Hello there Beastie friends! And hey, look at this – we’re nearly halfway through January already. That HAS to be worth celebrating! Now normally at this time of year, my brother and I (often with a certain small blue and yellow woolly monster in tow) would spend a day driving around beautiful Co Donegal, in the extreme north-west of Ireland. For obvious reasons, we haven’t managed a Donegal road trip in a good few months – possibly since last Christmas. Yikes!
So, I thought I would use today’s post to take a virtual road trip instead. Quick, put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea, or grab a can of the black stuff… Ready? Okay, let’s go!
First of all, it’s never advisable to start a road trip on an empty stomach. How about we kick off with a nice healthy Full Irish Breakfast?
Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to walk this off later.
Now that we’re properly fuelled up, let’s go and enjoy some scenery.
Glengesh Pass is pretty spectacular at any time of the year. The last time we were there it was late summer – look at those rolling green hills! It’s also on the way to Glencolmcille, where a Beastie can dip his paws in the Atlantic if the mood takes him.
Mind you, it’s not all sunshine and sand dunes here. Sometimes it can be a bit on the breezy side…
… And the traffic is terrible.
All this would really give you an appetite. Lunchtime! Conveniently enough, we’re just passing through Ardara… Nancy’s Bar here does a cracking lunch, and a very tasty homemade cider.
Also, you feel like you’re hanging out in someone’s cosy living room.
Alright, time to head north! And because we’re travelling by blog, we can enjoy two sunsets at two different locations. First, Fanad Head, where there’s a beautiful lighthouse to admire…
… And rocks to scramble over.
Next, we can journey to the northernmost point of the island of Ireland – Malin Head.
Then we can cruise by the wide sandy beach at Five Finger Strand…
… Before catching the last of the daylight on our way home.
Don’t forget to leave a rock monster behind to show we were here!
And once we get home, we can warm up by the fire and swap adventuring stories.
So, where would you next like to take a road trip to? Be sure to share your travelling daydreams with us in the comments!
Autumn may be in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a day by the sea! And this isn’t any old seaside – Paddy and Plunkett took a day trip to my childhood stomping grounds, where I spent many happy hours (at all times of the year) clambering over the stones and poking around in rock pools. Come and see for yourself!
Our tour starts at the local railway station. Getting here from Belfast only takes about half an hour, and then it’s just a short walk to the beach!
Plunkett’s certainly enjoying the view!
The next stop if you carry on along the coast is Crawfordsburn Country Park. Formerly a private house and grounds, the park is now open to the public year-round, and is great for walking, cycling and picnics! It’s also home to all kinds of wildlife, since it contains a variety of different habitats – you’ll find seashore, woodlands and meadows here. Paddy and Plunkett bumped into a couple of the local residents at the Countryside Centre when they dropped in for a quick cup of tea!
Since it was such a lovely sunny day (we’ve really been enjoying some very un-Irish weather these last few weeks), the boys decided to carry on walking. There’s a coastal route that takes you all the way around to Bangor, a seaside town which was a popular local holiday destination back in the day. Of course, there’s a proper human-sized path you can use to get there, but the lads thought it would be more fun to take the scenic route…
Much later (they do only have little short legs, after all) they arrived at journey’s end! They resisted the urge to set sail on one of the swan boats at Pickie Fun Park…
… But they were really kicking themselves when they found out that
they could have done part of their travelling on the Beastie-sized Pickie Puffer train!
Oh well, at least they still had time to enjoy the walled garden at Bangor Castle before they had to head for home!
All in all, a great day out! Where was your favourite childhood haunt?
Hurrah! Thanks to an eagle-eyed Beastie fan on my Facebook page, I’ve been able to trace Explorer Beastie to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands! No wonder he’s looking so relaxed!
You know, I had always written Lanzarote off as an island of packed beaches and sprawling resort hotels, and I have to say that I’m surprised by what Explorer Beastie has found on his travels. It looks like he has definitely strayed from the beaten track…
…and discovered everything from crystal clear rock pools…
… to prickly cactus trees…
… to out-of-the-way wine bodegas.
He also seems to have had no trouble finding quiet beaches there, either…
… which he can claim all for himself!
All the same, I hope he comes home soon. I need someone to accompany me to the new Muppets film.
See you next time… I have some freshly-hatched Beasties for you to meet!