Blogger Templates

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just Ireland

Bellevue Folly - Glen of the Downs
Usually my photos of Ireland are on the periphery of my blog but I have been on holiday for part of this week and we have been out and about during the day.

On Wednesday we went to the beach at Brittas Bay (County Wicklow) - a long expanse of sand and sea with enough space that it never seems crowded.  The sea was very flat (the east coast of Ireland does not have a lot of waves) but still great for swimming .

Brittas Bay

Brittas Bay

Brittas Bay

(New woodland walk posted 1Nov 2011 - Crone Forest towards Powerscourt Waterfall )

Yesterday we went for a walk at Glen of the Downs, a nature reserve also nearby in County Wicklow with some nice easy walking trails.  After Glendalough (posted 25 Sept 2011) /which can't be topped for sheer grandeur and mystical atmosphere, Glen of the Downs is my favourite forest walk.  Its not difficult to believe that there are fairies peeping out at you as you pass by, or that someone like Merlin is pottering around close by.  The trees are beautiful, like living pieces of sculpture.

Glen of the Downs

Glen of the Downs

Glen of the Downs

Glen of the Downs

Glen of the Downs

Flowers growing wild - Glen of the Downs 
I don't know what these flowers are but they are beautiful.  They reminded me a bit of a fuchsia but I don't think they are the same family.  The colours were lovely with their combination of dusky mauve and white.


'Elephant' Tree 

My son Ryan thought this tree looked just like an elephant. The photo didn't come out all that well but you can see his trunk and just make out his eye.


Glen of the Downs

Entrance to the Bellevue Folly - Glen of the Downs 

Bellevue Folly - Glen of the Downs
In the 1700's this forest was part of an estate owned by a French nobleman.  When he first came to the area he was so taken by its beauty that he built a house here and called the estate Bellevue (beautiful view).   Near to his elegant Georgian home (which overlooks the sea) he built this folly.  Apparently he held candlelit banquets here with liveried footmen and musicians playing nearby.

Bellevue Folly - Glen of the Downs


Glen of the Downs
I love trees and must have taken nearly 100 photographs yesterday (and this is not our first visit - I've been here 4 times before.) Eventually in exasperation John (my long suffering husband) was compelled to comment 'I thought the idea was that we were here for a walk!'

Glen of the Downs

Glen of the Downs -stream near car park
Glen of the Downs
 
Glen of the Downs - Picnic Sign

And finally this was John's photographic contribution.  He was really tickled by these signs on the picnic tables next to the car park.

2 comments:

SuzyQ said...

This was extremely useful for our walking group as we had always been mystified by the history of the Folly. But how come the reference to the Sea? Surely it's a good way away?

Sharon's Sunlit Memories said...

Hi SuzyQ - I think what I was trying to convey was that the Bellevue manor house was built on the slope of the hill facing towards the sea as opposed to the inland side.

If you want to read more about the house, estate and family I found this site quite interesting - http://homepage.eircom.net/~latouche/History.htm
The paragraph on the house begins:
'The estate at Ballydonagh comprised 300 acres, with fine views across the Glen of the Downs and towards the Irish Sea. David the Second built his favourite country retreat here between 1754-56, at a cost of £30,000, and called it Bellevue.'

Link/within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...