Ireland Day 10 – heading to Ballymoney and a real big garden

Well we headed off to Ballymoney this morning by taxi as we didn’t want to haul our bags into 3 buses or 1 bus and 1 train.  Much easier and pretty cheap.  Only 15 minutes as well instead of 45.  http://www.visitballymoney.com/

We arrived at Pine Trees B&B  http://www.pinetreesbedandbreakfast.com/

Pinetrees

where there were a whole bunch of contractors working on updating one of the rooms, so it was a bit noisy.  We were way earlier than normal anyway for arriving at a B&B and the owner made us coffee before we headed into town.

Our first stop was at the Tourism building as Jackie there was so very helpful in getting us lined up here.  We had our questions answered and picked up some additional brochures.  She gave us some ideas as to where we could visit, and as we had planned on going to Benvarden Gardens, we went to the bus stop to catch the next bus.   The total distance to get there was 6 miles, and the bus would get us as far as Dervock which is about half way.   We would then walk the other 3 miles to the Gardens.

The Benvarden Garden  http://www.benvarden.com/

Benvarden Garden entrance

has been in existence since 1630 and is one of the oldest walled gardens in Ireland.  The walled part of the garden is about 2 acres and includes rose beds, vegetable gardens, flowers, a proper English garden.

Views of gardens

Veg garden

Formal English garden

Rose garden

Fish pond in middle of rose garden

Pond on way to bridge

Bridge

There is a path that leads to a pond

and then on to a bridge that was constructed in 1878.  It is iron and 90 feet long.  Also on the side are stables, coach houses, cart houses and a Tea room.

Stable yard

There is also a very large residence still on site – but off limits.

Private residence

The weather actually cleared up during the day, and we headed back to Dervock around 4 as there was a 5 pm bus.  We arrived about 15 minutes early.  Caught our bus, headed back to Ballymoney for supper and returned to our B&B.

Some other pictures

Peat Stove

and from Connie

JJ called us a taxi for the next leg of our trip.  The driver was super nice and acted as a bit of a tour guide for us.  This was a way easier way to travel as my bag seems to be getting heavier as we go.  This seems wierd because everything we bought is in a duffel bag and I’m not carrying it. Hmm. My arm muscles have been lacking attention in the past few weeks.

After stowing our bags at the Pinetrees B&B we wandered around Ballymoney.  Quite a busy place.  We found a candy store and proved that you can have a lot of fun as a big kid in a candy store too.  We hopped onto a bus for the gardens and then off walking again.  There was alot of traffic on the road going there and it seemed to take a long time.  Finally we found the place and the first stop was the tea room.  It was after two and we didn’t have lunch yet.  We were hoping for a bowl of soup but they only served baked goods there.  So we had a very good cup of tea and scones and jam.  Yum!  Then we were ready to prowl around the grounds. 

This garden was started in the 1700’s and each owner has carried on.  The Montgomery family have owned it for quite awhile now and they lovingly look after the gardens and are trying to bring other areas that have been let go a bit back into their glory.  I wouldn’t even want to guess how much money has been spent making these gardens what they are.  We paid 3 pounds each to get in….maybe a money making scheme for Waito park 🙂

After about an hour or so we had to get  back to where we were to catch the bus.  Although the gardens were nice to see, I don’t think they were worth the dangerous walk and the extreme hoofing it back to catch the bus before it leaves scenario we found ourlselves in. 

A nice meal at Molly’s pub helped us ease into the evening.  Very comfy room that we were in and just vegged for the rest of the night.

About trailsandtrips

I am a consultant in the forestry and environmental fields and spend my recreational time in a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
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