Johnsfort Guidebook

Richard And Bairbre
Richard And Bairbre
Johnsfort Guidebook

Sightseeing

In a tranquil, green valley in the village of Forein County Westmeath, visitors can view the site where St Fechin founded a Christian monastery in the 7th Century. It’s believed that before his death, 300 monks lived in the community. Later, the monastery was set fire 12 times. Among the remains, visitors can see St Fechin’s church, built about 900. They will also find one of the 18 Fore crosses, which are spread out over 10 kilometres on roadways and in fields. The Seven Wonders of Fore include, the monastery in the bog, the mill without a race, the water that flows uphill, the tree that has three branches/the tree that won’t burn, the water that won’t boil, the anchorite in a stone and the stone/lintel raised by St Fechin’s prayers. Nelly/Nancy Loop Walk: A new walking trail now extends across the marshland at the abbey up towards the Ben of Fore past ancient beach and oak trees and around to the local school and church. It is the first of many trails that will eventually criss-cross the whole region. Café: Jane’s Coffee Shop is well worth a visit for her delicious tannin-rich teabrack and the wonderful locally-roasted Bell Lane coffee. The shop has a select collection of local books, prints and cards for sale, including fascinating written accounts of the monastic metropolis, which at its peak had 3000 monks from right across Europe. Bars: There are two wonderful traditional bars in the village – both are iconic and definitely worthy of inclusion in the top 50 pubs in Ireland. Ita Halpin’s Seven Wonders Bar and Beatrice Coffey’s Abbey House Bar will have occasional music sessions that go on long into the night, but every single day you can be guaranteed the best of story-telling and fun if Ita and Beatrice (known as Beezie) are behind the bar.
Fore Abbey
In a tranquil, green valley in the village of Forein County Westmeath, visitors can view the site where St Fechin founded a Christian monastery in the 7th Century. It’s believed that before his death, 300 monks lived in the community. Later, the monastery was set fire 12 times. Among the remains, visitors can see St Fechin’s church, built about 900. They will also find one of the 18 Fore crosses, which are spread out over 10 kilometres on roadways and in fields. The Seven Wonders of Fore include, the monastery in the bog, the mill without a race, the water that flows uphill, the tree that has three branches/the tree that won’t burn, the water that won’t boil, the anchorite in a stone and the stone/lintel raised by St Fechin’s prayers. Nelly/Nancy Loop Walk: A new walking trail now extends across the marshland at the abbey up towards the Ben of Fore past ancient beach and oak trees and around to the local school and church. It is the first of many trails that will eventually criss-cross the whole region. Café: Jane’s Coffee Shop is well worth a visit for her delicious tannin-rich teabrack and the wonderful locally-roasted Bell Lane coffee. The shop has a select collection of local books, prints and cards for sale, including fascinating written accounts of the monastic metropolis, which at its peak had 3000 monks from right across Europe. Bars: There are two wonderful traditional bars in the village – both are iconic and definitely worthy of inclusion in the top 50 pubs in Ireland. Ita Halpin’s Seven Wonders Bar and Beatrice Coffey’s Abbey House Bar will have occasional music sessions that go on long into the night, but every single day you can be guaranteed the best of story-telling and fun if Ita and Beatrice (known as Beezie) are behind the bar.
On the very north-eastern tip of the county, this dense deciduous woodland is said to be one of the largest planted beech forests in Europe. A tangle of trails winds up past flax pits, famine fields and a booley shelter to a cairn looking out across Lough Sheelin into Cavan. At a dizzying 258m above sea-level, it’s the highest point in Co Westmeath, and you can increase that height to a vertiginous 260m by standing on your tippy toes. There are varies levels of walks and the terrain is good for a buggy or for small kids. Even on a wet day in the summer the foliage from the trees gives great shelter. Kids love it here.
Mullaghmeen Forest
On the very north-eastern tip of the county, this dense deciduous woodland is said to be one of the largest planted beech forests in Europe. A tangle of trails winds up past flax pits, famine fields and a booley shelter to a cairn looking out across Lough Sheelin into Cavan. At a dizzying 258m above sea-level, it’s the highest point in Co Westmeath, and you can increase that height to a vertiginous 260m by standing on your tippy toes. There are varies levels of walks and the terrain is good for a buggy or for small kids. Even on a wet day in the summer the foliage from the trees gives great shelter. Kids love it here.
Collinstown’s greatest amenity is the glorious blue haven of Lough Lene, which was designated Ireland’s first ever inland Blue Flag Beach in recognition of the super cleanliness of its water and the excellence of its tourist facilities, which include changing rooms, shower, toilets and ample parking. A well-maintained wooden jetty stretching out into the lake makes it an ideal swimming point, with a sandy bottom and a rope to fence it off from boats or other water vessels. On a calm day when the water looks like a vast mirror, as crystalline as any Nordic fiord, there is no finer place.
Lough Lene
Collinstown’s greatest amenity is the glorious blue haven of Lough Lene, which was designated Ireland’s first ever inland Blue Flag Beach in recognition of the super cleanliness of its water and the excellence of its tourist facilities, which include changing rooms, shower, toilets and ample parking. A well-maintained wooden jetty stretching out into the lake makes it an ideal swimming point, with a sandy bottom and a rope to fence it off from boats or other water vessels. On a calm day when the water looks like a vast mirror, as crystalline as any Nordic fiord, there is no finer place.
