Sponsors: The Antarctic Circle and Athy Heritage Centre Shackleton Museum

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Sunday Excursion to Athy
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The SouthPole-sium will continue on Sunday as an all-day 'Magical Mytery' tour of mostly Shackleton sites in Dublin, Ballitore, Kilkea, Athy and Lucan.

Here's the likely itinerary:

35 Marlborough Road in the Donnybrook section of Dublin. The Shackleton family moved to this address upon coming to Dublin from Kilkea. A plaque was placed on the house in 2000. We won't go inside but the owners may greet us and they'll be some time to take an outside photo or two.

Kilkea Castle. We hope to be able to arrange lunch at this lovely castle, in view of the nearby birthplace of Ernest Shackleton.

Kilkea House will be our next stop, the birthplace of Ernest Shackleton and his home until he was six years old.

Ballitore. This village is steeped in Shackleton lore.

Athy Heritage Centre is in the nearby town of Athy. It hosts each October the Shackleton Autumn School, the inspiration for the SouthPole-sium There are many Shackleton and Antarctic related things to see here. Plans are developing to rebrand the Centre as the Shackleton Museum. Mark Richard's recent larger-than-life statue of Shackleton stands just outside the Centre.

• Before heading back to Dublin there'll be an opportunity to enjoy a pint at O'Brien's across Emily Square from the Heritage Centre. This traditional Irish Pub (grocery store in front) has many Antarctic associations.

• On the way back to Dublin we'll see about stopping briefly at the Shackleton Mills in Lucan. These are no longer operating but they'll be worth seeing if we can organize it.

TOTAL MILEAGE: About 175 km or 109 miles.

It would be nice to travel north to Banbridge, the home town of Francis Crozier. His impressive statue stands in a roundabout across the street from his house and his church where there is an intricately carved marble plaque commemorating his life and death. If there is sufficient interest perhaps a tour could be put together for Friday the 7th prior to the opening reception or on Monday the 10th. If you'd be interested, let us know.

Stops along the way.

35 Marlbough Road.

Kilkea Castle.

Kilkea House.


Athy Heritage Center Shackleton Museum.

Shackleton statue.