Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Romantic Ruins

More from our meander along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

I’m not sure why ruins are refered to as romantic, I tried to find out, but I’m not sure I’m any the wiser.  I think I’ll go with the term magnificent ruins, for these buildings are magnificent.

To me they speak of  change and in the case of these buildings, social and political turmoil, but I suppose that’s inevitable if you hang around for a few hundred years.

This is Leamaneh Castle 

Big House Ireland

It stands in private land, and due to its precarious state it’s not maintained.  The orignal tower house is on the right of the next photo, and built-in 1480-90 I’m sure if was around here, someone would have ‘repurposed’ the stone over the centuries.

Big House Ireland 2

This is Garrettstown, this is one wing, there is another wing, but the planned ‘grand house’ was never built, as the cash ran out.  It now forms part of Garrattstown Holiday Park, a stop-over on our travels.

Big House 3

Now this one has more of a romantic look  I think, with a Rapunzel vibe  It’s Newtown Castle, it has been beautifully restored and hosts weddings rather than battles 

Art School

The estate is also home to The Burren Art College, and we had a lovely lunch there, and Spud the dog had the time of his life, about six students (all girls, from the USA) who were on a month-long residency and were missing their pet pooches from back home swarmed over him, he had his tummy tickled whilst we ate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big House 3http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=CO&regno=20912426

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Mizen Head

Ireland’s most southwesterly point, and home to the Mizen Head Signal station, as you can see, it’s an isolated spot that is enhanced by modern paths and an essential bridge (to my mind)

Mizen head view

We didn’t need telling more than once

Dangerous cliff

We were keeping to the paths.

Dangerous cliff Mizen_

Which had their own attractions

Mizen Head orchid rock

 

Mizen Heasd chain

We are duty bound to photograph such feats of engineering, as Joe is studying civil engineering, and like to see a nice bridge.

Mizen Head bridge side.jpg

The signal station is now a museum, much of its original equipment remains,

Distress_

Mizen_

Along with documents,

Mizen Head Telegram

which kind of looked a bit haphazard, but one hopes they’ve been catalogued

Mizen Head cupboard.jpg

This was my favourite, an inventory of  tubes and fuses, who need an Excel spreadsheet eh? I like the faux alligator skin print of the cover

Tubes fuses Mizen_

Working here must have been an isolated life, you weren’t going to see a lot from the window, and certainly not the next landfall of America, it does feel like the edge of the world.

last view_

and before the bridge was built, there were only a few ways of leaving.

Mizen Head Rescue

We had the luxury of walking off, although Mr Uphilldowndale, was keeping to the centre of the bridge, and not looking down.

 

Mizen Head Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Brandon Creek

Brandon Creek, on the Dingle peninsula, part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. It was a benign little natural harbour the day we visited, but it obviously has history, the weather was such that we never saw the big Atlantic rollers that hit this coast line.

Danger Waves

If the waves don’t get you maybe the bracken will?

There is something very pleasing to the eye about the butterfly sticker on this warning sign, it’s the symmetry I think, but it doesn’t detract from the message.

Butterfly life preserver_.jpg

This was the home of St Brandon the Navigator, allegedly.

He is known as the “navigator” for the legendary journey he made by boat which some have claimed was an account of an early discovery of the North American continent. Unfortunately, like many Celtic “saints”, there is considerable doubt over his true identity, whether his life story is a merger of several lives and legends, or indeed if he existed at all

The clouds hugged the hills

Cottage for sale

The cottage in the photo was for sale, if you fancy a little project, I don’t imagine it has much in the way of services (or a damp proof course for that matter).

DIY challenge_

If you take a closer look at the first photo of the cottage you can see, in the foreground, the muddy, bank? That’s a landslip, the harbour eating its way inland,  so I’m guessing insurance might be an issue, buyers may have to offer up a prayer to St Brandon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Loop Head

Loop Head West Clare, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.  So many beautiful orchids

sm file orchid_

Purple Orchid Ireland 2

Whats not to love?

Heart Ireland_

We were not so keen on the dizzying height of the cliffs, but photographed from a safe distance, you had to admire the geology, its things like this, the folds in this rock, a bedding plane pushed to almost 90 degrees,  that make me feel very small, just a spec in the universe, just passing by, at the whim of forces of untold strength.

rock folds

There was lots of wildlife too

Moth Ireland_

Loop Head, is at the mouth of the  river Shannon.

It’s a popular place to catch sight of dolphins,  the water was heaving with seabirds, and there was a pungent smell of fish,  and those people willing to sit at the edge of the cliff were getting very excited,  we crept a little closer, all the black flecks in this photo are birds either on the water or diving, there was obviousley a large shoal of fish passing through.

loop head.jpg

and the distinctive black shape are of course dolphins. Not very dramatic dolphin photographs, unlike these beauties , I’m leased to say we had  a better chance to see the magical world of dolphins, they’ll get a post all of their own…


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Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018

We stumbled upon  the  Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival, during our road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way,  Mr Uphilldowndale was a happy chappy, a celebration of wood, glue and varnish, the kind of thing that floats his boat.

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 3.jpg

There was a lot going on, on the water, racing of Currach, a traditional Irish craft, note the oars, or should they be poles?

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 13.jpg

Historically the boats were made with animal skins, stretched across the timbers, these days canvas is used

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 7There was much activity around the beautifully restored historic Falklands Islands trading ketch Ilen which was launched at Baltimore in 1926

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 12.jpg

There’s a lyrical description of her restoration here

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 2

There was an atmosphere of concentration and competition, to build a boat,

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 4

and great to see so many young teams

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 14.jpg

Looked like a lot of glue, screws

and refreshments were required.

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 15.jpg

A grand day out.

In a welcoming and hospitable town

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018.jpg

 

 

 


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The Burren

(Burren) is a country where there is not enough water to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him…… and yet their cattle are very fat; for the grass growing in turfs of earth, of two or three foot square, that lie between the rocks, which are of limestone, is very sweet and nourishing. Edmund Ludlow 1651-52

It wasn’t the kind of landscape I’d ever associated with Ireland, apparently it is a glaciated karst landscape, it’s striking, especially as we’d been fully immersed in headlands, seascapes and lighthouses on our journey along Ireland Wild Atlantic Way. This seemed like a different country altogether.

The Burren_

I do like a a nice bit of limestone, it reminds me of home in many ways

The Burren view

And happy school trips to the likes of Malham Cove, on school geography trips. To look at the limestone pavements, the slabs of limestone, divided by clints and grykes . The Burren pavements.jpg

It looks barren, but there was lots of life. The Burren fren limstone.jpg

And the evidence of life forms past, were clear to see, such as this coral

The Burren coral_

This was back in early June, we thought it was hot that day, I don’t imagine there is much in the way of water left in the rather caustic looking ponds, that were humming with dragonfly, none that would keep still to be photographed though.

The Burren ponds.jpg

This land has been used for animal grazing, since Neolithic times, the walls are later.

The Burren drystonewalls

I have to say that a Derbyshire Gritstone sheep, would laugh at such a filigree wall, and then walk straight through it!

But they must have served a purpose, or they wouldn’t be here now.

The Burren wall 2.jpg