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Glaslough Village: Afternoon tea, chocolate factory and Busy Bee Ceramics

When you think of Glaslough village, Castle Leslie instantly springs to mind. The 5* hotel has played host to many celebrity weddings including that of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills and Jennifer Zamparelli and her husband Lau. But there is so much more to offer.

After a night in the warm and welcoming Willow Tree Cottage, (It was my first time in a B&B and I was living my Four in a Bed fantasy), I got to visit some of the more cute residents of the area with Annabel of Glaslough Alpacas.

With some cria just after being born I got stuck in and helped with the feeding. I have never had my paternal instinct tested as much as I began bottle feeding one of the animals.

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From there, I was equally as hands on as I tried pottery with Brenda in Busy Bee Ceramics. I was eager to show off my skills but when her daughter Rea presented some of her professional work after graduating from NCAD I was firmly reminded of my limits.

Nevertheless my housemates have been treated to a gorgeous homemade tea mug. The charming village is also home to Glaslough Chocolate and I didn’t need to be asked twice when it came to becoming a sort of Willy Wonka for the afternoon.

As a self-confessed fudge addict, it was like a scene from a dream to see vanilla fudge being made before my very eyes. And I had no hesitation in sampling some and bringing a taster home for later.

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The views in front of Castle Leslie

Mad about Monaghan Town: Museums and street food

I checked into the centrally located Hillside B&B, an ideal spot if you fancy an evening drink and don’t want to get a taxi in Covid times, before checking out Monaghan Town Museum.

The curator, Liam, was a fountain of information as he shared the background of the county, from the early ages right through to the war of independence and the troubles.

And as a big rugby and Ireland AM fan, I also got to see local man Tommy Bowe’s jersey from Ireland’s grand glam victory in 2009. A look around the Monaghan Town Farmer’s Market is a must and grab lunch from Seany at the Blasta Tex-Mex Food Truck. I first spotted the team on James Patrice’s Battle of the Food Truck’s and it is well worth queuing up for. Make sure you go for a walk in Rossmore Forest Park and burn off your lunch before you head off again.

Brenda in Busy Bee Ceramics

Brenda in Busy Bee Ceramics

Carrickmacross: A perfect country town

The final stop in Carrickmacross was a special treat for any royal fans. The area is the home of the ‘royal lace’, which is beloved by Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton. Be sure to stop at the Largah Tin Church, which is, as you guessed, a church is constructed from tin for a unique photo opp.

Plan your visit to Monaghan: The places you need to book

Hillside B&B ( hillsidebandbmonaghan.com ) is situated in a quiet location in the heart of Monaghan Town. Double rooms start from €85 per night, including breakfast; or €120 per night for a family room, consisting of one king and one double bed.

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Willow Tree Cottage ( https://www.facebook.com/newlineglaslough/ ) in the beautiful village of Glaslough is conveniently located for the various amenities, including the world-class equestrian centre at Castle Leslie, and features tennis, garden and ample parking.

During the summer months, Glaslough Chocolate ( glasloughchocolate.net ) is open Tues-Fri 2pm-5pm; and weekends 1pm-5pm.

Glaslough Alpacas ( glasloughalpacas.com ) offers ‘meet and greet’ experiences, costing €10 per adult and €5 per child; pre-booking is essential.

Busy Bee Ceramics is open Wed-Sat, 10am-6pm and Sun 12pm to 6pm, and offers a variety of classes and workshops. Pre-book at busybeeceramics.ie

Afternoon Tea at Castle Leslie starts from €27.50 per person; €37.50 per person including a glass of Prosecco. Pre-book at castleleslie.com

Take a walk in Rossmore

Take a walk in Rossmore

Monaghan County Museum ( Monaghan.ie/museum ) is free to visit, and open Mon-Fri 11am-5pml and Sat 12pm-5pm.

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Blasta Street Kitchen ( blastastreetkitchen.com ) are regulars at the Monaghan Town Farmers Market on a Friday.

St. Peter’s Tin Church ( https://monaghantourism.com/listing/st-peters-tin-tabernacle/ ) is free to visit and open 7 days a weeks, 10am-6pm.

Carrickmacross Lace Gallery ( carrickmacrosslace.ie ) is open Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm (excluding bank holidays); Collective at Market Square ( collectiveatmarketsq.ie ) is open Tues-Sat, 9.30am-4pm

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