Go On Go On Go On: See Father Ted’s Ireland
Pack your best lovely girl dress, practice your ‘looking holy’ face and prepare to enter the world of spider babies and freak pointing. With the comedy series Father Ted celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, there’s no better time to visit Ireland’s west coast to pay homage to the show that put Craggy Island on the map. The following are a few suggestions on how you can experience some of Ireland’s most surreal locations for yourself…
Have Tea at Father Ted’s House
Glanquin House, the real-life version of Father Ted’s parochial house is owned by the McCormack family, who lived here throughout the filming of the series. Having watched growing numbers of fans descending on their front gates to snap selfies, in 2012 Cheryl McCormack decided to take on the role of Mrs Doyle by opening the doors of her house to the public and offering ‘Tedheads’ the chance to enjoy tea at Father Ted’s house.
Visitors pay €10 (per adult) to take tea in the house where home-made scones, brown bread, jam, cakes and gluten free options are laid on. You can even buy souvenir ‘I had tea in Fr Ted’s House’ magnets.
There’s a tour of the house as well as guided walks of the adjoining farm which features a stone fort, fullacht fiadhs, a holy well and ancient church site.
Directions: The house is located at Glenquin, on the Killinaboy to Boston Road. From Corofin take the R476 to Killanboy. Take a right at the ruined church (close to the post office). You’ll pass a school and a stream on the left hand side. Continue down the narrow road, you’ll see the house on the left.
Tea at Father Ted’s House, for bookings call +353 (87) 921 4694, http://www.fathertedshouse.com/
Stay at The Campsite from Hell
Put the small/far away theory to the test with a stay at one of the campsites located near Fanore Beach in County Clare. The seaside town featured in the “Hell” episode of the second series.
With the otherworldly beauty of The Burren and fantastic surf beaches just a short drive away, chances are you probably won’t have to resort to Riverdancing in your caravan. Unless you want to.
Explore The Real Craggy Island
The Craggy Island featured in the opening credits of the show is Inis Oirr. The island is located 8km from the coast of Co. Clare and can be reached within a 55 minute ferry journey from Ros a Mhíl port. Rent a bike on arrival from the top of the island’s pier – while you cycle take in stunning views of The Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare, The Twelve Pins of Connemara and even the mountains of Kerry on a clear day.
The Magic Road, Benbulbin
In the ‘Hell’ episode, The Magic Road is billed as one of Craggy Island’s top wonders. Although there are several examples of roads that defy gravity around Ireland, this one close to Benbulbin in Co. Sligo is hard to beat.
Try it for yourself – drive straight along the road, stop at the dip and stay in neutral, then watch in amazement as you roll UP the hill. As Dougal would say, “that’s mad Ted.”
Benbulbin’s Magic Road, GPS coordinates: 54.371809,-8.393984
Have the Craic at the Father Ted Festival in Kilfenora
This May, the Co. Clare town of Kilfenora will be hosting three days of Father Ted-themed shenanigans including tours to the Plassey shipwreck, a Lovely Girls Contest and even a Golden Cleric awards ceremony.
Father Ted Festival, 1st- 3rd May 2015, Kilfenora Co. Clare, http://www.tedtours.com/festival/
Visited any of these locations? Discovered a miserable campsite or magical road? Share your tips, we’d love to hear them!