Best 10 Fairy Trails in Ireland (I have been to them all!)
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Best fairy trails in Ireland

So here are the 10 best Fairy Trails in Ireland. My name is Rachel and I have been running a fairy gardening business since 2001. So I thought maybe it was time to visit them all in person!

1. Sleive Gullion – The Giants Lair Fairy Trail

Location, Newry

The number one Fairy Trail spot has to go to Slieve Gullion. We had such a wonderful time here and the kids were entertained for hours, best of all Admission is free!

Slieve Gullion the giants lair fairy trail
The level of craftsmanship of the trail is apparent as you enter

Situated near Newry in Northern Ireland, The Giant’s Lair is open to boys, girls, Fairies, and Elves alike. It is like an innovative magical living storybook.

giant wooden sculpture

Their website says, “The Giant’s Lair Story Trail takes visitors on an unforgettable journey of intertwined fairy houses. Because of this, it creates a fantastical childhood land of mystery, dragons, giants, witches, and fairies. The art in the Giant’s Lair is all inspired by the rich tapestry of local legend and mythical folklore on over a mile of woodlands at Slieve Gullion Forest Park”

This is the video from their website, incredible.

I have to agree with them because we hadn’t watched the video before we went but we were blown away by the level of detail when we got there.

Giants lair fairy garden
Your kids will be enthralled

There is a fantastic series of treehouses to explore as well as other interactive features on this large trail.

Hand made wooden houses in Sleive Gullion

Our Verdict

This is the most impressive fairy trail we have visited so far, that’s why it gets the top spot. Its sheer scale and variety of features make it a wonderful day out. Allow 2-3 hours (at least) for your visit.

2. Bunratty Castle Fairy Trail

Location, County Clare

This Fairy Trail is part of the Bunratty Castle folk park in County Clare and was easy to find just off the motorway. We thought that this trail was well laid out and professionally done. In addition to this, the wooden sculptures were beautiful and the Fairy Dummy Drum was a big hit.

The Fairy university

The Fairy University is a nice touch where children have to work out the Fairy language and decipher the special messages, (Which was not too hard). As a result of this, our kids are now fluent in “Fairy”

Bunratty Castle fairy university
The Trail had lots of Fairy Houses and Fairy Doors scattered throughout moreover, there were some nice signs to point the way with a cute wooden wishing well and sand for the kids to mess with. The whole thing was well done and felt safe and secure
fairy door on a tree
One of the very colourful Fairy doors on the Trail


Admission to Bunratty is not super cheap, Adults are €15.25 kids under 3yrs are free and 4-18yrs is €10.50 a pop, but that gets you into the Folk Park and Castle as well. We spent the entire day there and still felt that there was more to see.

fairy trail at Bunratty castle

Their Website says-

“The Fairy trail and village are located in a pretty woodland section of this historic landmark. Ireland is famed for these magical creatures of myth and legend. In addition to that the mystical creatures inhabiting the little fairy houses at Bunratty Folk Park have been here for quite some time and as a result, live quiet yet productive lives. The fairy people welcome visitors into their village but they are notoriously shy and may not always appear themselves”.

This will give you a good idea of what to expect
A Virtual walk through the Trail at Bunratty

Our Verdict

So our favorite thing was the Giant wooden Fairy Wings, the Fairy University, and the Gypsy Wagon. We also loved the fairies’ houses in the trees and on the banks of the pond. So, in conclusion, a visit to Bunratty folk park and fairy trail is a great day out for all ages.

3. Away with the Fairies Fairy Garden.

Location, Kylebrack, Loughrea, County Galway

Admission – Free

Ok, Heads up on this recommendation! This Fairy Trail is our own little patch of fairy paradise that we would love you to visit. But to be clear it’s made the list because we truly believe it is lovely and our previous visitors agree too.

