On July 25th I took full advantage of the first decent weather we’ve had since who knows when and journeyed up to Islandmagee, a peninsula off the coast of County Antrim.

The Second Presbyterian Church, Mullaghboy, Islandmagee

Near the north end of the peninsula is the Second Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee at Mullaghboy.

Chapter 1 cafe

And I didn’t expect to find a fully functioning cafe this far up the peninsula. This is the inside of Chapter 1, just a stone’s throw from the church.

Chapter 1 cafe

And here is the exterior view of the cafe

What I love most about remote places like this is the experience of walking about footloose and fancy free, all on my own… and not having to dodge cars every two minutes as you do on a lot of country roads. It’s especially rewarding on a bright summer’s day. Even on a gloomy, misty day a walk around the peninsula can really lift my spirits. With open fields on one side and the open sea on the other I feel totally free of all the everyday things that tie me down.

The open sea from Gobbins Road, nothing but sea between here and Scotland.

The last part of my journey around Islandmagee was the bus ride from Mullaghboy back to Whitehead and this took me right up to Ballylumford, at the very end of the peninsula, just across the sea from Larne.

Whitehead and Islandmagee were two places I visited frequently between 1989 and 1991 before I migrated to London and, for some reason or another, I only ever got halfway from Whitehead to Portmuck and Ballylumford before I got tired or it got too late in the day. With my trip up the full length of the peninsula on July 25th I have achieved something I’ve wanted to achieve for more than half my life: to walk or ride up from Whitehead all the way up to the northernmost tip of Islandmagee.

I think I’ll conquer the Cooley Peninsula next.


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