Peat Pleasures

Carol Swiecicka and Richard Swiecicki from Newton Abbot Travel Club in Devon took 45 members to South East Ireland earlier in the year.

Using Blake’s coaches with our driver, Graham, we went by a Stena ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, staying at Ferrycarrig and Kilkenny.

A varied tour was planned for our group with visits to Mount Usher gardens, Powerscourt, The Irish Stud with its Japanese gardens, and guided tours at Waterford Crystal, Dumbrodie Famine Shop, Smithwick Brewery and Jameson’s Distillery. Graham did a lovely scenic drive through the Wicklow Mountains and parts reminded us of home and Dartmoor.

One of the highlights of the visit was to Lullymore Heritage Park where Ray and his assistant gave us an excellent tour and insight into the history of the people, area and peat lands. Some of our group, under the guidance of the National Peat Cutting Champion, had a go at cutting the peat. Then a surprise cream tea was provided, much to everyone’s delight on the peat fields.

Lullymore Heritage Park was winner of the 2017 Irish Tourism Industry Award for Environmental Tourism and Innovation, and I can see why!