NORTHERN IRELAND IN SEPTEMBER

Given Cameron’s family is from Belfast, we visit Northern Ireland regularly. Usually we stick to the city sights, bars and restaurants but during our trip in September we wanted to make the most of it.

Arriving on a Friday morning, we hired a car for the weekend allowing us to explore the countryside and all of its quaint and pretty villages.

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First on the list was the village of Rostrevor – a picturesque and traditional settlement in County Down. I had read about here and despite there not being a huge amount to see and do I was really keen for a wander.

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With the sun shining, we took a stroll through Fairy Glen. Following a winding path along the river, this was an ideal short walk, under overarching trees, to stretch our legs following the hour long drive from the city.

On the way back to the car we stopped off to look at some of the houses that sit alongside the river. If, like me, you’re a fan of climbing ivy then don’t miss these properties. The owners have created the most idyllic looking spot, full of colourful flowers, traditional architecture and picket fencing. It’s an Instagram dream.

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Ready for lunch, we drove slightly south, across the border, to Strandfield. Housing a café, florist, bakery, grocers and gift shop, this was a lovely place to spend a couple of hours. It was hard to pick just one item on the menu for lunch but after seeing the wood burning oven we both opted for pizzas, each crispy and full of flavour. Cakes and hot chocolate might have followed…

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The next day, back in Belfast, we headed into the city. The renovated centre is home to great shops, restaurants, cafés and bars so there’s plenty to see and do, without stepping foot in one of the many museums.

We didn’t have any firm plans for the evening but booked a table at 44 Hill Street. A Mediterranean restaurant, this place is bustling with people on Saturday night and is great for food, drinks and socialising.

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Our flight back to Scotland was on the Sunday afternoon so we decided to get up and out first thing and make the most of the day. We headed to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park which sits just outside the city.

Ideal for a crisp, sunny day, here pristine lawns and rose gardens can be seen for miles. There’s also a coffee shop in the old stables where lunch, ice cream, cakes and scones can be sampled.