Coole Park Visitor Centre & Gardens
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Coole Park & Visitor Centre, Coole, Gort, Galway,
Coole Park and Gardens was the home of Lady Augusta Gregory, a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre and is now a nature reserve situated on 1,000 acres of land. It is located 3km from Gort off the N18 in County Galway.
COOLE/GARRYLAND NATURE RESERVE includes 400 hectares of mixed woodland and wetland. Coole Lough is a turlough that is considered to be of global importance as it is the centre of a unique karstic wetland system, including underground rivers and disappearing lakes.
The site has also been described as the centre of the Irish Literary Revival at the beginning of the twentieth century, when it was home to Lady Gregory, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. Writers and artists were inspired by the landscape and William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and many others carved initials on the autograph tree which still stands in the walled garden. One of W.B Yeats most famous works, "The Wild Swans of Coole" was inspired by his visits here.
Facilities include coach/car parks, a Visitor Centre and tearooms open from spring to autumn, an audio visual and exhibition and many kilometres of way marked woodland walks. Self-guiding trail maps are available at the Centre for a nominal fee to guide visitors along wooded walks, river and lake trails There is access for wheelchair users to the Visitor Centre, the walled garden and some parts of the trails.
The tearooms offer delicious home-baking, lunches and snacks.
Multi-media Exhibition: "Coole Park through the eyes of 'Me and Nu', Granddaughters of Lady Gregory". This charming exhibition gives an impression of what it was like to grow up at Coole in the early 20th century. It contains brief footage of WB Yeats and GB Shaw as well as amusing descriptions and anecdotes of the many famous visitors to Coole. It also contains some personal items belonging to Lady Gregory including one of her fans signed by Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, WB and Jack Yeats among others
Audio Visual: "Lady Gregory of Coole" is a 30-minute literary history of Coole Park. Seating: 60. Language: English.
Guided walks and family activities are offered during July and August.
Guided walks may also be booked in advance by groups
www.coolepark.ie for further information