We took the Long Way to Muckross House. My mom and I can certainly laugh about this mis-adventure. We parked in a vacant lot near a gate to the park. We passed a small home and trailed to the nice lake, followed a path passed an old church, cemetery and many fenced pastures that enclosed many cattle. It felt like an eternity, after already spending most of the morning on our feet.
I think we walked for more than an hour, nearly 6 kilometers. It was finally in front of us – Muckross House. We entered the admission area only to be told, the next tour does not start until 1 hour 15 minutes. They suggested we tour the magnificent gardens. We explained where we came from, they were quite alarmed we parked so far away, when you can drive up to the property.It was quite funny – well the walk back certainly was not, but I am happy we were able to spend the morning with nature. Needless to say we walked back the trail, ever so tired to the car and parked on the Muckross House Property.
Muckross House, was built-in 1843 by the Herbert Family. The home has a history even linked to the Guinness Brewing Family to be sold to a wealthy American businessman, who gifted the property to his daughter as a wedding present. After her sudden death the family donated the property to the State. The State was unable to invest much money into the upkeep of the property and Muckross House was closed to the public until 1964.
A public effort saw the restoration of the property which enables history to be preserved. There are many wonderful stories, artifacts and wonders that are told by exceptional knowledgeable guides. There is also a workshop, where workers produce 100% authentic local product for the gift shop. We had the opportunity to see how things are made, directly on-site.
Established Newfoundland & Labrador tourism attractions could learn from these in Ireland, as people are interested in seeing how product is made and not poorly crafted goods or things that come from other countries (ie mass-produced in China).
For the tourism attractions, currently in waiting or dis-repair, community meetings are needed. Good things happen when communities, regions and key stakeholders work together to preserve a part of our living history.
Muckross House enforces a no photo taking policy. Therefore, it is a wonder you must experience for yourself, from the large kitchen, to 60+ different servant buzzers (that sounded a horn with a unique ring identified the room it came from), to a bath tub that allows you to pull the plug without getting your hands wet, an exquisite library, drawing-room, collection of local hunting trophies and paintings by Herbert to name a few.
Take some time to view the gardens and if you wish, you can take a Horse and Buggy that will guide you around the grounds and take you to a waterfall.
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