Guide of Cork, I hope you've been enjoying seeing some of my home city and county so far. I can't say there's an awful lot to do with toddlers around the East Cork area during the winter months, in fact, I've been struggling to think of places to bring Tyler Lee to give him both a fun day out and a safe space in which to spread his legs and run to his hearts content and believe me when I say that this boy can run! The beautiful beaches which I would usually take him to, as he's such a beach babe, are far too cold at the moment and I'm suffering from a cold myself which I really don't want to make any worse. I could take him to some local soft play areas but I shudder at the thought of the dirt and germs they harbour... *shudder* so when I saw the sun shining this morning and decided we were both in need of some fresh air, I got us ready and we headed to a favourite haunt of ours - Fota House and Gardens for some mother and son quality time.
|All set and ready to go on his 'lead' - tell me I'm not the only one who walks their toddler?|
|Fota House in our midst.|
|The beautiful doorway, pillars perfect for playing peek-a-boo.|
|The garden steps, such a regal feeling to this part of the garden.|
Fota Island is only five minutes from our house so it's the perfect place to go for a walk, or in Tyler Lee's case a run and it's free to go to, apart from the €3 parking fee of course, but that's for upkeep of the grounds so I'm more than happy to pay it. Fota House is such a beautiful building (although I did see today that it's in need of a sprucing up) which has even more beautiful gardens, especially during the summer but they also offer a space for little ones to run around or for people to just go for a walk through the various areas. I've never actually been inside Fota House but we plan do go there in the spring and have a look around. Apparently it's home to a ghost who flings books at people in the library - fun right?! The house does have quite a spooky feel about it and it has three pet graves which I've shown below which always give me an eerie feeling anytime I read what's on them. Fota House also has a tea room which unfortunately was closed today, shame because I really would have liked a scone!
|A view of the lake.|
|My favourite part of the garden, I want my wedding photos taken here.|
|Enchanted by the water.|
|A robin came to say hello. A robin always reminds me that a the spirit of a loved one is around so someone special in Heaven was with us on our adventure.|
|Another view of the lake.|
|More lake, in need of some spring magic me thinks!|
|He was longing for a swim, sadly I had to decline.|
We didn't walk through the whole gardens on this occasion as someone was tired... okay we were both tired, but someone (not me!) also had a tantrum halfway through so we just potted around enjoying the scenery and the fresh air. It thankfully wasn't too cold but towards the end I was dying for my car and it's heater! The gardens are so large and there's so many parts to them but we stuck to the main area which is covered in trees and bushes and features a lake which is lovely to sit by and just take in the views.
|Running ahead as always.|
|The three pet graves.|
|Such a cool name for a dog.|
|I think this name gives me an eerie feeling the most.|
|Check out those dates, over 110 years ago.|
I would highly recommend a visit to Fota House and Gardens if you're ever in the East Cork area. The gardens are exceptionally beautiful in the spring and summer but even in autumn and winter they make for a great walk and safe space to get some fresh air. The many benches dotted around the gardens also make them an idyllic place to read a book in peace or to simply sit and watch the world go by. I don't know why we haven't visit more during the colder months as it really is a great place for my boy to run around in and not get lost or be in danger of cars, etc. We were the only ones there today and it was great to have it all to ourselves. I can't wait to visit the inside of the house and get that scone another day!
|Well and truly bonded and still smiling at the end of it all, freezing but smiling nonetheless!|
Expect to see more of Fota House and Gardens on the blog in spring and summer and hopefully my boy and I will have lots more quality time enjoying the great outdoors.
Fota House and Gardens,