Category Archives: Travel

Drumbo Round Tower

Between Carryduff and Lisburn, with views across Belfast and the Lagan Valley lies the hamlet of Drumbo, with its historic Round Tower, now situated the graveyard of the Drumbo Presbyterian Church.

Drumdo Round Tower, Fujifilm X-T30, F=24mm, f/13 @ 1/200th sec on ISO500

The tower is one of the oldest monastic monuments in Ireland, dating from around the early medieval period. It was around in AD1130 when records show that it was plundered by one Connor McLochlin.

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The Lecale District #2

Ardglass in a Jamjar!

Why is Ardglass in a Jamjar? I’ve no idea! But I’ve heard that expression used by my late grandparents, back in the 1960’s. It was made famous by Van Morrison, the singer/sngwriter, who immortalised it in his song ‘Coney Island.’

…On and on, over the hill to Ardglass
In the jam jar, autumn sunshine, magnificent
And all shining through Stop off at Ardglass for a couple of jars of
Mussels and some potted herrings in case
We get famished before dinner…

Van Morrison
Ardglass Harbour
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The Lecale District #1

Kilclief, Co.Down

Van Morrison (who I understand had a significant birthday yesterday) wrote a song called ‘Coney Island’ in which he mentions ‘the Lecale District.’ It’s that broad area that stretches along the Co.Down coastline between Killyleagh and Killough, and includes towns like Downpatrick, Shrigley, Strangford, and Ardglass. locale is (like Strangford and the Ards Peninsula), a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’ – so it’s no wonder that when Van Morrison made his meandering car journey through it, he would wish that it could be like this all the time!

Fujifilm X-T30, F=21mm, f/5.6 @ 1/180th sec on ISO400

One of those outstandingly beautiful areas is the little hamlet of Kilclief, perched right on the edge of ‘the Narrows’ that bottle-neck of unpredictable tidal water at the mouth of Strangford Lough. Kilclief has an old castle, (Caislean Cill Cléithe) a state supported monument, a ‘tower-house’ built around the years 1412-1441, by one John Sely, the Bishop of Down, later defrocked for living at this castle with a married woman who went by the unusual name of Lettice Savage!

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Driftwood

Newcastle Co.Down.

The recent storm (Ellen, I think) caused flooding in the seaside town of Newcastle as the Shimna River burst through its banks. The Shimna rises in the Mournes and meanders through forested areas on the sides of the hills. Wood swept down by the torrential currents ended up in the Irish Sea and washed up on the beach.

The dark hills in the background are the Mourne Mountains of Percy French fame, sweeping musically down to the sea. I like this image because of its contrasts, its light and shade, the textures of the driftwood and the deep shadow of the hills.

Fujifilm X-T2, F=18mm, f/6.4 @ 1/125th sec on ISO800.

The driftwood is quite bright – after all, it’s been washed clean by the sea, so I exposed for the wood, which cast the mountains into deep shadow, an effect I rather liked!