TOP 5 FAIRY TRAILS IN WEST CORK

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - STAYCATION -

1. Dromil­lihy Woods, Leap

A fairy trail has sprung up in the Dromil­lihy Woods near Leap. Over 15 thought­ful in­stal­la­tions have been spread out over the main 40 minute ‘Cell­mount’ loop­walk. May is a mag­i­cal time to visit as the for­est is car­peted in blue­bells.

2. Inish Beg Es­tate, Bal­ti­more

The fairy houses at Inish Beg are set in the splen­did 97 acre es­tate of which 42 acres are bird­song-filled wood­lands. Walk­ing the fairy trail­which is sit­u­ated in the west wood­land gar­den -is a truly mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence of tree ferns, bam­boo, ponds and bird hides. www.in­ish­beg.com

3. Drom­keen Woods, Inis­han­non

The Ad­der­ley Walk which be­gins at the main carpark at the Drom­keen Woods is a lovely mod­er­ate 20 minute loop walk and has a lot of fairy houses to dis­cover. The woods have a lovely an­cient feel to them and were first planted by Thomas Ad­der­ley in 1740, al­though a large por­tion of them were felled be­fore the sec­ond world war

and new ones planted. A colour­ful for­est to visit with beau­ti­ful views of the Ban­don River be­low.

4. Ri­neen Woods, Union Hall

Ri­neen woods have the most authentic trail of fairy houses and it is de­light­ful to hear cries of chil­dren through the woods ‘I found one’ – the fairy doors of­fer a lovely di­men­sion into a fam­ily stroll and small peo­ple love to bring lit­tle of­fer­ings such as beads and but­tons to leave as gifts for the fairies.

5. Mill’s Inn, Bal­lyvour­ney

Just over the River Sul­lane from the for­est walk­ways, is a lit­tle Fairy Vil­lage in a gar­den be­side the Mill’s Inn on the Main Road. Set in a square for­mat, chil­dren can dis­cover many dif­fer­ent fairy houses at many dif­fer­ent heights – some of the low­est dwelling fairies, as well as some of the high­est. Also, a fairy house big enough to fit in­side is a great find if you look hard enough.

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