Stargazing at Armagh Planetarium

I remember visiting Armagh Planetarium as a child – another lifetime now. I was so impressed then, blown away by all there was to see and loved that experience of finding out more about space and the solar system. A visit to see family in Northern Ireland over half-term, we had dismal weather one afternoon so…

Touring The Crumlin Road Gaol

A flying visit to Northern Ireland to see family, we also managed to squeeze in a trip to something completely different – the Crumlin Road Gaol. Opened in 1846, around 25,000 convicts have passed through this place from then until 1999 when it closed. Amongst these were some of the most notorious prisoners involved in paramilitary violence…

Lighthouses and Wren’s Eggs on the Black Head Path

Having explored every nook and cranny of Carrickfergus Castle we decided to spend the afternoon walking along the shores of Belfast Lough. Son’s energy levels prior to this in abundance, were instantly depleted when the word “walk” was uttered. Persistent parents are we though so we forged ahead. Just a short drive further along the Co. Antrim…

Carrickfergus Castle

A striking feature of the landscape from land, sea and air Carrickfergus Castle represents over 800 years of military might. Having driven past it on numerous occasions and even spied it from the ferry as we sailed down out of Belfast Lough, this visit I determined we would finally discover what lay behind those imposing…

Back In Time At The Ulster American Folk Park

A visit here was planned on our annual Ireland expedition last year. Eager anticipation and much excitement as we arrived at the gates to find them well and truly shut. It was a Monday – the park is closed Sundays and Mondays. Lesson learned, this year I did my homework and we rocked up on…

Titanic’s Little Sister

Titanic has long fascinated me – the ultimate illustration of human frailty, the unsinkable ship that sank on its maiden voyage.  For many years, it was almost a swear word in Belfast but now, having discovered human and not mechanical failings were to blame for history’s most famous maritime disaster, it is a source of…

Exploring the Maiden City

Derry/Londonderry is spruced up and ready to celebrate its new status as a tourist hotspot.  My memories of my last visit as a teenager, were of a sombre, drab, gloomy and depressing city.  Things have changed.  A cosmopolitan air, buzzing with life and vitality, this is a city coming into its own. We started our…