About 15 minute drive will bring you to one of Ireland’s greatest archaeological secrets – an array of passage tombs and cairns that are just as impressive as any in the Boyne Valley, but without an entrance fee or the sense of being on a tourist treadmill. As you approach the site, past dilapidated cottages, new bungalows, old graveyards, the ruins of an aristocratic mansion and two Medieval lime kilns, you’d be forgiven for dismissing the pair of green bellies that rise in gentle undulations from the County Meath landscape as unworthy of further attention. But in fact these hills of Carnmore East and West, preserve an extraordinary collection of ancient ceremonial sites, Neolithic artwork and some of the oldest free-standing buildings known to mankind. Loughcrew is certainly a heady place, with the remains of corbelled passage tombs scattered across the hills, which are decorated at significant points with indecipherable symbols: a profusion of concentric circles, zig-zags, swirls, cupmarks, radiating lines and coiled curls. The site offers tantalising glimpses into the lives of our ancestors from 5000 years ago, and great views across 18 counties that stretch out in all directions. At night the pole star lies directly in front of a massive rock seat, from where the cailleach (witch), Garavogue, used to monitor the cosmos. In recent years a local family have opened Nellie’s Coffee Shop in an old cottage just beneath the passage tomb. It is part of their Loughcrew Megalithic Centre which offers a good summation of the history and folklore of the site and a fine pot of tea and scones.
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Loughcrew Cairns
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About 15 minute drive will bring you to one of Ireland’s greatest archaeological secrets – an array of passage tombs and cairns that are just as impressive as any in the Boyne Valley, but without an entrance fee or the sense of being on a tourist treadmill. As you approach the site, past dilapidated cottages, new bungalows, old graveyards, the ruins of an aristocratic mansion and two Medieval lime kilns, you’d be forgiven for dismissing the pair of green bellies that rise in gentle undulations from the County Meath landscape as unworthy of further attention. But in fact these hills of Carnmore East and West, preserve an extraordinary collection of ancient ceremonial sites, Neolithic artwork and some of the oldest free-standing buildings known to mankind. Loughcrew is certainly a heady place, with the remains of corbelled passage tombs scattered across the hills, which are decorated at significant points with indecipherable symbols: a profusion of concentric circles, zig-zags, swirls, cupmarks, radiating lines and coiled curls. The site offers tantalising glimpses into the lives of our ancestors from 5000 years ago, and great views across 18 counties that stretch out in all directions. At night the pole star lies directly in front of a massive rock seat, from where the cailleach (witch), Garavogue, used to monitor the cosmos. In recent years a local family have opened Nellie’s Coffee Shop in an old cottage just beneath the passage tomb. It is part of their Loughcrew Megalithic Centre which offers a good summation of the history and folklore of the site and a fine pot of tea and scones.
Newgrange is a Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. It was built about 3,200 BC (5,200 years ago) during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. Make sure to book online a few days before you go. Newgrange pet farm is close by and can add to a great day out for young kids.
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Newgrange
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Newgrange is a Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. It was built about 3,200 BC (5,200 years ago) during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. Make sure to book online a few days before you go. Newgrange pet farm is close by and can add to a great day out for young kids.
Less than 5 kms from Johnsfort, Killua Castle has been recently renovated and restored to its former beauty. It is open to the pubic on a Saturday from 10am - 4pm for walks around the lake and the fields where you can see the deer, sheep and moiled cattle. Venison meat can be bought online from Killua Castle foods.
Killua Castle
Less than 5 kms from Johnsfort, Killua Castle has been recently renovated and restored to its former beauty. It is open to the pubic on a Saturday from 10am - 4pm for walks around the lake and the fields where you can see the deer, sheep and moiled cattle. Venison meat can be bought online from Killua Castle foods.
Trim, a designated heritage town, is renowned as one of Ireland's most beautiful towns and has something to offer everyone. With Trim Castle on its doorstep, it's a town well worth visiting and a haven of relaxation and tranquillity. Take a walk around the grounds of the castle which was used during the filming of Braveheart with Mel Gibson. Follow the River Boyne down to the ruin of Newtown Abbey and ancient burial site. This tranquil river walk commences at Trim Castle and finishes at the ruins of the 13th century town of Newtown, providing a glimpse of life in Trim in the Middle Ages. From the interpretative panels, learn more about the medieval town; life in the porchfields; medieval past-times; farming and forestry. Once you reach Newtown, retrace your steps back to the Castle. The Trim Castle River Walk takes approximately 30 minutes along well marked pathways.
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Trim Castle
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Trim, a designated heritage town, is renowned as one of Ireland's most beautiful towns and has something to offer everyone. With Trim Castle on its doorstep, it's a town well worth visiting and a haven of relaxation and tranquillity. Take a walk around the grounds of the castle which was used during the filming of Braveheart with Mel Gibson. Follow the River Boyne down to the ruin of Newtown Abbey and ancient burial site. This tranquil river walk commences at Trim Castle and finishes at the ruins of the 13th century town of Newtown, providing a glimpse of life in Trim in the Middle Ages. From the interpretative panels, learn more about the medieval town; life in the porchfields; medieval past-times; farming and forestry. Once you reach Newtown, retrace your steps back to the Castle. The Trim Castle River Walk takes approximately 30 minutes along well marked pathways.