Friday, 8 April 2016

Gougane Barra Forest Park

I don't seem to get much time to blog lately, but I have been meaning to share a few photos of the Forest Park at Gougane Barra (please see last post), which is just around the corner from St. Finbarr's Church, down in West Cork.  

The park's about 1,000 acres and is great for walking or cycling, or you can take the car and drive along the loop road.

There's lots of paths and nature trails...

that lead through the forests and woodland.

The path leading down to a lake.

The stepping stones go all the way up to the top of the mountain. There's plenty of benches and picnic tables to stop for a rest (and there's loos too).

Trickling streams and waterfalls.

Lovely views when you get to the top.

Looking down to the car park below.

Thanks for dropping by. :)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Gougane Barra and Bantry Bay.

I've been wanting to post these photos for a while, but due to our terrible broadband connection I haven't been able to until now, so apologies for them being a bit dated.

A couple of months ago we had a jaunt down to West Cork to Gougane Barra, Ireland's first National Park which opened in 1966,  near the town of Macroom.

In the distance, you can see St. Finbarr's Oratory, which stands on a small island on the lake. St. Finbarr is the patron saint of Cork, who died in 623 A.D.

Built at the end of the 19th century, the church is very popular place for weddings and pilgrims still gather there each year on the 25th September for the feast of St. Finbarr.

There's a hotel, small gift shop and bar/café, which you can just see on the right of the photo. Sorry it's in the distance, but a coach full of people had just turned up so it was quite busy.

Inside the church.

Next to the church are the remains of St, Finbarr's monastery from the 6th century.


Very quaint public loos.

Before we headed back home we went on a bit further down the coast towards Bantry Bay.
We didn't stop for long as we had to head back, but hopefully we'll get back down that way again next year and have a good look around.


On the way home, my OH took this shot of this beautiful garden as we were going over a bridge, (I was driving).

I hope to be able to upload photos of the Forest Park in the next post, if the broadband lets me. :-)

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Ballysaggartmore Towers

The other day we had a jaunt over to the Ballysaggartmore Towers or 'The Towers' as they're known locally, near Lismore, Waterford. They're reached by a woodland loop walk of about 2km, with a small stream running alongside the path.

The Towers were built in 1834 for Arthur Kiely-Ussher as main entrance lodges to Ballysaggartmore House to please his wife, who apparently wanted to keep up with her sister-in-law who lived at the grand Strancally Castle.
Arthur also planned to build a huge mansion, but that didn't materialize as he ran out of money.
The majority of his 8000 acre estate was rented to tenant farmers, but he was a cruel landlord, evicting tenants who were unable to pay the rent during the harsh famine. There was a plot to kill him during that time, but it was unsuccessful.
Following Arthur's death in 1862, the estate was sold by a liquidator and later the house was destroyed in an arson attack during the civil war.
Across the bridge and through the arch, the path carries on to the other tower.


Nothing to do with the Towers, but I couldn't resist posting these photos of some gorgeous little calves in a field near us.
Ermintrude. :-)
Thanks for dropping by.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Dromana Gate Lodge and a Peregrine Falcon

I've been so busy these past few months that i haven't even had time to bless myself  (as they say in Ireland) and my poor blog has been a bit neglected. I haven't been very far on my jaunts either, as i do tend to hibernate a bit during the winter months, so for this post i've dipped into the archives so to speak and found a few photos of this little surprise we came across one Sunday afternoon down a country lane near the little village of  Villerstown, in Co. Waterford.

The Hindu-Gothic Gate Lodge was designed by local architect Martin Day and was built to greet the owner of the Dromana Estate, Henry Villiers-Stuart and his Austrian bride, Theresia Pauline ott of  Vienna, on returning from their honeymoon in 1826.

It was inspired by John Nash's Brighton Pavilion and was originally built from wood and papiér maché, then in later years reconstructed in stone. 

A little peek inside.

Changing the subject completely, i found these older photos my OH took of a young Peregrine Falcon, who came right up to him to say hello.

He was so close and wasn't the slightest bit bothered by my OH and his camera.

Ill leave with this busy little fella, going in...

and coming out again. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see the bee's little tongue.

Thanks for dropping by.