Friday, April 07, 2017

Exploring Ireland | Doneraile Park, Co. Cork ♥

When Tyler was a baby I began a series on the blog called 'Guide of Ireland', as a place to document all our travels and adventures around the country. I've decided to give this series a new lease of life and a new name - Exploring Ireland, as this is something I always tag my pictures with on Instagram and it's perfect for what we do - explore the country we're in, whenever we get the chance to.

Anytime Jacek has a day off we try and go somewhere as a family and whether it be a trip to the woods just down the road or a long drive to pastures further afield, we're always exploring and looking for new places.

I love going to these places as it really inspires my photography. I love capturing pictures of the beautiful nature we have here in Ireland and sharing my pictures on Instagram to show just how much of a fairytale Ireland can be - even with the rain! I also think it's good for the kids to get out and about and get as much fresh air as possible, as well as visiting new places with their father and I - I think it'll be these days out that they'll remember fondly when they're all grown up.

Last Sunday we ventured further afield to north Cork county and to a place none of us had ever been before, Doneraile Park. I have to admit, I was too keen on visiting Doneraile Park before we actually went. I had looked up pictures of it on Instagram and online and it didn't seem all that appealing, it just all seemed to be grass and trees, but I was pleasantly surprised and I've learnt to not judge something based on other people's images anymore and instead, to go and experience it all for myself and then form my opinion.

The first thing we saw when we got to Doneraile Park was the brilliant playground they have there, as it's conveniently (or not so convenient if you actually want to explore and your kids just want to stay at the playground all day!) by the car park. Tyler loved the playground and had his first ever go on a zip line there, Beau was able to go on the baby swings and it was great that the playground offered something for both boys. There's also a wooden train there that Tyler couldn't get enough of.

After half an hour at the playground it was agreed that we'd go explore and let Tyler go to the playground again before we set off for home. We decided to to the 5k walk, but we never actually got around to it after I stopped to take pictures of Beau amongst the buttercups and a lovely and very informative old man told us the history of the park and the best spots to visit there.

Instead we ventured back past the playground, walking along by the river and making our way up past Doneraile Court - a beautiful old house which used to be the residence of the St. Ledger family, and to the beautiful gardener's cottages and the garden behind them. I have to admit, the garden was a bit neglected here, but the 'maze' hedgerows and weeds made for great fun for the boys - it's the little things in life!

From there we walked through some woodland, with the strong scent of wild garlic in our noses. The old man I had spoken to earlier in the day told me that chefs from all over Ireland went to Doneraile to pick this wild garlic and that it was the best of the best. He also told me that it'd be flowering with white, purple and red flowers in about two weeks time, so Jacek is adamant that we have to go back.

Our walk through there brought us to a lovely lane, which had daffodils and gorgeous blue flowers dotted on the sides. In the field beside this lane were a heard of fawns, it was so lovely to see. We just had to stop for pictures here, it was too gorgeous not to and with the lake in the distance and it's swans, it was such a picturesque setting.

At this stage the kids were getting a bit tired and cranky so we decided to head back to the playground, let them play and stock up on snacks and then head home.

We had such a fab time at Doneraile Park and as I said, we're already planning to go back within the next two weeks. It's free to visit - which is great for families as I know of other places that are quite expensive for families to visit...

The park also has toilets and tea rooms, so it really does have everything to keep everyone happy throughout the day.

On our next visit I'm adamant that we have to do the 5k walk. It'd be a shame not to, as the walks at Doneraile are so buggy friendly.

I highly recommend a visit to Doneraile Park if you're looking for somewhere free to go with kids, have a walk, let them play and explore the nature around you.

35 comments

  1. We are headed over to visit Ireland this May and I can hardly wait. We are going back to the village my ancestors came from. Your photos are beautiful.

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  2. I've always wanted to visit Ireland. The landscape does look like a fairytale and the photos are amazing. Maybe one day I'll get to see it all for myself. Beautiful!

