17th June started warm, dry but a little overcast
as members boarded the coach in Crossgar.
However, the weather forecast was for sunshine
later in the day and well before lunch the light
cloud evaporated and the sun broke through. We
enjoyed a short break at Frenchies Restaurant in
Clough for coffee and scones before heading
onward to Newry.
Aboard the coach and
ready for shopping and sightseeing
in Newry shortly after mid-day visits to the two shopping malls
were high on the agenda. The Buttercrane and Quays centres are on
opposite sides of the main Dundalk Road and boast a large number
of familiar high street names together with a variety of local
shops and traders. Members and guests took the opportunity to
visit both malls browsing the shops and making a few purchases.
Clearly this interlude was thoroughly enjoyed before returning to
the coach in the early afternoon to make our way along the canal
towards Carlingford. Following our shopping spree it was
refreshing to sit down and enjoy the scenery as we drove along the
canal and the shores of Carlingford Lough. Bounded by the Lough on
one side and the steep inclines of the Cooley Mountains on the
other the views were inspiring as we looked north towards
Warrenpoint and Rostrevor set against the backdrop of the Mourne
Mountains with clear blue skies above.
is only a short drive from Newry and the town really looked its
best when we arrived on what can only be described as a balmy
summer afternoon. The town takes its name from the Norse - the
fjord of Carlinn - and can be classified as one of Ireland's best
preserved medieval towns which was originally founded by the
Anglo-Normans in the 12th century.
A relaxing afternoon
spent visiting the
quaint shops in Carlingford
was delightful with its narrow streets and beautiful views
of the sea and mountains while the stone medieval buildings
transported us back in time. The small shops have a lot of
character and exude a feeling of tranquillity and
friendliness that somehow seems absent in the large, modern
shopping complexes which we had left behind a short time
earlier. Our sojourn in Carlingford reminded us of the much
more relaxed pace of life that prevailed in rural villages
throughout the country many years ago. It was a beautiful
afternoon and many members took time to explore the streets
and byways and to enjoy the beauty of the setting in such a
warm weather combined with several hours of arduous shopping
eventually took its toll encouraging some members to seek
refreshment in the local coffee shops while others enjoyed a
cooling ice cream.
we departed Carlingford and made our way to the other side
of the Lough passing through Warrenpoint and Rostrevor this
time looking south towards the Cooley Mountains. As we
headed north towards Newcastle the sea on our right
glistened in the brilliant sunshine while on our left the
Mourne Mountains towered majestically above us. On
arrival at the Enniskeen Hotel in Newcastle members were in
relaxed mood and looking forward to the very enjoyable high
tea that unfortunately also signalled that our day was
drawing towards its conclusion.
heading home many members purchased plants that were
available for sale and our coach looked like a horticultural
arrangement as we returned to Crossgar. From the
conversation and comments made during the final leg of our
journey it was evident that the day had been enjoyed by all.