Ireland Travels with Toddler – Aran Islands

This is where everyone lives in Inisheer
This is where everyone lives in Inisheer

The Aran Islands came highly recommended by a very good friend so during our recent Ireland travels with the toddler my focus was to get to the Aran Islands. NO matter what I did! Slotted for the end of our road trip we based ourselves in Doolin (more on that next week!!) for our day trip to the Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are comprised of three Islands with Inishmore being the largest and most popular and that’s where I wanted to go! I’d heard about those Aran Sweaters – I HAD to get one!

Getting a ferry from Doolin to the Aran Islands was supposed to be relatively easy, as long as the weather was cooperating. Well what do you know… weather was absolutely horrible! It is highly recommended that you get your tickets at the ferry terminal versus the vendors in  the town but you do run the risk of tickets being sold out. Which is why we sent our dad early that morning into town to buy tickets for our group of 6 adults and the baby and he made an executive decision to go to the smallest of the islands, Inisheer. None of us were very pleased when we heard that, but by the end of the day we were VERY thankful! 

With tickets in hand we go to the ferry terminal only to learn that our boat was delayed, the weather was dismal and we weren’t even sure the boats would be going out. After a thirty minute wait freezing our tushies off we finally got on the boat. The seas were so rough that everyone around us was puking, luckily the boat came stocked with barf bags and I was shocked that the 6 of us were the only ones not puking. Being preggers I was ready to let it all out but I managed to hold it in. The hubs who has braved many a seafare was pale as ever and the Little Monkey was so confused and unable to grasp the concept of being sea sick that she cried for a good portion of the 30 minute ferry ride before falling asleep. The boat we were on had benches as seats which meant no buckles to hold us in place and we were sliding around, trying to hold on to the seat in front of us for dear life. Add the fact that the door to the cabin was left ajar to bring in a breeze meant that there was water everywhere! Here’s a tip – never sit on the front row (wish I knew that!!) and stick to the right side for added breeze which did help keep us away from the barf bags. Another tip is to take the Bill O’Brien boat as the seats looked better than the Jack B boat we were on. 

aran islands , tours in insheer
The entire troupe in the waggon!

On arrival we were so exhausted and realized that we’d need to make a quick visit so that we could catch the next ferry back to Doolin. With three hours to explore we hired a waggon with an English speaking driver (little did we know that his waggon/tractor would suffocate us with fumes!). With a population of only 200 and most of them Irish speaking, it was very interesting to explore the Island and learn about its history. He first took us to a coffee shop (where we had the best darn ginger guinness bread EVER!) and then took us to the Saint Gobnait’s church, The wreck of the Plassey and ofcourse the whole while we’re riding through limestone wall structures which were super impressive. Free standing rock walls lined the entire island – one knock and then what?


Here’s a load of pictures to show you what we got up to during our three hour visit – my advice to you is to get yourself to Inishmore either from Galway or fly! I’d totally fly if I ever go back as they have a small “airport”. The ferry ride back was smooth but I’ve been since told that the ride is brutal from Doolin 90% of the time and then cancelled the remaining 10% ! Go figure!! We had our stroller with us for the day but could have easily done without as it was stashed away for the ferry ride and then didn’t need it on the waggon. As part of #IGTravelThursday with Skimbaco I’ve included some of my instagram photos along with some of the pics the hubs took.




Unimpressed by the photographer or the long wait for the ferry
Unimpressed by the photographer or the long wait for the ferry
More rough seas
See the rough seas ?
Take a close look at the rock walls - no concrete!
Take a close look at the rock walls – no concrete!
The famous cargo vessel Plassey was shipwrecked off Inisheer in the 1960s
The famous cargo vessel Plassey was shipwrecked off Inisheer in the 1960s
One gloomy day
Lovely limestone walls and green green moss
aran islands, travel in ireland, what to see on inisheer
Saint Gobnait’s church grounds


See the rough seas?
 More rough seas


  • Karen - Desert Chica Ramblings
    September 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I would LOVE to visit Ireland one day, it’s on my bucket list!

  • Katja of Skimbaco
    September 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Sorry you had such a rough trip, but it made a great story 🙂 With puking and fumes and all, haha. The island looks amazing, I’m sure it was worth it all! I’ll be taking a ferry to Skellig Islands on my trip to Ireland, and can only imagine it being something like this… Are you coming to TBEX? We are trying to organize a lunch/coffee for Wednesday for all of the IG travel Thursday ladies if you are coming!

  • Reeta @houseofanais
    September 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Despite the poor weather the location still looked fab, I hope you had a little bit good time. I think a trip to Britain and Ireland always has the weather surprise factor which can either make it best trip or the most miserable ever..

  • Nicole
    September 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing these fantastic photos.

    • Yashy
      September 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Nicole! Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Lisa Goodmurphy
    September 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    It looks beautiful but I’m not sure that I could take the rough ferry ride! On our recent trip to London we saw a play that Daniel Radcliffe starred in called The Cripple of Inishmaan so my younger daughter, of course, decided that she would like to visit Inishmaan. If I tell her about your ferry ride then I think she’ll change her mind about visiting any of the Aran Islands.

    • Yashy
      September 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Lisa, tell your daughter there’s hope yet – just head from Galway and it isn’t bad. Doolin is known for it’s choppy weather I guess. Not sure how no one told me that BEFORE I went there!

  • Leigh Powell Hines @Hinessightblog
    September 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I got sick in the Aran Islands on that boat, too. I sat in the pub the whole time.

  • Victoria Ess
    September 6, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Awww did you never get your Aran sweater? That ferry ride sounds grueling and I’m not sure I want to thank you for being so descriptive haha. If I just went by the group picture, though, I would be none the wiser! You all look like you are having a lovely time!

  • Jess
    September 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I didn’t know anything about ‘Aran’ except that was where the sweaters came from! That trip sounds like the opposite of fun, but it’s still beautiful. And ginger guinness bread might be worth it!

  • Satu VW
    September 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve been trying to get to Aran islands on all our previous visit to Ireland, but then always something else comes up… Thanks for taking me there with these images though, I REALLY have to get there one day!

  • Chasing the Donkey
    September 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Ohhhhh, I so want to go to Ireland. One day, until then, thanks loads for posting such awesome photos.

    Especially the one of you looking oh so happy 😉

  • Melissa George
    November 20, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    wow the place looks fabulous and i wish i was there during winters. i love travelling and this place is on my must see list now.

    December 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Hope you brought your Gravol along for all the rough seas

  • Darren Scrubb
    February 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Aran Islands truly seems to be a memorable visit for sure.

  • Elizabeth @ The Paciport
    June 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    We had a VERY similar ferry ride out to the Aran Islands – that water can be rough. We loved it though (once we were on land). The Aran Islands almost feel more authentic on a really gloomy day. We rented bikes and enjoyed all our time on the island before having to get back to that ferry!

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