Sunday, 12 September 2010

Dunluce & Benvarden

This morning I drove along the coast a bit, to Whiterocks Beach. What an idyllic beach indeed; little wonder the surfers make a bee-line for it. I really must visit it more often.

On the way back to Portballintrae I stopped at Dunluce Castle, which was free today as part of the European Heritage Open Days scheme. This has to be one of our greatest historic monuments. In the exhibition-room a video was playing and the Hon Hector McDonnell (Lord Antrim's brother) recounted his family's connection and pride for Dunluce (Antrim arms above).

I motored back to the Port, packed up and made for Bushmills Garden Centre where I had some lunch. What terrific nosh they create here! I had the steak pie with mashed potato, carrot-and-parsnip mash, peas and lashings of butter. By the way, there is an uninterrupted view of Dundarave House from the car-park.

After lunch I drove straight to Benvarden, which was also open as part of the EHOD scheme. This remains a sizeable estate, extending to about 600 acres. The Montgomerys were welcoming visitors and Benvarden House itself is large. Most of the reception rooms were open to view, as were about three bedrooms. I will be writing an article about Benvarden in the future.

The tennis-court is within the walled garden and boasts a charming little wooden viewing-hut. The court doesn't seem to have been used for awhile.


Stephen said...

Tim any photos of Portballintrae you could post when you have some spare time? thanks!

Timothy Belmont said...

I haven't taken any on the digital camera, Stephen. Just Seaport Lodge.

I'll take some the next time, though. Promenade, beach, new village hall... that sort of thing?

Anonymous said...

Surely an article on Runkerry is on the cards too?


Timothy Belmont said...

I've written a little about it as part of the Dundarave article.

BTW, Mrs Montgomery put me right re the pronunciation of Dundarave: Dun-da-rahv!

I pronounced it as in dun-da-rave!