Away with the fairies fairy garden
Away with the fairies are located in county Galway in Ireland

Marie D visited in July 2021

‘We had a lovely time here yesterday. The owners were so friendly and we enjoyed our visit so much. The three children 7, 6, and 3 loved the place and kept finding more lovely stuff to look at. So much love and care have gone into the garden. The little shop has some beautiful fairy 🧚‍♂️ stuff to buy too. We will definitely be back.’

Hobbit houses at Away with the fairies

Quirky Features

Set in a 2-acre garden this quirky fairy wonderland has a myriad of unusual installations. From Hobbiton to the Enchanted woodland kids are sure to have fun. When visitors arrive they will be handed a fairy trail sheet for them to use as they walk around the trail spotting things as they go.

Gypsy wagon at Away with the Fairies
Bob is ready to welcome visitors to the Fairy Trail

In a relatively small space this place is really packed with great features, you will find scores of lovely fairy houses, a wishing well, unicorn paddock, and gnome quarry to name but a few. Kids will enjoy the wooden playhouse and mini gypsy wagon that they can have fun in. There’s also a fantastic indoor fairy village with changing seasonal displays.

Fairy signpost

One of my favorite things about a visit to Away with the fairies is the fabulous fairy shop, where at the end of the trail, kids hand in their completed sheet to claim their free prize. The fairy shop is packed with goodies, you might even get inspired to bring something home so you can create your own fairy garden.

Rachel from Away with the fairies
You are very welcome
fairy garden lit up at night
The fairy trail lights up at night


A lovely way to spend an hour or two, if it’s a fine day why not bring a picnic. Admission is free but you do need to book your visit before arriving.

4. Russborough House


The Russborough House Fairy Trail is located 20km from Dublin in County Wicklow. We got the Outdoor Family Ticket (€15 for 2 adults and up to 4 children), which gives access to the Fairy Trail, Maze walks, and the playground

Russborough house fairy bridge
The Lego Fairy bridge at the Russborough Trail

Fairy Treasure Map

There is a well-designed map to help you navigate your way around this trail. We read a little bit about the fairies that live there and it adds to the whole experience nicely. The kids were able to help with this although keeping up was a bit of a problem for us.

Map of the Russborough house trail
The Fairy Trail map of Russborough House
Meet the Fairies…

So map in hand, the kids shot off down the leafy path. Starting with Eamo’s Mushroom Fairy door, He wasn’t in but after that, they did spot several fairy houses up the trees near the Walled Garden

Giant fairy door at Russborough house
Anybody Home?

So the variety of fairy houses and doors in the trees were nice and they had a real handcrafted and rustic look to them. Similarly, I particularly liked the roofs made of bark.

Wellie boot house
Wellie Boot Fairy Cottage

Fairy tunnelling

On past the Fairy Lookout tree, Lady’s Island is accessed by an ornate bright red Japanese bridge over the moat, It has become home to dozens of fairies, who have built their own village among the roots or upon the trunks of the huge trees. There is even a fairy-sized tunnel so they can safely cross the busy N81!

red Japanese bridge at Russborough house
The Red Japanese Bridge
Fairy tunnel under the N18
Road safety, (Fairy Style)
Some of the Enchanting Wooden Fairy Housesat Russborough

The children were amazed that they had never actually seen these houses on previous visits to the woodlands. This is really just because they never opened their eyes and were too busy charging around!

Fairy door on a tree
Crystal’s Fairy House

Our Verdict

In conclusion, all in all, a great day was had by everyone and the Russborough House Fairy Trail gets a big thumbs up

5. Wells House and Garden Fairy trail


Gorey in County Wexford

There are two woodland walks at Wells House — both 1.2km each. The Lady Frances Walk at the front of the house doubles as the fairy trail. The Walk has a well laid out fairy trail which is perfect for the smallies to explore in addition it actually quite fun for us too.

Hobbit House at Wells Garden
Hobbit Houses

Nature Bucket list

So If you Download the Nature Bucket List before you arrive your little ones will not only be on the lookout for fairy doors and The Gruffalo, but as a result they will be counting fish, chasing butterflies, and making elegant daisy crowns along the way.

