worked the coal seams and those who brought the fossils to light.
First through the use of life-sized reconstructions of prehistoric animals and plants, video clips, fossils, rock specimens and information panels, prehistoric life in the coal swamps of the Carboniferous Period is brought to life. Then life sized and scale models of the mines, displays of mining artefact’s, information panels and video interviews with ex-miners and the families of those associated with the mines bring to life more than 300 years of coal mining history.

All of this and more is to be discovered in the Coalmining Museum – ‘Footprints in Coal’ which focuses on two distinct but interlinked eras of Castlecomer’s History – the formation of coal during the Carboniferous period about 300 million years ago and the coal mining industry that came much later.

Opening Times At Castlecomer Discovery Park
Visitor Centre and Coal Mining Exhibition
Visitor Centre opens 7 days per week
Weekdays: 9.30am-5pm
Weekends: 10am-5pm (May-August) and 10.30am-4pm (September-April).
Last admission to the Coal Mining Exhibition starts 1 hour before closing time.
Outdoor Activities
Outdoor Activities are available to book online and have Seasonal opening hours which vary throughout the year.
Daily 11am – 3pm during school midterm & Easter holiday breaks.
Daily 11am – 3pm for July & August
Weekends only during off peak times (from March 17th 2018)
See website and social media pages for latest updates.
Group bookings are welcome for all activities throughout the year
(Pre-booking essential).
Book Activities On Line at

Castlecomer Discovery Park School Tours
The Discovery Park’s Education team are delighted to announce the development of activities in the Educational and Recreational programme for primary and secondary school students. The education programmes are fresh, innovative, exciting and make learning fun with specially themed modules which involve everybody. All activities are curriculum linked and they are accredited under the Discover Primary Science Programme. The activities are suitable for team bonding to improve the class room dynamic at start of term or as an end of year activity.
Bookings are possible throughout the academic year for Transition Year outings, PE classes, school tours and your school field trips. Details of all courses below, for advice on making a booking call 056 4440707 or email
Primary school programmes:
Coal Mining Exhibition
Water Ecology
Invertebrate Collection
Scavenger Hunt
Nature Trail
New Modules"Castlecomer Discovery Park School Tours"

Geology & Rocks
Weather & Climate
Maths & Numeracy Trail
Secondary school programmes:

Leaving cert & Junior cert Ecology field studies
LCVP(leaving cert vocational programme)
LCA(leaving cert applied)
Transition year activity day
New Modules

Exploring Tourism & Environment
Geology & Rocks
Weather & Climate
Angling at Castlecomer Discovery Park

History of Wandesforde Estate
The Wandesforde family came from Yorkshire in England and were granted lands in Castlecomer in 1636. Over one hundred years later, Anne Wandesforde married John Butler, heir to the Butlers of Ormonde and she became the Countess of Ormonde. Her older sons, William and James became the 18th and 19th Earls of Ormonde and the youngest son, Charles inherited the estate at Castlecomer. Charles Wandesforde took a great interest in the mining and worked to improve conditions and assist his tenants and workers.
The original Castlecomer House was built in 1638 and was destroyed during the Battle of Castlecomer during the Rebellion of 1798. Lady Anne rebuilt a larger house in 1802 but this eventually fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1975. No trace of the house, which actually was sited on the other side of the Dublin/Kilkenny road remains today.

Like many large landowners at the time, the Wandesforde family spent time improving their grounds to create an idealised landscape. One major part of this was the construction of two artificial lakes, which would have been used for fishing and boating. In 2004, the lakes were re-instated as part of the restoration and clearance of the woodlands, and are now used for rainbow trout angling. A replica of the Wandesforde family boathouse has also been constructed on the original site on the lower lake.

The Design Yard is located in what was the farmyard and stables of the Wandesforde family in the 1700’s. The buildings have been converted and are now used by a host of artists and craftspeople. Craft Shops include pottery and ceramics, jewellery, stone carving, painting, antiques, furniture restoration and Mitzy Kilkenny.

Located inside the visitor centre, the gift shop stocks a wide range of inexpensive gifts, toys and souvenirs for all the family with an emphasis on education and the outdoors. It also plays host to the delightful Jarrow Café.

Directions To Castlecomer Discovery Park
From the centre of Castlecomer town take the N78 towards Dublin, go over the bridge and after 200m you will see the main iron gates for Castlecomer Discovery Park on your left.

Coming from the Athy or Carlow direction, Castlecomer Discovery Park is on the right hand side just before you enter Castlecomer town. There is parking on site for cars and buses. Just follow the signs as you come in through the main gates.

Family Outdoor Activities At The Castlecomer Discovery Park In Kilkenny


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Latitude: 52.8064576

Longitude: -7.2034791