Tour of Athlone 8th September 2016
I am sure for most this may well seem like a distant memory but hopefully an enjoyable one. It was a reasonable morning weather wise when we met up at Sprucefield. After the usual greetings and friendly banter the group headed of in convoy to Clones where the lunch stop had been arranged.
So far so good, no lost souls. Following an enjoyable lunch the next stop was Athlone and The Hodson Bay Hotel where tea, coffee and scones where laid on for us on arrival. No formal checking in as rooms had been pre allocated so straight to the room via the bar (for some) unpack and then get ready for the evening meal at 7.00pm. The food in the hotel proved to be excellent with no complaints, I believe.
A boat trip to Athlone and a day free shopping or whatever. Unfortunately. as I previously mentioned Anne ended up in hospital but thankfully now home and on the road to recovery. Derek Gaw gives us all a fright in the town with an ambulance being called but sister Pat got him on his feet very quickly. Yes, I did make the boat trip albeit equipped with the magical wrist bands. All back to the hotel for the evening meal.
A short run to the Derryglad Museum which proved a ‘hit’ with most and then on to Strokestown House for tea, coffee and scones and a tour of the house and grounds. A great visit andtwo great tour guides particularly the young lady who was absolutely brilliant and came across as having not only the knowledge of the museum but a great voice to tell it. Then it was back to the hotel and the evening meal.
A visit to the Heritage Park at Moate where tea, coffee and scones had been laid on for us compliments of the volunteers who were really very happy to see us all. Then on to Kilbeggan Distillery where a step back in time was very much evident. Lots of purchases were made although not ‘Duty Free’ unfortunately. The group then travelled back in convoy to the hotel for the final nights evening meal.
The homeward journey took us via Trim where we once again stopped of at Pat Morans’ pub for lunch. Then most made their way home with some stopping off for a ‘comfort’ stop at the Apple Green service station.