Harvest time is looming. Evenings loose the lingering light and shops start to sell Hallowe’en garb. Children long for holidays again and lots of trick-or-treating. Here at Shankill Castle, not much has to be done in the house to make it spooky for ScareFest . The spiders do all the hard work and we get a break from hoovering so much.
We make up for it in the garden though. All the fruit and vegetables are ripe and ready to be picked. We have already harvested onions, beetroot, cucumbers, courgette, kale, cabbage, lettuce, chard, pak choi, kohlrabi, and have plenty of tomatoes, apples, pears and raspberries too, not to mention the blackberries in the hedgerows and mushrooms in the fields. The leeks and potatoes are getting sturdy and the pumpkins nicely plump.
It has been a busy few months in Shankill Castle. We have had a record busy summer with increased number of visitors to the castle thanks to National Heritage Week, The first ever Fairytale Festival and all of the annual events such as Flourish, our arts festival during Kilkenny Arts Week and The Carlow Garden Festival. We also have successfully completed our first year as Airbnb hosts. It has all been incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. We have hosted two weddings (one was mine, that’s me in the pic), a corporate retreat, writing workshops, a multitude of artists’ residencies and many tours of the castle for groups and families. I think already this year we have awarded about 400 magic wand licences.
For the weeks ahead we have more wonderful events planned, including all that ScareFest entails- Ghost Tours, Teen Tours and Children’s events, along with hen parties, Murder Mystery Dinners, stags, office outings, school tours and youth groups galore.
As for our next ventures we are really excited about the upcoming weddings and glamping being held here in 2017. As well as the idea of a permanent tea room being opened to serve our visitors and Paulstown. We will keep you posted on it all.
Thanks for all the encouragement and support.