We enjoyed a great family day out at Ireland’s first summer tubing park... here in Cork

Already promising a return trip, here Elaine Duggan and her family reviewed the new tubing slides at Smugglers Cove in West Cork
We enjoyed a great family day out at Ireland’s first summer tubing park... here in Cork

Monique McGann flying through the air at Ireland's first Tubing Park at Smugglers Cove, Rosscarbery, West Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

“THIS is the best thing ever,” screamed the eight-year-old, as she belted full throttle down one of the new tubing slides at Smugglers Cove, in County Cork. It was probably around her 10th go at this stage and she still wasn’t tiring of it... she wanted more!

Maybe it was the thrill of being able to travel somewhere new after months of being stuck at home, or the bottle of fizzy drink downed in one go (a rare treat in our house!) that sent bubbles to her head. But the smiles and screams of delight said it all. 

 Beth Cotter flying high at Ireland's first Tubing Park at Smugglers Cove, Rosscarbery, West Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Beth Cotter flying high at Ireland's first Tubing Park at Smugglers Cove, Rosscarbery, West Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

This was a happy place!

We had a most enjoyable family night out at Ireland’s first Summer Tubing Park, located in Rosscarbery, West Cork — we have already promised the kids we will go back for more.

There are four tracks varying in length from 50 to 100 meters. The biggest is the tubby jump — which is a steep run that propels the rider into the air before landing on a giant freestyle ski bag; only dad was the bravest to go on this ride. I gladly stood on the side-lines and soaked up the atmosphere — promising “next time!”

I thought the kids might approach the slides with a little bit of trepidation — I need not have been worried. 

Over and over again they hopped in the coloured tubes and sped down the different slopes — climbing back up the hill in haste, pulling their tubes behind them, only to have a go again!

People enjoying the tubing at Smugglers Cove.
People enjoying the tubing at Smugglers Cove.

Our eldest is a little daredevil, so I knew she would enjoy it, but even the younger daughter, who treads more carefully in life, got enthusiastically involved and after one go she was hooked!

You can now book a 50 minute session at the tubing park, where all four runs are available, for €17.50 per person.

Last weekend’s sessions booked out completely, which is not a surprise. It’s understandable to see why — people are craving a return to some kind of normality, and to enjoy some fun together.

The added bonus of this attraction is that it is something that can be enjoyed by kids of many ages — from aged eight upwards, to teens and even mum and dad can get stuck in (if they are brave enough!)

The main attraction on the night of our visit was the new tubing slides, but we also enjoyed another super feature at Smugglers Cove — the Crazy Golf Course, which has the most stunning views out over Rosscarberry. The course is suitable for all ages. There are some simpler holes for younger members of the family, but some challenging ones too — you could easily whittle away an afternoon. The highlight for me was a hole in one! Pure fluke. Again, lots of giggles as we navigated the course.

The course is dotted with streams — we spotted a few tadpoles swimming about — mini waterfalls, cannons, barrels, treasure chests and some pulley bridges to cross over the water and work our way around the course. There was as much fun when the golf balls plopped in the water, as when they were potted in the holes!

There is also a Timber Maze, which we didn’t have time to explore (the kids were having too much fun at the tubing slides!) — but it’s another reason to go back. Separate booking for the golf and maze is required.

We had worked up quite an appetite as we enjoyed the great outdoors and had some delicious pizza from the cafe on-site.

Smugglers Cove is also home to a Golf Range and Maize Maze — due to open later in the summer again.

For more see https://smugglerscove.ie/

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