A Very Quiet Wandering Aengus

Today's Bards In The Woods was at the beautiful Hazelwood Forest about 4 km east of Sligo Town. It was incredibly still today with barely a ripple from the water. No swans, which is strange here, and very few ducks. Normally this place is swarming with water birds.

Hawthorn blossom just coming out here, so an excuse for another view along the coastline of Lough Gill.

I say "Bards In The Woods", but nobody turned up for our gathering today.

Actually hardly anybody turned up to this forest at all. Just a few dog walkers.

Normally it is difficult to get a parking space here. Very strange as it had become a lovely afternoon. A bit of drizzle about 3:30 pm but it was all over by 4 pm.

I am sadly discovering this with Public Forests I have visited this year. Hardly anybody has been interested in spending time in them, and the weather has generally been good.

Many people tell me its transport problems, but its within easy cycling distance
of Sligo, car pooling should be easy and some sharing taxi fare is only €8 shared each way.

More time pondering the view ...

and off I go along the coastal path

past this prehistoric oak

a coppiced lime tree

Leaves of a Lime Tree, if you are not familiar

a little Holly in front of a huge Oak

I have always taken pics of this sculptured arch close up, so I thought I would take one well away from it this time.

There seems to be a lot more seats installed in this forest, at least one every 30 metres for a distance. Each one has a view of the landscape, a fascinating tree of a dense wild flower growing area.

There is a lot of peace in this forest. It is a perfect shinrin yoku forest, a forest bathing forest.

Some people play here. I used to make little dens like this as a child :-)

Lots of Yews here

and seats that face Yews, or are among the Yews

Maybe my imagination, but the walkways here seem upgraded since last time we were here?

A Yew becomes two trees

and there is a stone folly here

that has a tree growing on top of it

but now the wide track is getting narrower

and becomes this

and here is a view from a nearby seat

A crossroads in the paths, and these wooden fungi there.

With our Bards In The Woods sessions we go up here ...

but this time I am taking the path to Nut Point

and at the end there are reeds between this point and Wolf Island

I also disturbed a duck family and just got a pic of them before they vanished

... oh dear, no I didn't

Back to the crossroads and took the fourth path, ever been on this, and it had nice views too.

but the seats had now stopped.

A lane of old snarly oaks, and one here has a harp growing on it.

Oh yes, very few places in Co. Sligo escape the seeing eye of Ben Bulben.

But now its time to beam into another dimension

The ruins of Hazelwood House

and the very haunting ruins of this factory that used to supply much of the blank video tape to the world. When you bought or rented VHS videos its tape likely came from here ...

I am showing you very little as I do not want to spoil this thread, but this is a massive factory !!!

I met the man who started this. I met him around 6 years ago well after it had folded up. He firmly believed DVDs were going to be a short lived craze and that nothing was going to bring down his tape company, so he never kept up with the times.

That man now imports and distributes dog food.

This building could be made into an incredible film studio and audio studio combined and Hazelwood House has wonderful film set potential too.

I was so glad to find a path to escape from here though

but that path ran out and I had to use a compass to keep going and escape.

I prayed for no brambles, no nettles and no wells to fall in.

It was not bad and I was soon onto a big path back to the car park.

Ouch, it was near 6 pm and the midges knew it was now time for their feed. I had been clear of them up until now.

At the car park, people were actually arriving !!!

Lots of people !!!

So I left them to the midges being very satisfied with my own adventures.

Would have loved to have shared them with a Bard or two ... but I am sure we would not have explored at much.

I hope this forest is not left too much. It would be a pity to lose it, but the initiative of the seats and paths seems to indicate this is here for a while.

Hazelwood is very, relaxing, a true Bathing In The Fae's Breath forest.


  1. Sad that no one was there. The Forests need the people as you say. It all looks beautifully lush and green and fresh.

    1. The beauty did surprise me on that day. During previous visits I had always found this place, Hazelwood, to be beautiful and just thought it could never be excelled. I did not expect to take many pics or take different paths. At first it was just a visit to relax and take in the woods. I was astounded how different the forest was. I think this was due to the extreme stillness of the water and air so nature sounds were different and louder. The morning's showers were also lingering on the surface of trees and plants so colours were much more emphasised. No human sounds perhaps made a difference too.


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