Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Fun days out this Summer

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With the summer months upon us and the schools wrapping up after another busy year, it’s time to get out and explore the best of what’s on offer in the midlands.

Fun Days (and Nights) out at Belvedere this Summer

Belvedere House, Gardens & Park is one of those quiet, stunningly beautiful spots that many avail of for walking, running, catc-hing up for coffee with friends as well as showing off what Mullingar has to offer to visitors.

It’s that type of a place that centres you and brings calmness to your life. The staff are friendly and helpful without being obtrusive. The grounds are always immaculate and overall, the entire Belvedere experience is great value for money and it’s good for your health!

Belvedere House, Gardens & Park

Belvedere is such a favoured place to go that annual membership is offered for those who realise that going there regularly is good for their health!

Belvedere Annual Season tickets are offered at very reasonable rates, so you can enjoy year-round access to this beautiful estate with 10km of walking trails across 160 acres of magnificent parkland, gardens, woodland and lakeshore, not to mention access to the Lakeside Cafe, children’s play areas and discounts to annual events.

A very big plus point to keep in mind is that Belvedere has late opening until 8pm during the Summer, with the last admission being at 7pm, making this a perfect after work place to wind down with a walk or a jog.

There really is something for everyone of every age at Belvedere. The younger family members get to explore the well equipped play areas and the magical fairy garden while the teenage and older members of the family can enjoy one or more of the many seasonal events that takes place there, at Easter, Halloween and Christmas as well as the regular.

This year, there’s a Junior Einstein’s science camp being planned at Belvedere.
Stay tuned to Belvedere’s social media channels for full details of upcoming events and camps.

Belvedere is the perfect venue for outdoor theatre. Lakeside views and sounds provide an added backdrop to the upcoming Chapterhouse Open-Air Theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest. This is followed by more open air theatre on 8 July at 7pm, when Hercules takes to the stage.

Pick up some unusual plants from Belvedere Garden’s Unusual Plant Fair
On Saturday, 22 July, the popular Unusual Plant Fair is back at Belvedere. This is your chance to pick up some unusual plants from the beautiful gardens at Belvedere, many of which were brought to Belvedere by avid-traveller and fourth owner of Belvedere, Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury, who brought back home a variety of fine specimens from his worldwide travels.

Spend a few days on Lough Ennell this Summer with Lilliput Boat Hire

Whether it’s for family fun days out, a few hours fishing, or just a relaxing boat trip to take life easy and enjoy local scenery, Lilliput Boat Hire provides everything you need to have a memorable day out on the lovely Lough Ennell.

From 1 February until 31 October 2023, boat hire season is open for business at Lilliput, on the shores of Lough Ennell. Located at Jonathan Swift Park, Lilliput Boat Hire’s easy to use boats allow you to explore the sights, sounds, and wildlife that Lough Ennell has to offer. Lake boats are available as rowing boards or with outboard engines, and the affordable hire rate includes life jackets and fuel.

Lilliput Boat Hire

You just need to pack your fishing rod and a snack and let Lilliput Boat Hire take care of the rest. The Lilliput townland was named in honour of Jonathan Swift, who was said to have visited the area in 1726 and came up with the idea for his well known book ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.

You and your family can also follow the path of Jonathan Swift and explore the lovely lake of Lough Ennell, by renting a boat from Lilliput Boat Hire this Summer.
Renowned for its brown trout, perch, and pike fishing, Lough Ennell boasts to be one of the few lakes in Ireland which has 100% wild fish, presenting an appealing challenge for the avid fishing enthusiast. Fishing permits are compulsory on Lough Ennell and licenses can easily be bought online at http://permits.fishinginireland.info/product-category/shannon .

Why wait – call Lilliput Boat Hire today on 044 922 6329 or 087 649 2866 and book your sailing slot with them. You can also email: info@LilliputBoatHire.com, or visit the very informative website at www.lilliputboathire.com.

Have tea at Tullynally Castle this Summer – and pick up some rare plants!

This Saturday, 24 June sees the return of the popular rare plant fair to the wonderful Tullynally Castle in Castlepollard (N91 HV58).

