Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre

If you are ever in the North West area and have some time to spare or are looking for something new you should call in to the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady. It’s right in the town centre and there are car parks nearby and on street parking outside. Limavady is a busy wee town with some lovely independent shops and cafes. I find the people of Limavady to be friendly and chatty (no I’m not a resident lol). 

The Roe Valley Centre us a little gem in the heart of the town. There’s always a free exhibition on and the offer a great range of classes for children, young people and adults. I would love to fit in some leisure courses and am going to make a real effort to try new things. 

They have a theatre for music, plays and film too.

I’m going up next week to see the Louise McLean exhibition. Louise is a local willow artist who makes amazing sculptures and baskets. You might have heard of her because she has been on This Morning on ITV and was on RTE’s Craft Master. Anyway I’m looking forward to her new ‘bogland, branches and the beach’ exhibition. I will let you know all about it at a later date.

Here is a link to the Roe Valley Centre website – 

http://www.roevalleyarts.com/

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Crumlin Road Gaol

We had a wee trip up to Belfast this week. We had intended to have a day on Rathlin Island but the morning ferries were fully booked for both days we wanted to go. I was a bit disappointed as I have never been over before and had our day planned out. Aw well, another time. So a trip to Crumlin Road Gaol (also know as The Crum) was the alternative. What a difference – wild and beautiful Rathlin versus a Victorian prison!

I booked the tickets online the night before. It was very reasonable – a family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children was £22 with an additional £1 booking fee.

The gaol and the courthouse across the road was designed by Charles Lanyon, an English architect who also designed many other buildings in Northern Ireland including the main building in Queens University. He also played a major part in the planning of the  splendid Antrim Coast Road. The list of his works throughout Belfast and Northern Ireland is considerable.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lanyon

The Crum 1

The Crum

I must say the tour was excellent. I wasn’t sure how my boys would find it but both really enjoyed it. The teenager said he thought it might be a bit boring but it wasn’t and he found it really interesting … yeah! Our tour guide, Eoghan, was very good and kept everyone interested with just the right amount to information and detail and was excellent with keeping the children engaged.
We learned so much about the goal from Victorian times right up until it was closed in the 1990’s. We heard about the children incarcerated in the prison in Victorian times, about the prison during the troubles and about the 17 executions that happened there (including the actual execution room) and how Ireland had no executioner so the hangman came over from England and did all the hangings in gaols throughout Ireland.

The executioner

How many people have looked through this window and longed for freedom …

crum 7crum 6

I also got to Paperchase so my day ended well.  I love that shop.

 

Portrush Coastal Zone

The family went on a wee trip to Portrush today to visit The Coastal Zone which opens for the summer months. http://www.portrush.org.uk/listing_detail.php?SLT=153&SSC=Attractions&SC=Experience

We hadn’t been there for a long time. It’s a great wee spot and the 4 of us really enjoyed it. There are a few live exhibits such as pipe fish; starfish; anemones; sea urchins etc. There are also whale and dolphin bones etc.

We asked one of the members of staff about the mermaid’s purses which were suspended in a tank. We quite often find the empty purses washed up on local beaches.

My youngest had a great time taking photos and the following are his:

Peek-a-boo

Emerging …

Minke whale washed up in 2003 at Giant’s Causeway

We never find hermit crabs this big

 

 

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The Mermaid’s Purses

Glenariff Forest Park

A bracing start to the new year. I resolved last year to walk more and see lots more of our beautiful wee country. So I am starting this year as I mean to go on. Did The Waterfall Walk in the Glenariff forest park this afternoon. It was misty and drizzling while we were there but we were undeterred and had a lovely walk, followed by an al fresco picnic. Cold, wet and happy. I loved it.