Monday, November 12, 2012

Glorious Decay

Like everywhere round here, the weather conditions have made for a most colourful Autumn. 

Even our new trees, put in as bare root 'whips' 9 months ago, are giving a display.

Here's some images from a walk yesterday round our soon-to-be-woodland.
Rowan, planted in January 0.5m tall; now 1.5!

Hawthorn berries

willows, aglow



almost 2m high looking toward the Mournes

our willow walk begins to appear

Vincent's Oak is thriving

dots of glorious colour - there are 40 native trees in this space

across to Slivenaboley

Charlie in the 'woods'

a rose in the green lane

silver birch

the silver birch grove by the car park - lovely
Looking forward so much to what the coming years will bring!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

We Are Here

Took a visit today to the new Banbridge Tourist Information Office which is in the newly restored market hall.

It's a lovely space.

Down the whole of one side is a magnificent photograph taken from the Windy gap, up above us. Not quite actual size - but feels like it!

You can see our place - and the magnificent context in which we sit, quite clearly:

this picture taken in May 2011 - summer!

the restored market house Banbridge

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Turnip House Clonachullion

Our old house on the Trassey Road has featured in the BBC TV series Nick Nickleby, aired this week. The house, now in the loving care of another family, looks great, and it is good to see it fulfilling it's role as family home and National Monument.

25 years ago, in 1987, this house was for sale, advertised as a building site, due for demolition. We saw it for what it was - a treasure!

It's really good to look back and see what we've done, and we're really enthusiastic about the next one!
the front of the house

the back; the Turnip house is to the left

just a tin roofed barn when we found it, now it's incorporated into the house - wonderful!

Listed Building status granted in 1990

starring on the BBC

 Our new love! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lecale - Part 2

One one shore of the narrows, the strip of water at the mouth of Strangford Lough, where each tide 350 million cubic metres of sea water rushes in or out, lies the village of Strangford.

This is the starting point of a beautiful circular walk through farmland, woodland and lough shore.

at the end of Castle street is this lane way : magnificently called the squeeze gut

it follows a sunken hollow into the woods

a glimpse of Castle Ward House 

autumnal trees

across the lough to Audley's Castle

Charlie inspects a a romantic ruin on the shore 
looking across 'The Narrows' to Portaferry

delicate shore flowers

Castle Ward

rocks seaweed lichens

Castle Ward Bay and Audley's Castle


October sunshine through a stand of Scots pine

golden flowers

back through the woods

to Strangford Castle

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Elaine has been teaching groups at Glebe House to felt over that last few weeks.

Charlie and I have tagged along for the ride in order to avail of some of the great walks in this area.

The Lecale peninsula (IrishLeath Cathail) lies in the east of Ulster, on the South Eastern side of County Down, covering an area of some 78 square miles (200 km2) between Downpatrick and Dundrum. It is an area of historical and geographic significance, bounded by the Quoile Marshes(now drained, but formerly extensive), the Blackstaff River, the Irish Sea and Strangford Lough. It has an oddly isolated position, virtually cut off from its hinterland.. (thanks Wikipedia)

I'd like to share three of them with you. They are all stunning, each different in their own way, and all within 10 miles of each other:

Charlie is ready for the off!
Ballyhornan Beach and Gun Island

This walk is part of the Ulster way and the Lecale way

It's a mixture of cliff path and beach walking
with some wonderful bays and inlets
there were some lovely waves
gun island from the low cliffs

looking down to a small inlet
some interesting plants

and flowers even at the end of October
amazing rock formations

rocks folded by the closing of the Iapetus Ocean over 400 million years ago

a parcel of pebbles

more amazing rocks

little flecks of quartz

sentinel on Gun island


rock pools


and back to the beach - wonderful

 Parts two and three to follow