FAQs

General

When are you open?

Visitor Centre opens 7 days per week (Weekdays: 9.30am-5pm; Weekends: 10am-5pm (May-August) and 10.30am-4pm (September-April)).

Woodland Trails open daily from 8.30am until dusk.

Outdoor activities have seasonal opening hours (daily during peak summer season and school midterm breaks). See website and social media pages for latest updates.

How much does it cost to visit?

The woodland park itself is FREE to visit. Each activity is individually priced. Parking costs max. €4 per day with first hour FREE.

Is there parking?

Yes, we have one main car park. A parking fee applies which contributes to the general upkeep of the park. First hour is FREE; €3 up to 3 hours; €4 for all day parking; annual pass available for €45.

How do I get here?

We are located immediately outside the town of Castlecomer on the Dublin side of the N78. We are approx. 25 min. drive from Kilkenny city and 70 mins. from Newlands Cross flyover. We are easily accessible from the M9 and M7 motorways.

What facilities are here?

We have a Visitor Centre with toilets and baby changing facilities. We have a small gift/sweet shop in the centre .The canopy cafe is open from 11 am-3 pm daily during summer months and it situated beside the elf and fairy village in the park.  The Estate Yard is home to a variety of design craft workshops (www.castlecomercraftyard.ie). We have a range of outdoor adventure activities and an extensive schools’ education programme.

Is Castlecomer Discovery Park wheelchair accessible?

The Visitor Centre and coal-mining exhibition is fully accessible. There are three designated car park spaces near the entrance to the Centre. The car park is surfaced with a gravel material. The woodland park itself is largely wheelchair accessible but the pathways are covered with gravel in parts and some hilly sections. Depending on the specific additional needs, activities may be accessible. Please contact us in advance of your visit for further information if required.

Are their storage/changing facilities?

No, we do not provide storage for your belongings or changing areas at the moment. It is recommended that you use the toilet facilities in the Visitor Centre before starting activities. There are no toilet facilities in the woodland.

Is there First Aid on site?

The Reception Desk in the Visitor Centre has a first aid kit and AED. Each activity location has a site specific first aid kit. A high proportion of our staff are trained in Occupational First Aid, Remote Emergency Care and other similar courses.

Activities

What are high ropes activities?

High ropes activities involve a series of challenges at various heights off the ground. You are harnessed to a safety line and will have a helmet. We have 2 areas of high ropes activities, one with a 300m long zipline:

1. Tree-Top Adventure Walk Course (and Climbing Wall): Set 7m high in the sycamore trees at the entrance to the park. Participants complete 14 apps/challenges made up of nets, wooden bridges, swings, wires etc. Suitable for age 7+.

2. Octagon High Ropes Course: This course has 2 levels (3.5m and 7m). Each involves 8 obstacles which are made of nets, poles, bridges, wires etc. Both courses are more advanced in difficulty than the Tree-Top Adventure Walk course. It is suitable for ages 12+ who have a good level of fitness.

3. Zipline: Set beside the Octagon High Ropes Course, you are secured onto the zipline before zipping 300 metres across 2 lakes. The course is 35m above the ground at its highest point. It is the longest over-water zipline in Ireland!

What are the age/height/weight restrictions on the activities?

Archery: Min. age strictly 8 years old.

Tree-Top Adventure Walk Course (with Climbing Wall): min. age strictly 7 years old, min. 1.2 metres tall, max. weight is 120kg.

Zipline and Octagon High Ropes Octagon Course: min. age strictly 12 years old, min. 1.3 metres tall, max. weight is 120kg.

How long does each activity take?

The duration of activity depends on agility and fitness of the individual along with group size and conditions on the courses. You need to allow time to be put on your helmet and harness, receive instructions on using the course equipment and safety talk.
Allow approx. 30-45 mins for Tree-Top Adventure Walk alone. Allow 60 mins for the Tree-Top Adventure Walk Course & Climbing Wall. At busier periods, this may take longer.
Allow approx. 20 mins for the Zipline, approx. 60 mins. for the Octagon High Ropes Course. At busier periods, this may take longer.

Is it for children or adults?

Both! If you meet the age, height and weight requirements, you can take part in the relevant courses. The activities are suitable for families, corporate/team building, schools, sports groups, hen/stag parties and general visitors.

What should I wear?

