Crom makes me feel uplifted; it’s an escape from the everyday
Audrey runs her own farm in Northern Ireland. It’s a 24-hour job that’s physically and mentally exhausting. When she wants to relax, single mum Audrey takes her two children to Crom Estate in County Fermanagh. In the ancient woodlands and tranquil islands of Crom, they have found a place where they can escape from everyday life.
Getting back to farming roots
After working in the corporate world for 20 years, Audrey decided to leave her civil service job to run a farm on Islandmagee in Northern Ireland. Having grown up on a farm, Audrey wanted to get back to her roots and swap her life in an office for one in the great outdoors.
But managing a farm is no small enterprise. Meeting the constant demands of a full-time business, and bringing up two young children at the same time, Audrey is always on the go.
Counting sheep, losing sleep
During lambing season, Audrey will be up through the night, checking sheep and catching moments of sleep when she can. As Audrey explains, ‘Working on the farm is relentless at certain times of the year. Mentally it can be very hard. Sometimes when you’re tired you still have to get up out your bed at 1am in the morning because you know there’s a sheep lambing.’
A place to feel safe
Crom was the first holiday Audrey went on as a single parent and a place she felt safe. As she explains, ‘It taught me that I was capable of taking my two children away on their own and them having a fantastic time. It’s given me confidence and helped me grow as a person.'
It’s also the contrast that makes it special for Audrey: ‘When I want to relive the tension and stress from work, I go to Crom. It's completely different to where I live on Islandmagee and I think that’s why I fell in love with it,’ she says. ‘It’s set on the lake in County Fermanagh and has ancient woodland, which is just beautiful. From the moment I get there, I just relax straight away.’
" As soon as you drive into the sweeping fields and trees, you just sigh and relax."
A bolthole and a home from home
With no to-do list or animals to feed, Crom is the place where Audrey and her family can truly relax and unwind. As Audrey tells us, ‘Crom is my bolthole…It is probably my favourite place on earth. Somewhere you feel content and at home, even though it’s not your home. It’s the reflections in the water, the views from across the lake, the sounds you hear in the trees. It’s just a beautiful place where there are no pressures.’