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The Powerscourt Blog

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – July 2018

Posted by Catherine Day on Jul 20, 2018 3:16:29 PM

The Walled Garden at Powerscourt Estate and Gardens was the beautiful setting for the return of Chapterhouse Theatre to Ireland this weekend, for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of Mad Hatter madness with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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The atmosphere was wonderful with families of all generations spread out on picnic blankets, smiling and laughing, with the odd shower of rain that no one minded. This new telling of an old classic, with songs and puppetry, is a trademark of Chapterhouse Theatre and its brilliant cast of young actors. The show itself was very funny and engaging and watching Alice and her adventure in such a beautiful setting made it impossible to not be taken away and drawn into the story telling. Kids were enthralled to be invited to the Mad Hatters Tea Party and roared with laughter at some of characters.

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The interval allows time for a visit to Avoca to buy snacks, drinks or ice creams. Its an incredibly relaxing setting and I would highly recommend outside theatre productions as an introduction to any new theatre goers. The Walled Garden is an intimate, safe and welcoming environment and included in the ticket price is free entry to the world class Powerscourt Gardens.

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Make sure you come and see them next summer – a really lovely afternoon going down the rabbithole with Alice.

 
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Topics: Events, Powerscourt Gardens, Chapterhouse Theatre, Alice in Wonderland, Powerscourt Estate

Making the World Mobility Friendly

Posted by Lucy Wyndham on Jun 14, 2018 1:20:22 PM

Access For All At Powerscourt Estate

Everyone at Powerscourt Estate was enormously proud when National Geographic voted the gardens the third best in the entire world. When you consider the other spectacular sights that form the National Geographic top ten, it gives you an inkling of just how special the gardens at Powerscourt really are.

With that in mind, it has always been top of the agenda to ensure the beauty and majesty of the gardens, not to mention the other attractions at Powerscourt, can be enjoyed by everyone. Providing access to all, regardless of mobility issues is a topic that is rightfully attracting more and more attention across the globe. At Powerscourt, it is something we have been working on for a number of years and has resulted in the house and gardens being ranked among the best on Ireland’s Mobility Mojo website.

Visiting the waterfall by wheelchair

At 121 metres (398 feet) Powerscourt waterfall is the highest in Ireland. It, and the scenic river walk leading up to it are among the most popular visitor attractions in the country and the waterfall makes the perfect backdrop for a picnic on a summer’s day. If the word “walk” causes concern, don’t let it. The path to the waterfall is wide and easily traversed by wheelchair, and you can even drive the car right next to the waterfall itself - it means even those with the most severe mobility challenges can enjoy its beauty.

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House and shop

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Powerscourt House might have a history dating back 800 years, but it is completely modern when it comes to meeting mobility needs. Wheelchair users can be dropped off at the door, and the house is fully accessible. There are disabled toilets throughout, and there is even a lift to allow those in wheelchairs to get up to the ballroom. The cafe and shop are similarly easy to access, and there are even wheelchairs available for use on the day - booking in advance is recommended, just to be on the safe side.

 

 

The Gardens

So what of those magnificent gardens that received such an accolade? There are some areas that have steep steps, but these need not detract from anyone and everyone’s ability to enjoy the gardens at Powerscourt to the full. A clearly marked disabled route will guide wheelchair users around the property and ensure they do not miss a thing.

 

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A right, not a privilege

The ability to access and enjoy facilities is a basic right that applies to everyone, regardless of their mobility. This is a principle that is taken deadly seriously at Powerscourt, and you can be sure that whatever your personal circumstances, you will be able to enjoy everything this historic estate has to offer.

More information on our accessibility is available on our website at: https://powerscourt.com/plan-your-visit/accessibility

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Topics: Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt House, Powerscourt Waterfall, Accessiblity, Mobility

Snowy Mother’s Day at the Powerscourt Waterfall

Posted by Catherine Day on Mar 14, 2018 9:02:00 AM

We didn’t expect to still find snow at the Powerscourt Waterfall. After all, a week after Ireland’s heaviest snow event in a decade, the white stuff was already long gone from our seaside town.

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Yet only a few kilometres inland, in the Wicklow Mountains, the narrow windy roads were swamped with gushing melt water and lined with piles of dirty snow left by the clearing operations.

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On that mild, damp Mother’s Day, the acorns were dressed for the weather, wearing their full rain gear and their wellies, as they like wading in the river. But no gloves to play in the snow at the Powerscourt Waterfall!

