April Events

Nature and Nurture Retreat with Sarah Fox

Nature and Nurture Yoga & Foraging Retreat, Kilkenny

How did you celebrate St Patricks’ Day?

I took myself along to Kilmacow in Co Kilkenny which is located on the the Waterford border for a unique restorative day with Sarah Fox of Shining Light Wellness.  Sarah runs a number of Yoga and Herbal Medicine Retreats throughout the country and teaches Yoga at many venues including Earthwise Yoga in Bree,Co Wexford where I recently did my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.
Having trained with Sarah I knew about her indepth knowledge of plants and herbal medicine and this, along with ‘Yoga by the fire’ is what attracted me to this particular event. 
So, having arrived bright and early (thank goodness for Google Maps!) Sarahs’ lovely mum Mary welcomed me into the house where there was some very excellent coffee and homemade oat, orange and chocolate treats awaiting. Once all the guests had arrived we relaxed and had a chat over coffee/ homemade herbal teas, getting to know one another. I was personally delighted to see the lovely Orlaith, one my ex Yoga student colleagues there and without further ado we headed into the beautifully high ceiling Yoga room for a few hours of Chakra chanting and Yin Yoga.
Now, I for one was not a huge fan of chanting as it takes me outside my comfort zone, however, as Sarah explained each ‘seed’ word for each Chakra and what it related to I found myself enthusiastically joining in and literally began to feel my heart lighten and inner strength begin to vibrate and grow. When you attend a retreat like this it is good to remember that everyone is feeling a bit awkward at first so I do find it best to leave the ‘ego’ at the door and just jump in. 😉 
Bija ( Bija means seed) Mantras- The Sounds of the Chakras: LAM VAM RAM YAM HAM OM

  • “LAM”- chakra 1 (root)
  • “VAM”- chakra 2 (sacral/navel)
  • “RAM”- chakra 3 (solar plexus)
  • “YAM”- chakra 4 (heart)
  • “HAM”- chakra 5 (throat)
  • “OM”- chakra 6 (third eye/brow)
  • “OM”- chakra 7 (crown)

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Chanting was followed by some gorgeous Yin Yoga for joint and nervous system health, flexibility, mobility and integrity. We also used relaxation and breathing techniques where we held certain positions for a while enabling a full stretch and strengthening of the body before it was time for lunch.
Lunch was a delicious spread of homemade breads, fruits, banana pancakes (make using one banana, 2 eggs and a handful of oats), locally sourced jam and natural yoghurt. Seriously Yum! 
After lunch we headed out across the road to a nearby river for a spot of herbal medicine foraging. Sarah explained the uses of many plants including daisies – aerial parts all edible but also our national arnica (to relieve bruises)
She also explained how Plantain is good for tissues and anti-inflammatory thus also good for lung health and how Navel Wort (looks like a belly button plant) can be used as a natural Aloe Vera type plant. We gathered (after asking the plant first) some young nettles and headed back to the house for the creative part of the day.
Cosily ensconced in the kitchen dining room by a roaring fire Sarah proceeded to explain and demonstrate how to make a beautifully rich skin cream using dried marigold flowers, beeswax and organic sunflower oil – (she mentioned how grapeseed oil can help acne prone skin as an alternative to sunflower oil) which was blended together (again you will need to join Sarah on one of her workshops to find out the exact method) to form a delicious deep moisturising skincream- one which I lathered all over my body that evening and had the most restful sleep EVER waking up to feel supple and beautiful. Yay! 
We also made some amazing pesto using the nettles gathered earlier and mixed with some basil leaves, salt and pepper, cashew nuts, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan. Mmmm.  Sarah spoke of alternative ingredients as well as tinctures that can benefit a number of ailments including migraines. 
The conversation was of sharing and we swapped many recipes amongst ourselves one of which was a delicious sounding port for those of us who make sloe gin – using the gin soaked sloes after the sloe gin has been decanted and adding them to a mix of good quality red wine and brandy then leaving for 6 months or more for a stunning port. One I shall try this year….
After our homemade remedies we retired again to the Yoga room for a spell of active Yoga followed by a restful Yoga Nidra meditation to end the day. Dinner was to follow but I had to leave early unfortunately however it looked and smelt delicious – all vegetarian food – what a spread. Was gutted I had to leave but duty called. 
All in all I had a fantastic day and came home feeling inspired and happy. I recommend you check out Sarahs’ events on her Facebook page here as she offers a range of unique workshops and events sure to be of interest to many of our readers including one like this on April 14th – Booking essential!
Tell her we sent ya! 
Namaste! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Activity breaks in Ireland

Family Fun, Activities and EcoTourism at Slieve Aughty Centre, Loughrea, Co Galway

Mixed Metals WorkshopSlieve Aughty Centre (which comprises also of the fabulous Three Towers Eco House and Restaurant)  has a great range of events and activities coming up over the next few months including:

Pizza Party Fridays Are Back!

