Local knowledge: Co Antrim Glens and Coast
Where should you go? We ask the locals
NORA BROWNE, retired farmer and keen baker from Tonduff, close to the Giant’s Causeway
Have tourists always been drawn to your area and where do they stay?The area has always attracted tourists. I live in a wee hamlet, which had about eight or nine houses when I came here 55 years ago. There are a few cottages and holiday homes with one room still left from those days. The local tourist board runs them now and one is called Hunter’s Cottage, which is a lovely self-catering house with great views. We’re about a mile-and-a-half in each direction from the beach. There’s a very good bus service that passes here every hour or so, and there’s also a coastal and rambler bus. So, if you don’t have a car you can go from here to anywhere.
Where do you go for a stroll?I was out along the Tramway this morning, which is an old railway line at the Giant’s Causeway. I used to walk a lot on the roads but not as much lately as, to be honest, it is not that safe, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d prefer to take a bus to Ballintoy and take a stroll along the harbour there between the causeway and Ballycastle.
What is it about the Giant’s Causeway that attracts you to it?I still go walking down there. I think for me the beauty is in its simplicity. It is all about nature and it wasn’t destroyed. The National Trust has done a good job. You’ll see no wee houses here, there and everywhere. I know you have to pay to go into the centre, but that is just progress and it is not near the actual causeway. You can walk around the causeway and it will only cost the price of the bus.
Where do you suggest for food or drink?The nearest place to our area for a decent bite is the Giant’s Causeway. For a drink, I guess Bushmills, which is only about 3.5 miles away. Ballintoy is the same distance.
What about a swim?In Dunseverick, there is a little pool there and it is very well attended on a good day. It is a hole in the rock really, as we call it, and it is where I, and many more, learned to swim. People still swim there in big numbers.
You are a keen baker I’m told – so where can visitors sample your produce?It’s too late for this year, but I attend a vintage rally every year and I do it for the church. I never make any money out of it. The rally is on at the beginning of June. There are regular car-boot sales at Dunseverick every month and it is a big thing with lots attending. I sometimes help out at that and sell my baking.