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Following the obligatory first stage at the wonderful playground, we made our way to the waterfall. The vast picnic field around it was all but flooded under deep banks of melting snow. Not to be deterred by the icy temperature, the acorns literally filled their boots jumping and running through the slushy puddles.

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The highest waterfall in Ireland, heavy with melt water from the Wicklow Mountains, was more powerful than we’ve ever seen it, roaring and crashing and spraying the swollen river in a thick veil of mist.

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Further downstream, the acorns had a snowball fight with Brian, gloves or no gloves! They raced clumps of snow through a drainpipe under the path, checking how much had melted when they reached the other side.

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Finally, it took a huge team effort to lift a heavy lump of snow off the riverbank and into the fast-flowing water. As it slowly melted away in the current, we followed it downstream all the way to the little wooden bridge that we discovered on our previous visit, last October.

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With the trails beyond the bridge still closed due to the snow, we made our way back to the car. Winter certainly lingers in Wicklow, but seeing the acorns happily play in the snow at the Powerscourt Waterfall was the ideal Mother’s Day gift!

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About the Guest Blogger

Annette is French, married to an Irish man, and they live in Wicklow with their four bilingual children. She blogs in English and French at Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chêne to inspire families to unplug, go outside and reconnect with nature and with each other. http://www.fouracorns.ie

 

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Topics: Powerscourt Waterfall, Powerscourt Estate, Four Acorns, Snow 2018

The Gardens at Christmas

Posted by Catherine Day on Jan 2, 2018 11:53:00 AM

The Gardens at Powerscourt are beautiful at any time of year, but the chaning seasons adds another dimension. Kerry Gordon, a regular guest blogger for us, captures the beauty of the Gardens in the winter sun before the new year sets in.

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The house, shining in the golden sunlight, is reflected in the detailed gilding of the gates.

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The pond around the Japanese Gardens looks frozen in the shaded garden.

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Triton Lake glistens while the winged horse rises into the fading daylight.

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Late afternoon shadows stretch to the golden hued house.

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The upper terrace casts its shadows.

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Headed home...

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Topics: Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt Estate, Guest Blog

Launch of the book ‘Powerscourt Golf Club – Celebrating 20 Years’

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Nov 13, 2017 1:08:59 PM

The members and friends of Powerscourt Golf Club recently gathered to mark the publication of a book celebrating the club’s 20 years of success and to toast its next 20 years. MC on the day was television & radio presenter Craig Doyle, a Powerscourt member.

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A portrait of the Late Dr. Michael Slazenger, Chairman and Chief Executive of Powerscourt Estate, who oversaw the development of the 2 golf courses at Powerscourt.

Powerscourt Golf Club is in one magnificent setting in beautiful County Wicklow with two championship golf courses. The book tells more of its story.

The book is dedicated to the late Dr Michael Slazenger, Chairman and Chief Executive of Powerscourt Estate, who oversaw the development of the 2 golf courses at Powerscourt.

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Sarah Slazenger – Managing Director of Powerscourt Estate is presented with copy of the 20th Anniversary Book by past Lady Captain Brenda Quinlan.

His vision, in its brilliance, and his venture, in its boldness, has produced a timeless legacy. This legacy and inheritance has been carefully nurtured by many people for more than 20 years.

The book is a celebration of members, past and present. It is also a celebration of a community and the strong links forged with other communities.

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Fellow PGA Golf Professional Paul Thompson and Jacqui Farrell are presented with a copy of the Powerscourt Golf Club 20th Anniversary Book by Golf Club Manager Gavin Hunt. This is to celebrate their own 20 years at Powerscourt Golf Club, since its opening in 2006.

The book is big in ambition with more than 240 pages, more than 900 photographs, provided by almost 100 contributors. It is full of intimate insights on the Club’s key developments shared by the owners and management. Also, all the Captains and a great number of members offered their own delightful personal anecdotes and stories.

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President Joe Duignan receives a copy of the Powerscourt Golf Club 20th Anniversary Book from John Power – Chairman of the Book Committee.

These stories are worth telling, as much as they are well told. Copies of the book are available at Powerscourt Golf Club.

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2017 Captains Paddy Boyle & Christine O’Neill make a presentation to 20th Anniversary Captains Aidan Daly & Aedamar Dunne.

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Tom Clarke, Director of Powerscourt Estate and retired former General Manager is presented with a copy of the 20th Anniversary Book by Fellow PGA Golf Professional Paul Thompson. Tom has been involved with Powerscourt Estate for the past 56 years. 

