Tuesday, 14 July 2015
I've been spending a few days at the County Antrim seaside resort of Portballintrae.
For those who don't know, Portballintrae is very close to Bushmills, a larger village, celebrated for its whiskey distillery.
Today, after breakfast, I motored along the coast to Portbradden, a spectacular old cluster of fishermen's cottages at the bottom of a cliff.
There is a National Trust holiday cottage here; and my acquaintance Con Auld was in residence at his charming cottage, decorated and beautified in his inimitable style.
I brought Con an apple pie, though I was a bit early for him. I might call again some afternoon.
Thence I drove further along the coast, to Ballintoy harbour, another spectacular place, renowned nowadays as a Game Of Thrones setting.
The little tea-room and cafeteria, Roark's Kitchen, was open; and I noticed that fresh chowder and wheaten bread was on the menu for lunch.
Two well-coiffured elderly ladies were seated outside, apparently "people-watching"; because, as I passed, I overheard one of them - a woman of some corpulence - make a remark about the "scallywag wearing skinny jeans".
The irony of it.
On my way back to Portballintrae I stopped at the whitewashed little Ballintoy Parish Church, where I took the opportunity of photographing several headstones in the adjoining graveyard.
IN the afternoon I visited Dunluce Castle, a historic monument well worth a visit. It is well preserved.
At the car-park there is a charming little cottage which sells souvenirs and provides meals and refreshments.
The bridge over to the old castle originally had a drawbridge, though this was later replaced with an arched bridge.
I ambled across the main road to the ruinous and roofless St Cuthbert's church, which presumably was once used for divine worship by family or servants at Dunluce Castle.
Posted by Timothy Belmont at 17:39