Sunday, 1 June 2014

Day Trip To A Kerry Seaside Resort That Reminded Me Of Scarborough.

It's June (Whitsun) Bank holiday weekend here in Ireland.  So we decided to leave the sea side (Bantry Bay) where we have our smallholding and go to 'The Kingdom"  (Kerry) to Ballybunnion.  It's a lovely little seaside resort pointing outwards to the Atlantic Ocean.  It's got a scattering of pubs, gift shops, takeaways and buckets and spades shops.  The sun had got his hat on and about 200 people or so soaked up the rays on the beach and played football.  It was like being in one of those great John Betjeman BBC television documentaries  and I was speaking the narration.

 Ballybunnion Castle.  This was once a sixteen century Fitzmaurice stronghold.  The walls of the gable are 6 feet thick and thirty foot high.
 The cliffs reminded me of Carvoeiro in Portugal that we visited last year.
 People playing football and looking at caves carved by the sea.
 A view at one of the beaches.  It could be nineteen fifties Cornwall or even Scarborough.  Except its in County Kerry, Ireland on the western edge of Europe.  There is no more land until America.
Me feeding the last of my ice cream to our Jack Russell with the long tail.  She preferred to pose for the camera.

All that remains of the castle now is a gable wall.  Nature (Atlantic gales) and battles have left their mark.  The wife and two kids sat eating ice creams and  I  walked a few hundred yards and stood looking at the sea and the castle and the beach and suddenly I was back playing football on the beach in the North bay in Scarborough.  I was only about ten and my mum and dad and my brother were there smiling and laughing and I thought of those times I watched Yorkshire playing cricket and Sir Geoffrey Boycott smiling at me and saying:

"Hello son."

There was I a young lad born in Lancashire adopting Yorkshire cricket team for the day, nay week.

Then my wife and kids and the terrier came up to me and my day dream had gone.  Isn't it strange how the sea can take you back forty years?  Oh what I would give to see my parents again.  Does the seaside bring back memories of your favourite holidays with loved ones who are no longer with you? 


  1. I have to confess that I have only been to Ballybunnion once. I took one look at the town, completely disliked what I saw and drove out vowing never to return.

  2. Hi Heron. It was absolutely gorgeous sunshine in Ballybunnion on Saturday. I wouldn't like to be there when there is an Atlantic gale. There are some wonderful seaside resorts to visit here in Ireland. They remind me of Alan Bennett and John Betjeman childhood holidays in England growing up between the two world wars and the prosperous nineteen fifties. I know what you mean though of you getting instant dislike to a place. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Yes, reminiscent of the Algarve coast.

    Looks pretty, with just enough people to make it feel holiday-like but not too many to be over-crowded.

  4. Hi Cumbrian. Yes the cliffs and caves also reminded me of the Algarve. I have noticed that a lot of flights and accommodation seem a lot more expensive this year, especially for families. The Algarve is very cheap for food and drink and you get great weather.

    The trip to Ballybunnion took me back to the 1970's when we would go on day excursions by coach to (far off places?) like Blackpool, Trentham Gardens, Morecambe, Skipton, Clitheroe, Bowness (Windermere) and Southport. I think the seasides resorts are like the village pub or shop. If we don't support them they won't be here for future generations to enjoy and complain and put the world to rights eating some homemade sandwiches or even a bag of chips.

    Yes the balance of people was just right. There is nothing worse that going to somewhere and you feel like you are with the multitudes. Thanks!


Meant To Be.

 I am starting one of my roughing it holidays this weekend.   This consists of hiking over here and going to two music festivals and visitin...