Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ballycastle Beach, Northern Ireland

Ballycastle Beach, Ireland
Left Belfast today and headed north and west  to Londonderry. Drove back over some of the same roads from Wednesday - this time the weather cooperated a bit - some rain but mostly dry weather....I saw this image the first time through and was happy to get back for a second shot at it......

 Spending New Year's Eve and Jan 1 in Londonderry exploring the northwest peninsula of Inishowen.

According to Wikipedia Inishowen is the largest peninsula in Ireland and the most northerly point, Main Head. Additionally, they say it has some of the highest sand dunes in all of Europe - as well as a fort constructed in the sixth century, Grianan an Alieach.....


  1. Beautiful Harry... May you have a wonderful New Years celebration - wishing you the best in 2012!

  2. Beautiful image, Harry. And a beautiful sea-scape and countryside. You can see why the settlers kept this part of Ireland and left us native Irish the rocky west and south, which you will see later in your trip.

    It seems you have doubled-back on yourself, if you are now in Ballycastle. You're too late in the year for the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle but Derry is a nice place to be on New Year's Eve. Note that the natives call it Derry. It's only the settlers who call it Londonderry. Which word you use says something about your understanding of Irish history and maybe even about where your sympathies lie. Therefore, as with many things in Northern Ireland, you need to take care with your choice of words.

    The Northern Irish are big celebrators of New Year's Eve, a tradition they get from the nearby Scots. You may hear references to Hogmanay and first-footing, all Scottish customs.

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Harry. I wish you every success in 2012. And enjoy the rest of your trip.

  3. Harry, a couple of suggestions. If you're going to be driving from Inishowen to the south-west, presumably through western Donegal and Sligo, you may want to consider taking a slight detour west to visit the extraordinary Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region) town of Gleann Cholm Cille, a place of rugged beauty, spectacular cliffs overhanging the Atlantic Ocean and one of the few remaining places in Ireland where you can still find native speakers of Irish.

    One other possibility, pretty but not so spectacular, is the small market town of Castlederg, just inside the Tyrone-Donegal border on the Tyrone side. Its only to claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of the parents of Davy Crockett. Oh, and it's also my home town!