I follow The Donkey Sanctuary on Facebook and was eager to visit and explore! Being an animal lover I was captivated by the idea that there was a sanctuary dedicated to looking after donkeys and mules. The picturesque sanctuary is nestled in the historic village of Liscarroll, just fifteen minutes’ drive from Mallow. The sanctuary is open every day and as soon as you drive in you are greeted by inquisitive donkey faces peering through railings and roaming through fields. It is a peaceful place and I was pleased to see that dogs are welcome to visit also. I instantly made a friend in Jacksie a small, cute donkey who was in the adoption group.
Jacksie and four of his friends are available to adopt by the public. I was greeted by very friendly farm staff; they were quick to tell me the backgrounds of the different donkeys and answer any questions that I had. I picked up a guide for the walkway and set off on my walk in the hope of making more donkey friends! I came upon the ‘Infant Group’ which was full of young foals and their mothers. They were adorable and loved all of the cuddles and attention!
There were different walkways available and I opted for the farm walk. This walk led me to a group of mules which were very funny characters. Their enclosure was situated in a pretty valley with roving hills; it felt like I was in an episode of Emmerdale! I was then led onto an unusual rock-face which was a high point overlooking the ruins of the old castle in Liscarroll and surrounding areas. Luckily I visited on a clear day and the views were spectacular.
There are numerous memorial benches dotted along the route where you can enjoy a picnic or a reflective moment. I finished my walk and entered the visitor centre for a hot chocolate and a browse through the unusual gifts and souvenirs. As there is no admission fee I left a donation towards the work that is carried out there and I also adopted Jacksie for €20 for the year!
QT Tips: Large enclosed picnic area, safe for kids. Visitor centre offering unique gifts and refreshments, lovely walkways, stunning scenery, beautiful animals.
Describe in 5 words: fun, exciting, scenic, welcoming, free