My perfect family afternoon - Coole Park Nature Reserve

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My perfect family afternoon - Coole Park Nature Reserve

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  • For a great lunch before you go to Coole Park Nature Reserve, Coopers Bar & Lounge is a little gem - casual, relaxed and delicious.
  • Pack the car with your scooters or bikes for the children and travel 30KM to Coole Park Nature Reserve located in South County Galway just 4km north-west of the town of Gort.
  • There are two waymarked trails at Coole Park Nature Reserve. Maps are located onsite beside the two car parks or can be downloaded from their website.
  • A site leaflet which provides information on various aspects of the ecology and history of the reserve is available at the visitor centre.
  • The “Family Trail” is an easy 1.75 km walk, taking you past the site where the house once stood and through the walled garden to see the Autograph Tree, with initials of many of the famous writers who visited Coole when Lady Gregory lived there. It continues through the woodland and overlooks the river and turlough. The trail finishes at the Visitor Centre passing the Red deer enclosure on the way.
  • The “Seven Woods Trail” is 4.5km and connects the different woods made famous in poetry by W.B. Yeats. The walk leads you past a viewing point for Coole Lake and the great expanse of wetland. The trail takes you deeper into the woodland and along the way you will also pass remnants of the built heritage of Coole, such as the stable yard, stone walls first built in the 18th century and a limekiln. Depending on the season, you might spot bluebells, primroses and violets, jays and treecreepers, red squirrels and stoats, butterflies and dragonflies, or swans and other wetland birds.
  • The Coole Park Tea Rooms offer delicious local and seasonal meals, scrumptious cakes and a warm, cosy atmosphere, full of old-world charm
  • If you travel on Saturday, stop at Ardrahan Farmers Market
  • There is a lovely gourmet coffee shop Poppy Seed in Clarinbridge who will even pack a takeaway sandwich or sweet treat for you.
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