Northern Ireland’s hidden village!
A local radio presenter had recently highlighted a hidden village as a place of interest to visit in Northern Ireland amongst other locations. This was a hidden village dating back to the mid 20th century. I am from Northern Ireland and have seen many of the tourist attractions here, however, I had never even heard of this place. This was extremely exciting to hear of a new place to visit, more so, as not many people have visited here as it’s off the beaten track. Today was the day to visit this fantastic location!
Known as Galboly, this little village along the Antrim coast was inhabited from the 1800s to the 1960s by people who made a living from the land and the sea. It was once home to about 60 people but by 1950 only a few people remained. By 2013 only one man still remained in the village, a monk who lived there until his death. I found the information from this site here very helpful.
Reading this piece made me want to visit the village even more! Thankfully this article provides very good directions and with the help of google maps and a couple of locals at the coffee shop, we found our way there.
After parking the car on the side of the road, we walked through the gate and ascended the steep track up into the mountains. This is what you imagine rural Ireland to be all about. It has a very ‘Star Wars meets Game of Thrones’ feel, which coincidentally, was a filming location for some Game of Thrones scenes.
Take a look at my photos below and please let me know your thoughts? Have you ever visited a hidden village before? This was definitely a first for me and it was absolutely magical!!!
We bumped into a local farmer on our descent who still owns the land. I asked him if it bothered him that tourists were now visiting frequently. For him, it was a mix of emotions. On the one hand, he and his family were glad to see people, as they had never really had much interaction with others before and on the other hand, they do not want too much activity on their land. I can completely understand this and I really hope that people do not tarnish the area or its wildlife. It is SUCH a special place that deserves to be respected.
Doors of WordPress V51
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of wonderful doors. It’s been a warm week here in Northern Ireland and I am certainly not complaining. We love to see the sunshine here as it doesn’t happen too often.
I took a walk along the Lisburn Road, Belfast a few days ago to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine. This road is famous for being a student area and having lots of rented accommodation for those studying nearby, myself included. As you head up the Lisburn Road, it becomes a more affluent area with trendy cafes, bars and boutique stores. I lived on this road for over a decade before moving to Australia, so it was a real delight to be walking along here again. On my stroll I came across a row of stunning terrace houses with fantastic doors and I wanted to share them with you. There was a few but I only managed to take pictures of my favourite three. Please let me know your thoughts on them.
I LOVE the brick work of the houses, the bright colours of the doors, the arch frame and just their general quaintness. Absolutely stunning doors!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Wordless Wednesday – Contemplation
Doors of WordPress V50
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my FIFTIETH edition of doors!!! I can’t believe I have had fifty posts showcasing doors, never mind finding so many doors to display. Thank you all so much for taking an interest, for your continued support, likes and comments. My doors posts are my favourite to compose and I really enjoy everyones thoughts when picking a favourite for the week, allowing us to connect and also enabling us to see things from different perspectives.
This week I have picked a few of my favourite doors over the last year that have not yet been featured. As always, please let me know if you have a favourite.
I love all these doors but I have saved my favourite for last. I love the stained glass windows and double doors. I also love the little cart and would love to have had a peep inside. I could imagine having holidays in this little mobile home, towed along by my car all over the country. Ah to dream!
Thank you all again and have a fantastic weekend everyone.
Wordless Wednesday – Ancient
FOTD – Florist’s Cineraria
Happy Friday everyone and welcome to the weekend. Today’s flower was discovered at the Balmoral Show that I attended last weekend. With their vibrant, eye-popping colours, I was instantly drawn to take a picture of these stunning flowers. This was my first time hearing of these, has anyone heard of these before? Apparently they’re hard maintenance and grow best in high humidity countries, not sure why they’re in Northern Ireland, too funny!
Doors of WordPress V49
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of fantastic doors. This week I took a look in my archive from doors taken in Northern Ireland a few years ago, just before I left for Australia. It’s funny to look back at my old photos and realise I have loved doors for many years now without even realising it. Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
My favourite this week is number four. It’s extremely quaint and I do appreciate a red door! Can you believe next week will be my 50th post showcasing my favourite weekly doors? I need to create something special for next week 😅, so stay tuned!
