No sunshine substitute needed in Northern Ireland!

For once, while people in England are complaining about the rain, we have wall to wall sunshine here in NI, even if it's still pretty cold. So today I continued with my exercise regime aiming to build up my strength and stamina. My husband dropped me off at the Lough Shore Park in Antrim where I met up with a walking group. We had a lovely walk through woodland along the northern shore of Lough Neagh and then back along the Mill Race to the town and the Castle Gardens.

The Gardens have been undergoing a massive restoration. In addition to acres of fine woodland there's a beautiful 18th century parterre and a long pond. Little of the castle remains but the stable block houses a great cafe (5 stars for the coffee and scones!) conference and exhibition space and a shop. The restoration will be completed later this year and I would recommend a visit to anybody visiting this neck of the woods.

After our coffee stop I walked the 4 or so miles back home making a total of 9 miles today - the most I've managed since my surgery and chemo. I'm sooo thankful to be feeling this well!

For any garden aficionados, N Ireland has lots to offer + a lot of attractions packed into a small space. The Mountains of Mourne, the Causeway Coast, the Fermanagh Lakes - all beautiful. Don't mention the Titanic!!!

Expecting big cheque from Northern Ireland Tourist Board any day... not!

So if you're in the area, look me up. :-)


22 Replies

  • Hi Linda, Pleased you had such a lovely day its souds great and that you feel so well, keep up the good work. Where I live it has not stopped raining with a strong wind, very depressing,your lovely discription of your walk, brightened my day. Love Sue x

  • Hi Sue, glad to be able to spread a little sunshine. I just noticed you can add pictures to blog posts. Didnt think of taking any today but must remember that for the future.

    Linda X

  • Hi Linda!

    It sounds absolutely idyllic. I am so glad to hear you are feeling well and that you're getting on with a treat ... a walk in the sunshine does the soul good. All we need here in the East is some of the sunshine :-( More rain forecast here for tomorrow, so keep on sending us the sunshine of your thoughts

    Love Wendy xx

  • I'm sure the weather will revert to its normal pattern soon - rain in the west, dry in the east. Hope you can keep your spirits up with indoor pursuits in the meantime.


  • Hi Linda!

    Wow am I impressed! And I was feeling smug because i have walked the mile or so into town and back a couple of times! and used my bike a bit. I am still using my disabled badge with the car because I only use the car if I have to carry a lot or I am feeling tired.

    My aunt lives in Portadown! Must take the opportunity to visit her and the park that you describe so well! Last time I was over there I explored the shores of Strangford Lough and also the Cave Hill and Hollywood as my mum had talked about them.

    Why not mention Titanic? It wasn't the builders who sank her! My grandfather was one of them! He was a foreman shipwright for Harland & Wolf & came to England in about 1913 bringing grandma, my dad, his older brother & younger sister! My mum was also born in Belfast and came over in 1939 to marry dad!

    Small world or what?

    Here's to the rain holding off here today!


  • A very small world, Margaret!

    My Titanic remark was just a reflection on the fact that we've had quite a lot of it lately. Tomorrow I'm going to the new centre in Belfast. See pics here -

    Good luck with the cycling / walking. Hope you manage to make that visit sometime soon.


  • Me too!

    My aunt is in her 80's and The last of her generation! I have just become the oldest of mine! My cousin, 6 months older than I, died last week! Heigh ho! Life goes on!


  • Linda,

    I was born in England (Yorkshire), but never had the chance to visit Ireland. I've seen lots on TV about how beautiful it is, so will definitely have to visit soon. Living in Canada, winters can get pretty chilly and icy roads make it hard to walk so we invested in a NordicTrack treadmill that connects to Google maps. Looking at the 10" monitor I walk and visit lots of neat places. I've visited my sister (in Redcar) and my Dad in Middlesbrough. I've even been to Paris - saw the Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triumph and many other sites that I saw when I was only 18 when on a college trip to see the collections of the famous designers (Dior, Yves St Laurent etc). With live view one sees all the streets and houses so it's almost like really being there. It sure takes the boredom out of treadmill walking.

    I will input a 'search' on the i-fit maps on some of the names you mentioned in your post. That will be the next best thing to being there! The funny thing is with the google maps thing, some of the photo shots will start off being in summer, then another stretch will be in winter - so I get to see more than one season all in one 3 mile walk:-)

    Wow! Nine miles in one day is VERY good! Walking is so good for the spirit as well as the body. Mind you that coffee and scones like a tasty reward to me!

    When I reached my 5 years since diagnosis anniversary, my hubby and I with a friend or two walked from our place to the nearest town - a walk of 8 miles. We take 2 cars to town the night before, park one at a hotel parking lot overnight, then drive back home in the other car. So after the 8 mile walk on the following day, breakfast at Tim Hortons, we drive home. My birthday was on March 27th and my 'cancer start' was March 28th, so we have made this an annual event. This year was our 8th year to do this (I'm 66 now and darned proud of it:-) We hope to continue this celebration walk every year. It gives us something to look forward to after a long winter.

