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!
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!
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!
Lough Derg is a wonderful, unspoilt and totally underused resource on our doorstep and we are always thrilled to see businesses offering guests an opportunity to get out on the water. We are really thrilled to see a local business Lough Derg Watersports offering environmentally sound and sustainable activities locally.
, and we fully support this.
As part of promoting the Blueway, Becky and her partner are hosting a Family Fun Day at Kilgarvan quay, just 15 minutes from our cottages. We expect this to be a great day of fun, food and a chance to ‘get your feet wet’. Contact Becky on 086 4114822
This weekend the 22nd annual Mountshannon Arts Festival aims to be a transformative experience for the village and all those who take part, with something for everyone including music, street art, exhibitions and workshops.
This year’s programme is an eclectic mix of Music, Drama, Street art, Visual Art and Workshops. There’s something for everyone. Mountshannon is about a 30 min drive from Fuchsia Lane Farm and is on the Co Clare side of Lough Derg. While there check out the Sea Eagles!
The Festival begins this evening Thurs 25th and runs until Sunday.
If you wish to take a break, then The Cottage Cafe and Tea Rooms is worth a visit. It is situated the tiny village of Loughmore, Co Tipperary, between the towns of Thurles and Roscrea. It is a community owned and operated cooperative , selling local produce, arts & crafts – including home made breads, cakes & confectionery, jams, conserves, honey, locally grown vegetables and basic groceries, sweets and ices, plus sundry items. The tearooms provide a warm and welcoming haven for every customer, where you can sit, chat & enjoy wholesome, nutritious food, most of it sourced locally. The Cottage Market in the garden on the first Sunday of every month from 12.00am to 3pm.
The cooperative venture was initiated due to the lack of a shop in the village and is the brainchild of two local women, Mary Fogarty and Meave O’Hehir, who shared a passion for their community and the need to provide a local service to counter rural isolation and help maintain a ‘sense of place’ locally The Cottage Cafe has won numerous awards and commendations in 2014 it was awarded Best Cafe in the Country by the Irish Times Newspaper.
Well worth a detour if you are travelling to Fuchsia Lane Farm from the Dublin, Kilkenny, or Cork side of the country! If you are staying with us then include it on your trip to Roscrea, The Devils Bit, Holycross or The Rock of Cashel
Portumna is a small town in the heart of rural Galway, just 10 mins drive from Fuchsia Lane Farm. The name Portumna comes from the Irish word Port Omna, meaning the landing place of the oak tree. So not surprisingly, perched on the edge of the quaint little town is a magnificent 450 hectacres of coniferous woodland of Scots Pine and Norway spruce. Portumna Forest Park is also home to a whole host of animals including Fallow deer and the red Squirrel. Every June, the agility of the wild animals in their natural habitat is mimicked by the ‘best of the best’ of distance runners from all over Ireland. In recent years participants have come from all over the world in their quest to find the ultimate Ultra marathon.
Offline Film Festival runs in Birr from October 7 to the 11th and features a cinematic experience featuring movies, workshops and competitions. Based in Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, but also using other locations around this Georgian Heritage Town, you can expect to be entertained, challenged and enthralled by a wealth of cinematic experiences and opportunities. People of all ages can enjoy talks on filmmaking, animation workshops, outdoor screenings and the wonderful opportunity to discuss a good film over your favourite tipple!
Portumna’s Shorelines Arts Festival, Sept 17 to the 20th, now in its 8th year, is recognised as East Galway’s premier boutique arts festival. As well as nurturing local talent and providing a platform for performance and exhibition, Shorelines stages the best of Irish theatre, music, art, film and literature.Shorelines 2015 will feature readings by authors Joseph O’Connor and Paul Kingsnorth. They will be joined by poets Grace Wells, Louis dePaor and poet and writer John MacKenna and a feast of words is guaranteed. Grace and John will both facilitate writing workshops in poetry and prose.A special Yeats event to celebrate Yeats 150 will include a lecture from well known poet and scholar, Bernard O’Donoghue. You are also invited to nominate your Shorelines Yeats Poem for the Yeats 150 event. A selection of those nominated will be featured at the festival.For music fans, Shorelines plans to stage performances from renowned Mary Coughlan, the up and coming Lost Brothers. Local musicians and songwriters will feature too. Shorelines welcome RTE Radio 1 to the 2015 festival where a live recording of the much loved Sunday Miscellany is scheduled featuring voices and talents of local and not so local talent.Drama comes from Fishamble’s new show Underneath as well as Curlew’s show The Muse & Mister Yeats. Local drama group The Half-Day Thursday Group will stage Kent R. Brown’s Seduction of Chaos.For the family, events include a 2-day programme of Street Theatre from Circus Outside The Box, Creative Writing with Betsy Cornwell, The Barbara Kennedy Writing Awards, a Flea Circus from PigNut Productions, Face Painting, Story Telling and Little Gem Puppets.
Shorelines will also feature a Minecraft/Lego Workshop during the festival. And young singer/songwriters and musicians will take part in café sessions and recitals throughout the weekend as the festival enjoys giving emerging talent a platform to perform.The Gallery at the Workhouse will again host visiting and local artists at the Shorelines Arts Exhibition. Among the talks and demonstrations planned are talks with artist Aideen Monaghan and photographer Mark Granier and a bead making demonstration with Mags Mannion. Exhibitions from invited artists include, to date: Galway Print Studio, John Brennan, Aideen Monaghan, Mark Granier and Frank O’Sullivan.Heritage Boats of Ireland also plan to visit Portumna during Shorelines 2015. They will bring 30 heritage boats to Portumna’s Lough Derg, adding colour and atmosphere to the festival.Shorelines Shorts 2015 will feature a loop of short drama films on the theme of Childhood and a loop of documentaries on Changing Ireland. All are guaranteed to entertain and delight.
Other regular events include the annual Nicholas Treacy Recitation Competition, which will test the reciting skills of the entrants who must learn a recitation written prior to 1937.New programme additions include early morning sessions of Yoga, titled: Golden Apples of the Sun and a workshop onBotanical Art. Local archaeologist, Christy Cunniffe will launch a photo exhibition based on medieval carved heads. Portumna Vintage Club are planning a day at the Festival too. Finally, all of the businesses in the town are invited to decorate their windows to complement the festival.Check out our Facebook page for further updates: www.facebook.com/shorelinesartsfestival
Portumna Castle & Gardens, first formal garden, is now filled with colour and perfume.
These 17th Century variety of roses bloom only once a year between mid June and the end of July so now is the time to enjoy the full experience. While in the gardens be sure to visit the lovely walled kitchen garden.
August will bring Heritage Week celebrations to the castle and gardens. The Portumna Players have already begun rehearsal for their annual ‘Drama’ at the Castle on the evening of Friday 28th. ‘Family Vintage Day’ on Sunday 23rd and FREE admission all day Sunday 30th.
Look for details on www.heritageweek.ie or on local papers, posters, newsletters and Portumna Castle Facebook page, closer to the date.
Open daily throughout the season, 9.30-6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
FREE guided tours with admission tickets, subject to guide availability.
FREE admission on the 1st Wednesday of each month.
Fun observational quiz for children of all ages, enter and win a Family Heritage Card. This will give the winner FREE access to all OPW sites throughout Ireland for one year.