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Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Co. Kildare
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Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Yes, I know this should be in the Co. Antrim forum but the Ireland forum might reach more readers. I will also post in the Co. Antrim forum.

Last Sunday my husband and I drove up to Portglenone in Co. Antrim. Portglenone is about halfway between Magherafelt and Ballymena. We had heard about the stunning display of bluebells in Portglenone Forest and wanted to see this.

We took a rather roundabout route via Jonesborough and Portadown and along Lough Neagh to Antrim town. Along the way we stopped at Gosford Forest Park at Markethill on the A28 to let the dogs have a run. Lovely place! The dogs were very happy. The castle is being renovated at the moment and will surely be fantastic when the work is finished.

We got to Portglenone with about a million other visitors, all of them just wanting to see the bluebells. And my, was it worth the drive! Portglenone is an ancient woodland and there are millions and millions of bluebells flowering at the moment. You walk around and all you can see is bluebells, a blue haze all the way. It's a mouth-dropping experience. The weather played its part and there was dappled light coming through the trees highlighting the flowers. How absolutely amazing!

Note: Portglenone is not wheelchair-friendly. The paths go up and down.

We drove about 500 km in one day (not something I would advise on TA) just to see this amazing display of nature but it really was worth it.

Dinner in the "Hunterstown Inn" just outside Ardee on the N2 (has been renovated since our last visit) was just lovely.

If you have the chance to do this, please go. See the bluebells in Portglenone before they fade.

Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Sounds beautiful Clauds: My parents have a small display in their garden down West :-)

I feel N.I is loosing out badly on possible tourism from the South by not also being linked to the Irish forum as well as the UK one. It's surprising what tit bits you pick up from other posters around the country and save for further exploration at the weekends.

I would love to do some exploring in N.I.

Thanks for posting this Clauds :-)

Co. Kildare
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2. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Suzy, yes, NI should be linked to the Ireland forum rather than having to be accessed through the UK forum. But that is neither here nor there and I'm not getting into politics.

There are so many wonderful places in Northern Ireland, it's just amazing. Of course, being just on the border of Kildare/Dublin it's easy for us to go up there. Leixlip to Newry - one hour.

We started exploring Northern Ireland years ago, just daytrips. Thank God, hubby loves driving. We have seen just wonderful places: the Cuilcagh mountains, Florence Court, Giant's Causeway, the Antrim coast, Tullyhogue outside Cookstown (what a wonderful, peaceful, historic place), the Sperrins and Beaghmore stone circles... oh, I could go on. And we have only encountered polite and friendly people. And there's more on the list.

In the meantime I'm still dreaming of the bluebells in Portglenone.

County Clare...
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for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
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3. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Clauds - you need to write a song!

"On the Bluebells of Portglenone,

you'll never feel alone..."

Or maybe?

"let me take you down,

to Bluebell fields,

Where nothing is real"

(Okay - a little known 1960s band might take exception to that one:)

It sounds like a great day trip Clauds - we should all get out there and see a little more of both NI and lesser explored places in the south! I'm glad that TA has posters like you who go off the beaten track.

Dublin, Ireland
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4. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Visited Castlewellan Forest Park some years back and keep meaning to bring the hubby there for a visit.

Stunning place on a fine day!

discovernorthernireland.com/Castlewellan-For…

County Clare...
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5. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Ahem, yourself AND Suzy:)

Co. Kildare
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6. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Yes, Castlewellan Forest Park ist rather lovely, too, Suzy. We were there on Good Friday.

Limerick for Portglenone (rather feeble)

I once was in Portglenone

though I wasn't on my own,

Cos' the blackbirds were singing

and the bluebells were ringing...

With all that blue my mind was rather blown.

Still working on that 60's tune, ferdia!

County Clare...
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7. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

That little poem is just the thing Clauds, and a nice one too!!

You need to go onto the 1960s part while there are still two of these guys about for advice....on this groovy video:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywg-PdeGVL0

Thanks:)

Co. Kildare
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8. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Oh thanks soooo much for the link, ferdia! It brightened up a rather dull and blustery day here.

I'll try to come up with something for Portglenone in "true" style.

Co. Kildare
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9. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Here it goes. Apologies to J, P, G and R.

Let me take you down

Cos' I'm goin' to Port Chluain Eoghain.

Where everything's real

The Blue you can feel...

And I just want to hang about!

Po-hortgleno-hohone forever, dingding... Po-hortglenono-hohone forever, dingding... Po-hortglenohooooohhhhnnnneee forever!

Dingdingdingdingdingding...

Ouch.

County Clare...
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10. Re: Bluebells - a plug for Portglenone in Co. Antrim

Clauds - by Ringo, you've got it!

Not too bad at all, excellent in fact.

I think that the Portglenone tourist board could do worse than using it - recto boys are back in town feel - maybe start a festival with flowery clothes "get ourselves back to the garden" thing going on?

:)