Wordless Wednesday – Countryside
The Balmoral Show is a four day extravaganza that happens every year in Northern Ireland (with a break during covid times). It is the official agricultural event in the country and also the oldest, with the first show having been held in 1872. It offers the chance for people all over the country to come together and be involved in farming exhibitions, competitions, championships , sample local cuisine and check out the farming fashion.
As a child and teenager, I had been to this show many times. As part of the school curriculum, our classes of pupils were taken here yearly for a day out. We all loved it, the chance to roam free (from teachers) through all the stalls on offer, see the variety of animals on show, marvel at the sheer amount of tractors, see what it is like to a part of the farming world, try the different food stalls and collect as many freebies as we could, mostly pens!! (we would see who could obtain the most).
I had always wanted to return as an adult and see if the magic was still alive and to my delight, it really was! The event was previously held in the King’s Hall but is now held outside Lisburn at the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park. Luckily for us we could walk to the venue and I was super grateful as the traffic was pretty busy and you had to pay for parking (crazy considering the ticket prices were £25 each). On display were numerous stalls with local food, gifts, clothing etc. We were able to watch some sheep competitions, dressage, horse jumping and quad bike jumping. There was so much more on offer and with your map (given on entry), you can plan your day with what you want to see and do.
Have a look at my highlights below from spending the day at the Balmoral Show and please let me know if you have anything like this where you are from or would something like this be of interest to you. I would love to know!
Thank you all for taking the time to read my post, I was delighted to be able to attend the show this year and thrilled to share a little of my day with you all. Have a great week everyone.
Doors of WordPress V48
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of local doors. My entries for this week are from a town called Newry in Co.Down, Northern Ireland, close to the border with Ireland. I have been here a lot over the past few weeks and have enjoyed coming across some new and beautiful doors. I hope you like them as much as I do and let me know if you have a favourite this week.
For me this week, I kept the best for last. I love number 6 for its colour and regal appearance. The archway, pillars on either side and transom window really make the door pop! What do you think?
Wordless Wednesday – Line of Duty
Sunday sunset – Hillsborough Lake
Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend and enjoyed the coronation if you watched it. Tonight’s sunset was taken a few evenings ago at Hillsborough Lake. I am obsessed with this place and walk around this lake almost every day. The sunsets here are just fantastic.
Murlough National Nature Reserve
As most you already know, on my days off work, I like to get out and about to see some scenery, explore new places and appreciate the nature around us. I have actually been to this reserve before and really loved it, however, it was a cloudy day (surprise surprise) so I really wanted to return one day when the weather was better. Fortunately, we had a couple of days last month where the sun was splitting the trees and we took the opportunity to return to the Murlough National Nature Reserve. This place is really something else and I cannot wait to share it with you all.
Murlough National Nature Reserve is a delicate and impressive 6000 year old sand dune structure owned by the National Trust and has been cared for as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967. It is an outstanding area for walking, bird watching and taking in the sights due to its sensational location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains (Tourism Northern Ireland, 2023). This is an extremely special location where you can enjoy breathtaking ocean views, with beaches, sand dunes and mountains all in one place.
Before we headed out for a walk, we had to eat. I was pretty hungry as we arrived around lunch time. We parked the car and headed towards Murlough House, just situated five minutes away. Thanks to Google, I discovered there was a cafe there and even better, they had outside dining. Luckily for us, the weather was beautiful so it was the perfect spot to sit out and enjoy the sunshine.
From here we ended up back to the carpark just before Murlough House. All in all, this was a three hour round trip journey with a half hour pit stop for lunch. I highly recommend you check this place out if in Northern Ireland and have some time to see some stunning scenery.
Thanks for taking a look.
Doors of WordPress V47
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of local doors from my neighbourhood. We have settled well into village life at Hillsborough and have found some more fantastic doors. I’m sure I must have seen nearly them all by now but I will keep my eyes peeled for more. We’re really spoiled for choice here in this village for beautiful doors.
This weekend is the Coronation of King Charles and here in Hillsborough, the village is coming to life with festivities for the future king’s celebration. Is anyone excited to watch the coronation or would you rather wash your hair haha. Please do let me know and pick a favourite door if you can.
I think my favourite is the last door but it could be for the amazing wreath that’s featured. I’m a sucker for an interesting wreath!