Every Friday evening at 7pm enjoy a delicious organic pizza with your choice of toppings, fired up in our clay oven.  €5 per child and €10 for adults.  Book Now.
our-famous-pizza-parties
  For more information on any of the above contact 
Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co. Galway
+353 (0) 90 974 5246 www.slieveaughtycentre.com
Facebook: slieveaughtyequestrianandactivitycentre

Eco Breaks Ireland

Eco Holiday Breaks in Ireland

Looking for a unique holiday break in Ireland that’s in harmony with Nature?

 Eco Active Ireland Members all follow the responsible tourism initiative to minimize impact on the natural environment whilst providing fun  unique and often educational experiences that all the family can enjoy.

With this in mind and Easter break coming up we have listed a few below to consider:

Tawny Lust Lodge:

Tawny Lust Lodge Leitrim landscapesSet in the beautiful mountains of Wild Leitrim Nuala is a fountain of warmth and local knowledge and works in tandem with local guides to provide walking & foraging holidays, electric bike tours and canoeing experiences whilst enjoying a great nights’ sleep in her all-mod-cons eco friendly cabin.
Check out her special Easter and Mothers Day Offers here >>

Spend Time on An Eco Farm at Crann Og

eco-farm-breakExperience the alternative lifestyle first hand! Learn to build with recycled materials and see how community life works on the Crann Óg Eco Farm.
Marion, Flor and the gang at Crann Og have created a very special place in a beautiful setting and offer workshops, yoga and more at their working eco farm. Currently they have a number of weekends and events for all ages coming up which you can check out on their website at Crann-og.net

Top Of The Rock

pod-pairc-westcorkTop of the Rock Pod Pairc and Walking Centre offers a safe family environment on their unique pod park with all amenities and also motorhome and camping areas available. David and Elizabeth are wonderful hosts and provide lot’s of information on local walking trails and attractions such as the nearby Alpaca farm and offer affordable options for those on tight budgets also. Check out their website topoftherock.ie

An Tí Glas  at Leen Organics

eco accommodation irelandIf you fancy a weekend of picking your own veg and cooking it up in an fabulous cosy eco friendly house then a weekend at An Tí Glas with Leen Organics, Gort, is for you!
The cottage is well situated for all the attractions Co Clare has to offer including: • The Burren • Cliffs of Moher • Loop Head • Slieve Aughty mountains • Ailwee and Doolin caves • Whale & Dolphin Watching • Surfing in Lahinch • Bunratty Castle and Folk Park …all within an hour’s drive of the house.
Visit them online at www.leenorganics.com

The Three Towers Eco House & Restaurant

Enchanted Forests and Fairy Houses at The Three Towers, Slieve Aughty, GalwayEco does not mean style must go out the window and The Three Towers at Slieve Aughty in Loughrea prove this well. Their unique Moor-inspired decor gives  sense of opulence that is grounded by their responsible tourism ethics, no-waste policy and simply fabulous family friendly activities including a fairy woods and horse riding centre. Highly recommended. They have a number of great events coming up including an Easter festival not to be missed. Visit them at thethreetowers.com

Lot’s More Great Eco Destinations

Eco Active Ireland MembersThe above are just a taste of what’s on offer for the responsible tourist and I can vouch for the inspiration an Eco break can give you, as you see the many (often small) ways that one can help the earth whilst having a really fabulous time. (check out my ecotour blog from last summer here >>)
Visit our Members Pages here for lot’s more information and ideas on eco friendly things to do in Ireland!
Tell them Roz sent You!

Easter Family Fun at The Three Towers

The Three Towers are putting on a Great Easter Festival!

the three towers galwayFamily Easter Festival 2015

Join us over Easter and capture the joy of spring!

There’s lots to do for young and old during the popular spring festival. Arts and crafts, family games and leisurely walks are all on offer plus more. During your visit take a look at the hand made goodies in the gift shop and stop by at the restaurant to sample some delicious Easter treats. Adults can even enjoy a cuppa or a glass of wine while the children play.

