What are your plans this weekend? With the May Bank Holiday weekend on its way and with the easing of Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions, this weekend is the perfect time to go on family adventures exploring our beautiful county Tipperary.
We are so lucky to live in Clonmel, a town nestled between spectacular mountains with ancient Irish Castles, ruins, historic monuments, stunning gardens, and lots more places to discover outdoors, reconnecting with Mother Nature. In this blog, we are going to take you through just some of the potential outdoor family activities and places to visit close to Clonmel, that the entire family can enjoy. Let us know if we’ve missed out on your favourite attraction.
There is no better way for the entire family to enjoy the stunning Tipperary countryside and the rich heritage of the area that the Suir Blueway. This is a 21km walking and cycling trail from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir as well as 53KM kayaking and canoe trail from Cahir to Carrick-on-Suir for those interested in water sports. The Suir Blueway certainly has something for children of all ages and adults alike to enjoy, and is one of our top outdoor family activities in the area.
ST. PATRICK’S WELL
One of Ireland’s largest holy wells, St. Patrick’s Well is a remarkable place to visit. Located just outside Clonmel town itself, St. Patrick’s Well is stunningly positioned at the foot of a limestone cliff in a sheltered glen. A peaceful and tranquil site, families can enjoy a leisurely stroll taking in the church ruins and a Celtic cross estimated to date back as far as the 5th Century.
If visiting St. Patrick’s Well, a stop at Marlfield Lake will have to be added to your itinerary. This charming man-made lake is an incredible six hectares in size. Created towards the end of the 18th Century, its water comes from the spring at St. Patricks Well. Once powering local mills, today Marlfield Lake is a habitat for coots, herons, mallards, and swans which always makes the trip worthwhile for the little ones.
A trip to the Comeragh Mountains is one of the best things to do close to Clonmel, should the weather be kind. Get magnificent, elevated views of Clonmel and nearby towns, see spectacular lakes, the Mahon Falls, and maybe even some grazing sheep along the way. A glaciated mountain range, the Comeragh mountains are a haven for hikers and trekkers. There are trails suitable for families with younger kids too. This is a real favourite for kids who love to explore as it gives them the feeling they are on a real adventure.
The prominent 721-Metre Slievenamon is glaringly obvious from Clonmel in the northeast of the town. Probably not one we would recommend for younger kids, but older kids will love the trail to the summit from Kilcash. Here, the rounded hillsides make for a more family friendly and easier walk to the top where you will enjoy spectacular views and even see two prehistoric markers.
ROCK OF CASHEL
Sometimes, we don’t fully take advantage of the attractions on our doorstep, we are all guilty of that! But the Rock of Cashel is without question an attraction that everyone living close by needs to visit. It’s an exciting, educational and entertaining trip for the entire family with so many historic monuments in one place. The Rock of Cashel is a breath-taking group of medieval buildings easily reached from Clonmel. It was once the seat of the kings of Munster prior to the Norman invasion in the 13th Century. Here you can find a Round Tower, High Cross and Chapel dating back to the 12th Century, a 13th Century gothic style cathedral, a 15th century castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral.
Fethard is a beautiful town to stroll around with the entire family, enjoying the sights and history of this quaint, charming town. A walled town since the 13th century, overlooking the gently flowing River Clashawley, one of my favourite things to do is explore the winding streets within the walls, enjoying the churches, towers, townhouses, friaries, and historic architecture of the town. Even with the temporary closures of many attractions and restaurant / pubs in the town due to COVID-19, Fethard is still the perfect destination for a family day out.
These are just some of the attractions for the entire family to enjoy close to Clonmel and in the beauty and safety of the outdoors. We may be restricted to travelling within our county for now, but we are so lucky to have all these wonderful things to do close by. If we have missed any of your favourites, make sure you let us know on our social media.