FOTD – Rapeseed
Happy Friday everyone! Today’s flower of the day is the yellow rapeseed flower. We spotted these rapeseed fields on the way home from Athlone, Ireland when driving back up to the north. Furthermore, I have recently discovered many of these fields here in Northern Ireland also, having become very popular crops to be grown here. Many farmers are turning to these crops for their economic value as they have become increasingly popular for their producing of rape seed oil used in cooking.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
Doors of WordPress V46
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of wonderful doors. I recently shared a blog post of Athlone, Ireland and if you happened to check it out, you would have seen what a quirky and quaint little town it was. This week I want to show you a few of my favourite doors spotted in this amazing town. Please let me know if you have a favourite.
This week I’m torn between two doors. I love numbers 3 and 5 but I will go with number 3 as I really admire a corner door and the little hood over the frame is really quirky and reminds me of somewhere in Italy or France? Does anyone else agree or is it just me??
Wordless Wednesday – Serenity
I want to share this amazing town with you all that is situated right in the heart of Ireland. We were heading to a wedding in the nearby town of Glasson and decided to stay in Athlone due to the location to the wedding venue and this is where we managed to find a reasonably priced place to stay.
We stayed in the most amazing B’n’B called Riverdale House that I managed to find on Booking.com. This place has a lot of character, has a fantastic proximity to the town, delivers first rate breakfasts and has the best hosts that we had the absolute pleasure of meeting. To be honest, our hosts Neil and Avril made this stay so perfect for us here. They were unbelievably friendly and extremely knowledgeable of the local area. Not to sound over the top but we really enjoyed chatting to this lovely couple and learned a lot about Athlone from them. Excuse my ignorance but I had no idea we were in the centre of Ireland, despite driving there but I was absolutely amazed to be staying in the heart of Ireland. Also Neil gave us a few suggestions of places to check out, including Sean’s Bar that, not only is the oldest pub in Ireland but also the oldest pub in the world!!! As proven by the Guinness World Book of Records.
Of course we had to check out Sean’s Bar and I can see why it is so popular. Obviously it attracts a lot of tourists due to being the oldest bar but it also has a lot of character and charm, as well as selling the most delicious pints of Guinness. It was actually really lovely to see so many tourists in the pub, almost like pre covid times. Situated on Main Street, Athlone, you are right in the heart of the town where there are lots of restaurants, bars and cafes. It is also a really colourful and quaint area that is a complete feast for the eyes. Also a very popular spot for tourists, stag doos and hen parties.
After a couple of pints at Sean’s Bar, we were able to hop over and try an Italian restaurant nearby as we were really in the mood for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. Pavarotti’s was really delicious with a lovely warm ambiance and really friendly staff. Highly recommend!
You can also take a walk along the River Shannon, check out Athlone Castle and another cool place to visit for a drink is Dead Centre Brewing (sadly we didn’t have time to try here but was highly recommended, maybe next time). There is also a lovely park by the river to check out, some lovely art work in the town, impressive architecture, an abundance of shops over the bridge and beautiful scenery.
I hope from my photos you can gather an idea of what this stunning little town looks like and maybe one day you can also visit the heart of Ireland.
We loved our stay here in Athlone and would be delighted to return one day. Feeling very grateful for all these amazing places to visit within driving distance! Thank you all for taking a look at this blog post and I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.
Doors of WordPress V45 ⛪️
Hello everyone and welcome to another week of doors! Today is Friday here in Northern Ireland, so I am a day late with my doors, however, the weather yesterday was unbelievably good and I didn’t want to waste a second of it. When the sun shines, there’s no rain and the skies are blue, you have to make the most of it in Ireland.
I thought this week I would share some of my favourite church doors. I have so many photos of churches as I love the architecture and history of these buildings and thankfully they quite often have beautiful doors. Let me know if you have a favourite this week.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Wordless Wednesday – Captivating
Doors of WordPress V44
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of amazing doors from Ireland. Today I have been travelling towards Galway to attend a wedding and fortunately I was able to stop in Kells along the way. A town famous for The Book of Kells, however, I believe the book has now been moved elsewhere, I have always heard of this place but until now, had never visited. Admittedly, I don’t know much of this place but I was grateful to stop here on the way to Galway for a toilet stop and a bite to eat. Luckily, I managed to spot a few amazing doors whilst here. Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
I think my favourite this week is number two for the colour, arch and transom window. I also love a letter box that is high up on the door rather than at the floor, maybe that’s a sign of old age 😂.
