On Saturday I went to Belvedere House and gardens, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. I got there just after 9.30am when it opened…I should have realised it’s ‘Irish time’, so I was waiting for about ten minutes to pay to get in. It’s €8.75 an adult, €4.75 for children and €24.00 fo a family of two adults and two children. There was only me so it wasn’t too expensive.
There is quite a lot of walking involved so it was great I got a dry day. The woodland trails reminded me a lot of Hazelwood here in Sligo.
A lot of the trail featured ‘Narnia’ to be honest it wasn’t really Narnia just a few stone ornaments and the Witches Dungeon was an Ice House. I think I was expecting people acting out Narnia I didn’t see a lion, a witch or a wardrobe.
The signs and the map were very confusing. I was following signs back to the visitor centre and realised I was seeing the same things and was going around in a circle! No surprise for me there because I’m always getting lost but better signs would be great. Luckily some walkers pointed me in the right direction and said the signs were very mis-leading.
I found my way back eventually and went around the tour of the house. There were no members of staff around so no one to tell you anything about it. There were some explanations in some of the rooms. It wasn’t great to be honest, the house felt sad
The Jealous Wall is the largest folly in Ireland. The story goes that ‘The Jealous Wall’ was built by Robert Rochfort, the owner of Belvedere House (15402615) and a man of notorious cruelty, to obscure his view of and the view from his brother George’s enormous Palladian pile, Tudenham Park, the shell of which can be found a short distance to the south.
The walled garden was just something else. A really beautiful place with all types of plants and flowers. It was very quiet when I was there so the only sounds were the bees going about their business.
After a few hours at Belvedere House and Gardens I headed back to Mullingar. I would recommend it if you happened to be in Mullingar, I would travel especially to see the place although I would really recommend it for photographers. Don’t bother with the house though….it’s not great, the gardens are much nicer.
Mullingar is a nice town to have a look around too. I liked seeing the Joe Dolan statue. The people in the town seemed really friendly and there were some nice shops The rest of my photos are here.