November in Ireland - Carlingford and Slieve Gullion
Before we moved back to Ireland I dreaded the month of November. I imagined it would be the hardest month of the year to cope with. This is our second November here now and I haven’t found it miserable at all - there are still magnificent sunrise and sunset skies, albeit slightly earlier and later than normal, and nature has a wonderful feel of hibernation and barren-ness and when all else fails….(as I was reminded last year in my misery!) getting ready for Christmas is magical.
The kids finish school early on Wednesday’s and I hadn’t thought of anything special to do yet. As Co. Louth is still a new area for us, we do feel a little like tourists as we plan activities. The children don’t have their evenings filled with music lessons, sport, drama or dance, they just have one activity each a week. My daughter does Irish dancing on Saturday which she adores, and my son does downhill mountain biking which gives him a real buzz! So this week on Wednesday, my husband suggested heading up to Carlingford which is about 25 minutes from where we live and it is such a gorgeous place. I jumped at the chance to visit, the kids however, had to be encouraged with ice cream. On a weekday in November, we found a fair few of the shops closed as the town does rely on a huge influx of tourists in the Summer months, but there was still plenty to see and ice cream to be had.
I have a list of things to do pinned onto a board in the kitchen. There was a facebook post on a mums group giving people ideas of little outings. Slieve Gullion is marked with an asterisk on my list - I think lots of people recommended it. I have a little note beside it advising us to bring a picnic. However, on a Saturday in November, packing a picnic was far from my mind - I just wanted to get out in nature for some fresh air and Slieve Gullion is just 20 minutes from the house. I packed the dog and the kids and we absolutely loved it. We just did the fairy walk through the Giants Lair, which is a forest circuit that is about a mile long and filled with fairy doors to discover.