Paddy uses Plunkett as a ladder - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

New Adventures Ahoy!

Hello there Beastie friends! How are things where you are? Here on the Emerald Isle, we’re getting ready to start opening things up again… And I know two intrepid little monsters who are looking forward to setting out on some new adventures this summer!

Sure, they’ve enjoyed their virtual travels over the last few months…
Paddy and Plunkett's Virtual Tour - CrawCrafts Beasties… But it’s not really a substitute for the real thing, is it?

So that’s probably why they started hatching travel plans the very second they spotted this unattended knitting bag.

“That looks like it might be going somewhere interesting! What do you reckon?”
Paddy and Plunkett Plotting - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Possibly, Paddy… But how on earth are we going to get up there? Normally the humans leave their bags on the floor.”

“Don’t worry, Plunkett…”
Paddy has an idea - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… I have a cunning plan!”

Unfortunately, Plunkett didn’t realise that this cunning plan involved using him as a stepladder.
Paddy uses Plunkett as a ladder - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Ouch! Paddy, you’re going to have to start going easy on the Full Irish breakfasts… You weigh a TON!”
“Neeeeearly there. Hold steady, Plunkett!”

Paddy Climbs Up - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Success!”
“That’s all well and good for you, Paddy. How do I get up there?”
“I told you, I have a plan. Hold on a sec…”

Paddy's Plan, Part 2 - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

“Here you go! Now climb up.”
“Oooh, very clever!”

Plunkett Joins Paddy - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

And much huffing and puffing later…

Ready to go? H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

“There, I knew you could do it!”
Ah. Sounds like Plunkett was still catching his breath. So Paddy packed all the wool back into the knitting bag, making a nice cosy place for them both to hide.

“Where do you think we’re off to, Paddy?”
“I’m not sure…”

Let the adventures begin! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

“… But I bet it’s going to be fun!”

Hopefully they won’t have to wait too long for the adventures to begin! Have you any interesting journeys in your future? Be sure to tell us all about them in the comments!

We’ll be back next week to catch up with Explorer Beastie. I’m sure he’s got some adventures up his woolly little sleeves too!

Mulroy Bay, Co Donegal - CrawCrafts Beasties

Memory Lane: Donegal Road Trips

Hello there Beastie friends! And hey, look at this – we’re nearly halfway through January already. That HAS to be worth celebrating! Now normally at this time of year, my brother and I (often with a certain small blue and yellow woolly monster in tow) would spend a day driving around beautiful Co Donegal, in the extreme north-west of Ireland. For obvious reasons, we haven’t managed a Donegal road trip in a good few months – possibly since last Christmas. Yikes!

So, I thought I would use today’s post to take a virtual road trip instead. Quick, put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea, or grab a can of the black stuff… Ready? Okay, let’s go!

First of all, it’s never advisable to start a road trip on an empty stomach. How about we kick off with a nice healthy Full Irish Breakfast?
Explorer Beastie, Eyeing up my Breakfast - CrawCrafts BeastiesDon’t worry, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to walk this off later.

Now that we’re properly fuelled up, let’s go and enjoy some scenery.
Explorer Beastie at Glengesh Pass, Donegal - CrawCrafts BeastiesGlengesh Pass is pretty spectacular at any time of the year. The last time we were there it was late summer – look at those rolling green hills! It’s also on the way to Glencolmcille, where a Beastie can dip his paws in the Atlantic if the mood takes him.
Paddling on Glencolmcille Beach - CrawCrafts BeastiesMind you, it’s not all sunshine and sand dunes here. Sometimes it can be a bit on the breezy side…
Windy Out Today! CrawCrafts Beasties… And the traffic is terrible.
Rush Hour, Glencolmcille - CrawCrafts BeastiesAll this would really give you an appetite. Lunchtime! Conveniently enough, we’re just passing through Ardara… Nancy’s Bar here does a cracking lunch, and a very tasty homemade cider.

