A Belfast Mum

A Belfast Mum

A Belfast Mum

Happy September Bloom readers!

I do hope you’ve all had a lovely summer. As I write this, my sister is visiting from Italy with her two children, and I thought this might be a good opportunity to write something about how easy it is to entertain visitors to Northern Ireland when the weather is good.  We have a plethora of beautiful beaches, usually within an hour’s drive, and some beautiful country parks.  For little ones, the play parks at Carrickfergus, Dellamont, and Carnfunnock are worth a drive, and the mazes and lovely gardens at Castlewellan and Seaforde can keep families occupied for an afternoon.  If they’re up for a longer drive, we might venture to the Giant’s Lair and the fairy houses at The Ring of Gullion.  I’ve compiled a little list of places to go and things to do with our visitors, and we won’t be stuck for entertainment if the weather holds.

However, it was a completely different story when I tried to put together a list of things to do in Northern Ireland when it rains.  And I say when, rather than if, because they’re here for 10 days, and when do we ever get a 10 day stretch without rain in this country?  There’s still plenty to do, what with the trampoline park, the folk and transport museum, W5, Titanic and HMS Caroline within easy reach of Belfast, but it suddenly becomes very, very expensive to have a nice day out.

As Belfast residents, we tend to cope with rainy days with careful use of our soft play membership, cinema, and the pool, but I’ve often bemoaned the lack of a roof of some sort over our local playpark, so that we could get better use of it during the rainier months.  In fact, I’ve joked to friends that Belfast would be so much nicer if we could have some kind of roof over the whole city – imagine it, a lovely big rainproof tarpaulin that could be rolled out over the city from the Black Mountain over to the Castlereagh Hills at the first sign of rain, somewhat like the Wimbledon centre court roof.  Imagine a Belfast that wasn’t wet.  We get a glimpse of it, for at least a couple of weeks every summer, but then we come crashing back to the reality of needing a pac-a-mac and wellies in the middle of August, and having to eat a planned picnic in the car because the weather has taken a sudden turn for the worse…

For now though, I’ll just hope that the predicted dark clouds and showers predicted for this week hold off, and that we get to show off our world class beaches, parks and other outdoor attractions to my nephew and niece.  We’ll pack our brollies and welly boots just in case though!  See you next time…

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