On Sunday afternoon we visited Strokestown House and the Irish National Famine Museum in Co. Sligo, Ireland. It was a unique and memorable experience. The weather was fantastic, but the warmest part was the wonderful treatment we received from the guides and staff at the site.
Strokestown House is a Georgian Palladian mansion preserved with its original furnishings and fabrics. We always do our homework on an attraction in advance, if we can. In this case, their website said they were wheelchair accessible, but that doesn’t always mean Nick can get around. We were pleasantly surprised.
From the moment we went into the shop, the staff was engaged in assisting us, including helping Nick have the best experience possible. They offer a guided tour of the house and self-directed tour of the famine museum and gardens. A staffer began by suggesting the best schedule and route to see the entire site.
We were on a guided tour with 35 others, including three individuals with different wheeled transport devices. The guide said that those visiting with the wheelchairs, etc. were invited to go up a ramp to a side door to join the tour. We were brought into the great hall and the guide didn’t start his dialogue until we all were settled.
This inclusive attitude continued throughout the hour-long tour. Whenever the group moved from one room to another, the guide facilitated those with special needs to be able to hear the information and see the artifacts. Though young and enthusiastic, he carried this off with a gentle patience.
Nick didn’t want to see some of the rooms and the guide allowed Arden to stay with him in the great hall, looking at the portraits on the wall as the rest of the group moved into the next room.
The famine museum was very well done and told the story in a thorough, easy to understand way. It was sobering. I was grateful we had received the counsel to finish the afternoon with a peaceful, calming walk through the six acre walled garden.
The kind, helpful manner of those at Strokestown is just one example of the service we have received when we travel with Nick. The places we have gone would be impossible for us to take him without the support of those in the travel and tour industry. Their dedication to serving their customers, particularly those with special needs, is crucial to us.
Please share this blog if it resonates with you or you know someone who might benefit from it. If you want to get a copy of the book as soon as it is available, click here to sign up.