A field day for Seamus Heaney fanatics
A tour through County Derry, whose landscape inspired many of the poet’s best-known works
Passing Laurel Villa, you’d never suspect it was a Tardis. You have to enter this modestly proportioned house on the outskirts of the County Derry town of Magherafelt to taste its magic. Your first impression is of a beautifully kept B&B. Then you notice the photographs and paintings lining the walls: James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney. There are poems printed on linen, and first editions in glass cases. Upstairs you pass bedroom doors: the Kavanagh Room, the MacNeice Room, the Heaney Room. Laurel Villa is a shrine (though a very unstuffy one) –a genuine House of Poetry.
Gerardine Kielt keeps things immaculate, and cooks the best breakfasts in Ireland; Eugene, her husband, organises poetry readings at Laurel Villa, and maintains contact with poets far and wide –including Seamus Heaney himself, the most celebrated and best-read living poet in these islands.
Read the full article in The Guardian, Travel here >