Here we go Again

Summer is finally on its way, the weathers not been too bad and things are starting to open up as the vaccine roll-out continues! In a couple of weeks restrictions will have lifted allowing us to dine inside and stay in hotels – this naturally meant we had to book somewhere to stay. We have stayed a number of great places in Ireland during 2020 but our favourite has been the Lough Erne Resort and we are staying again in June.

We are still waiting to hear and slightly unsure about international travel, it is likely we will have similar guidance to that of England and might get to take a short break away in Portugal – somewhere Iain has never been. We have also been giving a lot of thought to what we want to do and see over the next few years, there’s a few bucket list destinations such as Bora Bora that we are beginning to save towards and will hopefully experience in the future.

For now its great to have something to look forward to, this last lockdown took its toll as we were starting to feel like it was wake up, work, eat and sleep for a few months. For now we are looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, getting out and seeing the world.

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!
Brianna and Iain

Belfast Walking Tours: If Buildings Could Talk

Hello everyone, since we started blogging, we decided we were going to start trying more experiences we would not have done before. We recently went on our first walking tour with If Buildings Could Talk in Belfast, Northern Ireland, we were not quite sure what to expect with the tour but decided to go ahead and do it.


The tour is run by Barney and we met him opposite Belfast city hall – this was all explained beforehand in the e-mail we received. It was one of those days where you didn’t know if it was going to rain or the sun would split the sky so as always in Ireland you need to bring a raincoat – this time of year the streets can also be a bit slippery with leaves and wet cobles so it is really important to wear the right footwear also.

Both of us grew up and went to school and university in the Belfast area so we went on the tour wondering would it be all new or would it be the same old stories you hear about Belfast growing up. There were two other couples on the tour and Barney started with a quick health and safety talk and providing us with guide/picture books. The tour itself takes about 1 and half to two hours and we found it covered most of the city centre.

As mentioned we both know Belfast well, we found that as the tour progressed although we recognised many of the buildings that Barney brought us to however at each stop he highlighted a history of the buildings and streets that we never knew about.


The tour covered the city centre from the area around City Hall, Castle Court, Cathedral Quarter, and other areas. The tour route is planned well to cover all these areas and we would recommend it to anyone who is first visiting Belfast and wants to get an idea of the city’s different quarters and history.


As a tour guide, we found Barney to be friendly and knowledgeable about the city, he has obviously done his research on the buildings and cities. Throughout the tour he was engaging when moving between the different stops and kept the group entertained, as a first walking tour experience we found it to be a really interesting and engaging experience that we will be recommending to our friends and family.

After the tour we popped into Hadski’s for lunch and a few drinks, Iain had the steak sandwich and Brianna had the Duck Ragu – to finish we had a cocktail. After this experience we will book other tours in Belfast, we have always talked about the Belfast Food Tour after hearing good reviews – we think it will be the next tour!

We 100% would recommend if you visit Belfast and want to get to know the city and its history to join Barney on his tour around the city centre! Have you done any walking tours that you would recommend?

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!
Brianna and Iain

Ballygally Castle Hotel -September 2020

Hello everyone,

As mentioned in our final causeway coast guide we spent a night in the Ballygally Castle. This hotel is always special to us as it is where we had our wedding reception. We would pop in for a bite to eat a few times throughout the year, but we thought this time we would spend the night and have dinner.

On our way to Ballygally we stopped off in Glenarm to have a bite of lunch in the Glenarm Tea Rooms, these are part of the Glenarm castle and walled gardens. This is a place we always try to visit at the weekend and find that its full making it difficult to get into – especially during current circumstances! But the grounds were really cool, there is a workshop that sells really unique items, a clothes shop, fudge factory, gardens to walk around and a castle. The tea rooms provide afternoon tea, coffee and your usual fare – the food was good and reasonably priced.

After this we journeyed on to Ballygally Castle along the coast road, the castle is a 17th century castle that overlooks Ballygally bay. It has a modern section and then the older castle and exterior walls alongside a beautiful walled garden and river area. The hotel is owned by the Hastings group who own a chain of 4- and 5-star hotels across Northern Ireland, we aren’t normally huge fans of chains but we find that Hastings generally provide great service and accommodation.

On arrival our rooms were ready so we went and freshened up, our room this time didn’t have as good a view as previous stays – overlooking the roof of the function room, however as always with this chain the room itself was top class. We always find that they have the most comfortable beds, and the bathroom and shower are always great! We spent the afternoon in the lounge having a few drinks and chatting, the setting is really beautiful here and we sat by the window looking out over the Irish sea.

Dinner in the Garden Restaurant

Our stay included dinner and breakfast in the hotel, we had booked in that evening in the Garden restaurant for food, for dinner Iain had prawn cocktail, and chicken and mango curry and Brianna had the pate with toast, and salmon with crushed baby potatoes. If we are being honest about the food we found that whilst it was fine, the quality and flavour were lacking.

We had stayed at the Bushmills Inn the night before and the food was much better – another issue we noticed during this visit was the lack of staff. There appeared to be only one staff on the bar and serving all the guests in the lounge and during dinner only two staff members for the whole restaurant. Whilst the service was friendly and helpful the staff members were run off their feet – at one stage, we noticed ourselves and three other tables in the lounge waiting for drinks orders to be taken.

Overall, we found that the Ballygally Castle as always has great rooms and is a beautiful hotel, but compared to other 4 star experiences the food and service weren’t quite up-to-par during this visit.

Stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain

PS. you can’t miss the Ghost Room if you visit