Fri, 11/05/2007 – 11:30pm — Gerard McGarry

The Ulster Folk And Transport Museum is what I believe to be one of the jewels in the crown of Northern Irelands heritage attractions, and well deserves its title of Irish Museum of the Year.

Ulster Folk Museum

The Ulster Folk Museum was set up in 1958 to illustrate the way of life and the traditions of the people of the north of Ireland. This was primarily in response to the speed at which the countryside and people’s way of life was changing and the need to preserve and record a heritage in danger of disappearing.

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Fri, 11/05/2007 – 11:16pm — Gerard McGarry

Having been a resident of Ballycastle for some 18 years and a frequent visitor ever since, two distinctive sights remind me that I’m home: Knocklayde Mountain – that hulking, brooding giant that stands watch over the town – and Fair Head, the distinctive cliff which beautifully frames the Ballycastle beach to the east. Like locals and tourists alike, I have often admired Fairhead from shore-level. At the weekend, I took a drive to the top of the cliff, parked in the little National Trust car park.

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Fri, 11/05/2007 – 11:05pm — Gerard McGarry

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Kinbane Castle (also known as Kenbane, meaning “white headland”) is a little-known jewel in the North Coast of County Antrim. A secluded ruin at the bottom of a steep cliff face, the castle commands excellent views of the surrounding coastline with Fair Head to the East and Rathlin Island to the North. Travelling further west will take you past Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge and on to the Giants Causeway.

There is an air of peace and solitude at Kinbane which is difficult to find elsewhere, perhaps because the castle is slightly off the beaten track. It is situated atop a huge limestone outcrop which rises from the rocky shore to 100 feet at its far end.

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Fri, 11/05/2007 – 11:00pm — Gerard McGarry

We took a little trip to Inch Abbey in Downpatrick a few weeks ago, a secluded spot just off the main road before you come into the town. It was late afternoon/early evening as we arrived and the Abbey was vitrually abandoned except for the odd dog-walker passing through.

Although it’s not immediately obvious, Inch is an island which is accessed by a causeway. The River Quoile runs to the south with marshland surrounding it to the north.

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Fri, 11/05/2007 – 10:49pm — Gerard McGarry

It is only appropriate to begin by mentioning that the olde worlde pronunciation of Bonamargy was Bun-na-Mairgie, which means “at the foot of the Margy”. The Friary can be found on the road out of Ballycastle, on the Cushendall road. The Friary is situated in the middle of Ballycastle’s golf course, and is a stone’s throw from the beach. As you pass out of town, you will see the ruins on the right hand side in the midst of Ballycastle’s golf course – it’s a good job the Friary doesn’t have windows!

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Fri, 11/05/2007 – 10:45pm — Gerard McGarry

I picked up an old copy of Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland in Crumlin Library a couple of weeks ago, just to find out a little about some of the notable buildings in Northern Ireland and the people who lived in them and who shaped the province across the centuries.

While not a comprehensive detail of all historic buildings in Northern Ireland, the book mentions several of note. We’ve travelled around a few locations mentioned in the book, but there is a place in Cushendall that eludes us! We just cannot find the Coshkib Raths!