Monday, August 06, 2018

A Day Trip to Garnish Island, Co. Cork ♥


This past weekend was such a fab one. It was one of those weekends that just felt right. It wasn't wasted away, we didn't fool-act around with our time and end up doing nothing in the end... we made plans, we stuck to them (even though we were all exhausted at one stage) and it turned into a lovely weekend to remember.

It was a weekend full of travelling and adventure in this beautiful country we call home and it was great to experience some spots that we had never laid eyes on before (despite me living here my whole 28 years...).

On Saturday we bundled the boys into the car and set forth for Glengarriff, to catch the boat across to Garnish Island. We had Googled 'gardens in West Cork' the night before and had spotted Garnish Island as a recommendation. I thought it looked like one of the nicest too, so, spurred on by the chance of amazing photo opportunities and a lovely family day out, we headed west.

Google Maps told me that Glengarriff was only 1 hour and 40 minutes away... that was a blatant lie. The road to Glengarriff is full of bends and it takes an absolute age to get there.

We took the Harbour Queen ferry across to Garnish Island - this only takes about ten minutes there and back and we were charged €30 for the trip. I honestly think this is a little steep, especially as Beau was free. It was a comfortable trip across though and we got to see some seals relaxing on the rocks there - so lovely to see them out in the wild.

The boat across was also Beau's favourite part of the whole day, as you can see by his expressions in the pictures above. His little face!

When you arrive on Garnish Island you also have to pay to get onto the island - this was €5 per adult and the kids were free. This is reasonable enough as it really is such a gorgeous place.

The island is an outdoor lovers dream, with lots of gorgeous spots to look out onto the water and gorgeous landscapes across. There are lots of 'photo opp' worthy spots on the island - the temple, the Martello tower, the walled garden and probably most famously, the Italian Garden.

One of my favourite spots on the island was the temple. Tyler and I spent a lovely quiet moment here to ourselves while Jacek went to change Beau. The temple itself looks out over the water and the landscape across. It looks gorgeous and made for a great photo opp spot - not just for us either.

All of the flowers growing there are an absolute flower lover like mes dream. So many beautiful blooms and all so well kept too.

Around the island are lots of places to sit down and rest your feet. We were there on a particularly sunny and hot day, so finding a seat in the shade was a must. Even though the island was busy, there was still lots of space to get away from everyone and enjoy the place to yourself too.

We didn't bring our buggy and although there are very steep steps in a lot of parts of the island (the steps up to the Martello tower being the steepest!), a lot of people did have buggies with them. In hindsight, it would have been handy to have ours for a very sleepy, cranky and roaring crying Beau to sleep in... alas, we were unprepared - as always.

 Just past the Martello tower is a gorgeous lookout spot with a large piece of rock to sit on and look out at the sea. There were lots of people having picnics on this and we stopped for a moment too. My heart was in my mouth looking at the boys being so close to the edge though and when Beau stood up and was wanting to walk around and follow Tyler as he was leaping about, I knew it was time to go. A harness or reigns would have been a great asset to have for him on our trip!

There's a little café on the island but I strongly recommend bringing your own food and drinks - we did, but not enough. Again, unprepared as always! The price of the food in the café was very steep - €7 for a panini, like come on!

Before we left the island we took a stroll down to Bryce House, which is open to the public via a tour, which we skipped - screaming toddler and all that. The outside of it was dreamy though.

The last place we visited on the island was the gorgeous walled garden. The gates to get in on either side are so ornate and so beautiful. The hedgerows were in full bloom and it was just a stunning place to walk through.

Before our ferry back to the mainland arrived we had time to sit and soak up the last beautiful views from Garnish Island. The Harbour Queen ferry goes every half hour and we didn't have much waiting time at all - helpful as Beau was well and truly fed up by home time.

It was such a magical day - even through Beau's screaming... It was lovely to explore a new place in the most beautiful surroundings with the people I love most in the world.

I love that our home county has jewels like this nestled into it waiting to be explored and I'm already looking forward to our next adventure - where we will most definitely be remember to pack Beau's beloved teddy, and extra drinks, and a whole host of snacks and perhaps the buggy too!
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