Enter the Fairy Kingdom

The walk is beautifully done, with giant wooden sculptures along the way. Glittery tree roots and moss, Gnarled ancient trees, and carved little wooden characters. At the bases of some of the trees, there are little hand-carved fairy doors, and some of the roots of the trees are sprinkled with multi-coloured glitter.

little fairy by a door on the tree

Lots of fairy Doors

All along the walk are little wooden fairy doors. lots of them. It was the most fairy doors we have seen on any trail. At the very end, you are rewarded with a 6-foot tall sculpture of the classic children’s character The Gruffalo

Gruffalo sculpture and Wells house and Garden
mushrooms growing at the Gruffalo's feet

The woodland walk also offers a spectacular giant wooden dragon a wooden car and as well as a fairy castle (Brilliant!) The craftsmanship is simply astounding and blends in seamlessly with the woodland surroundings. It seems as if they have been there forever

Their Website tells us-

“So come and discover the magical happenings of the Wells Fairy Trail with new discoveries around every turn. Share in the magic of Wells Wood with all our woodland pals, they will be so happy to see you and your family.”

Giant wooden dragon at wells house trail
Giant Wooden Dragon at the Wells House and Garden
So if you want a Virtual tour of Wells House check this video out

Our Verdict

We had a great day out at Wells house and were especially impressed with the large-scale sculptures. We thought the admission price was fair, Adult. €9 Child. €5 Family. (2 Adults, up to 3 Children) €24
Children under 2 go FREE considering it included the pet farm, playground, and craft courtyard.

6. Malahide Castle Fairy Trail


Malahide Castle County Dublin

Tickets for this Fairy Trail can be booked online in advance or bought on the day from the Visitor Centre. The trail is around 1.8km long and as a result, takes about an hour or so to complete. Adults are €8 Kids €5.50 and under 3yrs go free.

Malahide Castle fairy trail sign
Malahide Fairy Trail Sign

There is an interactive booklet for sale at the admissions desk (€2 each) which you use to solve clues and answer questions as you go round. So we got one to share and it helped bring the entire thing to life.

Malahide castle fairy houses
Malahide Fairy Village

This is another trail with superb wooden sculptures scattered throughout its meandering pathways. Once again the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail was impressive and as a result, brought the whole thing to life for us

Handmade houses at Malahide
Quirky Handmade Houses on a Tree

Interactive Booklet

The interactive booklet guides you along and you will find signs and posts along the route to help answer the clues and questions. The whole thing is well laid out and easy to navigate.

malahide castle sign

We especially enjoyed the large wooden fairy seats which were perfect for photos or taking a “Fairy Selfie”. Moreover, they were also handy for taking a breather!

Handmade wooden fairy seats
Fairy Thrones
fairy seats at Malahide Castle
Time for a sit-down

So there was quite a lot for the kids to actually play with, they were opening the fairy doors to see if anyone was home and playing with the fairy village and the bridges that span between the houses.

fairy house in a tree
Knock, Knock…Who’s there?

The Fairy House pictured above had lots of winding wooden steps and doors and entrances all over. It kept them occupied for a good while in addition it really seemed to spark their imagination.

fairy mushroom village at Malahide castle
Mushroom Fairy Houses with Bridges

This is the video from their website so it gives you a good idea of what to expect.

Our Verdict

Although the website says it takes about an hour to complete, we were there for much longer in the end. We really loved our day out here.

7. Erica’s Fairy forest


Fairgreen, County Cavan

Keep your hankies nearby… This award-winning Fairy Trail on the Cavan Monaghan Border, Erica’s Forest is dedicated to the memory of Erica Ní Draighneain, who passed away aged only 6 of childhood cancer in 2016.

Ericas forest
Erica Ní Draighneai

Erica adored visiting Cootehill as did her Grandparents, the Fitzpatricks, This Fairy Forest was created, by her parents, to honor Erica’s memory and her unshakeable belief in fairies and magical kingdoms

Ericas forest hotel
Erica’s Fairy Hotel

Their Website says

“This Fairy Forest is a heartfelt, ‘Thank you from Erica’s parents and sister to the people of Cootehill for their, unforgettable, kindness and support.
If their love and kindness could have cured Erica, she would, undoubtedly, have skipped and danced through this enchanting forest.”