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  3. Ireland is on my bucket list! That park really does look like a fairyland. I'm going to pretend that I live in that house! Your photos are gorgeous, and the kids are adorable.

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  4. Ireland is in the works in the next couple of years for our family to try that too. This place looks beautiful I cannot wait to explore Ireland.

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  5. Incredible photos! Looks like an amazing place to visit, especially with children!

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  6. These photos of your baby in the flowers are just precious. The first one made me giggle :) :)

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  7. Ireland is beautiful, I have always wanted to go. I love the Pooh overalls too. Pooh is my favorite!

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  8. What beautiful photos. I love that you explore the country and capture the moments. So nice!

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  9. What beautiful photos!! I have only ever visited Ireland once, to Dublin on a hen weekend, so as you can imagine I didn't get to see any of the beautiful countryside! I do keep saying we should have a trip over there, one of these days!

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  10. I would love to visit Ireland one day! You have a gorgeous family and take lovely photos.

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  11. My husband adores Ireland but I have never been. Hopefully we will get to visit this year

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  12. Ireland is at the top of my travel bucket list. These pictures make me want to jump on a plane to Ireland right this minute! It's gorgeous!

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  13. That place is beautiful and the pictures that you took were stunning. You kids are adorable.

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  14. Oh my word. What gorgeous flowers! I would love to visit Ireland one day and you have made me want to more!

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  15. This place looks lovely, and I'm sure your photos lend to the beauty of it - so many beautiful captures! It sounds like you had a wonderful family day out, and how lovely of the man to tell you all about history; I love when that kind of stuff happens. #SundayBest

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  16. It's beautiful out there! I've never been to Ireland but I sure would love to visit someday. I love the weather as well, it's perfect for spending the day outside.

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  17. These pics are seriously magical. This is the one place I want to take the kids if I ever get the nerve to fly them overseas! Maybe when the twins are a bit older...

    #sundaybest

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  18. Look at those photos!! Amazing. I'd love to visit Ireland so I'll keep this beautiful place in mind #SundayBest

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  19. It looks so beautiful! You take the best photos :) #SundayBest

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  20. Oh Fiona these photos are absolutely stunning! I always look out for your photos, they're fab. I've wanted to go to Ireland for as long as I can remember and this post just makes me want to go even more! x #sundaybest

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  21. Had another look for #sundaybest definitely somewhere I'd like to visit

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  22. Lovely pictures, and I'm very envious of your children amazing curls really beautiful.
    #sundaybest

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  23. You take fantastic photos and have shown off Doneraile Park in all its glory. The children look like they are having fun x

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  24. Ireland is beautiful! I want so much to be able to visit someday and explore its beauty too. Your kids are so cute. The photo of your little one sitting amidst those pretty flowers is picture-perfect!

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  25. Wow, the colors of Spring are beautiful! That green takes my breathe away! Those little ones are the absolute cutest!

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  26. Another must-visit country for me. I love your pictures, your kids are super adorable! Looks like you almost own the place for a while. - ANOSA

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  27. These pictures are truly adorable, they put a smile on my face. I think you're doing an amazing thing for the kids and yourselves, by exploring new outdoor places whenever you can.

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  28. Your kids curly hair is so cute. Lovely photos!

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  29. Love the smell of wild garlic. These pictures are absolutely stunning. All of them. I hope some are making their way to your wall x

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  30. I so need to visit Ireland soon! Looks amazing. Lovely pics of your little ones. #SundayBest

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  31. Wow, what beautiful surroundings and the little ones are just so adorable!

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  32. Great photos! I dream of going to Ireland too. Must be a happy country. I love your adorable kids on those photos.

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  33. What absolutely stunning photos. I lived in Ireland for a bit. I don't remember it being this beautiful. Pen x #SundayBest

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  34. Wow. Really amazing photos. You really captured the spirit of the place. #SundayBest

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