Lough Derravaragh, Co. Westmeath

Lough Derravaragh or Loch Dairbhreach is pretty much famed for it’s relation to The Children of Lir (Oidheadh Chlainne Lír) old Irish fable where after being turned into swans, the four children of King Lír, not by choice, spent 300 years there.

A little like being able to picture a child inside a giant peach, I find some grown ups will get why I could sit here all day and let my imagination run away with itself. For those who maybe think that sounds a little outlandish, not so far away from Lough Derravaragh lies Lough Ennell and Johnathan Swift Park ~ the spot where Swift first dreamed up Gulliver’s Travels (1726) sitting right by it’s side. A well known refuelling spot for the daydreamers it seems.

Back to the great outdoors and good to know for the tent lovers, my stay by was by way of camping [Lough Derravaragh Camping – phone: 044-9371500]. I chose to pitch my tent right at the back of the lake. All things told there are few things in life more beautiful than watching the sun go down on such a stunning location.

Note to campers – If it’s available, pick the wee pitch by the wee bench underneath the tree. I don’t believe my fresh ground caffeine has ever tasted so good….

Also nearby in the town Multyfarnham is the wonderful 17th Century Estate of Mornington House, home to so very wonderful Anne and Warwick O’Hara. A real must visit if you are in the area. If however you don’t wish to travel that far, at the end of the avenue of Lough Derravaragh Camp site is the Donore Woodland Walk.

On a slight side note, I don’t know whether wee 2 and a half year old Ella understood the story Dad told her of the swans when we saw them. And though, I did change a line or three hither dither, a little of me is hoping she did. One thing is for sure, I know I’ll return there again when she and I are a little taller.

For all of the descriptions I may hold – gardener, horticulturist, landscaper and lover of the great outdoors – Lough Derravaragh quite simply ticks every single box and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Lough Ennell

This is how I described Lough Ennell whilst I stood next to it and walked around it.


I did record this video, but I don’t really think it does it justice….

Here are some more of my images

On the far side of Lough Ennell is Jonathan Swift Park.


Mornington House

On Saturday 4th June I visited Mornington House and had the honour to meet with Warwick and Anne O’Hara.

As versus arriving in order to report, the invitation was to come for tea. I felt it only proper conduct to record my thoughts after my visit. I have of course interviewed Anne I believe three times now…. 😉


At the point of my first interview with Anne O’Hara, I noted

Whilst there has been a house at Mornington since the early 17th century, it has been home to The O’Hara family since 1858. Steeped in history, this is to date, for me one of the most intriguing and most most probably the easiest and finest interviews I have ever done, in my life

This tree sits opposite the front door

Like I said in the audio, this is a home – not a [state owned] house. There is a big difference.