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20th Anniversary Lady Captain Aedamar Dunne receives the Powerscourt Golf Club 20th Anniversary Book from 2017 Lady Captain Christine O’Neill.

 

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Topics: Powerscourt Golf Club, Powerscourt Estate

Powerful Powerscourt celebrates record visitor numbers

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jun 28, 2017 10:15:00 AM

Powerscourt Estate is celebrating record visitor numbers in 2016 as 467,000 guests visited Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall over the past 12 months. This represents a +14% increase on 2016 visitor numbers and confirms Powerscourt Estate’s place as the most visited paid tourist attraction in County Wicklow. 271,000 people visited Powerscourt Gardens in 2016, up +9% over the previous year, while visitors to Powerscourt Waterfall were up by +21% at 195,000.

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These strong results place Powerscourt Estate as the 9th most popular tourism destination in Ireland according to Failte Ireland’s recent list of the best performing tourist attractions. The Guinness Storehouse and the Cliffs of Moher are the top 2 tourism attractions in the country.

Visitors from Ireland to Powerscourt Gardens were up by +34% while visitors from China grew by 47%, making them the third-most important market in terms of visitors to the gardens.

Powerscourt is a popular location for TV series and films. Productions shot on the estate over the past year include the historical drama ‘Vikings’ and BBC spin-off, ‘Kat & Alfie: Redwater.’ Travel and lifestyle programmes recently filmed at Powerscourt include “Destination: The Emerald Isle” which aired in the USA on ABC live to 3 million people in February and BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo which enjoyed 1.8 million viewers. Publicity opportunities such as these help raise awareness of County Wicklow as a tourism destination and bring more tourism business to the surrounding areas.

Celebrating the record number of visitors achieved, Sarah Slazenger, Managing Director of Powerscourt Estate commented: "2016 confirmed that Powerscourt Gardens & Waterfall continue to be among the must-see visitor attractions in Ireland. With exciting new businesses in the pipeline including Powerscourt Distillery and the Cool Plant Experience, the estate’s offering and appeal continues to grow each year.”

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Topics: Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt Waterfall, Powerscourt Estate

Delicious recipe for Irish brown bread from Avoca Powerscourt

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jan 20, 2017 9:33:55 AM

Looking for a tasty new recipe to try this weekend! Look no further!

Here's the recipe for Avoca's famous brown bread recipe. Enjoy :)

Ingredients

200g white flour

300g coarse brown flour

100g mixed seeds (sunflower, poppy, sesame, linseed, pumpkin), keep back 10g to sprinkle on top of bread

3tbsp of bran

2tbsp of wheatgerm

2 heaped tsp baking powder

1 level tsp salt

1dstsp treacle

600 – 900ml milk

Makes 1 loaf

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Instructions

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the treacle and stir in enough of the milk to give a moist but not sloppy mixture.

Place in a well oiled 900g loaf tin and bake in a oven preheated to 200°c/400°F/gas mark 6 for 20 mins until risen.

Reduce the heat to 170°c/325°F/gas mark 3 and bake for a further hour.

Run a knife around the tin and ease the bread out. If it sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom it is cooked, if not, return it to the over for 10-15 mins. Don’t worry about putting the bread back in the tin for this, just turn it upside down and put it directly on the shelf.

For more great recipe ideas see the Avoca website 

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate

Powerscourt boss is brimming with ideas - Sunday Times Article

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jan 6, 2017 9:46:59 AM

Sarah Slazenger, the managing director of the picturesque estate in Enniskerry, will build on the success of her family business with a €10m whiskey distillery

Article by Gavin Daly - The article appeared in the Sunday Times on 27 September 2015.

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Slazenger has had more than her share of misfortune at Powerscourt — but she has ‘the best job in the world’ (Fergal Phillips)

As a child, Sarah Slazenger grabbed every opportunity to visit her grandparents at Powerscourt, their 1,000-acre estate outside Enniskerry in Co Wicklow. She was staying one night in 1982, aged 15, when an armed gang barged into their house, knocked her grandfather to the ground and put a gun to his head.

“There were half a dozen of them in balaclavas, coming in and out,” says Slazenger. “It was very, very frightening.”

In the mayhem, her grandmother Gwen convinced the robbers that she needed to go upstairs. Halfway up, she faked breathlessness, sat down on a window seat and pressed a hidden panic button. “That rang an alarm in the farm manager’s house and he called the head gardener,” says Slazenger. “When the lights of their car appeared, the raiders couldn’t figure out what was going on.”

