A Trip to Portglenone Forest

Portglenone

Situated in the heart of County Antrim, Portglenone is not somewhere you are likely to be casually passing. However, taking time to travel to this beautiful forest is a worthwhile trip.

Portglenone

Particularly if you visit at the start of May, when a carpet of bluebells await. However, even without this spectacular sight, the forest offers up plenty to grab everyone’s attention.

We followed the red trail which was just over 2k, and passes by the banks of the river, where you may even catch sight of some keen water sport fans!

Parking is charged at £4, and there are bathroom facilities, which is always a factor when heading out with children.

The kids made wishes and let their imagination run wild.

Next time I’ll be sure to pack a picnic.

Have you been?

Mel x

A Day at the Ulster Folk Museum

Ulster folk museum

Situated on the outskirts of Belfast, the Ulster Folk Museum is a nod to days gone by. There is a town with a bank, post office, and printers, to name a few of the common businesses that once would have been important assets to any town. You might even be lucky enough to see some craftsmen and women demonstrating trades like basket weaving and carving.

Ulster folk museum

At once you head out of town, you will find a rural school, mills and farm yards.

We visited at Easter, so some special activities had been provided. The kids enjoyed trying their hand at egg rolling…

… and there were a few very socialable bunnies!

Mostly though, we just enjoyed roaming around, exploring whatever sights we came across.

There is also a fully up to date and functional tea shop in town, where I would recommend you try the flat bread pizza! The Ulster Folk Museum is definitely worth a visit, for kids and adults alike!

Pumpkin Styling

I love pumpkins! I have no particular reason for loving pumpkins, I just do. Perhaps it’s because I have quite eclectic taste. My home will never be perfect so instead I embrace the quirkiness.

Pumpkins are a bit like that. They are rarely perfect.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Many with their imperfections on display. Yet if they were all the same they just wouldn’t have the same appeal!

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Sunflowers and Waterfalls

Hello! Only one week left of the summer holidays here in Northern Ireland. It’s always bittersweet for me. I look forward to the return to routine and grieve the loss of spontaneity. However, I have a couple of ideas for a cheap day out, if you are in need of some inspiration until then. Over the past couple of days we visited a Sunflower and Wildflower Field in Portglenone, and the Waterfall Walk at Glenariff Forest.

Sunflower Field Portglenone

Sunflower fields are becoming a very popular phenomena. Hordes of people have been making their way across the country to see these sunny fields.

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Trip to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Newport {Part Three}

Hi there! If you missed the previous posts you can catch up with part one here, or part two here!

Day 5  Hyannis – Newport – Providence Airport

The last morning of our trip we woke to find the Cape had been blanketed in fog. Luckily it lifted before we commenced on our journey to Newport, Rhode Island. As we were catching an evening flight from Providence we thought it would be a good idea to travel to Newport, as it is only 18 miles from the airport.

Newport

Parking in Newport was relatively easy, we had no problems finding a space before we headed into the town to explore. Newport is built around a beautiful harbor, and there are plenty of tourist shops selling seaside and coastal memorabilia.

Harbor area Newport

In fact it was in just one of those shops that we got told off by the shopkeeper. Admittedly I had done very little research on Newport, really only using it as a stopping place en-route to the airport. On hearing this the shopkeeper advised me that at the very least we had to do ‘Ocean Drive’, or we would quite simply have no concept of where we had been!

Thoroughly chastened, but with our interest spiked, we hot-footed it back to the car and set the Sat Nav for Ocean drive. And the lady in the shop – she was absolutely right!

Newport mansions

Mansion on Ocean Drive Newport

First we drove down a tree lined street which homed more mansions than I have ever seen! Apparently some of them are open to visitors, but sadly we didn’t have time to stop and visit or take photos!

View from Ocean Drive Newport

On following the road we found some fabulous scenery.

Gooseneck Cove Salt Marsh

The 10 mile drive could take as little or as long as you please. We stopped for a comfort break at Brenton State Park.

Brenton Point State Park views.

I loved this stretch of the road. Looking out onto the Atlantic, I guess it reminded me a bit of the fabulous coastal roads we have in Northern Ireland. This was something I had expected to find in Cape Cod, and I was disappointed that didn’t seem to be the case.

We also stopped off in Fort Adams State Park. This park is home to an old Fort which was used by the U.S. Army / U.S. Navy. Again, we didn’t have time to explore but it looked interesting, and even without entry to the Fort, the views of Newport Harbor from the park are stunning.

Fort Adams State Park

Fort Adams State Park

All in all, we had a Simply Grand day. I definitely feel like we did a whistle-stop tour of Newport and it very much could be a destination in it’s own right.

We were sad to say goodbye to American soils. We caught our overnight flight from Providence back to Belfast International Airport and Granny was delighted to return the kids into our care.

I do so hope to return some day.