I wrote this piece and took the accompanying images for Offaly Tourism
Fairy Trails in Offaly
Ireland, long recognised as the land of leprechauns, is currently discovering it’s long lost fairy heritage. The little winged folk have been making themselves much more visible of late and have been inviting us humans to catch a glimpse of their mystical world. There are at least four known fairy trails in Offaly with more being ‘discovered’ by families whilst out walking.
Lough Boora Parklands, Boora
The fairy trail at Lough Boora Parklands will take you along a magical journey down ‘Fairy Avenue’. The wishing seat is one of the first things you will stumble upon where you can close your eyes and wish for the stars. There are fairy families living throughout the forest and they are very house proud with their brightly painted front doors. Each fairy has a name with a different meaning and the children love to learn about the different characters living along ‘Fairy Avenue’. For anxious humans of any size, the fairies have built a special worry plaque where you can leave all of your concerns behind.
‘Fairy Avenue’ is ever evolving and just because you have been there before, does not mean that you have seen it all. The fairies are constantly adding to their fairy village. There is a beautiful woodland walk nearby that leads to the Fairy Ringfort. However, even if you never saw a fairy or a fairy door, Lough Boora Parklands is a beautiful calm place to wander around for the afternoon and it’s free!
Some fairies are more flamboyant than others. At the walled garden of the County Arms Hotel, for example, you will really have to look hard for them. Nevertheless, they keep their little homes immaculately. They are very skilfully made with intricate details that only tiny hands could craft.
Charleville Castle Estate
All the way along the avenue which leads to Charleville Castle, you may notice tiny fairy homes up high in the trees. These fairies are shy though so you will have to look out for them. About half way to the castle is a large fairy home with a dazzling red door, perhaps suggesting the home of a VIP fairy!
Very close to the castle there are more fairy doors with winding staircases leading to them. Some of the homes have dormer windows! These fairy homes are a little camouflaged so again they may not be very easy to find but the fun is in the searching!
Kilmurry Bog Walk Nature Trail
Off the beaten track a little, it is located six miles from Tullamore, very close to Kilmurray Cross.
This bog walk and fairy trail is so relaxing and tranquil. The fairies who live here are very lucky!They have so many places to hide and play. It is fairy heaven here. There are so many little things along the way for the children to play with and explore. These fairies are very industrious indeed! They even built themselves a rope bridge to get from tree to tree. Maybe sometimes they need to rest their wings.
You won’t just find fairy homes here. These fairies also have a great sense of humour and have planted little surprises everywhere for us! You won’t be disappointed and your children will absolutely love it here.