Monday, April 16, 2007

Postcards from Ulster: #3 "Coast"

One of our favourite TV programmes is "Coast", the series in which they have toured around the coastline of the British Isles investigating the landscape, and history of our coastline. One of the best in the series was the the one in which they travelled the coastline of Northen Ireland from Derry to Antrim. Our relations have all kindly opted to live within a couple of miles of this fantastic coastline in order to give us unlimited access to it when holidaying over there with them - which is very thoughtful of them. The beaches are huge, and if you are willing to walk beyond the the crowd by the car park, not too busy. Many of them are backed by dramatic cliffs with waterfalls tumbling over them, some have acres of dunes behind them, while others like Castlerock are adjacent to a rocky foreshore full of opportunities for scrambling. Boris and Norris particularly liked being taken along some of these scrambly routes by their uncle and cousin - although restricting Norris to climbing up only things which he could climb down was a continious challenge!

The other way to see this coastline is by train. We all took a ride from Coleraine to Derry and back and it's a fantastic run. The train goes North from Coleraine following the river Bann, and then turns westwards following the sea, it dives through tunnels, emerges under great cliffs, skims through dunes, and under mountains and provides a completely different view of the land from that from the nearby the main road.

Northern Ireland railways has bought some fancy new trains too. Here's one of their old trains still used on the Portrush branch, reflected in the window of a new one, bound for L'Derry.

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