Also, you feel like you’re hanging out in someone’s cosy living room.
Nancy's Dresser - Spot the Beastie! CrawCrafts BeastiesAlright, time to head north! And because we’re travelling by blog, we can enjoy two sunsets at two different locations. First, Fanad Head, where there’s a beautiful lighthouse to admire…
Can we reach the Lighthouse? CrawCrafts Beasties… And rocks to scramble over.
Explorer Beastie by the Sea, Fanad Head - CrawCrafts BeastiesNext, we can journey to the northernmost point of the island of Ireland – Malin Head.
Malin Head Viewpoint - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen we can cruise by the wide sandy beach at Five Finger Strand…
Explorer Beastie on Five Finger Strand - CrawCrafts Beasties… Before catching the last of the daylight on our way home.
Explorer Beastie at Sunset - CrawCrafts BeastiesDon’t forget to leave a rock monster behind to show we were here!
Rock Monster in Donegal - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd once we get home, we can warm up by the fire and swap adventuring stories.
Warming up by the fire - CrawCrafts BeastiesAaaaah! Toasty.

So, where would you next like to take a road trip to? Be sure to share your travelling daydreams with us in the comments!

Gardener Beastie, meet Explorer Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

Botanic Beasties 2 – Back to the Gardens!

Hello Beastie friends! Wow, is it really Tuesday again already? How about we kick off this week with a continuing tour of Dublin’s Botanic Gardens, then? And don’t worry if you missed the first part last week, you can catch up here!

After encountering a very busy BumbleBeastie last time…
Beasties in the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties… Explorer Beastie strolled off to see if there might be any other Beasties about.
Strolling through the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesHe didn’t have to go far… There’s one!
Gardener Beastie in the Botanic Gardens, Dubin - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey there, Gardener Beastie!
Gardener Beastie, meet Explorer Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

This little horticultural monster is super-busy keeping all the beautiful seasonal plantings in order… But there’s still time to pose for a quick photo!
Explorer Beastie with Gardener Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd we got a special guided tour of the displays, too. There’s plenty of floral colour everywhere for visitors to enjoy!
Floral Colours at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesVisitors of all sizes.
Red Admiral Butterfly at Dublin's Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd just as we were about to leave, Explorer Beastie spotted a familar face. Look who’s hanging out in the hanging baskets!
BumbleBeastie in the Hanging Baskets - Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties
Nice to see you again, BumbleBeastie! Maybe we’ll bump into each other again on a future visit to the Botanic Gardens?

And speaking of the future, join us next Tuesday to meet another new Beastie! See you then…

Beasties in the Daisies - Local Adventures - CrawCrafts Beasties

Keepin’ it Local

Hey there everyone! How are you all doing out there? Hopefully you’re adjusting to this weird “new normal”, and finding ways to keep sane. I’ve been mostly keeping to Beastie Towers, and taking advantage of my non-essential-worker status to really dig into some long-standing projects! But while I’m all for flattening the curve by staying at home, last week I thought it might be wise to get out for a little exercise in my local area… And you’ll hardly be surprised when I tell you that some Beasties came along for the trip!

Care to join us as we take an adventure on our very own doorstep?

A Local Wander… REALLY Local

Here in Ireland, we’re trying to contain the icky coronavirus by keeping to a 2km radius of our homes for all non-essential travel. Fortunately, I find myself in a part of Dublin with a good selection of green spaces right at hand. All I had to do was pick one! So I opted for the gardens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art… And arrived to find them closed. Erk.

Time for Plan B: the National War Memorial Gardens! This is the park that a lot of Dubliners forget – possibly because it’s just across the river from the much bigger Phoenix Park, which has glamorous attractions like the Zoo and various sports pitches. But this riverside green space is definitely worth a look, and it certainly proved irresistible to one Cookie Beastie!
Local Travels with Cookie Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties“Look, there’s still cherry blossom here!”

Beautiful! We should probably stop for a picnic in among the fallen blossoms.
Cookie Beastie in our local Park - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey, who’s that?
Cookie Beastie by CrawCrafts BeastiesYay! Aran Beastie‘s here too!
Cookie Beastie and Aran Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Aran Beastie is enjoying the sunshine, and is taking a moment to stop and smell the first spring daisies. It looks like Cookie Beastie is content to keep munching on that biscuit though!Beasties in the Daisies - Local Adventures - CrawCrafts Beasties
Mmmm, there really are loads out today!
Aran Beastie with Daisies - CrawCrafts BeastiesA little further up the hill, we wandered into the rose garden. And although there aren’t many roses in bloom yet, there was plenty of other greenery to explore!
Local Beastie Adventures - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe’ll definitely have to schedule another visit later in the year to catch it at its best!

And if that little lot has whetted your appetite for at-home monster adventures, you should check out what tierneycreates Beastie
Beastie Besties - tierneycreates Beastie and Dog by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd Finn McSpool have been up to lately!

