Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Wells House, Co Wexford
By Grace O’Reilly

Today my parents and sister Karen came and collected myself and Olivia my 3 year old daughter.  She was dressed up in her nautical striped dress and pink love hear wellie boots ready for her adventure to Wells House and Gardens to see the fairies as promised by my mum “Granny”.
Living in Gorey Co Wexford it only took my Dad a 15 minute drive to the magical fairy land hidden in the amazing Wells House and Gardens.  It is a great huge Victorian house and garden and has something for all ages.  There are tea rooms, different walks, playground, farm area, picnic areas, shopping courtyard with craft shops, and so much more.  They provide guided tours (including IN the house), archery, school tours and facilitate for people with special needs and requirements.

All the information you will need about Wells House and Gardens is on it’s website: www.wellshouse.ie .
So our day was when we arrived at the car park and a very excited Olivia dressed with her pink tiara, green fairy wings and purple beaded wand topped with a star bounced out of her Grandparent’s car.  We walked passed the Victorian house Wells house and admired its ancient beauty.  The house has been there for more than 350 years and has seen historical events such as the Great Famine and more.  It’s famous architect was Daniel Robertson.

We then went on to do one of many wonderful walks I have heard about.  The walk we did was called “The Lady Frances Woodland Walk”.  Lady Frances lived at Wells House from 1870 with her husband.  This is an Elizabethan forest walk starting from Wells House and meandering for 1.2km into the forest.  It took about 45 minutes to an hour walking at a leisurely pace and taking in the sights and smells.  Different coloured fairy doors were on numerous ancient trees making this place even more magical and giving the inner child in the 3 year old me a sense of enchantment and awe.  I felt like I was in a Disney movie in Tinkerbell’s Land or in the recent film in the cinema’s starring Angelina Jolie “Maleficent” but with all the GOOD.  There was a wishing well where Olivia closed her eyes, made a wished a tossed in some coppers.  We went on to see wooden small bridges where we pretended the grumpy old troll form “Dora the Explorer” was living. There was the snake, fox  and owl and of course “The Gruffalo” from the well known  and loved children’s book and story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler.  The Grufflao was amazing despite the fact that it’s mouth was alive with a wasps nest so we couldn’t get too close.  That was with the hot Summer us Irish folk have been lucky to have this 2014.  There was a colourful big, fairy castle too with a swing, picnic tables and chairs on the walk also and pretend wood made telescopes for the children.  The sculptures’ were brilliant.  There was a fairy tree and a wooden car too.

We then took Olivia to the playground where she played on the swings, slides, climbing frames and wooden train.
Then my parents treated us to a lovely lunch, I had a very tasty chicken Caesar salad and my sister treated me to a  rocky road, delicious.    “Mrs Stone’s Tearooms” was the name of the cafe.  Prices were fair and portions generous.
We proceeded our adventure in Wells House and Gardens to the craft shop area known as “The Craft Courtyard”.  It used to be the stables in Wells House and was converted into a little shopping area.  It has 6 shops and an art gallery.  They are reasonably prices and ideal for little gifts either for a loved one or to yourself.  Light worker candles, The Gardener’s Cottage, Irish Faerydoors, The Timeless Toy Shop, Tate, Guerin Designs, Willow Cottage and TATE GUERIN ART GALLERY.  I treated myself and Mum to a lavender bag for under our pillows, so relaxing and Mum treated Olivia and my other child Ben (who must come again as 1 her would adore the place) to a pink Fairy door and a blue Elf door.
Before returning to the playground before finishing our trip we went to the farm area where we saw donkeys, pony, ducks, peacocks, pigs, rabbits, reptiles, sheep, goats and birds.  This area was called “The Irish Wildlife Sanctuary”.  There is a timetable we didn’t look at it though for different activities during the Summer. There was a huge pond with pads and gold fish.  It really is a marvellous place and somewhere I will definitely be returning to again and again for many years to come.
Note on their site they do birthday parties if you are looking for something different for your little one’s special day.