Skip to Content

A Guide To Emerald Park: Home Europe’s Largest Wooden Rollercoaster

A Guide To Emerald Park: Home Europe’s Largest Wooden Rollercoaster

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Meath, look no further than Emerald Park (previously called Tayto Park).

Located in Ashbourne and home to Europe’s largest wooden rollercoaster, Emerald Park has something for young and old alike.

There’s also a 5D cinema, an Extreme Climbing Wall, Fossett’s Circus, Nisan Driving School and a zoo, too!

In the guide below, you’ll find everything from opening hours to the various things to do at Emerald Park.

Some quick need-to-knows about Emerald Park

Although a visit to Emerald Park is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Emerald Amusement Park is located at Kilbrew, Ashbourne in a rural area in Meath. It’s 28km northwest of Dublin via the N2/M2 and within easy reach of Navan and Drogheda. It is served by Bus Éireann 103 and 105 services daily.

2. Endless things to do

Emerald Park has a full range of exciting rides and things to do so you can easily fill a whole day here. Thrilling rides include the Shot Tower and Windstar, Air Race, Endeavour and gentler rides such as the Grand Carousel for young visitors. More on this below.

3. Europe’s largest wooden rollercoaster

One of the big draws to Emerald Park is the Cú Chulainn Coaster – the first ever roller coaster in Ireland and the largest wooden roller coaster with an inversion in the whole of Europe. The name refers to a mythological warrior in Ireland’s history. Are you brave enough to follow in his quest?

About Emerald Park

Tayto Park

Photos via Emerald Park on FB

Opened in November 2010, Emerald Park is Irelands’s only theme park with something to suit all ages. Designed by Stewart and Sinnott Architects, it cost €8.5 million and was named after the popular brand of potato crisps – Tayto. It is now one of Ireland’s most popular attractions with over 750,000 visitors every year.

The initial investment is nothing compared to the €26 million investment adding new rides in 2015 including the thrilling Cu Chulainn Caoster. The park covers 22 hectares and is American themed with a Native Amierican village, a zoo, adventure playground, splash zone, live magic shows, a cucus and lots of roller coasters and other adrenaline rides.

Some rides have a height restrictions and are suitable for older kids and adults. However, the Junior Zone has plenty of thrills and fun. The most popular rides at Emerald Park include the Ladybird Loop, Shot Tower, the intense upside down Air Race, which is a dizzying ride for daredevils, as is the Power Surge.

Similar to an inverted coaster ride, Endeavor leaves you dangling. For those looking for a scare, the Rotator will do the trick! Everyone should enjoy the Steam Train Express Ride around the park. You’ll get a soaking on the Viking Voyage which has excellent themeing and plenty of wild rapids.

Popular things to do at the Emerald Park Theme Park

One of the reasons that a visit to Emerald Park is so popular is due to the sheer volume of things there are to see and do there.

Below, you’ll find some of the amusement park’s most popular attractions, from the Cú Chulainn Coaster to the climbing wall.

1. The Cú Chulainn Coaster

Cú Chulainn Coaster

Photos via Emerald Park on FB

The Cu Chulainn Coaster is the most popular ride at Tatyo and is the park’s biggest ride. It opened in 2015 and cost €8.5 million. Cu Chulainn remains Ireland’s only wooden roller coaster.

It rises to 32m (105 feet) before dropping, diving and navigating some tight turns along the way. It is over a 1,092 m in length and reaches speeds of 90kmh /56 mph.

It can carry 700 riders at a time on this 2.45 minute long ride. It is based on the heroic Irish mythical figure of Cu Chulainn and his image is emblazoned on the front of the train.

2. The Extreme Climbing Wall

Located in the All Access Zone, the Extreme Climbing Wall is exactly “what it says on the tin”. This complex 21m high structure offers multiple routes to the top with a series of hand and foot holds.

Ideal for adventurers and would-be mountaineers, it tests your strength and agility, as well as your head for heights. Climbers are attached to a safety rope and are provided with a hard hat.

3. The Sky Glider

Close to Dinosaurs Alive, Sky Glider recreates a gliding experience through the clouds. It’s the first ride of its kind in Europe and has two zip line tracks that intertwine.

Twist and soar through the air and conquer the blue or yellow line on this thrilling ride. All this at speeds of up to 40km/h. It stands 23 metres high and is over 120 metres long. Minimum rider height is 1.3 m.