The gang rushed out to investigate, giving Gwen time to hop up and lock the door. “She was an extraordinary, feisty person,” says Slazenger, smiling.

Her grandmother was on the phone, summoning help, as the raiders smashed the door in. “They pulled the phone out of the wall, and scarpered,” she says. The gang escaped empty-handed but the experience caused Slazenger’s grand- parents to quit Powerscourt for “a quieter life” in the Isle of Man. The trauma didn’t put her off the place, however.

Slazenger has worked at Powerscourt since 1990 and now runs an unusual family business including a Palladian mansion, ornamental gardens, two golf courses, an Avoca cafe, garden centre and upmarket shopping. The next addition, announced last week, will be a €10m whiskey distillery in an old mill house. There were several approaches about possible uses for the mill in the past, says Slazenger, pointing out a fine stone building on a walk around the estate. The whiskey proposal, from local businessmen Gerry Ginty and Ashley Gardiner, just clicked.

“I knew nothing about whiskey at all but the more we looked at it, the more we thought, there’s something in this,” says Slazenger. At full production, Powerscourt Distillery will turn out a million bottles a year, targeting the premium end of the Irish whiskey market, which is booming.

The planned distillery visitor centre shouldn’t have the “build it and they will come” worries of other distillery ventures. About 500,000 people already visit Powerscourt each year, mainly for the 47-acre gardens and the 400ft waterfall, which is on Slazenger land.

Slazenger takes a shortcut through the estate farmyard and into the walled garden, where an overhaul of original glasshouses is being completed. Tourists mill around the main Italian Gardens, created in the 1840s by Daniel Robertson, a gout-sufferer who was ferried around in a wheelbarrow as he drank bottles of sherry.

Latest accounts for Powerscourt Estates show accumulated profits of €17.7m at the end of 2013 and nearly €8m cash in the bank. It paid a €1m dividend to its parent.

“There are huge outgoings,” says Slazenger. Recapping the walls of the walled gardens was a two-year project that “most people don’t see”, and there is a plan to repaint and regild all the estate’s gates.

There will be a new interpretive experience for visitors, tying in with Failte Ireland’s new Ireland’s Ancient East concept. Longer term, there is a climate-change venture she can’t talk about yet.

Slazenger has a three-strand business philosophy: “To be inquiring, to be demanding, to be generous.” She adds “A good idea has to give way to a better idea.”

New ventures are Slazenger’s favourite part of her job, though many proposals are ditched before they even reach the family-run board of directors. They include a theme park (“though they make quite a lot of money”), a railway from the main estate to the waterfall, and a pet farm.

“You have to be quite hard-nosed,” says Slazenger. “We have to ensure it doesn’t damage the Powerscourt brand, which is one of timelessness, elegance and quality.”

Slazenger should be familiar with the power of brands. Her great-grandfather Albert started the Slazenger sports equipment company and invented the modern tennis ball, still used at Wimbledon.

Her grandfather Ralph was an engineer and inventor, and Gwen had a passion for farming. They came to Ireland in the 1950s, living initially at Durrow Abbey in Co Offaly, and knew the Wingfield family, who had owned Powerscourt for centuries.

When the Wingfields could no longer afford to keep the estate and decided to sell in 1961, the Slazengers snapped it up — though not for its obvious attractions. “My grandfather was fascinated by renewable energy and he wanted the waterfall for hydroelectricity,” says Slazenger.

Gwen farmed the estate and the family lived in the mansion, built around an original Norman keep. Slazenger and her siblings, who lived with their doctor parents in Ballsbridge, visited regularly and had the run of the place. “It was magical.”

She remembers massive Christmas trees and carollers in the main hall in the winter. A ball at Powerscourt in the summer of 1965 was attended by Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco.

In November 1974, on the night of a press reception to show off improvements to the house, a blaze was lit in an old fireplace, causing a chimney fire that gutted the house. “You were standing [on the ground floor] looking up at the sky,” she says.

Her grandparents moved to the east wing, which was undamaged by the fire, until the attempted robbery in 1982. The gardens and farm stayed open after their move, but it was a struggle.

“The gardens and farming were at the mercy of the weather. And it was the 1980s, when everything was pretty down.”

