Random Stuff! Here & There.

This is just a few pictures I had lying around on my computer that Ive taken over the last year or two. I didnt have enough of each location for a full post (on the place) so Im just gonna dump them individually here. All pics are of course coming from Northern Ireland and as ever, are taken with a compact camera only 🙂

 

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Early morning spiders, taken at Murlough Bay, near Newcastle Co.Down, a few weeks ago.

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Tranquility at Seahill. Only about 15mins walk from the beach at Helens Bay, but things are much quieter here and actually rather nice.

 

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Just a tree and high flying birds on a grey morning. Taken around about Craigavad (between Seahill and Cultra) County Down.

 

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Big Dipper reflections…

 

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There are many dolmen (portal tombs) scattered around Northern Ireland, and several seem to be on farmers land. This is “Wateresk” which is right in the middle of a farmers field between Dundrum and Newcastle.

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A snail. Outside my house. Outside his house.

Helens Bay, Co.Down 10th January 2016

I haven’t posted anything in a while with a few personal things going on, but new year brings new intentions to get things going again, and as ever, the idea is to show just what Northern Ireland has to offer beyond its troubles of the past and its big ship that sunk in the night. There’s much more to our tiny country than those black taxis around tainted murals, or even the wonderful Giants Causeway. Have a look and see what has lay hidden for decades from most travellers eyes, and where most sights are never more than 120mins apart.

All photos were taken with only my Sony compact camera, so my pictures actually are of what you will see (no hyper-realistic SLR pix here as I prefer to show reality). Heres to a great new year of 2016 and I hope it brings each and every one of you much happiness 😀

 

 

HELENS BAY – SEAHILL Coastal path, on the evening of January 10th 2016

 

Helens Bay - Seahill 10.01 (1)

The weather in the north of Ireland (in fact all of the UK and Ireland) has been the wettest ever on record this winter, so we’ve barely seen the sun in weeks. Last night however there was a little glimmer of gold as the day began to fade so we went out for a walk along the shores of Belfast Lough and grabbed a few pics.

 

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You cant really see it here, but this is looking across the lough towards Carrickfergus from Helens Bay

 

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A rocky beach between Helens Bay and Seahill

 

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You might just be able to see a little bench to sit on to the left here, but we decided not to given it was very, very cold!

 

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After all that rain, much of the path was muddy and puddled, but it made a nice feature in this picture.

 

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Daylight almost gone now, the last embers of light fading into a January night.

Crawfordsburn Country Park, County Down. In the snow

Right now we are having a pretty mild autumn here in Northern Ireland. Its mid October but the weathermen have forecast temperatures up to 17C by Friday which is almost unheard of for this time of year. In fact, our Summer temperatures have been known to only get that high so its quite crazy for us indeed. Anyway, I’m sure Winter isn’t too far away, and when it comes it’ll probably be quite sudden. A few years back NI had temperatures as low as -18C (yes that’s minus 18C) during Winter. I really hope we never get those again. Below are a few pictures I took back in February 2013. I was off work that day and when I woke up and saw a blanket of snow outside I quickly ran and grabbed my camera to walk down to the beach where I live and get a few shots before the thaw. As it was a weekday, there wasn’t a soul around, totally silent apart from the waves on the frozen shore. Fantastic.

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The little sign at the Southern end of Helens Bay beach where you enter the lower reaches of the Country Park.

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During Summer, if the weathers fine, this beach will be packed with day trippers who travel in from Belfast. I guess not many of those have seen it look like this. Like most seaside towns however, those who live there probably look forward to the end of Summer when their areas regain their peace and tranquility. I cant really argue with that.

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Looking through an iced twig towards Crawfordsburn bay (from Helens bay). The Winter Sun has just begun its slow and shallow climb into the morning sky.  No one around but me.

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Quite a beautiful scene. Crawfordsburn Bay frozen in the early morning sunrise.

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The promenade beside Crawfordsburn beach. The snow actually only lasted a few hours that morning as the thaw took place quite quickly. I think I took these pictures around 8am, but by 10am it was mostly gone. Lucky shots then.

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During the Summer, this little bench would likely be in high demand. Not today however, only the snow rests here now.

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Crawfordsburn beach boasts an award of a Blue Flag, an indication that the sea water is above a certain standard of cleanliness, and the beach has good hygienic conditions too. You might just be able to read some of the sign here which sits at the North end of the beach. Without the snow, this area has lush green grass overlooking the sea, where many families sit having a picnic in the warmer months. This year I was actually down here with my children in March and it was lovely.

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Im not entirely sure if this little guy is a woodpecker or a kingfisher. Hes been carved out of a tree and sits beside the main carpark at Crawfordsburn forest. This morning only him and me braved the cold. Everyone else was at work or huddled at home near the fire. Brrrr!

Helens Bay & Crawfordsburn Park County Down

The Helens Bay area in North Down is stunning. Sitting just at the mouth of Belfast Lough, looking out onto the Irish Sea, there are some lovely walks here. In fact the walk from Holywood in the South all the way along to Bangor is a beautiful one (even further to Groomsport if you’re really feeling energetic) but in Autumn (when the visiting daytrippers have gone) a peaceful calm takes over. Thats when many like it best.

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Sunset on a November evening, just slightly South of Helens Bay. If you look really closely you can see one of the old World War 2 lookout posts in the picture. Theres also a great WW2 museum just behind here called Grey Point Fort. See here: http://www.greypointfort.magix.net/public/

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Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach, a feeling in the air, the Summers out of reach…

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Looking across Helens Bay, spoiled only a little by Kilroot power station on the far side of the lough in the distance.

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A small scene of Game of Thrones was shot around here when Brienne had Jaime Lannister prisoner.

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Underneath Crawfordsburn viaduct. The trains to and from Bangor go over this regularly. The walk around here is beautiful (see pics below). Including a waterfall which looks great on a day after rain.

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Deep in Crawfordsburn Country Park, which opened to the public in 1971. Even on a cold Winters day, many local families and visitors frequent the park, which includes a really nice little cafe for hot food and drinks.

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During Autumn, the park bursts with colour. Don’t forget your camera.