Trail of the Spanish Armada

Already published are some places on the trail of the Spanish Armada.  The research goes on, and as there is no funding for this project, as there wasn’t with the North Highland Way, the project is now just a web site.  there was so much promise.  Culturally Curious is a project wanted by Belfast City Council, hence the Belfast page – at least VisitBelfast helped, even if just in kind, though I guess the Spanish Armada never sailed up the Belfast Lough! The Ulster Museum doesn’t want to be included for reasons of their own. Belfast City Council have done their best as well. But let’s enjoy what has been done in Belfast, Carrickfergus, Armagh – you will be surprised there!  Did you know that there is Spanish Gold in the hills of Armagh?!  We have included the wonderful Liz Weir’s stories… Maybe we can get Spanish stories on her circuit.. who knows.

This is Liz’s report on this year’s festival:

Over 2500 people took part in this year’s Glens Storytelling Festival, organised by Antrim Glens Tourism .  An exciting programme of events took place throughout the Causeway Coast and Glens and Mid and East Antrim Council coastal areas from October 23rd to 27th.

New venues this year included The Old Church Cushendun ,Glenariffe Community and Recreation Centre, Ballycastle Golf Club, The Gobbins, Whitehead Railway Museum, Glenarm’s Bridge Community Hall, Glenarm Castle tearoom and Ballygally Community Hall.

Storytellers returned to Laragh Lodge, Rathlin Manor House, Slemish Barn, Londonderry Arms Hotel and Cushendall Golf Club.  As part of the Taste the Island promotion specialised food and story events  took place in Ballycastle and Glenarm while forest  story walks took place in Glenariffe and Glenarm.

Visitors from all over Ireland were joined by guests from Germany, Switzerland, England, Cork, Colorado, Kentucky ,and Australia  to enjoy the  festival  as well as  pick up tips for telling stories themselves.  The latest crop of 12 storytellers, who recently completed their Open College Network Level 2 accredited training in oral storytelling joined in events,  ensuring the sustainability of this traditional artform.

The festival received support from the  Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership,  Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Mid and East Antrim Council and the Community Foundation NI through the Telecommunity Fund.

The Glens of Antrim Tourism Cluster is just amazing, so we are happy to include their members’ page.  Commercial organisations have to pay.  Ditto the Causeway Coast Tourism cluster.. great work.  The former has said they will provide about 200 words of text and a couple of photos to accompany their link.  Lovely.

We are happy to include Portadown with its Spanish links, and also Lurgan (with its Green Destination possibility) although I don’t suppose the Spanish Armada went anywhere near them either!


DAERA have been most helpful in providing information and we are happy to include all that hard work here.  Beer featured heavily in our discussions! PortBallintree Community Development Group was another tip given to us by DAERA

Port Rush is wonderful… but we need someone to sponsor the page, as Brownlow House has done in Lurgan.


Tina Irving is author of three self published books, “Creating the North Highland Way”, “The Battle for Brough Bay” and “WWII Sites in Caithness”.  All are available on Lulu. She in the midst of writing a novel about the Spanish tree….mentored by the Port Stewart based author Bernie McGill.  She hopes to enter the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair in 2020 (September).  If she does, then she will be looking for a suitable venue on the north coast to launch the book. It will be for the members of the Glens of Antrim Tourism Cluster to decide.  It will be the business, rather than community group, who supports the Glens of Antrim Tourism Cluster the most as to who gets the book launch with Toast of Coast food, wines from the depths of Spain, and even gin from the north of Scotland. A gala evening..  Tina has written for many publications both as a travel writer and an economist.  An unusual mix of genres. On the journalism side she is focussing on environmental economics.