When Gwen died in 1990, Slazenger’s father, an anaesthetist, convened his siblings and said he would take a year’s sabbatical to work on the estate. “Up to that point, he never intended to have anything to do with the estate,” says Slazenger. She remembers getting the call in Scotland, where she was based, to see if she would get involved. “I was on the plane home straight away,” she says. “It was only meant to be for a year. There was no grand plan, no assumption it could all work out.”

The first step was securing overarching planning permission to develop the estate. Then they cherry-picked the best parts of the plan. Her father did go back to public hospital work but parked his private practice to focus on Powerscourt. Fixing up the house was the “big driving motivation”.

A disused gravel pit beside the Powerscourt entrance was sold as sites for houses, becoming the upmarket Eagle Valley estate, where houses sell for millions. The funds paid for a reroofing of the house, completed in 1996 using a metal structure that supported the original walls.

The first golf course opened that same year, funded with the sale of member shares in the club. It “just took off”, says Slazenger, and has 900 members. Some land was sold to the Office of Public Works but no other land sales or housing development took place. A 3km riverwalk was developed, passing the tallest tree in Ireland, a 200ft tall Douglas fir.

Avoca opened in 1997, and a restaurant fills the old dining room where the viscounts Powerscourt would have sat, overlooking the gardens. Above the ground floor, though, there were just concrete floors “to stop the walls from waving”.

The restoration of the first-floor ballroom, with intricate plasterwork and detailed ceilings, was Slazenger’s “absolute favourite time”. It hosts weddings, balls and corporate events. The top floor of the house is now office space used by Crowley Carbon, a greentech company. “They have the best view in Ireland.”

A hotel was in the plans from the early 1990s, though an early idea to turn the original house into a five-star hotel was knocked on the head. “It would have meant cutting off the gardens from the public, and that was not what we wanted.”

Instead, a €250m 200-bedroom hotel was built by Treasury Holdings in a hollow off the main avenue and opened in 2007 as a Ritz-Carlton. It rebranded as Powerscourt hotel after being bought out of insolvency by investment group Tetrarch Capital in 2013. The hotel owners have a long lease from the Slazengers and they work closely, particularly on access to the gardens and golf courses. “When the hotel does well, we do well,” she says. It has just been named AA hotel of the year, while the gardens have been rated third in the world by National Geographic — the gardens at Versailles were top, while Kew was No 2.

Including the hotel, more than 350 people work on the estate, up from fewer than 20 in 1990, says Slazenger. There are visiting projects, such as the filming of TV drama Penny Dreadful on the estate last week. “It is sustainable in the long term. We’re not worrying about having a good year this year and a bad year next year.”

The distillery, which was first pitched about a year ago, fits that bill, she says. “The estate has been here 800 years. It’s an intergenerational business, and the whiskey business is the same.”

Powerscourt has been the setting for Slazenger’s best days and her worst. In April 2010, her father and a friend of his were killed when his small plane crashed on the estate. Slazenger pauses.

“I am tremendously privileged. I got to spend 20 years working with him. He was a visionary, and a hard act to follow.”

Her mother still lives up by the waterfall. “We have been unlucky in a lot of ways but we are also tremendously fortunate,” she says. “I pinch myself — I really think I have the best job in the world.”

The life of Sarah Slazenger

Age: 48

Home: Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Family: Married with three children

Education: Schooling in England and at Wesley College, Dublin. Degree in economics and politics from University College Dublin, and a marketing degree from the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

Favourite book: My current favourite is The Undertaking by local author Audrey Magee.

Favourite film: About Time, starring Domhnall Gleeson. It has a very upbeat message. 

Working day

I work roughly office hours. The estate office is where it all happens. My days are hugely varied because we have the various businesses on the estate, whether it’s the golf club or hotel or the retailers. Then we might have a film crew or special activity on the estate. I start the day with meetings with the leaders of the various businesses. A good part of my day is spent looking at new ideas and developments — running Powerscourt is all about innovation and not standing still. It’s also seasonal and every season is different; at the minute we’re thinking about Christmas and getting the donkeys, goats and deer in for the Powerscourt Christmas stables. At weekends, I share an on-call with the estate manager.

Downtime

My downtime is family time. My sport is horse riding. I ride out on the estate early in the mornings — the sunrise can be glorious. I compete in eventing at weekends.

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate

Down by the river at Powerscourt

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Nov 22, 2016 1:09:24 PM

And the sun took a step back,
The leaves lulled themselves to sleep,
and Autumn was awakened.

