Carnfunnock Country Park
Carnfunnock is a country park well known and loved by the people of Larne and beyond. It is one of few UK country parks specifically designed with families in mind. It is located on the Antrim coast. As we use to visit Larne often and had good friends there, we went to this park on several occasions.
Carnfunnock Country Park is a large piece of real estate located very close to the sea. It is easily accessible and therefore popular. Within the park there is a family fun area that boasts seven main family attractions. The main is and has been the miniature rail. It runs for 650 yards (about 600 meters) through the park. Miniature trains are, as usual, very popular with children though adults also enjoy them. This one is no exception.
The second attraction is a mini golf course with 18 holes. It is a recent design replacing an older one. It is open from mid-March to November. It has a number of tricky features including water and you and your children are sure to enjoy it. Two other relatively new attractions include the remote control boats and trucks introduced in 2008 and 2009 respectively. If you are into remote control models you will love the trucks that can be as long as 1.4 meters as well as the varied waterscape where you can try your skills at navigating your model boat. If you have not tried such activities yet, do it and you might find yourself addicted!
Two other attractions especially designed for children are the bouncy castle and the bungee run. Bouncy castles need little introduction while bungee runs are a gentler and horizontal version of bungee jumps where rather than jumping off a scary precipice participants run while a strapped harness pulls them back.
Last but not least, is a clay pigeon shooting range. The difference with other clay pigeon shooting ranges is that the guns only fire a laser beam. If you hit the target you will hear a realistic sound of breaking clay but you will not see the clay breaking into pieces. You can try your hand at it while your children are playing in the bouncy castle, or you can let them try as well, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t win. These attractions have an entry fee.
Apart from the seven attractions of the fun family area there is another play area that is free to use and there are plenty of pleasant walks on the wooded slopes overlooking the sea and offering views that include Scotland on clear days. There are also camping and caravanning facilities.
All in all, Carnfunnock is a place more to be enjoyed by those who live in Northern Ireland or at least visiting for longer time periods than for the short term tourist who has to pack a lot of sightseeing into a short time frame. Having said that, a visit will not disappoint you.
How to Find it
From Larne take the A2 coastal road leading north west towards Ballygally, Glenarm and beyond. It is a very scenic drive. Carnfunnock is located less than four miles outside Larne.
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