Enchanted Forests and Fairy Houses at The Three Towers, Slieve Aughty, GalwayOpen daily 12 – 6pm, entry is €5 per child and includes:

~Visit the Enchanted Forest on foot (or take a pony to the gates and back for €10 per child)
~Visit the craft room to make and do
~Pet the ponies and other animals
~Spend quality time playing family games
~Play on the swing set in the playground
Of course, the best activity is the Easter bunny hunt. Especially for the season, we turn our ordinary walking trail into a treasure trail with clues to help you find the elusive Easter bunny. Children can go on the hunt on horse back for €15 each.

For more information call us on 090 9745 246 or email info@thethreetowers.com. Adults go free!

Easter Eco Breaks in Leitrim

Leitrim Glens Hill Walking Festival

Stunning views and friendly locals are an integral part of the Annual North Leitrim Glens Hill Walking Festival. Based in Leitrim, a little known gem in Ireland’s North West, this festival guarantees visitors a genuine Irish welcome in some of the most beautiful locations in Ireland. Celebrating its 21st birthday this year, the festival is sure to delight all who take part.
Easter April 3-6th 2015
The lovely Nuala of Tawnylust Lodge (and Leitrim Landscaping Guided Walks) has a great offer for those looking to make a break of it!
Special walking offer at Tawnylust Lodge Eco Self-Catering >>
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Seaweed Foraging Events 2015

The Sea Gardener Foraging Events & Workshops

Marie Power aka The Sea Gardener runs a number of seaweed foraging events throughout the year and is found at many of the food festivals nationwide. She also provides individual and customized events such as Seaweed Cookery Workshops, Picnics and Seaweed Sessions With Friends!
 2014 Events

  • April 12 & 13
    Forages & Cookery Demos, Dungarvan Food Festival
  • May 1
    Talk at Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Wexford Field Naturalists Club
  • May 17
    Seaweed Forage, Baginbun Beach. WFNC
  • May 18
    Seaweed Forage, Bealtaine Festival, Kilfarassey, Co. Waterford
  • June 15
    Cookery Demo with Cycle Forage at The Tannery to celebrate Bike Week
  • June
    Cookery Demo, The Bay Cafe, Dunmore East Food Festival
  • July 27
    Beach Picnic & Forage, Kilfarassey
  • August 10
    Beach Walk & Forage, Rathmoylan & Ballymacaw, Co.Waterford
  • Sept 10
    Waterford Harvest Festival
    October
    Bia Bofinne, Inishbofin Food Festival
  • October
    Dingle Food Festival

 For more details Theseagardener.ie or Follow Marie on Twitter:@TheSeaGardener

Slieve Aughty Wild Food Forage

The Slieve Aughty Wild Food Forage with Robert & Mary White.

This years’ event was a sellout – next years is booking fast! An ideal Christmas gift or indeed something for oneself to enjoy – details below:
When: Saturday 25th April 2015 11am – 4:30pm
Where: The Three Towers at Slieve Aughty, Loughrea, Co Galway
How Much: €65 per adult, €10 per child under 12.
What:
Learn all about wild foods in the beautiful woods of Kylebrack.
During this one day workshop, qualified experts will show you how to forage for a wide variety of safe wild food including leaves, wild herbs, edible flowers, and more!
The day will begin at 11 am with refreshments and an introductory talk in The Three Towers Eco House, followed by a forage in the surrounding woods.
After the forage we will come back to The Three Towers for an organic lunch followed by identification of specimens and preparation of what we found. Recipe’s and Information hand-outs included!
There will be a distinct focus on ethical and sustainable foraging.
Booking is essential and must be made before 1st April 2015. 50% deposit required to secure your reservation. Rain gear and hiking boots or wellingtons are a must!
To book this event contact Jenny on +353 90 9745246
More details on www.facebook.com/events/1513347428915103/
slieve-aughty-forage

Ballybunion Ecotreks with Danny

Ecotrek Ballybunion -Walking Holidays in Kerry

Ecotrek Ballybunion is a unique personal guided tour with local historian and pipe player Danny Houlihan. Danny has vast local knowledge of the area and is a pleasure to listen to as he tells tales of ancient chiefs, local heroes and you can even have a go at playing the uilleann pipes!
He offers tours to small groups and ( upon appointment) individuals taking them around the stunning coastal scenery of Ballybunion in gorgeous Co Kerry. The trails are part of The Wild Atlantic Way – Possibly the wildest parts!!
Open year round – booking essential.
Call Danny today on +353 (0)87 353613 – it’s best to call him than email 🙂
Read about our recent trip to Kerry where we met up with Danny for a few hours >>
Find more links to Dannys’ Facebook, Twitter etc here >>
ecotrek-ballybunion
 
 

