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Season Launch 2012

New adventure activities, heritage & culture attractions and exciting events!

Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park in Co. Mayo has announced an exciting line up for the year ahead as they launch their 2012 season, which kicks off on March 1 with a range of new offerings, including numerous adventure activities for all ages, new heritage exhibitions and tours, and a calendar of special events spanning the whole year.

You can view all the attractions and activities Westport House has to offer on their new website www.westporthouse.ie but for now here are a few newbies and favourites…

New attractions at the Adventure Activity Centre

Westport House is fast becoming the adventure hub of the West.  Everyone from eight years and upwards can enjoy their Adventure Activity Centre, which is set in the stunning natural lakeland and parkland of the historic House‘s 480 acre estate.

This year along with the firm favourites of orienteering, archery, laser combat games, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking, you can now go laser clay pigeon shooting and take a ride on a new 270m long, 50m high ZipWire! Westport House is also home to Ireland’s only custom built zorbing site, which was a massive hit with people of all ages when it launched last year.

Experience Heritage & Culture at the new Grace O Malley Experience

Westport House is one of the few remaining privately owned historic houses in Ireland and attracts culture vultures and those with an interest in history from all over the world.  There are numerous tours available in the House, where you can hear all about its history, the story of the Browne family who have lived on the estate since the 16th Century and still do to this day, the infamous Pirate Queen Grace O Malley, the conversion of the estate to a tourist attraction 50 years ago, and how more recently the 11th Marquess fought to retain the house and land for his five daughters by appealing outdated laws, which banned women from being heirs.

New to the House this year is a 30 minute Grace O’Malley Experience, which includes a child-friendly tour, where the Pirate Queen herself tells of her relationship to Westport House and the Browne Family, as well as her life on the high seas.  An exhibition will also take place in the dungeons (the ruins of her 16th century castle) depicting her maritime lifestyle.  It is sure to be a hit for school tours, but also with families visiting the house as it engages and educates kids whilst also being of interest to mums and dads.

Plunge into the Pirate Adventure Park’s outdoor amusements

Make sure you take the plunge and head to Westport House’s Pirate Adventure Park, which is suitable for kids under 12.  There is so much fun to be had for families at the estate’s outdoor amusements, which include a Cannonball Run slide, a Pirates Swinging Ship and Pirate Plunge log flume ride.  Or you could enjoy good old fashioned fun on the bouncy castle, paint your own pottery in the house, take a trip on the Westport House Express train or Swan Pedaloe Boats, or try your hand at pitch & putt, tennis, table-tennis and fishing!

If that isn’t enough to wear the kids out, take them along to the Pirates Playground next to Gracy’s Bar & Cafe, while you enjoy a cuppa.  Or if it’s raining, there’s always the Pirates Den indoor soft play area.  Westport House will also have a new food outlet in the Pirates Haven this year selling kiddie-friendly foods.

Special Events all year long

Westport House will host numerous events throughout the year.  This year’s events calendar includes:

• An Easter Egg Hunt on April 7th and 8th with the return of Pinkie Rabbit.

• Summer Camps throughout the month of July.

• Outdoor Theatre on August 9th and 13th.

• The return of the highly-acclaimed Halloween Fest from October 27th to November 4th.

• A Fireworks Extravaganza on October 28th.

• Winter Wonderland will take place again for the Christmas season from November 24th until Christmas Eve.

• Westport House also holds numerous charity fundraisers throughout the year.

Happy Camping

Whether you’re a family, a hiker or a couple, Westport House is an idyllic camping spot. The Caravan & Camping Park is set in the lush grounds of Westport House surrounded by ancient trees with Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay in the background – a camper’s dream!  They have free hot showers, electrics, WiFi, recycling, picnic and washing up areas, along with a bar and cafe, Gracy’s Bar & Restaurant, which has music at weekends during high season.

Special offers for campers include the Family Camper’s Special starting at €230 for a family, which includes 3 nights camping and annual membership to Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park.  Campers also get 20% off all tickets in the park and of course, the Westport House Summer Camp is a firm favourite with visiting camping families, who also get a 20% discount on the summer camp as well as an exclusive daily rate.

There are plenty of great reasons to bring children for a fun day out or longer to Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park and create memories that the whole family will cherish for a lifetime.   For full details on activities, tickets and prices visit www.westporthouse.ie

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