Once again this summer season sees a range of food and food tourism events taking place all around the Lough Derg area. We are very fortunate to live in such a wonderful area and recently many of the promoters who operate along the Lough Derg Blueway gathered together in the majestic sunshine in the even more majestic Portumna Castle to launch this year’s programme. Events this summer include Tapas Nights, Meet the Cheesemaker, Yoga in Nature, Chocolate Making and Mindful Bread Making!
Here at Fuchsia Lane Farm we are delighted to be hosting Mindful Bread Making which is being run in conjunction with our son and his new business, Abbey Bread. He recently won the National Student Enterprise Award for this venture and we hope you all get to enjoy some of this famous bread here on August 2nd.
The Taste of Lough Derg 2018 programme was launched by Sinead Hennessy, Failte Ireland’s Food Tourism Officer as well as Mr Joe McGrath, chairman of the Lough Derg Marketing Group.
We are delighted to see that Aqua Splash makes a return to Lough Derg for the 2018 season. This is a great place to allow children (of all ages!) to enjoy the water, burn off some energy and simply have a splash in the wonderful Lough Derg. It is another example of the great activities that can be found all around the lake area, all part of the Lough Derg Blueway Dromineer is one of the lovely villages found around the lake and while there you can enjoy coffee and treats in the Lake Cafe
Many of our guests take the opportunity to visit the Burren while they are staying here at Fuchsia Lane Farm. Such a trip usually includes a trip to the Cliffs of Moher. One of the most beautiful sights from the famous cliffs is, of course, the Aran Islands. For the 2018 season we are partnering with Doolin Ferries who operate a daily service to the Islands, as well as a tour of the Cliffs from the ocean side, and guests staying with us here at Fuchsia Lane Farm can avail of a discount that offers up to 40% off the normal price when they book online in advance. When you check in with us we will give you a special code which you can use on the Doolin Ferry website
We are very excited with the opening of Portumna Castle and Gardens this weekend as the season begins. This is always a great place to visit, so full of history and lore and the guides there will really bring the place to life for you. The kitchen garden, which has painstakingly restored over the years is a lovely place to browse and see how vegetable gardens were managed in the past to supply all the vegetable needs of the ‘big house’.
This season sees a new coffee shop and exhibition space on the Castle Grounds. This is housed in the beautifully restored stables yards and we are sure it will become a great spot to visit!
Lough Derg is a haven for a range of local craft producers, artisan food makers and artists. Spending some time in this peaceful area allows you an opportunity to really engage in a journey of discovery into a rich vein of surprises in the neighbouring counties of Galway, Clare and Tipperary.
One can experience all this as part of a cycle or touring route along the lake shores and some examples that we can recommend are:
It’s official! The Lough Derg Blueway, a collaboration between Galway, Clare and Tipperary County Councils, designed to develop quality on and off water trails and activities all around the majestic Lough Derg, on the River Shannon is open for business.
The Blueway is a network of canoe trails, walks, cycle routes and tourism service with one aim in mind: ‘Get out and about’! This area is so accessible, unspoilt and peaceful with some many natural attractions on offer and we believe it is the ideal destination for your activity break. Just watch the video and see for yourself!
We are not used to getting much snow here and when we do get some we all become kids again. The last couple of days have caused us all to stop and remain at home as much as we can. Its a great opportunity to get some photos of the area and to enjoy the simple things such as a stove fire and home baking!
Spring is doing its best to edge into our lives at the moment, despite some unexpected snow which has given many of us an unexpected day to catch up on all those jobs that we say we will do ‘someday’! The snowdrops are giving their last bit of bloom as they begin to fade away after announcing to the world that the winter is almost over. Their fragile white petals are always a joy to see this time of year. Their friends and ‘second wave’ of Spring Heralds are out and they are giving a lovely splash of yellow along the hedgerows and gardens.
In Terryglass the local Improvements Association are working away on creating a new playground as well as improving berthing facilities for the fishing boats. This work is really welcome as this area of the harbour had become a little inaccessible due to the build up of silt and it will be great to be able to have our little fishing boat back in the water there soon.
The Derg Inn, under new management, has the contractors in as they work on a new kitchen and some internal improvements and we look forward to seeing what is in store there soon.
Paddy’s Bar and Restaurant continues to serve up good food and is still a great spot for a drink with the locals. No need for Social Media friends when you can meet real people in a genuine Irish pub!
Portumna is seeing some new developments with a new coffee shop opening in the courtyard of Portumna Castle. This should be a lovely addition to the list of ‘great places to have coffee around Lough Derg’ and will be of value to both locals and visitors to the area.
It is still a relatively quiet time in terms of visitors to our cottages, however we have had some wonderful guests from overseas who were looking for a quiet vacation rental in Ireland. The opportunity to meet interesting people, from varying places and backgrounds, is one of the things we love about our business.
So if you are planning to take a trip or make a visit to our area, just let us know and we will do our best if there is anything we can do to assist!
Each year we look forward to the opening of this wonderful place on March 1st. Portumna Castle dates back to 1618 when it was built by Richard de Burgo, the 4th Earl of Clanricarde, being the seat of the de Burgo family for 200 years. The Castle and Grounds have been restored in recent years and the first floor of the building is now open and houses an exhibition and interpretive panels detailing its history.
The Castle walled gardens are set out as a traditional kitchen garden for the ‘big house’ and some wonderful produce can be seen (and tasted) there in season. The formal gardens are imposing lawns and gravelled pathways laid out in striking geometric patterns.
This year we all looking forward to seeing the addition of a coffee shop and exhibition space in the old stables adjacent to the Castle. This should result in a lovely space to spend a few minutes and to soak up the history and ambience of this wonderful place!
We are so fortunate to be living close to Lough Derg, the largest lake on the River Shannon. This majestic lake has played a central part in the regions history and development. In ancient times it provided access to settlers and invaders alike, became a source of valuable fish for those living around the lake, then in early Christian times it enabled the early monks to settle and create places of learning on Holy Island and also Terryglass. Lovers of Ireland’s famous drink, Guinness, might be interested to hear that the lake also was a method of transportation for Malting Barley, grown by local farmers, which is an essential element in the production of the famous drink. Local farmers brought their harvest to the local piers along the lake and it was then transported in the famous Guinness barges up the lake and along the Grand Canal to Dublin. One of the local harbours in the area is Kilgarvan Quay and one can still see the old warehouse and winches used to load the sacks of grain onto the barges.
However the lake now has become a wonderful leisure playground for locals and visitors alike and a new enterprise has emerged at Kilgarvan Quay! A young energetic and sporting couple, Becky and Rueben, have established Lough Derg Watersports and provide canoeing and kayaking for individuals, groups and parties of all sizes and abilities along the Lough Derg Blueway. Guests can learn the basics, enjoy guided trails on the water and have lots of fun with their wonderful tutors! Full details can be found at loughdergwatersports.com and on Facebook and Twitter.