We left the last blog leaving Dublin and driving to Cushendun.

We’d booked a massive old country house for a week in the beautiful historical village of Cushendun in the Glens of Antrim. For the next few days friends and family would descend, congregate and stay with us and be together. For those wishing to stay at this amazing location here is the link.

Glendun Lodge, Cushendun.

The drive to Cushendun took is along the Antrim Coast which is recognised as one of the most scenic drives in the world. I could do an entire blog on this drive alone however, here is an arch you go through on the way.

As very young children we used to holiday in Carnlough on the same Antrim Coast. As a child I knew when we passed under this arch we were really on holidays.
Once in the house Sandee and Brian fell right into character.
They weren’t the only ones. Spot the Aran Sweater shop waistcoat and shirt on the auld fella.

The first night we just settled in. Glendun Lodge had a big record collection and a record deck. We had such fun playing old vinyl records Jenni and I vowed to get one for our home.

We started off with Beatles, Revolver
And moved to Eurythmics.

For the first time in many years all of my kids and grandkids and a few of my longest and dearest friends would be in the same place at the same time. It’s just not possible for me to describe how much the next 5 days meant to me, so here are some mutterings and pictures.

My oldest friends Ken and Julie came to stay with us Friday night, and the entire Wallace clan were due Saturday night. We needed some provisions so we drove to Ballymena over one of the most scenic roads in Ireland to a fresh fruit and veg place.

Best fruit and veg shop in Northern Ireland. Not a made up fact, they had a plaque above the door and the award on the wall.
Food enough for all. We had 6 more baskets

Friday night and Ken and Julie came to stay. The night was crackin’ and was so good to catch up. We had a late night, much drink was consumed and all the worlds troubles were put to rights. I have no pics of us all together that night but here is one of Ken and us on Cushendun beach the next day.

Not hungover. Honest!

James, Chris and Becky and all grandkids and partners were coming for the big family dinner party next night. Jenni designed and prepared a fabulous feast, Becky (and John) assisted in the preparation.

John discovers what a kitchen looks like
Raye and Jayda, Jenni and Jim.

The dinner was amazing and the night was a blast.

Later we cleared away the tables and had a show. In Raye and Jayda’s room there was a dress up box. All the kids had a go, even some of the grown up ones.

Jayda and Raye gave us an Irish Dancing show
Jayda was not impressed with my footwork when I gave it a go.
A rare photo of the Wallace boys all together. Happy pose.
Serious pose. Maybe our posing lessons could do with some more work
Better not leave out a Becky and Dad pic
James’s husband Graham patiently explaining to an old man how it is possible to send messages on a phone with no keyboard

Glendun Lodge & Cushendun

Raye turned out to be a squirrel whisperer and spotted some rare red squirrels in the trees. Raye is pointing to one of the squirrels here,
If proof were needed. Thanks to Lisa for the pic’s.
Our fabulous Airbnb was just 5 or 6 minutes walk into the village. It was beautiful path.
Bluebells were out in force in the paddocks.
Jenni, as promised here are some lamb pics.
And another
One more for good measure
This is a very picturesque little village. We saw coaches of tourists stop there several times. This is the bridge over the river in Cushendun
An example of why they visit this historical village. Some of the old buildings are amazing.

So..apparently Game of Thrones is a big tourist draw to Norhtern Ireland. Some scenes were filmed in Cushendun.

We set out one day to find the caves where the Red Witch scenes were filmed.

Game of Thrones – Cushendun

We found a clue. Also we just followed the path of some nerdy types and here it was.
Chris, Raye and Jayda experiencing the GOT vibe.

Some enterpring local manufactured a “throne” out of an old armchair and some star pickets painted silver. Of course we posed one it.

Laragh Lodge and Glenariff Forest

It may be 11,700 years ago, just after the last ice age that I discovered the Laragh Lodge. It is in a stunning location and I love this place and wanted to take Jenni for lunch while we were in the area as it’s not far from Cushendun.

This is the history of the place from their web site, I may have got he dates wrong.

Built many years ago to serve as a tea house, the Laragh Lodge takes full advantage of our exquisite backdrop as it’s situated beside the ‘Ess-Na-Grub’ and ‘Ess-Na-Laragh’ waterfall; from which the restaurant gets its name.

The restaurant is situated on the edge of Glenariff Forest Park and is a perfect starting point for some of the walks the park has to offer.

This day Jenni, Becky and her friend Becca went for lunch before we went for a short walk around the “Waterfall Walk”.

Becky and Jenni deciding the route we were to take.
At one of the waterfalls.
The girsl obviouly believing the view could be improved by them posing in front of it. Behind them you can see the U shaped valley carved by a glacier during the last ice age which only ended 11,700 years ago. One year before the Laragh Lodge opened and the year I discovered it. (This may be an exaggeration)

I did manage to get to Mary McBrides pub in the village. One of the smallest pubs in Ireland and home to one of the Door Of Thrones Doors.

Mary McBrides tiny bar
Game of Thrones door. It features the events playing out in Braavos. In the center sits the Faceless Man coin that first brought Arya to the free city. Below that rests Needle representing Arya wielding it in her final deadly confrontation with the Waif and the guild of assassins.

All good things must come to an end and we had to leave Cushendun. We were due to spend 3 nights in Belfast before our Scotland trip. We ended up cutting it short but still packed a lot in.


I’d arranged a night out in Belfast. Chris came to join lifelong friends Ken and Roy for a night out. You may remember Ken from Cushendun. It was so good to catch up with Roy on this trip too.

Ken, Jim, Chris and Roy.

The next day we met up with another long time friend Ian who is an accomplished photographer and who was going to show us where we could find the elusive Kingfisher so I could try and get a picture. I had carted my camera and birding lens all the way from Oz just for this opportunity. Ian delivered and we got the sighting and I got the pic.

Kingfisher taken on the banks of the Lagan.

Later that evening we went into Belfast with Ian and his wife Lynn for dinner and then to Ian’s favourite Belfast pub Bittles Bar afterwards.

Inside Bittles Bar
Some of the artwork inside Bittles. How many of these faces do you recognise?
It is a beautiful pub
Ian and Jenni at Bittles Bar

Our plans after Belfast were for us to go and visit friends Jenny and Andy in Scotland. We were supposed to stay another night in Belfast before going to Scotland but we decided at the last minute to leave and go a day earlier and stay in a castle instead.

I’ll end this blog now and keep that trip for the next one. Meanwhile here is glimpse.

The Isle of Skye

Till next time.

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