Autumn magic on the Fairy Trail / Magie d’automne sur le sentier des fées

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Where can you get lost in a maze and walk a magical fairy trail? Why, but at beautiful Russborough House & Parklands, of course! 

The day after our family cycle on the Blessington Greenway and our one-night stay at Avon Rí, we went and explored Russborough, Co Wicklow, for the very first time. “The most beautiful house in Ireland”, according to British writer Mark Bence-Jones, is over one hour’s drive from home, so we had never had the chance to visit it.

On getting out of the car, the acorns immediately made for the fabulous playground, while Brian purchased our family pass for the Maze and the Fairy Trail.


Où peut-on se perdre dans un labyrinthe de verdure et se promener sur le sentier des fées ? Mais dans le parc de Russborough House, bien sûr ! 

Le lendemain de notre balade à vélo sur la voie verte de Blessington, et après notre nuitée à Avon Rí, nous sommes partis à la découverte de Russborough, Co Wicklow, pour la première fois. “La plus belle maison d’Irlande”, selon l’auteur britannique Mark Bence-Jones, est à plus d’une heure de route de chez nous, aussi n’avions-nous jamais l’occasion de la visiter.

A peine sortis de la voiture, les graines de chêne se sont précipitées vers la fabuleuse aire de jeux, pendant que Brian achetait notre ticket familial pour le labyrinthe et le sentier des fées.

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Each token for the Maze comes with a map, and it is just as well. This note appears on the Russborough website –

If you fancy attempting the Russborough House & Parklands maze, make sure that you obtain a token and map at reception and also bring your mobile phone with you just in case you lose your way.

It is excessively easy to get lost among the tall beech hedges. Jedi, Mermaid and Squirrel had enthusiastically set off on their own but, several minutes after reaching the centre of the maze, Brian had to head into the labyrinth again to rescue them!


Chaque jeton pour le labyrinthe est accompagné d’un plan, et c’est une bonne chose. Cet avertissement apparaît sur le site de Russborough :

Si vous souhaitez explorer le labyrinthe de verdure de Russborough, veuillez vous munir d’un jeton et d’un plan, disponibles au bureau d’accueil, et emportez aussi votre téléphone portable au cas où vous vous perdriez.

Il est incroyablement facile de s’égarer entre les hautes haies du labyrinthe de verdure. Jedi, Sirène et Ecureuil s’y sont élancés tous les trois, pleins d’ardeur. Plusieurs minutes après avoir atteint le milieu, marqué par une colonne surmontée d’une statue de Cupide, Brian a dû partir à leur rescousse !

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Next up was the Fairy Trail through Russborough’s parkland. Trail map in hand, the acorns ambled down the leafy path. Starting with Eamo’s mushroom door, they did spot several fairy lodgings up the trees near the Walled Garden and the Gardener’s Cottage.


Prochaine étape : le sentier des fées de Russborough. Chacun avec un plan à la main, les graines de chêne ont emprunté le sentier en terre tapissé de feuilles mortes. Une fois passée la porte en forme de champignon du lutin Eamo, ils repérèrent plusieurs maisons de fée sur les arbres, près du jardin clos et du cottage du jardinier.

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Fairy Eamo’s mushroom door / A la porte en forme de champignon du lutin Eamo.

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But enchanting Lady’s Island is understandably the most sought-after address for fairies. Some have lived there for more than 270 years. It’s easy to see why.

Past the Fairy Lookout, Lady’s Island is accessed by a beautiful red Japanese bridge over the moat, strewn with autumn leaves. In the last few years it has become home to dozens of fairies, who have built their pretty houses among the roots or up on the trunk of the magnificent trees. There is even a fairy-sized tunnel so they can safely cross the busy N81 nearby!


Mais la féérique Lady’s Island est sans aucun doute l’adresse la plus prisée des fées. Certaines y vivent depuis plus de 270 ans. Et on comprend aisément pourquoi.

A droite du “poste de guet”, Lady’s Island est accessible par un joli pont japonais rouge au-dessus de la douve. Depuis quelques années, cette île artificielle accueille des dizaines de fées, qui ont installé leurs maisonnettes colorées près des racines ou sur le tronc des arbres majestueux. Il y a même un tunnel pour que les fées puissent traverser la N81 en toute sécurité !

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At the Fairy Lookout / Au post de guet

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Looking for Shaylee, the shyest fairy / A la recherche de la timide fée Shaylee

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At the pacifier tree / A l’arbre à sucettes

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Fairy Rosetta’s home in a rubber boot / La botte en caoutchouc où vit la fée Rosetta.

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Entrance to the fairy tunnel under the N81 / Entrée du tunnel sous la N81

Jedi and Mermaid kept going until all 10 questions on their Fairy Trail brochure were answered.

It’s only on the way back to the car park that we noticed a sign for the National Bird of Prey Centre. A return visit to Russborough and its many treasures will be a must. Maybe in the spring when the rhododendrons are in full bloom again?


Jedi et Sirène ont parcouru l’île en long, en large et en travers jusqu’à avoir répondu aux dix questions de leur brochure.

Ce n’est qu’en retournant au parking que nous avons repéré un panneau pour le Centre national des oiseaux de proie. Il nous faudra donc retourner à Russborough pour découvrir ses autres trésors. Peut-être au printemps quand les rhododendrons seront en fleur ?

