Oakfield Park reopens on 7th April, 2017
It is official. Donegal is the coolest place on the planet. Perhaps in 2017 then, it’s time to visit Oakfield Park nestled in the heart of this glorious County. If you are looking for somewhere to entertain the whole family for the day – then Oakfield Park is the perfect place for an adventure. Last year it was voted one of the top five parks in the whole of Ireland in the Irish Times “Best Day Out”.
Oakfield’s brand new ‘Buffers’ tea room and restaurant will be open every day for garden visitors serving a delicious selection of home baked goodies, light bites and meals, created from our own garden produce. Enjoy a freshly brewed coffee or tea and so much more as you relax in this fabulous inspiring new space and enjoy the views, as the Donegal sunshine floods in from the gardens outside.
To see all of the lower gardens take a train trip on ‘Thomas’, on the narrow-gauge railway, which winds its way along 4km of track around the magnificent parkland. See the lakeside Castle Folly and travel through beautiful woodlands and willow tunnels, over a wooden causeway, past sparkling streams and lakes before returning to the station.
After a walk through the woodland trail, visit the superb new sculpture by Locky Morris, called ‘Longsleeper’. Made from 17 tons of oak railway sleepers, sitting on a spiral mound, it twists and turns itself into the sky. Take the children to see the magical Faery Tree and place a wish – who knows if it will be granted?
In the more formal upper gardens a traditional walled garden and kitchen garden, beyond the parterre and the sweeping green lawns, is a treat for any green-fingered expert or aspiring chef.
Have a look at the Oakfield Park website or Facebook page for special family events that are coming up, such as the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Steam Sundays, Garden Tours and much more.
Gardens are open 12-6pm Wed to Sundays plus Bank Holidays. Gardens will be open 7 days a week during July and August.
Trains run at 2, 3 & 4pm on weekdays, and from 12-6pm at Weekends and Bank Holidays
Visit the Oakfield Park Facebook page for latest details and upcoming events.
Here is the highlights of what is happening over the Easter Holiday period. No booking required.
Give that someone special a GIFT VOUCHER for Oakfield Park, Co. Donegal.
Our gift vouchers can be used for:…
• A day visit to Oakfield Park,
• Annual Pass to Oakfield Park,
• A gift to a couple getting married in 2016 / 2017 towards the cost of hiring the gardens for Wedding Photography (subject to date availability)
Contact us at 074 9173068 (10:30am to 2pm) or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to purchase a gift voucher.
A superb new artwork, ‘Longsleeper’ was unveiled for the Spring 2015 re-opening of Oakfield Park, Raphoe, Co. Donegal. Commissioned by Sir Gerry & Lady Heather Robinson, it was designed by Locky Morris, the artist who created the imposing Polestar sculpture in Letterkenny. Longsleeper is made from 17 tons of Oak and appears to perform visual and structural acrobatics! This impressive sculpture has to be seen to be believed. Oakfield Park is renowned for is narrow gauge train and some of the inspiration for the piece comes from the railway. The levers to alter the direction of the track at the ‘points’ were traditionally secured to a long sleeper. “This sense of movement and change is a central idea of the piece”, said Locky. Sited on the spiral mound it reveals itself to train passengers in a very dynamic way as they journey around the mound. No two views will be the same, as the straight oak sleepers appear to twist and turn, almost defying gravity. The spiral shape is reminiscent of the double helix of DNA, the genetic instructions for the building of all new life. This birth, or rebirth theme, connects too, to the Biblical story of the awaking of the long sleepers at Ephesus. All in all there is a strong sense here of something new and life affirming emerging from the landscape. Locky said, “Oak is meant to make an obvious link with the name of the park but the dynamic revolving shape also echoes the spiral leaf arrangement on oak trees. I have visited the park in the past with my own young children and we were all knocked out with the place and especially its beautiful working railway and I tried to inject a sense of playfulness and lightness of touch to this very large and heavy structure”. Longsleeper can also be clearly seen in perfect alignment with the middle of Oakfield Park House, 750mtrs away, in keeping with the Georgian design ethos and the gardens. Its circular aspect frames the distant Croaghan Hill, with the ancient burial mound, where it appears to curl up and spin towards the sky.