After the exertions of day three we had a leisurely day of walking in the local area around Ballyvaughan on day four. That made for a short walk, but it also allowed us to see some of the history in the local area.
Outside of the cave and birds of prey complex at Aillwee Caves. This is a popular tourist attraction, although it was noticeable that the staff at the caves weren’t willing to sell a group ticket, whilst the staff in the birds of prey section were, so I can guess which is the most popular……
Coffee in the cafe in the visitor centre of the caves. The staff member was new and Dave helped guide her through the process of making coffee.
We then went for a visit to the shop near to the birds of prey centre, where they make and sell various different cheeses.
A staff member kindly gave us an introduction to the cheeses and they all tasted excellent. She actually said that she’d explain the process of making the cheese and then the sampling would start, but we’d eaten all of the cheese before the end of her presentation. My favourite incidentally was the cumin cheese.
For those who didn’t like cheese, there was also chocolate available for purchase. Sarah H purchased several cheeses to take home, although some of us felt that she could have prepared shared just one of them before we went back home. But she was firm in saying no, although Dave was very understanding about this behaviour and didn’t really mention it again.
From the cave complex we then walked back towards Ballyvaughan, stopping at Newtown Castle. It’s actually a tower house dating to the sixteenth century and it fell into a state of some disrepair before being restored as part of the Burren College of Art complex.
Outside of the castle.
A smaller version of the castle.
Joy and me inside the castle.
Other photos from inside the castle. The restoration of the building seemed quite thorough, but there was still a lot of green damp which permeated through the structure. There are some information boards on the top floor giving details about its history and admission is free of charge.
The children wanted to play in the playground….
The purchase of Hiki, the new Hike Norfolk mascot, which was supervised by Susanna.
Hiki in the cafe at the castle.
What a lovely daffodil.
Some of the group decided to play poohsticks, although I think half the sticks got jammed under the bridge and no-one was sure which stick got through first……
Following a short walk to the pier, we went to the Hylands Burren hotel where six of the group were staying. Steve B and I retired to the upstairs lounge, which was rather peaceful and lovely, and Maggie very kindly came to deliver us coffees. Although she didn’t bring us any snacks, but we didn’t hold that against her.
In the evening, we had food at the hotel, although more on this in another post. Dave had several of his new favourite Guinness and blackcurrant drinks and Sarah was overheard by the hotel owner when she mentioned that her shower wasn’t producing hot water. Full marks for observant hotel staff it must be said.
So, a nice relaxing day with no injuries and quite a few coffees…..