Above: Lisselan Estate
Don’t be stuck for something to do with the kids this summer. The West Cork Garden Trail is making life easy for families to fill the long summer days with places to go and things to see and do – affordably. Their new family ticket offers eleven days out for just €55 – two adults and children under 14 go free. The trail advises you to check opening times on their website (below) before visiting any gardens. Brochures are also available in the tourist information offices in Bantry, Skibbereen and Clonakilty.
The trail is busier than ever in 2016 with lots of fun events planned beginning with the mid-summer West Cork Garden Trail Tea Party with Jeremy Irons at Ireland’s best café, Glebe Gardens, Baltimore at 3pm on July 1 – entry €6. Tickets at entrance.
Joining in the fun of the Taste of West Cork Food Festival for the first time in 2016, the garden trail is also delighted to bring the world-famous Incredible Edible phenomenon to the area. Incredible Edible is an international movement that is transforming towns and villages by planting public spaces with edibles. It has had an extraordinary impact on every town it has touched – and where better to start with it in Ireland but in the country’s culinary capital, West Cork!
On September 10, Incredible Edible founder, Mary Clear from Todmorden, Yorkshire, will speak about the Incredible Edible project and all that has resulted from it, at St Patrick’s Boys National School, Skibbereen.
Anyone in the West Cork area can join in the fun of the food festival by planting a space with something edible. A grass verge, a window box or trough, plots, wellington boot, gardens or fields – any space planted with food can be entered for the Incredible Edible West Cork competition. You can join in by registering your entry on the garden trail website or by emailing the address below. Send photographs of your plot or plants as you go along. The garden trail will post details of all entries on their online map and winners will be announced on September 10 at a Bring and Share Barn Banquet taking place at Brown Envelope Seeds on Turk Head. Booking via the food festival website.
There will also be a chance to cycle for your supper on September 15. Brian’s Bicycle Buffet will be a chance to go on a gourmet cycle ride around Skibbereen – two wheels, three courses, three venues and lots of fun. Booking via the food festival website.
For more information about the 15 beautiful gardens on the garden trail, the five hotel partners offering garden lovers holidays, day trip itineraries and places to eat, family and individual season tickets, Incredible Edible – and lots more, visit www.westcorkgardentrail.com or email Miriam@westcorkgardentrail.com.