The Bourke (Burke, DeBurca) family have owned and farmed the Lost Valley for almost a century. Before that they were employed by the landlord to farm in the valley and before that they were actually one of the families evicted and driven out, as the roofs of their homes were torn down as the Great Famine ended. In fact the Bourke family have lived in the Lost Valley for over three centuries.
The present owners Gerard and Maureen Bourke and their family became the first to enjoy safe, convenient access to their home in the valley, when in the late 1980s they built a roadway over the mountainside. Many previous generations of the family had traversed the mountainside on foot to gain access to their valley or taken a dangerous route through the foreshore when the tide was out. ( Seven generations of Bourke's brings us back to when records began, their predecessors are now lost in the mists of time.)
No doubt this inaccessibility contributed in a major way to the preservation of the heritage of the lost valley of Uggool as only the most intrepid visitors ventured in and indeed very many of the locals will tell you today that they had never seen the lost valley previously. Having completed the roadway the family turned their attention to the creation of a looped walkway around their spectacular valley.
Reviewed 22 August 2017
What a wonderful afternoon. Despite the rainy weather, we have enjoyed the tour and talks very much. For us it seems an area of extraordinary beauty, but we understand it is not always easy to live and survive here. Gerard and Maureen have revealed a lot about the history, the nature and the life at Uggool. We appreciate the touching stories, these gave a much better and broader view on Irish history. We hope the Bourke family will continue this tours for many years. A big thank you.
It is essential to book in advance as this is an active working farm.
Please call us on + 353 (0) 85 1139977 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Traditionally the Bourke's have farmed sheep and suckler cows that run with a stock bull and a couple of horses. Today sheep are the main enterprise with a flock which are mainly of the native blackface mountain breed. Ewes lamb in April and most of the Lambs are sold with the weanling cattle in Sept or Oct. Cattle and horses are removed from the trail area to a different section of the farm when the trail is in use, as a health and safety measure. (livestock can be dangerous.)