I took these photos at Glenveagh National Park in Donegal Ireland, the top picture is the castle and gardens, second the Gardeners Cottage, third Glenveagh Estate. The friends I was staying with at the time suggested I might like to go there, so we took a leisurely drive and arrived around lunchtime. The park itself has a wild beauty all its own, deep in the Derryveagh mountains that rise up from Lough Veagh. The estate runs to around 40,000 acres, the castle which we were able to take a tour of had a very lived in feeling about it, built in the 19th century by John George Adair a man born in County Laois who made his fortune in the USA and later owned by two other Americans. But it was Henry McIlhenny of Philadelphia who bought the estate in 1936 who left a lasting impression on the estate which he made the focus of his life for the 36 years he lived there. Henry McIlhenny developed the castle and gardens into what they are today. Henry also loved entertaining and one can imagine the parties and film stars invited to stay the guest book read like a who's who of actors, artists, musicians and famous names of the times.
The castle gardens are lovely when I came home I did a water colour painting of them from the photos I took, there was a picturesque Gardener's Cottage, in the grounds full of flowers at the time we visited. The contrast between these pretty gardens and the wild mountains and boglands bordered by the deep lough's made a pleasant oasis of culture and gentle beauty in the rugged landscape.
There is so much more I could write about Glenveagh but I will leave you with a picture or two from my pleasant stay.