This is a very special week for Busy Bees Clonmel. On Monday, we were greeted by beautiful wide smiles from our kids as we welcomed them back to our six schools, and it was also our 10-year anniversary!
Ten years ago, our fabulous owner Vanessa Moriarty, opened her Busy Bees Clonmel school at Presentation Primary School. Ten years on, after continuous growth and development as well as a pandemic, we have another five schools under our Busy Bees wings. Busy Bees Rathkeevin was the second school to be added to our portfolio, followed by Ardfinnan, Gael Scoil Chluain Meala, St. Marys and finally Lisronagh.
Where did the idea of Busy Bees Clonmel come from?
In 2011, the idea for Busy Bees Clonmel was born. At the time, Vanessa was working full time in financial services while also looking after her wonderful 10-year-old daughter Lauren. By 2011, Lauren had grown out of her creche. She was no longer enjoying her time there like she once did when she was younger and no longer gaining any benefit from it. At this stage, Lauren had become more of a helper and carer for the little ones in the creche, drying dishes and helping them all where she could.
Vanessa realised she had to come up with a new solution for Lauren, so began looking at her different options. A childminder was one possible option Vanessa considered. However, Vanessa felt as Lauren was an only child, she wanted her to socialise with other children, something which wouldn’t be possible with a child minder.
To add to Vanessa’s concerns, every day after work, she would be facing into Lauren’s homework. Most days, by the time she would get home and settled it would be 7pm or later by the time homework would be started. Vanessa approached Lauren’s creche about the possibility of helping her with her homework, or even supervising. Unfortunately, Vanessa was informed they were not teachers at the creche and would be unable to assist Lauren. One evening, Vanessa came home to discover a mountain of noodles in one of Lauren’s copybooks and realised at this point something had to be done for everyone’s benefit, but in particular for her daughter Lauren.
This is when Vanessa came up with the concept of Busy Bees Clonmel – a childcare service where your child can socialise, play, and learn in a familiar and relaxed environment, enjoying a daily programme of activities. Better yet, your child will be professionally cared for and educated by qualified primary school teachers to help with their homework, enjoy sports and activities with qualified sports coaches and technology education from qualified computer teachers. Vanessa thought how amazing this would be for Lauren and realised that surely other parents would think the same. She went on to progress the Busy Bees Clonmel concept into a reality.
10 years on, and Vanessa could not be happier with her decision and has never looked back. Today, Vanessa believes Busy Bees has really stood to her daughter Lauren and all the kids who have attended. Lauren has continued the study habits she learned at Busy Bees Clonmel right up to today where she is currently studying Biological and Chemical Sciences in the University of Limerick and turning 20 years old.
Marking Our 10 Year Anniversary With A MakeoveR
Vanessa and the entire team at Busy Bees Clonmel are immensely proud to have reached the 10-year anniversary mark in the continuously evolving journey of the company. To celebrate this achievement, we decided to give our Busy Bees Clonmel brand a 10th Anniversary makeover!
We thought this was the perfect time and occasion to update our logo and the Busy Bees Clonmel brand. We didn’t want any drastic changes, but feel this new logo gives our company the fresh, clean and modern look we are striving for as we look forward to celebrating another 10 years.
We have already begun rolling out the new brand across our registration forms, social media, and website. We’d love to hear what you think!
In this blog, we are hoping to convince you that a plain, boring sandwich isn’t the only packed lunch option you can give your child. Our aim is to inspire you with lunch ideas that are easy and quick to make, healthy and best of all - scrumdiddlyumptious!
There is no doubt that planning lunches every day can be a daily challenge, especially if you’re trying to give your child something healthy rather than giving in to the crisps and chocolate demands. But before we get into our tips and exciting lunch ideas, what exactly should we be giving our children in a balanced lunchbox? Ideally, each lunch should contain:
Top Tips For Packed Lunches
Leftover Dinner makes perfect lunches – The first tip we have in order to make your life a lot easier is to always make extra! You are already cooking dinner, so why not make a little extra that can be used the next day for your child’s lunch. It will 100% save you time and is also delicious. Of course, not every dinner dish will be suitable for the lunch box, but if you’re roasting chicken breasts, roast one extra, or if cooking a pasta dish, cook that little bit more. Just remember your child won’t need the same dinner size portion for lunch, but making extra can save so much time and effort.
