Friday 15 December 2017

National Heritage Week events across the county

Wicklow celebrates National Heritage Week with a number of events taking place throughout the county to mark the occasion.

Running nationwide from August 17 to August 25, this year's programme features a record 1,700 events, the vast majority of which are free.

* A free heritage walk takes place on Saturday August 24 from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.. The OPW Visitor Centre and Wicklow Mountains National Park are joining forces to bring you on a guided walk. There is a wealth of both built and natural heritage in the valley of Glendalough. Participants will explore the eastern end of the valley, visiting some of the lesser known monuments, and discussing their history and natural history. Booking is essential. Contact Gillian Stewart,, (0404) 45656

* Supt. M. Lake of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen will speak about the Falklands and his role there at the Arklow Maritime Heritage Service Gathering taking place on Thursday August 22 from 8 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.. During the service a collection will be taken up for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. The venue will be the Arklow Methodist Churchland Jennifer M.J. Kavangh,, (085) 8183392, is the contact for the free event.

* A family walk by the coastal roadstones of Arklow takes place on Friday August 23 from 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Sensible footwear and clothing suitable to all weather conditions advised. The organisers accept no responsibility for property loss or injury. The meeting point is at Arklow RNLI Station, Arklow. Again, Jennifer M.J. Kavangh,, (085) 8183392 is the contact.

* A concert of Traditional Irish and World Music has been organised for Friday August 23 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. in St. Mary's Church of Ireland, Blessington. The concert will feature the wonderful, unique sound of Noteworthy, with a blend of vocalists, 2 Harps and 6 other traditional instruments. Plentiful street parking is available near the Church. Concert time is too late for small children, but concert is suitable for all adults and teenagers. Admission is €8 and the organiser is Noteworthy Music Group, John Mac Namara,, (087) 6534693

* A display on the lesser-known characters of Wicklow where viewers are encouraged to contribute their own anecdotes and memories will occur in all Wicklow branch libraries from Saturday August 17 to Sunday August 25, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Stories contributed by the public will be added to Wicklow's online heritage archive at

* On Sunday, August 25, you can celebrate 'the coming of age of Oak Glen' forest. It will include guided tree walks with lots of family fun activities.There will also be a tree planting ceremony dedicated to the sponsors and contributors followed by entertainment and activities for all the family at Oak Glen Forest, Glencree. The contact is Marguerite Arbuthnot-O`Brien,, (01) 6275075,

* On Saturday August 17 and 24 there are 'Family Days' in the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh from 10 a.m.. Join in with some family-friendly events, take a self-guided trail, learn how to identify wild flowers in our meadow walks or take a guided tour tailored especially for families. Picnics are welcome.

* Guided tours of Ireland's best example of a 'Robinsonian' garden, Mount Usher of Ashford, take place on Friday August 23 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. This is a great way to see the workings of Mount Usher Gardens. Booking is essential as places are limited. Adults are €7.50, senior citizens are €6.50. Admission includes free guided tours of the gardens. Contact Philomena O`Dowd,, (0404) 40205,

* Visit a Quaker farmstead from 1668, with its interiors and structures intact at Ballymurrin Quaker Farm SEttlement from Saturday August 17 to Sunday August 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m... Hear the story of Quakers in Ireland in 17th century. Visit the Quaker burial ground just 200m from house. The venue, Ballymurrin Quaker Farmstead 1669, Kilbride, is near Beehive and East of N11, turn off onto lane, left 200m after Beehive, then 1.6km on right. Contact (0404) 48206,

* Knockanree Garden, Avoca, is primarily a woodland garden with specimen tress and shrubs and statuary from around the world. This garden has twice been judged first in Co. Wicklow in the All Ireland Garden Competition. It's open as part of Heritage Week from Saturday August 17 to Sunday August 25 from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. The cost is €5, €4.50 for groups of 10 plus. The organiser is Harold Clarke,, (0402) 35638,

* Tours of Carnew Castle Grounds are available on Saturday and Sunday August 17 and 18 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. The grounds are open for days for picnics on the lawn and walks around the grounds. Period dress and picnic basket essential.The cost for admission is €5 per adult, children are free. Contact Dermot Kenny,, (053) 9426555

* A self-guided tour of the restored Wicklow Head lighthouse, now available as holiday accommodation, takes place on Sunday, August 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Please park in the car park on the left just before the lighthouse when approaching from Wicklow town. Child supervision is required due to the coastal location.Contact Caroline Crowley,, (01) 6704733,

* Come to Wicklow's Historic Gaol for an interactive experience that you will never forget on Thursday and Friday, August 22 and 23 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.. Step back in time and re-live Irish history.There will be 50 per cent off the normal admission charge for National Heritage Week. Contact Judith Simko,, (0404) 66433,

* Join Ireland's largest motor club, the Irish Vintage and Veteran Car Club (IVVCC), for their 36th run at Powerscourt Estate on Sunday August 18 from 2 p.m. to 5.40 p.m. for free. Chat with motor enthusiasts and marvel at the stylish array of vintage vehicles at the event. Everyone is welcome to come dressed to impress in their best vintage clothes. Music plays a big part in the relaxed atmosphere and there will be live music at the event.

* A free shop and restaurant window exhibition of the 19th and early 20th century photographs taken by Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed makes up part of the Burnaby Heritage Week taking place at Greystones town centre, Church Road, La Touche Place and Trafalgar Road, Greystones on Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.. The woman behind the creation of the renowned Burnaby estate was an Alpinist, winter sports enthusiast, bicyclist and all round adventurer, as her photographs reveal.

