3 min read

postcards from northern ireland

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