Just a short drive from Kilkenny lives a magical place called Lawcus Farm Guesthouse. You’ll find it down a sweet little windy road that opens up into a gorgeous property filled with horses, cows, pigs, dogs, cats, donkey’s and immeasurable amounts of love and creativity.
In our quest to find places we could learn about hurling, we set our sights on Malzard’s Pub in Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. You can read about our experience at the brillant Malzard’s Pub here. We realized we needed a place close by Malzard’s so we randomly selected Lawcus Farm based on its proximity.
We had ten days to spend in Ireland with plans to make it from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher and back again, stopping all along the way to research hurling, see some matches, and sneak in a little family history. Our original plan was to stay at Lawcus for one night. We reluctantly left after three nights, but not before discussing the possibility of staying the full ten days just getting lost and enchanted by the farm and all of it’s inhabitants.
Upon arrival Ann Marie, one of the owners and operators of Lawcus greeted us. She’s an exquisite gal who makes amazing breakfast accompanied by equally amazing small talk. She gave us a hand drawn map and suggested a nearby adventure, wandering through some castle ruins while avoiding large numbers of sheep.
We first explored the grounds of Lawcus, which are aptly suited for lingering, daydreaming and feeling extreme joy. We said hello to the donkey, who readily engaged with an almost human-like personality. The goats and very enormous pigs were friendly and quite talkative, as were the numerous birds singing us through the fairy-tale farm. We wandered a path back to the treehouse, (which was almost ready for guests to sleep in overnight!!) and found a secret surprise underneath, which I will let you find for yourself when you get there. There is a perfect area, just off the kitchen, to sit and simply behold the farm. As the sun rises and sets and the mist sweeps in and out, it’s a new view every minute.
We then decided to follow Ann-Marie’s advice and explore the stunning and well-preserved castle with its mysterious graveyard. It even had the old hot lava pouring holes, charmingly called “murder-holes”, intact at the castle gates, which made us quite glad it was unoccupied. From there Ann-Marie mentioned we might follow the path around past an old mill and through a little town where we might just find a pint to quench our thirst. That happened.
When we returned we got to meet Robin and Julianne who work at Lawcus and are also a wealth of information about the area and the wildlife and are simply lovely people to be around. Julianne was the person who told us the poem about magpies that we used in our book. (Chapter 9)
The following day we met Mark, also the owner and partner to Ann-Marie. He was kind enough to show us around his house, just next to the B&B and also give us the history of the property. Both the B&B and Mark & Ann-Marie’s house are stunning and completely built, designed, and/or refurbished by Mark. He built their house from scratch and…well, there are no words to describe their house. All I can really say is that it’s probably the house you’ve always dreamed of. Everything has been thought of and every bit has a story; from the walls, to the floor, to the ceiling (I’m not kidding) and everything in between. We got to taste a bit of moonshine at the handmade bar and Mark told us a few secrets about the surrounding area, which we will never reveal, so you’ll have to go ask him yourself.
We were given a little handmade wooden shamrock upon our departure which we hung from the rear-view mirror for the rest of our journey through Ireland, and which now hangs in our home, happily reminding us of our time in Stoneyford and of all the wonderful people there. We think of Lawcus Farm often and intend to go back someday, hopefully soon, though the memories will not likely fade fast. It’s a place that sticks with you, and will likely (and luckily) not release your mind and heart…an easy spot to drum up when you’re feeling dreamy.
Should you ever lack inspiration or just need to settle into the perfect environment to revive the You that got lost somewhere along the way, I suggest a trip to Lawcus Farm.