Crom makes me feel uplifted; it’s an escape from the everyday

Audrey, Crom

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.

Audrey runs a farm on Islandmagee
Audrey takes in the view at Crom
Audrey's son Tom by the lake at Crom
An ancient Yew tree at Crom, County Fermanagh
Audrey and her children exploring the ruins at Crom
Audrey's son Tom explore the ruins at Crom
Audrey and her children discovered Crom six years ago Play Video
Audrey runs a farm on Islandmagee Audrey takes in the view at Crom Audrey's son Tom by the lake at Crom An ancient Yew tree at Crom, County Fermanagh Audrey and her children exploring the ruins at Crom Audrey's son Tom explore the ruins at Crom

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.’

Audrey and her dogs enjoying the space at Crom

Falling in love with Crom

With such a demanding job, Audrey needed somewhere she and her children could spend quality time together. Six years ago, Audrey discovered Crom Estate in Country Fermanagh. She took her children and their two dogs on holiday there and instantly fell in love with the landscape and wildlife.

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.

Audrey and her children on the jetty at Crom

Reconnecting with nature and wildlife

‘I heard my first woodpecker there, I saw my first pine martin there, I saw my first dragonfly there. I was just myself and the children were enthralled by it; we just loved it,’ recalls Audrey. Her children love Crom too. As Audrey says, it gives them a place to discover wildlife. ‘They were just fascinated by doing bug hunts, climbing trees and all those other outdoor things that children should do when they’re out in nature.’

" As soon as you drive into the sweeping fields and trees, you just sigh and relax."
- Audrey
Tom loves to fish from the jetty at Crom

The boathouse at Crom

Audrey’s favourite spot at Crom is the Victorian boathouse where a jetty leads out onto the lake. A quiet place where Audrey will read a book or watch the birds, her son Tom likes to fish there. 'Tom just adores fishing. He loves to go and sit and fish from the jetty. It’s got beautiful views in every direction you look.’

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.’

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