Finn McSpool Storms Kilkenny Castle - T. Painter/CrawCrafts Beasties
Image borrowed from

Let’s not forget that there are Beasties everywhere, so if you’ve witnessed any monster shenanigans in your local area recently, be sure to let us know all about it! And provide photographic proof if you can…

Stay safe, and we’ll be back on… Friday?

Yes – I thought I’d reboot Flashback Friday, and start doing pre-weekend monster retrospectives again. Join us then, and get to know a past Beastie a little better!

Beasties in Bruges

Hey there everybody! How are you all keeping? I’ve been knitting and sewing like a fiend these past few days, so it’s kinda nice to take a break and have a chat with you all. Aaaand it wasn’t so bad to scroll through a few more holiday pics in preparation for this post, either! Let’s join Explorer Beastie en route to our next destination… Bruges!
Taking the train with Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesI had visited Bruges before, many years ago… But I’d forgotten how impossibly pretty it is. Here, take a look!
Streets of Bruges - CrawCrafts BeastiesSo, where are we off to first?

How about getting a bird’s eye view of the city?
Belfort, Bruges - CrawCrafts Beasties“Are we really climbing THAT?”

Why yes, Explorer Beastie! Yes we are. This is the Belfort (Belfry) of Bruges, and for a small fee, humans can climb the 366 steps to the top of that 83m (272 ft) tower and look out over the beautifully-preserved mediaeval town. Beasties can usually sneak in for free, if they stay hidden in a convenient handbag.

“I’m in! Let’s do this!”
Cimbing Belfort Tower, Bruges - CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie was supposed to stay tucked away until we got to the top, but he couldn’t resist popping out for photo ops in the Treasury…
Belfort Treasury, Bruges - CrawCrafts Beasties… And the bell tower itself.
Bells at Belfort, Bruges - CrawCrafts BeastiesOn the left is the Triumph Bell, which is the biggest of the 47 bells (47!) housed in the tower. It’s a shrimpy little thing, weighing a mere 6,000kg! On the right, Explorer Beastie is taking a closer look at the playing drum, which allows some of the lesser bells to play recognisable tunes every quarter hour. Each of those pins is actually a nut and bolt, so their positions could be changed….

“Do you reckon I could get it to play ‘Dancing Queen’?”

Um… Maybe. But we’re still a way from the top… Back into my bag, or you’re tackling the really steep, narrow final steps on your own!

Seriously, it does get to be a very tight squeeze for the last stages of the climb. But that view?
View from the top of Belfort, Bruges - CrawCrafts BeastiesTotally worth it!

Better yet, I managed to get down those stairs again without tripping up once.

Back at ground level, it was time for Explorer Beastie to make the acquaintance of one of the locals. This did not go as well as on previous occasions.
Unfriendly locals - CrawCrafts Beasties“Gaaaah! Help!”

Fortunately, I was able to snatch him from the jaws of doom juuuust in time. And then we spotted this, which seemed like a good way to distract him from what had just happened.
Chocolate Museum, Bruges - CrawCrafts Beasties
Chocolate Museum? Yes please!

And while there was a good healthy dose of curiosities for us to enjoy from the outset…
Chocolate Curiosities - CrawCrafts BeastiesThere was one very obvious reason why we were here.
Chocolate Samples! CrawCrafts Beasties“All you can eat”? Really? Is that wise?

Of course, Explorer Beastie accepted the challenge, and set about trying to bankrupt the place. His appetite never ceases to amaze me.

He also took a quick spin in a conquistador’s ship. If I’d eaten that much chocolate, I probably wouldn’t have risked it… This little monster must have some serious sea legs.
All aboard! CrawCrafts BeastiesIn fact, he was still feeling chipper enough at the end to pose with these guys – does anyone else recognise the Barbapapas, rendered in delicious Belgian chocolate?
Chocolate Barbapapas, Bruges - CrawCrafts Beasties

And after all that chocolate, there was just time for a quick beer in this amazing cellar bar. It’s called Le Trappiste, for any of you who might be planning a post-quarantine visit.
Le Trappiste, Bruges - CrawCrafts Beasties
Then it was time to hop on the train home!
The Train Home - CrawCrafts BeastiesCheers for travelling with us!

Have any of you been to Bruges? What did you make of it? Be sure to tell us in the comments! And we’ll see you again next week… Until then, look after yourselves and keep washing those paws!

