A visit to the Park is a great day out with family or friends to escape to and to soak up the rich biodiversity and tranquility the Park has to offer. The Park opened its eco-friendly visitor centre and café in 2014 and offers designated nature trails and walking and cycling tracks, where visitors can rent bikes.
The history of Lough Boora goes back 15,000 years, when the raised bogs of the Midlands of Ireland appeared after the last Ice Age. Lough Boora Discovery Park is now a sanctuary for wildlife, a haven of fora and fauna for nature lovers. There’s also a Sculpture Park, where art meets nature – a route enhanced by 24 innovative works of art that complement the surrounding landscape with varying contrast depending on the weather.
Winner of the Best Environment Tourism Innovation Award at the biennial Irish Tourism Industry Awards in 2015, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely team behind Lough Boora Discovery Park at the awards ceremony. The Awards celebrate Ireland’s most successful and innovative tourism initiatives, services and experiences. Beating off stiff competition, Lough Boora Discovery Park is a well-deserved winner.
After the awards, I was keen to check it out so I planned a trip with my good friend, Lisa. Getting there, it was about a two and half hour car journey from Dublin City Centre. When we arrived, we headed for the visitor centre and café to pick up a map, a cup of tea and a sandwich. The café has a lovely decking area overlooking a lake known as, Loch and Dochais, which means ‘Lake of Hope’. Looking out at this beautiful view set the chilled-out mood for the day. A bike rental service is located just beside the visitor centre, so we picked up a couple of bikes to explore the Park over the next few hours.
We didn’t feel the time go by but our legs did! I really appreciated the tranquil ambiance of the Park and felt totally zenned after the experience. Cycling around the vast open space, soaking up the rich biodiversity and art sculptures is certainly good for the soul. I highly recommend it! The bog cotton was pretty cool.