Top of The Rock PodPairc West Cork
My nights’ stay on Day 10 was spent at Top of the Rock Pod Pairc with the aim of spending some time with owners David and Elizabeth Ross and here my trusty Google Maps GPS proved it’s worth again.
A beautiful journey it was, through stunning scenery – so stunning that I was about an extra hour than planned as I simply HAD to keep stopping to take photos en route – I even met a young stag pottering down the road before he leaped back into the forest!
Anyway, upon my arrival I was welcomed by David who showed me to my pod for the night – the Celtic luxury pod – OOOhhhh! Once I knew where I was going he invited me to join a few others at the outdoor camp fire where we were treated to homemade apple cake and toasted marshmallows.
What was particularly lovely – especially with my rather tired head from such a long day, was the introductions that he made for all of us there who included a bride and groom on their honeymoon and their family members from Galway who had taken the chance to catch up with this now emigrated couple (they now live in Australia and I would like to wish them a very happy life together there!)
After a nice hour or so chatting by the fire I decided to head to bed as myself and David had planned to visit a local Alpaca Farm, Tour the Pod Pairc grounds and meet a few other Eco minded people in the area in the morning before I headed back to the east coast.
Thursday morning dawned bright and clear, perfect conditions for our day ahead. After my tasty ‘breakfast in a bag’ I met up with David and we headed off to visit Waterfall Alpaca Farm who are friends of David and Elizabeth.
I have mentioned before how collaboration is popular between local Eco businesses and this is a perfect example of that. Both businesses recommend the other to passing travelers and promote one another where possible.
Alpaca Farm & Bumblebee Wedding Flowers
Waterfall Alpaca Farm is run by Markus and Emma Bird with whom we headed off for a riverside walk after which we met the famed alpacas- So cute! we couldn’t find them anywhere then Emma started calling them and they all came rushing up the hill then shyly looked at us from under very long lashes! I think I have been smitten by these gorgeous creatures. To find out more about this fun family day out visit www.westcorkalpacas.com
We also met a lovely group at Waterfall Alpaca Farm including Mags and Steve of Bumblebee Flower Farm who grow beautiful chemical free flowers for events and weddings- visit www.rubyharte.com for details
After our visit David and I headed back to Top Of The Rock for a walk around the farm. The farm focuses on biodiversity with lot’s of bird friendly flowers & cover planted and the walk leads down to the river which is bursting with trout, salmon, kingfishers and much more – perfect for the nature lover. The grey partridge has also recently been sucessfully re-introduced to the area.
David told me how the local farmers are joining the Walkways Scheme: Under the scheme, landowners receive payments for the development, maintenance and enhancement of approved marked ways and looped walking routes through their land. With 16 farmers in the area already joined up it’s no wonder Drimoleague is a walkers paradise!
The farm itself offers a lovely river walk that is a perfect introduction to the area and brings you around in a circle back to the Pod Pairc where you can find out lot’s more about the local area and local walking routes – which include St Finbarr’s pilgrim walk, in their custom made walking centre full of maps, information and suggestions plus internet access with kitchen facilities for walking groups also available.
Top of the Rock also offer conference facilities -with a large projector screen, black out blinds and seats up to 80 people comfortably as well as retreats for those looking for a spiritual getaway.
The Pod Pairc itself is very nicely laid out with a variety (7 in total) of pods available to rent including standard pods, family pods and luxury pods.
There is a modern communal kitchen with each pod having it’s own assigned cupboard supplied with delph and pots etc.. and very nice easy to use showers where you pop a €1 coin into the meter for 5 minutes of hot shower time in clean and modern private cubicles. The shower was fabulous and secure – I mention this having been walked in on during a shower many years ago when hostelling so a secure shower area is important to me and no doubt to others! 🙂
There is also a games room and again upstairs in the walking centre you can relax on a sofa and read a book while young children can play with the supplied toys, or eat as a group if the weather outside is not ideal to picnicking (it is Ireland after all)
There are also facilities for 5 camper van spaces and 5 or so tent pitches.
Open all year round, Top Of The Rock is the perfect destination for Walking groups, Romantic couples, Families and ideal for touring WestCork.
To contact David and Elizabeth visit their profile here >>
Listen to our Audio chat here: soundcloud.com/ecoactive/top-of-the-rock-podpairc