Erica's forest weekend retreat  fairy houses
Erica’s weekend retreat fairy house

This trail is magical and moreover, you can just feel the love for this little girl and the community that built this memorable trail. The installations have a real homemade feel and are clearly built by this special community

miniature fairy house at Erica's forest
Mini house on the Fairy Trail

Erica’s Poem

“If you believe in fairies
Come take a trip with me 
To Erica’s Fairy Forest
Full of love and magic you will see

The forest is full of fairies
One in every tree
Along with the woodland creatures
It’s the happiest place to be!

Fairies with their tiny wings
Fly from tree to tree
And if you look closely
you might see them flying on a bumblebee

The sound of birds singing
Will fill your heart with glee
A little piece of Erica
Inside of every tree

A fairy forest that will stand forever
Until the end of time
Full of magical adventures
for your family and for mine”

If you believe in fairies
Come take a trip with me 
To Erica’s Fairy Forest
Full of love and magic you will see

The forest is full of fairies
One in every tree
Along with the woodland creatures
It’s the happiest place to be!

Fairies with their tiny wings
Fly from tree to tree
And if you look closely
you might see them flying on a bumblebee

The sound of birds singing
Will fill your heart with glee
A little piece of Erica
Inside of every tree”

Handmade fairy door at Erica's forest
Hand made door at Erica’s Forest


The inspiration for this forest walk, little Erica, and all the little children who live on in Erica’s forest believed in fairies and fairy princes and princesses for all of their short lives. So for them, the fairies were as real as the birds and the forest animals and all the creatures in storybooks read to them by loving parents and grandparents.

Real and imagined beings came to them in the creative play of imagination and fun, and as a result, were welcomed with no need to explain. They were all a part of a wonderful experience that graced and enriched their short lives.

Fairy sign at Erica's forest trail
Erica’s Fairy Forest Sign

So we followed the kids from the cute fairy doors to the castle, wishing chair, Erica’s fairy hotel, and hobbit house, all the while keenly aware of what this place is about and the effort of the people of Cootehill and their love for the little girl.

Handmade wooden fairy houses
Handcrafted Fairy House

That being said, the trail itself was great craic and the kids had a ball wandering around visiting the numerous dwellings that were dotted around for instance we happened across this wee beauty around a corner so you never know what you will find.

fairy sculpture at Erica's forest
Fairy Nap Time

This video gives you an idea of what to expect at Erica’s Fairy Forest so you can plan accordingly

Our Verdict

We really loved our trip to Erica’s fairy forest, what a gorgeous tribute to a special little girl.

8. Loughboora Fairy Avenue


Tullamore County Offaly

Loughboora fairy avenue sign

Number 8 on our list is Fairy Avenue at Lough Boora in County Offaly, Bord na Móna partnered with The Irish Fairy Door Company to create this trail. Fairy Avenue is the home to 14 different fairies, moreover, each of them brings something special to the park.

fairies at Loughboora fairy Avenue
Playing Fairies at Loughboora Fairy Avenue

There is a map to help you navigate the trail which is fun for the kids to look at, but there is no fear of getting lost. The map also names all the fairies who live on fairy avenue and in addition gets them to match the right colour toadstool to the fairy tree.

Loughboora fairy avenue map
Map of the Loughboora Fairy Avenue

The fairies themselves live behind the doors that are located high up in the trees because I guess it is more peaceful up there. There are accompanying signs with each door giving you a little info about the fairy that lives there.

Fairy door on the avenue
Tipper the Fairy

A nice addition is a wishing seat where children are encouraged to close their eyes and make a silent wish. the “silent” bit was a bit hard for our lot.