* The Avoca Copper and Sulphur Mines offer free guided walks on Sunday August 18 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The walk takes in some of the most unique landscape in County Wicklow. Follow the paths and the extraordinary lives of the thousands of miners who mined for copper and sulphur during the 18th and 19th centuries. You will never see the Vale of Avoca in the same light again. Avoca has been described, as the 'Cornwall of Ireland', this walk will show you why. Sensible walking shoes and rain gear advised. Contact Nick Coy,, (087) 7375452

* A free talk and discussion session presented by Jim Scannell on Wicklow society and current affairs as they were in August 1913 will take place at Ballywaltrim Library on Wednesday August 21 from 7 p.m. to 7.45 p.m.. Jim is a prolific local historian with a special interest in Bray and North Wicklow and is involved with numerous community and historical groups.

* A free talk on the Wicklow gold rush of 1795 by Peader McArdle, former Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland, has been organised for Friday August 23. Based on his book Gold Frenzy, the fascinating talk will be bout the many aspects of the gold rush story. It takes place Newcastle Community Centre starting at 8 p.m..

* A free hidden history hill walk promises to be an interesting adventure into Wicklow's colourful past. This event is hosted jointly by Wicklow Uplands Council and Roundwood Historical Society and takes place on Sunday August 18 from 2 p.m. 4 p.m.. The contact is Cara Heraty,, (01) 2818406,

* Miniature Hat Making Classes take place at Tara's Palace Museum of Childhood, Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, on Tuesday August 20 and Thursday August 22 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.. The owners of Dolls House Corner at the Blackrock Market will once again run their very popular miniature hat making class for National Heritage Week. There will be a selection of dolls house accessories available for purchase on the day of the class. This year Dolls House Corner will have a selection of dolls house accessories available for purchase at the museum.

* The Hollywood Fair is a community run festival taking place over four days in August. It is themed on pre-1950's rural life in Ireland, when people had to be self-reliant. The Fair also features a very successful sheep fair. Among the highlights are the sheep fair, period food stalls, céilí house and dancing at the crossroads, forge and horse shoeing exhibition, steam engines, craft stalls, history enactments (the Famine), open air traditional music, sheepdog trials and the cooking of col-cannon, to name just a few. Please visit the website for more information on the 2013 Hollywood Fair. The cost is €2 per adult and children up to 16 years are free.

* A free photographic exhibition of Currach making project in Blessington which was supervised by Padraig Dinneen of TG4's Meitheal Mara takes place in Blessington Library. The dates are Saturday August 17 from 10 a.m. to 5p.m., Tuesday August 20 from 1 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. and Saturday August 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..

* Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group for a free guided, 3-hour, land-based whale watch on Saturday August 18 from 2 p.m. to 5 pm.. No bookings necessary. Dress appropriately for weather, bring binoculars. There will be a short walk to watch site. There is, of course, no guarantee of sightings at all sites. The meeting place is Bray Head, Pitch and Putt car park. The organiser is Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Hannah Keogh,, (086) 3850568,

* A National Heritage Week Family Fun Day at East Coast Nature Reserve will take place on Sunday, August 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Wildlife themed treasure hunt, kids' bird race, quiz with spot prizes, face painting, pond dipping etc. Meet at the entrance to the reserve (double wooden gates) at Newcastle Sea Road. V

* The meadows of Kilmacurragh have been rejuvenated over the last few years and Wildlife free Guided Walks take place from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, August 17 and 18, and Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25. This walk will explore biodiversity in the meadow and wildflower identification. Venue : National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Kilbride, Wicklow. Organiser : National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh,, 0404 48844,

* A bat walk by Enda Mullen of Wicklow Conservation Office organised by Corey Bateman, Arklow Environmental Litter Warden, takes place at the Arklow Boating Lake from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20. Sensible footwear and a sweater or jacket are advised. The event organisers take no responsibility for loss of property or injuries.Everyone meets in the Arklow Bay Hotel, Arklow. Contact Jennifer M.J. Kavangh,, (085) 8183392

* A Wicklow's Living Wetlands Exhibition runs in the Wicklow COunty Council COunty Buildings, Wicklow town, from Monday August 19 to Friday August 23. It features a selection of photographs submitted to the Wetlands Competition. Launch date to be announced. The prize winners of the Wetlands Photography Competition organised jointly by Wicklow County Council and BirdwatchIreland, and supported by the Heritage Council will be announced. The closing date to enter the competition is August 2. Send your pictures to Visit

* Imaginosity, Dublin Children's Museum, will be bringing Oscar Wilde's classic children's story 'The Selfish Giant' to life this National Heritage Week at Powerscourt Waterfall on Saturday August 24, starting at 2 p.m.. Families are invited to take part in an interactive re-telling of this story of an unusual friendship and a lesson learned. Help to re-create the playful atmosphere of the Giant's Garden with a whole host of outdoor games such as sack-racking, hula-hopping and parachute fun. For adults the cost is €5.50, student/OAP €5, child (u16) €3.50, children (u2) free, family ticket €16 (2 adults and up to 3 children). Contact Powerscourt Estate, Aoife O`Driscoll,, (01) 2046000,

* A Vintage Sports Day takes place on Sunday August 25 at Burnaby Park, Greystones from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.. Croquet, cricket, egg and spoon races, horse-shoe throwing, sack races and Punch and Judy show are just some of the fun activities suitable for all ages. There is nominal participation fee. Contact organisers The Burnaby Residents Association, Peter Murtagh,, (087) 253 1198

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