West Cork Garden Trail celebrates its 21st Birthday with Diarmuid Gavin

Posted on: 5th May, 2015

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Heron Gardens

The West Cork Garden Trail is 21 years old this year. On May 31, there will be a day of celebrations and a double-chance to meet Ireland’s most famous gardening celebrity. In the morning, Diarmuid Gavin will be at Garra Fado gardens near Eyeries on Beara, discussing all things gardening – and at Bantry House at 4pm in the afternoon for another gardening chat and Q&A. Tickets for the Bantry House event can be bought online at www.westcorkgardentrail.com  — and on the day at Garra Fado in Eyeries.

WCGT spokesperson Miriam Cotton says “We’re delighted that Diarmuid is helping us to celebrate our birthday. Over the years, so much work has gone into making the trail what it is – it’s terrific to have this acknowledgement of the trail’s contribution to summer life in West Cork.”

Great Value Season Ticket
For keen gardening enthusiasts – and for parents looking for an affordable way to entertain children during the summer holidays — the WCGT has also announced its new season ticket scheme. “The gardens are not expensive to visit – generally around €5 for entry,” says Cotton “but for anyone who would like to ‘do the trail’, they can now buy a ticket that gives access to 11 of the gardens for just €35 – or €55 for a family ticket which includes free entry for children under 13 – parents need no longer worry about how they are going to fill those long summer holidays!”

Garden T_The Ewe

The Ewe

Some of the gardens have excellent cafés such as Heron Gardens on Sheep’s Head, Glebe Gardens in Baltimore — and don’t forget to try the delicious homemade apple tart at Bantry House. Or eat al fresco with a picnic overlooking some of the most amazing scenery West Cork has to offer. Check the website for individual garden opening times and dates before setting off on trips.

Season tickets available online via the website only.

Special Events
Throughout summer there are many events and activities taking place in the gardens so put the following dates in your diary now – don’t miss out!  From pirate treasure hunts, to attractive vegetable gardens and dry-stonewalling, the WCGT is going to be very busy this year.

May 31 Garra Fado, Eyeries 11am; Bantry House 4pm – Diarmuid Gavin on all things gardening.  Enquiries/Tickets online via the website.

June 7 The Ewe Experience, Glengarriff, 10am-6pm – Charity Day in aid of Rural Animal Welfare.

June-August Inclusive Inish Beg, Nr Baltimore. Return boat trip including garden entry, €20, children under 13 free. Wednesdays: 10.30am from Baltimore pier – return 2pm. Sundays:  2pm from Baltimore pier – return 5.30pm.

Daily at Inish Beg, all year round:  The Pirate Trail – find the hidden pirates who are lurking in the woods at Inish Beg — suitable for children three-years-old and upwards. Garden visitors get a map of the estate and children get a sheet showing pictures of the 10 pirates. Children who find at least four can tick them off, pinpoint where they found them and if correct they get a lollipop. Keeps the kids happy while Mum and Dad enjoy the walk, vegetation and scenery.

June 16 Heron Gardens, Sheep’s Head 11am – ‘How My Garden Grew’ with Annabel Langrish.

June 17 Glebe Gardens, Baltimore, 11.30am – Beauty & Bounty – growing an attractive vegetable garden.

June 17 Inish Beg, Nr Baltimore, 11am – Garden tour with Head Gardener, Tony O’Mahony

June 20 Carraign Abhainn, Durrus – Charity Day.

June 24 Inish Beg, Nr Baltimore 11am – ‘The Challenges of an Organic Walled Garden’ with Tony O’ Mahony

June 25 & 26, September 5 & 6 Rosewood House, Lough Hyne – 2 day Dry-stone wall course. €130 including lunches and refreshments.

Coming Soon – Garden Trail Holidays
WCGT is also working with a number of hotels throughout West Cork towards establishing special garden trail holidays – a way for visitors to experience some of the best of West Cork hospitality while enjoying one of the great outdoor experiences that the region has to offer. Information about these holidays will shortly be available on the garden trail website but for now, WCGT is delighted to confirm that participating hotels include Fernhill House Hotel in Clonakilty, Liss Ard Hotel near Skibbereen, Casey’s Cabin in Baltimore, Rolf’s Country House in Baltimore and Inish Beg House & Gardens near Skibbereen.

For further information email westcorkgardentrail@gmail.com or visit the WCGT website at www.westcorkgardentrail.com.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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