Check ingredients of any prepared food – It’s not always practical to make fresh lunches from scratch every day, but if you are buying prepared food a tip from us would be to always make sure you’re checking the labels. There’s nothing at all wrong with buying prepared food such as hummus, coleslaw, fruit etc., there are lots of prepared food that are perfect for lunches, but just take the time to look at the label to make sure there are no questionable, unhealthy ingredients.
Fruit & Vegetables in every lunchbox – Always pack some fruit and vegetables in your child’s lunchbox. A child’s palate is constantly developing and introducing them to fruit and vegetables consistently trains them to eat them and actually like them.
Variety – Variety is the spice of life. Changing up your child’s lunch can make a huge difference. If they open their lunchbox to the same thing every day, there’s no doubt they’ll be looking to trade with their friends and be jealous of what others are eating. Try some of the ideas below and they’ll be the ones everyone in the class will want to trade with!
So now that you know what your child’s lunch should ideally be made up of and some of our top tips for healthy convenient lunches, we now want to share with you some different lunch options to include in your child’s lunch box, you may not have thought about before.
Sandwiches with a twist
Omelette Rolls – An Omelette roll combines two lunchtime classics. It’s essentially exactly what it says on the tin – an omelette in a roll. Fill the omelette with healthy delicious ingredients such as tomatoes, crumbled feta, spinach or whatever nutritious ingredients your child enjoys to give a healthy and substantial filling to their roll. Try adding some extra salad even to get in some extra greens!
Red Pesto & Cream Cheese Sandwiches – This one is completely different, but absolutely delicious and so easy to make. Mix some red pesto with cream cheese and spread onto your bread. Close the sandwich and chill in the fridge overnight for the perfect lunchbox favourite. You could even try cutting into shapes for the little ones and use the cut offs to make breadcrumbs.
Cheesy Apple Slaw Wholemeal Sandwich – Another sandwich with a difference is a cheesy apple slaw wholemeal sandwich. Mix grated cheese with some shredded apple, spring onion, a dash of lemon and a little mayonnaise. This filling goes perfectly with wholemeal bread.
Delightful lunchbox snacks
Fruit Sundae – Mix some yoghurt with mashed strawberries or your choice of berries for the perfect sweet and fruity treat.
Chocolate Drizzled Fruit – We all know how challenging it can be to get our children to eat fruit, but this might be something to help. Drizzle or dip melted dark chocolate over fruit and leave set in the fridge overnight or for 1 hour at least. Strawberries and even tangerines are particularly appetizing with drizzled chocolate.
Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn – Sometimes our kids just need that sweet fix, but chocolate drizzled popcorn is a great alternative to a chocolate bar as a Friday treat. Similar to the fruit above just drizzle melted dark chocolate over the popcorn for a delicious lunchtime snack.
Apple & Celery with Hummus – A dollop of hummus can transform your child’s lunchbox to something all their friends will want to try. When used as a dip, it’s also perfect to get some healthy snacks into your child’s lunchbox such as apple and celery.
Crunchy Melon Pots - This healthy pot with the winning combination of yoghurt, fruit and seeds can be a great breakfast, but can also be the perfect lunchbox snack. Just top melon and whatever fruit you desire with yoghurt before sprinkling over some cereal mixed with seeds. Can even add some honey for that extra little sweetness.
These are just some healthy and exciting packed lunch options, but if you’ve got any ideas on what to pack in your child’s lunchbox, we’d love to hear them! Also, if you try any of these sandwiches or snacks make sure to let us know how they were.