Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Cushendun

Cushendun in County Antrim was not what I was expecting at all. I think I had based my expectations on a two minute scroll of the National Trust website, which somehow persuaded me that the village would be a bit like Grasmere in the Lake District, with hordes of tourists descending from buses and piling into shops to buy Arran jumpers and little wooden signs saying "It's Gin O'Clock!"


Cushendun

But it wasn't like that at all. It was very quiet and untouristy - a normal unspoilt village, albeit one in the Glens of Antrim owned by the National Trust and therefore very picturesque.

It's also the closest point to Scotland - the Mull of Kintyre is only 15 miles away and you can see it on a clear day.

The National Trust acquired the village in 1954. It had been designed by Clough Williams-Ellis, who was also responsible for Portmeirion. Lord Cushendun, who commissioned the work, wanted the place to feel like a Cornish fishing village, as his wife hailed originally from Penzance. 
Kudos to these determined beach lovers
I'm still not sure even now if The Corner House cafe in Cushendun is National Trust-owned or not. I think it's run by tenants, so it wasn't a mandatory stop on this National Trust Scone Quest. But I was there, and I hadn't had a scone for, ooh, two hours, so I wandered in and asked for a cherry one. 

The scone looked lovely but I'm not exaggerating when I say that it had literally less than a quarter of a cherry in it. It was so funny. I was going to show you a picture but I know everyone would say "you should have taken it back" and it really wasn't a big deal at all (it was my 8th scone in four days). 

Cushendun scone

Cushendun concluded my Grand Scone Tour of Northern Ireland 2019. I'd had fantastic scones at The Argory and Florence Court and good ones at Springhill, Castle Coole, Carrick-a-Rede, Crom, and the Giant's Causeway. And I really can't recommend Northern Ireland enough - it's a wonderful place.

Cushendun: 4 out of 5
Scone: 4 out of 5 - it's tenant run so kind-of outside my territory but still!
Perseverance of family sitting on the beach in the rain: 5 out of 5

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