Ireland

After our Camping experience we really wanted to stay in a cottage. We looked around and realised that cottages can be very expensive, traditional ones anyway. We looked on Wowcher and came across a 3 night break for Lakeside Cottages in Drumcong Ireland. It was £140 for upto 8 people and because we would have splitting the price I thought it was a good deal. I briefly looked into flights and saw that flights would not have been expensive either so we went ahead with the booking.

After booking we realised we needed car hire. Now that was stress, for someone who has never hired a car before, reading terms and conditions, then negative reviews it was bound to hurt my head. I looked into transfers and that was a myth. I looked into public transport and that was non-existent. Eventually after weeks of trying to get my head around understanding car hire we tried to book. Just our luck we went to book and the cars had sold out. With other companies we had to have our licence for longer for a 7 seater so in the end we didn’t hire a car and to be honest although a car is essential we managed without it.

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We took coach from London Victoria Coach station to Luton airport, I missed my coach but luckily I was able to get on the next one which was 20 minutes after. I’ve never flown from Luton airport but it was a good experience, security was quick and we had Frankie and Benny’s for breakfast. From Luton we flew with Ryanair to Knock airport which was the closest airport to the cottage. Again I’ve never flown with Ryanair but it was good I would definatly travel with them again. At the airport we picked up a cab. The drive was one hour and it cost us 100 euro for a 9 seater. We got to the cottage and it was beautiful. Check in was from 3pm but we got there around 1 and the cleaner was cleaning and said she would let us in straight away. That was a nice touch as we had been travelling for a while. It was a 4 bedroom cottage with a master bedroom with an en suit. Upstairs had 2 double bedroom with double beds. Downstairs had 2 bedrooms with two single beds, a bathroom, kitchen, lounge area and dining area. The cottage was very spacious with enough room for the 3 boys to run around in.

We met Chris who runs the Lakeside activities, he was so friendly and informative. He showed us how the appliances worked inside the cottage and told us about local attractions and things to do. He called a cab for us so we went shopping and brought enough food for the days we was there as there was no local shops if we were to run out of milk. Cab was 30 euros return for a mini van.

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We went shopping, came back and cooked, got into PJs and put the fire on. I am good at making fires now so this was so fun! Having an open fire while playing board games was so cosy. The cottage had gas and electric and surprisingly we didn’t need to use that much gas. For the 3 nights we was there we spent 35 euros on gas an electric, I think that is reasonable. We put it on for about one hour in the evenings and then in the mornings to take the chill off the cottage while we got ready. Overall the first day was productive and fun.

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The day morning we met Chris and he took us out on the Lake. It was a foggy day but that didn’t stop us. For one hour and 30 mins it cost 35 euros for all of us. Chris was very informative and friendly. He told us a lot about the lake and history and took us to some beautiful areas. Thank you Chris everyone said the boat was the best part of the holiday.

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Every time we went under a bridge the boys would scream so they could hear their voice echo. They would spot the bridge from far and count down till they got to scream. Boys ay!

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We went on some narrow paths, it was really nice, it reminded me of Venice. The air was so fresh and it was refreshing seeing all the greenery. We saw cows, horses and sheep just roaming and eating grass. I was wondering how they didn’t fall into the water. Lough Scur lake was huge and beautiful I would recommend anyone who stays in these cottages to take a boat on the lake. After the lake adventure we went back to the cottage and had some lunch. Then we went on our evening walk.

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We set out for our walk and didn’t know what to expect. First of all we walked between the fence and got to a dead-end so we had to walk back and walk along the road.

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The boys enjoyed walking here, I was a little bit scared at first because cars drive at 80mph and there is no pavement. Every time we heard a car we would stop but the cars would indicate and go around us so that was comforting.

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Along the way we saw cows.

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Sheep, they kept running away from the boys.

 

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We walked around the lake, we saw people fishing and camping. We walked in the forest and stood by the lake watching the sun set.

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After the sun disappeared behind the clouds we walked back to the cottage. We cooked dinner, put our PJ’s on and watched DVDs by the fire. The cottage had a TV, sky with freeview channels and a DVD player which was good because the boys brought portable DVD players so had DVDs that we could watch on the TV together.

The next day we set of to Carrick on Shannon. We were supposed to go to Lough Key Forest Park but it was a bit further out than Carrick on Shannon and a few of the attractions there was closed so instead we decided to go into town to see the difference between being in the rural part of Leitrim compared to the town.

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It was raining when we set off but after 20 minutes it stopped. We walked around Shannon River it was lovely.

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We walked across the bridge where we saw lots of ducks.

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We got to the end of the walk and I was a little bit disappointed. I expected a bit more more. We tried to find walking tours on our phones, we found one which took us by a shopping area, a school, a church and down towards the town. It was interesting to see how different their schools and buses are to the UK. Overall the walk got better towards the end.

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I find it amazing that horses, sheep and cows just roam free. After out walk we went souvenir shopping. There wasn’t much variety in the two shops we saw so we didn’t bother getting anything. It was a very small town with only a few shops so we decided to head back. I wanted to go to a pub and get some Guinness so we headed to The Lakeside Tavern which was highly recommended, unfortunately his wife was on a course in Dublin that day so there was no food. We walked back to the cottage and it was a very beautiful, very refreshing and picturesque. We got back to the cottage, put the fire on and ordered an Indian, we had another games night.

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Overall Knock Ireland is a beautiful rual area. Everyone is so friendly and trustworthy. Animals are free and in their natural habitat. It was a nice breath of fresh air to get away for a few days. Staying in a cottage was brilliant. So nice and cosy. Ireland you was good to us, next time we will be back with a car!

 

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