26 Jun

Third and Fourth Class set off yesterday morning bright and early on our school tour to Lough Key Forest Park and Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk. The weather for the day was promised good and it didn’t disappoint. We had a very adventurous day that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

We embarked on our journey full of excitement on our bus and our first stop was Rathcroghan Visitor Centre. We were greeted by the lovely and very informative tour guide and Mayo man Mike who showed us around the interpretive centre and told us the story of the Medieval Village of Tulsk and its surrounding historical sights. We learned that it is the home of the Warrior King Meabh of Connacht. We learned a very interesting fact about her too that she was killed by her nephew who fired a piece of cheese through a sling shot which hit her in the temple and killed her. Who knew cheese could be so dangerous!! We also learned there were more than 48,000 forts in Ireland and about crannógs as well as examining the differences between a person that lived in Tulsk 600 years ago and now.

We got back on the bus and we arrived at Boda Borg at Lough key a little ahead of schedule so we took this time to enjoy our morning break. We had a lovely picnic before playing football and exploring the old church. We fuelled our bodies for the fun filled challenges, imaginative puzzles and enjoyable tasks ahead of us. We were brought into a media room where we watched a quick video on what was expected of us through the big doors. We then formed our teams and our two hours of activity started. During the challenges we used many skills such as balance, cooperation, collaboration, problem solving and most importantly teamwork. Laughter, excitement and comradery could be heard from every room which was lovely to hear and see.

After this we got to go to Adventure Kingdom Playground where we explored the giant climbing frames, slides, monkey bars, tire swings and much more. The weather was beautiful and the excitement on the children’s faces were a joy to see.

Next on our list was the Lough Key Tunnel Tour. This tour was very interesting and our wonderful tour guides took us through the servant tunnels of the old Rockingham House which once stood on the grounds of Lough Key Forest Park. The children listened to the tour guide very attentively who told us that the Park was formally known as Murlorg up to the 17th century and that the kings of Murlorg were the McDermotts. They sold the land to the King family who built Rockingham House. Unfortunately Rockingham House was destroyed by fire in 1957 due to an electrical fault in the basement. During the tour we climbed the 160 steps of the Murlorg tower which now stands where the house once stood. From the top of the tower we could see the beautiful landscape around Lough Key including Castle Island the home of the McDermotts.

The final part of our tour was to visit the souvenir and sweet shop in the centre. The children enjoyed well deserved slushies and ice-cream as well as purchasing some souvenirs for home.!

We had a very enjoyable, educational and fun filled day!