    I enjoyed your post Linda and I wish you all the good luck I had - you sound as though you have a 'knock-em-dead' attitude, so I feel sure you'll do very well. I have just past 13 years since diagnosis (Stage 4). I'm still in remission, walking 3-4 miles every day .... and very, very thankful.


  • Hi Sandy. Your treadmill sounds really cool!

    Where do you live in Canada? I've been there a few times. I have relatives all round Lake Ontario, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

    It's so encouraging to hear how well you have done after a stage 4 diagnosis. Let's ditch the statistics.


  • Hi Sandy!

    Your treadmill sounds amazing! If only they had one at my gym!

    I must increase my exercise! I would happily emulate you with remission as I want to see my grandson graduate!


  • Hi Linda

    Sounds a lovely area to explore where you live. I've been to NI once, to Dublin which I really enjoyed and hubby and I promised to come back by car and explore the rest of the glorious countryside. One day! We love walking - the Lake District is out fav place and we get up there (from here in Liverpool) once or twice a year and do some serious walking. Except this year I was half way through chemo when we went up for my birthday in March, but I still managed a good 5 miles, but crawled up what would normally be some really easy hills! Will need to get back to the gym and on the treadmill to build up some strength.

    Sandy - your treadmill sounds fantastic - no need to travel!! You're doing fantastically - well done you!!

    Hoping to get good results following CT scan next Wed (results on 15th May) and get into remission again (for a verrrrrrrrrrrry long time) so I can get on with enjoying my life!

    Best wishes

    Colette xxxxxxx

  • Hi Colette. We love the Lake District too. Had a lovely (sunny!) few days in Grasmere a few years ago.

    All the very best for your CT results. I'm waiting for my appointment for my first review next month so hoping for good news too.

    Linda xx

  • Linda - Grasmere is our favourite spot - we were there in March! Good luck with your review next month.

    Colette xxxx

  • Hi there Linda ..

    Thanks for sharing your lovely day with us ....

    Sunshine what does that look like .. raining here still that's Sat and Sun ....

    Never mind ..sunshine arrives in the form on my kids coming for roast beef this afternoon ...

    Have not been to NI but have Southern Ireland as hubby's sister used to live there in the late 80s ..had some great holidays there with the kids ...would love to go back .

    My sister has seen the giants causeway ..she says its amazing ... its on my hit list day ...

    Love Janet xx

  • Hi Janet

    Maybe, as they say in the song, the sun will come out tomorrow!

    Linda :-)

  • Just to say all this sounds beautiful and I am so glad you've got the weather to enjoy it. I visited the giant's causeway many years ago but made the mistake of visiting the Bushmills distillery first. I nearly fell into the sea.

    Yes you've nearly sold a holiday in NI to me!



  • Yes Sarah, it helps if you're sure-footed at the Causeway! Other attractions here (just to tilt you towards deciding to come) the Glens of Antrim and Co Armagh In apple blossom time!

    Linda xx

  • Hi Linda,

    I live is a small hamlet called Hosmer, near Fernie B.C. - about a 3 hours drive from Calgary, Alberta. It's a beautiful area - lots of snow-capped mountains, blue skies and lakes ... lovely!

    Coincidentally, we have a small acreage at a hamlet called Grasmere - it was named after Grasmere in the Lake district, probably because the terrain is very similar.

    I've loved reading all these posts. We'll be visiting UK in the fall. My Dad is 87 and has Alzheimer's so want to make sure I see him as often as possible. My hubby's sister lives in Chester (actually in Wales, but her address is in UK) - so we're staying there for a week too. It would be nice to cram in a trip to Ireland (wistful sigh:-) You never know, stranger things have happened!

    It sound like a place I need to take my sketchpad to, but may have to settle for the digital camera.

    Take good care ...


  • Hi Sandy. Had a look on Streetview. Fabulous scenery. We stayed a few nights up in Canmore. Can't believe it's 14 years ago.

    Good luck for your visit to see your Dad.


  • I'm delighted to hear that you're having better whether in Ireland than we are here in Yorkshire, as we are heading to Ireland for a short holiday next week - the republic, I'm afraid, rather than the north. I hope the good weather lasts till then!

  • Hi BJ. Hope the weather holds up for you. Enjoy your holiday.


  • hi! linda .i live in northern ireland in poleglass dunmurray, my name is una and am on 3rd. line chemo 18 weekly taxol have just 2 more to go.I am a 3c daughter lisa lives in crumlin which is not too far from you.maybe we could meet up for coffee some time.I am having a mc millan coffee morning this friday 28th, september if ou would like to come .let me know.x

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