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29th July, 2013


Dover came and went almost in a blur as we exchanged passengers and commenced our voyage around Ireland. Just after lunch on Sunday we were passing the Lizard, close enough so that we could easily see the lighthouse, but the southerly wind had increased, bringing with it rather overcast conditions.

Malahide Castle

By the following morning however, the sun was back, at least for some of the day as the forecast said showers. The Met chaps were right, but I took the precaution of carrying an umbrella on a new afternoon excursion we are trying out this year, Malahide Castle, a rare example of an Irish Anglo-Norman castle. The Talbot family lived there from 1185 until 1973 when the 7th Baron Talbot died, apparently without an heir. It is not a massive edifice, but is interesting enough with turrets, castellated walls and odd stone additions that must date from various periods. The tour inside took us through the heavily panelled oak room to the drawing rooms, tiny furnished turret rooms, a great hall and library, which was full of very musty smelling books and leather chairs that, by their very worn, but comfortable looking condition, had to be several centuries old. The upper rooms were not available for visiting and, judging by the state of the windows visible outside, were probably less than habitable.

The walled gardens on the other hand, looked very presentable and included a Peach House dating from 1901 and a charming ornate Victorian green house. Everything looked pristine and yet not a gardener to be seen. During our time on the coach our charming guide Eve gave a just about a non-stop commentary, in her lovely Irish accent that was punctuated by infectious laughter. We shook hands as we parted, under that soft gentle rain.     

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.