FOTD – Easter Tulips
Happy Easter everyone. I wanted to show case some tulips today that I spotted during the week. They can be symbolic of Easter due to their egg shaped blooms and they are one of the first flowers to return from winter, signalling a rebirth (Kanuckel, 2023).
Enjoy your day everyone and I hope you have some delicious food on your table.
FOTD – Spring Spectacular
Happy Friday everyone and it’s Good Friday today for those celebrating Easter this weekend. Today we took a walk around Hillsborough Castle as they currently have their Spring Spectacular event on display. Here they show case many new spring flowers in bloom, with particular emphasis on rare Northern Ireland daffodils.
Therefore, my flower of the day has to be the daffodil today. I never tire of seeing these brightly coloured flowers as they are a reminder that winter is over and spring is finally here. I always associate daffodils with Easter too, as I’m sure many people do.
I hope they manage to brighten your day as they did mine today. Happy Easter to you all and I hope you enjoy some time to unwind and spend time with those nearest and dearest. Best wishes.
Doors of WordPress V43
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors, all of which are from nearby places in Northern Ireland.
The weather is starting to improve here as we enter spring and the nights are stretching longer. Pure joy! Hopefully, I will be able to frequent outdoors more often and find some more doors across the country over the coming months.
Please let me know if you have a favourite this week 😊
My favourite this week is number three from Carlingford. I love the colour of the door and it’s position in this very quirky looking house.
Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor
This park was a real gem of a find. I had never been to Rostrevor but I knew it was on the coast of Carlingford Lough, near Newry, Co. Down and thought it might be worth a visit as it is close by. We followed google maps to Rostrevor, parked the car beside the park and wandered in for a look around. Just to the left of the park is Fairy Glen, where it is believed that fairies have or had once lived, according to Irish folklore.
It is well known here that the famous writer C.S. Lewis from Northern Ireland, spent a lot of his time in the Mourne area and in particular, Carlingford and Rostrevor. He was inspired here and once said that Rostrevor was his inspiration for Narnia. In this park there is a dedicated family trail to C.S. Lewis where you can see memorabilia from The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe stories. There is also a play area for the kids and an outdoor gym.
You can walk through the woodland areas, as well as around the park area (where you will also find a cafe) and along the river. It’s a truly magical place that leads back to the small, yet enchanting village. Entering and leaving the park you will see the most beautiful and quaint houses with some impressive murals on the walls leading through the village.
I cannot recommend this place highly enough and I look forward to returning here soon in the not so distant future. If you’re ever in Northern Ireland, be sure to check out this park and village.
Wordless Wednesday – Goose
Wordless Wednesday – Rabbit!
Doors of WordPress V41
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors from around Northern Ireland. I am sticking with my north coast theme this week and showing you some doors from the Causeway Coastal Route that I posted about yesterday. Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
I think my favourite has to be number three, even if it is a black door. I think it has an elegant appearance, with its transom window and archway. I also really admire the stone work of the building. This was once a school house dating back to the 1850s and is now a very popular cafe for tourists. It’s very quaint inside however it can be pretty pricey. We paid £7.50 for two teas!
Thanks for taking a look and enjoy the rest of your week.
Causeway Coastal Route
The north coast of Northern Ireland / Ireland is undeniably beautiful and severely underrated. If you are from Northern Ireland, you will have travelled here many, many times as a child for your holidays. When people couldn’t afford foreign holidays, families would travel here to the coast, no matter if there was rain, hail or shine. Sadly, as many of you will know, our weather is notoriously wet and cold, however, when you do have good weather, the north coast is absolutely breathtaking and has a lot to offer.
You can travel along the north coast, also known as the Causeway Coast and there are numerous locations along the coastal route that are very much worth seeing. I have been to the north coast a lot but I haven’t often travelled along the Causeway Coastal route. It is well sign posted along the whole route and I will highlight the top sites to stop and see, at least those that we were able to tick off our bucket list.
