Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Barrow Drive - Our Favourite Roadtrip with Chill Insurance*

Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour! Is there a nicer way of spending an evening than taking to the open road to explore our beautiful country? Here at Grace With Love Blog we were invited to share our favourite scenic road trip in Ireland by Chill Insurance and you are in for a treat! The Barrow Drive from St. Mullins to Graiguenamanagh is a delightful journey steeped in ancient Irish folklore, history and culture. We are thrilled to share some stunning hidden gems in Ireland's Ancient East and hopefully to inspire you to take a road trip yourselves.

The Starting Point - St. Mullins

Jump out off your car and leave ample time to explore the unique ecclesiastical village of St. Mullins. An ancient monastery was founded here by St. Moling in the 7th Century and it is truly a magical location to explore. Many fascinating tales and folklore exist on St. Moling who is said to have dug a mile long water course to power his mill, an arduous task which lasted seven years!  Irish heritage enthusiasts are spoiled for choice with treasures such as a Norman Motte and Bailey and ancient monastic remains such as The High Cross, round tower and holy well.

The historic graveyard in St. Mullins houses icons such as the 1798 Rebellion leader General Thomas Cloney. I am pictured above standing at a commemorative plaque for all from this area who suffered before, during and after The Rebellion of 1798. Furthermore the renowned King of Leinster, landlord Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh is buried here and you can learn a magnitude of information on Irish history in the ancient village of St. Mullins.

The 9th Century High Cross in St. Mullins is a must- see and features Celtic patterns and a depiction of the Crucifixion. On your journey from St. Mullins to Graiguenamanagh you will pass by Teampall na Bó "The Church of the Cows" built to honour St. Moling who freed the area of Ossory from paying a tax in Cows to the High Kings of Ireland (the Baroma Tribute).

Why not pop in for a round of golf on your road trip in Carrigleade Golf Course?

Bask in the scenic views of Brandon Hill with a 2 kilometre drive from Carrigleade Golf Course to the medieval town of Graiguenamanagh. Here you will find history, tracks and trails, great food and splendid arts and crafts set against the backdrop of the beautiful River Barrow.

Graiguenamanagh means "Village of the Monks" and no trip is complete without a visit to Duiske Abbey, the largest Cistercian abbey in Ireland. Founded in 1204 this is an exemplary work of medieval architecture with features in both the Romanesque and Gothic style.

If you are interested in crafts Cushendale Woolen Mills is a haven of Irish design. The connection of wool to Graiguenamanagh traces back to the founding of the Duiske Abbey and this  site is where the first mills belonging to the Cistercian monks would have stood in 1204. In Cushendale you can discover a variety of unique pieces such as scarves and home interiors made from pure Irish wool which make a beautiful gift for yourself, your family or friends.

Another stunning example of Irish crafts to visit on your journey is The Duiske Glass Gift Shop. Duiske Glass is a handcut crystal brand that enjoys significant success in Ireland and globally and the home store is the only stockist in the world! Here you will find stunning jewellery, fashion accessories and crystal pieces. Pardon the pun but this is a real GEM of a gift shop!

Alas, we have come to the end of our Barrow Drive journey! This is an unforgettable experience in Ireland's Ancient East that we now invite you to enjoy. Make sure you are driving safely and that you are covered with quality car insurance from Chill Insurance for piece of mind on the road. Happy driving!

* This post is in collaboration with Chill Insurance
All opinions are my own. 
Photos by my talented Mum


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