The road goes ever on and on, as the song goes, and our road took us to the lovely estate of Gracehill House and then the quaint, seaside Mary McBride’s bar to visit the 7th and 8th doors!
Gracehill House has a long history stretching back to the 17th century, when King James I of England (also James VI of Scotland) made a grant of land to a kinsman of his, a James Stuart. The man had the misfortune of drowning while journeying to take posession of the land, but his grandson inherited it and in time his descendants began building the house in the late 18th century. The famous Dark Hedges were in fact originally a part of the estate, the beech trees planted along the drive to make a suitably impressive path to the home. In more recent times, Gracehill House has changed hands and has been developed with an eye to becoming a premiere golf resort in Northern Ireland. It’s definitely a beautiful stately home, currently in the process of renovation to establish a number of well-appointed rooms for guests.
Mary McBride’s Bar is a very different experience as one goes to the eastern coast of Antrim. It’s a small town, and Mary McBride’s is (as so many of the pubs in Northern Ireland seem to be!) an institution in it, a place where the locals gather and share the news of the day. For Game of Thrones fans, the Caves of Cushendun is where Melisandre gave birth to a shadow in the second season, to the shock of all the viewers.
Tomorrow, we’ll have our final video on the Door Tour, heading to Ballygally Castle Hotel and the Dark Horse in Belfast!