The plant fair starts at 11am and runs until 5pm. This is your chance to spend the day at this beautiful location, which is an oasis of tranquility in County Westmeath. Explore the fabulous gardens with unique trees and shrubs, each one carefully tended to by the team at Tullynally Castle and Gardens as well as by Thomas Packenham himself. Thomas inherited Tullynally estate in 1961 and is a passionate gardener. In recent years, Thomas has brought back seeds from plant hunting trips to China, Tibet and Sikkim in Northern India. Most of his planting has been in the Forest Walk.

Tullynally Castle

Apart from the beautiful gardens, they have waterfalls, lakes, Llamas, guided tours and a children’s discovery trail as well as the highly recommended Courtyard Tearooms. Enjoy tea and cake or refreshments of your choice, as well as other tasty treats in these stunning surroundings in Tullynally.

There’s a bicycle for everyone at Mullingar Bike Hire

There’s a reason why Mullingar Bike Hire continuously receive great reviews and awards; this family run business offers more than just bicycles. They provide great, friendly helpful advice and tours around the Midlands, never fearing to go that extra mile to make sure you and your cycling group enjoy a fantastic day out. Alan and his team have been in the bicycle business for years and keep up with current trends by offering traditional as well as electric bicycles and hybrid bicycles.

Located at the Royal Canal harbour hub (beside Loreto College) they offer direct access to the Royal Canal Greenway and the Old Rail Trail Greenway. They offer free parking on site, toilets and showers, helmets and hi-viz jackets as well as bicycle locks that are supplied with your bike and detailed maps of the local Cycle Greenways.

Mullingar Bike Hire

Mullingar Bike Hire have bikes and accessories to suit all ages and fitness levels. They offer Hybrid Bikes, Electric Bikes, Road Bikes, Children’s Bikes, Fun Tandems, Bike Trailers and Child Seats for bicycles. They have an extensive fleet of new alloy bikes.
Group bike trips and tours are the latest way for groups to enjoy a healthy morning, afternoon, evening or day out and Mullingar Bike Hire have enough bikes to go round, so whether it be a family birthday celebration, a work networking event, or even a hen party, consider booking your next event with an informative tour. There are packages to suit all pockets.

Plan and book your bike today with Mullingar Bike Hire on 087 992 3409. Whether it’s a leisurely cycle along the beautiful scenic traffic-free Royal Canal Greenway to Enfield or Longford – or a cruise along the Old Rail Trail to Athlone – or just cycle out to Lough Owel, Mullingar Bike Hire is your one stop provider for a bike that suits your needs.

Explore Lough Boora Discovery Park this Summer

If you’ve never been to Lough Boora Discovery Park in Boora, Co. Offaly before, don’t put it off any longer as this Summer is the perfect time to visit and discover the fantastic park for yourself.

Allow at least one full day to fully explore the park. Pack a picnic (or enjoy some of the scrumptious on-site catering), bring the bikes and the dog and all the family. It really is the perfect day out for all ages, even for those who want a nice stroll in the open air.

Lough Boora Discovery Park

Lough Boora Discovery Park has walkways, bike trails, angling, fairy trails, sculptures, bird watching areas, and much much more on offer. Visitors are in for a treat in Summer as the sea of bog cotton is in bloom and numerous orchids such as the Bee Orchid will be coming into flower over the next month. There are miles and miles of park area to explore and discover in Lough Boora. The park is a wonderful place to see biodiversity and nature at its finest as well as offering immense health benefits from being in the wonderful outdoors.

If exploring is not your thing, then book a tour, so you don’t miss out on what’s on offer. Lough Boora Discovery Park offers guided tours for groups of all ages and abilities.

Lough Boora Discovery Park has a quaint cafe on site for you to enjoy a cuppa and something to replenish your energy from the day’s activities in the park. The Pavilion area provides a space for events, group activities and information about Lough Boora’s history and there are public toilets, a picnic area as well as a bike and car park on site.
Check out their website for full information and timings or give them a call on 057 – 934 0010.

Better still – just hop in the car and go there. It’s be the best day out you’ve had in ages. Guaranteed!

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