Ionad Cois Locha with the intention of taking their boat trip out onto Dunlewy Lake in order to get some photographs of Errigal and the surrounding countryside from the water. I also wanted to take their 'cottage tour' to see what was inside the cottage. I love going into these old places, seeing how life was lived many years ago.
The cottage and our guide, Francie Diver
Cottage interior ~ note the bed to the left of the hearth
Moving on from there we entered the cottage itself and what we would call today the living room. Walking in the old cottage door the first thing that hits you is the heavenly smell of a turf fire. I love that smell, evocative as it is of years gone by. The room was typical of these old cottages in that it had an open fire with lots of crocks and pans sitting by the hearth, a bed recess, an old dresser packed with all manner of dishes including bowls from which people would drink their tea at one time. There was the Sacred Heart picture with the little red light in front of it and even the china dogs on the mantelpiece. An old table beside the window where the family would have eaten completed the room.
Moving back down through the living room and through a door on the opposite wall, we entered the 'lower room' or scullery/pantry and this is full of all sorts of kitchen items such as an old hand worked washing machine, pandys which were cans for holding milk and hand made by travelling tinkers of the time. Indeed this is where the word 'tinker' came from, these travelling men fashioned all sorts of domestic items from tin and then sold them to the people whose villages they travelled through. There is also a selection of old dishes and jugs and even an old wooden butter churn.
The old shop ~ note the plough in front of the shop
Errigal from the boat
Back on dry land, we walked back to the main building. In here there are loos, a large gift shopping selling all manner of local crafts and gifts. There is a cafe/diner which serves snacks and meals. As it was nearly closing time (6pm) we didn't have time to sample the food so maybe next time.
I think the centre is well worth a day out for both families to take their children to and also adults without children in tow. It is rich in the history of the area but it is also a fun place for the children and we will certainly be back soon with our two older grandchildren who I know will have a ball there.