Wishing fairy seat at Loughboora
Wishing Fairy Seat
little tom the fairy
Little Tom is the resident cleaner at fairy avenue

The worry plaque is a thoughtful piece. Carved from wood it encourages the children to lay their hands on it and the fairies will take away your worries. Another one for adults would be especially welcome I think!

Worry Plaque at lough boora fairy avenue
Worry Plaque on the Fairy Trail

Here is Bord na Mona’s video giving you an idea of what to see

Our verdict

We visited Lough Boora on a wet day but still managed to enjoy ourselves. It’s a brilliant free facility and we loved the sculptures too. Top tip, bring bikes so you can explore more of the park.

9. Ardgillan Castle Fairy Tree Trail

If you’re in and around County Dublin the Ardgillan Fairy Trail may well be worth a visit. Located in North County Dublin less than a half-hour from the city centre. You can download the Fairy Tree Map and Quiz from their website before the visit or pick it up at reception. Best of all is that it is free and open all year round

Fairy Sign at Ardgillan fairy trail

The trail is littered with tiny little fairy houses, for instance, you may spot teeny doors and windows hidden in the trees. We followed the fairy trail with a lovely map we picked up in the castle after that the kids were weaving in and out of trees and under branches to find each of the tiny abodes.

little fairy house at Ardgillan fairy trail

Because the trail is dotted around the woodland area of their walled garden it offers you a chance to learn about the different varieties of trees growing at Ardgillan. Throughout the trail, there are informative signs with information on the many types of trees growing in the park and as a result, you and your kids will learn a thing or two too!

nature signs at Ardgillan
helpful nature signs

There are some cute little fairy houses here, very rustic looking and piqued the interest of the kids. The whole thing was very neat and tidy and as a result, was very well organized.

fairy houses at ardgillan
Cute Fairy houses


Although this trail is low down on our list the fact that it is free and only half an hour from Dublin is a bonus. We enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone around Leinster.

10. Derryounce Woodland Fairy Trail

The Fairy Trail in the woods at Derryounce in County Offaly is close to our hearts as you will see if you read on..

This trail is all about nature and as you walk around this impressively large Fairy trail you will see why. The Trail itself was created by a community group and us at Away with the Fairies.

Fairy houses at Derryounce fairy trail
Solar Fairy Houses at Derryounce Fairy Trail

The fairies at Derryounce live in a variety of different villages protected by the various forest Guardians. The guardians protect the four entrances to the trail, Wildlife Guardian, Lake Guardian, Forest Guardian, and Bird Guardian, so you can discover the trail from any of these entrances that meet at a crossroads in the middle.

forest guardian Derryounce
The Forest Guardian welcomes you in

There are plenty of things to spot in each of the different areas with about a dozen different fairy villages and tons of magical fairy doors.

fairy houses in the woods at Derryounce
Seafaring Fairies at Derryounce

In the middle of the trail is an enchanting seating area with toadstool stools, the trees are also painted with eco paints to create a magical atmosphere.

toadstool seating in the woods at Derryounce fairy trail
Take a seat…

Kids can also write to the fairies here and post in the special fairy postbox.

N.B Update as of Oct 21, we received the terrible news that Derryounce had been vandalized, the community is working hard to fundraise and bring it back to its former glory.

vandalized fairy houses at Derrounce trail
The vandalized fairy houses at Derryounce

So to sum up, the best fairy trails in Ireland are

  • The Giants Lair
  • Bunratty Castle
  • Away with the Fairies
  • Russbourogh House
  • Wells House and Garden
  • Malahide Castle
  • Erica’s Forest
  • Loughboora Fairy Avenue
  • Ardgillan Castle
  • Derryounce Fairy Trail

In Conclusion

So I have to say that I enjoyed visiting all of these Fairy Trails and gardens. We are so lucky to have so many scattered across Ireland and I would recommend them all. It’s also a great way to get the kids out in the fresh air and discover a new part of the country. I thought long and hard about what order to put them in but above all at the end of the day any of them are a great day out. So Spread your wings and Fly…

Fairy Blessings,


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