Showing posts with label Northern Ireland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Northern Ireland. Show all posts

Thursday

Saint Patrick - The Church at Saul






A frequently asked question regarding St. Patrick is 

"Where in Northern Ireland will you find a church to commemorate St. Patrick?"

The answer is "lots of places"


 I want to take you to County Down where there is a small place called Saul and there you will find not one of the Cathedral's named after the Irish Patron Saint but a beautiful small church.



As you approach the church up the long narrow driveway






you will see the sign introducing you to St. Patrick's Memorial Church, which is open to the public daily and has a service each Sunday.







It tells us that St. Patrick built the first Christian church in Ireland on this same site in 432 AD







The church is small and beautifully made from light coloured stone.   
Simple & elegant with a very tall round tower.








The adjacent small graveyard is also well looked after and just a few steps away from the arched front doorway to the church.










Even the front of this church is simple and elegant with it's arched doorway and brickwork framing the door and then as you lift your eyes up there is a small stained glass window.








As you look to the front of the church after entering you will not be disappointed because the interior is also elegant and simple and this was a welcoming place to walk into and stand and gaze around, which we did for quite some time.



There are three sections at the front but also there is the wooden stand just off centre which






holds the book of Sunday Service readings and if you look closely you may be able to see that it was open at the readings for the Sunday after Trinity which would fall within the week from 25th September to 1st October.
We were there on 25th September (our oldest son's birthday - it was his choice of where we would visit that day)

The Psalm for the day was Psalm 78 and the reading listed was from Ezekiel 18.









The left section at the front comprised of a simple wooden pulpit.








The right section at the front was the area where the Bible would be read.










In the centre at the front was the altar table and another beautiful simple stained glass window.  This time arched and depicting St. Patrick.








Also in the church there is some information about the church.








Looking from the front back towards the entrance we saw the quaint compact organ for the weekly church services.


The stonework inside and outside made this little church just perfect.







As you can see from the side view of the outside the church is not very long and the windows are narrow yet with the sun shining in through these windows there was plenty of light inside.







It is on this side wall that we find the foundation stone of the new church built in 1933 on the old original site - a beautiful commemoration to St. Patrick.







Other Posts related to St. Patrick can be found on our






5 Travel Books about Northern Ireland - Need Help?


People are always telling me they Want to visit Northern Ireland.

People are always telling me they are partly Irish but have never been to see Northern Ireland or Ireland.

People used to walk up to me when we lived in America and say "I just love your accent - say something"





People are always telling me they love Ireland but unfortunately most of the time they think Belfast and Dublin are in the same country and only an hour apart.


Well for anyone who wants to visit

 Northern Ireland

 here are

 5 travel books

 which might be helpful.



PLUS make sure to read on to get the EXTRA TIP at the end.





Round the Hidden Coast of Northern Ireland from A to Z





We have a great coastline and plenty of it.

Rocky crags,  tucked away bays,  spectacular peninsulas and luscious golden sandy beaches.

Then of course we must not forget the ruins, churches and castles etc.




A Walking guide for Northern Ireland






We may not have the sunny weather of Florida and Spain but we still have great places to discover by walking.

Our mountains are not just talked about worldwide, they are even sung about.

Then of course we must not forget the Dams and reservoirs which are great attractions.




Rick Steves Snapshot of Northern Ireland






Rick Steves is famous for these snapshot travel books so probably a good one for short glimpses of many places.





Belfast Travel Guide 2020







This is a very up-to-date guide to Belfast.

You will need to think about where to stay, where to eat, and what other entertainment is on offer and especially where to get a coffee or a wee cup of tea.






Lonely Planet Pocket Belfast & The Causeway Coast






This one may be handy one to get instead of buying the two above for Belfast and the Coastal areas as it is a pocket edition.

Also it is in kindle if you don't want the pocket paperback version.



