Although it’s not Christmas time, Band Aid has really resonated with me over the past few weeks. We’ve all been taking more walks than ever to escape from the confined space of our own homes and work up to those coveted 10000 steps each day – I don’t know about you, but for me that has led to the discovery of an abundance of fascinating nooks and crannies that are quite literally outside my window (well, within a couple of miles!)
While taking one of these evening strolls last week, I decided to take a new path and just walk until I either get bored or find something photo-worthy; and boy did I do that all right!
As I began walking down the road which is only less than half a mile away from my house, I saw something that looked like an abandoned shed hiding among the bushes at the opposite side of the road. I could just about see through the windows and was instantly intrigued to go inside, but decided to wait until I had someone to explore it with (after all, exploring is better with a partner!)
Once I had recruited my exploration partner a few days later, on possibly the most sunny, sparkling day of the year so far, we crossed the road and climbed inside! It wasn’t too hard to get in to the building because the doors were no longer functioning and most of them instead now function as bridges to cover the broken floorboards.
The floor was covered with leaves and there was writing all over the walls, dating back to 2008 – so this place has clearly been run-down for a long while. I just can’t believe I’ve never noticed it before!
What’s more is that this place isn’t just a shed, it’s actually a whole house! In total, there were four rooms and a little hallway but there were gaps in the ceiling so there could have been an attic as well. We were definitely not going to try to get up there though because I’m sure you can imagine the scene of the ceiling collapsing under our weight and the ‘thumping’ noises as we crashed to the ground!
You can see the remnants of what once was a fireplace, with a chimney leading right to the top.
This house really is a hidden gem: there are so many leaves and branches covering the window and the gap in the ceiling that it’s almost camouflaged. You really do need to be looking to see it and I’m so glad I did!
As well as this whole house, there was a barn in the back! I’m assuming that once there was a garden but it is now full of overgrown moss, nettles and other plants so we couldn’t make it around to the door without getting stung – maybe next time we’ll brave it and go or hoist ourselves over the opening!
After adventuring to every part of this gem, we decided to go and keep walking up the road. I’ve driven down here many times before, but never walked it until now.
In Northern Ireland it’s never too far of a journey between the town and the countryside, so this road quickly transforms into a beautiful green landscape. There were an abundance of pretty flowers, a hidden postbox and open fields on each side.
We also came across the pretty church which was a lot shorter of a walk than I anticipated, so I had to snap a few photos!
Finally, we came to a little river with a mini bridge covered by greenery before deciding to turn around and head back before we got lost!
The final message that I really wanted to leave you with today is to appreciate the hidden wonders of nature and beauty around you. So often we get caught up in our own bubbles, getting so busy with life or focusing on the negativity of things, particularly the virus right now. I want to challenge you to step out this week and be curious. Even taking in some fresh air is so good for the mind and for mental health.
My friends and I adore exploring random parts of our country, but having to stay home as much has possible has really taught me to appreciate what I have right outside my window.
Have you been exploring? What else have you learned from quarantine? Let’s chat in the comments!
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