We stayed in one of the popular towns in the north of the country, Portrush. I know this town pretty well as my parents lived here for a few years. It’s a really stunning coastal town and an extremely popular holiday destination. There are gorgeous walks along it’s two beaches, the West and East Strand. Portrush is well known for its theme park for the kids, surfing and paddle boarding and of course its abundance of fantastic restaurants and bars along the coast, in the town itself and by the harbour. For us, this is where we started our journey along the Causeway Coastal Route.
I hope you have enjoyed the journey along Northern Ireland’s spectacular coastline and hopefully one day you may be able to see it for yourself, if you haven’t done so already. I know I am biased but it is honestly extremely beautiful!
Sunday Sunset – Hillsborough
Happy Sunday to you all, I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. This sunset was taken a couple of evenings ago from our new home in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland. You will probably have seen from my previous posts that I have been frequenting this town for some time now and have really grown fond of the area. Thankfully, we are able to live here for a while and are looking forward to enjoying all Hillsborough has to offer in the coming weeks.
See you all next week!
Doors of WordPress V40 ☘️
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my FORTIETH edition of Doors of WordPress. I thought with tomorrow being St Patrick’s Day in Ireland, I would showcase some of my favourite green doors that I have seen recently in Northern Ireland.
Sadly I will be working tomorrow and not seeing much of the Patrick’s Day celebrations. It used to be one of my most favourite holidays to celebrate, wearing something green, having a big fry for breakfast and then heading out with friends for some Guinness and Irish music. Even when I was in Australia it was always fun to celebrate the occasion, I guess as there are so many Irish people living in Sydney. I suppose there are so many Irish people everywhere as you will see huge celebrations all over the world, especially in America where many Irish people once emigrated to, just like Australia.
Will you be celebrating St Patrick’s Day this year or have you celebrated in the past? Also please do let me know if you have a favourite green door this week. I love to hear your thoughts.
For me, the favourite of the week has to be number 7 from Rostrevor. I think the door and whole building is absolutely fantastic, the windows, the greenery and that homely, country feel. Outstanding.
Have a great day everyone and I hope you all have a lovely St Patrick’s Day tomorrow ☘️☘️.
Wordless Wednesday – Hanging on!
Driving in the snow!
I had never driven in snow before, believe it or not. Today was my first time and the snow fall was plentiful. It has been snowing all night so I was not looking forward to my 5.40 am wake up call.
So what did I learn before arriving to work?
I learned the importance of giving yourself plenty of time to clear the snow from your car.
I learned to use a higher gear when driving from your driveway so the wheels do not spin.
I learned not to break when driving down a very steep hill, instead steering my way down and hoping not to meet any other cars.
And if at first you don’t succeed (almost sliding into a wall), try, try again.
Thankfully I made it so work successfully and survived my first snow day in my car 😅😅.
Did anyone else experience snow today?
Wordless Wednesday – Stones
Sunday Sunset – Back yard
Tonight’s Sunday sunset taken from our own very back garden at 5.30pm. The nights here are getting longer and by next week I believe the sun will set at 6pm. This is the best thing about summer in the UK and Ireland, the longer nights, where it can be daylight until about 11pm at night, meaning your days will be super long. Bring it on I say!
Scrabo Tower & Scrabo Country Park
Hi everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. Today I want to share with you an amazing landmark in Northern Ireland that is very well known here and is quite the spectacle. We took a drive here yesterday for a walk and some fresh air.
It is known as Scrabo Tower and was built in 1857. Situated on Scrabo Hill, Newtownards (just outside Belfast) you can see the most amazing views of Strangford Lough and across the whole of Co. Down, as far as the Mourne Mountains. I simply put the landmark in to Google maps to find this spot, very simple to do thankfully.
I had always wanted to visit here as I had seen some spectacular photos from other Northern Ireland fanatics and I also love buildings like this one, towers and lighthouses are my absolute favourites. I love the tower’s design and how it is made from stone found at Scrabo Hill, including sandstone. Researching about this tower, I was surprised to read that a family actually grew up in this tower for many years and they even ran a successful tea room, specialising in Irish country teas. You can read more information here if you are interested.
