We were blessed with the weather last Thursday for our visit to Lakeside Shop & Tearooms in Windgap for our coffee get together. 15 retired teachers met there to enjoy coffee, scones, lively conversation and a leisurely walk around the lake and woodlands.

Lakeside Shop & Tearooms is a community initiative and opened in June 2019. Situated in the new community centre it offers breakfast, dinner and snacks. There’s also a small community shop stocking the essentials.

I was puzzled as to why it was called the “Lakeside Shop and Tearooms” as I wasn’t aware of any lake nearby. The local primary school is situated opposite the community centre and while I had visited the school before I hadn’t noticed the lake and woodland area right next to it. There were lots of ducks enjoying the facilities of the lake and woodland. The paths along the wooded area had lots of fairy houses and unusual bird boxes on the trees.

Windgap itself is full of surprises. The lake and woodland area being one but our walk brought us across the local GAA pitch before we arrived at Calvary Grotto. This is the largest grotto in Europe covering 4 acres. We passed the Old League House, built in 1881 during the Land League Campaign. It was originally built to house evicted families. On our way back to the centre we also saw the Old Village Forge. The Ordinance Survey map of Windgap from 1900 recorded that the Smithy was 100 years old then.

Also in the area, and not too far away, is Knockroe Passage Tombs (4km), the Slate Quarries (5km), Lamogue Ogham Stones (3km) and Killamery Church and High Cross (4.5km).

The Lakeside Shop and Tearooms and indeed Windgap Village and its environs is well worth a visit.

A very enjoyable day!!