Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Darragh Island

We assembled at Whiterock, near Killinchy, County Down, this morning and were ferried across to Darragh Island in the National Trust's Stangford Lough boat (I think it's called Corbo).

There were twenty-three of us today. We were burning cuttings from hawthorne bushes, mostly. We managed to light about four or five bonfires throughout the little island.

Darragh Island, a NT property on Strangford Lough, lies east of Killinchy. Its shape reminds me of a lobster. It comprises almost 19 acres and was acquired in 1978 from John Metcalfe.
We passed Conly Island on the way, a heavily wooded isle with a holiday cottage in a secluded location overlooking Darragh.
I lunched on the usual cheese & onion sandwiches, washed down with a good flask of tea.

Darragh has an old disused kelp kiln.

At about five o'clock, when we had all disembarked on the mainland, we drove the short distance to Sketrick Island, location of the well-known restaurant and bar Daft Eddy's.

This is Emma's last week with The National Trust and, indeed, Northern Ireland. She begins a new job in Herefordshire shortly; so we all had a drink to wish her well. Craig presented Emma with a hard-back book about Strangford Lough, as a memento.

I arrived home at Belmont GHQ about six, just in time to collect my swimming gear, for my usual sixty lengths at the sports club.

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