Felix Nature Walk - CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy Days with Felix

Hey there everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well, and staying in if you possibly can!

On that note, I thought we’d take a break from Explorer Beastie’s Belgian travels and do some exploring closer to home. Why? Because of this little guy here.
Felix goes to market - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe last time I saw that sweet teal-coloured Beastie in the red scarf was at the Christmas on the Square market back at the end of November. He was hoping to find a home to call his own, and he really lucked out! A few weeks later, I received a lovely email from his new family. They told me he was settling in well, and they’d called him Felix because he’d brought them so much happiness. Well, that Beastie has some serious happy-making powers, because hearing that made me smile too!

Now, Felix had high hopes of getting out and about for some adventures of his own, just like Explorer Beastie or Paddy and Plunkett. Unfortunately, quarantine restrictions intervened, and he’s limited to staying within 2km of his house.

But you can’t keep a good Beastie down, and it seems like Felix has been making the most of the lockdown anyway. He’s been getting to know his local wildlife by taking nature walks…
Felix Nature Walk - CrawCrafts Beasties… Learning to ride a bike (I’m not sure how he’s working the pedals, but that doesn’t lessen the achievement)…
Felix on the Bike - CrawCrafts Beasties… And taking the family car for a spin.
Felix Driving - CrawCrafts BeastiesLet’s hope he’s a better driver than our good friend Paddy!
Paddy Takes the Wheel - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

It’s not all about travel, either. Back at home, Felix is the top goalie in the Back Garden Football League.
Felix Goalie - CrawCrafts BeastiesWell held!

And how does he relax at the end of a busy day of keeping his human family entertained?
Felix Ice Cream - CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, an ice cream would definitely be a good start. Hopefully he’s planning to share all that with someone… It’s nearly as big as he is!

Unfortunately, as often happens with our little woolly friends, being photographed as he goes about his daily business has given young Felix the impression that he is something of a celebrity. When he heard that I was keen to feature him on the BeastieBlog, he revealed that his ambitions extend beyond merely seeing the world.

Yes, he wants to be a rock star.
Felix, Rock Star - CrawCrafts BeastiesTo further his career, he asked me to share this photo of him recreating a classic pic of U2 (image not my own, I should say), taken around 2000 in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock.

I’m not sure if there is any music to accompany this promotional shot yet, but I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks to Brendan for sharing Felix’s antics with me, and for giving me the go-ahead to share them with you!

I wonder if any other Beasties out there been getting up to lockdown mischief these past couple of weeks…

The Temperate House, Revisited

Well hello there, Beastie friends! Last week we followed Explorer Beastie as he caught up with his old buddy Garcia Beastie in the colourful surroundings of Kew Gardens. And you might remember that they spotted this place from the heights of the Treetop Walkway…
The Temperate House from the Treetops - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat’s the Temperate House. It looked a little sad the last time Beasties invaded Kew, as you can see.
Temperate House, 2014 - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut what a difference this time around! Look at all this greenery! It’s the perfect place for a pair of woolly monsters to hang out.
Beasties in the Temperate House - CrawCrafts Beasties

We also thought we’d managed to find the lonely statue I photographed through the windows last time (it’s top left in the collage above)… But if it’s the same guy he’s put on some clothes since our last visit! 😉
Statue in the Temperate House - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd while there were plenty of interesting things to see at ground level…
Beasties Explore the Temperate House - CrawCrafts Beasties“Check us out! We’re flowers!”
Beastie Floral Arrangement - Kew Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties… The Beasties couldn’t wait to climb up the spiral staircase to the balcony and feel tall!
Garcia Beastie towers over the Temperate House - CrawCrafts BeastiesFrom our high perch, you really see how huge the Temperate House is. It’s the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world today… And it needs to be big! Since “temperate” covers pretty much any part of the world outside of the tropics and the polar regions, 1500 species of plants from 5 continents and 16 islands call this giant greenhouse home.

And when we were there, it wasn’t just plants that were on display…Chihuly Glass in the Temperate House - CrawCrafts Beasties
We were lucky enough to catch the very last day of the Chihuly Reflections on Nature exhibition! Throughout our wanderings around Kew, we enjoyed seeing the bright colours and otherworldly shapes of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures peeking out from between the plants. Garcia Beastie especially liked this huge tumble of blue flowers stretching down from the ceiling, but look out for more pics in a future post!

