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.
This time of year provides a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air and to stretch those limbs as we begin another year! Here in Tipperary and also in the adjoining counties of Clare, Offaly and Galway we have some great looped walks suitable for all ages. There is the wonderful Keeper Hill walk just outside Nenagh with amazing views of Lower Ormond and Lough Derg, The Devils Bit near Templemore with it ancient story of how it gained its unusual shape as a result of the Devil biting a piece off the hill in anger and then spitting it out (he didn’t like the taste, apparently!) The rejected piece then landed in South Tipperary became the Rock of Cashel!
There is also the leisurely Sli Eala which links Nenagh town and Dromineer and offers some rolling farmland vistas as you stroll along the banks of the Nenagh River and then a very family friendly circular walk in Garrykennedy that is part of the Lough Derg Way.
All these walks are suitable for those with moderate experience and can be taken at an easy pace.
See the attached downloadable guides for more walks, details, distances and maps. All produced courtesy of Tipperary Tourism and Tipperary County Council
Our son Manus is currently in Transition Year in Cistercian College Roscrea and has started a small enterprise called Abbey Bread. This Wholemeal Yeast Bread Mix is based on the traditional bread baked by the monks at Mount St Joseph Monastery in Roscrea, a practice discontinued about 10 years ago.
The intention behind the enterprise was to honour the tradition and celebrate an artisan product that was a central part of the ‘story’ of Mount St Joseph Abbey and the Cistercian Order. Manus received the support of the monastic community and the monks are delighted with his efforts. If you would like more information please visit www.abbeybread.ie where you can find out everything about the project.
The Annual Spleodar Festival over Hallowe’en weekend brings magic and wonder to the streets of Nenagh including a great selection of workshops and events to keep the kids and family occupied and of course, the fireworks spectacular is not to be missed!
Fuchsia Lane Farm, self catering cottages in Terryglass, offer you a place to relax, unwind and to experience an authentic rural experience. With an emphasis on the wealth and uniqueness of the surroundings; farm,garden, orchard, lanes, woodland space, bogland and local community. It is a tranquil, safe and private place to stay, where children love the freedom of the on-site play area, and adults enjoy being close to nature in the heart of the Lakelands Lough Derg.
We encourage you to relax, take it easy and just allow the mellowness of the autumn to create an relaxing and energising time away from the normal ‘busy-ness’ of life.
Our Granary cottage is perfect for two and is available for two nights mid week for just €180 for the two nights.
The little community of Birdhill is rejoicing after being named the overall winner in the 2017 National Tidy Towns Competition. Having received the Tidiest Village accolade on four previous occasions, the elusive overall title was often within touching distance, but it has now been finally reached.
It is great to see that such a small village could win this prestigious award against so many highly-rated opponents. Credit is due to the numerous people who have contributed to the cause, manually or financially since we first entered in 1991. It is the combination of all those efforts which has built up the village and the community to the level it is at today.
Here in Terryglass we are very proud of our strong showing in the competition each year, and hope that in the coming years we will also regain our title as Irelands’ Tidiest Village!
This year marks a very special 10th festival for the wonderful voluntary committee and community of Portumna work so hard each year to bring a varied and engaging programme to an increasing number of supporters and followers of this boutique festival.
Shorelines is a showcase for excellent talent in music, drama, art, film and literature. From a 3-week art exhibition extending to three rooms at the Irish Workhouse Centre, to a pop-up museum on the theme of Lace, Shorelines celebrates the local heritage and invites innovative and new work from a wide array of artists.
This year the festival introduces 10 Decades, 10 Cubes,where the stories of the area are reflected in a newly commissioned art piece. This year the festival also collaborates with Portumna Community School in a comprehensive arts programme and public exhibition.
Highlight acts and performances for this year include Jack O’Rourke, Mikel Murfi, Julie Feeney and, Cherish the Ladies. More information can be found here