Have found myself in Tipperary fairly often recently and that was where I ended up after an impromptu day trip the other day. With the sun promising to stay out for the day, we put a bit of a plan together and it worked well: headed first for Lismore, then up through The Vee, over to Ardfinnan, in to Lava Rock in Cahir for a lovely lunch, and then a call to the Apple Farm before heading home.
|Cyclist on The Vee as a shower moves across the Golden Vale|
Took the R639 out of Cork and headed for Watergrasshill before turning right for Lismore. Drove through the East Cork countryside with Conna and then Tallow (now in Waterford) both looking well. No stops in Lismore - well just one to take a pic of the castle - before heading up for The Vee.
|Checking out Baylough|
Soon a pleasant drive on the narrow road through the woods had us above the tree-line and heading for the Vee proper. I’ve read that the area is named for the “V” in the road but I sometimes think that the “V” in the mountains (the Knockmealdowns) was there first. In any event, the views (from about 600 metres) are splendid, and include much of the Golden Vale between the Knockmealdown and Galtee Mountains and also Slievenamon over by Clonmel.
When coming from Clogheen, and having passed the Vee, you will come to a fork in the road. If you’d like to see and visit Mount Melleray (1832), go left (heading for Cappoquin), if not carry on on the right to Lismore. When we reached Lismore we had to have a bite to eat (another unplanned trip) and found a surprisingly delicious ham sandwich (real meat!) in the Mace attached to the garage at the junction of the Vee descent and the road in from Cappoquin.
|The Suir River in Cahir|
Anyway, back to the first day and, after taking in the splendid views over the neighbouring counties, we dropped down gently to Clogheen and, from there, headed over to Ardfinnan to take a look at the castle, a sister of Lismore and built in the 12th century. It is privately occupied so no visits, just a pretty picture with a flock of geese on the waters of the Suir underneath.
|Geese near Cahir Castle|
A short stroll up the street took us to Lava Rock and an excellent lunch. Read all about it here.
|at the Apple Farm|
The nearby Apple Farm, just out the Clonmel Road, is always worth a visit and especially that day as the first of Con Traas’s late-fruiting strawberries were on sale. So we loaded up with that delicious, high quality fruit, lots of apple juice, some of his cider, pots and pots of jams and some more goodies. A few minutes later, we were on the motorway back to Cork which we reached less than a hour later. The roads are good folks, so let us use them and enjoy our country.