If you go down to the woods near Bawnboy, County Cavan you are sure of a big surprise, for teddy bear heaven is just beside Brackley Lake on the borders of Fermanagh and Leitrim.
Bear Essentials designs and hand makes its own unique bears. The teddy bear gift shop displays famous brands like Steiff, Charlie Bears, and of course Anke's one-off mohair collector teddy bears and baby essentials.
The Silver Bear Centre has a selection of old teddy bears, including some that have been admitted to the Teddy Bear Hospital. Make your very own teddy bear, or why not avail of a workshop with afternoon tea? You can even book in for a half or full day in traditional teddy bear making and go home with your very own creation.
Bear Essentials also offers presentations and demonstrations for tour groups, including talks about the long history of the teddy bear and its everlasting appeal. The surrounding tranquil gardens and little greenhouses offer a relaxing environment to bask in the smell of Mediterranean plants, while the playground in the woods is great for kids.
Ginger bread house workshops are available before Christmas, where children and adults can smell and taste some true Christmas delights.
What's more, Bear Essentials offers overnight packages in conjunction with local B&Bs, or the beautiful Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell. Bear Essentials and the Silver Bear Centre are both wheelchair accessible, and staff are experienced in working with special needs groups. There is plenty of parking space for cars and buses. All methods of payment are accepted.