You must wear secure, closed-toe footwear (e.g. runners, boots) and long shorts/trousers. We advise comfortable clothing and rainwear is always handy! In the interests of safety, please remove all jewellery, loose clothing (e.g. scarves), mobile phones etc. and tie back long hair before being harnesses for high ropes activities.

I'm nervous of heights or a particular activity, will I have to do it?

Absolutely not. You will never be forced to do anything you are not comfortable doing. Just an attempt on some activities can be as much of an achievement as others going all the way around. Our instructors are excellent at encouraging participants to try something they might not have done before but to stress you will never be forced to do any activity. Please note that once participants are harnessed we cannot offer refunds.

What boating activities do you have?

You can hire a pedal boat or Canadian canoe for 30 mins on the picturesque Upper Lake. Max. 4 people fit in a pedal boat (min. age 4 years) and max. 3 people fit in a Canadian canoe (min. age 12). The cost is €5pp up to a max. a charge of €15 per boat.

Bookings

Do I need to book in advance?

Yes, we advise you pre-book activities in advance. You can book directly and securely through our website. You can not be guaranteed a space if you book upon arrival in the Visitor Centre.

Large groups must pre-book all activities. For group bookings outside normal opening hours please contact us (056-4440707).

How do I make a booking?

Please book directly through our website. Large groups (20+) should contact us by phone.

Can I make a group booking?

Yes, we take group bookings for all activities. We cater for schools, sports clubs, corporate groups, scouts, hen & stag parties and other large groups. Generally speaking, large groups consist of 20+ people and discounted groups rates may apply. We may ask for a 30% non-refundable deposit to secure your group booking with final numbers confirmed at least 2 weeks  before your visit (This will be the number charged on the day). Large groups must pre-book all activities. For group bookings outside normal opening hours please contact us (056-4440707).

Can I cancel my booking?

We have a no refund policy for online bookings. Please ensure you select the correct date and time for your activities. We do not refund deposits paid. We do not offer refunds for Christmas Experience bookings.

When do I pay for my activities?

You should book online which requires you to pay in advance.

How much are the activities?

Each activity is individually priced with some bundle deals available:

Tree-Top Adventure Walk: €12.50 per person
Climbing Wall: €6 pp
Above 2 activities: €16 pp
Zipline: €15 pp
Advanced High Ropes Course: €15 pp
Zipline & Advanced High Ropes Course Bundle: €25 pp
Junior Woodland Adventure Course: €5 pp
Boating: €5 pp (max. €15 per boat)
Archery:€5 pp
Orienteering: €3 per map (+€2 deposit)
Coal-Mining Exhibition: €5 adult, €3 child, €4 student/OAP, family deals available (2+1 = €15; 2+2 = €20; 2+3 = €22).

Group discounts may apply for groups with 20+ participants.

Do I have to sign any forms before the activities?

Yes, we need participants to sign an Acknowledgement of Risk Disclaimer Form before taking part in the Tree-Top Adventure Walk, Climbing Wall, Zipline and Advanced High Ropes Courses.

People aged 16+ years must complete an individual form. Those under 16 years must have an adult (18+) complete the form on their behalf. The form must contain the name, date of birth and contact details of the lead adult on each form.

If booked online you will be sent an attachment of our Risk Disclaimer Form, you may print and fill this out in advance and you are able to go straight to the pre-booked activity without the need to visit reception, just give the Risk Disclaimer Form to the instructor at the activity.

We provide (by email) a Group Disclaimer Form to large bookings (20+) and this must be completed in advance of your arrival to the Reception Desk.

You do not need to sign forms for the Junior Woodland Adventure Course, Boating, Team Challenge Games or Orienteering.

What if I'm late for my booking?

We will try to accommodate you into another time slot if available but this cannot be guaranteed. We advise all customers to arrive approx. 30 mins. before your booked time.

Will the weather affect my booking?

Activities will go ahead unless strong winds or lightening force us to cancel. We will contact you to arrange an alternative date if this is the case.

What should I wear when taking part in the activities?

You must wear secure, closed-toe footwear (e.g. runners, boots) and long shorts/trousers. We advise comfortable clothing and rainwear is always handy! You must remove all jewellery, loose clothing (e.g. scarves), mobile phones and tie hair back before harnessing for high ropes activities.

Can I get a refund on my booking?

We have a no refund policy. If you have paid for your activities and we cancel the activity due to weather or other unanticipated events, then we will refund you.

Once you have your harness on, we cannot offer refunds for those who do not take part in the activity. Please be sure you will take part before you pay for the activity.