Aillwee Caves, Bird of Prey Centre and Burren Perfumery

On the very same day as we discovered Hazel Mountain Chocolate we headed on to three more spots dotted across the Burren. These three are the ones we had planned in advance – carefully plucked from google as places of interest for Em and I. Actually, Burren Perfumery was suggested to me by a colleague in work. So after our sneaky bun and hot chocolate we headed onwards. And the Burren Perfumery was our first port of call.

I went a little overboard with the photos – especially here. And I cant pick, because it was such a pretty place. Maybe one day we can model field cottage gardens on their herb gardenΒ β™₯

Burren Perfumery Burren Perfumery Tearoom Burren Perfumery Herb Garden Burren Perfumery 3 Burren Perfumery 2Unfortunately we had already had our quota of cake for the morning – so we didnt nip into the tearoom. It did however look beautiful, and will be on my list of places to revisit. The shop had a very informative short video you could watch, which I enjoyed. It helped to give me a teeny bit of knowledge about the area, which was welcome. The herb garden was worth getting soaked by the rain for – even if it was just for the tulips!

The shop was full of wonderful scents and products. Its a miracle I didnt bring anything home with me, but I am trying to be a little bit better behaved. Mainly because I had London following this trip – and I am still to go to York in a couple of weeks! However – there is one thing I have bookmarked for a future purchase. Once I have worked my way through all the perfumes I have that is! And that’s Winter Woods scent – i dont know what it is, but for some reason I am drawn to the more masculine scents atm. I used to be all about the sweet scents, maybe Im growing up πŸ˜‰

Then we moved onto Aillwee Caves and The Birds of Prey Centre. Its no secret that I am wildlife obsessed, so the Bird of Prey Centre caught my eye during my research. However once we arrived, I was pretty excited about a trip into the caves as well. There is something fascinating about caves – Id love to curl up in one with a book, a fire and some marshmallows πŸ˜€

Aillwee Caves 2 Aillwee Caves Burren Gold Cheese

They also have a wonderful farm shop on site with some pretty damn good cheese! Burren Gold – a Gouda-type cheese, that is made with unpasturised cows milk. My favourite was the original unflavoured, but Emma went home with some or the Piri-Piri. They have a cheese for everyone – including nettle!

Then we moved on to the Birds of Prey Centre – where I fell in love with a Sea Eagle and a Ruppells Vulture. Both of whom you can see below – after one of the many beautiful owls they have at the centre.

Sika was exceptionally stunning – I have never seen such a large bird of prey close up and she was a sight to behold! Its shocking to think the reintroduction of these birds has caused so many ripples throughout society. With a poor white tailed sea eagle being found dead on her nest in Connemara this April. The loss of this breeding female comes as a serious blow to the reintroduction project.Β The 13th confirmed poisoning since the start of the program in 2007 shows that this big bird is still highly misunderstood. I hope we can look forward to a day when we once again have double figures of breeding pairs throughout Ireland – a sea eagle in the wild must be a thing of great beauty.

Dyson on the other hand isnt so pretty – but dont let that fool you. Vultures are so valuable to our ecosystem. Did you know that they dissolve anthrax, botulism, and cholera bacteria in their guts? And by consuming the carcasses of diseased animals, vultures prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases such as rabies and anthrax among animals and humans. Natures hoovers – hence them name πŸ˜‰ I certainly have a new appreciation for these odd looking creatures after listening to Jamie talk about Dyson.

I can recommend the Bird of Prey Centre to anyone – young or old! The passion Mike and Jamie have for their charges is admirable and inspiring – and their willingness to share their experiences makes for an informative and fascinating way to spend an afternoon. DO IT!

owl1Dyson Sika1Sika2 Sika3

And thats probably enough for today! Lots of chat, due to lots of fun πŸ™‚ Im off to York in a couple of weeks, so I am collecting even more memories to share! Have you been up to anything special recently?