What’s the plan now?

Well we got the news that our cruise around the eastern Mediterranean has been cancelled due to Covid-19! Not a huge surprise as we are only now hearing about regional cruises being an option however it is still disappointing! After this occurred, we decided that it is time to plan a “staycation”!

Our last staycation

Onto trivago we went to look at hotels – our first decision was Northern Ireland or Republic? We have time booked off in August and September, so we thought why not both! As we have not been able to get away in so long, we decided we would try somewhere a bit more luxurious, we looked at one of the many luxury hotels in Ireland to see what deals could be found. The first thing we noticed is that room availability was very low – even during the week!

We looked at hotels in Donegal, Antrim, and Fermanagh but we settled on a night in Castle Leslie in County Monaghan! This castle was built in 1871 and is on a 1000 Acre estate – situated by Glaslough lake. It looks like a stunning place, unfortunately they only had a room available for one night, however we look forward to having afternoon tea, dinner, and a bit of time away from our busy jobs.

So excited!

Looking further down the line we have a couple of weeks off in September that we are already planning another Staycation, perhaps down the west coast of Ireland again – the ring of Kerry has been on our list of places to visit for a long time!

Next year we have a cruise around the Norwegian Fjords to look forward to in August, it will be our first time in Norway, and it looks breath-taking. We have also been looking at Princess cruises offers for regional cruises around the UK and Ireland which look tempting and are talking about taking a month out in 2022 to travel around Asia. It has been a difficult year but it’s starting to feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Until then stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain.

Our Honeymoon

It’s almost the weekend again and after a very busy week at work we were reminiscing about our Honeymoon! Two years ago we decided to go to Italy for our honeymoon. We spent two weeks there which allowed us to visit Rome, Florence and Venice – a dream trip for us.

At this stage we weren’t earning a huge amount of money. One of us was a student working part time for a charity, and the other working in their first office job, so we had to save and plan carefully to make sure it was special but also budget friendly – we always say this stage in our life helped us realize the value of money.

To find our flights we always use Skyscanner, this website is brilliant for finding the cheapest option and we regularly use it when we have a bit of time off but haven’t booked anything to find the best deals.

For accommodation on this trip we used Airbnb, this was our first time ever using this platform for holiday accommodation. We found it really easy to navigate the website to book our ideal home from home and all of our hosts were great. We stayed in apartments in all three cities near the tourist hot spots and they were all clean and comfortable! Check out our comparison on Hotels Versus Airbnb!

To get between the three cities we took trains. We booked these a few months in advance which allowed us to get a really good rate. We were a bit nervous about travelling across a country we didn’t know by train but we found the trains in Italy to be really easy to navigate and comfortable to use.

We are going to write a short piece on each of our stops during our honeymoon trip over the next few weeks and hopefully get the chance to finish our Causeway Coast series!

Until then stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain.

The Causeway Coastal Route: Northern Ireland

We are lucky to have lived near to this coastline for many years now, and like all of Ireland it is a stretch of beautiful and rugged coastline. This coastline is renowned for the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, and is described as one of the best road trips in the world. In this series of blogs we will discuss some interesting and some of our favourite places to visit on the causeway coastal route.

Coming out of Larne you pass through the Black Arch; it always feels like the starting point of the causeway coast to us. If you stop here you will notice there is a set of stairs leading down to the rocks; this area is called the devils churn by locals due to the sounds made by the sea and the old tales of a man who went missing here one night.

Travelling along the coast road you will pass Drains Bay and Carnfunnock Country Park before rounding Ballygally head where you will get a sweeping view of Ballygally bay and the Ballygally Castle. Keep an eye out for the “Polar Bear” rock as you enter the village!

Ballygally Bay

This area has always been special to us, on our first date we went a walk along this beach and a few years later we held our wedding reception at Ballygally Castle. The beach here is a favourite spot for families during the summer, with car parking, toilets, and a local shop with Ice Cream Parlour; it is a favourite for us to stop at and spend an afternoon by the sea.

Our next stop is often Carnlough, on the way there you will pass through Glenarm village, home to Glenarm Castle and the harbour. Carnlough bay has a beautiful sandy beach which is great to visit during the summertime. The village itself is home to several cafés, pubs and shops, often we will call into The Galley for a fish and chip. Passing under the bridge and taking the first left will lead you to a car park opposite the old harbour which featured in Game of Thrones.

High tide at Carnlough Beach

Leaving Carnlough along the Garron Road will lead you to Garron Point. There is a car park here that you can stop for some great views along the Causeway coast.

Continuing along this road you will notice the ruins of Ardclinis Church and Graveyard, there is a small car park here and it is an interesting place to stop. Crossing the small stream and walking up through the field will lead you to what’s left of the church and the graveyard. You will also find a fairy tree here; its base is surrounded by rocks for protection. Fairy trees can be found throughout Ireland tradition dictating that bad luck upon anyone who damages or removes one. In the branches you will notice travellers have attached ribbons and items for good luck and wishes.  

The Fairy Tree – Ardclinis

Continuing along this road will bring you to Waterfoot and Red Bay beach, another picturesque sandy bay where you will often see the Red Bay lifeboat moored near the pier. The next blog in this series will cover Cushendall to Ballycastle until then stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!