Wednesday, May 16, 2018
The sun comes streaming in our windows and it promises to be a beautiful day here in Enniskillen. Unfortunately, we will be leaving her and heading to the East Coast of Northern Ireland.
The plan is to position ourselves relatively close to Belfast tonight so that we will have an easly drive tomorrow to catch the ferry out of Belfast. We take a relatively quick breakfast, a couple last looks out our window and head off for Ardglass.
The drive from Enniskillen to Ardglas is fairly straightforward and our Nav (and Rich) gets us there easily. When we pull in to the Arglass Golf Club we immediately feel as if we are in for a treat. The clubhouse is amazing – it is built in and among the well-preserved remains of an old castle. One of the members chatted with us and told us the members think it is grand, but it is a maintenance nightmare because they have to get special permissions to make any kind of improvements to this historic building.
Since we are a bit early for our time, we stop for a soup and sandwich in the club restaurant. Again, one of the friendly members notices us and takes us on a little tour of the castle. People are super friendly here – very refreshing.
At tee time we meet our caddies – Rob for me and Gerry for Rich. They are both really good, but I give the edge to Gerry/Rich. Even Rob told me that Gerry has played and/or caddied this course over 300 times. He knows it like the back of his hand. I am in trouble.
Arglass Golf Course is maybe the most spectacular course we have played rated purely on the views.
The par 3’s are nuts – over huge rock chasms. It is very challenging in the strong winds, but we both hunker down.
After 17 I am miraculously up 1 with one hole to play. Rich and Gerry go into deep discussion.
Gerry assures Rich that “you will not lose with me as your caddy!” Turns out he is correct. I completely mis-hit my second shot on this fabulous par four and it is all downhill from there. Rich easily makes mincemeat of me on the last hole to end up all square. Match Play Count: Rich 5/Linda 4.
Both of us really loved this course. It makes us shake our heads to hear that membership is around 700gbp/year and INCLUDES all green fees for the year!!! What?? That seems to be the case with most courses we have played here. Very reasonable for members.
A quick post round visit to the clubhouse in in order.
In order to get a wee bit closer to Belfast I have booked our accommodations for tonight in a nearby town – Killyleagh. It is about a 25 min drive from Ardglass.
The first thing you see when you enter the town is a gorgeous, huge castle that appears to be in perfect condition. We later learn from our B&B host that Killyleagh Castle is the oldest inhabited castle in the UK. The same family has owned it forever and still lives there!
Check-in at Dufferin Coaching Inn is a breeze. The proprietor (Leontine) is a member at Ardglass so we swap tales of woe. This B&B used to the a bank in the little town! It is a very large Victorian house that appears to have a maze of rooms. I think we are the only guests tonight. We get our key, write down what we want her to fix us for breakfast and head out for dinner.
It is kind of late for dinner in this small town and choices are limited. As usual, we make the best of the situation and easily find Smuggler’s Table down by the quay. A couple of gin tonics, a plate of scallops and a plate of roast chicken makes us happy campers.
A little stroll after dinner brings us to a sort of backwater area close to the harbor. Birds of all sorts are picking around. It smells like it looks, so we don’t linger…
Back to Dufferin Inn for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is a straight travel day and we have many miles to go.