My photos do not even do the view any justice, you really need to see with your own eyes to truly appreciate the beauty all around the tower. If you want some information on the history of the tower and how to get there, you can click the link here. My advice would be to wrap up warm as this site, being so high from sea level, will be very cold and extremely windy. We nearly had our heads blown off! Also try visiting on a clear day to ensure you have the best views possible.
At the bottom of Scrabo Tower, just beside the car park, you can find Scrabo Country Park. This is a beautiful woodland park where the paths meander, taking you up and down and round and around. We actually got a little lost here believe it or not but it was worth it for the views at the top of the park that we happened to stumble across. We stopped here for some sandwiches and a cup of tea. This was a real highlight and I was just so grateful that the tea had managed to stay hot in my flask, very welcoming when it’s so cold. The view from our pit stop was out of this world and just encapsulated Northern Ireland for me. You could see hills, green pastures, Strangford Lough, the Mourne Mountains and even Harland & Wolff, the two most famous cranes from Belfast’s ship yards. Thankfully, there were also bathrooms at the end of the walk 😅.
This is a great park to walk in if you’re looking for somewhere different to try and you have the added benefit of having Scrabo Tower just beside you. I can’t wait to return, maybe in the summer and maybe even take a walk inside Scrabo Tower (only open in summer).
Thanks for reading and enjoy your Sunday.
Clare Glen Woodland
Yesterday we took a walk to Clare Glen Woodland. It’s less than 20 minutes to drive here from where I currently live in Banbridge and I used to walk here all the time growing up as a child and teenager with our family dog. It’s a beautiful place to become one with nature and really appreciate the beauty around you. It’s a short 2km loop walk in Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, in between Tandragee and Markethill. You will find a variety of tree species including hazel, oak, ash and I always remember collecting conkers here to collect for the school playground from the chestnut trees. Does anyone else remember playing with conkers (or chestnuts to others) attached to a string and used to swing and break your opponents conker?
The walk takes you along the River Cusher and the sound of the river just resonates with tranquility and serenity. It is so soothing for the soul and really relaxes you and allows you to wash away your daily worries. The trees, greenery, nature, birds and even the mushrooms we saw here are just beautiful. In the spring time you can also see an abundance of blue bells, so I am extremely eager to return in a couple of months time.
Have a look at my pictures taken below and hopefully they can convey even a small amount of how fantastic this woodland is.
Walking through this woodland, you really feel that spring is just around the corner and believe me, I am extremely glad. Thank you for taking a look at my post today and have a lovely weekend.
FOTD – Dutch Crocus
Happy Friday to you all. It’s been a while since I have showcased a Friday flower / flower of the day but I thought today was very appropriate. These are Dutch crocuses and bloom in spring time, hallelujah it’s a sign that winter is coming to an end. I love the colour of these and you can’t help but smile when you see them. I am currently on day two of having covid and my only trip outside is for a walk where there are no people. I’m feeling ok, just tired with a runny nose. These flowers cheered me up, as did the walk and fresh air.
Enjoy your weekend everyone.
Wordless Wednesday – Owl
Doors of WordPress V37
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. This week I am showcasing a few more of my doors from my recent trip to Carlingford as they are too good not to share, in my humble opinion.
Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
As much as I love them all, mostly for their quaintness and colour, I really love the last door. To me it looks very regal and sophisticated. The red colour really pops and I love the pillars/archway and transom window.
Thanks for taking a look and enjoy the rest of your week everyone.
Wordless Wednesday – Minion
Hi everyone! I recently took a trip to this amazing town in Ireland called Carlingford and I just really want to share this place with you. I had been here before for a day trip but had always wanted to return for a longer duration in order to really get a feel of this place. Carlingford is well known to us in Northern Ireland for being a fun place for hen and stag parties or nights out but I wanted to return to explore what else was on offer.
Carlingford has an abundance of things to offer the locals and tourists alike. It is a coastal town in Co. Louth, about halfway between Belfast and Dublin, making it easily accessible to either sides of the Irish border. It’s actually only 40 minutes from where I live by car and 11 km south of the border but you instantly feel like you are a million miles away when you stay here. It’s a coastal town, nestled between Carlingford Lough and Slieve Foy mountain, therefore, you have the opportunity to view beautiful scenery, taking lovely photographs, enjoy the walking trails, view the local attractions, have picnics and even partake in outdoor activities such as horse riding or surfing.