Don't forget your extra tip below






EXTRA  TIP


Most of us like to take lots and lots of pictures when we travel but don't remember to take enough notes so that we remember later just where that amazing picture or the strange picture was taken.
Especially if you are like me and you get your days and your meals and your places all mixed up when there are so many in that fantastic trip we took the previous year.

I that sound a bit like you then this extra book might be something to consider buying or if you are "crafty" maybe you could take their idea and make one from a notebook.  Mind you I think a lot of notebooks are so expensive these days that this turns out to be very reasonable in price.



I Don't Need Therapy I Just Need to go to Northern Ireland








Whatever you decide I do think you really need to come to

 Northern Ireland

 and

 see our beautiful

 WEE Country.






Disclaimer:
I do not benefit from any purchases of these books.











N is for Newcastle - A to Z of Places I have Visited


I am writing about some places I have visited in alphabetical order.






Today I am writing about a place I have visited quite a few times and although I was brought up on the other side of the country from it I now live just 30 mins away by car.  I live in County Down Northern Ireland and this lovely seaside town is also in beautiful County Down.



County Down UK location map



I first remember going to Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland when I was a teenager and it holds fond memories for me of getting lost on the way up the mountain with a few others including the future Mr Black.

I'm the girl in between the two Freds and one of them is still beside me today.






Then many many years later after having lived abroad twice Fred and I moved back to Northern Ireland from Belgium and instead of returning to County Londonderry we chose to live on the eastern side of the country in Banbridge, County Down.






Banbridge is about 40 mins by car from Belfast in the North East and approximately 30 mins from Newcastle on the South East coast.

We have never lived as close to a Seaside Resort before but even so we have not been to Newcastle very often.


Newcastle is famous for the fact that it sits at the bottom of Slieve Donard "where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea".  This is taken from a line of a well-known Northern Ireland song written by Percy French and there is a restaurant on the northern part of the town beside the Famous Slieve Donnard Hotel named after this composer.

As you can see below the Mournes and the town of Newcastle are lovely on a bright clear day.


Newcastle Donard


This is the view along part of the main street of Newcastle looking towards Slieve Donard and the Mourne Mountains.  Yes that highest peak is the one that we were supposed to be climbing all those years previously but sadly did not get near the top.



In 2013 our second son got married and he and his bride had their wedding reception in Newcastle.

They had pictures taken in Belfast and then also when they reached Newcastle where it was mostly the family photos.  Imagine in a day at the end of October when it is well into autumn (known in Northern Ireland for the rain) and you are having wedding pictures taken in the late afternoon on the sea front in the wind and rain.






Yes you can well imagine how our hair got blown about and we felt a little chilly.


Later in the same year we were back in Newcastle. On one of our oldest sons visits back to us from England we decided to drive there on a dull December day.

Now Newcastle (as all the other seaside resorts in Northern Ireland) is well-known for its windy weather but this day it was exceptional.  We left Banbridge with clouds in the sky but at least it was dry.

30 mins later we were sitting in a car park along the sea front in Newcastle watching the wind, rain and crashing waves which were roaring along in a storm.  Needless to say on this visit to the seaside only one of us got out of the car.  Our son Jonathan dived out to take a picture and an extremely short video of the storm.  I took a picture and a video from inside the car (I had more sense just to lean out the window for minute).




The beautiful Mourne Mountains that my husband often admires are partly hidden in the mist.


We had some friends visit a few years later for just a few days at the end of March and we decided to go for a walk along the promenade in Newcastle.  This time it was so calm and warm we had to take off our coats and we all decided to have ice-cream.  Unfortunately no photo was taken this time as it was the early evening time and already dark.


If we had been there during the day we would have seen the calmness and brightness like in this picture below which shows the southern end towards the harbour.

© Eric Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

No visit to Newcastle is complete without a walk alone the promenade which in recent years was picturesquely extended and includes a lovely bridge.  Each time we walk along it I say how nice it would be to live in one of the apartments alongside it which are overlooking the sea and Fred reminds me that yes I would enjoy it in the summertime.




