FINALLY getting around to starting the blog posts from our big trip and there’s going to be a few! We started our big trip in my home country of Ireland where we started off in north county Dublin at my parents’ home in Loughshinny. Just up the road there is a beautiful castle and gardens called Ardgillan and Gemma and I decided to pop in before we started the journey south. Constructed in the early 1700’s, it’s not actually a castle, rather it is a country house with “castellated embellishments”. Bit of a kick in the teeth for the owners who were hoping to be able to boast about their castle.
Still, it’s a pretty nice castellated embellished country house all the same. You can take tours of the interior, have afternoon tea or just potter around the gardens. We opted for the latter. There are three distinct gardens at Ardgillan, the Rose Garden, the Walled Garden and the Ornamental Gardens, which consist of several smaller gardens so no I was wrong, there are more than three gardens……there are numerous gardens. Basically if you like gardens, you’ll rather enjoy Ardgillan.
My favourite part was the walled gardens and in particular a small greenhouse that had long been forgotten. The plants within had grown to fill the entire space and were pushing up against the glass trying to break free. I’m sure there are those that consider it an eyesore or an unfortunate oversight but I thought it was fascinating. Nature doesn’t care for our structures and will simply take back its rightful place once we are gone.
We had a really nice relaxing walk around the gardens and it was the perfect start to our trip.
The following day we hit the road proper and began our journey down to Cork for my brother’s wedding. We drove through the Dublin/Wicklow mountains and despite the cold and rain, it was a lovely introduction to the Irish countryside for Gemma with purple gorse lining the rolling hillsides as they appeared and disappeared amongst the clouds. We decided to hop out of the car and take a short stroll down towards Lough Bray Upper which proved to be a damp and very windy affair. It was still great to be out “hiking” again even if it was for just a few minutes. We didn’t do much sightseeing the rest of the way so the next blog post will be from Cork 🙂