Cotswolds

Cotswolds
Cotswolds

Lake District

Lake District
Lake District

Ireland

Ireland
Ireland
Showing posts with label Game of Thrones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Game of Thrones. Show all posts

North Coast Road Trip | Ireland

I'm currently writing this from my room in Spain and thus bring you another throwback post to around two weeks ago when my housemate, Carlo from uni came to visit me at home. At the time, with my departure to Spain looming and any excuse to explore some of the fairer corners of my tiny homeland being good enough for me, we decided to spend some time on the Irish coast.

I believe I've mentioned this before but my aunt and uncle own a holiday home on the Causeway Coast, an area which makes up the majority of Ireland's northern coastline, stretching some 130 miles. It's considered by many to be amongst the most scenic areas in Northern Ireland and thanks to the National Trust, many of its landmarks and beaches are kept in pristine condition. It's along here that you'll find the Giants Causeway, the area's namesake, as well as a vast number of Game of Thrones filming locations which Carlo was quite keen to see. So, with my aunt and uncle very kindly allowing us to use their house as a base, we decided to spend a few days exploring.


As it turned out, all of these photos were taken on our very last day, in a frantic attempt to squeeze in everything we still needed to see! Thankfully we did manage to fit in quite a lot in just a few hours.

Our first stop was Dunluce Castle, a striking 16th century fortress that sits atop a basalt outcropping, giving the appearance of it rising out of the sea. It had been a long time since I'd been inside the ruins so we decided to go in for a closer look.



There are plenty of nooks, turrets and secret hideaways to explore around the castle, not to mention some dramatic views over the castle walls of the cliffs and sea surrounding it, all of this, as well as some of the features that remain across the castle's sweeping expanse, such as window frames and alcoves are a reminder of its former glory. 


I actually found a really interesting article by the Belfast Telegraph containing '50 things you probably never knew about Dunluce Castle', if you'd like to hear more about the castle's fascinating history. There were plenty of things on there that I'd never heard before!

Our next destination was supposed to be Balintoy Harbour- better known perhaps as the Iron Islands and Pyke, home of House Greyjoy, to Game of Thrones fans- but decided to make an impromptu pit stop at White Park Bay, one of my favourite north coast beaches.


I was adamant that there were caves somewhere along this beach because I'd remembered exploring them when I was younger, so the first thing we did was to set off across the rocks to find them. To no avail, though, as it turned out. The tide was starting to come in at this point so the top end of the beach where I thought the caves were had been made inaccessible. All was not lost though, since the beach is still beautiful, even in its absence of caves.


For some reason I can't find any photos of Ballintoy though I did take some, so unfortunately we'll just have to move swiftly on to the last leg of our journey, a stop at the Dark Hedges in Armoy, a long pathway lined on either side with intertwining beech trees, which once featured as the Kingsroad in Game of Thrones.


Apparently it's the most photographed natural phenomenon in Northern Ireland which is surprising since surely the Giant's Causeway would be the most photographed natural phenomenon? In any case, it really is a sight to behold and photos really don't do it justice. We made it there in the last hour or so of daylight so the light was absolutely stunning. It's one of my favourite places on the north coast for sure.
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Easter Fair @ Castle Ward














Today being Easter Sunday, we decided to take a family day out to Castle Ward, a National Trust property near to where I live which some Game of Thrones fans may recognise as the filming location of Winterfell Castle, the home of House Stark! There was an Easter fair on today so the place was very busy, full of families and young kids enjoying the lovely weather we had for a while this afternoon (though it didn't last long). I just took a few snaps of the day to show you. 

We had a wander through the manor house itself first of all and then went on for a walk around the grounds which was dotted with food and traditional craft stalls, and where I picked up some lovely chocolate strawberries! We then had a picnic in the grounds by Strangford Lough before we encountered the cute (and very photogenic) little donkey pictured above... Can I just say as an aside, I love donkeys, is there a cuter animal? I'm not sure that there is... 

Unfortunately, it actually started raining quite heavily and we had to make a quick dash to the car, but even still I had a great day. I hadn't been to Castle Ward in a long time and had forgotten how lovely it was. I would definitely recommend a visit for anyone who's staying in the area, especially if you're a Game of Thrones fan as there's a bicycle trail you can take of the various different filming locations on site. It's a beautiful place and definitely will not disappoint!

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Birthday Shenanigans




















I turned 19 yesterday!! Yes, I am now in the final year of my teens with absolutely no idea where the last few years have gone! Life is really strange sometimes.

 I'm back home from university now, snuggled up in bed, recovering from an absolutely amazing birthday "weekend"  (actually from Sunday to Tuesday) courtesy of some of my very best friends from home.

 First of all, on the Sunday afternoon, myself and two of my friends left for a trip up the Antrim Coast  where we stayed in a little town called Castlerock which has a really beautiful beach that has been used as a filming location for Game of Thrones in the past. That evening we just chilled out, watched some movies and then went for a late-night walk on the beach (one of my favourite things!), then the next day got up early to go bodyboarding which was really really fun even though the water was freeeeezing! I think the warm shower that was waiting for me when we got back was probably the best shower of my life so far, no exaggeration. It was lush. 
After a spot of lunch we headed up to Downhil Demense and Mussenden Temple; property owned by the National Trust which sits high up on a cliff overlooking the sea. The views from here are absolutely spectacular. I'd say it's definitely one of my favourite scenic areas in Northern Ireland, it's truly stunning. We stayed there until the sun started to go down then headed back to the house for a late dinner before heading back home.

THEN, yesterday morning a group of us set off once again to Belfast Castle and after a little wander around the gardens we started out on a fairly strenuous hike up Cave Hill-  for which I definitely wasn't wearing sensible footwear- but it was well worth it in the end for the amazing view over the whole of Belfast from the top! I'd never been before so I was really glad I got to go yesterday. It's funny how little you see of the things on your doorstep sometimes.

Finally, last night I went for a meal in the city with a few of my friends from school who I hadn't seen in a few months since I'd been away. It was really lovely to see them and get to catch up before I head back to uni again. A perfect end to a perfect day!


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