Take a Tour
Find out more about the facilities at Barretstown.
1. Main Castle Gates
The Castle Gates are a welcome sight for visitors to Barretstown as they lead on to the impressive wooded driveway up to our fairytale castle.
2. Main Reception
Our dedicated reception team is based in the newly built Serious Fun Building (Jim’s Place) and act as gate keepers for the two entrances into the Barretstown estate.
3. The Castle
Our fairytale castle provides additional accommodation for medical staff. It is also a beautiful venue for special activities when camp is in session.
“When I saw Barretstown Castle, I knew this was where I wanted the first European Camp to be. I imagined a kind of Medieval Bazaar where children from different countries could raise a little hell together.”
– Paul Newman, Founder
4. The Medical Centre (Med Shed)
Barretstown’s medical centre – The Med Shed – is fully equipped for necessary routine and emergency procedures. The medical presence at Barretstown is discrete and friendly. Looking nothing like a hospital, the medical centre is housed in a beautifully restored stone cottage, overlooking the tranquil ‘Secret Garden.’
5. Children’s Village
The Children’s Village is a cluster of inviting cottages. Each cottage houses groups of children on one side and their caras on the other. The cottages look out onto Sherwood Forest, and the challenging Giant’s Tower and Adventure Course.
6. Dining Hall
The Dining Hall has a medieval theme with rough stone walls, a high vaulted ceiling, and a big fireplace at the top of the room. Children and families have designed and illustrated the large, colourful banners which decorate the walls. This is where families are taken when they first arrive to register and receive their welcome pack.
With Paul Newman for a founder, drama is bound to have a special place at Barretstown. And it does. Led by trained supervisors, drama is an important activity in the Smurfit’s Children’s Theatre Centre. Children love this beautiful building with its professional stage, sound and lighting systems, and dressing rooms full of wonderful costumes. The seating is retractable, creating a vast and versatile workspace for the drama programme.
8. Creative Workshops
Young people can let their imaginations run wild in the bright Arts & Crafts room. Decorated with bold murals, this room is always a hive of activity throughout each camp session, as children discover new talents that they never knew they had!
9. Riding Stables
At Barretstown children not only get the chance to ride gentle Connemara Ponies, but also learn to groom them, saddle them up and most importantly get to know them.
10. Adventure Centre
One of the most exciting and challenging activities at Barretstown is the Adventure Course, a carefully designed and supervised course that teaches children rewards of group effort and co-operation. Each activity within the course is an adventure itself. Working together, children overcome what at first seem daunting tasks – sneaking through the giant spider web, or climbing over the ten-foot wall.
11. High Ropes
High Ropes is the most graphic manifestation of Barretstown’s programme of Therapeutic Recreation. The high ropes course structure measures 40 feet in height. It gives new meaning to the word ‘challenge.’ Seven separate challenges loom above the children when they approach the Tower, including ‘The Giant’s Ladder’ and ‘The Leap of Faith’, where daring young kids scramble to the top of the post and then summon up all their courage to leap into the air and catch a flying trapeze.
12. Lake & Boathouse
The tranquil lake is not only home to a wide variety of Irish wildlife, it’s also home to hundreds of trout, and fishing is a peaceful and popular waterfront activity. The boathouse and beach is the launch point for another favourite activity; paddling about in Indian-style canoes. Children and families also enjoy toasting marshmallows and sharing stories over open campfires on the beach.
A grove of tall trees welcomes the children, into Sherwood Forest and children love practicsing the ancient art of archery. Mastering the hand and eye co-ordination to send an arrow flying towards the targets is always a triumphant moment.
14. Secret Garden
Barretstown’s walled “Secret Garden” dates from Victorian times and offers a quiet, sheltered place for children to rest and recharge. An ornate wrought-iron gateway leads into the garden, so its colourful beds of flowers and green lawns can be admired from outside, too. Adjacent to the Med Shed, the Secret Garden is also a peaceful place for children to recover from medical treatment. This is a great location for playing music outside and some great storytelling in peaceful surroundings.
15. The Amphitheatre
Barretstown also has a great outdoor amphitheatre which is a great location to get the entire camp together for impromptu plays and a big open campfire when the weather allows us.