Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Ballycastle

This evening, I am posting information on the pleasant town of Ballycastle which is located on the northern coast ( Antrim) of Northern Ireland and about 55 miles north of Belfast. Key facts and information:

  • Well endowed with shops, restaurants and hotels.
  • Is home to Ballycastle Golf Club.
  • Nearby, are the ruins of the Bonamargy Franciscan Friary, which dates from 1485.
  • Benefits from a sandy beach and a marina.
  • Offers views of Rathin Island and Scotland’s coast.
  • Provides a good base for touring the Causeway Coast and Game of Thrones sites which include:
    • Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
    • Larrybane
    • Whitepark Bay
    • Giant’s Causeway
    • Bushmills Distillery
    • Dark Hedges
    • Ballintoy Harbour

The Diamond (main square) Ballycastle

Ballycastle

The Diamond (main square) Ballycastle

Ballycastle

 

Holy Trinity Church, Church of Ireland, 1786.

Ballycastle

 

The Diamond (main square) Ballycastle

Ballycastle

 

The Diamond (main square) Ballycastle

Ballycastle

Ballycastle Marina

Ballycastle

 

Bonamargy Friary, 1485.

Bonamargy Friary

 

Ballycastle Beach

Ballycastle

Mackintosh Design

This morning, I collected guests from central Glasgow and then embarked on a tour of key sites designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh ( 1868-1928).

Mackintosh was a designer and artist with wide-ranging skills which enabled him to provide a comprehensive design package for buildings including foundations, structural engineering and plumbing plus furniture, cutlery, fittings and fabrics. He was supported by his wife, Margaret MacDonald ( 1864-1933). who was skilled in embroidery, gesso, panels, watercolours and glass.

We commenced with a visit to Scotland Street School, now a museum and then moved on to:

  • House for an Art Lover. unfortunately the interior was closed but were able to view the exterior and garden.
  • The Queens Cross or ‘Mackintosh Church’ which was commissioned for the Free Church of Scotland but is no longer used for worship.
  • Ruchill Church Hall. Exterior view only as not open today.
  • 6 Florentine Terrace to which Mackintosh moved in 1906. since demolished but interior since meticulously reconstructed at the Hunterian Art Gallery. (Photographs of interior not permitted.)
  • Hill House at Helensburgh, about 50 minute drive from Glasgow. Completed 1906 for wealth publisher, Walter Blackie. One of only two residential homes desgined by Mackintosh, but considered his masterpicece. Mackintosh designed house, gardens, much of the furniture and interiors. Margaret MacDonald contributed fabric designs and a unique panel over the fireplace.

Hill House concluded our Mackintosh themed tour. With time to spare we called in to nearby Luss on Loch Lomond where we were restricted to ‘drive through’ due to heavy rainfall .

We returned to central Glasgow about 5.00pm

 

Scotland Street School, Glasgow. Video clip of front elevation

 

Rear of Scotland Street School, 1906.,

Scotland Street School

Staircase tower at Scotland Street School, 1906

 

Mackintosh Design

House for an Art Lover, designed 1901, completed 1996.

Houswe for an Art Lover

House for an Art Lover Garden

 

House for Art Lover Garden

Mackintosh Church, 1899

 

Mackintosh Church, Glasgow

 

Hall at Mackintosh Church, Glasgow

Mackintosh Design

 

Ruchill Church Hall, Glasgow, 1899

 

Ruchill Church Hall

Mackintosh House, Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow

 

Mackintosh House

Hill House, Helensburgh, 1902-4

 

Hill House

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

This evening, I am posting information and images on one of Ireland’s oldest gardens.

Glenarm Castle occupies a coastal location about 32 miles/50 minutes north of Belfast.

Here can be found:

  • A sculpture by Angela Sykes, Countess of Antrim.
  • A circular yew hedge which was established in the 1820s.
  • Herb Garden.
  • Cascade and Fountain.
  • Herbaceous Border filled with a range of colourful flowering plants including tulips, paeonies, dahlias and penstemons.
  • Espaliered apples trees. these are pruned and tied to a frame.
  • Kitchen Garden for production of fruit and vegetables.
  •  1820s era Glasshouse n which apricots, nectarines and grapes are grown.
  • Other features including a wooden, carved obelisk and the Mount, an artificial mound which forms a viewpoint.

 

Video clip of the Garden

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens

 

Glenarm Castle's Gardens