Leixlip

26th July, 2015

I will be taking the Airport Hopper coach to Liexlip to stay at the Court yard Hotel. I love all the Irish bus names- “hop on, hop off”, the “Leap” and now the “Hopper”. I just hope I don’t take one called “jump or you miss it”!

The Court Yard Hotel is built on the original site where Arthur Guinness created his brewing empire, the hotel offers old world charm, beautiful original stone work and contemporary design in a setting that is picturesque as a “pint settling”. the Court Yard Hotel is truly Kildare’s best kept secret. I will tell you more about this little gem once I arrive.

We were late getting into Dublin so I missed the first Airport Hopper to Leixlip but sat chatting to the other waiting passengers. Zone 14 at Dublin Airport is bus station central with all buses leaving from here. Our bus driver was very friendly and helpful and let me know when I was approaching my stop.

Just as we were about to depart a lady came racing up to the bus. “What time do you get to Gorey?” She asked. “The same time the bus does!” Quipped the Driver. This made me laugh.

Stone gateway entrance to Court yard hotel, Leixlip
Stone gateway entrance to Court yard hotel, Leixlip
Courtyard hotel, Leixlip
Courtyard hotel, Leixlip

Because I haven’t paid a lot for this hotel, I was a little concerned that it might be one of those beer smelling old pubs. But no, no, no, no! I could not have been more wrong! This really is a little gem! And to top it off, my guardian Angel has done it again.

Bridal Suite in Courtyard Hotel
Bridal Suite in Courtyard Hotel

I am sitting in the large and beautiful Bridal suite with complimentary French Wine and fresh Muffins, a huge bathroom with Spa Bath. And, with my door that leads to the balcony wide open I have beautiful views of the Remains of the original Boat shed on the river! I am next door to the castle. I also have my own Jacoozi on the balcony! It seems the room I was supposed to be in has damp carpet due to the previous guest leaving the shower turned on. So here I am! Shame Barry is not here with me!

Cyril the Squirrel
Ross the waiter at Courtyard Hotel Squirrel spotting.
Ross the waiter at Courtyard Hotel Squirrel spotting

27 July, 2015

Page 3 headlines in the Irish Independent Newspaper states “Rain and a chance of thunder brings wet and weary end to July”. Whereas the Irish lament the rain in summer, on the other side of the world in the Whitsundays where I live, I can imagine all the gardeners frantically watering their gardens to save their plants because at this time of year we experience “the dry” and seldom do we have rain from April to December.

Today is a quiet day for me between the Paris to Normandy River cruise and the celebrations in Enniscorthy, Wexford this coming week with the 1798 Rebellion re-enactment this coming weekend.

Leixlip is a quaint little village.

Gate house, Leixlip Castle
Gate house, Leixlip Castle

Although the weather is cold and wet the scenery is still really beautiful and the people are warm and friendly. I have enjoyed walking around taking photos of this lovely little village that is Leixlip.

Leixlip Castle with Guinness family in residence
Leixlip Castle with Guinness family in residence
Gate House Leixlip Castle
Gate House Leixlip Castle

I would have loved to have been able to show you the inside of Leixlip Castle but the owners, the Guinness family is in residence at present so the castle is not open for viewing.

Flower boxes on bridge over river in Liexlip.
Flower boxes on bridge over river in Liexlip.
St.Mary's Church, Leixlip.
St.Mary’s Church, Leixlip.
St. Mary's church, Leixlip
St. Mary’s church, Leixlip
Plaque dated 1707 St. Mary's church, Leixlip.
Plaque dated 1707 St. Mary’s church, Leixlip.
St. Mary's church Leixlip
St. Mary’s church Leixlip
Gaelic crosses on the graves in Leixlip
Gaelic crosses on the graves in Leixlip

And who found this little gem of a hotel for me? Jason Blackwell, queen Street Mall, Brisbane “Flight Centre”. Jason, you are a star!

Leixlip
Leixlip
Main street, Leixlip
Main street, Leixlip
Alongside the Leixlip river
Alongside the Leixlip river
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3 comments

  1. I have been living in Leixlip now since 1990 and can understand why Jennifer Wood is so charmed by the village. Many years ago, before the motorway (M4) bypassed Leixlip, it was only a nuisance, a terrible bottleneck in the road that went through every town and village on its way to the West of Ireland.
    The new motorway, coincidentally, runs through the demesne of Leixlip Castle and a little tunnel had to be built to connect the two parts of the land it bisected.
    The land of Leixlip Castle adjoins the park of Castletown House in Celbridge, saved from demolition by the generosity of the Hon. Desmond Guinness who spent a substantial amount on it before he passed it on the the Office of Public Works. Castletown House is considered to be the largest Palladian mansion in Ireland.

    Jennifer is wrong about one thing: Before his health sadly started to fail him, Desmond Guinness was one of the most hospitable people imaginable and often would invite people who were taking a walk in the castle grounds to come in and see the interior. It has that charm that only a lived-in private home possesses.

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    • Hello Rudy, Thank you so much for your very informative comment. I wish that I had known when I had strolling around the Castle grounds that it would have been acceptable for me to continue on to the Castle door and to meet Desmond Guinness. He sounds like a lovely man. I was delighted to meet his son Dr. Patrick Guinness at the Clans and Surnames Conference in Nenagh 2017 and hear about the amazing research into DNA that he is involved in with Trinity College, Dublin.

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      • Helo Jennifer,
        I have met Patrick once or twice, a very nice man tool. Desmond is now in very poor health, such a pity. He is indeed a very interesting person with a great sense of humour. Patrick is a little bit more reserved.
        Desmond’s first wife was a German princess. She died, I never met her .His second wife is a very nice woman, not at all haughty. She sometimes can be found in the garden, wearing “gumboots” and pushing a wheelbarrow.
        Best regards,
        Rudy Jakma

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