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Review of Tawnylust Lodge

Posted by at 03:25 on Sunday 10 January 2010

>> For contact details, availability and booking, see greentraveller's full listing of Tawnylust

Tawnylust Lodge. Manorhamilton, County LeitrimWhen I admired Nuala’s cool triple recycling bins in the apartment, which is cleverly attached onto her own wooden house,she told me, “I have a triple composting system. First I feed the cat, then I go down the hill to feed my neighbour’s horse, and finally some carrot ends to his donkey”. This is Nuala, who thinks of everything and everyone. The first sign of such kindness was the welcome parcel on the kitchen counter. It was full of local chutneys, jam, herbs, elderflower cordial and Fairtrade chocolate. Her willingness to share her local knowledge was equally generous. “That’s why I built it. I love to share Leitrim”, she told me.

The first thing I wanted to do when I got here was run. Just jump off the wooden veranda, down the hill, into the sodden verdant valley, gathering enough speed to run up the bronze coloured Ballinabehy ridge, and finally cool off in Munakill Lake. But of course, this only happens in movies, where they don’t have farmers and land access problems. But Nuala grew up here, knows all the welcoming farmers and will tell you which hills to run up and down and which ones to avoid. She even helps run a hill-walking club called Holey Soles, with a special ‘holey’ Easter walking festival. If you have kids, she will take you all down to her brother’s farm in the next field. Catch them in lambing season and you are in for a real treat. Ask Nuala where to go mushroom foraging, and she’ll point you in the right direction. As a result she now offers a series of walking breaks called Leitrim Landscapes, also reviewed by greentraveller travel writer, Jeremy Smith. Click here for details.

Tawnylust is environmentally-friendly too with solar passive heating, panels for hot water, low wattage under floor heating,

Nuala McNulty, owner of Tawnylust Lodge

 recycled paper insulation, an inbuilt heat recovery system, and electricity from a renewable energy company. She keeps things local, with Leitrim artists’ work on the walls and information on all local markets and cooperatives. Leitrim County Council uses the rather unimaginative slogan “Lovely Leitrim”, on their signposts. I prefer Nuala’s “I love to share Leitrim”. Better on the ear and an accurate description of many Leitrim people I met on my travels. If I were they, I would be tempted to keep it a secret.

Top tips: Eat at Clancy’s of Glenfarne, on the main N16 road. I stopped here for a top breakfast on an early morning trip to the lakes in Enniskillen. If the eight baking bowls on the kitchen table aren’t proof enough of the home made bread, the smell will be. Like many Irish restaurants, they subscribe to Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board), ensuring all food products are sourced locally and traceable ‘from farm to fork’.

Verdict: Ideal for a couple, a little small for four, as two are on a sofa bed in open plan sitting room/kitchen. But main bed superb. Great spot for touring Ireland, with Nuala giving you best tips for discovering underrated County Leitrim.

Getting there : Take the bus to Manorhamilton and taxi 9km to Tawnylust. Call +353 (0) 86 854 1777 for a taxi or Nuala can pick you up if she is available.

> For contact details, availability and booking, see greentraveller's full listing of Tawnylust


Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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