Right, let’s get back downstairs. Well, once I’d managed to get the Beasties out of the rafters… Honestly, they find their way into places you’d never even think of!
Beastie Invasion in the Rafters - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut they were soon distracted by many more curious plants and idyllic quiet corners.
Plants of the Temperate House - CrawCrafts BeastiesEventually though…
“I think we’ve seen everything now!”
“Looks like it. Let’s go!”
All Done! CrawCrafts BeastiesBut the weather outside the Temperate House is decidedly less temperate…
Soggy weather ahoy - CrawCrafts BeastiesWhat now? Should the Beasties stay indoors, or risk getting their paws wet as they explore the rest of Kew? We’ll find out next time we catch up with them… But be sure to join us next week when I’ll have some new Beasties for you to meet!

See you then!

Autumnal Colours – Explorer Beastie at Kew

Hey there Beastie friends! It was a bit wild and wintry when I woke up this morning, so I thought that today’s post could maybe bring a splash of autumnal colour to a January Tuesday!

Continuing on from last week’s London-based post, we’ll follow Explorer Beastie as he steps off the road less travelled and turns his paws towards a much more well-known attraction. Where are you now, Explorer Beastie?
Crunching through Autumnal Leaves - CrawCrafts BeastiesKew Gardens!”

And it looks like autumn is the perfect time to visit. Look at those stunning colours!

Chihuly Glass and Autumnal Colours at Kew - CrawCrafts Beasties

And hey, wait a sec… Who’s this?
Meeting Garcia Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s our old buddy Garcia Beastie, of course! Fancy meeting you here… How about we explore together?

And it wasn’t long before the Beasties found something interesting…
Garcia Beastie and Autumnal Fungus - CrawCrafts Beasties“Ooooh, check this out!”
Explorer Beastie has to go in for a closer look.

Autumnal Fungus Fun - CrawCrafts Beasties

And that was is only the beginning. Look at these stunning autumnal shades!
Autumnal Yellows - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s almost possible for Beasties to get lost in among all that colour. Can you spot them?Beasties Under the Tree - CrawCrafts Beasties
Of course, you can only see so much from ground level… Especially if you’re a mere 6 inches tall. Time to take this adventure up a level!
Treetop Walkway in Autumn - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe treetop walkway is really spectacular… But the boys really had to hold on tight! It was a little breezy up there!

Still, they were able to spot a familiar sight from those (sometimes dizzying) heights…
The Temperate House from the Treetops - CrawCrafts Beasties“Look, it’s the Temperate House! It was closed last time we visited, wasn’t it?”
“It was! We should probably make that our next stop!”

And I guess that’s where we’ll pick up next time! Be sure to join us on Tuesday for more monster adventures… And if you’ve ever been to Kew Gardens, why not tell us all about it in the comments?

See you next week!

Explorer Beastie in the Memory Palace - CrawCrafts Beasties

Monsters in the Memory Palace

Well lookee here – it’s Tuesday again already! And what better way to spend a January Tuesday than to pretend we’re all on holiday? So let’s step back in time to the end of October, when Explorer Beastie and I took advantage of the pre-Christmas lull to get away to London for a couple of days. And thanks to our local guide, we discovered a real treasure we wouldn’t have known about otherwise – Pitzhanger Gallery and Manor in Ealing, W5!

After fortifying ourselves with a very delicious lunch in Soane’s Kitchen, we went to check out the exhibition.
Explorer Beastie in Memory Palace - CrawCrafts BeastiesWhat’s this then? Perhaps it will help if we zoom out a little.
Pyramids, Bodhi Tree and Roman Forum - Memory Palace at PitzhangerThis is “Memory Palace”, an 18-metre-wide sculpture by British designer and artist Es Devlin. It’s named after the mnemonic technique where memories are preserved by mentally linking them to familiar locations – I’m sure any fans of “Sherlock” out there will recognise the idea! In “Memory Palace”, each feature on this curved white landscape is a place where a significant societal shift took place.

The memories are organised chronologically, so we move from the Pyramids, the Buddha’s Bodhi tree and the Roman forum…
Roman Forum, Memory Palace - CrawCrafts Beasties

… To the New York skyline and the Berlin wall. Can you spot them?
NY Berlin Wall - Pitzhanger Gallery - CrawCrafts BeastiesMirrors on one wall and the ceiling expand the boundaries of the sculpture, and slightly change the way you see the individual elements… The same way memory can, I suppose!

