Irish Blessings Tour
Bee Smith is a Local Tour Guide within Ireland's Marble Arch Caves Geopark which crosses the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border. She guides scheduled walks And days out in Fermanagh, Cavan, Leitrim and Sligo. These walk abouts are for body, mind and spirit with stories, poems and song accompanying exploration of this mythic landscape. We have conducted an interview with Bee.
How long have you been the local tour guide of Ireland's Marble Arch Caves Geopark?
Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark trained local guides in Co. Cavan in 2011. I have been leading scheduled walks and days out in Cavan, Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo ever since.
Which is the most fascinating spots for body, mind and spirit with stories and poems?
I always include some time on each of my tours in Cavan Burren Forest and Shannon Pot, which are rich in story and folklore, as well as having megaliths, stunning views and interesting flora. Cavan Burren is so important in terms of story and natural heritage that it is the most westerly outpost of sites on Ireland’s new Ancient East trail. The region also has many literary heroes – W. B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Percy French, John McGahern – who have been formed by this landscape.
When is the best season for days out in Fermanagh, Cavan, Leitrim and Sligo?
These four counties can be beautiful, haunting and special any time of year. Low season will avoid crowds and reduce costs. But high season will find the area hopping with festivals, traditional music events, and other diversions. Yeats fans might prefer to visit in June and July. Samuel Beckett fans might like early August to catch the Happy Days Festival. But if you want to soak up the natural beauty, then my personal tip would be to visit in May or September. In May all the many wild plants are bursting into bloom. By early September, you see the autumnal heather, berries and rainbows. This is an area rich in biodiversity and has the cleanest air in western Europe. While the weather is always with us, these months can be a bit drier than others. Bring good waterproof outer wear and sturdy walking boots. This is upland country with stunning views from the heights.
How many hours of walking for a couple who are moderately active? Is the walk recommended for family with small child?
My tours escorting a small group can be tailored to half days (4 hrs) or full days (7-8 hrs) and are paced to include longer walks with time in the car going to the next destination. I tailor my tours and routes to the individuals’ stamina and include lunch stops. The itinerary is worked out to complement the tourists own plans for their next destination and I offer advice on accommodation and other points of interest once I get to know their own particular travel aims and objectives. My tours are completely family friendly and past groups have included three generations of a family and a family where the youngest member was in a baby backpack. I conduct my tours in English but have experience leading a group where one person translates.
In which language(s) do you conduct these tours?
I conduct my tours in English but have experience leading a group where one person translates. Irish Blessings Tours aims to offer personalised walks and days out so that our clients can feel the benefits to their mind, body and soul from visiting this lesser known Irish tourist destination.
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