Showing posts with label harbour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label harbour. Show all posts


Killyleagh - A to Z of Places I Have Visited

I am writing about some places I have visited in alphabetical order.
Still wondering what I will do for the more unusual letters like Q and X etc. but maybe I will have a brilliant idea later.

Our daughter got engaged in March 2016 and decided that the wedding would be in August that same year because that was when she and Stephen could get back to Northern Ireland from their work in South Korea.  Obviously this did not allow us much time to get everything organised and because she was so far away most of the organising fell to Fred and I.

Finding a venue for the reception was one of the first things we needed to do so Linda made a list of 20 places by looking at recommendations online and we visited most of them, took pictures and face timed her while we were there if possible.

One of the places she had on the list was in the village of Killyleagh which we had never been to before.  It is about an hour away from our home in Banbridge towards Strangford Lough and north of Downpatrick.  From what we could see on the website it could well have suited her needs, so we rang them and made an appointment to go see the venue and talk to the owners.

The first thing we saw as we entered the village was a long high stone wall and we decided there must be a large house and grounds behind it but of course our main intent was to follow the directions we had and find the venue.

The village was really rather busy with many cars driving through the main streets and it was hard to find somewhere to park.

The street where the venue was located was on a slope and so was the street behind the venue and these two streets were the main streets in the village.

At the top of these two streets was where that high stone wall was and looking up from the venue we could see that there was a lovely big gate and turret type features to either side of it.

Unfortunately to the left of the picture there is the village library and car parking spaces which spoilt the view somewhat.  Add to that the fact that it was a very dull day when we were visiting but maybe we will get back sometime in much better brighter weather.

I got a bit closer to take another shot

Still cars in the picture but now we can see that there is the hint of a building inside the walls.

So of course I need to get a closer look but when I go up to the open gateway there is a sign saying that the public can go into the gateway but are asked not to further enter the grounds.

So a picture was taken from just outside the gateway.

which clearly showed the large house within.

Another one taken a step inside the gateway

and a third taken from about halfway through the gateway.

Killyleagh has a few other interesting places to see like some churches and Mary's Style.

These can all be found on the Killyleagh Heritage Trail
A brochure for this including a map with the Trail walk clearly indicated and showing the locations of all interesting places in the town can be got at the tourist information Office very close to the Castle.

However because Killyleagh is not a big town going round the Heritage Trail is not too long a walk and we would have been tempted to do it except for the fact that is was not a great looking day.

So we then headed out to the harbour area to have a little walk but it started to rain and photos were just not good there.

This one from Wikipedia does show the more quiet atmosphere in this part of Killyleagh.

Killyleagh harbour and St John's church

By Albert Bridge, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The local people who ran the venue told us that the Castle is still lived in by the present generation of the family who had always owned it and is not open to the public.

However they said the family were very good about allowing wedding pictures to be taken there.

They were of course trying to entice us to have the wedding reception there.

Want to see a castle that is still lived in?

Here's another picture from Wikipedia that shows how impressive the castle is from higher up and from an angle further to the right.  Even so again much of the buildings on the main streets are obstructing part of the view.

Killyleagh Castle seen from Church Hill

By Albert Bridge, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The village is lovely and if you are ever in the area and like to see castles then it is definitely one to see and remember it is very unusual for one to be lived in as the normal family home.

In the end the venue we had gone to see was not suitable for the wedding reception as it was not wheelchair friendly although the B&B associated with it did have a lift for people staying there.

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 is for Jersey

Islandmagee - A to Z of Places I have Visited

I am writing about some places I have visited in alphabetical order.
Still wondering what I will do for the more unusual letters like Q and X etc. but maybe I will have a brilliant idea later.

A few years ago we went on a little birthday trip of a couple of days around some places in the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland (which is part of the Causeway Coastal Route)

and on the drive home we passed signs for Islandmagee.

I had always heard of this name before and just assumed it was a town somewhere in Northern Ireland but on this day I discovered it wasn't a town it was a peninsula.  So since then I have thought someday we should go and drive round to investigate what it is like.

So that day finally came on Monday of this week.

Ok so yes one of the reasons we went this week was because I could not think of anywhere I had visited that started with the letter "I" but it has been absolutely splendid hot sunny weather here with unusually high temperatures and we had previously agreed to try to take one day or afternoon out somewhere each week for relaxation and exercise.

So off to Islandmagee we went for the afternoon on Monday.

Parts of it are owned or at least looked after by the National Trust and we had become members last year but where we went in Islandmagee on this first trip we only saw their sign once and there were no fees or car parking to be paid for so being members was of no advantage to us there.

We do love the Antrim Coast but have not visited that area as much as we should have in the past and driving along beside Belfast Lough along the route to our destination was just beautiful with the sun gleaming off the water.

The most famous part of this peninsula to us was The Gobbins Cliffs which we had heard a lot about in the past few years due to the work that had been done in making a complete walking path around them.

There are good signposts for The Gobbins Visitors Centre which is attractive from the outside

and also on the inside and is free to go in to find out about the Gobbins Trail,

have something to eat in the cafe or have a look around the gift shop.  This is where you book for the walking tours which must be done in advance and you need to be aware of the health and safety considerations before you decide to go on the walk.  Not for the fainthearted or anyone with any fitness problems.

The thing I noticed most about the Centre was the family friendly atmosphere both inside and out with a couple of things to specifically amuse the children while the grownups would be reading and finding out more about the area and a good play park outside.

After looking around here we drove along some of the wider roads and followed Google Maps directions on the phone for Port Muck.  This took us on to some rather narrow roads as we got closer to our destination.

The advantage of these narrower roads was the great view out to sea and we found an ideal spot to stop and take a huge amount of photographs as we were on the height looking down over the land and sea.

Fred was trying to get a panoramic picture of the coast and the Irish Sea while I was taking individual pictures.

We spied a rocky headland jutting out into the sea

and I tried to zoom in more

but the distance was too great to give a true picture of it.

But I'll come back to that later.

We drove on down to Port Muck Harbour which you can see on the map above is on the NE of Islandmagee.

Again it was time to take a lot of photographs.

It consists of a little harbour with some sand,

rocks and more rocks

and more rocks which we love - there is just something about rocky coves in Northern Ireland it is hard to find better ones in the rest of the world that I have been to (or am I just biased?).

People were fishing from the jetty, sitting on the jetty, sitting on the grass area and some on the small beach.  It was not crowded and felt very peaceful.

Other people were going for walks in two different directions from the harbour both led uphill the first with steps and the second on a grassy hillside path.

While I was taking pictures of the harbour and sea Fred was already on the steps waiting for me to come for a walk.

At the top of the steps there was another set of steps to take you down to some rocks but then we spied the headland we had seen earlier - I did say I would get back to this.

Islandmagee - When is an Island not an Island?

The headland wasn't a headland it was an island

but is it an Island that is at certain times connected to Islandmagee?

When the tide is low could anyone walk across?

That is the big question I have yet to have time to investigate.

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 Hong Kong