4. The Sky Walk

Adventurers who are up for a challenge will want to try the Sky Walk. Climbers must conquer a series of obstacles and bridges while high above the ground on an open structure of bars and ropes.

There are three different heights to suit different skill levels. Young climbers must be at least 1.2m in height and accompanied by an adult. Those 1.3m or above can climb unsupervised.

Things to do at Emerald Park for kids

There’s also plenty of attractions at Emerald Park for the little ones (or for those looking for a more laid-back day out!).

Below, you’ll find info on everything from the cinema to the zoo and everything in between.

1. The 5D Cinema

emerald park cinema

Photos via Tayto Park on FB

Perfect for those rainy days, the 5D cinema at Emerald Park takes visitors on a thrilling journey while immersing them in an impressive virtual experience.

The cinema features everything from gusts of air and water jets to flashing lights, leg ticklers and bubbles, for a very unique experience.

2. The Factory Tour

Yes, you can take a tour of the Factory and see how Ireland favourite crisps come to life, from their humble beginnings to when they reach your fingers.

The tour is self-guided and, as you stroll, you’ll discover the secrets behind how the now-iconic crisp brand is made.

3. The Park Zoo

Yep, Emerald Park also has its very own zoo, and it’s home to a diverse mix of very exotic animals that now call County Meath ‘home’.

Those that visit will see everything from an Amur tiger to Squirrel monkeys and the endangered Sulawesi crested macaque. There’s also birds of prey, as you’ll see in the video above.

4. The Circus

Another favourite amongst visiting families, is the Emerald Park circus, and it’s run by the Fossett Family, who have been putting on circuses in Ireland since 1888.

The show involves everything from aerial stunts and comedy to illusion, knife throwing and plenty more to keep you entertained.

Hotels near Emerald Park

If you’re looking to stay close by, there’s plenty of hotels near Emerald Park, many of which are under a 20-minute drive away.

Note: if you book a stay through one of the links below we may make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.

1. The Pillo Hotel (6-minute drive)

Pillo Hotel Ashbourne

Photos via

Modern and stylish, the Pillo Hotel is superbly family-orientated with 148 rooms including family rooms and suites. They all have cable TV, Wi-Fi, tea/coffee facilities and everything you need to sleep well after an exciting day at Emerald Park. Make use of the indoor pool and fitness room before enjoying breakfast in the restaurant. In the evening, kids have their own dinner menu while adults can tuck into burgers, salmon, pasta, curries and local favourites.

2. Ashbourne House Hotel (10-minute drive)

Ashbourne House hotel

Photos via

Treat yourself to an upscale luxury hotel experience at the Ashbourne House Hotel, located in the heart of Ashbourne. It has an excellent reputation. Guests love the exceptional personal service, friendly bar atmosphere and hearty breakfast to set you up for the day’s adventures. Boutique rooms are individually designed and furnished to give a homely feel. Dine in the elegant Loft Restaurant before relaxing in the Lounge Bar watching live sports. There’s plenty for families to do nearby including a multiscreen cinema, golf clubs and Emerald Park rides and zoo.

3. The Station House Hotel (25-minute drive)

The Station House Hotel

Photos via

Spoil yourself with a stay at Co. Meath’s top Country House Hotel! The Station House Hotel was established b the Slattery family in 1984 and retains an air of a luxury family home. Stay in one of the cabins or suites and you’ll enjoy a king-size bed with ultra comfy mattress and Egyptian linens. In the bathroom there are bathrobes, slippers and a goodie bag of Voya toiletries. Antique furnishings are scattered throughout the hotel, complemented by country chic fabrics and cushioned armchairs. Explore the 12-acre ground with lily ponds before dining in the award-winning Signal Restaurant. You simply won’t want to leave!


FAQs about visiting Emerald Park in Meath

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What months is Emerald Park open?’ to ‘What is there for adults?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

How expensive is Emerald Park?

General tickets to Emerald Park cost €35 for adults + €25 for Seniors. Junior Zone Ticket are €31. Tickets to the Christmas Experience are €15 for adults, €30 for children aged 5-12 and €22 for 2-4 year-olds.

Is Emerald Park really worth visiting?

Yes! Although the prices can put some people off, there’s endless things to do here with something to suit ever age.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.