We stayed at Wildwood Lodge, a beautiful hotel style room overlooking the Lough and just a 5 to 10 minute walk into the town. I loved it here for the tranquility and the views were absolutely stunning, especially as you can see the sun rise every morning. I will highlight a few of the attractions/landmarks that we were able to witness on our three day break and to be honest, we could have stayed here longer as there is so much to do. I would love to have taken a few of the walks/hikes but that will have to be for another time, simply meaning I will have to come back 🙌🏼.
Before heading to Carlingford, I checked out the following website https://www.visitcarlingford.com/the-15-most-instagrammable-spots-in-carlingford/ for ideas and inspiration. This website was amazing to showcase the most popular things to see and I simply made my way through the list as best I could. There are a couple of things we didn’t manage to see but that will also be for a later date. I have highlighted my favourite tourist attractions below in the order that I seen them and hopefully they will inspire you to maybe visit the wonderful Carlingford one day.
1 – The Doors (and quaint/colourful buildings). I am an absolute door lover so I was in my element to see so many amazing doors, as you may have already seen and I will be posting more over the next couple of weeks. You can see my doors from last weeks blog post here.
2 – Thosel Street. I am obsessed with quaint and historic places so this street was right up my street, so to speak. It just oozes charm and character with its old stone buildings and historic architecture.
3 – Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms. We loved this place, so much in fact, that we returned the next day again for breakfast. Quirky and chic with delicious food and the friendliest staff.
4 – The Giant’s Chair. I love anything gimmicky like this for a fun photo but this was even better as it was located in the Leprechaun and Fairy Cavern. This was magical and although the tours are only on weekends, we were happy to take a walk around ourselves and marvel at the Irish folklore.
5 – Carlingford Heritage Centre & Carlingford Tourist Office. This was great for a history lesson of the town and for £3 you can have a talk from a local historian. The church building is exquisite and you can take a walk around and appreciate the old graveyard. The tourist office was fantastic for finding all the spots you want to see and the tourist officer was extremely friendly and helpful.
6 – Carlingford Marina & Anchor. This can be found just off the Lough front, a one minute walk from the town. You pass here to find the Leprechaun and Fairy Cavern.
7 – The pubs. These are fantastic for some great Irish beers, food and live traditional music. We had the best Guinness in Carlingford!
8 – Carlingford Abbey. This monastery dates back to 1305 and still looks impressive even to this day. I love these type of historic, stone buildings so I couldn’t wait to see this. Situated about a five minute walk from town, you can easily find this on google maps.
9 – King John’s Castle. Initially built around 1190 to defend the sea lough, this castle rests on a cliff overlooking Carlingford and its Lough. Although closed off to the public for repair, you can still walk around the outside and see some spectacular views. This was close to our accommodation so we would walk past this at night to return to our room and it was pretty special, albeit a little spooky.
10 – The Marina. I only stopped here to take a picture as it was beautiful to look at but there is a restaurant here too if you’re looking for somewhere different to eat. I believe the Greenway walk begins here also which I hope to do when I return.
11 – Flagstaff Viewpoint. This is actually outside of Carlingford, near to Newry. I had to add the location to google maps on my phone to find this spot but it’s well worth the short drive to see a stunning 360 degree view and Carlingford from a great height (without having to walk up). Sadly it was quite overcast for us but I’m sure this would be out of this word on a clear sunny day.
That’s my lot for Carlingford. I hope you enjoyed seeing this amazing town just over the border from Northern Ireland. I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to return to carry out some of the walks and view more of the outstanding scenery. Many thanks for having a read.
Doors of WordPress V36
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. Over the next two to three weeks I will be showcasing some of my doors from our recent trip to Carlingford, Ireland. I will create a blog post for this town also as it’s too amazing not to share with you all. Let me know if you have a favourite door this week.
I love the colours of these doors, bright and fun. They really give you a sense of what Carlingford is all about. I love door number five, especially with the wreath, however, the two houses in image six are my favourites this week, just beautiful and the doors blend in perfectly.
Stay tuned for more doors from Carlingford next week and enjoy your day everyone.
Wordless Wednesday – Gnomes!
