Close to The Tower in Ballylea (Thoor Ballylee), this is a lovely circular walk through the beautiful landscape of the Coole Park Nature Reserve. As we start our walk we are greeted by ancient oak trees and perhaps our first of many opportunities to hug a tree on this walk.
The well marked path takes us through seven distinct woodlands on our walk today – each offering us something different with its own charm. The tall, old trees that mark the route offer a canopy above our heads.
This is a place that the literary greats of Ireland have walked before – and you’ll encounter the now famous Autograph Tree on the way where the likes of W.B Yeats, Lady Gregory and George Bernard Shaw carved their initials. Perhaps these trees that are inspiring to you today, inspired some of their writing?
There are plenty of places along this trail that you’ll just want to pause for a moment, to breathe and to just be. One of those places is by the turlough, a seasonal lake that evolves with the seasons, offering something different each time you visit. Just take a moment to listen – hear the wind rustling through the leaves of the trees overhead, the sound of a songbird. There is a magical tranquillity to this place.
When you’re ready to continue your journey, you’ll come to the walled garden with the bursts of colourful blooms, depending of course on the season! Take time to explore the paths here and the peace that this land offers.
As a circular walk you’ll eventually come back to where we started – back to the ancient oak trees. This is a great, short walk that offers a glimpse into the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this pocket of Ireland.
Julia on location filming Julia Bradbury’s Irish journey …