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One of Belinda Carlisle’s famous hits, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” is the perfect description of the North Coast of County Antrim. To have this treasure on our doorstep is a blessing and to live here, and not have visited it, is a travesty!
My earliest memories as a small boy, include walking the cliffs at the Giants Causeway, the rope bridge at Carrickarede & the beaches at Whiterocks, at a time when it was rare and exciting to meet visitors from ‘faraway’ places who spoke different languages! Nowadays, it has become a Mecca for travellers from all over the world, flocking to see what we have on offer in our wee country. The 117 cruise ships, which docked in Belfast this year, delivered endless coach loads of tourists to visit the Game of Thrones sites and the sheer numbers of people visiting the small villages around the coast, have almost made us a victim of our own success in marketing this part of the world!
The internet and social media encourages and invites us to travel to some of the most beautiful parts of the world, such as the Canadian Rockies or the Caribbean and if it’s possible & affordable, you should….but don’t forget that here in Northern Ireland we are lucky enough have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, right on our doorstep and we live at a latitude where the long summer twilight allows us to enjoy the beaches and cliff walks around this coastline, well into the late summer evenings….
In winter, living at a latitude of 55 degrees north also allows us to witness the Aurora, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, and when the conditions are right, to capture this phenomenon on camera requires patiently waiting in a dark sky area for hours in the cold, well away from light pollution – but it is so worth it when you witness a scene as captured below just outside the village of Glenarm!
Although I have been visiting the North Coast for 50 years, it never ceases to amaze and always delivers a fresh perspective just waiting to be captured on camera.
For me, landscape photography is as much about the time spent on my own with nature, as it is about the final image, which is why I prefer to be out early in the morning or late at night, in what Photographers refer to as the blue hour when the light is at its best… The other huge bonus about being out and about at either end of the day is, that you almost always have the place to yourself and the feeling when standing on a cliff top, hundreds of feet about the ocean, watching the setting sun, is indescribable – I can only recommend and encourage you to try it for yourself…
I hope that you enjoy looking at some of my images of this wonderful part of the world. Some people might see it as Winterfell or The Kingsroad – I am just proud to call the North Coast my home.