01 Jul 2022

Laois arts festival announces go-ahead for August

Twin Trees Heywood, Art and Cultural Festival returns to Laois

Twin Trees Festival focus on Heywood Gardens

A Laois festival that had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic, is going ahead this August.

The Twin Trees Arts Festival is based in Ballinkill and in the scenic Heywood Gardens.

It may not be quite Electric Picnic, but the gentile festival which began in 2019 was a resounding sold-out success with many beautiful paintings produced by participants.

The four day event brings amateur and professional artists together in group Plein Air (outdoor painting) sessions.

It also offers history, heritage and fishing this year.

"Our Tutored En Plein Air event, which is open to beginners and accomplished artists alike, takes place during Heritage Week 2021 from August 19 to  22.

"We are following Government Guidelines in relation to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, and are happy to provide you with a unique outdoor painting experience, in the beauty and tranquility of Heywood Demesne, and nearby Ballinakill Village.

"We are also thrilled to welcome back our tutors, Jock Nichols and Bridgette Flannery, who oversaw 2019's inaugural event, and in addition, to welcome a new tutor, Geraldine O'Reilly to this year's event.

Day One of the Plein Air sessions takes place on August 19 in the glorious surroundings of Heywood Gardens, designed in 1906, by Edwin Lutyens and planted by Gertrude Jekyll.

Day Two takes place on August 20, in the magical woodlands of the Heywood Estate, which boasts woodland trails, lakeside walks and a huge diversity of wildlife and nature, all set in the most wonderful picturesque solitude.

Day Three, which takes place on August 21,  is set in the historical former Charter village of Ballinakill, with an abundance of subject matter on offer, from historic buildings to street views.

The third day also features a fishing competition takes  beginning at 10am with a draw for fishing spots. The angling will begin at Gills Pond at 11am and will conclude at 4pm. A fee of €10 applies to all participants and places are limited. 11am Saturday 22nd August

Saturday also features a Guided Historical Walk of Ballinakill and Heywood takes place, departing from the Village Square at 11am.

The guide for the walk is local historian, and co-author of Ballinakill, A Journey Through Time, Ger Dunphy.

The walk will avoid busy roads, and there is a section of off-road walking, with moderate terrain throughout, and will be approximately one hour in duration.

The walk promises to be both enjoyable and informative with the Masslough Lake, Trench Family Mausoleum, Heywood Estate and Gills Pond just a few of the many places of interest that will be visited, along the route.

The fourth day also includes Yoga in Heywood Gardens with Simon Rogers.

“We cannot think of a better way to spend an August Sunday morning, than a calming yoga class with Simon Rodgers of Blackhill Woods Retreat.

“Reconnect with yourself in the stunning and peaceful gardens, the perfect location to give gratitude through yoga. Simon, an experienced and qualified Yoga teacher, has also studied Reiki, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and is a Natural Health and Well Being therapist.

The Yoga in Heywood Gardens cost ost €15 + Booking Fee. 

Please remember to bring your own Yoga Mat!

The event is funded by the Department of Rural & Community Development and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Festival partners include: Laois Partnership, Laois County Council, Office of Public Works and Creative Ireland.

For more on the festival go to

To buy a ticket see their website here. 

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