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Wedding Idyllic Irish Spots: Helen Steele on why there’s no place like Glaslough

13:53  01 august  2020
13:53  01 august  2020 Source:   evoke.ie

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Saoirse Ronan et al. posing for the camera © Provided by Evoke.ie

From the shores of Lough Muckno to the postcard-pretty Glaslough village, there is plenty to see and do in Monaghan away from the maddening crowds.

One person championing the northern county as her idyllic spot is designer Helen Steele who first came to the area 24 years ago, and has since decided to call Monaghan her home.

Here Helen tells EVOKE about why Glaslough Village is so special to her.

a clock tower in the middle of a park: Helen Steele:’Monaghan is the only place that suits the rain.’ Pic: Shutterstock © Provided by Evoke.ie Helen Steele:’Monaghan is the only place that suits the rain.’ Pic: Shutterstock
How many years have you been coming here?

For 24 years! I first visited when I was pregnant with my first child.

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Why do you love it?

It’s so peaceful, tranquil and visually beautiful all year round. Castle Leslie is where my brother Paul and his wife Shelly got married. It’s where my kids learned to horse ride.

What to do:

There are some super hikes, and fishing (mostly for trout in Emylake and Lough Mor in Bragan). There is also great horse riding in the estate and one of my favorite things to do is to go to the rally centre, Rally School Ireland, and take some rally cars out around the track or some car to try drifting.

a large green field with a mountain in the background: Lough More. Pic: Supplied © Provided by Evoke.ie Lough More. Pic: Supplied
Where to walk:

There are so many great walks and hikes in this area. There are some lovely walks around the estate of Castle Leslie, its lake and Glaslough Village. A few miles down the road is Emy Lake which is beautiful in late April and May. And there is a super hike around Bragan mountain which at the peak you can see three counties in the north and three in the south.

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My favourite spot:

In early May when the wild gorse blooms around Emy Lake spreading a fragrant coconut scent everywhere. Watching the little lambs and calves in the surrounding fields and the harvest full moons that illuminates the lake.

a group of people sitting at a table in a garden: Castle Leslie. Pic: Supplied © Provided by Evoke.ie Castle Leslie. Pic: Supplied
My favourite memory:

Halloween walks with my kids around Castle Leslie Estate and putting the fear of God in them with ghost stories about the area. Also watching my kids learning how to horse ride in the Hunting Lodge and finding constant inspiration from hikes on Bragan Mountain and walks around Emy Lake.

Where to eat:

Ambledown cottage a BYOB pizza restaurant in Glaslough village on the edge of the estate or Snaffles in the revamped Hunting Lodge.

Where to drink:

The Wright’s Coach House and Olde Bar in Glaslough is a great local watering hole. It’s a real traditional old Irish pub as is the other pub in the village. There is also Connor’s bar in the Hunting lodge which has a beautiful courtyard for dining al fresco during the day.

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• Lyrics. I'm going under and this time I fear there ' s no one to save me This all or nothing really got a way of driving me crazy I need somebody to heal Somebody to know Somebody to have Somebody to hold It's easy to say But it's never the same I guess I kinda liked the way you numbed all.

a view of a stone building: Gate Lodge at the Castle Leslie Estate in Glaslough, Ireland. Pic: Shutterstock © Provided by Evoke.ie Gate Lodge at the Castle Leslie Estate in Glaslough, Ireland. Pic: Shutterstock
Where to shop:

Mullan Lighting in Mullan village, and Busy Bee ceramics in Mullan village where you can book in for an hour to make your own ceramics. And of course my own studio in Emyvale!

Pay a visit to:

Glaslough Chocolate, a dangerous place if you like handmade chocolates.

Don’t leave without trying:

Silverhill Duck which you can taste at the Duck truck Thursday to Saturday, on the Silver Hill Farmshop site which has is a lovely garden centre and you can buy the simply divine Silverhill down duvet and pillows from the farm shop and fresh duck.

a person standing in front of a castle: Pic: Castle Leslie Estate © Provided by Evoke.ie Pic: Castle Leslie Estate
Local history/best known for:

The area is the birthplace of rugby hero Tommy Bowe, Winston Churchill spent his childhood summer holidays in Castle Leslie and Paul McCartney got married there as well.

Not many people know this but:

Sir Jack Leslie of Castle Leslie (sadly deceased) a Second World War veteran and POW interned in Italy during the war. He fell in love with Italy and revamped a wonderful monastery there, and was also a bit of a raver in his later days. He loved to go to clubs and dance. He was even guest of honour at Manumission closing party in Ibiza. His zest for life was infectious.

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There must have been green lawns and paved streets under leafy shady trees somewhere in town. Jeff Biggs has a job like that, but he likes it. He' s the kind of guy who, as a kid, loved to play around in mud after a rainstorm, the kind of kid who loved squeezing oatmeal (B) _ his fingers.

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a man sitting on top of a laptop: Portrait of Sir John Leslie, owner of Castle Leslie, Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland. Pic: Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Portrait of Sir John Leslie, owner of Castle Leslie, Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland. Pic: Getty Images
The best time to visit is:

Anytime. Monaghan is the only place that suits the rain!

The best day on the calendar here is:

Any day.

a group of people standing in front of Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre: The Old Coach Inn. Pic: Supplied © Provided by Evoke.ie The Old Coach Inn. Pic: Supplied a large body of water surrounded by trees: Helen Steele: Monaghan is where my children learned to ride, Castle Leslie. Pic: Supplied © Provided by Evoke.ie Helen Steele: Monaghan is where my children learned to ride, Castle Leslie. Pic: Supplied a body of water surrounded by trees: Lough More. Pic: Supplied © Provided by Evoke.ie Lough More. Pic: Supplied a little girl posing for a picture: Helen Steele and Halle. Pic: REX © Provided by Evoke.ie Helen Steele and Halle. Pic: REX a group of people wearing costumes: Designer Helen Steele. Pic: Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Designer Helen Steele. Pic: Getty Images helen steele, Saoirse Ronan are posing for a picture: Helen Steele and Saoirse Ronan. Pic: VIPIRELAND.COM © Provided by Evoke.ie Helen Steele and Saoirse Ronan. Pic: VIPIRELAND.COM

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