In the end it all came and went so quickly! After months of preparations the big day finally arrived on August 24th, and the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018, was finally under way.
We have so much to share, from an event that truly touched the hearts and minds of all who took part. So many wonderful places were visited, wonderful people were met, new friendships formed, histories and heritages imparted, battles re-enacted, and the fun and camaraderie that abounded was amazing.
We will over the coming weeks feature the stories, photographs and video footage of every aspect of our journey, and what an adventure it was.
In County Laois we cycled, and travelled not just through the beautiful countryside and rolling hills, but through time itself! Each site we visited was steeped in history and wonder. For many of our cyclists these visits may have been their first to certain places, but not their last, we were continuously informed. For others among our convoy, not only had they never been, but had never known of many of sites we called upon, and the fascinating stories attached to each!
And that is what the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally is all about, and is also why we can say, with hand on heart, that the event has been a great success. For it’s all about delving into our heritage, finding, highlighting and sharing it; firstly with those wonderful people who brave the two days with us, on vintage bikes in vintage attire, and secondly with everyone else, as we promise to feature every aspect of our travels here on our website!
That is a promise we will keep, but it may take a little time! There are photographs and videos to be trawled through, then edited. Histories, facts and figures to be checked, but we will get there.
But before all that, we wish to thank all the participants in this year’s Rally! From all the wonderful cyclists and those who took part in our pageants and re-enactments, to those who gave heritage talks and received us so warmly! It goes without saying, that without you all, we would have no event, but we will say it anyway! Thank you!
We hope to do it all again next year, and truly hope to see you all again!
1) Our guided tour of Emo Court has been changed to 11am on Saturday 25th instead of 11.30am. This necessitates a change to our planned breakfast time at Treacy’s Restaurant. This will now be served at 9.30am and not 10am as previously described.
2) For those of you who wish to leave your cars overnight in Durrow; secure parking will be available at Castle Durrow. (gates will be locked at night time)
This car park is located at the first entrance on the left (top of the hill and left through big white gates).
Hopefully we will have someone there to direct you to the Pavillion, located at the rear of Castle Durrow.
Please do not park or leave your car overnight in the Main Car Park at the front/side of Castle Durrow as this is reserved for wedding guests and customers.
Should you require last minute information, don’t be afraid to give me a buzz on 086 8694691.
Otherwise, relax now! and look forward to a leisurely couple of days of cycling, eating, drinking, dancing, singing and acting? but above all, immersing yourself in our hidden heritage.
Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails would like to welcome you on this novel cycle through the history and heritage of County Laois. Inspired by the cycling exploits of William Bulfin in 1902, the organising committee have invested a great deal of time and effort in mapping out an interesting and varied programme of historic re-enactments, heritage information and fun events for your enjoyment.
The following are a few pointers to help you enjoy your cycle journey with us.
We will assemble at The Pavillion, Castle Durrow at 9.30am sharp, on Friday August 24th where cyclist will sign in for registration and have your personal luggage deposited in our event van.
Event souvenir “Passports” will be issued and first stamp assigned.
Bicycles will undergo a safety check. Please ensure that your bicycle is in good working order and fully roadworthy
Introduction to the event will be presented by Matt Doyle, Chairman, Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails.
A short extract from William Bulfin’s book “Rambles in Eireinn” will be re-enacted to set the scene for our cycle.
At selected sites throughout the entire event, the persona of William Bulfin will be enacted by Sean Conroy.
We will depart Castle Durrow for the Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum at Attanagh Co. Laois at 11am. Here we will be greeted by Museum Curator, Walter Phelan for a guided tour of the Museum taking in some of its 7000 exhibits. A Fish & Game breakfast will be served here;
In celebration of this unique venue and also, the medieval theme of this year’s event.
We will depart Attanagh Museum at 1.15pm on our outward journey.
Full information, regarding Route Details and Times is in our event brochure, available to all participants on morning of registration. (more…)
All cyclists need sufficient fuel to keep those pedals turning! And for this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle, we supply all participants with an amazing variety of food, along the route.
So once you’ve purchased your ticket, and start preparing for the journey, the one thing you need not worry about packing is food. Each day the Heritage Cycle route is punctuated with stop-offs at the many wonderful heritage sites we will visit, and refreshment will always be readily available.
As part of our Heritage cycle, on Day One of this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, we make a courtesy call, to the award winning G’s Gourmet Jams, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois. Our stop off to see how jams are made the good old traditional way, stirred and poured by hand from a boiling open pan, is pencilled in between our visits to Heywood Gardens and Timahoe Round Tower & Heritage Centre.
G’s Gourmet Jams, Abbeyleix Co.Laois was founded by Helen Gee in 1998 and launched in 1999. It was set up as an alternative farm enterprise and is family run. Helen moved from Abbeyleix, from her hometown Bagenalstown Co. Carlow after marrying Cyril and quickly became involved in the local Community.
Throughout the years Helen has had one burning ambition – to own her own food business. From an early age she developed a love for making traditional home made food, thanks to her mother Elizabeth. (more…)
Route and itinerary details for this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, as our Event Tickets are now on sale! As well as our usual Full Event Ticket, you can now purchase single tickets for Day One and Day Two, should you so prefer.
We visit amazing heritage sites, and many places of interest in between; such as Castle Durrow and Heywood Gardens, round towers and hilltop strongholds, Gourmet Jams and Evening Markets, Museums and Heritage Centres, restaurants and public houses, eating as we go …. fuelling up for battle re-enactments, heritage talks, pageants, recitals, the long awaited return of the Seven Septs of Laois, music, song and dance, with our Austrian visitors, to mention but a bit of it, and then finish everything off in style, with a celebratory meal at the Ashbrook Arms, except that’s not the end of it because there’s more music, song and dance, vintage bikes and the likes, at Bob’s Bar, back in Durrow, where it all began…. where it all began it should end….. and begin once more, for next year we go again…. to where we yet not know, but rest assured that once again we’ll be rambling in Eirinn!
But before all that here is the itinerary/route details for the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.
Are you a cyclist? Part of a cycling club or group? Are you looking for a cycling challenge this summer?
If so, then the Bulfin Heritage Cycle has one for you!
We are looking for a group of cyclists, to take part in this year’s Rally, and have the honour of returning the Seven Septs of Laois, to their ancient homestead.
For many centuries before its plantation by the English, and its subsequent renaming as Queens County, Laois was under the control of Seven Septs (Local clan families). Following many bloody battles with the Crown forces, the surviving members of the Septs, were transplanted to Co. Kerry, being under sentence of death, should they ever return to Laois. The Septs were established in Kerry, as tenant farmers under their landlord, Patrick Crosbie, and their descendants remain in the Kingdom to this very day. (more…)