Peter Holloway

Ballyhornan Beach – the Co. Down Coast

There are so many nooks and crannies along the Co. Down coast that it’s almost impossible to decide on a favourite. The joy of day tripping is to just drive along the coast, stopping where and when you choose and relishing the views and the space. You see, by and large, the beaches that you visit are either empty, or sparsely populated with the one or two other families. And if one beach is a little too busy, just drive on until you find an empty cove all to yourself.

We initially headed for Strangford, and then up the coast towards Coney Island in true Van the Man style. At Kilclief the tide was out and there were few other visitors so after a bit of a wander we moseyed on up the coast to Ballyhornan. There were a few folks on this beach too, but it was big enough to allow us all plenty of space, and wonderful views.

Ballyhornan Beach

Ballyhornan Beach

Carrick a Rede

The new, improved bridge. Or, at least, improved if you don’t like the thrill of the old rickety affair that at least gave you a sense of height and danger…

The Rope Bridge

The Rope Bridge

Ballyquintin

One of our favourite spots to stop off for a bit of a beach comb is right at the end of the Ards Peninsula.

Ards Peninsula

Ards Peninsula

Stand Alone – Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh from Lough Shore Park, Antrim

Lough Neagh from Lough Shore Park, Antrim

Antrim’s Lough Shore Park is one of the few locations around the shore of Lough Neagh that you can easily get to the Lough and see it up close. It’s one of Northern Ireland’s elusive spectacles – the largest lake in the UK and yet barely noticed.

One of the things that I noticed on moving back to Northern Ireland and working in Antrim is just how different Lough Neagh can be, from one visit to the next. It can be stormy, complete with white top waves or flat calm. Of course whatever the weather, a nice long exposure will smooth the water regardless of the waves. This way marker stands at the exit of Six Mile Water into Lough Neagh and makes a great counterpoint to the smoothness of the long exposure water.

Newcastle, Co. Down

Newcastle, County Down

One of the great aspects of living in Northern Ireland is that nowhere is very far away. We took an afternoon trip up the Mourne Coastal Route and then stopped off in Newcastle on the way back. The sky was overcast and moody and I liked this empty shot looking out to sea from the prom.

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