The remaining grounds to the doomed Loughcrew House, which was consumed by fire three times as the result of a family curse, Loughcrew Gardens have been restored to their once former glory for visitors to marvel at and explore.
Revived most recently in 1997 by the Napier family, the Gardens are located on the land of the Plunketts and birthplace of St Oliver. His family church still stands in the Gardens as tribute to the former Archbishop of Armagh.
Loughcrew Gardens includes six acres of central gardens, featuring extensive lawns, herbaceous borders, terraces and a lime stone avenue. There is also an enchanting medieval moote near to the Plunkett’s church.
From the coffee shop there is a longer, circular walk through astonishing scenery, passing the current Loughcrew House that was renovated from the surviving orangery. The Lake Walk is marked by red fairy arrows and takes you past the ‘Temple of Rains’ portico, along winding paths surrounded by rhododendrons, around a fairy fort and on to the stunning lake.
There are also walks where younger children can discover the magic of Alice in Wonderland, as well as an insect walk where older children can search for giant reptiles and creepy-crawlies. Elsewhere in the gardens are ponds, a canal, a water mill and a cascade.
For those wanting a bit more action in their visit, the Loughcrew Adventure centre is the place to be. With exciting activities for ages and occasions, including ziplining, archery, assault courses, zorbing and much, much more, there is bound to be something there to set the pulse racing.