There was so much to see, we could have stayed for hours.Memory Palace at Pitzhanger Gallery - CrawCrafts Beasties

Explorer Beastie also quite enjoyed the Godzilla-like feeling of striding around this miniaturised landscape.
Explorer Beastie at Pitzhanger Gallery - CrawCrafts Beasties

If you’re interested in checking out “Memory Palace” for yourself, good news! Its run has been extended until the 9th of February 2020. I’d definitely recommend getting there early, or going at an off-peak time – I’m sure we would have missed a lot of the incredible detail if it had been busy.

You can also learn more about the significant moments captured in the piece at the Pitzhanger library, which has been specially stocked with all the books that informed the installation.

Or, for anyone who isn’t planning a jaunt to London in the next couple of weeks… Es Devlin features in season 1 of the Netflix documentary series “Abstract: The Art of Design”. I watched it a couple of years ago and found it fascinating… But only made the connection between artist and artwork today while I was researching this post. Clearly my own Memory Palace could use a spring clean!

We’ll be back next week (if I remember…) with some more travelling Beastie pics! See you then!

Plunkett in the Grotto at Powerescourt - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

To The Manor Born – Beasties at Powerscourt!

Hello there Beastie friends! Well, after a quick new Beastie pit stop last week, we’re back on the road with Paddy and Plunkett. Despite the very obvious appeal of sticking around in that cosy cottage at the Logan Fish Pond, the adventurous pair have moved on… And apparently hopped a couple of rungs up the property ladder at the same time!
Plunkett at Powerscourt - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Greetings from Powerscourt House, everyone!”

Wow! Plunkett looks right at home here, doesn’t he? Has he officially moved in?

“No, just visiting… And enjoying the view!”
The Triton Lake at Powerscourt - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPowerscourt House is in County Wicklow, and it’s only about half an hour south of Dublin. You wouldn’t think it, would you? The house is set in spectacular and varied gardens, and has made Lonely Planet’s list of the Top Ten Houses and Mansions in the world.

And of course, the house has a bit of a tale to tell! It’s been here since Medieval times, and some of the stonework of the 13th century castle still forms part of the structure.

That said, what you see today is mostly the result of an 18th century facelift, commissioned by the 1st Viscount Powerscourt in 1730. The main work was completed in 1741, but the house continued to grow and change over the years. They added a whole extra storey in 1787, and there were more major refurbishments towards the end of the 19th century.

Then, in the 20th century, a fresh round of renovations were completed, in preparation for the house to throw its doors open to the public for the first time. But disaster struck, just as work finished in 1974… A fire started on the top floor, and reduced the house to a roofless shell.

And so it remained for twenty years, until they rebuilt the roof in 1996. Finally, Powerscourt House got its moment in the sun in 1997, when President Mary Robinson officially opened it to the public. It seems to have gone from strength to strength since then – what do you think?
Powerscourt House and the Italian Garden - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesSo, while Plunkett has been enjoying the spectacle of the house, Triton Lake and the Italian Gardens, all set against the backdrop of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, where has Paddy gone? I thought he’d at least be trying to persuade one of those winged horses to take off and give him an aerial view of the grounds… Oh wait, there he is.

Paddy Turns Japanese - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Wait a sec, WHERE is he? It looks like he’s in Japan! I thought these two always travelled together!

Ah, not quite. He’s gone to explore the famous Powerscourt Japanese Garden, which is packed full of pagodas, azaleas, Japanese maples and Chinese fortune palms.

So let’s follow the winding path across the wooden bridge…
The Japanese Garden at Powerscourt - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… And wait by the stone lantern for Plunkett to catch up!
Meeting in the Japanese Garden - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Japanese Garden was created in 1908 by the 8th Viscount and Viscountess Powerscourt, making it one of the newer features of the grounds. But funnily enough, the boys stumbled on one of the oldest parts just around the corner – the grotto!
Plunkett in the Grotto at Powerescourt - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Paddy, look at all this wonderful moss!”

Yes, Plunkett is a big fan of moss – it’s cool, soft and really brings out his lovely green complexion. Fortunately for him, you can’t go far in Ireland without finding some! And better yet…
Plunkett Finds a Beastie-Sized Waterfall at Powerscourt - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Paddy! It’s a Beastie-sized waterfall! I could stay and watch it all day…”

“No way, Plunkett! There’s still so much to see. Come on!”

Of course, we’ll have to wait until next week to finish up the tour… Be sure to join us then!