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Visitor information

Russborough House & Parklands
Blessington
Co Wicklow
W91 C640
Tel. +353 (0)45 865239
Email info@russborough.ie

Located 20km from Dublin, Russborough is just off the N81 and 2km outside Blessington in West Wicklow.  

We bought an Outdoor Family Ticket (€15 for 2 adults and up to 4 children), which gives access the Maze, Fairy Trail, walks and playground.

The parkland is open 7 days a week from 2nd January to 23rd December 10am–6pm.

All fairy building projects on the Fairy Trail are carried out by Nature’s Sculptures Ireland.

Russborough House is an 18th century Palladian architectural masterpiece with fine art collections and beautiful parklands. It is run as a not-for-profit organisation by the Alfred Beit Foundation.

Guided tour of the magnificent house are available, as well as a wide range of outdoor activities. Russborough is also home to the National Bird of Prey Centre. All admission prices are available here.


Infos pratiques

Russborough House & Parklands
Blessington
Co Wicklow
W91 C640
Tel. +353 (0)45 865239
Email info@russborough.ie

Situé à 20 km de Dublin, Russborough se trouve en bordure de la N81 et à 2 km à la sortie de Blessington, dans l’ouest du comté de Wicklow.

Nous avons pris un ticket familial plein air (15 € pour deux adultes et jusqu’à quatre enfants), qui donne accès au labyrinthe, au sentier des fées, à l’aire de jeux et aux sentiers du domaine.

Le parc est ouvert tous les jours du 2 janvier au 23 décembre de 10 heures à 18 heures. 

Tous les travaux de construction pour les fées sont effectués par Nature’s Sculptures Ireland.

Russborough House est un bijou d’architecture palladienne du XVIIIe siècle, qui se dresse dans un vaste parc et renferme une riche collection d’art. Le domaine est géré à but non-lucratif par la Fondation Alfred Beit.

Des visites de la splendide maison sont proposées, ainsi que de nombreuses activités de plein air. Russborough accueille aussi le National Bird of Prey Centre. Tous les tarifs sont disponibles ici.

 

 

 
Country Kids Two Tiny Hands    ethannevelyn.com  diaryofanimperfectmum 

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15 Responses to “Autumn magic on the Fairy Trail / Magie d’automne sur le sentier des fées

  • What an absolutely gorgeous way to spend a day I just love the fairy doors and that’ red bridge is beautiful. Thank you for linking up to #PointShoot

  • Now that looks like a perfect outing for our family too! If only you and this fabulous place were closer! It’s magical! It shows through in your shots! #pointshoot xoxo

  • I’m hoping to get to Blessington in Feb/March next year. My very good friends from South Africa emigrated there last year with their 2 boys and I want to visit, I will pass this on to them

    • Thank you so much for sharing this post with your friends, and I really hope you get to explore Blessington (and the rest of Wicklow!) when you visit early next year 🙂

  • I love these fairy tale doors and think if we get a fireplace then a door is a must #PointShoot
    Helena recently posted…Design and Decorate Your Own Tshirt

  • this looks like such a fun outdoors day, the fairy doors look so magical. I’m useless at mazes so would definitely need help to get out again #countrykids
    lucy mackcracken recently posted…Happy 5th Birthday Mini: Dom and Geri Product Review

    • We found getting to the center harder than getting out again, but the map is an absolute must! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • I love a day of exploring like this and those fairy doors are just exquisite, I would love to visit and experience all those colours. #countrykids

  • I feel so inspired to create a fairy walk at Coombe Mill seeing this post. We have fairy gardens with much the same kind of thing inside but a fairy walk, that would be wonderful. Our Welly walk is up for a revamp soon and I have so many great ideas for it, now this is another to put into the mix. The Welly with the fairy door in it would be perfect!

    Thank you for sharing the trail with me on #CountryKids
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Home Education Holidays for Hands On Learning

    • This sounds like a wonderful idea, Fiona. There are quite a few fairy trails around Ireland, but this one is by far the best we’ve seen. If you were to go ahead with this project, I’m sure Joe of Nature’s Sculptures Ireland would be happy to help you out 😉

  • Ireland is very lucky to have so many wonderful fairy trails. We went to a great one at the Ring of Gullion outside Armagh in NI and it was fab. I love all the fairy doors and the colours. Looks like you had a wonderful time x #CountryKids
    Baby Isabella recently posted…Fortnum & Mason Wicked Wicker Halloween Hamper Review

  • This looks fabulous. The maze sounds like fun, but the fairy trail is just wonderful. So pretty and well done, and in such beautiful surroundings. Gorgeous photos x #countrykids
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…How to make an easy Skull Eyeball Pitch Halloween game

  • That fairy trail looks enchanting but not sure about the maze! I have an inexplicable fear of getting lost in a maze – it’s never happened and I used to be int he police so not much disconcerts me but for some reason mazes do!! I think I’d have stayed on the outside for that one. Sounded like a lovely day all round #CountryKids

  • What a magical day out. I love all the different fairy houses – especially the one in the rubber boot and the dummy tree is brilliant. The Japanese bridge is so pretty. Looks like your little acorns had a wonderful time 🙂 #countrykids

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