Days Out! When living near Bury St Edmunds, we absolutely loved visiting places like Nowton Park and the Abbey Gardens, as well as National Trust places, in particular Ickworth House. We do so miss these places. Over here (Republic of Ireland), we have a few parks and houses open to the public.
One of our favourite places to visit is Strokestown Park, which is approximately a 20 minute drive from us. On arrival, you drive up towards the house and veer round to the car park. You wander into the visitor building, where there is a cafe/restaurant, shop and restroom. The shop has some wonderful unique gifts but this is where you purchase tickets for the rest of the property. The house is only open for guided tours, so you follow a guide from the shop, around to the house.
You enter through the front door, guided through the living spaces of the family who owned the house (ground floor and upstairs), then in the staff areas downstairs (basement). We have been on the tour several times and although each guide has the same information that they give out, they all have little nuggets of information and their own little spin, that makes it all the more interesting.
Once the tour is complete, you are able to take yourself on a self-guided tour of the famine museum. The timeline in the museum runs from the introduction of potatoes into the country, all the way through to the failure of the potato harvest and subsequent events. There is a lot of written information, images and physical items on display.
Outside, there is a wooded walk and a walled garden which is great for adults and ideal for children. We always like to finish off in the cafe for tea and cake.
Another place that we visit regularly is Belvedere House and Park, which is approximately a 40 minute drive. Belvedere House is a lovely house that is set in a huge area of park land with picturesque woodland and lakeshore walks, a wonderful fairy garden and walled garden.
The house has is open to the public for a self-guided tour. The house is set out, as if it is lived in, with impressive views of the park. It has written information dotted around the home, with one room that has an informative film to watch. Not all the rooms are available to the public but the rooms that can be seen are grand and luxurious.
We often spend time wandering around the park and gardens but I feel that there is so much of it that we haven’t seen. You can while away hours wandering around this huge estate. Of course, with all the walking around, at stop at the cafe is a must…..and oh my gosh, the CAKE is AMAZING!! There are fabulous main courses available, including some wonderful looking healthy options but we always seem to be distracted by the cake and puddings!
One more place we enjoy visiting is Corlea Trackway. This visitor attraction is free to enter and is approximately 20 minute drive away. The staff are very helpful and knowledgeable. Indoors, there are information boards with images. There is also an option for a short informative film in an auditorium. Visitors are able to see part of the bog road that is kept in ideal conditions.
Outside, that is a walkway, for you to walk where the road could have been. This year they have also a fabulous walkway around Corlea Trackway, with splendid views of the bog (for those of you who haven’t driven on roads, that go through bogs, they are interesting).
These are only three of the fabulous places that we enjoy visiting but there are so many more.
We would love for you lovely readers to experience seeing these fabulous places, so don’t forget the offer for WLBSE badge holders. You receive a HUGE 15% off glamping with us, when booking before 31 May, this will be valid on stays during 2018. Use code: WLBSElaunch. You can find out more about staying at Bramblewick House and book your stay at http://www.bramblewickhouse.com/stay
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