Now in its 50th Year this annual festival in the Georgian town on Birr, home of the famous Birr Castle and Science Park, once again prepares for a week long celebration of art, music, vintage antiquities, children workshops, events and conversations which make this one of the ‘must see’ festivals in the region. Birr is only 30 mins drive from Fuchsia Lane Farm and we always encourage our guests to visit this festival. For more details visit http://www.birrvintageweek.com or click on the link below for the full programme
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
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!
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
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
The 20 Most Charming Towns in Ireland Travel Magazine
The Georgian town of Birr, famous for its castle, telescope and annual Vintage Festival, was recently listed in TravelMag.com as one of Ireland’s Most Charming Towns. The towns ‘jaunty character’, colourful buildings and, of course, the wonderful Birr Castle and grounds, received favourable mention.
Birr is only 30 mins drive from Fuchsia Lane Farm and is the gateway to the wonderful and wild Slieve Bloom Mountains. Come see for yourself!