18 In travel/ uk

postcards from northern ireland

dear friends,

thursday last week had us boarding another flight. this time to visit the causeway coast in county antrim, northern ireland.

the whole area is stunning, with quiet roads, beautiful scenery and history that far surpasses anything we can find back home in new zealand.

we stayed in a beautiful quiet country location not far from the giants causeway, choosing to spend the afternoon of our first day taking a tour of the local whiskey distillery in bushmills. because of the high volatility in the areas we toured through, photos were not permitted, but the tastings at the end more than made up for it!

we checked out the giants causeway,
giants causeway

walked the carrick-a-rede rope bridge,
carrick-a-rede rope bridge

found the dark hedges on bregagh road near the village of armoy: this spectacular road is bordered by 300 year old beech trees
dark hedges

lay listening to the waves in some gorgeous tiny fishing harbours around the causeway coast
ballintoy harbour

visited dunluce castle
dunluce castle

took a drive through the glens of antrim,
glendun road

and checked out the waterfalls in the glenariff forest park.
glenariff forest park waterfall

we drove down roads that reminded us very much of those we would find traversing new zealand coastlines
murlough bay

and took a day trip out to rathlin island to see the puffins. we couldn’t get very close but got chatting to one of the locals who has some amazing photos of them (including the one below…)

puffin by tom mcdonnell

more ash clouds over england and ireland meant our flight home was cancelled, so we took the opportunity to see some of county down – specifically the ards peninsular

we spent a night in the tiny town of portaferry, then spent the morning exploring the peninsular

visiting st. cooeys wells
st cooeys wells

the holy wells were founded in the 7th century by st. cooey. according to tradition, it was here that he performed his pentiential exercises in the late 7th and 8th centuries. the foundations of a church, modern altar and three holy wells may be found. a drinking well, washing well and eye well are still visited by pilgrims and are reputed to have healing powers.
– source: ards visitor guide 2009/10

and the ballycopeland windmill
ballycopeland windmill

before checking into our room at pier 36 overlooking the donaghadee port and lighthouse

tomorrow we’re up early to head to belfast international airport, headed back to london.

but for right now, i’m off to enjoy another pint of the local brew. cheers!
a smile in every glass


p.s. more photos up on flickr

  • Jude (top sister)!
    25/05/2010 at 12:26

    my guinness!

  • caite@a lovely shore breeze
    21/05/2010 at 22:20

    lovely, lovely.
    Someday I will see more of the North, but brief previous trips, years ago when things were very politically upset, were not too relaxing.Someday, I will give it another try.

  • Swirly
    21/05/2010 at 05:25

    Thank you for sharing your journeys!!

  • Jude (top sister)!
    20/05/2010 at 22:03

    I’ve just taken a mini holiday – we had such a busy day yesterday helping customers get what they needed – it was ‘headspinningly busy’ so it’s been nicely calming to stop and look at your beautifully crafted pictures and have you take me on a trip to ireland, prague(what a beautiful city, makes me want to go there) and other places… Lately I’ve taken to buying BEAUTIFUL books with a recipe or two inside(not the important thing to me but makes it interesting) and pictures of places with stories to read when I want to travel by mind … these pictures would all qualify and i’m sure you are equally qualified to write an interesting story to go with them – add to that some beautiful paper and beautiful print finishing and you’ll have a long time customer from me with a library of your books!!!
    thanks – the only thing I would say is watch that you get your focus clear exactly where you want it (tripod or monopod) try taking the same shot three four five times with the focus in different places and see what you learn
    Love you

  • Amy
    20/05/2010 at 19:10

    beautiful! *sigh* I love ‘traveling’ with you.

  • rachel awes
    20/05/2010 at 18:06

    where did you say you are?
    those trees! puffin! bridge! everything!

  • Lisa
    20/05/2010 at 13:11

    Simply stunning!

    Lucky you!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Catherine
    20/05/2010 at 11:42

    Fantastic photos! I felt the same about the history in the UK – but New Zealand is only short on history if we restrict it to human history – funny how we do that, isn’t it?

  • Christina
    20/05/2010 at 00:21

    Wow, wow, wow. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland and this set of photos really made me itch to do so even more… Love the puffin (is that what they’re actually called?)

  • darlene
    19/05/2010 at 17:32

    so much beauty!! love

  • katherine
    19/05/2010 at 14:21

    Oh how wonderful! Loooove those beech trees & what a cool picture you set up for the windmill. Wonderful to see more of your adventures! Safe travels home.

  • Carol-SheCreates
    19/05/2010 at 10:44

    mwah, love the puffin! so cute…….

  • sas
    19/05/2010 at 07:34

    gorgeous pics.
    miss your face xxx

  • Angie
    18/05/2010 at 23:20

    I would definitely need a LOT of Guinness before attempting that rope bridge – which is probably not advisable! These photos are fab – NI looks like a great getaway.

  • The Armchair Parisian
    18/05/2010 at 20:37

    Awwww… I wanna go…. All shots are gorgeous, but love, love the puffin.

  • Emily
    18/05/2010 at 18:30

    It sounds like you felt at home there ~ there’s a sense of easy peacefulness in your words and photos.

  • doorways traveler
    18/05/2010 at 17:32

    totally awesome.
    love you.

  • sarah
    18/05/2010 at 17:25

    Lovely photographs! Those beech trees are amazing. Wow, I really want to go visit Ireland now.