Affordable and fun guiding throughout Northern Ireland

Guided Tours Ireland/Armagh Guided Tours Wishing you all a Happy & Healthy New Year

New Year 2022 Blog Pic

Wishing you all a Happy Healthy 2022 and many thanks for your continued support in 2021.
I’m always keen to move forward and see what the new year has to bring. Plans are already in place for many of you to visit in 2022 if the Covid situation allows you. This I appreciate.

I know that many of you have taken a lot more time to think and share thoughts on that long held dream to visit the homeland of your ancestors.
With small family groups we certainly can create a lot of happy memories, visit townlands, graveyards, family homes all together and jointly share our love for the ancestral places of what shaped us today.

Living on an island I am always drawn to the edge and tours around the famous Antrim Coastline are not to be missed………a walk along the headlands and a paddle in the ocean bring out the child in all of us. Ancient Celtic settlements tell us of our early ancestors while castles and churches reveal our more recent history.

Good food and accommodation are very important and as a keen cook and farmer’s wife my love of local produce is key to fully embracing life here. Picnic hampers are certainly very popular and ideal for large family groups.

Choosing where to lay your hat is also very important when travelling as a family. I will be out on the road shortly to chat with my favourite hotels, B & B’s and restaurants………..ohh lots more good food to experience!

From my Ferguson Family here at Beechlodge Farm, Armagh, Northern Ireland I wish you and all those you love dearly a Happy Healthy 2022.
Best Wishes

Barbara (Biddy)
PS Do hope you enjoy my own personal amateur “seasons” video. Pictures were taken by me on my phone. They reflect the changes in landscape around my farm here in County Armagh and a trip to County Fermanagh. May help you decide what season you would like to visit.


Hello 2021 and Northern Ireland is once again in Covid19 “lockdown” so my car is parked and its back to long walks in my local park.
I’m lucky as Gosford Forest Park (240 acres) is just one mile from my farm here in County Armagh on the outskirts of the small historical Plantation Town of Markethill.

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The forest is planted on what once was the 17th century plantation land of Sir Arthur Acheson. The Acheson’s later Gosford’s have long gone leaving only their 19th C Norman Revival style castle on the forest park .

During the life of the Acheson’s (titled Lord Gosford) on their demesne, with its spread of woodland and parklands, Gentry were regularly entertained by Lord & Lady Gosford.

One regular visitor to the Gosford’s country seat was Jonathan Swift the author of Gulliver’s Travels. All kids young and old love the story of Gulliver’s shipwreck finally ending up with the Little People on the Land of Lilliput! Locals here say Gosford Demesne provided the inspiration for Gulliver’s Travels!.

Dean Swift was a regular guest of Sir Arthur Acheson and Initially he appeared to enjoy his stay with Sir Arthur & Lady Acheson however through time his arrogance left his presence uncomfortable. His time with Sir Arthur led to the creation of his insulting ‘Markethill Poems’, which Swift always maintained were written for his own amusement and not for publication.

His stay at the Gosford Demesne was in the comfort of their Manor House, the early residence of the Acheson family before the present 19c castle was built. However Swift’s desire to build his own house on the estate caused more friction and eventually after months with Sir Authur and Lady Acheson he returns to Dublin.

Swift’s witty and absurd style influenced Irish writers like Wilde, Joyce and Beckett. His multi-layered satirical writings still cause debate and outrage.

As Swift said when a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.
Swift’s Epitaph - St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin

Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift,
Doctor of Divinity
and Dean of this Cathedral,
Where savage indignation can no
longer lacerate his heart;
Go traveller and imitate if you can,
This dedicated
and earnest
champion of liberty.

20201210 100834

Contact Us

Barbara Ferguson
Accredited Blue Badge Tourist Guide
Northern Ireland Guided Tours
41 Coolmillish Road
Co. Armagh
BT60 1SH
Northern Ireland

For your answer to an experienced & fun guided tour of Northern Ireland - Barbara is here to help

+44 (0) 28 3755 1119

+44 (0) 7740 511 442

Email: info@guidedtoursireland.com

The Professional Association for Blue Badge Tourist Guides Throughout Britain

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