Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

Antrim, Northern Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 2019

Date: 4th July 2019

Travelled: 55 kilometres from Toomebridge to Newtownabbey both in County Antrim

Visited: The Castle Garden and Round Tower in Antrim

Stayed: Glen Park (car-park), Whiteabbey, free + B N54.67643, W05.89630

Budget: 32 days @ โ‚ฌ75 per day

After a long evening in the bar of The Crosskeys Inn we are a little dull this morning, but much wiser. We understand the complexity of thatching a pub roof and how many pints of Guinness you can have without feeling a little dull the next day.

We make the Hymer ready before driving out of the carpark for Antrim on the northern shore of Lough Neagh. We are looking for a relaxing morning exploring Antrim, then spend some time this afternoon planning our day in Belfast tomorrow.

Center map

Map showing Antrim

First problem is finding a car-park without a height barrier. All the free parking close to town has a barrier, but the library car-park at โ‚ฌ.50p seemed reasonable.

The High Street, the decorations are up for the July Ulster Celebrations.

Antrim has two claims to fame, itโ€™s Castle Gardens and Round Tower. Pam stands at the entrance to the gardens. Just so there is no misunderstanding, Antrim Castle was burned to the ground in 1922.

We spend some 90 minutes walking the gardens and taking the walking trail to Lough Neagh and back. A great way to spend the morning and free to ๐Ÿฅพ.

Just to be clear we did ask the girl in the Tourist Office about the Round Tower. When I asked her to mark its location on the map it became obvious, however she was not a local Round Tower enthusiast. She had no idea and suggested following the signs.

We did find the Round Tower Integrated School, but the tower prove elusive until a couple of lager lads set us straight.

The Antrim Round Town, circa 10th century. It is all that remains of an extensive monastic complex that once occupied the site.

That was some jump !

So we have done with Antrim as best we can. We drive on the 30 kms to Whiteabbey on the western shores of Belfast Lough. Itโ€™s less than 15 minutes on to Belfast. Whilst we are parked in a small carpark a passing woman tells us to make sure we visit Carrickfergus Castle. Itโ€™s only a few kms away, so we may pop up there in the morning.

I should add as a footnote we initially stopped at Jordontownโ€™s Loughshore Park, but it was taken over by 20 car-loads of young men, their shisha pipes and boom boxes, so we moved a short distance to Glen Park.

Center map

Map showing Whiteabbey, icon on our car-park.

Michael and Pam

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