Local walks in Northern Ireland to kick off the new year
Last month we managed to squeeze in a few different walks here in Northern Ireland. Some of these, you can spend maybe an hour walking around and others you can spend longer as it will take more time to walk around or you may find yourself snapping away at the beautiful scenery. They are great walks for getting out of the house and taking in some beautiful views and fresh country air. I have provided the websites for each location so you can check them out for yourselves also. These are perfect if you are looking for somewhere different to walk or if you ever plan to visit Northern Ireland in the future. There are many other walks that I have taken or plan to take but these are just the last few that I have walked recently.
Castlewellan Forest Park
Silent Valley Reservoir
Gosford Forest Park
Hillsborough Forest Park
I hope you enjoy seeing the walks that I have taken over the last few weeks. They are all unique in their own way and offer a place that’s perfect for clearing your mind and taking in some fresh country Northern Irish air.
Take care and keep walking!
Sunday sunrise – Carlingford
This beautiful sunrise was taken a few days ago when we took a trip to Carlingford, Ireland. I can’t wait to show this place off in a blog post coming soon. I hope you have all had a lovely Sunday. I’m just back from visiting family in the south of England and now counting down until work tomorrow. However, not before a Chinese meal and some Star Wars! See you all next week.
Doors of WordPress V35
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. I have a selection from three different places in Northern Ireland. Please let me know if you have a favourite. I love the last two doors, especially with the beautiful wreaths attached and I believe the home was lived in by the popular artist Colin Middleton ( a Northern Ireland landscape artist).
We have just returned from Carlingford in Ireland for a mini break and I have thee most amazing doors to show you all in the coming weeks so be sure to stay tuned. I will also write a blog showcasing Carlingford, highlighting the best things to do and see. It’s a special little town just over the border from Northern Ireland.
Enjoy the rest of your week everyone.
Where is the best place to watch the sunset near you?
Bloganuary day 31
Can you believe it’s the last day of this blogging challenge? Blogging every day in January has been fun and it’s great to have a prompt, especially if you are struggling with topics to blog about. I quite like Bloganuary as it asks you questions that you normally wouldn’t ask yourself. So thank you WordPress and your people for providing us with some thought provoking topics.
Today’s prompt is a lovely one to finish on. I often post sunrise or sunset pictures on a Sunday as I thoroughly enjoy watching and photographing these. There were so many locations in Sydney to watch epic sunsets, however, I am yet to find the perfect spot near me in Northern Ireland to catch a worthy sunset. I did manage to see some amazing sunrises this weekend in my trip away to Carlingford (I will show case this very soon), however, the nicest sunset I have seen recently near me was literally outside my house in the town I am currently living in, Banbridge.
I will be making it my mission to find some amazing sunset spots near me in the not so distant future but for now, the sunset in my town will have to suffice.
If you know of any great spots to see the sun setting in Northern Ireland, please do let me know and I will endeavour to check them out.
Wordlessly Wednesday – Suckling Pig
How do you show love?
Bloganuary day 24 ❤️
I show love in small ways. I tell my other half that I love him every single day, sometimes two or three times a day…and I mean it. I tell my family and friends I love them, not all the time and probably not often enough (some people, especially in Ireland, can become embarrassed). I love to give and receive hugs, even once a day or if you or your loved one needs it. It can make such a difference to your emotional wellbeing.
I love to show love for people by giving them confidence boosts and reassuring them. For example, complimenting them if they have a new outfit or haircut, listening to their concerns and being there for them. I don’t often do big gestures but I like to be there for people I love, even being a shoulder to cry on if need be.
I also love the appropriate use of touch. A hand on someone’s shoulder or holding their hand. I feel these little things can make such a big difference and let’s people know that you care for them and their well-being.
What are your thoughts on today’s blog prompt?
Doors of WordPress V33
Happy Thursday to you all. For this week’s doors, I am running with the prompt from today’s Bloganuary, ‘What colour describes your personality and why? I think of blue being my colour, so for this week I am showcasing some blue doors from my catalogue. Let me know if you have a favourite.
I have to admit, it’s number 9 for me, simply for the splash of colour as well as the bright blue door. It’s a feast for the eyes.
Thanks for taking a look at my blue doors.