Family Time may seem a strange title for a Thursday Doors post but in these days of restricted travel and intermittent lockdowns spending time with loved ones is a rare occurrence. In December, when there was some freedom of travel for a limited period, we were very fortunate to spend time with children and grandchildren. Nobody was sick, thank goodness, so we headed up north on a long overdue trip. Our daughter’s cosy little rental cottage is where we stayed, right next to the family home. It was so good to stock up on lots of hugs from our grandchildren and to explore some lovely County Antrim scenery that I hadn’t experienced before.
My daughter brought me to one of her favourite places and when I saw these old circular pillars I knew we were in for a treat. A walk through some beautiful native woodland lay ahead. Ireland is full of stone walls and pillars, as it was a great way to create boundaries using material that was readily available while clearing rocky fields.
It wasn’t long before we reached the woodland trail and found some information about the area. In the distant past, oak woods were abundant in the north-east area of Antrim but the trees were gradually felled for timber and to clear the land for farming. Breen Oakwood nature reserve is one of a few remaining segments of what used to be extensive native woodlands. Nice to see that it’s home to lots of red squirrels.
Thanks to my daughter I had a fabulous walk in this beautiful nature reserve. Interestingly, Breen is my mother’s maiden name so I really felt at home there.
We didn’t see any red squirrels on our walk but there’s no shortage of them at my daughter’s house. Here’s one cheeky wee fella poking his head through the open window, enjoying a snack. There are deer, foxes, rabbits and buzzards to be seen, too, in the fields and woods around the garden. If you’re planning a trip to Northern Ireland and the Antrim coast and glens, a few days spent in the cottage surrounded by nature with the beach and town close by, is only a click away. Let’s hope that tourists will be able to visit at some point this year. I’ll leave a link at the end of this post.*
Hopefully, you’re feeling energized after our short virtual hike through the woods. I really enjoyed Thursday Doors hunting for this post as it involved spending precious time with family, and if you carry on over to Dan’s blog you’ll find lots more places to explore.