P&P at Antrim Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Escape to Antrim!

It’s been a while since we heard from the boys, hasn’t it? But don’t worry, they’ve just been getting away from it all (locally) again! Now they’re back and ready to share their latest adventure – in Antrim!

Ireland Showing Antrim
Map borrowed from Wikipedia

Of course, at first they didn’t know they were going to Antrim. When Beasties travel, the luck of the draw prevails! This is how they planned their trip.
Paddy and Plunkett plan a trip - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look, Plunkett! I think there might be another staycation in the pipeline. Shall we?”
“Hmmm… Maybe. Where are they going, do you think?”
“Does it matter? Come on!”

Ever the opportunist, Paddy knows exactly where the best seats in the house are.
Getting Away From it All - Antrim - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“If we climb into the knitting bag, we’ll get to travel in the car, not the boot. Then we can look out the window all the way to our destination… Wherever that might be!”

However, Plunkett needs a little more convincing.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea, Paddy? That bag says ‘Colditz’ on it. Do you not remember the film we watched last Wednesday?”
“Ahhhh, it’ll be grand. Hop in!”

Well, he makes a compelling argument.
Destination - Colditz? H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“If we end up in an escape-proof prisoner of war camp, Paddy, I’m holding you responsible!”

It looks like young Paddy might have made the right call, though.
Travelling in Style - Paddy and Plunkett in Antrim - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“There! What did I tell you? Floor-to-ceiling windows, soft carpeting under our paws… And the humans will never spot us back here!”

But when the car stops…
“Paddy…”
A Castle - Antrim - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… Is this a castle?”
“Errrrrrm…”

Well yes, it is. But fortunately, it’s Antrim Castle – not Colditz.
We're at Antrim Castle! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesYou wouldn’t mind being locked in here though. Look at these beautiful gardens!
Antrim Castle Gardens - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe locals seem friendly too… And it looks like there might be a happy event in the not-too-distant future!
Scarecrow Family at Antrim Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHuh. I always wondered where new scarecrows came from – I guess we know now!

More from the boys next week. In the meantime, stay safe wherever you are!

PS…

I should probably mention that the lads took this trip before the latest round of coronavirus-inspired restrictions came into effect on both sides of the Irish border! If you find yourself in a similarly Covid-ey place, please let the Beasties do your travelling for you, and enjoy their adventures from the comfort of your own couch 🙂

Paddy at Ballintoy Harbour - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett, Home Again… (Almost!)

It’s been quite a summer for Paddy and Plunkett! They’ve spent a glorious couple of months seeing all there is to see in Sussex and Kent, from white cliffs and lighthouses
Paddy and Plunkett Reach Beachy Head - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… To fantastic castles!
Paddy, Plunkett and Dover Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut it’s hard to get out of the way of travelling once you get started, so after the briefest of stopovers at home, they were back on the road again! This time, their wandering paws took them somewhere a little closer to home…
Paddy at Ballintoy Harbour - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesFirst stop, Ballintoy Harbour! This picturesque little town, situated a bit east of the famous Giant’s Causeway, may not ring a bell with all of you, but fans of “Game of Thrones” may find this place more than a little familiar. Careful, Paddy and Plunkett… You’ve ended up on the Iron Islands! And look, here come some of the locals!
Plunkett and the Iron-Born - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, it turns out that only a couple of them were bona fide Iron-Born… the rest are visitors to the area, taking one of the many “Game of Thrones”-themed tours that have sprung up in the wake of the HBO series’ success. The use of out-of-the-way places in Northern Ireland as locations for Game of Thrones has been a huge lift to tourism in these places… and in the country as a whole. For the first time, people are getting out and exploring the natural beauty of Northern Ireland, rather than focusing on our troubled past… and I reckon that’s something to celebrate!
Game of Thrones Tour - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHere’s Paddy posing with some of that spectacular coastline, to give you a taster…
Paddy on the North Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties…And check out this amazing natural stone arch!
Paddy with the Stone Arch - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBack in Ballintoy, Plunkett’s well-publicised love of unusual architecture led him to seek out a local landmark!
Bendhu House, BallintoyThis is Bendhu House, and it was the lifelong project of Newton Penprase, a lecturer from the Belfast College of Art. He started it in 1936, and he continued to add to it over the next few decades, earning the building a reputation locally as “the house that was never finished”. The fact that he taught fine art has really left its mark – each window perfectly frames a view, and apparently Penprase brought his students up here to teach them about composition. He was also responsible for the sculptures you can see on the exterior, which add to its unique look!
Sculptures at Bendhu House - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPenprase died in 1978, and his house was sold and subsequently fell into disrepair. However, in the early 90s, it was bought by its present owners, who have made it their mission to sympathetically restore this incredible, one-of-a-kind home.

And speaking of home, Paddy and Plunkett are off to put their paws up for a while! I think they’ve earned some down-time, don’t you? Of course, please feel free to share your own weekend plans in the comments – you might just inspire them to start planning their next day away!