Trip To BallyBunion

BallyBunion Eco Tourism Trails

Last week I had the opportunity to go to Tralee in Co Kerry for a business Conference with my sister TweetingGoddess. I decided to make the most of my trip by also visiting Ballybunion during my stay so I called ahead and arranged to meet local historian and ecotrek founder Danny Houlihan of ecotrekballybunion.com.
Danny met me at the beach and we headed around his trail whilst he shared local information and vivid historic tales that would not be unusual in a Game of Thrones episode!
From a Chiefs sacrifice of his nine beautiful daughters to Fionn Mac Chumhaills epic battles Danny made the trip so interesting we even had passers by stopping to listen in and hear him play the pipes!
After my time with Danny we headed out of Ballybunion for a mile to visit Mike of Bromore Cliffs – This spectacular piece of scenery took our breath away and Mike was such a lovely friendly guy telling us about a local picnic that had been held in the field there the week before. It all sounded very famous five!
Mike also has a gorgeous self catering cottage available for rent and the best thing about all this is that it’s open in the winter months too! I’ll be heading down that way again soon to include a local cheesmaker and more so do check back as we will adding these trails to our website in the coming months. Meantime Here are some photos of the spectacular scenery available in Beautiful Ballybunion!

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Micro Adventures this Summer in Ireland

Experience something new with our MicroAdventures!

Summers here and let’s face it – In Ireland it’s usually pretty short so we gotta make the most of it!  With this in mind we will be posting category based blogs on the microadventures you can experience this Summer here in Ireland.

Today we are starting with Adventure Tours!

3 Day Odyssey Adventure in the Burren, Co Clare

explore the burrenThis 3 day adventure odyssey package based in the Burren Co Clare includes a Burren rocks walk, half day climbing, sea kayaking session, accommodation, meals and much more. Local guide Christy provides indepth historical knowledge on points of interest dating back to the bronze age. Food is sourced from local producers many of which are part of the Burren Ecotourism group and you will also get to do a bit of beer tasting.
Definately one for both outdoor and foodie lovers!
For full details of this tour click here >>


Rathdrum and Avondale Famine Walk (3 hours)

enjoy this historical famine walk This guided looped walk is through a famine graveyard, woodland trails and alongside riverways with beautiful views of this wonderful part of County Wicklow.
Enjoy the area’s surprising history and heritage with your local guide and afterwards head to local Pub Jacobs Well to enjoy Warming Soup and Brown Bread included in the price.
Perfect for all ages and levels and especially suited for fabulous photo taking!
For full details of this tour click here >>


Day  Activity Tours from Dublin with Terry

tours irelandTake a break from the old town and head out to Dublins’ doorstep- full of countryside fun, with Day Tours Wicklow. These tours are run daily from a variety of pick up points in Dublins’ city centre and you can hop off the tour bus and get out into the Irish Country side to enjoy a Guided walk, Horse Riding or Cycling.
After your activity the tour continues on through the valleys and glens of the Wicklow Mountains visiting many of Wicklow’s wonderful highlights along the way, including Enniskerry (film location of “P.S. I Love You” and “Leap Year”), Wicklow Mountain National Park, Sally’s Gap, Lough Tay, the Guinness Lake (film location of “Excalibur” and “Brave Heart”), Glenmacnass Waterfall, Glendalough. You will stop for a bite to eat in either Poppies in Enniskerry (Good Country cuisine) or along the way before visiting Glendalough and its 6th century monastic site returning to Dublin afterwards.
For full details of this tour click here >>


Pan For Gold in Avoca, Co Wicklow

gold panning You just might strike gold in the beautiful vale of Avoca where  a large nugget of gold of the 22 oz variety which, local legend has it, was found in this valley and made into a snuff box for King George VI. Gold has just been rediscovered in the Avoca area by a large mining company, with a view to mining it in the near future. This tour promises lots of fun and gold panning activity, use of All Gold Panning Equipment, warming Avoca Cafe soup and brown bread (hot chocolate for the kids), and Avoca Mill Tour also.
For full details of this tour click here >>


From Grain to Bottle Walking Whiskey Tour, Slane, Co Meath

ROCK FARM SLANERock Farm Slane – This is the first season of walking tours on the Slane Castle estate and in celebration this tour will be given by Alexander Mount Charles focussing on the production of whiskey from the barley trials at Rock Farm to the distillery project at Slane Castle for a tasting of Irish whiskeys.
This unique tour  includes 2 hour walk, Slane Food Circle lunch at Slane Castle café (45 minutes); followed by 40 minute tour of castle and 1 hour distillery project tour and whiskey tasting.
For full details of this tour click here >>

FOR MORE TOUR ADVENTURES KEEP AN EYE ON OUR TOURS CATEGORY HERE >>