A Folly is defined as a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose. They can be found all over the country on the lands of the grand old estates, their function usually being decorative whimsy on the part of the owner but sometimes they served as a memorial of sorts. St Annes Park, once the property of the Guinness family, is reputed to have at least 10 follies in the grounds. On a sunny Thursday morning 7 stalwart searchers set off from Olives Room cafe to see how many we could find.The park is bisected by the small Nanikin river which feeds an artificial duck pond and is bordered by a very pleasant walk. In addition to the follies there is a walled garden with a clock tower, an arboretum, a rose garden and many sports grounds. All of these features are accessed by lovely walks around the park.Aside from the folly search we visited the Peace Tree just outside the park on the Clontarf Road. This, we all agreed, is a stunning piece of art depicting a plethora of wildlife, both land and marine, native to Ireland. After a 4km exploratory ramble we returned to Olives Room cafe for lunch and a tally of follies ( photographic evidence was required !) We were pleased to find that we had located 9 of them, including Annie Lee Tower Bridge, the Temple of Isis by the duck pond, a Roman observation tower and a Herculean Temple. All of the pacers who took part in the walk agreed that this matter requires further investigation !
Peninsula Pacers walk The Bull Island
Whilst one of our recent monthly walks one group did a short walk and history tour of St Anne’s Park, the other group did a 10km walk through the park and on to a loop of The Bull Island. It was a great day with fantastic views. There are benches along the beach to rest on and a fantastic outdoor cafe -Happy Out- with a toilet nearby for 30cent! where we had lunch. We intend venturing south side in November doing a flat coastal walk from Dunlaoighre to Dalkey.