Recently I went off to explore Leitrim with the lovely Nuala from Tawnylust Lodge as part of my Wild Atlantic Wayfarer project. It really is a great idea to have a local guide with you if you aren’t sure what to see or where to go. Nuala was very knowledgable about the area and took me to see some places I’d never heard of before and certainly wouldn’t have found without her.
I saw some really beautiful places on our journey around Leitrim. The two photos above were taken at the Glenfarne Demesne which is situated on the shores of Lough MacNean. The lake marks the border of Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh. It’s a really beautiful area with lovely forest walks and a sculpture trail. The Demesne used to be owned by the Tottenhams who had a house there, although now only ruins remain and the forest belongs to Coillte.
“Reflectress” is one of the sculptures, it’s by Anna Macleod and is sited at Ladies Rest, where the ladies of Tottenham Hall used come to swim and relax. The sculpture represents the hooped skirts of the period and the glass panels echo the colour of the water.
After our visit to the forest and lake we went to The Rainbow Ballroom – The Ballroom of Romance. The Ballroom first opened it’s doors in 1934 and over the years many dances were held there and various show bands and bands played there including The Dubliners. It’s recently been refurbished and looks lovely.
Another stop on my tour of Leitrim was Fowley Falls. I did get there before (and got drenched). It really is stunning place and one that not many people know about. Nuala was telling me that she does guided walks of Leitrim plus she is involved in ‘Big Days Out in Leitrim’ – which I think is a great idea.
We also stopped off at the Ballagh Centre, which is a thriving community centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim. It’s an old restored Church of Ireland chapel and it has the most beautiful stained glass windows that I’ve ever seen. The windows were created by Sharon and Maureen Byrne.
Next stop was Lisdarush Ring Fort which is an Iron Age Fort – I would never have found this without Nuala. It is signposted from the main road but when you get to the lane it’s located on there isn’t a mention of it. The views from it are beautiful.
We also visited Kiltyclogher, which is a place I’ve never been to before. There is a holiday centre there so if you are looking for a clean, reasonably priced place to stay in lovely Leitrim this might be for you.
Seán Mac Diarmada was born in Kiltyclogher, he was an Irish political activist and revolutionary leader. He was one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. He was executed in Kilmainham in 1916. He statue is in the centre of the village.
Sean Mac Diarmada’s homestead is just outside Kiltyclogher village and is open to the public by appointment.
After my tour of Leitrim we headed back to Tawnylust Lodge for a quick cuppa. The lodge is in a beautiful location with stunning views, it’s a really peaceful place. My sincere thanks to Nuala for being such a great guide and very generous with her time.