Raquel Franco

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The River Walk was laid in 1868 by the Viscount of Powerscourt so that his family could enjoy the serenity of the River Dargle.

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And serene it is indeed. Over 3 kilometres (2 miles), it winds its way in the direction of the Powerscourt Waterfall, through secluded woodlands and past champion trees. The mirror-like surface of the peaty water glistens through the leaves, and its tranquil murmur echoes softly in the undergrowth. Every once in a while, a lonely autumn leaf sails gently downstream.

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As we started walking, my children collected a number of seasonal treasures – parachute seeds, shiny conkers in their soft shell, one green acorn with its cap still on, one large flat mushroom, and two star-shaped leaves decayed into the most delicate lace (only the ribs and veins remained).

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On that lovely Sunday afternoon, the surfaced pathway was busy with dog walkers and families, and a few cars. The adventure really began when the kids took their hide-and-seek game off the main road and into the woods.

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They hid among the exposed roots of broad-leaf trees on the river bank;
They scaled low-lying branches and giant cork-like conifers;
They painted their faces with charcoal taken out of the charred hollow of a tall tree;
They ran, they played, they laughed.

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Deep in the woods, they also spotted a stick swing hanging tantalisingly over the Dargle – a return visit will be in order to try it out, with adequate footwear, or no footwear at all!

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About

Annette is a blogger exploring Ireland’s great outdoors with four children and a camera. She is French, married to an Irish man, and they live in beautiful county Wicklow.

http://www.fouracorns.ie

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Topics: Powerscourt River Walk, Wicklow, Powerscourt Estate

Foraging Fun along the Powerscourt River Walk

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Oct 3, 2016 3:29:36 PM

 

 

I didn’t really know what I had signed up for when I accepted the invitation to come along to the 'Foraging in the Wild Walk', a couple of weeks ago. In my usual, slapdash manner I signed myself, my husband and three children ranging in ages from four to nine up for what I thought would be a guided stroll along the lovely River Walk at Powerscourt.

Powerscourt River Walk

So it was quite a surprise to myself and my family when we realised that Mary and Robert from Blackstairs Eco Trails were bringing us out on a foraging jaunt! Whilst I was trying to nonchalantly shush the complaints from my seven year old that he was not actually going on a walk, my eldest started munching on dandelion leaves while exploring where the wild strawberries grow!

Strawberry Growing

Next thing the 'complainer' was chowing down on some hogweed seeds, fascinated, as Robert showed us how to grab handfuls of nettles without stinging ourselves..and like that Mary and Robert had us under their spell.

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                                                                         Robert White

They were so enthusiastic, bantering between themselves and leaping from one indistinct shrub to another, handing out hazelnuts, wild mushrooms and fun along the way. Once we had finished exploring the endless possibilities from deep-fried elderberry flowers to plaintain on toast, we were whisked back to Powerscourt Garden Pavillion for an informative session on home pickling, alexander seed (used as black pepper by the more inventive chef) and wild sorrel which tastes more ‘lemony’ than lemons!!

Forage Ireland                                                                             Mary White

Their enthusiasm for foraging and living off the plentiful land around us was so infectious that by the time we were leaving I was pretty sure I would never need to darken another supermarket or doctor’s door again, although my self-belief may have been enhanced by the delicious swig of their homemade sloe gin I had helped myself to.

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Reality has set back in now but with another fabulous trip to Powerscourt under my belt and with my new found foraging knowledge, I did spot a hazel tree and some wild hazelnuts on my daily walk which the children were only delighted to gobble up!

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Aisling posts about our family events throughout the year. Aisling runs a parenting blog which you can follow here.

Bio: My name is Aisling Lyons, stay at home mother of three, and sometime radio pundit ;).I have over 20 years experience in the childcare sector, starting out as nursery nurse before moving into nannying, and then returning to work in creches for over 14 years, twelve of which were in creche management. I managed a private creche "Johnstown Kiddiecare" in Kilpeddar, Co. Wicklow, and then moved into Dublin to manage the nursery on-site in Trinity College Dublin. I finally left that position to open my own creche "Aisling Childcare", which I ran for seven years. I closed the creche when baby number three was imminent as I really wanted to focus on motherhood. I am passionate about children being given the very best opportunities to allow them to grow up to be happy and confident. I set up a blog to help any parents struggling with the little and large problems that parenting young children can bring! I really hope that some ideas I bring will help families thrive and forge ahead!: )

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Topics: Events, Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt River Walk