Kent Amusements, Newcastle, County Down, September 2011


It is such a pity that Northern Ireland does not have warm sunny weather for a longer period of time in the year so that the town of Newcastle could be enjoyed more.

However there are many shops and some amusements to entertain visitors when the weather is not so dry.







If you missed any of the previous places in this series just click on the Titles below:

A for Alicante
B for Bratislava
C for Calpe
D for Durbuy
E for Ennis
F for Florida
G for Gran Canaria
H for HongKong
I for Islandmagee
J for Jersey
K for Killyleagh
L for Leeds
M for Monschau




Saturday

A Pop Up Bridge - Xtra Special Day


One of the best things about having moved to live in the eastern half of Northern Ireland is the proximity to the Mourne Mountains. 

As we drive south along the A1 towards Banbridge  I laugh when my husband Fred says "Look at that view".  I don't even have to look because I know he is referring to the beautiful outline of the Mountains of Mourne.





Occasionally he doesn't make this remark but replaces it with "The clouds are spoiling the view of the Mournes today" in a very disappointed tone.

We often say it would be lovely to take a picture of that view but in a car on the dual carriageway that is not possible.

When our son Jonathan comes to visit we quite often find ourselves heading off for an afternoon to somewhere around or within this mountain range and that was exactly what we did when he was here a few weeks ago.

We had our granddaughter's birthday party on the Tuesday afternoon at 3pm but we still had the morning free so off we drove ready to get some good pictures (we hoped) of the latest point of interest in our Wee Country.


Yes we were off to see a Pop Up Bridge.


I'm calling it that because I keep hearing about Pop up shops, cafes and whatever and this bridge could be said to just have popped up because it literally just appeared suddenly.

The bridge is in the middle of a reservoir at Spelga Dam in the heart of the Mourne Mountains.




Normally no-one can see the bridge because the reservoir water level is high so the bridge is always under the water.

This summer has been so dry (even though Northern Ireland is known for it's rain) and without the usual rainfall the level of the water in the reservoir fell noticeably.   This picture below shows the different water level marks on the side of the dam and it is very obvious that the water level this month was much much lower than normal.





So for the first time in our lifetime this stone bridge (normally hidden by the height of water) was clearly seen




and it was possible to walk across it into the centre of the water in the reservoir.

From the car park where my husband Fred took the panoramic picture above the bridge can hardly be seen in the distance and the people walking along it were hard to distinguish but many people had been coming day after to see this spectacle and walk where there was normally water and no path.

We took quite a few pictures from the car park and then drove on round to find somewhere closer to the bridge.

We found a road down to a pathway to the reservoir and left the car there with many others to start the walk to the bridge.




This pathway was not part of the bridge.

This was the start of the bridge, the rough ground after the smoother pathway.




As you can see from the cyclist the bridge was at a lower level than the pathway and he was having a hard job to get his bike back up again.


Once on the bridge we could see the poor condition of the ground we were walking on but then it had been under water for many many years.




There were lots of people there that day to walk the bridge and they kept passing us
because we stopped to take so many pictures trying to get a good angle on the arch of the bridge.


After many stops we arrived at the arch of the bridge and of course stopped again to take more photos.

As quite often happens we took some of each other taking photos of each other - if you get what I mean.



Some little videos were grabbed as well, like the one showing exactly what happened after this last picture had been taken.


Then there was a very strange sight, Fred had gone on ahead more quickly than Jonathan & I so that he could do something different, something you normally don't do on a bridge




he greeted us from his seat on part of the broken pathway under a tree!

We took more pics here at this spot and then continued along the pathway for quite a distance until we got to the end of it.


Not only did we walk across it as far as was possible but I did what many people know I like to do - I had a little paddle (just don't tell anyone I had my bare foot in the reservoir water).